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March 30,2015 Backlog Stats


Berta

Question

VA Backlog reduced

VAPress Release March 30,2015

In part:
"Washington – The federal initiative to provide timely decisions on disability payments to Veterans has crossed a major milestone in its final sprint to eliminate the backlog of Veterans’ benefits claims.

The major transformation effort to apply new technology and process solutions has paid off at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It reduced its inventory of backlogged claims from a high of 611,000 claims in March of 2013 to fewer than 200,000 this week, while at the same time improving decision quality."


http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2691

I dont think it is due to 'technology ' and processes ,as much as due to the fact that vets have complained to Secretary Bob and to Under Secretary Hickey.

'Backlog 'is an odd word when VA uses it....does it mean RO backlogs have been reduced, by decisions that might well be denials, only to perhaps increase the backlog at the BVA, and adding to the remands, that are often for a re=do of what the RO failed to do in the first place?

And of course there are all those missing claims of Phila VARO....

are they included as 'backllogged' claims

or just stuffed- into- file -cabinets -hoping- to -never -see -light -of- day

claims?

VA semantics are often illusive.

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I received my letter at the beginning of this month from the BVA. They granted 2 of my issues but remanded one so still in waiting. Do you happen to know will they process granted issues now and remanded later

or will they do all after remanded is settled. Claim on ebenefits says it is at the AMC now and has been there for about a month.

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Thanks for the info Berta. Going by what folks are saying on Hadit, it does appear that claims are moving a little faster. Appeals seem to be finally moving too.

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I received my letter from the BVA at the beginning of this month. My claim dates back from 2009. The BVA granted 2 of my disabilities with ratings but remanded 1 back for a VA medical

exam. Do you happen to know will they give me granted now and remanded later or will I have to wait until after remanded is settled? Ebenefits states my claim is at the AMC and has been

for about a month now. How much longer will this take? So frustrated that its taken this long as is and now have to wait for who knows how much longer.

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If you feel a reasonable time has passed with no retro in your checking account, by all means send them a copy of this fast letter (FL 10-02)

It can be searched for here and the pdf will open.

I would send it to the AMC and also to your AOJ, with proof of mailing.

The problem is what is considered a reasonable period of time.

VA has their own definition of that.

But dont let them sit on the award part of the decision too long.

Are you using ebenefits?

There might be more updated info there.

Maybe you can even upload the Fast letter there.....I am not sure.

They took all of my ebenefits info down, when my claims went to VACO.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Veterans Benefits Administration
Washington, D.C. 20420
January 6, 2010
Director (00/21)
All VA Regional Offices and Centers
In Reply Refer To: 211B
Fast Letter 10-02
SUBJ: Implementation of Board of Veterans’ Appeals Decisions
Purpose
This fast letter provides clarification of the existing procedural guidance for
implementation of Board of Veterans’ Appeals Decisions. The instructions
provided in this fast letter supersede all prior guidance on this issue.
Background
It has come to the attention of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) and the
Compensation and Pension Service that there is inconsistent processing of
claims involving implementation of BVA decisions with partial favorable findings.
It was determined that some regional offices (ROs) were delaying implementation
of these BVA partial grants until expiration of the 120-day period within which a
veteran may appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
(CAVC). Delayed implementation of favorable BVA decisions is inconsistent with
the Department’s long standing pro-veteran position and unnecessarily delays
payment of benefits to the claimant.
Procedures
Complete Grants and Partial Awards
ROs are required to review all files returning from BVA to determine the type of
action to be taken. ROs must expeditiously implement favorable decisions
rendered by BVA in all cases, including those decisions that may also contain
unfavorable findings subject to appeal with CAVC.
For processing purposes, a partial grant or an increased evaluation less than the
schedular maximum available is considered a “favorable decision.” Partial grants
rendered by BVA are subject to expedited processing.
Although a claimant may elect to appeal the evaluation assigned by BVA and
continue to pursue an increased or total evaluation for the same disability before
CAVC, the partial grant should still be implemented immediately.
In many instances, the claims file will not be required to complete the grant or
partial grant of benefits ordered by BVA. If a decisionmaker needs the claims file
to accurately comply with the BVA mandate, he or she should follow the
instructions regarding locked CAVC files provided in M21-1MR, section I.5.J.48.e.
Denials
Denials of entitlement to benefits rendered by BVA should continue to be
processed in accordance with the procedures outlined in M21-1MR, sections I.
5.G.33.c and d.
Questions
Questions concerning this fast letter should be e-mailed to VAVBAWAS/CO/
21FL.
/S/
Bradley G. Mayes
Director
Compensation & Pension Service

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Yes, Berta. The numbers are very misleading, for several reasons.

1. First, the VA has a bad habit of simply "dropping" claims. No adjutication. Just elimination. They have done this to me several times. You apply, it sometimes never shows up on ebenefits, or it does show and then it shows "claim closed". Its like they can go in with their computer and just click x and it goes away, only appearing to have been adjuticated, when its instead ignored. This is happening by the bushel basket full.

2. Of the claims that are adjuticated, many wind right back up in the appeal backlog. So, the Veteran gets his claim denied, and its right back in line again..this time its about a 4 year wait to the BVA. It does not help one bit to deny the claim and make you wait another 4 years for a BVA decision. Even when I do get a BVA decision, I have to fight the VARO to get them to implement it, like I am doing now.

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Folks

Although I'm sure they are trying, the stats are not showing the entire story with relation to the backlog.. .?Although, there's been a very big drop as claims being finished this year, we need to correlate or compare them against any significant increases against the NODs, DRO Reviews and mostly increases in appeal stats to see how thourough the work was? So, if there is a clear and significant drop in the backlog and no increase in Nods, DRO Reviews and Appeals this year then this is a winner policy? However, if the opposite is true then there's an even bigger problem as vets will wait years as their claims go thru the years and years of appeals. Frankly, a lot of people are being paid overtime this year to bring the backlog down and around Aug/sep senior bosses are going to want to see results are really going to be - especially at Bonus Time? So, we'll see how it goes...

Edited by rootbeer22 (see edit history)
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