Veterans

December 11, 2013

VA official outlines progress in reducing claims backlog

A senior Veterans Affairs Department official Dec. 11 outlined progress made by the Veterans Benefits Administration in reducing the backlog of veterans disability compensation and pension claims by 36 percent since March, attributing the success to the combined impact of transformation initiatives and increased employee productivity.

Allison A. Hickey, undersecretary of veterans affairs for benefits, testified at a hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

We know there is much more work to be done to reach our goal of eliminating the disability claims backlog in 2015,î Hickey said. But Im encouraged that the improved tools and processes weve put in place so far are having a real impact so that we may better serve our nations veterans, their survivors and their families.î

Hickey detailed the elements of the Veterans Benefits Administrations transformation plan, which includes retraining and reorganizing its workforce, streamlining business processes, and building and implementing new technology solutions. With each transformation milestone, she said, VBA is successfully moving away from a paper-bound, manual process to improve benefits delivery through paperless claims processing. She also noted that if full funding is received, mandatory overtime for VBA claims processors, which helped to bring down the backlog this year, will continue for much of 2014.

The undersecretary highlighted several accomplishments in the testimony:

  • Decreasing the pending inventory of claims by 22 percent;
  • Decreasing the number of claims in the backlog pending for more than 125 days by 36 percent;
  • Increasing claim-level accuracy from about 83 percent in 2011 to 90 percent today;
  • Increasing medical issue-level accuracy to about 97 percent today;
  • Completing processing of 99.9 percent of all claims that were pending for more than two years;
  • Completing processing of 97 percent of all claims that were pending for more than one year through the end of October;
  • Converting more than 360 million images of paper claims documents into a digital format for electronic processing; and
  • Establishing more than 3.2 million veteran, service member and family member accounts in eBenefits, the joint Defense Department/VA Web portal for accessing and tracking VA benefits.

Also, Hickey said, VAs Web-based, paperless electronic claims processing solution, the Veterans Benefits Management System, or VBMS, was deployed to all 56 of VAs regional benefits offices across the country, six months ahead of schedule. VBMS has also been fielded to the Appeals Management Center, the Records Management Center, the Board of Veterans Appeals, VAs National Call Center, and all VA Medical Centers.

Currently, about 75 percent of the VBAs claims inventory is in digital form for electronic processing in VBMS a percentage that is growing daily, Hickey said, adding that VBMS will continue to add new features and capability.

Hickey thanked the committee members for their support, noting that VA will rely on their continued support for resourcing the information technology and automation advancements needed to meet the departments goal of eliminating the backlog in 2015. In fiscal year 2013 alone, VA provided more than $59 billion in compensation benefits to 4 million veterans and survivors, and more than $5 billion in pension benefits to more than 515,000 veterans and survivors.

VA officials urge veterans and separating service members who are planning to file a disability claim to do so by filing fully developed claims, known as FDCs, electronically through eBenefits. Veterans and separating service members who need help filing their claims can contact their local veteran service organization for assistance, officials said.

Under current law, veterans filing initial disability compensation claims as FDCs now through Aug. 5, 2015, may be eligible for up to one year of retroactive benefits.

Registered eBenefits users with a Premium account can file a claim online, track the status, and access a variety of other benefits, including pension, education, health care, home loan eligibility, and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 7, 2015

News: F-35 loses dogfight to fighter jet from 1980s – A new report alleges that an F-35A was defeated by the very aircraft it is meant to replace.   Business: South Korea selects Airbus for $1.33 billion tanker contract – European aerospace giant Airbus won a $1.33 billion deal June 30 to supply air refueling...
 
 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph

Boeing, Embraer to collaborate on ecoDemonstrator technology tests

U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph Frederico Curado, president & CEO of Embraer, and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The event occurred during an offici...
 
 
Untitled-2

Tactical reconnaissance vehicle project eyes hoverbike for defense

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, has been exploring the tactical reconnaissance vehicle, or TRV, concept for nearly nine months and is evaluating the hoverbike technology as a way to get Soldiers away from ground thre...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton

Upgraded AWACS platform tested at Northern Edge

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton Maintenance crew members prepare an E-3G Sentry (AWACS) for takeoff during exercise Northern Edge June 25, 2015. Roughly 6,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen ...
 
 
LM-Legion

Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod™ takes to skies

Lockheed Martin photograph by Randy Crites Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod recently completed its first flight test, successfully tracking multiple airborne targets while flying on an F-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Legion Pod was in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First Marine graduates Air Force’s F-35 intelligence course

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Marine Corps 1st Lt. Samuel Winsted, an F-35B Lightning II intelligence officer, provides a mock intelligence briefing to two instructors during the F-35 Intelligence Formal Train...
 




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>