Veteranclaims’s Blog

September 30, 2010

29% Error Rate at New Jersery-RO, VAOIG Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — veteranclaims @ 10:44 pm

VARO staff did not accurately process 35 (29 percent) of the 120 disability claims reviewed.

Inspection of the VA Regional Office Newark, NJ

Report Number 10-03055-259
, 9/29/2010

The Benefits Inspection Division conducts onsite inspections at VA Regional Offices (VAROs) to review disability compensation claims processing and Veterans Service Center operations. The Newark VARO correctly processed herbicide exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder disability claims. Management ensured staff followed the Veterans Benefits Administration policy to establish correct dates of claims in the electronic record. Further, staff were generally compliant in correcting errors that VBA’s Systematic Technical Accuracy Review program identified. VARO management needs to improve the control and accuracy of processing of temporary 100 percent evaluations and traumatic brain injury (TBI) claims. Overall, VARO staff did not accurately process 35 (29 percent) of the 120 disability claims reviewed. Management also needs to strengthen controls over the recording of Notice of Disagreements for appealed claims, Systematic Analyses of Operations (SAOs), incoming mail upon receipt, and final competency determination processing. We recommended that Newark VARO management review all temporary 100 percent evaluations to determine if reevaluations are required and take appropriate actions. Management needs to implement controls to ensure diaries for temporary 100 percent disability evaluations are established. We recommended management provide refresher training on the proper procedures for processing TBI claims. We also recommended that Newark VARO management strengthen controls to ensure timely establishment of NODs in the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System, accurate and timely preparation of SAOs, and implementation of a plan for ensuring accurate and timely processing of incoming mail. The Director of the Newark VARO concurred with all recommendations. Management’s planned actions are responsive and we will follow up as required on all actions.

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