More on VA backlog

| December 5, 2012 | 6 Comments

FrostyCWO send us another link to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ growing backlog of claims from vets.. This link from NBC. I guess now that they got their guy elected, they can start criticizing his incompetent deputies;

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki earlier this year vowed to shrink the so-called “VA backlog” to 125 days by 2015 as the agency finishes transitioning to a digital processing system.

Despite that promise, the claims-completion gap has expanded steadily during the past year. The VA’s benefits-aspiration web page shows the average claims-processing time was 223 days in October 2011, 246 days in April 2012, 257 days in July and 260 days in August. In fact, the backlog has doubled in size since 2008, congressional members report.

The agency called its widening claims backlog “unacceptable” but said it is taking steps to try to fix that problem.

“VA has completed a record-breaking 1 million claims per year the last three fiscal years. Yet too many Veterans have to wait too long to get the benefits they have earned and deserve,” the VA said in a statement emailed to NBC News on Tuesday. “That’s unacceptable, and VA is building a strong foundation for a paperless, digital disability claims system — a lasting solution that will transform how we operate and eliminate the claims backlog. This paperless technology is being deployed to 18 regional offices in 2012, and it will reach all 56 VA Regional Offices by the end of 2013 to help deliver faster, better decisions for Veterans.”

Oh, well, as long as their intentions are to do better, that makes it OK, I suppose. Now, as we’ve discussed before, the VA has hired tens of thousands of new employees to make the system work and it hasn’t. They’re in the midst of using a new information system which is late and isn’t helping.

All the while that they’re failing to do what they’re paid to do, veterans are slipping through the cracks. But all of that is “acceptable”. Nice.

Eric Shiseki was a miserable failure as a general, and now he’s a miserable failure as director of the Veterans’ Affairs Department. While Obama is contemplating moves in his cabinet, he should shove Shinseki through the door, too. He’s an incompetent boob, in fact an incompetent boob should be doing better than Shinseki has done.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

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  1. Tman says:

    Erica’s overall incompetence goes without saying.

    That said, even the Saviour himself could not fix this bloated organization, the very definition of an inefficient government bureaucracy.

  2. NHSparky says:

    Anyone who thinks that Obamacare is going to be a panacea should look to the DVA and how they treat veterans.

    Yeah, this is what you voted for, people. Get ready to start a run for the Canadian border to mooch off their non-existent system in a couple of years.

  3. Hondo says:

    So, Jonn – how do you really feel about Shinsecki? (smile)

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    How is it that, in 1968 and 1974, when I filled out my claims form with the VA, I got an answer and my card stock ID card in three weeks, and now it takes 2.5 years to get the booklet from them (all printed up nice and pretty) that outlines your benefits?

    I don’t think you can point to a lack of employees. I don’t know how many Vietnam in-country and not in-country vets applied for VA benefits back then, but the paperwork got done and the responses were quick.

    So what has changed?

  5. Devtun says:

    A fairly recent article about bureaucratic bloat at the VA:

    At VA, bureaucracy run amok: Streamlining yields bloated budgets, staff…
    http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120610/DEPARTMENTS04/306100002/At-VA-bureaucracy-run-amok-Streamlining-yields-bloated-budgets-staff

  6. DaveO says:

    The VA is not about service. It is a jobs program designed to get guaranteed votes.

    Customer service? A poster on a wall.

    Healing? That’s what your VA compensation is for – to fund a doc or shrink on the outside to heal you.

    The business problems and the solutions are fairly simple, easily automated, and the scalability and other non-functional requirements easy to address.

    Now, to get to Austin and take over the shop and get it done…

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