VA’s national workload approach to processing disability claims

National Work Queue will ensure faster, high quality decisions


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In August, VA reached a historic milestone in reducing the disability claims backlog to a new low – and the number of these claims (pending more than 125 days) have come down even further since. This reduction was possible due to our 56 regional offices having the ability to process disability claims electronically from start to finish – more than 99.8 percent of VA’s pending disability claims inventory is fully electronic. This flexibility allows VA to better manage its capabilities to best serve all Veterans just as Veterans served our nation – without regard to their state affiliations.

By fully transitioning to a national workload approach, VA will be able to move claims electronically across regional office boundaries through the National Work Queue – an electronic workload management initiative designed to improve VBA’s overall production capacity.

Does that mean my disability claim won’t be processed by my local regional office?

Not necessarily. The regional office in the state where you reside will continue to be the first filter for determining where your claim will be assigned, provided that  office has the capacity to provide you with a timely decision. If not, your claim will be processed by the next available office that has the production capacity. You can still maintain the ability to check the status of your claim through your eBenefits account, as well as through VBA’s national call centers and regional office public contact representatives.

What about the support from Veterans service organizations or my local congressional representative?

Veterans service organization (VSO) representatives will retain access to claims information for the Veterans they support through the Veterans Benefits Management System at each regional office, and online through the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal. The current relationship between VSOs and VA employees (specifically claims processors) will not change as a result of the National Work Queue. Congressional staff will still have access to VBA regional office staff as they do today to check on the status of a constituent’s claim.

How about the quality of decisions?

With a national workload approach, VA will continue to focus on ensuring Veterans, their families and Survivors receive timely and accurate claim decisions – without regard to their state affiliations.

Have any other questions? Ask below in the comments!


About the author:  This article was provided by the VBA Office of Corporate Communications, which provides strategic communications support to the Office of the Under Secretary of Benefits and the Veterans Benefits Administration, focusing on transformation initiatives and supporting each of VBA’s business lines.

 

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Timothy Yates    

    My Brother was attack by his officer, when he went into the Navy at age 18
    Doing the Vietnam war, after serving over one year they let him out, and he has
    Been on drugs for 40 years, he’s now 60 years old, and had a stroke, and can’t
    Get one dime from the VA, his last ss number is XXXX, I’ve been in contact with CNN
    And they want to do a full story on my Brother Steven D. Yates, I’m also writing to
    The President of the USA, my local Congressman, the inspector general office, to help
    Get my brother the help he badly needs.

  2. Eric l Mckenney    

    Yes I will admit it was faster they looked at the wrong vertebrae, did not look at the surgeons notes and tolme I ha greater than 30 degree of movement in a spine that has been fused and held together with titanium rods. This etup has taken me 4 times of typing to try and get my message left. Please do not ask me about healthnet choice program because they are even worse

  3. Juan Antonio Montes    

    Expecting the status of my claim, figting for my benefits since 1982 to received a 10 persent since my compensation was approved. Now iam using the congress of Florida to help me in the case. Is painful when you provide all the evidence of Doctors that i was receiving tratment from them , and after that received one evaluation for 10 percent and 0 porcent for the combination of the same injuries that iam fighting to increase the compensation. Reading the news of the Veterans affairs, they are saying that the veterans will be receive the appropriate benefits that they are deserving. I would like that in this new claim i will receive the real attention in my case. Now iam receiving and living with the Social security check. Please i would like afair desition in my case , Juan A. Montes, Estela.

  4. Angie M Fuller    

    I believe that the national work que will make it easier and faster for the VA to deny claims. Once a claim has been denied, the numbers in the backlog goes down. This makes the VA look good on paper. It appears that they are expiditing claims and providing better service to the veterans. It actuality, they are making the problem worst because now the veteran must go through the appeal process which is worst than the slow wait for the previous monster of claiming process. But by denying claims faster, the VA gives itself a pat on the back. It is the biggest scan that the VBA has rolled out in the last 10 to 15 years. They have found a way to make it harder for the veteran to receive completion of the claim process by simply denying the claim and in the process they come out smelling like roses because now in the backlog of claims they can reduce the numbers. It is not just about reducing the backlog. It about reducing the backlog correctly, fairly, and IAW the CFR codes mandated by law by Congress.

  5. Nathaniel Wiggins    

    Your answer to the quality of claims review does not answer the question it merely is a statement with no action steps.

  6. Barbara Carter    

    Hi, as a disabled veteran with a pending NOD on appeal, I am impressed with having an option as the National Work Queue.This system allows veterans claims to be processed in other states using a standardized process, and forms. Why wouldn’t a veteran want his/her claim processed in another state. Most veterans complain about the long wait times to receive a decision, I agree, I’m one of them. But I also realize that the VA is transforming their claim and appeal processes, which will better assist the veteran. My appeal in in the National work Queue. What I don’t like about the National Work Queue is that the phases of processing are not available. Example, Development phase, Adjudication phase, Decision phase. The information provided in E-benefits does not really tell the veteran enough, to allow an understanding of where the appeal is in reference to processing. Pending Notice of Disagreement, WOW, at the moment I submitted the NOD i knew that, secondly, I know pending means waiting. The information that would satisfy my impulses of curiosity would be, providing a better breakdown of where my appeal is with the processing Something similar to the otpons available in E-benefits under claims.

  7. Michael Lane Sr    

    THE PROBLEM IS SIMPLE, VBA ARE MAKING DECISIONS ON CLAIMS FOR THE PREPARATION OF BEING REMANDED BACK FROM THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS. (BVA)
    IF YOU LOOK AT YOUR NARRATIVE PORTION OF YOUR DECISIONS, AND COMPARE THEM WITH TITLE 38, PART 4, & TITLE 38, PART 3, THE EVIDENCE IS RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES. (if you are unable to have access to a computer, ask your VSO to show you, if you can, or your Grand Children, my Grand daughter taught me)

    HOWEVER THE VA WALKS SUCH A FINE LINE BETWEEN LAW AND VA DIRECTIVE’S (THE MANUALS VA USE’S TO PROCESS CLAIMS AND APPEALS) MOST VSO’S AND ATTORNEYS ARE ETHER BLIND TO IT, OR ARE BEING LEAD BY THE VA.
    MIND YOU, THERE ARE SOME PERSONAL THAT ACTUALLY DO THE JOB THEY ARE TRAINED, BUT, THEY GET TRANSFERRED OR FIRED WHEN THEY HELP A VET GET WHAT BENEFITS BY LAW HE OR SHE DESERVES. IF THE VARO’S WOULD PUT THAT ENERGY INTO PROCESSING THE CLAIMS CORRECTLY, CLAIM PROCESSING DELAYS WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE.

    LISTED HERE ARE 3 CLAIM #’s THAT BARE READING, AND I SUGGEST YOU LOG INTO THE BVA’S WEB SITE, CLEAR THE YEARS, TYPE THE CITATION # IN THE SEARCH, THAN CLICK ON SEARCH, THAN CLICK ON VIEW. (1452078, 1449391, BVA9409425)

    I CHECKED MY LOCAL VARO, AND FOUND THAT 730 CLAIMS RULED AT THE BVA 2015, 416 GOT REMANDED BECAUSE OF SIMPLE ISSUES, IE: STATEMENT OF THE CASE MISSING, NO VA EXAMS, CLAIMS PROCESSES WITH NO FINAL DECISIONS, ETC. ETC. THE CLAIM DATES FOR MOST 2008, 2009, 2010.
    2 CLAIMS OVER 40 YEARS, AND ONE OVER 30 YEARS. OF COURSE THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE VETERANS THAT HAVE DIED WAITING FOR THE PROCESSING TO BE COMPLETED. FOR FACT 15 HAVE DIED IN 2015 WAITING AT ONE VARO, AFTER THE CLAIMS HAD BEEN REMANDED 2, 3, AND 4 TIMES. I WONDER HOW MUCH OF A BONUS DID THAT VA EMPLOYEE RECEIVE FOR KEEPING THE VETERANS CLAIM IN LIMBO?

    THE MAJOR QUESTION ON EVERYONE’S MIND, “WHY” HERE MIGHT BE THE REASON: LATEST NEWS REPORT FROM THE STARS AND STRIPES DATED JANUARY 14, 2016: “VA SEEKS MORE MONEY FOR CLAIMS PROCESSING” THINK ABOUT IT, COULD IT BE THAT THE VA IS PROCESSING CLAIMS WITH THE PURPOSE OF CAUSING A BACKLOG, TO WARRANT THE REQUEST FOR MORE TAXPAYER DOLLARS? SO, WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

    1. Stephen Sliss Jr    

      Dear Michael Lane Sr,
      I am writing this because you wrote some good points about the VA Claims Processing Division on how VA Personnel act there.
      I just filed my 16th VA-BVA Appeal which started back in 1981. Yes, VA Personnel in that Division are continuously committing Federal Felonies and violating federal racketeering laws (RICO) and almost never get arrested.
      VA records destroyed, changed, mixed-up, federal recorded testimony changed/edited/lost, threats made by VA personnel/VA-BVA Judges, some veteran NSO’s are a part of it, etc, etc. I have seen all of this along with witnesses and nothing is being done about it.
      All the Members of the U.S. Congress, White House, U.S. Dept. of Justice, and U.S. National News Agencies all know about all of this and do nothing but ACT DUMB/SURPRISED !!!
      THESE ARE ALL THE FACTS !! FEDERAL CRIME DOES PAY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  8. Roger Gregory    

    My CP Examiner admitted to not having my VET Center records. Stated “they will get them “,not explaining who they were going yet she still rendered decision against my VA Psychologist, Psychiatrist, MST therapists diagnosis. What the hell ?

  9. George IrVin McMannis    

    I have been fighting for benefits for Agent Orange exposure for over 2 years. I was denied by the Review Board again recently. I was stationed at korat Thailand and sprayed Agent Orange around the base myself, yet they say only Security Police were exposed to Agent Orange. I now have CAD and Type 2 Diabetes, both related to Agent Orange exposure. The claim that I had an office type AFSC and did not work outside is a lie! I surveyed all the A/C units on base and sprayed Agent Orange around the squadron area and other base locations. My claim was denied just to help decrease the backlog of claims. I was shown a picture of the “panel” that processes these claims…one lady with a huge stack of claims on her desk! I deserve my benefits!

  10. Charles    

    VA is horrid. What they are doing to get their numbers down is denying claims within 125 days and then making it seem as fi they are completing claims quick. The problem with this is the media is not seeing that. The whole system is corrupt. My appeal has been going on for more then 5 years now. This is Shameful on the VAs part.

  11. Russell Martin    

    Why is my appeal taking so long??? The VA conceded that I was place in fear of death or serious bodily harm and said that I did not have a diagnosis of PTSD…not only did I but I had two from VA doctors and one from a private doctor…but I still have to wait and pay for treatment! To say that I think the VA cares or is doing a good job is just a lie! They have wronged me in the worst possible way, but I still wait and hope for the best! What can be done…..

    1. Angie M Fuller    

      If only someone in the media would look into the snake oil that the VBA is selling to the veterans and to the public. It is not I care but it is, here is a denial letter, we hope you go away. If not, then work even harder to get your entitlements ( in the appeal process )while I pull the wool over the American people with catchy slogans and misleading ( borderline lies) of how we, the VBA is correcting the backlog problem. A rubber stamp denial machine is not the solution. What the VBA has done is simply moved the problem from claims to appeals in the hope that some will die, others will give up, and the rest can fight this insidious monster the VA has created within the VBA.

  12. George Shipley    

    I have a pending disagreement case via South Carolina VA. 1st I was told the average processing such matters was 209 days from date of submission. Then I was told the prior information was wrong, it is 209 days from the date the VA was able to enter it in their computer (2 months later). Then this last December I had a review screening with a doctor. When I check on the status (to see if it hand been moved from a computer file and forwarded to the decision makers), I was told yes, then the VA representative voluntarily commented (no question asked by me), “You that know that the average processing time is 209 days”. I asked him is it from this point in the process and he said “Yes”. WOW! It is over 485 days and counting for me. Then on another matter while talking with the American Legion VA representative for my VA matters, I learned that he had not in recent memory knew of any VA disability disagreement case being resolved in less than 2 years many going past 3 years. There is a good chance I could be dead before I receive a decision. Then of course in the later case, had I prevailed, any benefits that my spouse and or family would be entitled to would apparently be lost. The VA is so fabulous in many other aspects is disturbs me to have to relate the above.

  13. S.E.Colburn    

    So when are you going to get your shit together and process claims for same-sex spouses, and for separated military members who are waiting for their disability ratings? Get off your duffs!

  14. Larrie F Douglas    

    I feel terrible for all of you that have waited and tried so hard to get results. My records were probably like some of you destroyed in the 1973 fire in St. Louis. First know one at the Syracuse VA ever did an agent Orange screening misdiagnosing my Cancer and treating me for acide reflects problems . My first child was born with six fingers on both hands, and to this day at 45 has never had any finish on her teeth
    Long story short I moved to Florida had an agent Orange screening and they found Hepatis still in my blood after 30 plus years . An outside Doctor finally found my cancer which started in the Mesentery of my stomach, at the time in 2003
    was told I was the only one in the Nation with this.Took seven weeks and many biopsies for Oncology to decide how to treat me. Had chemo chop and radiation after loosing my job and insurance because of it. Then it spread to my neck and face and had 40 days of radiation and finally was given 100% total and permanent service connected disability It took over 30 years and now draw a check each month. But my children and dependents were over 31 and no longer eligible for me to collect or claim and for the free education part and have student loans.
    Have had several related surgeries have no cure that works for pain the VA has approved me for acupuncture as a last resort back.on 11/23/15. The appointment has to go thru Veterans Choice program. I have been thru hell trying
    to get the these people and my VA in Tampa to accomplish this and still nothing achieved as of today. Even my Social
    Worker and the Doctor I’am to see haven’t been able to make it happen. The System is broken and the VA is even worst than the Media and or anybody knows that hasn’t gone through it. My prayers and best wishes for all of you. Larrie Douglas in Fl.

  15. Marcelino Rodriguez    

    My ebennefits is really screwed up. It shows notice of disagreement when its an appeal to the BVA. I also have a request for my C file since June 2015 and when I look on ebenefits for status, the expected completion date has changed to October 2017. I just hope that I can get my C file before my hearing or before the Good Lord places a claim on my soul since I am rapidly approaching 74 years this May. I have gone through other things by the VA but I don’t have enough space to write here.

  16. Robert Blair    

    The VA now says 125 days to process a claim…..but they deny the claim to get their backlog numbers down . now mine has been 793 days in appeal within the same Regional Office….793 plus 344 in my case…not 125 days.

  17. Winfield Malcolm Bowie Jr.    

    I am a ww2 vet. I filed n injury claim some years ago and feel that i was treated unfair,.I have been residing in Ireland for years and would like to know if i can still file injury (service connected E>T>O)claim. I am also coming home 3 weeks in June,can i see a vso at Togus for further instructions.I have put this off but not in my mind thanks Win Bowie from Maine

  18. Benjamin Phillips    

    My claim was done electronically at the regional office in Jacksonville and I have not heard anything for a month as to if they are working on it or what?

  19. TOM KUBISHIN    

    I am receiving compensation from being in Nam for 2 years and have ischemic heart disease related to agent orange and also PTSD. In 2013 I got info on the water from Camp Lejeune and the cancers it can cause. Well lucky me I end up with esophageal cancer and when I put in for compensation in 2013 the VA said ” my private doctor does not have the expertise that the VA doctors have. NO ONE read the nexus letter , it was from the VA Hospital in New Mexico and written by the VA’S oncologist. I did the NOD and they mentioned that the cancer should have started earlier. All my research comes up with this cancer will occur when it decides it wants to and there is no time factor. I have found out that over 84% of all claims involving the Camp Lejeune toxic water ( PCE’S AND TCE CHEMICALS) are denied. Now I have the form “9” sent in about two years ago and Ebenefits doesn’t even show the claim. I have called about every 6 months and I was assured it is there but a glitch doesn’t let it show on my sign in to Ebenefits. The water situation was signed into law but there’s always the fine print ( if the va decides it was caused by the water) At least with agent orange most sicknesses were presumptive but Lejeune is not handled that way.
    My next complaint will be about the VET CHOICE program. It looked good on paper but we got screwed again. Sure I have a CBOC within a mile of my home but the VA hospital that has the doctors I need is over 200 miles one way.
    Let’s end with saying ” THE VA GIVING VETS A SECOND CHANCE TO DIE FOR THEIR COUNTRY SINCE 1930″
    Peace to all my brothers and sisters and someone will answer someday. Tom Kubishin

  20. Marilyn Mejorado    

    I’m having a problem with my local DAV Rep. He is never in, and when I do catch him he had my files all messed up and expects me to fix them; when they were in order when I took them to his office. Now he’s wasted 6 months and says it’s going to take a whole day to fill out forms that have already been done.. How can I get to someone who’s competent?

    1. william galoway    

      I feel your pain brother. i”m goimg thru the same bull.

  21. carolyn Lopez    

    I have recently lost my husband.A person that loved that he was a Vietnam Vet.The VA needs to show more compassion to the spouses. What do you need to do.Many of us depended on our husbands income.My husband was given 100% weeks before he died.He was so happy he could really say a lot he gave me thumbs up.l was told it would be 6-9 months before l would know anything. Something seems should be in place when a Veteran passes away for the family.What do l do for six to 9 months

  22. everett    

    i had a small pension,but it got”deleted” by accident,cant get it back,am rated 100 % totally/permantely,SUCKS i need it to eat properly !!!

  23. Joseph James Cafiero    

    Several months ago, my disability rating was upped from 20% to 40%. I was very pleased with the result. However, for almost six months now, I have not received any of the additional disability payments because, as I was told, the VA is “auditing” me.

    Okay, I won’t ask why. But I do want to know what is taking so long. We need these additional funds. What is the status of this “audit” and when can I expect to start receiving my 40%?

  24. Rappsodi R. Ali    

    I AM A VIETNAM VETERAN MARINE THAT HAS LOSS ONE EYE AND ONE EAR OF HEARING FROM AN EXPLOSION WHILE IN COMBAT IN VIETNAM AND HAVE LOW VISION IN SUPPOSEDLY MY GOOD EYE. NOW I AM BEING DENIED SERVICE-CONNECTION AND GIVEN ONLY 30% FOR P.T.S.D SAD TO SAY I WAS COMMERATED THE “PRESDENTIAL UNIT CITATION” AND HAVE YET TO THIS DATE RECEIVED MY AWARD. IS THERE A SOLUTION TO THIS MATTER? MARINE IN THE TRENCHES…..

  25. Barry McCray    

    My ebenefits account never is up to date with my claims or appeals. Also they don’t show any information about what claims or appeals you are asking for entitlements on. Just like myhealtyVet don’t show non VA doctors records or result online, they are both bad websites with few real answers.

  26. Ernesto    

    I SERVE IN THE NAVY 73-79 CHARLESTON SC. THEN IN ROOSEVELT ROADS NAVAL BASE. CEIBA PUERTO RICO.I HAVE AT ACCIDENT IN 1977 WITH TORPEDO M46 EXPLODE, NOT THE TNT, BUT I HAVE 62% 2ND AND THIRD DEGREE BURN.I HAVE PTSD. I ONLY HAVE 50% COMPENSATION.

  27. Marty L    

    Fernando, did I get my message across to you? See, the problem is the RO is so backlogged and driven by numbers of so many processed claims per month that there’s no way in the world the accuracy of the ratings is ever going to increase utilizing that criteria. From the Secretary all the way down to the Directors in each and every RO down to the Coaches and to the individual rating personnel, this numbers “game” affects their performance reviews and subsequently the quality of their actual ratings. This means if they don’t meet their numbers, they lose their bonuses, severely complicate the adjudicative process, which always has a negative impact on the veteran applying for disability compensation. What would happen if they got everything right the first time. The amount of money that the veterans administration would require to pay disability compensation would rise dramatically. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans, Korean conflict, World War II, and World War I veterans have died long before getting there just due and disability compensation. Solution: do away with the “numbers game” for quotas per month, do away with the bonuses based on those quotas, develop a better tracking system on the accuracy of the ratings from each individual regional office and provide bonuses for the most accurate team within that regional office. Oh no, that would be too “revealing” to the veteran community, and everyone else. In my 20 years of Active Duty, my performance was rated annually. When I became a Civil Servant, a GS-9, and a year later to a GS-11 for my final years as a DOD employee, I could, and frequently did receive a “Civilian of the Year” award, with a monetary bonus. All 20 plus years were rated for competence, leadership, integrity, accuracy, quality of effort. These appear to have been lost within the VA environment for many years now. Lastly, a high degree of accuracy in disabilities ratings cannot be accomplished without strict adherence to the LAWS, DIRECTIVES, and other official guidance like “FAST LETTERS”, and Manuals. I rest my case.

  28. Wendy Williams    

    I believe there is a large disconnect between what the VA considers a claim be completed and what the veteran considers as a claim being completed. What is the average length the VA takes to process appeals, not including when the veteran has recieved notice to respond? This includes each step.

    This year in June it will be 8 years since I first filed my claim. While I now have several service connected disabilities and compensation for some of my claimed conditions, the rest are on remand from the BVA for a second time.

    I believe my records were never reviewed page by page, in the beginning of my claims process. The only time they have been reviewed throughly is at the BVA.

    Why does the VA support such an inadequate claims and appeals process? Is it for job security? It would be interesting to know the number of denied claims that were found to have enough evidence to warrant a C&P exam and or service connection/compensation when initially submitted. Why isn’t the VA more concern about getting it right the first time? What is the average cost per appeal including labor?

    It’s not that there are too many steps to the process, but the VA does not appear to expedite claims once in appeal.

    If more attention to detail was given up front, the less time overall would be needed. In the mean time, I have to continue waiting for the VA to do what should have done years ago…

  29. DONALD DEAN WHEDON SR    

    I think we need to stay at local RO’s for their local regional Veterans. Lets stop letting a “Few” VA executives telling us what is the best way, when their way is not the best. Involve all VSO’s in the Nation, I am sure many, if not all will agree with me. Don Whedon NSO/NABVETS Seattle RO.

  30. william    

    Im sure the numbers look good for the v.a WHEN you keep turning down 94% of the claims it will look like you are doing well.

  31. Marty L    

    Fernando, you assume too much. You have no idea of the cost of my scanner nor the myriad of software that I use nor do you know my level of technological accomplishment. Without copying and pasting my last 50 years of experience, let me tell you that I began with computers in 1978 while I was still active duty, then because of my various medical problems beginning in 1985 mostly caused by Agent Orange exposure, which includes 3 of the 4 medical disabilities that I am rated for based on 3.309. As for scanning anything please assume when I was a GS-9 then a GS-11 that my exposure to imaging, scanning, interpolation was at a level that most probably exceeds yours and thousands of VARO employees. Now moving past that, I retired in 1987 with 20 years of hand written medical records. The few times I used the VA medical system from 1987 thru 2008, the clinicians used paper to record notes. In 2008 I was exposed to VISTA which was better but CAPRI was DOS based and terrible. My outside medical records have been in constructive possession by the VA since 2005 but I am still being ‘shafted’. My mental health records have been in VISTA, PTSD certified by a VA Psychiatrist also with a GAF=40. It is 2016 and this RO states no MH records exist so I printed all 124 pages and attached them to my 2014 NOD and they still denied SC for PTSD. JUST IN CASE YOU KEEP MISSING the point here is you presume too much about too much with considerably less information than a reasonable person would need to opine a decision that was accurate. The problem here is millions of use pre-gulf war veterans have a ‘gaggle’ of handwritten records encompassing many, many years and don’t have the lifespan left to ‘get the bugs out’ of the VBMS SYSTEM. As for your assessment of the accuracy or usefulness of the VBMS would require considerable experience with software development. I have that, do you? You say wait…..really, I am 68, how old are you? Last but not least, even with VBMS making some claims easier to process, please review BVA DECISIONS to see how many are REMANDED back to the AOJ. If that doesn’t depress you then please review CAVC DECISIONS which take many of our years to arrive at, then write back to me with your findings. You buy a car and say I will keep it for a few years then get a new one. We buy a new car and realize the car may outlive us.

  32. Maurice Scott    

    The real problem with technology is in most cases it allows for more errors,,because employees are computer operators and not claim adjusters as they should be. To wit, the ro lost most of my service medical records, admitted it in a memo. So when the claim personnel is phrase or word searching it shows no connection because it’s the record is gone. Or they denied a tbi claim because of a bad done c and p that said I didn’t have facial scars or that I’d never been diagnosed with tbi, the truth is five other examiners said I had tbi, I was already service connected for facial scarring from a in service accident at time of the exam, and to make it worst the ro increased it to 10/30 for four different scars and maxed out migraines from head injury. My point it makes it faster but it’s not accurate because it’s taken humans out and replaced with robots that don’t read all the evidence.

  33. Petra    

    Personally I have learned allot in my own process..It makes a huge difference in the type of veteran you vent to..Some empower you..others keep you stuck …Find a positive group that teaches you..not incites anger and hate

    Unfortunately many veterans do not realize that there are other options to use than the slow appeals process. If you find something legally wrong or have additional evidence ask for a reconsideration ( give FACTS..leave out your personal feelings). After a year ask for a re-open with NEW evidence. Submit what is relevant and not your entire medical history..

    Often one claim a “new” disability when in fact it isnt new but a secondary. Know the difference in the type of claim you are asking for.

    We have to think of it as if you are standing in a court of law. There is no way any court will grant you a claim when you dont have sufficient evidence to prove your claim. Yes we all hope the VA will find it but it is YOUR claim.

    Any site for veterans claims will tell YOU to provide the best evidence you can find AT the time of filing. The VA offers so much information in helping guide you through the process.

    Know it..learn it..38 CFR Book C Sup 4 can empower you..http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/bookc.asp#a

    http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/1089/some-tips-for-filing-a-va-disability-claim/

  34. Marty L    

    I don’t believe that the national workload queue can possibly expedite claims of veterans prior to the Gulf War. Why? Because all of my 20 years of military medical records are handwritten. I retired from the Air Force in 1987 and the majority of my medical records from 1967 – 1987, through the present are also handwritten. What I’ve been told is that the VA is taking all of our handwritten records and converting them to searchable PDF. I have little faith in the ability of the VA to be able to do this accurately. On my computer systems at my house, I can scan in handwritten notes all the time and can convert them to searchable PDF if the contrast between the handwritten words, and the paper color is sufficient for the software to read it. In the case of a lot of those years of military medical records the rating is so light and in some cases barely readable that scanning and trying to interpret to searchable PDF is usually impossible. Now one of the things that I have done is scan these documents and increase the contrast and the resolution to make it easier to read by a human being not by a computer. What this means is our claims are going to take that much longer to process. Why do I say this because the RO is not reading the medical records that they have in their possession now so what guarantees the accuracy of the conversion of all of these manual records and afterwards, are they going to be usable.

    1. Fernando    

      Marty L, don’t compare your low cost scanner and software to the powerful system the VBA has to scan your records. Even though I agree to a certain point that technology is not perfect with what VBA is doing, the VBA is not saying that the scanned documents will be 100% searchable, therefore, the VBA still has the responsibility to read the documents. I had the opportunity to work with VBMS, which is where you can view the evidence. What makes it helpful is that the system allows to search for keywords and assist the VBA employees find the evidence as a second eye. However, the VBA employees still read the evidence as a primary source.

      If you get treated at a VA Medical Facility, then those records are already electronic. VA Medical Center medical evidence has been electronic for many, many years.

      Additionally, many private practice offices use electronic records now. If they don’t, the inked notes are pretty bold in color to be scanned more adequate.

      Just in case you keep missing the point of evidence. If you can get your private doctor to provide you an OPINION with your medical records and opine that you do have a medical condition and that it is related to your service, then your case will be very strong. If you have the medical opinion or if you can get one, then provide it, if you don’t then get one. Otherwise, well, wait until the VBA employees read all your hundreds and thousands of medical evidence that you provided. Most of the time, Veterans submit evidence that has nothing to do with the claim.

  35. Mil Thornton    

    The biggest cop out for the VA is the E-Benefits portal. To use it you must have a computer. If you have a computer you need to know how to use it. The process for signing up is strenuous for the best computer user. Older Vets, ie above 55 are not that IT savey on the average. I am an unofficial Veteran Advocate in my small community and most Vets are older. They do not have access to an e-benefits account. They don’t even own computers. Besides, you can’t get your C-File off of E-Benefits. You can’t go to the regional office any longer to review because it is all on the computer and the VA is not set up. Ebenefits is a good addition but there still needs to be a way for Vets to review and see the C-File when they need to.

    1. David T    

      Apparently you can’t get your C-File via the FOIA either. I submitted a FOIA request August 31st, 2015. I still have no heard anything about it. And the Ebenefits portal states “Gathering Information” with an estimated completion time of Sept 2017…..

  36. Kenny callahan    

    I guess they did it by losing peoples claims by saying they had a computer glitch. I have had a claim in for two years now it’s gone. I hear of several vets with same problems. Also, you’ll never get them back.

  37. Timothy    

    Hopefully the first filter contains doctors who have qualifications to make sense of claims, we can’t guess that Veterans are fully aware of the conditions they have when leaving service. So if they get a physical when they leave service, that is a good start, but when claims come in about long term patient care issues of someone with a heart condition, how is that person supposed to have this knowledge if not a doctor? So the work of the person who is denying or granting needs steps of certification at a minimum to avoid stupid denials, so we can keep appeals down. Procedures should be put in place. If a claim process was a cake and you fail to add the ingredients in order the recipe calls for, you will have a cake that has all the ingredients but just don’t taste right. VA in the past has not stirred the ingredients, not added them when recipe calls for it, and leaves it in the oven to long, and serves it to veterans with no icing, and sometimes not all the ingredients! So no matter how many cake makers you have, if they are screwing the recipe up, it won’t help any of us, you can even automate the process, but it has to have logic, and professionalism.

    1. DannyG    

      OOOOOOHHHH!! I GET IT, Way too cool, my brother! WE do understand what is going on, & that it has been going on for way too long. I think its time for a BIG, IMPORTANT, EVERYDAY “GI”,
      MEETING! Brrothers & Sisters, can WE start documenting some REAL, helpful ideas? Write them down & keep on blogging!

  38. Paul Deutsch    

    I check my claim once every year or so. Nothing much ever happens. Going on 35 years since I filed the claim. Even my Congressman can’t get much out of the VA.

    1. Mike McMahan    

      I admire your tenacity Paul, I’ve only been waiting a little over 2 years for the VA to correct/update my direct deposite account.

  39. Danny Garner    

    How are you doing electronic transactions when a search of job base reveals no positions for EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Analyst? This recently laid off veteran EDI Analyst wants to know? Even better how about a job?

  40. Barry Walter    

    Within VBMS will the VSO at the RO of origin of the claim be notified of that a RB decision is ready for review or only the VSO at the RO that worked the claim?

  41. Martin A Lopez    

    A move of paperwork. Denials are faster. Appeals longer, hoping for all of us to get tired or die.Veterans are scammed easily, they believe everything they hear it read. One VA person responded to me recently that they were Veterans too. A whole bunch of mushy words.

  42. Stephen H. Heye    

    You can still maintain the ability to check the status of your claim through your eBenefits account, you stated.

    I do know that the open appeals information is completely inaccurate. According to my eBenefits account, the latest status was dated 04/04/2015. It shows that my appeal is pending and in the Notice of Disagreement stage. This is absurd because I already received a Statement of the Case and I filed VA Form 9, Appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals.

    1. Elizabeth White    

      It seems that male veterans have no problem receiving their benefits, compensation, and pension. With all do respect, they earned their benefits and deserve them. However, female veterans should really take priority when it comes to receiving their entitled VA benefits such as compensation, pension, thrift savings fund, my pay, ect just as well as males. It really is no different. There’s different generations of veterans with respect to the rascals, however us younger generations earned our benefits too. Especially females sometimes doing males jobs and being treated like males. They shouldn’t be so mean and demanding. I realize its a mans world, but let’s please be realistic and reasonable. Males would not be able to function on a team without women, no matter what jungle they’re in. Please be considerate of your females in active duty and veterans. It does take females to make the mans world go around too. In my closing statement, do not treat females like males. More bluntly, do not treat women like men.

    2. Albert M. Anderer    

      I agree with Stephen. The eBenefits status page tells us nothing. The first information I received on my initial claim was when the back pay was suddenly deposited in my account…a nice surprise, but not available on bEnefits for a week.

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