craigconnects: Connecting the World for the Common Good
contact

Big improvements in VA self-service for disability claims processing

Well, you can use something like TurboTax to do your own taxes. You get the right records, and use their software to submit an entire package.

Sometimes a CPA has to get involved, and they can use their own expert software to get the job done.  In either case, getting the right docs can be a pain, and then they need to be scanned in and sent to the right place. Once docs go electronic, they're easier to get to the right places, and harder to lose.

Veterans Affairs is now deploying something real similar. Looks like it's decently user-friendly, adjusted for the way that vets and veteran service orgs (VSOs) really operate. The software also accounts for all the laws and regulations, the rules that VA has gotta follow to write checks.

A vet would start up eBenefits, online, click on "Apply for Disability Compensation" and start filling in forms. In many cases, data fields get filled in automatically.

VA employee helps an Army veteran apply online for benefits at recent Association of the US Army conference.

VA employee helps an Army veteran apply online for benefits at recent Association of the US Army conference.

Hopefully, the vet can get some help and file a Fully Developed Claim, verifying that there's not more info to submit.  Fully Developed Claims (FDCs) get done relatively fast, and even if something's missing, the claim is queued up fairly quickly.

A vet can get help from a VSO, they have the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal. A VSO officer can check out the claim and move it along the process.

For more details check here and here.

Benefits to this stuff mean that the right evidence and documents can get to the right places much faster, resulting in way faster processing. With some luck, the huge stacks of paper at VA Regional Offices will start to shrink.

Web-literate vets should find that the online part of this is much like stuff they already use.  Gathering the right data maybe still be a challenge. VA's on it, getting VSO like Disabled America Vets and also the Legion. I'm following up to the extent a nerd can do.

 

12 Responses »

12 Responses to Big improvements in VA self-service for disability claims processing

j. hightower says:

well, it is certainly time. my thing is is why it took so long to get here? backlogs don't sneak up on the va. still i'm happy that claims filed now will not have go through what older veterans had to. after 8 years i finally got to the ratings decision 1/30/2013. of course, still waiting!

Delton Claxton says:

Would someone please explain to me how this will help the veterans that already have a claim pending in the system!

    Dave says:

    It won't! Here again is another effort by the VA that misses the mark! Its not filling in the forms that vets need help with, nor is it filing a fully developed claim. Its the VA slow processing and bureaucracy!

    Additionally, I don't do to the IRS with help to file my taxes (do you think they will help you get the most back?) Nor do I ask my mechanic if I need new brakes! Why on earth would someone to the VA with help with their claim? Clearly this is someone at the VA trying to get a promotion!

big says:

I think this is one of the such a lot significant info for me. And i'm glad reading your article. However want to observation on few general things, The site taste is great, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Excellent process, cheers

Sarah says:

Dave is completely correct, this won't help anyone. I have just hit my one year waiting for the VA to get the claim processed. The bureaucracy and red tape that our government has is completely crazy.

T says:

Average processing time right now has been about 6 months from start to finish per claim. This includes a step by step procedure that must be followed, medical tests and evaluations that must be completed, and a fair decision made on the claim. Many people don't realize that the VA was working on Agent Orange claims which did add to the recent backlog. The two year old claims are done now, and they are going to be finishing the one year old claims soon.
As a Veteran, I know what it's like to have to wait on results for a long time, and to have gone to outside medical doctors seven different occasions. My claim was started aboiut 3 years ago. Soon, I will get the final results. Yes, it may be a "waiting game," but remember: there are other Vets requesting assistance at the same time. To those of you who are losing faith, please hang on.

Ron says:

OK, I buy into it. Less time in the mail; no documents lost; no big bulky files. BUT, why can't I have READ ONLY access to the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal? I am the stakeholder. If I see a problem I can alert my VSO or the VA from there. My claim status on the ebenfits site has not changed in over a month, I should be able to get more details on my own without having to ask for help from my VSO or take time away from the VA employee working my case.

    Chuck says:

    You can. Open an Ebenefits account with VA. You will be able to see what issues you claimed, what evidence is in the eletronic file, including all scanned items, such as your STRs, medical records from the VAMC, private doctor’s reports. This is a new system of record keeping, so of course newer claims will be 100% in the system as they usually are stated within the system or have less volume to scan, older claims will take longer as the claims files are huge with paper and scanning is taking time. The VA employees are working both types of claims right now, the new electronic paperless and the "old" electronic system which is partially paperless. There are rules for the new way of processing and rules for the old way, this can get frustrating for the "worker bee". I would like to mention most VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration) employees are Veterans themselves or the spouse of a disabled Veteran, and they understand the importance of processing these claims as quickly as possible. Trying to maintain production of processing claims while working in a new processing system that is NOT YET COMPLETE, and continuing to work claims in the older system (a system that was implemented less than 6 years ago, not so old), is difficult and very stressful. As everyday there are updates and changes in how to process. The 2 year old claims are now complete (99.9 %), and the 1 year old claims should be processed within the next 4 to 6 months. This does not include claims in the Appeals process. Hang in there it is getting better, but the system changes are gradual. There is so much to this story there is not enough time or space to tell it all. Just know the pressure is on the employees to produce and get caught up on the older than 1 year old claims, and they are the priority. Once those are complete, I am sure the next priority claims will be any claim over 6 months old. Thank you Craig, you’re helping the Veterans, is also helping the "worker-bees" in the trenches get through a very difficult transition.

facebook says:

Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness on your post is just cool and i can think you are a professional in this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to snatch your RSS feed to stay updated with drawing close post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

Charlie H says:

As a qualified Veteran I now have access to some of the:

" WORST CARE AROUND ".

VA health care is horrible.

Charlie H
SSGT USMC