Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today plans to develop a fully automated, online system for handling Veterans' disability compensation claims. More than a simple digitization of existing paper-based claims, the new system is part of VA's modernization of the end-to-end processing workflow. Automation will substantially reduce processing time and increase accuracy while simplifying the way that Veterans interact with the claims process.
“Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has been advocating for substantial process change in adjudicating Veterans' claims for many years”
"This new program accelerates our effort to eliminate the claims backlog through automation and modernization of our systems," said Secretary Shinseki. "It's another step in transforming VA into a 21st Century department that better serves our Veterans."
"Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has been advocating for substantial process change in adjudicating Veterans' claims for many years," said Rick Weidman, Executive Director for Policy and Government Affairs of VVA. "We're very pleased to see that this Administration is taking on the problem of claims processing head on. This automated program will make a big difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Veterans."
Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving in the Republic of Vietnam who today have B-cell leukemia (hairy-cell leukemia), Parkinson's disease, or ischemic heart disease are slated to be the first users of the automated system. The final regulation implementing the presumption of service connection for these three diseases is poised to become effective later this year. While the first use of the new system will be limited to this pending subset of disabilities, usage will expand over time to include claims for other conditions.