by Jim Fausone
Veterans Affairs has recently vowed to eliminate the backlog in veterans benefits claims by the end of 2015. There is a million claim backlog across all levels and it takes years to process a claim. However, VA says all those seeking payment will have to wait no longer than three months. How could this be done?
Examples given include a new benefits calculator to help VA workers more easily calculate payouts for hearing deficiencies, a process that has allowed those claims to be processed more quickly and accurately. New calculators are being expanded to cover nine other conditions in upcoming months. VA is also looking to retain hundreds of part-time claims processors as full-time workers to help drive down the backlog. Recent improvements to online benefits applications and electronic medical records have sped up processing times for certain illnesses to fewer than 30 days.
Veterans deserve timely response to claim applications and appeals. Justice delayed is justice denied. But just proclaiming it will end in 2015 does not give anyone comfort VA will accomplish this goal.