The Department of Veterans Affairs announced several actions that the Veterans Benefits Administration is taking to maintain integrity and accuracy in claims systems procedures.
“We take seriously its commitment to providing timely, accurate benefits, and maintaining the integrity of our systems and processes,” Allison Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits, stated in a news release. “We have many checks and balances in our systems and data, and we are working to add even more as we improve delivery of earned benefits.”
Hickey also outlined the actions before the House Veterans Affairs Committee:
- An expert team will determine possible scenarios where an individual could find a way around the system, and decide if further controls are needed.
- When an individual is found to have worked around the standard claims process, the Acting Secretary will notify the Office of Inspector General, where the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) refers cases on an ongoing basis.
- A facility and desk audit of mail and documentation at all 56 regional offices will be performed to ensure records management compliance, proper control, storage and maintenance of claim mail and other benefit-related documents.
- The VA will continue to provide publicly available performance data on benefits through its weekly Monday Morning Workload Reports.
- The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will apply for ISO 9001 certification, which would provide external validation and quality assurance of data.
The VBA will also hire 200 temporary employees to process non-rating claims and the new Rules-Based Processing System, and use contractor support to enter existing paper claims.
Hickey emphasized that the VA is committed achieving compliance with the OSC 2302 (c) Certification Program, and ensuring protection from retaliation for employees who identify or report problems.