Veteranclaims’s Blog

February 10, 2011

35% Error Rate at Boston-RO, VAOIG Report 10-03564-86

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 11:14 pm

“Overall, VARO staff did not accurately process 42 (35 percent) of the 120 disability claims reviewed.”

Link to Full Report at Report Number 10-03564-86, 2/10/2011

Summary of Inspection of the VA Regional Office Boston, MA

Report Number 10-03564-86, 2/10/2011

The Benefits Inspection Division conducts on site inspections at VA Regional Offices (VAROs) to review disability compensation claims processing and Veterans Service Center operations.

The Boston VARO correctly processed 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 corrected all errors that Veterans Benefits Administration’s Systematic Technical Accuracy Review program identified. VARO management needs to improve the control and accuracy of processing temporary 100 percent evaluations, traumatic brain injury claims, and herbicide exposure-related claims. Overall, VARO staff did not accurately process 42 (35 percent) of the 120 disability claims reviewed. Management also needs to strengthen controls over recording Notices of Disagreement for appealed claims, completing Systematic Analyses of Operations, and processing mail and final competency determinations. We recommended that Boston VARO management review all temporary 100 percent evaluations to determine if reevaluations are required and take appropriate action. Management needs to implement controls to ensure Veterans Service Center staff establishes diaries to request medical examinations for temporary 100 percent disability reevaluations. Further, we recommended management provide refresher training on the proper procedures for processing traumatic brain injury and herbicide exposure-related disability claims, and implement a plan to have an additional level of review prior to finalizing claims decisions. We also recommended that Boston VARO management strengthen controls to ensure timely establishment of Notices of Disagreement in the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System. Additionally, we recommended that Boston VARO management implement plans to ensure timely and complete preparation of Systematic Analyses of Operations, and accurate and timely processing of incoming mail. The Director of the Boston 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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