DoD to bail out DVA on claims backlog

| December 7, 2012

Still clinging to the myth that Veterans’ Affairs in on the right track to clearing their backlog, Eric “Black Beret” Shinseki, along with Leon Panetta, announced yesterday that the Department of Defense will be doing a better job of handing off veterans to the DVA to help the army of bureaucrats who are busy handing out benefits to liars and fakes clear the backlog of claims according to Stars & Stripes.

Panetta and Shinseki said better medical information on veterans before they leave the military will simplify claims later on, hopefully speeding up the process.

VA officials said the extra information will be especially helpful with severely wounded servicemembers, who often have multiple injuries and much more complicated paperwork.

I don’t why they think this is new. It’s exactly what happened to me when I retired in 1994. The Army gave me a complete physical and sent the records to the VA and a few months later, I went to do a physical with the VA and a few months later, my benefits were approved. So, basically, they’re just going to do what they should have been doing all along.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said those efforts, combined with earlier department initiatives to create express service for simple claims and highly trained processing teams for complex ones, will help ease the problem in 2013 and keep the agency on track to eliminate the backlog by the end of 2015.

Everyone who thinks that the DVA can off their ass and clear the backlog of records that they accumulated over the last four years in the next three years, raise your hands…yeah, me neither.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. karlen says:

    Seems like a lot of jaw jacking when shit should be getting done.

  2. Just an Old Dog says:

    Nothing new here. I retired in 2000 and my final physical was actually done in conjunction with the VA. I starting drawing my VA Pension the day I retired. 11 years later I had a major health issue directly related to my disabilty, for which I had been seeing the VA and getting treatment/medication for years.
    I became completely disabled in April 2011 and filed a claim May 2011. Based on paperwork from the VA
    I have gotten 100% disability from Social Security. 20 months later I’m still awaiting a decision from the VA. It simply doesn’t matter how efficient DOD is in handing off Veteran’s medical records to the VA. The VA is just completely incompetent

  3. JBS says:

    This is horseshit. What more do they need? Soldier had this happen in the military and here are med records to prove it. End of story! Stamp it with that crazy-ass rating formula and move on. If the DVA doesn’t want to take the word of the Docs doing the physicals, why have that step? I retired from active duty to 2006 and 45 days later I had my disability rating back. But now, from what I understand, no further claims go through the same national office. It seems it is done at the state VA level. And Washington State’s VA claims department and personnel SUCK!!

  4. FatCircles0311 says:

    Heaven forbid EVERY service member be entered into the VA system automatically when they are separated. Getting post deployment PTSD telephone screenings years after I was discharged from active duty is pretty damn pathetic. Also telling vets that come into a VA hospital they cannot receive care until they are in the system but then have no help for getting those veterans in the system after 4pm on weekdays is atrocious horseshit.

  5. Common Sense says:

    The real answer is to outsource it to private industry. There is nothing the government does that the real world can’t do better, more efficiently, and cheaper. After all, my private insurance claims are processed within days in most cases.

    But they won’t go for that because it would mean fewer government employees and less spending by the Feds.

  6. MSGRetired says:

    13 months since retirement and still waiting. I had a pretty extensive physical for my retirement but still had to see VA doctors, I guess they cant believe the findings of the current active duty doc’s..

  7. DaveO says:

    The VA is a jobs-for-votes organization, not a health care or health care administration organization.

  8. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Until someone is going to kick ass and take names, the situation will not improve. Bureaucrats who are unthreatened with specific and definite corrective action have no incentive to change a thing. They’ll order more posters, schedule more training, maybe conduct a staff survey or two but that’s about it. Wholesale change in large organizations is damn near impossible unless each component and each employee is accountable for accomplishing X, Y, and Z within a predetermined time limitation. Until someone steps up and does that you’ll be able to write the same complaints about the VA next year, the year after, and so on.

  9. DaveO says:

    #8 AC: folks have been working on it, and trying to work on it. Simple use of IT best practices, automating the business processes, and using professional-grade tools from Oracle, SAP, Adobe, IBM and such are relatively inexpensive. The folks who can do that are generally working USD 100,000 or more below the going market rates (if they are GS).

    Those kinds of folks don’t join unions, and generally pay taxes – not the kind of people to herdishly give cash and votes to whomever the Shop Steward likes.

  10. shovelDriver says:

    Lemme think: I retired at the end of March 1993. I outprocessed at the US Army Records Center, Ft. Ben Harrison, since my home station was in the process of being inactivated. When I walked into this room, there were 2 desks; 2 people. One Army and one VA. Side by side. So I had in hand each and every X-ray, CatScan,whathaveyou, taken during a 21 year career. I also had 2 sets of med records, one original and 1 certified. I handed them to the soldier, who passed them to the VA. Moving on, I wound up about 9 months later at the VA Nashville for my initial C&P exam. Which the VA scheduled for me. Yet when I got there, they informed me that they did not have my records. Being wise to the ways of bureacracy, I politely handed them a certified copy, 3 inches thick. A year later, they lost them yet again. After another year, I went downtown to the Regional Office where the C&P lawyers hide out. Hey, guess wha they found 3 days later? In the snuring 19 16 years, this has happened twice more.

    Lesson Learned: Keep the originals (as I did ) and gie them copies. Also keep names, dates, times and places.

    Oh, and watch ’em closely. They kept conducting lab tests, for at least 4 years, until one day my co-worker’s sibling, who just so happened to be a lab tach at VA Nashvegas / Vanderbilt, heard the tale and read my file. It was then I discovered why the repeated tests. Seems they had been ordering and perfomring the wrong lab test. For 4 long years.

  11. streetsweeper says:

    I seriously doubt a damn thing is going to change under Shinseki. He’s probably still pissed at Lilyea for handing him an honest opinion on those cheap, crap looking Chinese made berets he purchased…Back to the subject. The VA bureaucrat’s will continue to do whatever it takes to keep that highly valued government job. shovel is right. Get your original records, guard them with your life if need be and only issue copies to the VA along with the usual “W”s (who,what,when,where,why)or you could end up a clusterfuck like some Marines and Army troopers I helped a few years back. It wasn’t any kind of fun…Oh yes, get to know your local US Congressman’s veteran affairs rep, too.

  12. Open Channel D says:

    I hate to sound like a shill for the DAV, but join them and get them engaged in your claim process.

    This is not going to get better anytime soon. The VA has undersupported the technical requirements to improve the workflow of claims and there is nothing but lip service from the Congresscritters when the Vets go looking for help.

    Here’s the rub: The VA has paid big bucks for computer models that have projected the number of claims and the projected level of disability for a given population. Their projections are running smack up against the reality of a 10-year+ war and all the casualties and training injuries that result. Add to that the fact that groups like the DAV, VFW and American Legion (along with scores of State VSO’s (Veterans Service Organizations) have begun to weigh in on the side of Veterans. Documentation of combat casualties and DNBI (Disease, Non-Battle Injuries) is better than it ever has been, and despite all it’s flaws, CHCS/AHLTA creates a longitudinal record of care that forces the VA to take the Veteran as they find them–not piecemeal based on what the Veteran is able to prove.

    Let me repeat–this is not going to get better. In fact, it’s going to get worse. The VA and the DoD are not willing partners in just about anything, least of all the cross-consolidation of medical records. They both have billions of dollars and thousand of jobs tied to their respective EHR’s. The DoD has effectively give a direct order to the services to play nice in the sandbox, but the VA operates under no such conditions and will continue to stonewall and drag their feet until the DoD collapses.

    Look for the VA to assume all record of care responsibilities, and tighten up the disability rating system to force Vet’s into the VA system for care under conditions they set.

    VA insiders at the decision making level do not see the long waits for dispositions as a bug, but a feature. They are positioning themselves to take a bigger share of the pie (in terms of EHR development and end strength for managing claims) that will all come at the expense of DoD $ and manpower.

    Yeah, it sucks now. It’s gonna suck more.

  13. DaveO says:

    VA is the model for Obamacare.