New Digital Tool Promised to Ease VA Claim Appeal Process

Benefit claim appeals are a common problem for veterans. In fact, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has acknowledged the failure of the system to meet critical needs. To fix the ineffective and outdated appeals process, the VA has implemented a new tool to streamline claims. The tool, called Caseflow Certification, launched at the end of April 2016.

Via U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Via U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Delays in the claim-appeal process have skyrocketed in recent years. According to the VA, the period between 2012 and 2015 saw a 35 percent increase in pending appeals. Many of these veterans wait longer than five years. In the meantime, they often go without necessary benefits.

The old process, which was confusing for many veterans, came with a serious problem: when a veteran sent in a new document in support of the appeal, the entire claims process started over. Combined with outdated software and human errors in the manual review process, it all added up to a nearly unusable system.

Via St. Mary's County Library
Via St. Mary’s County Library

To address the serious and continuously growing backlog, the VA’s Digital Service team and the Board of Veterans Appeals worked together to develop the Caseflow Certification Web app. The app enables veterans to submit their documentation digitally and does not allow the application to move forward until the user uploads all required documents. In the process, it eliminates accidental delays and increases transparency for claimants.

The Caseflow Certification system is live. To access the app, veterans should use their login information for the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System. The system even walks veterans through the process, making it easy to understand each step.With the new Caseflow Certification system, the VA hopes to cut through the number of bottlenecked appeals. Caseflow is part of a larger plan designed to improve veterans affairs in the United States.

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