Veterans

July 19, 2013

VA has converted more than 30 percent of disability claims into digital files

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reached another milestone in its disability claims transformation process ñ more othan 30 percent of the current disability claims inventory is now digital and accessible to claim raters in VAís electronic claims processing system, which has now been fielded ahead of schedule at all 56 Regional Offices across the country.

This effort is a key part of transforming outdated paper processing into an electronic system that is delivering disability claims decisions for Veterans more quickly. In addition, all incoming paper claims are transformed into digital records for electronic processing using VAís new claims processing software and electronic repository.

A key element that slows our process is the thousands of tons of paper documents we handle each year related to Veteransí claims, said Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. While we continue to expand our ability to process claims electronically, we still have to handle those we receive in paper formó the Veterans Claims Intake Program is our answer to this and helps us move into a fully digital environment.

On Sep. 28, 2012, VA established the VCIP program to maximize the use of electronic intake for all claims, creating digital, searchable files. The document conversion service, part of VCIP, has now been implemented at all 56 VA regional claims processing offices across the country. VCIP is a capability that enables high-speed document scanning to help VA end its reliance on paper-based claims. With VCIP, a new paper claim that is received at a regional office is recorded in VAís electronic claims processing systemócalled the Veterans Benefits Management System óand shipped to one of three document conversion locations to be scanned and converted into digital images.† The document images, which are made keyword searchable in the conversion, are placed into a VBMS electronic folder for use by the VA employees who work the Veteranís claim.

Digital conversion improves processing timeliness by eliminating paper folder transport, reducing manual data entry, streamlining the review of medical records, and standardizing correspondence with Veterans and beneficiaries. To date, VA has converted more than 165 million pages of claims documents to digital images, and continues to add over 1 million images into VBMS every day.

Finding a key piece of evidence in a thick paper file folder takes time, said James Thomas, a claims specialist at the Salt Lake VA Regional Office. With digital claims records, we can find all the key information related to the claim with a key stroke.

At the same time, VA is working closely with the Department of Defense and Veterans Service Organizations to urge Veterans and separating Servicemembers to file their disability claims electronically and, when possible, to file a Fully Developed Claim through the joint DOD/VA online portal, eBenefits (www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits). Registered eBenefits users with a Premium account can file a claim online, track the status, and access information on a variety of other benefits, including pension, education, health care, home loan, and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs. Additionally, eBenefits users can take advantage of 50 self-service features that both VA and DOD have made available.

VA is continuing to implement several initiatives to meet Secretary Shinsekiís goal to eliminate the claims backlog in 2015. In May, VA announced that it was mandating overtime for claims processors in its 56 regional benefits offices to increase production of compensations claims decisions, which will continue through the end of FY 2013.† In June, VA announced that under an initiative launched in April to expedite disability compensation claims decisions for Veterans who have a waited a year or longer, more than 65,000 claims nationwide ñ or 97 percent† of all claims over two years old in the inventory had been eliminated from the backlog.

Today, VAís total claims inventory remains at lower levels not seen since August 2011 and the number of claims in the VA backlog ñ claims pending over 125 days ñ has been reduced by nearly 12 percent since the
oldest claims firstî initiative began.

VA continues to prioritize disability claims for homeless Veterans, those experiencing extreme financial hardship, the terminally ill, former Prisoners of War, Medal of Honor recipients, and Veterans filing Fully Developed Claims, which is the quickest way for Veterans to receive a decision on their compensation claim (http://www.benefits.va.gov/fdc/).

Claims for Wounded Warriors separating from the military for medical reasons will continue to be handled separately and on a priority basis with DoD through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES).

Veterans can learn more about disability benefits, and register and/or upgrade to a free Premium account on the joint Department of Defense/VA web portal eBenefits at www.ebenefits.va.gov.

To “unsubscribe” from this list, or to update your name or e-mail address, please visit the following Internet address:
http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/opalist_listserv.cfm




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 17, 2015

News: Army extends benefits to Hood shooting victims - The Army will provide “all possible benefits” to victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting who recently were awarded the Purple Heart, the service announced April 16.   Business: Rolls-Royce lands biggest deal in its 109-year history - U.K. engineering company Rolls-Royce has won the largest order in...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

Army orders financial benefits for 2009 Fort Hood victims Dozens of soldiers and surviving family members of the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting are receiving additional Army pay that they felt was long overdue. The announcement from Army Sec. John McHugh April 16 comes a week after 36 Purple Hearts were awarded to victims and...
 
 
NASA illustration

NASA awards radiation challenge winners, launches next round

NASA illustration This illustration depicts our heliosphere, showing the approximate locations of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft. Galactic cosmic rays originate outside the heliosphere and stream in uniformly from all direc...
 

 

U.S. Air Force completes operational testing on Raytheon’s MALD-J

Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed operational tests of Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer, satisfying all requirements to attain Initial Operational Capability. “MALD-J’s unique capabilities have been proven in 42 successful flight tests during the last two years and brought us closer to full rate production,” said Mike Jarrett, vice president of Raytheon...
 
 

Northrop Grumman to expand North Dakota presence

In partnership with local leadership, Northrop Grumman confirmed its dedication to the future of unmanned systems development in the Red River Valley region by signing a lease agreement to anchor the new Grand Sky Technology Park in Grand Forks County. Northrop Grumman is working to identify specialized opportunities for the Grand Sky facility. The opportunities,...
 
 

Raytheon awarded more than $2 billion for an International Patriot system

Raytheon announced April 17 it has been awarded a contract worth over $2.0 billion to deliver the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to an undisclosed international customer. The contract, awarded April 2, 2015, and booked in the second quarter as a direct commercial sale, includes fully digitized new-production Patriot fire units with the...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>