The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is attributing its current success at reducing the veterans’ disability claims backlog to new automation and process improvements. Over the past few years, the VA implemented several new processes to expedite and streamline the claims service, along with automation tools to help improve the handling of claims. These improvements have helped the VA achieve a 67 percent reduction of the claims backlog, which in March 2013 reached an all-time high of over 600,000 claims.
The VA is now working through fewer than 200,000 claims on its way to meet the 2015 goal of eliminating the claims backlog. Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey acknowledges the hard work of her department, especially the claims processing staff, which has put in extra hours and days to complete work on more claims.
Another valuable tool recently added to the VA’s arsenal to reduce the backlog is the automation programs used to evaluate and sort incoming claims. When paired with the paperless claims system, it allows claims representatives to sort claims into ones that are easy to review and decide and ones that require more evidence and work to become Fully Developed Claims.
Before the VA’s push for automation, paperless systems, and clearing of the backlog, the department used over 5,000 tons of paper per year. Today, the VA handles claims almost completely online through forms, digital records, and document scans, drastically reducing paper use.
The VA is still working through more claims in the backlog, and it receives new claims each day. If you are just now filing a veterans disability claim, your best chance at a quicker answer and approval is to file a Fully Developed Claim with complete medical and service records and a certified medical evaluation of your disability.
If you received a notice of denial from the VA regarding your veterans’ disability claim, contact Veterans Help Group® at 1-855-855-8992.