Jump to content
  • Latest Donations

  • Advertisemnt

  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

    questions-001@3x.png

    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
    Continue Reading
     
  • Ads

  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

    tinnitus-005.pngptsd-005.pnglumbosacral-005.pngscars-005.pnglimitation-flexion-knee-005.pngdiabetes-005.pnglimitation-motion-ankle-005.pngparalysis-005.pngdegenerative-arthitis-spine-005.pngtbi-traumatic-brain-injury-005.png

  • Advertisemnt

  • Advertisemnt

  • Ads

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

Sponsored Ads

  • Donation Box

    Please donate to support the community.
    We appreciate all donations!
  • Searches Community Forums, Blog and more

  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
teejay53

Baltimore Va Office Gets Help With Backlog

Question

Thought this article might be of interest. smile.png

Link to this story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/baltimore-va-office-gets-help-with-backlog/2013/02/19/b6a2bec4-7add11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html?wprss=rss_national

------------------------------------------------------------

Baltimore VA office gets help with backlog

By SteveVogel, Feb 20, 2013 12:15 AM EST

BALTIMORE — Teams of claims handlers and new technology are being deployed to help the troubled Baltimore Veterans Affairs office, where veterans face some of the longest waits in the country to have their cases handled, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said Tuesday.

“Many veterans, including those living in Maryland, have to wait too long for benefits, and that’s never acceptable,” Shinseki said during an appearance at the Baltimore office with Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.).


Two 17-member teams of employees from other regional offices — termed “SWAT teams” by Mikulski — will work in Baltimore in February and March to reduce the backlog, which stood at 19,935 on Feb. 9.

A third team already sent to Baltimore doubled the monthly output of processed claims in January, officials said.

“We’re bringing in more people from other regional offices to dig in and clear out the backlog,” Mikulski said.

In addition, 35 employees at the Baltimore office who had been assigned to other duties are now working solely on the Maryland cases, 84 percent of which have been pending for more than 125 days.

Two supervisors from the VA’s office in St. Paul, Minn., one of the best-performing VA offices, arrived Tuesday in Baltimore and will spend 60 days assessing the office’s performance and training workers.


The VA also is speeding up the introduction of a paperless claim system to Baltimore, now scheduled to begin in May rather than November. The new Veterans Benefits Management System,

which was introduced in the VA office in Hartford, Conn., in September, is now in place in 20 offices and is scheduled to be running nationwide by the end of the year.


“Technology is the key,” said Shinseki, who toured the office with Mikulski and met with workers.

The Washington Post reported this month that veterans in Maryland often wait more than a year for a decision, and then face a 25 percent chance that their claims will be mishandled, an error rate that is the worst in the nation.

Agency figures show the Baltimore regional office’s performance is among the nation’s worst, with claims filed by veterans seeking disability compensation pending 429 days on average — 162 days longer than the national average.


“We’ve all read the stories about the backlog — the unacceptably long wait times, lost paperwork and high rates of errors,” Mikulski said. “Nobody thinks this is acceptable. Our veterans have already fought on the front lines. They should not have to fight their own government for benefits
they’ve earned and deserve when they return home.”

Nationwide, the VA’s 56 regional offices face a backlog of more than 900,000 claims, the result of a sharp increase in filings by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as by older generations, in particular Vietnam veterans who have been able to file many more claims related to the herbicide Agent Orange under liberalized rules.

Mikulski noted that much of the time it takes the VA to process claims is spent waiting for information about individual applicants from the Defense Department, Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.


The senator said she would convene a roundtable with leaders from the agencies looking for ways to improve communication, coordination, record sharing and to speed up the claims process.

“I’m going to crack my budgetary whip,” said Mikulski, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Baltimore’s problems were exacerbated when it was selected to help pilot a joint VA-Defense Department integrated disability evaluation system, an effort aimed at eliminating red tape that frustrated service members at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and other military hospitals.


VA officials acknowledge that the Baltimore office was not given the resources needed for the task.

“We did not do it as well as we should have,” said Allison A. Hickey, VA undersecretary for benefits, who appeared with Shinseki and Mikulski. “The system could not handle the big surge. We’ve been trying to fight our way out ever since.”

Mikulski said Congress must ensure that the VA is given the resources needed to cut the backlog.





Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

Ad

Nice to see they are trying but as you can see they are taking 34 raters from other RO's to bandaid the problem. That is on top of the raters already TDY there. So the RO's that these people are going TDY from are just going to get more backlogged due to losing their raters to Baltimore. Not to menton the huge expense to the tax payers to send all these raters TDY to Baltimore a very high per diem location for 60 days. Like to see the huge bill from that and their over time. At spring per diem rate in Baltimore is $145.00 max lodging, $66 meals, $5 incidentals per day so that $12,960.00 per employee for 60 days times 34 equals $440,640.00. That is not including their airfare to get there, rental cars, overtime, laundry, baggage fees etc. First Oakland now Baltimore which RO will be next to baidaid wish they just fix this broken disfunctional system that us veterans have to suffer through.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Ads

  • Ad

  • Latest News
  • Our picks

    • How to download the podcasts to listen later
      How to download the podcasts to listen later
      • 0 replies
    • SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: Ad Free Subscriptions to the Forum available
      Ad free subscriptions are available for the forum. Subscriptions give you the forums ad free and help support the forum and site. Monthly $5 Annually $50 https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/

      Every bit helps - Thank you.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask
      Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask. Chris Attig - Veterans Law Blog 

      <br style="color:#000000; text-align:start">How to Hire an Attorney For Your VA Claim or Appeal Free Guidebook available on the Veterans Law Blog

      I got an email the other day from a Veteran.  It had 2 or 3 sentences about his claim, and then closed at the end: “Please call me. So-and-so told me you were the best and I want your help.”

      While I appreciate the compliments, I shudder a little at emails like this.  For 2 reasons.

      First, I get a lot of emails like this.  And while I diligently represent my clients – I often tell them we will pursue their claim until we have no more appeals or until we win – I am most assuredly not the best.

      There are a LOT of damn good VA Disability attorneys out there.  (Most, if not all, of the best are members of the National Organization of Veterans Advocates…read about one of them, here)

      Second, I don’t want Veterans to choose their attorney based on who their friend thought was the best.  I want Veterans to choose the VA Disability attorney who is BEST for their case.

      In some situations, that may be the Attig Law Firm.

      But it may also be be Hill and Ponton, or Chisholm-Kilpatrick, or Bergman Moore.  Or any one of the dozens of other attorneys who have made the representation of Veterans their professional life’s work.

      There are hundreds of attorneys that are out there representing Veterans, and I’m here to tell you that who is best for your friend’s case may not be the best for your case.

      How do you Find the Best VA Disability Attorney for your Claim?

      First, you have to answer the question: do you NEED an attorney?

      Some of you don’t...
      • 1 reply
    • VA Emergency Medical Care
      VA Emergency Medical Care
      • 3 replies
    • Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      • 1 reply
×

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines