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Rao Bulletin Update, 01 January, 2006

Guest Jim S.


Guest Jim S.

:D If you think the information you get from the phone clerk at your local VARO, is incorrect, your more likely than not, correct. If you think Veterans are stretching the truth in the error in claims by the VA, think again. The following is a ROA Bulletin update:

VA CLAIM ERROR RATE: Veterans’ organizations are decrying the fact

that at the Department of Veterans Affairs the error rate on disability

claims remains high even as the backlog of claims continues to grow. The

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee was told 7 DEC that about 15% of

initial benefits decisions on claims from veterans and survivors include

errors, , while the backlog of claims has increased to 346,000, almost 8%

higher than last year. The Government Accountability Office reported

the average time to process a claim is 120 days, and processing an

appeal takes an average of 622 days. VA’s deputy undersecretary for benefits

testified the workload has increased every year since 2000, with

788,298 claims filed in fiscal 2005, a 36% increase over that span, and it is

expected that these increases will continue over the next five years.

Given the current staffing levels of the Veterans Benefits

Administration (VBA), which handles claims, the error rate suggests that every

VA decision-maker makes a significant error approximately every other

day. The VA’s growing reputation for carelessness results in appeals

even in cases that are error-free. That results in an even bigger backlog

of claims because VA must process the appeals. Veterans’ advocates say

VA is caught in a Catch-22 in which efforts to whittle the backlog of

claims by increasing the speed at which decisions are made plays a role

in the high error rate. They allege Regional office managers are

pressing ratings employees to process numbers without ensuring claims

decisions are done right the first time. VA offices that operate slower than

others, where decisions are more accurate and more favorable to veterans

generally have the greatest backlogs.

Testimony from applicants appearing before the committee indicated

experiencing years of red tape in the processing of their claims

causing them to feel manipulated by a system of bureaucratic maneuvers

undertaken to delay decisions on their claims. In many cases it is impossible

for a claimant to find out what is going on or if those assigned to the

case have the correct or most recent data or information to consider to

which would enhance a favorable decision. The full text of this story

can be found at

http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=0-NAVYPAPER-1402261.php [source:

Times staff writer Rick Maze 19 Dec 05]

Jim S. :)

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Same crap, different date.


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    The Veterans Crisis Line can help even if you’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care.


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    Have Questions? Get Answers.

    Tips on posting on the forums.

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery instead of ‘I have a question.
    2. Knowledgeable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title.
      I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
    3. Use paragraphs instead of one massive, rambling introduction or story.
      Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph, there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.
    Leading too:

    exclamation-point.pngPost straightforward questions and then post background information.
    • Question A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • Adding Background information in your post will help members understand what information you are looking for so they can assist you in finding it.
    Rephrase the question: I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine, but the claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
    • Question B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • See how the details below give us a better understanding of what you’re claiming.
    Rephrase the question: I was involved in a traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?
    This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial of your claim?”
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. This process does not take long.
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. The review requirement will usually be removed by the 6th post. However, we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.
    • This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before hitting the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims, and this helps us do that.
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