DOD,VA to Clear Claims Backlog

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:

Hagel: DOD, VA Work Together to Cut Claims Backlog

DOD, VA Move Ahead with Seamless Medical Record Effort

Hagel Pledges Partnership in Health Records Integration

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  • CwrightSr.

    The VA’s Hidden Agenda

    To: Veterans who have
    appeals or claims cases that are tied up by the extended back log.

    The VA has been practicing a
    hidden agenda that adversely affects the appeal rights of veterans.

    VA policy: Section 20.1302,
    Rule 1302 states that “An appeal pending before the the Board of Veterans’
    Appeal when the appellant dies will be dismissed”

    The VA has been using Rule
    1302 to eliminate a significant number of backlog cases on the books. The VA continues to contribute to the main
    cause of the case backlog ie: ( FTC) failure to comply with VA established laws such as: (§ 4.2 and
    § 4.6 ) Eras related to these cited provisions were
    always committed by the Board

    As a result, the number of
    backlogged cases appear to either remain the same or increases instead
    of decreasing.

    The longer the VA takes to
    adjudicate or make a final decision on a
    Veterans claim appeal, the greater than chance of the veteran dieing , there by justifying the dismissal of his
    case, which in turn releases the VA of
    the payout that would be
    required.

    Every
    time a veteran dies, and the case is dismissed IAC (Section 20.1302, Rule 1302 ) ,
    The VA reaps the benefit of a “Savings” because there is one less
    payment of a claim to be paid out.

    This
    issue was all brought out in my written motions to the U S Court of Appeals for
    Veterans Claims, that a research and record file be created and maintained of
    the cases dismissed under Rule
    1303. The neither The Court nor The VA would respond to the issue raised.

    The VA’s efforts to reduce or eliminate the backlog of cases was hindered because, the greater the
    backlog, the more the VA can benefit from the use of Rule 1303.

    This issue was raised in
    documents/ arguments processed by both The Veterans Board of Appeals , the
    Inspector General and the U S Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, yet no action was ever initiated to investigate
    as required by law: [ ]

    Calvin Wright ;
    Veteran

    Reference Cited:

    The Code of Federal Regulations
    (CFR)

    PART 20—BOARD
    OF VETERANS’ APPEALS: RULES OF PRACTICE

    § 20.1302 Rule 1302. Death
    of appellant during pendency of appeal.

    § 4.2 Interpretation
    of examination reports.

    § 4.6 Evaluation
    of evidence.