VA Says Claims Backlog Down 36 Percent Since March

Diana Manos | Government Health IT | December 18, 2013

Department of Veterans Affairs’ Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey says the Veterans Benefits Administration is putting a big dent in the backlog of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims. In fact, the VBA has cut the backlog by 36 percent since last March, she told a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs,

“We know there is much more work to be done to reach our goal of eliminating the disability claims backlog in 2015,” said Hickey in her Dec. 11 testimony.  “But I’m encouraged that the improved tools and processes we’ve put in place so far are having a real impact so that we may better serve our nation’s Veterans, their survivors and their families.”

Hickey said the headway could be attributed to a VBA transformation plan, which includes re-training and reorganizing its workforce; streamlining business processes; and building and implementing new technology solutions. It will also feature continued mandatory overtime for VBA claims processors, if the VBA can get the funding it needs to pay for it. All these efforts, Hickey said, are moving the VBA “successfully away from a paper-bound, manual process.”