The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that more than 30% — 165 million pages — of its current disability claims inventory has been converted to digital files, according to a news release.
The effort is part of the Veterans Claims Intake Program (VCIP), which was established in September 2012 in order to maximize the use of electronic intake for all claims to create digital, searchable files. The document conversion service has now been implemented at all 56 VA regional claims processing offices across the United States.
“A key element that slows our process is the thousands of tons of paper documents we handle each year related to veterans’ claims,” Allison A. Hickey, undersecretary of benefits for the VA, stated in the release. “While we continue to expand our ability to process claims electronically, we still have to handle those we receive in paper form – the VCIP is our answer to this and helps us move forward into a fully digital environment.”
The VA urges veterans to file disability claims electronically, and when possible, file a fully developed claim through the joint Department of Defense and VA eBenefits online portal in an effort to reduce the disability claims backlog.
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