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Sec Shenseki

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"WASHINGTON (AP) — Eric K. Shinseki, the new Veterans Affairs secretary, said Wednesday he is trying to reduce the six-month delays in paying veterans' disability claims, and he wants to move quickly toward an all-electronic claims system that could speed up the process.

In his first appearance before Congress since becoming secretary, Shinseki said the VA is looking at a major switch that would phase out paper processing, possibly by 2012. In the meantime, the VA will hire 1,100 more staff this year to deal with the backlog of cases, which typically involve paper stacks "going halfway to the ceiling," he said."

Full story at VA Watchdog.com with more info-

Interesting idea- but claims are often so specialized to the individual vet-that I wonder how they can fully electronically process claims.

It might help if vets could actually file 4138s themselves eletronically with their evidence sent as attachments.

and maybe even have access to the VA PC screens to understand the wqhereabouts and status of their claims better.

1,100 new hires means training 1,100 new people in VAola-and that could take considerable time.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

considering that it takes years to get raters up to speed this is nothing that will enable them to reduce this huge back log the only thing that will do that is to accept Dr Linda Blimes idea to handle VA claims the way that IRS does tax returns accept them and then pull out the strange ones and then do audits on the ones that appear to be fraud rather than treat them all as frauds cases like they do now, basically now you have to prove your hurt and it was caused by your service there is no benefit of the doubt given they only benefit they give is that we all are lying the only ones that will be problem claims are the mental health where the percentages they award cause problems....

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IMHO they would "phase in" fully automated claims, as follows:

The Veteran would apply electronically..just like is already done with student loan applications, employment applications, college applications and lots and lots of other stuff. now..and has been done that way for years.

The rating specialist would come to a Veterans claim. The computer would make a reccomendation: the rating specialist could read it over, and click "accept computer assesment" and poof, a letter would go out to the Veteran, decline or award benefits. Of course compliance with regulations would be built in to the software and not appealed 4 years later as it is now.

However, if the rating specialist did not like the computers assessment, he could do one manually...but he may have to answer to his superiors exactly why he went "against" the computer assesment.

Remember that some software is "intelligent" and learns. An example of that is spam software. It learns what you think is spam every time you put something in the spam box or click, "this is not spam".

I simply do not buy VA's "six month claim processing" story. I think that fewer than 10% happen in six months or less. I think these numbers are manipulated by the VA, and even faked by some RO's.

Of course software has glitches, but I think that the decisions would be more accurate than humans do now. Of course, writing software for this would be a big project, however, it would be worth it. Claims should be done in days, not years like they are now.

Edited by broncovet
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I agree there would be built into the software the codes and the information like evidence can be scanned in. The rater could look at the documentation vs. what is being requested and send out notices for requests a lot faster. The computer could make awards in an automated system or deny in the same fashion. Then the Vet could appeal based on more evidence. Of course if many Vets get better information up front they can be more successful. I don't think it will approve more awards, but it would speed up the claims process, and if the logic is programmed correctly there would be less room for human error. This would also help the VA identify the raters that either are doing a poor job, and the ones doing a good job by the number of appeals based on mistakes. Will it create a perfect VA? I doubt it, but the process needs to be sped up.

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