System to Smooth Out VBA Claims Backlog Creates Other Issues

By Sandra Basu

A VBA employee helps veterans file claims. VA photo

WASHINGTON — Implementation of a new process to distribute disability claims to offices with capacity to process them will benefit veterans, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) told lawmakers in an effort to reassure them.

Previously, a veteran’s claim was processed at the regional office (RO) in the state where the veteran lived, but that meant some veterans faced large backlogs even while other offices had shorter wait times.

To remedy that, the VBA implemented the National Work Queue (NWQ) system so that claims are sent to the location able to process them most efficiently, despite geographic location.

“One of the principles of NWQ is to ensure that veterans are served equally regardless of where they live,” explained VBA Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas J. Murphy.

“This new environment allows VA the flexibility to move claims to locations around the country that have the capacity to take the next action on the claim, while maintaining the flexibility at each facility to assign work to the right person,” Murphy told the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

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