Veteranclaims’s Blog

August 19, 2010

Detroit-VA has 21% Error Rate, VAOIG Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 9:20 pm

Report Summary, Number 10-02079-226, 8/19/2010
Inspection of VA Regional Office Detroit, MI

The Benefits Inspection of the Detroit VARO found that they correctly processed disability claims related to herbicide exposure. Staff generally followed the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) policy for processing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claims, establishing correct dates of claim, and completing Systematic Analyses of Operations (SAOs). Management also improved mail processing in the Triage Team and VARO mailroom. These improvements resulted in staff exceeding VBA’s standard of establishing 80 percent of claims in 7-days. However, management did not timely train Rating Veterans Service Representatives (RVSR) regarding new procedures for evaluating traumatic brain injury (TBI) claims despite VBA issuing new guidance in January 2009. Also, staff needs to improve the processing of temporary 100 percent disability evaluations. VARO staff did not accurately process claims for 25 (21 percent) of 120 claims reviewed. We identified nine additional claims processing inaccuracies attributable to claims redistributed to other VAROs to complete for workload management reasons. Management also needs to strengthen controls over the following areas: establishing mail procedures to ensure staff timely record Notices of Disagreement (NODs) for appealed claims in the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System (VACOLS), correcting errors identified by VBA’s Systematic Technical Accuracy Review (STAR) Program, and processing incompetency determinations. We recommended VARO management monitor its new policy regarding the processing of temporary 100 percent evaluations. We also recommended management develop and implement a plan to ensure staff take corrective action to address errors identified by VBA’s STAR program. We recommended management establish mail delivery procedures for the Appeals Team and consult with VBA to discuss establishing a standard to ensure immediate completion of final competency determinations.”

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