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VBA Claims Transformation

About Transformation

About VBA’s Transformation Plan

The reason for VBA’s Transformation is simple: It’s about better serving those who’ve served our nation. Transformation will eliminate the claims backlog and allow VBA to process new claims with greater speed and precision.

VA is responding to the significant expansion in the scope and complexity of its mission. Although VBA completed a record-breaking 1 million claims per year over the past three years, the number of claims received continues to exceed the number processed and the backlog of claims has grown.

In response, VA is implementing a comprehensive Transformation Plan—a series of people, process, and technology initiatives to increase the productivity and accuracy of disability claims processing. Once the Transformation is fully implemented, VA expects to systematically reduce the backlog and reach its 2015 goal: to eliminate the claims backlog and process all claims within 125 days with 98 percent accuracy.

VBA’s Transformation—demanded by a new era, emerging technologies, and current demographic realities—is designed to make sure that Veterans get timely and accurate access to benefits.

Everyone at VA is learning new skills, implementing new processes, and embracing new technologies to help VA transform. VBA’s Transformation Plan is implementing more than 40 tightly integrated initiatives in three categories.

People—How we’re organized and trained.

Key people-focused initiatives already in place or being implemented include:

  • Cross-Functional Teams to make sure that all the people who complete a claim work in close proximity.
  • Quality Review Teams to identify common claims issues and give staff feedback and additional training if needed.
  • Intake Processing Centers (IPC) to funnel all Veterans’ claims to the right people at the right time, which improves accuracy and speed.
  • Challenge Training, which provides VBA employees with standardized training designed and tested to process claims more efficiently every day.

Process—How we do our work.

VA’s process changes include:

  • Fully Developed Claims (FDC) make it more likely that claims come to VBA with all the evidence needed to make a claims decision. This means it takes VA fewer days to process each claim.
  • Disability Benefits Questionnaires, which simplify the disability compensation exam process and make it easier for Veterans to submit medical evidence for their claim.
  • Since every claim isn’t the same, Segmented Lanes allow VBA to assign claims to one of three lanes for processing based on their nature.
  • Simplified Notification Letters allow VBA to give Veterans their benefits decision information in a simple, easy-to-read document.

Technology—The systems we use to do our jobs with speed and efficiency.

VA’s Transformation technology innovations include:

  • With eBenefits, Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and survivors can securely research, access, and manage VA and military benefits and personal information and submit claims—in real time, online.
  • With the Veterans Benefits Management System, a new digital claims processing system, VBA is scanning hundreds of paper documents at a time, digitizing and securely storing the records, and moving VA away from paper and toward a digital environment.
  • With Veterans Relationship Management (VRM), Veterans, external business partners, and VA can easily and quickly share information online and by telephone. VRM improves the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of VA’s communications to Veterans and is a platform for new tools that will further improve the services we provide.

Initiatives in these three areas—many based on the common-sense input of our employees and partners—are in place right now. Others are on the way. In every case, they aim to transform VA on behalf of Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and survivors.