VA Establishes Claims Processing Task Force

Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A commitment to make the processing
 of applications for veterans benefits faster, easier and more accurate took a
 major step forward today when Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J.
 Principi signed the charter to establish a special Claims Processing Task
 Force for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
     "The president promised a top-to-bottom review of our claims processing,
 and I have made it one of my top priorities," said Principi. "The benefits
 that veterans seek from VA were earned by their sacrifice and, sometimes,
 their suffering.  When we handle their claims, we should use the best
 processes available."
     The 10-person task force, headed by retired Vice Admiral Daniel L. Cooper,
 will examine a wide range of issues affecting the speedy processing of claims,
 from medical examinations and information technology, to efforts to shrink the
 backlog and increase the accuracy of decisions.  The panel's final report to
 the secretary is due in approximately 120 days.
     The average time to process a claim for disability compensation or a VA
 pension is expected to increase from 202 days this year to 273 days next year.
 Among the factors lengthening the delay are new legislation strengthening VA's
 "duty to assist" veterans when they file for benefit and a decision earlier
 this year to make it easier for Vietnam veterans with adult-onset diabetes to
 receive disability compensation for the illness.
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
    WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A commitment to make the processing
 of applications for veterans benefits faster, easier and more accurate took a
 major step forward today when Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J.
 Principi signed the charter to establish a special Claims Processing Task
 Force for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
     "The president promised a top-to-bottom review of our claims processing,
 and I have made it one of my top priorities," said Principi. "The benefits
 that veterans seek from VA were earned by their sacrifice and, sometimes,
 their suffering.  When we handle their claims, we should use the best
 processes available."
     The 10-person task force, headed by retired Vice Admiral Daniel L. Cooper,
 will examine a wide range of issues affecting the speedy processing of claims,
 from medical examinations and information technology, to efforts to shrink the
 backlog and increase the accuracy of decisions.  The panel's final report to
 the secretary is due in approximately 120 days.
     The average time to process a claim for disability compensation or a VA
 pension is expected to increase from 202 days this year to 273 days next year.
 Among the factors lengthening the delay are new legislation strengthening VA's
 "duty to assist" veterans when they file for benefit and a decision earlier
 this year to make it easier for Vietnam veterans with adult-onset diabetes to
 receive disability compensation for the illness.
 
 SOURCE  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs