Off The Base

A drastic reduction in the disability claims backlog was a top priority for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki when he took over the department three years ago.

“Our intent is to have no claim over 125 days,” Shinseki told American Forces Press Service. “And every claims decision that we put out the door [will be] at a 98-percent quality mark.”

The VA has been testing the new Veterans Benefit Management System in Providence, R.I., and Salt Lake City. Shinseki told Congress last month he believes this technology is helping VA “approach the tipping point in ending the backlog in disability claims.”

The VA is expected to initiate the system nationwide beginning this fall at 16 regional offices in September, with all 56 VA regional offices receiving it by the end of fiscal 2013, Shinseki said.

It’s been an uphill climb because during 2009 the VA produced 900,000 claims…

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