Military Minute

Nolan County Veterans Service Offices 235.2214

The Dept of Veterans Affairs reports it has crossed a major milestone in its federal initiative to provide timely decisions on disability payments to Veterans. They are claiming progress due to some help from implemented new technology and process solutions. It reports that it has reduced its inventory of backlogged claims from a high of 611,000 claims in March of 2013 to fewer than 200,000 while still striving to improve decision quality. Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey said the VA's goal is to eliminate the claims backlog by the end of this year. Hickey also stated that the current numbers indicate a 67 percent drop in backlog. She cited strategies such as extra hours of work put in by benefits claims processors as well as procedures backed by powerful automation tools and paperless claims processing. It has been leaning heavily on its training and quality assurance programs.

The VA reports that Veterans seeking disability benefits are now required to use standardized claim and appeal forms. These standardized forms guide Veterans to clearly state the symptoms or conditions for which they are seeking benefits and provide the information necessary for the VA to start processing their claims and appeals. The VA states they hope this will help them provide faster and more accurate decisions for Veterans, their families and survivors. A reminder that the easiest and fastest way to submit an application for compensation is online at They still encourage Vets to work with representatives of Veterans Service Organizations who can assist with filing electronically or in paper form. The VA believes standard forms are essential to better serve Veterans, build more efficiency and bring everyone in line with other government agencies. The toll-free number to the VA is 1.800.827.1000.