Late Breaking News
GAO: Veterans Not Given Enough Information to Appeal Benefits Denials Cont.
“Without a more strategic approach — which includes goals and measures for resolution of appeals — VA does not know [whether] it is fully leveraging DRO reviews and, ultimately, their effectiveness for the veterans VA serves,” the GAO report states. “Regardless of the proper balance between their different responsibilities, DROs may not be contributing as much as they could be, either to the goal of appeal resolution or to the goal of developing newer claims processing staff, because they do not always receive training specific to their duties.”
GAO is recommending that VA revise the appeals letter sent to veterans to help them better understand their choices, establish national and regional office performance measures related to appeal resolution and assess the knowledge and skills DROs need to perform their responsibilities.
According to VA, the department has formed a workgroup to assess and recommend changes in the appeal process.