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This effort is a key part of transforming outdated paper processing into an electronic system that is delivering disability claims decisions for Veterans more quickly.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.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




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>