This year has been a big one for VA disability claims, especially amid all the changes and expansions coming from Congress and the White House. Recently, we discussed the PACT Act expansion, and how it was creating a larger volume of claims, placing more strain on the VA office.
There has also been significant pressure on the bureaucracy to modernize and update how it handles claims. In this article, we’d like to touch on how the VA is attempting to accomplish this through digitizing the claims/appeals process.
VA Claims Automation
The task of modernizing VA claims, which often take over a year to process, is by no means easy. They’ve approached this problem by implementing what’s called an Automated Decision Support (ADS) program. Through the automated approach, the VA staff can make decisions more accurately and faster.
As you probably know, the decision process (the up/down vote on benefits distribution) involves combing through lots of medical and other important records. The advantage of the ADS system is that it gets everything in one place, lessens the need to fumble through (and wait on) paperwork, making things operate smoother. So, while there’s still an actual person reviewing disability claims, this new technology expedites everything.
What This Means for Veterans in 2023
ADS has been shown to help the VA analyze and invesVtigate certain medical conditions.
It does so by gathering relevant case information such as medical records, treatment history, VA claim exams, electronic health center records. There’s a lot that a claims analyst has to examine, hence the long turnaround time for a decision. However, the ADS program already improves things by analyzing over 40 medical conditions, those that make a patient eligible for disability benefits.
What is the Future for Disability Claims Processing?
Of course, whenever technology or AI comes into the picture, it’s imperative that human beings test and verify that things get done accurately. We expect the VA administration to make tweaks on the ADS system before using it more abundantly. As of this summer, they’re still testing the new automation approach at 16 locations.
Regardless of what happens, you can count on SRQ Vets to keep you informed of everything. We’ll continue our goal of educating, informing, and supporting veterans, with a special focus on folks around Sarasota, Florida.
If you’d like to learn more about processing disability claims, feel free to contact us anytime at 941-777-8387.