Veterans

April 5, 2012

Shinseki: VA on track to break claims backlog

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON “” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says VA is on track toward reducing the disability claims backlog.

VA spent the last two years creating an automated tool to make claims determinations faster and more accurate, he said.

“Our intent is to have no claim over 125 days,” Shinseki said, adding another goal is 98-percent accuracy.

His confidence, he said, comes from the successes he’s seen automation bring to VA’s processing of Post-9/11 GI Bill claims.

Shinseki arrived at VA in 2009 as the new program was being launched and had to implement it manually. Within nine months, VA was able to prepare the manual process of getting about 173,000 people into schools by the fall 2009 term.

With automation, VA is able to process more than 600,000 Post-9/11 GI Bill claims faster, and with fewer mistakes, Shinseki said.

Another initiative VA has taken to reduce the claims backlog makes VA an advocate in putting together a strong claims package. VA began giving veterans a claim-filing checklist, and also did its own digging to produce documentation veterans couldn’t find, reducing the time needed to prepare a claims package.

Another pilot program focuses on process simplification to make claims processing more efficient and improving communication among claim-processing entities to reduce delays.




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