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Va Testing "walk-In Claims" Program At Wichita Regional Office

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VA TESTING "WALK-IN CLAIMS" PROGRAM AT WICHITA REGIONAL OFFICE "VA has set an ambitious goal to improve business processes to ensure that by 2015, no claim is pending more than 125 days."

NOTE from Larry Scott, VA Watchdog dot Org ... Use our search engine for more about the VA's claims backlog ... here ...

http://www.yourvabenefits.org/sessearc

h.php?q=backlog&op=and

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VA launches pilot to expedite veterans' disability claims

Tribune Staff Report

http://www.fstribune...ry/1649220.html

WICHITA -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a new pilot program at the Wichita VA Regional Office to conduct on-the-spot reviews of claims for disability compensation and pension benefits in order to provide expedited claims decisions for Veterans.

"VA has set an ambitious goal to improve business processes to ensure that by 2015, no claim is pending more than 125 days," Antione Waller, director of the VA Wichita Regional Office said. "We're pleased that Kansas Veterans can be part of one of VA's pilot innovations designed to improve advocacy for Veterans while finding ways to speed service and improve quality of decisions."

The pilot program now in progress is designed to assist Veterans in submitting all of the evidence needed at the time of application so that decisions can be provided within days. If additional evidence such as a medical examination is needed for a claim submitted through the pilot program, the regional office has established a goal of deciding such claims in no more than 75 days.

To participate in the pilot program, Kansas Veterans may call the VA toll-free number, (800) 827-1000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) 827-1000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, to schedule an appointment for the walk-in claims pilot program. Veterans must be able to personally attend a claims clinic at the regional office prior to their appointment, where they will learn about the VA disability compensation and pension programs, the claims process, and the documents needed to support their claim. The VA Regional Office is located at 5500 East Kellogg, Wichita, Kan.

Claimants should bring the following evidence, if possible, when they file a walk-in claim: a Social Security or VA claim number, military discharge papers, military service treatment records, current information from their doctor or hospital about the medical conditions they are claiming, and any information they have linking their medical conditions to military service. For pension claims, VA also needs information about yearly income and savings. Claimants who provide this information right away can increase their chances of receiving an immediate decision.

If the claimant has filed a disability claim with VA before, VA will already have some of these documents, such as service treatment records and military discharge forms.

After the application and supporting evidence are delivered to the Regional Office, a VA claims coach will review the application and determine whether VA can decide the claim immediately. The claimant must agree to submit any additional information or evidence needed within 30 days. VA may still need to request federal records or a medical examination.

VA will conduct ongoing reviews of the walk-in program to assess whether to continue, modify or expand this pilot. VA's goal is to provide more timely claims decisions through increased education and participation of Veterans and their representatives.

Disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to Veterans for disabilities that are a result of -- or made worse by -- injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training.

Pension is a benefit paid to wartime Veterans with limited incomes who are permanently and totally disabled or who are 65 or older. Pension is also paid to some survivors of wartime Veterans who were receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability when they died

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