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Claims backlog working group issues report

The March 2014 report of the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) Claims Backlog Working Group was released during today’s press conference in Washington conducted by Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Bob Casey, D-Pa.

The working group, put together in July 2013 by Heller and Casey, proposed several improvements to VA’s claims process that could help to ensure more accurate and timely decision-making, thereby reducing the claims backlog.

Louis Celli, Legislative director of The American Legion, said, “It is especially important that the working group reached out to the veteran stakeholders from the very beginning.” With more than 2,900 accredited representatives working nationwide to help veterans receive their earned benefits, Celli said the Legion “has gained valuable insight into the claims process that can help to find solutions that will work.”

The working group’s report focused on three areas of improvement:

1. Veterans must be given every tool to understand the claims process and what they can do to provide information that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) needs. To help accomplish this, veterans need to be better educated about the claims process, they need direct access to veterans service organizations for assistance, and the submission of fully developed claims (FDCs) needs to be incentivized with monetary benefits.

The American Legion has played a leading role in VA’s FDC program and has helped to increase their numbers through the efforts of more than 2,900 accredited representatives nationwide who help veterans file their claims.

2. VBA and VA’s regional offices (VAROs) must make structural changes to ensure that claims are being processed accurately and efficiently, ensuring accountability and oversight of VARO management, efficient processing of claims electronically, and improvement of transparency to the public on the size and scope of the current backlog.

The American Legion passed Resolution 99 at its August 2012 national convention in Indianapolis, which calls on VBA to increase transparency in its claims processing.

3. The federal government must make veterans’ benefits claims a priority. Many delays in claims processing are created because VBA requires evidence to prove claims that are held by outside agencies. To improve the process, federal agencies need to transfer requested information more rapidly, and VBA employees must process that information in a timely fashion.

Heller has introduced legislation, the “21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act,” designed to improve the claims submission process, practices at VBA regional offices and federal agency responses to VA requests for information.

For an overview of the working group’s report, click here

 

 

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David Davis

May 13, 2014 - 6:34pm

It doesn't seem to matter about stats produced!!! The end result of this action is still an imbedded archaic culture of deny any claim and keep denying it until it is awarded by someone else!! Look at the backlog at the appeals levels an atrocity all because of mundane archaic laws on the books by crooks

dennis smith

March 31, 2014 - 7:36pm

if you have been exposed to agent orange, compensation should be an automatic 100%. no more fighting back and forth until you are dead.

Owen Silvious

March 18, 2014 - 8:44pm

When a veteran files a disability claim application, the VA should automatically award a temporary disability rating of at least 30 percent so the veteran can start drawing some compensation before he dies. It takes the VA too long to process the claims for disability

Owen Silvious

March 18, 2014 - 8:05pm

The Congress (Senate and House) should pass a bill entitled "Veterans Debt Relief Act for 2014" relieving veterans from the obligation to repay a debt to the United States, its departments, its agencies and its independent agencies up to an amount of $40,000 and make the bill retroactive for ten years. This would help a lot of veterans struggling to meet their financial needs. The federal government writes off the debts of foreign countries, they own it to American Veterans to no\ less. Lets all write to your Senators and Congressmen and women and tell them to pass such a law.

Owen Silvious

March 18, 2014 - 8:26pm

I would like to receive donations for a debt that the Department of Veterans Affair' s says I owe them. They as usual have misinterpreted the statute's, My address is 225 Indian Hollow Rd #22, Winchester, VA 22603. I need a total of approximately $20,000.00 to help pay off this so called debt to the VA. I am a 75 year old 100% Disabled Vietnam Veteran from Agent Orange. Donations can be made to my made to my PayPal account through their normal payment send money section if you are a member of PayPal. All donations over $50.00 will receive a very nice gift valued on paper at more than $200.00. Thanks very much and God Bless All of You. . Does the VA care about us? the plain and simple answer is NO. Thanks

Owen Silvious

March 18, 2014 - 8:15pm

I would like to receive donations for a debt that the Department of Veterans Affair' s says I owe them. They as usual have misinterpreted the statute's, My address is 225 Indian Hollow Rd #22, Winchester, VA 22603. I need a total of approximately $20,000.00 to help pay off this so called debt to the VA. I am a 75 year old 100% Disabled Vietnam Veteran from Agent Orange. Donations can be made to my PayPal account through their normal payment method or you can send the donation by mail to my address. All donations over $50.00 will receive a very nice gift valued on paper at more than $200.00. Thanks very much and God Bless All of You. . Does the VA care about us? the plain and simple answer is NO. Thanks

Jose D. Carreon

March 16, 2014 - 12:25pm

I have been waiting patiently since 12/2011. I have all the medical proof of Agent Orange from civilian doctors as well as VA doctors. I have been waiting for a long time for a decision and I am getting old and I hope I am still alive before I started receiving my benefits. Thank You

Owen Silvious

March 18, 2014 - 8:31pm

It takes the VA years to process disability claims. It took them more than 5 years to finally award me benefits. There is no excuse for their inefficiency and some veterans die before they receive one cent. I don't really think the VA cares.

joseph boyd

March 13, 2014 - 10:31pm

peripheral neuropathy claim denied said hereadarty. had dna test done for cmt came back negative. was at camp lejeune 1978-1982..just lies and games says wait.. nod filed.. new c&p took 3 1/2 months to get results for that now more waiting. been on s.s. sence 1994 for peripheral neuropathy. the va does not care...................

Richard Kwasneski

March 6, 2014 - 9:13pm

I have been waiting on my claim for two and a half years. I was turned down and filed a NOD. I keep getting the VA's for letters saying we are working on your claim, sorry for the delay. I worked on jet engines and my hearing is really bad. The VA has given me hearing aids, bu still no compensation for hearing loss. I get ten per cent for tinnitus. What can be so completed with my claim that it has taken 2 and a half years and still nothing?

Owen Silvious

March 18, 2014 - 8:38pm

IAs I previously stated above. It took the VA more than five years to award my disability and they still owe me retroactive payments based on the class action lawsuit that was filed against the VA by veterans in Federal Court in California. The VA entered into an agreement to pay such retroactive payments. The case is styled NEHMER v. Dept of Veterans Affairs. Case No. CV-86-6160-TEH(N.D. CA 1986).

Michael R. Myers

March 7, 2014 - 5:49pm

I've been waiting since 12-2010! Over 3 full years! They gave me a provisional rating of "NO!" without any records to review even when I signed records releases every 6 months for them! Booo. This is not right or fair! We are being forced into round files so they can "look" good!!!

Francis J Martin Jr.

March 6, 2014 - 7:25pm

I only want to know what the hell is still going on with myRepill on my Compasation claim? I'm now past the two year mark and still waiting. My life as I know it will be gone before anything gets done. Thank you for your time

Lawrence Males

March 6, 2014 - 7:06pm

meetings, focus groups, more meetings, all ANY of you do is talk, talk talk. That's how you keep your jobs, you talk us to DEATH. Nothing gets done. I'm waiting two years now and I am a Viet Nam combat vet. With what ails me I do not know if I will survive the talk. I will keep paying my dues, you all can get paid to talk. Do you feel me !!

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