Veterans Benefits Administration
Compensation Service810 Vermont AvenueWashington, DC 20420
On behalf of the Director, Compensation Service, it is an honor to submit this report,
Changing theGame: Disability Claims Process 2012.
The proposals contained in this report do not representcurrent claims processing policy. They are not to be acted upon unless instructed by VBA leadership.In support of VA’s ongoing efforts to improve claims processing timeliness and accuracy, theseproposals are submitted by Compensation Service to VBA leadership as recommendations only.Such leadership may choose to act upon all, some, or none of these proposals. Further, VBAleadership may choose to pilot and/or amend any proposals as necessary.The recommendations in this report seek to inspire VA leadership that with proper focus and studiousresearch on all mandates that drive our claims and appeals’ process, we can achieve the Secretary’sstrategic timeliness and accuracy targets. Further, we can achieve those targets while providing our Nation’s disabled Veterans with a benefits’ system that is simplified; streamlined; proactive; anddependable.
: “To produce a leaner, more efficient claims process; one that is practical,reasonable, faster, and more accurate.” A key endeavor is to eliminate unnecessary steps from theprocess, especially those that add little to no value. These proposals also eliminate some long-standing practices and functions that are outdated, labor intensive, and do not directly benefitdisabled Veterans and their dependents.VA has made several well-intentioned improvements to the claims process, but some result inadjudicators doing more work with less output and decreased quality. These proposals purposelyrequire adjudicators to do "less work"… with fewer steps to follow…. fewer functions to carry out….fewer letters to send… By doing less of what adds no value, we produce an improved and moreefficient claims process.
Key Quotes by Team Members:
"We're not shuffling the cards…. we're changing the game. Let’snot apologize for offering bold, aggressive, or even controversial changes to the process when, infact, we're improving services to all Veterans and their dependents.” A final analogy: “Instead of trying to figure out how to win the game with the same players… samerules…. same conditions, we're changing the game by making new rules and adding more players.The result—a winning season for all players! “