Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Senator Burr Releases Statement on new VA Inspector General Report

Senator Richard Burr is the Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  His office issued the following statement on disability claims and the backlog:

Press Releases


May 20, 2014 - 4:55 PM

Senator Burr Releases Statement on new VA Inspector General Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (IG) released a report on the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) Quick Start Program. The Quick Start Program was designed to help servicemembers smoothly transition to civilian life by beginning the disability claims process for veterans prior to their separating from the Armed Forces.  However,this newly released IG report reflects that numerous factors, such as ineffective use of resources, inadequate training, and insufficient program controls, led to problems with the timeliness and quality of VA’s decisions on these claims.  The IG noted that VA does not include in its statistics the time spent processing claims before military personnel leave the service, meaning that VA “does not accurately report the total time taken to process claims and provide veterans their benefits.”  Additionally, the IG found that the VBA accurately processed only 69% of Quick Start claims during 2013.  That is 29% lower than VA’s 98% goal and well below VA’s reported quality measures.

“In light of last week’s hearing regarding the accuracy and trustworthiness of Veterans Health Administration’s wait time data, I question the Administration’s claim that the VA disability claims backlog is improving. The findings in this report are symptomatic of the ongoing, pervasive problems at the VA,” said Senator Burr. “Congress must conduct aggressive oversight to make sure that the VA is treating our veterans with the respect that they deserve.”

To read IG's full report, click here.