VSOs Are Helping to Speed Veteran Claim Processing

By Sandra Basu

The Decision Ready Claims (DRC) initiative is a disability claims submission option being offered in partnership with accredited Veterans Service Organizations (VSO). It is hoped it will ease the burden on claims officers, shown here in a Veterans Benefits Administration claims center.

WASHINGTON An initiative that promises faster processing of certain claims has now been made available at all VA regional offices, the agency announced last month.

The Decision Ready Claims (DRC) initiative is a disability claims submission option being offered in partnership with accredited Veterans Service Organizations (VSO). Through it, a veteran can get a decision within 30 days from the time VA receives the claim seeking increased compensation.

 “VA works closely with participating VSOs to make sure they are properly trained in this new process and given the tools they need to participate successfully in the program on behalf of the veterans they serve,” explained VA Secretary David J. Shulkin, MD.

The DRC was first implemented May 1 at the St. Paul, MN, regional office and is only available for claims seeking increased compensation—commonly known as claims for increase. VSOs take on the responsibility of ensuring that all supporting evidence, such as medical exams and military service records, is included with the claim submission.

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization wrote on its website that it “strongly encourages folks who think they qualify for an increase in compensation to reach out to a DAV service officer.”

The VA, meanwhile, said its goal is to expand the types of claims accepted under the initiative and to allow veterans other ways to submit their claim under DRC.

The initiative is one of the ways VA is trying to break the bottlenecks in its claims process. The system was weighted down with nearly 900,000 claims in its inventory in 2012 but now has nearly 331,410 claims in inventory as of the beginning of September.  

As for claims taking more than 125 days, the VA has reported a drop from 611,073 in 2013 to 81,646 backlogged claims at the beginning of September.

 

1 2

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. M S LEWIS says:

    It appears this “new” process may be partly to blame with VBA denying my WWII father’s compensation claim. There were no evaluations set up for him and one of his claimed disabilities was documented in his military record. Yet, VBA apparently did not check and denied his claim earlier this year. He was denied healthcare through the VA because of asset limits and thus the claims process in hopes of him becoming eligible to receive healthcare services through the VA. He has since died at age 94. Quite a shame that VHA/VBA looks at quantity vs quality and further shameful that younger veterans, plus those who apply over and over to get 100%, seem to be rapidly approved but our MOST deserving veterans are pushed aside! Shameful (political) practices.

Share Your Thoughts