VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE: VA CLAIM BACKLOG, HOW MANY?

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screenhunter_15_oct._22_12.08_150How Many and For How Long are Claims Pending at VA?

Written by Bob Brewin

The Veterans Affairs Department manages a whole bunch of claims — for disability, education and even burial benefits. Until this month, the department presented data on pending claims in a relatively straightforward fashion in a spreadsheet called the Monday Morning Workload Report.But starting on Oct. 5, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) said it reformatted the reports to provide a "more meaningful and transparent look" at the data. But veterans groups said the new and improved Monday Morning Workload Report does neither.     

The spiffy new format also omitted for the past three weeks data on pending education claims, which could lead anyone with even a mild case of paranoia to assume VBA was trying to hide this information due to the fact that it has botched claims processing and payments for vets going to school under the new post 9/11 GI

Bill.Katie Roberts, the VA press secretary, assures me that omission of educations claims data this month was due to a technical glitch and that information will be in the database next week.How could VBA not notice such key information was missing for almost a month?

Jerry Manar, deputy director for national veterans services at the VFW, told me that in his view the changes in the new VBA report format "seem more designed to confuse those who monitor the progress and problems at VA rather than shed fresh light on them."

Paul Sullivan, head of Veterans for Common Sense, said he found the new format "misleading and cumbersome" and does not have a grand total of all the claims pending at VA. "It’s missing two key pieces of information: How many vets are waiting [to have their claims processed] and how long are they waiting."

Manar said under the old format, VBA reported on Sept. 26 that it had 750,538 claims of all types pending at its regional offices. Under the old reporting format VBA had a total of 200,000 claims under appeal.

Under the new format, that dropped to 176,415, with no explanation for the revised number, Manar said.I guess that’s one way for the VBA to magically reduce its claims backlog: change the way it presents the data.This whole new format is about as transparent as an Abrams tank.


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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.