Initiatives to speed up VA benefits delivery

Initiatives to speed up VA benefits delivery

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the national deployment of claims transformation initiatives to 12 regional offices in the remaining months of fiscal year 2012 to improve benefits delivery to veterans, families and their survivors.

The 12 regional offices to begin the deployment of the transformation initiatives include: Huntington, W.Va.; Hartford, Conn.; Portland, Ore.; Houston; Cleveland; Des Moines, Iowa; Boise, Idaho; Phoenix; New Orleans; San Juan, P.R.; Atlanta; and Newark, N.J. The deployment follows four pilot programs in Indianapolis; Wichita, Kan.; Milwaukee; and Fort Harrison, Mont., in 2012.

VA’s transformation plan is based on more than 40 measures that were selected, evaluated, tested and measured from more than 600 stakeholder and employee innovation ideas.

During the national deployment, VA will further track and gauge the integrated effects of the transformation plan to reduce the backlog of disability claims and provide veterans, their families and survivors with more timely and accurate claims decisions. VA expects to deploy the transformation plan to the remaining 40 regional offices throughout 2013.

The major components of the transformation plan that will be nationally deployed include:

• The Intake Processing Center, which adds a formalized process for triaging claims documents and other mail, and drives faster and more accurate association of mail with veterans’ claims files;

• Segmented Processing Lanes, which allow claims that can be more easily rated to move quickly through the system and the more complex claims to be processed by VA’s more experienced and skilled employees;

• Cross-Functional Teams, which support a case-management approach to claims processing that minimizes rework and reduces processing time; and

• The Veterans Benefits Management System, which is a new electronic claims processing system that employs rules-based technologies to improve decision speed and quality.

VA has already nationally implemented:

• Quality Review Teams, which are composed of dedicated local quality review specialists who will evaluate station and individual employee performance and conduct in-process reviews to eliminate errors at the earliest possible stage.

• Simplified and Standardized Rating Notification Letters, which give veterans one simplified decision letter that provides notice of VA’s decision, including a summary of the evidence considered and the reason for the decision.

Veterans filing claims may file online through eBenefits, a joint project between the Department of Defense and VA. They can check the status of their claim with a Premium eBenefits account, and use a growing number of online services, or contact VA Call Centers for more information at (800) 827-1000.

More in Veterans Benefits Center

 

veteransdaughter

May 7, 2012 - 11:15am

My father, age 91, decorated in WWII and recalled to duty in Korean War, has been completely physically disabled for over 20 years. We finally learned of the Aid and Attendance pension last year and he applied September 2011. No specific information is given to anyone who inquires, even John Boehner's office. Reply is simply: check back in 90 day increments. By the time this thing goes through my dad is likely to be already penniless and on Medicaid, or dead. He deserves better service.

veteransdaughter

May 7, 2012 - 11:15am

My father, age 91, decorated in WWII and recalled to duty in Korean War, has been completely physically disabled for over 20 years. We finally learned of the Aid and Attendance pension last year and he applied September 2011. No specific information is given to anyone who inquires, even John Boehner's office. Reply is simply: check back in 90 day increments. By the time this thing goes through my dad is likely to be already penniless and on Medicaid, or dead. He deserves better service.

veteransdaughter

May 7, 2012 - 11:15am

My father, age 91, decorated in WWII and recalled to duty in Korean War, has been completely physically disabled for over 20 years. We finally learned of the Aid and Attendance pension last year and he applied September 2011. No specific information is given to anyone who inquires, even John Boehner's office. Reply is simply: check back in 90 day increments. By the time this thing goes through my dad is likely to be already penniless and on Medicaid, or dead. He deserves better service.

Gator84078

April 30, 2012 - 12:14am

Waiting , waiting , waiting, dead. I have a claim backed by 3 VA physicians, service records verified as service connected but denied, denied, denied. 7 years and counting. I had to get an attorney because I may need to sue the VA before this is over just to get my benefits increased.

Bob95490

April 21, 2012 - 3:07pm

They can check the status of their claim with a Premium eBenefits account? WTF? Why is a "Premium" account needed? BTW How does adding more levels to navigate improve anything? Who comes up with this nonsense? It certainly can’t be other veterans that understand the more paperwork involved the longer the process or that instead of simplifying what already exists the replacement with an entirely new program with new forms and requirements will lengthen, not shorten, the time it takes to process claims. Our Post's VSO has reported that rather than things improving the speed at which the VA processes claims has become much worse than it has been in years. This, unfortunately, has increased the work load and exponentially slowed the entire process to an "unbelievable crawl", denying not improving the expeditious settlement of claims and in many cases causes undue economic hardships that will never be rectified regardless of eventual favorable claim outcome. The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, held, “justice delayed is justice denied.” In this instance, the shifting of the VA (Titanic’s) deck chairs has slowed not hastened the adjudication of veteran’s claims. It is long past time for the VA and the rest of our government to quit denying justice to our veterans through the delaying of their claims. Why doesn’t the VA try something truly unique; fix the flaw rather than replacing it with yet another flaw? Robert Ireland (PUFL) Post 174 Willits, CA

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