Skip to comments.VA Claims Backlog Fell During Shutdown
Posted on 10/22/2013 9:09:34 AM PDT by Wuli
The veterans claims backlog continued to drop this month despite the two-week government shutdown and dire claims from Veterans Affairs leaders that momentum on the problem had been lost.
VA officials reported Monday that 411,704 compensation claims have been pending for more than 125 days, the 15th consecutive week the official backlog number has decreased. The figure is down about 10,000 cases since Sept. 28.
But the decrease appears to contradict VA claims that the government shutdown would hurt efforts to clear the backlog, by depriving the department of funds for mandatory overtime to work on the problem.
On Oct. 1 -- the first day of the budget impasse -- VA assistant secretary of Public Affairs Tommy Sowers predicted an increase in the number of overdue claims because of the shutdown.
A week later, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee that the momentum achieved in the past six months (on the backlog) has now stalled with the government shutdown. He also indicated that the departments stated goal of zeroing out the backlog in 2015 could be jeopardized by the shutdown.
In an email, VA officials acknowledged that the backlog did not increase during the shutdown but insisted that it did remain flat during the days department funding was restricted. That ignores a Oct. 14 report putting the backlog about 6,000 cases lower than where Shinseki had indicated just a few days earlier.
VA programs were somewhat insulated from the shutdown, because of millions in advance funding appropriated to the department. That kept veterans hospitals and care centers open and most department employees on the job, but did affect non-essential programs such as the overtime claims work.
(Excerpt) Read more at military.com ...
Backlog fell....= Veterans Died off!!!
VA Tops in Privacy Violations
The Veteran’s Health Administration is one of the nation’s top users of electronic health records (EHRs), but it also happens to be at the top of EHR privacy violations. According to an investigation done by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, VA employees committed 14,215 privacy violations at 167 locations from 2013 through May 2013. The violations involved over 100,000 veterans and 551 VA employees and ranged from the posting of protected information to identity and prescription theft. EHRs are noted for their vulnerability to privacy breaches, but Congress has essentially mandated EHRs for all.
Check the trash cans for applications.
I have dealt with the VA.
They have some fine folks, some.
The VA also has some lifers - people with life-long VA jobs - that look at their jobs as something the nation MUST continue, for them, under either their self-serving wishes and/or the mistaken notion that nothing they do could be done for the veterans without the VA doing it - wrong on both counts; many things could be done differently.