27 May 2020

District 10 Department of Texas

Still Serving America

VA Claims Backlog

The backlog of unresolved VA claims – from undecided initial applications to cases many years into the appeals process – has been estimated at upward of 1 million nationwide. The American Legion has strongly urged VA and Congress to reduce the amount of time it takes to decide a veteran’s claim, without reducing the quality of the decision. Each claim is a separate, unique situation involving a human life and deserves careful analysis to assure
the veteran receives all due benefits.

The Legion supports the careful implementation of new technology to better track medical records from enlistment through discharge and then on to VA, in order to improve the process. The era of paper-based claims processing, where folders of records and documents are stacked in VA regional offices, is not conducive to effective, efficient claims adjudication in today’s era of electronic data management.

Further, The American Legion strongly supports the shifting of focus from quantity to quality when adjudicating claims. Currently, a rapid movement of claims known as “churning” allows claims to be processed several times to correct errors. The American Legion believes that working a claim correctly the first time may take longer individually, but will in the long term reduce the backlog because the claim will only be handled once. The American Legion is working closely with VA and Congress to bring VA claims processing into the 21st century.

Featured image courtesy of PBS

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