A news release from the Department of Veterans' Affairs announced today that the Veterans' Benefits Administration (VBA processed over one million disability claims during fiscal year 2012, Fiscal year 2012, therefore, marks the third year in a row that VBA processed claims have surpassed the one million mark. The VBA is chiefly responsible for dispensing disability and other benefits to our veterans.
“We have made great strides, but we realize much work remains to be done to better serve veterans,” Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey stated in the VA news report. “Too many Veterans still wait too long. That’s unacceptable, and that is why the VA has begun implementing a paperless, digital disability claims system– a lasting solution that will transform how we operate and eliminate the claims backlog.”
In August alone, the VA completed a record 107,462 claims, which surpassed the previous monthly record of 103,296 set in 2010. These soaring productivity rates also point to an increase in the overall accuracy of rating decisions, which has risen from 83 to 86 percent since September 2011, according to the VA’s national quality assurance program.
While the VA has certainly increased its productivity, the amount of incoming disability claims have has been on the rise as well. Disability claims have increased nearly 50 percent since 2008, which outpaces the VA’s current claims processing capacity.
“Our employees are working very hard to sustain this level of production,” stated Hickey. “This is a testament to their dedication to meeting the increasing needs of our Veterans.”
The VA’s goal is to process all disability claims within 125 days, at a 98 percent accuracy level, and eradicate the claims backlog in 2015.
For 2013, the VBA is initiating a nationwide organizational transformation, intended to increase its claims decision output. By retooling procedures and deploying paperless data systems, the VBA hopes to speed up claims processing and improve quality. All 56 VBA regional offices will be operating under the new organizational model by the end of 2013.
Adapted from VA News Report, for full report visit http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2388.