Veteranclaims’s Blog

September 28, 2020

Department of Veterans Affairs Board of Veterans’ Appeals Annual Report; Fiscal Year (FY) 2019; caseflow; VACOLS; Board Interactive Decision Template (IDT);

In FY 2019, the Board implemented Caseflow (e.g., Caseflow Intake, Caseflow Queue) and hearing scheduling (Caseflow Hearing Schedule) in support of AMA activities. Basic functionality for both of these modules was available for initial AMA implementation, with general improvements and reporting functionality added over the course of FY 2019. After initial Caseflow implementation, the Board transitioned from receiving development support from U.S. Digital Services to OIT. The Board and OIT are managing the ongoing transition from the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System (VACOLS) to Caseflow. As a result of this collaboration, OIT provided the Board with significant enhancements in Caseflow, which contributed to the Board’s record-breaking decision output.
The Board is improving the Interactive Decision Template (IDT). This template replaced the nearly 20-year-old template used to draft Board decisions. The IDT automatically retrieves data from case management software and populates important and relevant language into each appellate decision, allowing attorneys and Veterans Law Judges to focus their attention on legal research and drafting. IDT helps ensure consistency and brevity across all Board decisions and encourages the use of clear and concise language to ensure Board decisions are understandable to Veterans. IDT further changed the process for dispatching decisions by automating several steps previously done manually, including: 1) creating the final electronic signed decision; 2) retrieving the most up to date Veteran and representative contact information; 3) generating cover letters and mailing labels; 4) uploading completed copies of the decision to VACOLS and the Veterans Benefits Management System; and 5) printing copies for mailing. This automation reduced human error in mailings and reduced the time required to get a completed decision from a Veterans Law Judge to the Veteran.

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