Veterans

May 22, 2013

Joint effort aimed at promoting use of fully developed claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Disabled American Veterans and The American Legion have announced a new partnership to help reduce the compensation claims backlog for veterans.

The effort – the Fully Developed Claims Community of Practice – is a key part of VAís overall transformation plan to end the backlog in 2015 and process claims within 125 days at 98 percent accuracy. VA can process FDCs in half the time it takes for a traditionally filed claim.

VA prides itself on our ongoing partnership with organizations that represent Veterans throughout the claims process, said Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. A Fully Developed Claim is the most effective way† to ensure a veteranís claim never reaches the backlogóand is the basis for this new initiative between VA and what we expect will be an ever-increasing number of veterans service organizations and others who represent veterans at various points of the claims process.

This new initiative takes a common-sense approach to working smarter to better serve our injured and ill veterans, said DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Barry Jesinoski DAV is pleased to be working with the VA to help improve the disability compensation system.

We have been working with VA since last December on its fully developed claims process,î said James E. Koutz, national commander of The American Legion. ìTeams of our experts have already gone to VA regional offices in Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and other cities to help identify best practices for FDCs, and to further train our own service officers.î Koutz said the Legionís next visit in support of the FDC program is planned for June at the VA regional office in Reno, Nev.

Claims are considered to be ìfully developedî when veterans submit all available supporting evidence, like private treatment records and notice of federal treatment records, to VA at the time they first file a formal claim and certify they have no more evidence to submit. This is the information that VA needs to make a determination on a disability claim. The FDC program supports the sharing of best practices across veterans service organizations, who help thousands of veterans each year with their compensation claims, to identify up front all evidence necessary to support a veteranís claim.† Veterans then certify that they have no additional evidence to submit, and VA can process the claim in half the time it takes for a traditionally filed claim.

VSOs have long played an integral role in submitting veterans claims – often with representatives working within VA regional offices. VA has consulted with them throughout the development and implementation of VAís plan to end the backlog in 2015 to ensure best practices and their unique insights were incorporated.† The American Legion and DAV are the first to step forward to work with VA on the FDC program, and that program has led to a much more efficient process.† Meaningful progress will be felt by increasing numbers of Veterans as more VSOs participate with VA in the FDC program. This initiative is just the latest example of the collaboration between VA and VSOs.† In July, VA held a workshop to obtain the views of VSO representatives† and to provide them with information on the effort to eliminate the claims backlog.† The main focus of the workshop was VAís emphasis on the shared goal of better serving Veterans and positive impact of filing Fully Developed Claims. These workshops will be replicated in VBA regional offices across the country.

VA will continue to work with our VSO partners to provide the world-class health care and benefits that veterans have earned through their service, said Undersecretary Hickey.

This is the latest effort in support of the secretaryís plan to reduce the backlog. Last month, the VA announced an initiative to expedite compensation claims decisions for veterans who have waited one year or longer.†On April 19, VA began prioritizing claims decisions for veterans who have been waiting the longest, by providing provisional decisions that allow eligible veterans to begin collecting compensation benefits quickly. With a provisional decision, a veteran has a year to submit additional information to support a claim before the decision becomes final.

May 15, VA announced that it is mandating overtime for claims processors in its 56 regional benefits offices through the end of fiscal year 2013 to help eliminate the backlog, with continued emphasis on high-priority claims for homeless veterans and those claiming financial hardship, the terminally ill, former prisoners of war, Medal of Honor recipients, and veterans filing Fully Developed Claims. As of May 17, the paperless claims processing system known as the Veterans Benefits Management System, or VBMS, has been deployed to 46 out of 56 regional office locations, and about 18 percent of VAís current claim inventory is in an electronic format.

Claims for Wounded Warriors separating from the military for medical reasons will continue to be handled separately and on a priority basis with the Department of Defense through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System. On average, Wounded Warriors separating through IDES currently receive VA compensation benefits in two months following their separation from service.

Veterans can learn more about disability benefits on the joint Department of Defense-VA web portal eBenefits at http://www.ebenefits.va.gov and find information about filing Fully Developed Claims here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/transformation/fastclaims/. Service members returning from active duty in combat theatres are eligible for five years of VA medical care ñ regardless of the status of any disability claim submitted. Medical care is not withheld while disability claims are under review. For more information on enrolling in VA health benefits, please visit http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year – In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>