VA transition to paperless goes into high gear - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

VA transition to paperless goes into high gear

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON, D.C., (KNOE 8 News) - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today the nationwide transition to paperless processing of Veterans' disability claims at its regional benefits processing offices is underway.  VA is aggressively building a strong foundation for its new electronic claims processing system, called Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) – a lasting solution that will transform how VA eliminates the backlog in 2015.

 "Our approach to claims processing is being modernized to better serve Veterans and address the complex claims our employees are dealing with every day," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We continue to transform our claims system to be more responsive through new processes and technology, because taking care of our Veterans and their loved ones is our highest priority."   

As of December 2012, 18 VA regional offices have implemented the new system and are beginning to process newly received compensation claims in an entirely digital format. The VA is on track for full deployment of the system to the remaining 38 regional offices in 2013. 

"For our Veterans, VBMS will mean faster, higher-quality and more consistent decisions on claims. We recognize that too many Veterans are waiting too long to get the benefits they have earned, and that is unacceptable. This is a decades-old problem, and we are implementing a robust plan to address it," said Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.  "For our employees, VBMS will be a more user-friendly system that offers better access to decision-level information, rules-based calculators, and automated tools that help them process claims more consistently."

This marks a major milestone in VA's transformation of the processes and systems used to deliver benefits to Veterans, their families, and survivors, even while the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has completed a record-breaking 1 million claims per year the last three fiscal years. Critical to VA's transformation is ending the reliance on the outmoded paper-intensive processes which prevent timely and accurate claims processing.  VA is deploying technology solutions which improve access, drive automation, reduce variance, and enable faster and more efficient operations to eliminate the backlog.                                                                             

The current backlog of claims is the result of increased demand, over a decade of war with many Veterans returning with severe, complex injuries, and increased outreach to Veterans informing them of their benefits.  Secretary Shinseki also made important decisions to recognize medical conditions related to Agent Orange service in Southeast Asia, and to simplify the process to file claims for combat PTSD. These decisions expanded access to benefits for hundreds of thousands of Veterans and brought significantly more claims into the system. 

VBMS was pilot-tested at select regional offices between 2010 and 2012, with improvements and greater functionality added to system software releases throughout the testing period.  In pilot programs, the new system cut the time to process claims nearly in half. The most recent version of VBMS software allows VA claims representatives to:

- establish Veterans' claims entirely in a digital environment as "e-folders,"

- receive, store, and view Veterans' submitted claim documents electronically,

- identify and track the evidence VA needs from beneficiaries and other outside sources,

- quickly direct claims electronically among regional offices to better match VA's workload with available workforce capacity.

The system also enables VA claims processors to access online rules-based calculators and drop-down menus to enhance standardization and accuracy of decisions, for both electronic claims and those received by VA in paper form and uploaded into VBMS.  Processors will also use VBMS to generate letters to Veterans concerning their claim status and send requests to private physicians for medical records needed to evaluate claims.

 

When VBMS is combined with VA's other Transformation initiatives—including improved claims rater training, cross-functional claims handling teams, and prioritized lanes to speed processing based on type of claim—VA will be positioned to meet Secretary Eric K. Shinseki's priority goal of processing Veterans' claims in 125 days or less, at 98 percent accuracy, by the end of 2015.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Monroe Couple arrested for stealing from employer

    Monroe Couple arrested for stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:23 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:23:50 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - KNOE 8 News has learned that Justin and Mary Ewing were employees at Vieux Carre in Monroe.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - KNOE 8 News has learned that Justin and Mary Ewing were employees at Vieux Carre in Monroe.
  • Man smothered crying child over video game

    Man smothered crying child over video game

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-04-18 15:53:51 GMT
    HOMOSASSA, Fla. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Sheriff's deputies in north Florida say a man suffocated his young, crying son so he could play video games.
    HOMOSASSA, Fla. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Sheriff's deputies in north Florida say a man suffocated his young, crying son so he could play video games.
  • Man arrested for sex crimes

    Man arrested for sex crimes

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:47 AM EDT2014-04-18 15:47:18 GMT
    DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - The state Attorney General's Office says a 44-year-old Denham Springs man has been arrested and accused of multiple sex crimes against children.
    DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - The state Attorney General's Office says a 44-year-old Denham Springs man has been arrested and accused of multiple sex crimes against children.
  • GSU remembers Alexandria Shelton

    GSU remembers Alexandria Shelton

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:47 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:47:50 GMT
    GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News)- As the band played Ole Grambling, students said goodbye.  
    GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News)- As the band played Ole Grambling, students said goodbye.  
  • Indictment without bail in Dean Hart case

    Indictment without bail in Dean Hart case

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:10:57 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A grand jury has returned a true bill indictment in the Dean Hart Jr. case.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A grand jury has returned a true bill indictment in the Dean Hart Jr. case.
  • Deputies: Man kills wife, son; car found on bridge

    Deputies: Man kills wife, son; car found on bridge

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:53 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:53:10 GMT
    GONZALES, La. (AP) - Ascension Parish deputies are searching for a man who may have jumped off a Mississippi River bridge after shooting and killing his wife and son.
    GONZALES, La. (AP) - Ascension Parish deputies are searching for a man who may have jumped off a Mississippi River bridge after shooting and killing his wife and son.
  • Accused McAllister video leaker resigns

    Accused McAllister video leaker resigns

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:31:24 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The woman accused of leaking a video of Vance McAllister kissing his wife has resigned.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The woman accused of leaking a video of Vance McAllister kissing a congressional aide has resigned.
  • Big Easter (egg hunts) coming up this weekend

    Big Easter (egg hunts) coming up this weekend

    March 26, 2013 01:29 PM 2013-03-27 20:36:24 GMT
    MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Easter egging will be beginning Thursday and running at least through Saturday.
    MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Easter egging will be beginning Thursday and running at least through Saturday.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.