VA Reduces Backlog of Veterans Disability Claims by 84 Percent | Law Firm Newswire

VA Reduces Backlog of Veterans Disability Claims by 84 Percent

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 10, 2015 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on Aug. 24 that it has slashed its backlog of veterans’ claims for disability coverage by 84 percent from a high of more than 611,000 claims in 2013.

VA officials have used a combination of paperless processing techniques, updated software systems and mandatory overtime by benefits department employees to reduce the numbers. Currently, around 98,500 of more than 362,000 pending claims in the Veterans Benefits Administration are awaiting processing. The average processing time for a case has dropped from 282 days to around 105 days. A claim that has awaited a decision for over 125 days is considered backlogged.

“Inefficiency has led to hundreds of thousands of veterans with serious health problems having to wait for a long time for VA decisions on their disability claims,” said David Magann, a Florida-based veterans attorney. “It is essential that veterans have their claims processed as fast as possible so that they are no longer in a state of medical limbo. However, VA employees should not compromise on accuracy by rushing veterans’ claims through the system.”

In 2012, the VA launched an initiative to reduce the backlog to zero by the end of 2015 under the leadership of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. However, a department-wide scandal over hospital waiting lists resulted in his resignation last year.

Despite the current progress, VA officials are saying it is not possible to fully eliminate the backlog. For around 11 percent of the cases the department receives, the 125-day processing deadline may not be realistic as some claims can include multiple health problems that may require more processing time.

“The VA is taking a step in the right direction by implementing a digitized system for processing claims. Embracing new technology will help speed up what has been a frustrating and time-consuming process for many veterans,” said Magann.

David W. Magann, P.A.
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Brandon, FL 33511
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