WASHINGTON—The VA announced this week that its transition to paperless processing of disability claims is underway.
“Our approach to claims processing is being modernized to better serve veterans and address the complex claims our employees are dealing with every day,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki in a written statement.
The Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) is a new, digital, paperless system VA is rolling out in order to process and track disability claims. The VA said it is an integral part of the agency’s strategy in processing disability claims quicker and reducing the current backlog.
The VA said in a written statement that as of December 2012, 18 VA regional offices had implemented the new system and they are beginning to process newly received compensation claims in an entirely digital format. The agency said it is on track for full deployment of the system to the remaining 38 regional offices in 2013.
“For our veterans, VBMS will mean faster, higher-quality and more consistent decisions on claims. We recognize that too many veterans are waiting too long to get the benefits they have earned, and that is unacceptable. This is a decades-old problem, and we are implementing a robust plan to address it,” said Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey in a written statement. “For our employees, VBMS will be a more user-friendly system that offers better access to decision-level information, rules-based calculators, and automated tools that help them process claims more consistently.”
Shinseki has said that VBMS in conjunction with VA’s other Transformation initiatives will put VA in a position to meet the agency’s goal of processing veterans’ claims in 125 days or less, at 98% accuracy, by the end of 2015.