July 14, 2014, 08:00:00 AM
Agency Expects to Process 1.3 Million by Year’s End
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has completed its one millionth disability claim in fiscal year 2014, and is on track to complete more than 1.3 million claims this year – ensuring that nearly 200,000 more Veterans will receive decisions on their disability claims than fiscal year 2013. Since 2011, VBA has been implementing the largest transformation in its history, fundamentally redesigning and streamlining the way it provides benefits and services to Veterans, their families and survivors.
“VBA has made significant progress toward eliminating the backlog, but there is more work to be done to reach our goal of processing all disability claims within 125 days at a 98-percent accuracy level in 2015.” said Allison Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits. “VBA’s employees, half of whom are Veterans themselves, believe that Veterans should not have to wait for the benefits they have earned and deserve. While we work to drive down the backlog of disability claims, we must also improve productivity on other categories of non-rating work.”
In the past four fiscal years, VA surpassed one million completed claims by the end of each year. Passing the one-million mark this year in early July represents major progress in providing more Veterans and their family members with timely, accurate decisions. VBA has reduced the claims backlog by more than 55 percent from its peak of 611,000 in March 2013 – and Veterans with pending claims have been waiting, on average, 128 fewer days for a decision on their claim. At the same time, the accuracy of rating decisions continues to improve. VA’s national “claim-level” accuracy rate is currently 91 percent – an eight-percentage-point improvement since 2011.
These rating decisions often determine eligibility for other VA benefits and services, including non-rating claims, which are tracked and managed in other categories on the Monday Morning Workload Report. These categories also have increased as more rating claims are completed, but VBA has not lost focus on non-rating work. VBA has taken the following actions to automate and improve the timeliness and accuracy of non-rating claim decisions:
VBA posts data on the disability claims backlog, the non-rating workload, and other publicly available data on our performance on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis through our reports web site: www.vba.va.gov/reports. For more information about disability and other Veterans benefits, visit www.ebenefits.va.gov.
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