The Department of Veteran Affairs is celebrating improvements it has made modernizing the way it processes compensation and pension claims.
Over the past 22 months, the VA has moved towards a more efficient, electronic process from its traditional paper-restricted operation. That has resulted in the removal of more than 7.8 million paper files from 60 locations, resulting in faster, more accurate claims decisions for veterans, according to a press release.
“Improving the delivery of benefits and services to Veterans is central to our mission,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in the release. “This significant effort will not only improve VA’s claims process, it will also lead to quicker decisions for Veterans because millions more records will be available electronically.”
In 2013, the VA started its switch over to a digital environment by removing paper records from its regional offices and expanded the efforts in 2016 by launching the File Bank Extraction initiative — an approach that removed more than 1.7 million paper claims files from 59 VA locations, according to the release.
The VA continued its efforts in 2017 by converting nearly 6.1 million paper records held within the Records Control Division of the Records Management Center in St. Louis into digital records. According to the press release, these paper records are temporarily being stored in a secure facility certified by the National Archives and Records Administration where “they are inventoried, prioritized and sent to multiple VA vendors for rapid scanning into VA’s Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).”