Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island (D) announced yesterday that the Providence Regional Office will be the first RO in the nation to install a new Veterans Benefit Management System (VBMS) designed to reduce the backlog of Veteran’s disability claims. This new program will begin the process of transitioning the entire VA to a paperless benefits processing system. A paperless system will be used to track Veterans more effectively as claims move through the system. The system is designed to help cut down on paperwork and wait times that often leave Veterans waiting months for a decision.
Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Veterans Administration, has stated that he is “please the Providence VA will receive new tools and technology to reduce the backlog of Veteran’s claims and improve communication with our Veterans.” Senator Reed has also helped to boost federal VA funding by 15 percent last year.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has made eliminating the backlog a top priority. Alongside this initiative, the VA has hired over 3,500 more people to work in the Veterans Benefits Administration and has already started accepting on-line applications for initial disability benefits. Secretary Shinseki has stated that he hopes to completely eliminate the backlog by 2015. For more information on this story, click here.