Veteranclaims’s Blog

June 7, 2011

Atlanta-RO has 38% Error Rate, VAOIG Report Number 11-00512-179

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — veteranclaims @ 7:03 pm

Overall, VARO staff did not accurately process 45 (38 percent) of the 120 disability claims we reviewed.

Full report link at: Report Summary, Inspection of the VA Regional Office Atlanta, Georgia

Report Number 11-00512-179, 5/27/2011 | Full Report (PDF)

The Benefits Inspection Division conducts onsite inspections at VA Regional Offices (VAROs) to review disability compensation claims processing and Veterans Service Center operations. We found the Atlanta VARO staff correctly processed post-traumatic stress disorder claims. VARO performance was generally effective in establishing correct dates of claim in the electronic record and correcting errors identified by the Veterans Benefit Administration’s Systematic Technical Accuracy Review program staff.

However, the VARO lacked effective controls and accuracy in processing temporary 100 percent disability evaluations and lacked accuracy in processing traumatic brain injury and herbicide exposure-related claims. Overall, VARO staff did not accurately process 45 (38 percent) of the 120 disability claims we reviewed. Controls over processing Notices of Disagreement for appealed claims, completing Systematic Analyses of Operations, handling mail, and final competency determinations need strengthening.

We recommended VARO management implement controls to ensure the staff establishes suspense diaries for the temporary 100 percent disability reevaluations and follow up on reminder notifications as appropriate. We also recommended VARO management provide refresher training and establish an additional level of review for traumatic brain injury rating decisions to ensure accurate benefit payments. Additionally, VARO management needs to strengthen controls to ensure timely recording of Notices of Disagreement in the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System. VARO management should also monitor controls to ensure timely and complete preparation of Systematic Analyses of Operations and proper mail handling. The VARO Director concurred with all recommendations. Management’s planned actions are responsive and we will follow up as required on all actions.

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