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New rules making backlog worse??

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  • Moderator

According to AFGE, yes.  Of course, I trust AFGE "just a little less" than I trust VA...which is none.  However, there may be some truth to what AFGE says about this:


In part:



  • The claims processors, known as Veteran Service Representative (VSRs), are required to review a claim and complete all transactions within 27 minutes instead of 42. If they fail to do that, they fail the new performance standards. Why is this a problem? After all, shortening the processing time frame should speed things up, right? Not quite. 
    When a VSR reviews a claim, he/she goes through various steps before reaching a conclusion whether the condition is service-connected. The VSR has to review 400-500 pages of the veteran’s private medical record, service medical record, and VA hospital records to get all the information he/she needs to request an exam. He/she then orders an exam for every condition the veteran claims is service-related – hearing loss, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc. If the veteran claims 29 conditions, the VSR has to request 29 exams using seven different computer systems. It usually takes about 22-25 minutes to request one exam. By reducing the time for this task by over a third, this makes an already complex and nuanced assignment even more difficult, and will almost certainly both harm the quality of care for veterans and set up employees to fail. 

When the VSR can’t finish the claim for whatever reasons – may it be additional information from veterans is needed or simply a lack of time to finish an exam request, the claim gets sent back into the system, or “the cloud” – a national queue – and waits there for at least 30 days before another VSR can take a look at it. 


End of AFGE article quote.

Now THIS makes sense.  If the employee working your claim can not complete it in 27 minutes, let's penalize the Veteran and delay his claim at least 30 more days.  

It gets better.    This has to promote "top sheeting" where VA does not read all your evidence and just denies it.  Ok, so a 30 day delay is parlayed into 5 year delay in appeals backlog.  

Who is this good for?   Certainly not Veterans.  

Edited by broncovet
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Sounds like the good idea fairy is making her rounds again.

Hopefully, there will be a review in which feedback is taken into account. Only world in which this change makes sense is if, people are just dinking around when they should be working through a claim. But even then the veteran stands to lose out more than the employee.


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  • Founder

AFGE may be on your sh*t list, but whistleblowers are AFGE and so are veterans and great civilians doing great jobs. We should not throw the baby out with the bath water and ignore their warnings on this. Be smart  - read the article, forewarned is forearmed.

AFGE Rallies to Stop Delays in Veteran Benefits Claims

If you are a veteran who has a service-connected disability, you need to pay attention to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ new rules governing disability claims processing. These new rules have been implemented since March, and they have already delayed benefits for many veterans and could potentially reduce their benefits even further. That’s because the new rules are preventing the claims processors from quickly and accurately processing their disability claims.

How claims get delayed under the new rules: 

  • New rules set aunworkable time limit on claims processing.
  • Claims processing rules change daily.
  • The new performance monitoring system only looks at the number of claims processed, not items that have been completed.


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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

I don't have any involvement with AFGE, but some things don't ever seem to change.

"If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid."
- From Murphy's Laws of Combat

Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert, so use at own risk and/or consult a qualified professional representative. Please refer to existing VA laws, regulations, and policies for the most up to date information.


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Really, Bronco's post is one of the most important for understanding the VA, and what's happening with your claim.

There's no 'VA has been fighting me,' it's a series of clods trying to keep his/her job, or, at least, not get yelled at or put on a PIP.

And, yes, you can easily manipulate claims to get your points as Tbird is alluding to. Simply 'bumping' out tracked items automatically gets you a point. The old system you'd only put down the claim number of a narrower set of completed actions-

On 7/2/2017 at 9:09 AM, Tbird said:
  • The new performance monitoring system only looks at the number of claims processed, not items that have been completed.

The most important thing you can take from this is to make doing what you want done as easy as possible to do-

"Everything's there, I'll just mark it RFD"

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