As VA struggles, delays and errors greet returning warriors
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013
By Chris Adams | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — The processing time for disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs worsened in a majority of its regional offices last year, and the VA has struggled with its much-anticipated plan to correct its problems, according to two recent audits and a review of department data.
The result for veterans is longer waits – often for disability decisions that are incorrect.
The declining performance came in a year the VA was working to boost its performance, hoping to meet long-standing department goals to decide veterans’ claims faster and more accurately. Office by office, the department is switching to a new processing system designed to eliminate paper records, curtail pointless shuffling of files and speed decision-making. The VA plans to move all offices to the new system by the end of the year.
In recent months, however, performance has been slipping. Beyond that, two recent audits call into question the VA’s ability to transform the department as planned.