Veterans’ Disability Benefits: Claims, Appeals and Exams
James MacGillivray (Editor)
Series: Military and Veteran Issues
In 2016, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) centralized distribution of the disability compensation claims workload through the National Work Queue, which prioritizes and distributes claims to regional offices based on their capacity; however, there are gaps in VBA’s guidance for processing claims with errors.
Chapter 1 examines (1) how VBA manages workload and performance for the disability compensation claims process, (2) how well VBA’s timeliness and accuracy measures capture its regional offices’ performance in processing these claims, and (3) how well selected regional offices communicate with VSOs and congressional caseworkers about these claims.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) plan for implementing a new disability appeals process while attending to appeals in the current process addresses most, but not all, elements required by the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (Act). Chapter 2 examines the extent to which VA’s plan (1) addresses the required elements in the Act, and (2) reflects sound planning practices identified in prior GAO work. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 focus on the extent to which VA’s plan: addresses the required elements in the Act, and reflects sound planning practices previously identified.
Chapter 6 examines (1) what is known about the quality and timeliness of VBA contracted exams; (2) the extent to which VBA monitors contractors’ performance; and (3) how VBA ensures that its contractors provide qualified and well-trained examiners. Chapter 7 addresses: (1) what is known about the quality and timeliness of VBA contracted exams; (2) the extent to which VBA monitors contractors’ performance to ensure that they provide high quality and timely exams; and (3) how VBA ensures that its contractors provide qualified and well-trained examiners.