Government Accountability Office Suggests Improvements to Regional VA Claims Processing

Paperwork on desk

Each year, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) processes more than one million compensation claims, which provide $65 billion in benefits. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggested recommendations to improve the processing performance. The GAO’s full report appears here.

About the Report

The report examines how the VBA manages workload performance, how the VBA reports timeliness and accuracy and how well offices communicate with each other. For this report, the GAO reviewed procedures, visited regional offices and interviewed staff. GAO also interviewed caseworkers regarding communications.

The Findings

GAO found gaps in VBA guidance regarding when processors should fix errors by other offices or return claims for correction, noting timeliness and accuracy measures do not adequately capture performance. Officials acknowledge measures are limited, and say they are exploring alternatives. However, VBA has no specific timeframe to implement new measures.

Recommendations for Improvement

• Clarify how representatives should handle claims when they identify an error, including when to defer claims and when to correct errors on their own

• Develop and implement a new regional office performance measure that allows it to better assess each regional office’s timeliness over a period of time

• Develop and implement a new regional office performance measure that allows it to better measure the accuracy of each regional office’s performance

• Evaluate policies for regional office communications with VSOs to ensure it is clear, aligns with practices and meets the communication needs of VSOs

• Develop and implement a feedback mechanism from congressional caseworkers on their communications with regional offices regarding claims

We Can Help

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental, or cognitive impairment; call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

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