Veteranclaims’s Blog

January 24, 2011

VAOIG Find Processing Errors at Milwaukee-RO, NODs and TBI Claims

Management needs to implement controls to ensure Veterans Service Center staff establish suspense diaries to request medical examinations for temporary 100 percent disability reevaluations. We recommended management provide refresher training on the proper procedures for processing TBI claims and implement a plan to have an additional level of review prior to finalizing TBI decisions. Additionally, we recommended Milwaukee VARO management strengthen controls to ensure timely establishment of Notices of Disagreement in the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System and develop and implement a plan to ensure staff review up-to-date medical evidence in all cases involving court declarations of incompetency.

Summary, Inspection of the VA Regional Office Milwaukee, WI

Report Number 10-03565-69, 1/21/2011 | Full Report (PDF) at link above

The Benefits Inspection Division conducts onsite inspections at VA Regional Offices (VAROs) to review disability compensation claims processing and Veterans Service Center operations. The Milwaukee VARO correctly processed post-traumatic stress disorder disability claims and generally followed the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) policy for processing herbicide exposure-related disability claims. Management ensured staff generally followed VBA’s policy for establishing dates of claim in the electronic record and processing mail in the VARO mailroom and Triage. Further, all Systematic Analyses of Operations were timely and complete and staff corrected all errors identified by VBA’s Systematic Technical Accuracy Review program.

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 24 (22 percent) of the 111 disability claims reviewed. Management also needs to strengthen controls over recording Notices of Disagreement for appealed claims and ensure accurate processing of final competency determinations. We recommended that Milwaukee 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 Veterans Service Center staff establish suspense diaries to request medical examinations for temporary 100 percent disability reevaluations. We recommended management provide refresher training on the proper procedures for processing TBI claims and implement a plan to have an additional level of review prior to finalizing TBI decisions. Additionally, we recommended Milwaukee VARO management strengthen controls to ensure timely establishment of Notices of Disagreement in the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System and develop and implement a plan to ensure staff review up-to-date medical evidence in all cases involving court declarations of incompetency. The Director of the Milwaukee VARO concurred with all recommendations. Management’s planned actions are responsive and we will follow up as required on all actions.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.