As most service members and veterans know, the VA has had issues in the past processing a members claims. Members have been known to wait a year or possibly more to receive there benefits.
Recently, the VA has taken large steps to improve the systems backlog and clearly flawed system, by initiating several actions.
- In January, DOD sent a team to work side by side with Veterans Benefits Administration personnel to analyze the disability claims backlog.
- DOD is providing Veterans Benefits Administration personnel with the ability to log directly into its electronic medical records system.
- The Defense Finance and Accounting Service provides accounts for VBA claims processors to directly access an individual’s financial and service information.
- DOD provided 15 soldiers to the VA site in Seattle to assist in administrative tasks, freeing up VA adjudicators to focus on evaluating Integrated Disability Evaluation System claims.
“Because a very large percentage of VA backlog claims are from veterans who served prior to Iraq and Afghanistan, DOD and VA are taking steps to ensure that those currently serving will not face a similar backlog in the future,” Secretary Hagel said.
Those actions include:
- Certifying service treatment records so that claims processors know not to hold up processing to request additional records;
- Holding data-sharing summits every six weeks to look for ways to improve DOD and VA practices.
- Conducting separation health assessments to establish baseline medical conditions.
- Improving the format of DOD service treatment records so that they are portable.
In an effort to streamline the process, the VA has removed some stumbling blocks and integrated the military’s current existing electronic health record program.
Bellow are some links to recent stories regarding these changes to the VA:
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