VA Pilots Expedite Payments to Disabled Veterans
‘Quick Pay’ and ‘Express Lane’ Initiatives Work to Cut Processing
WASHINGTON – VA has launched two pilot programs to test new procedures that will speed
the payment of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation benefits to Veterans with disabilities connected to their
military service. These new programs are part of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s effort to “break
the back” of the disability claims backlog.
“A fundamental goal in the transformation
of VA’s claims processing is to make sure that Veterans receive in a timely manner the benefits they earned through
their service to our Nation,” Shinseki said. “VA’s ambitious tests of numerous innovations reflect our commitment
to constantly improving how we meet our mission of responsiveness to Veterans, their families and survivors.”
The “Quick Pay” Disability
Program at the St. Petersburg, Fla., Regional Office and the “Express Lane” Pilot, based at the Seattle, Wash.,
Regional Office, are among a number of new initiatives using reengineered and streamlined claims processes to provide Veterans
with faster claims decisions and benefit payments.
Secretary Shinseki established as one of VA’s
highest priority goals the elimination of the disability claims backlog by 2015, so that all Veterans receive a quality decision
on their claim in no more than 125 days.
The “Quick Pay” Disability initiative is designed to speed disability compensation to Veterans who provide
sufficient evidence at the time of claim submission to decide all or part of their claim. Since program launch, “Quick
Pay” has paid more than $2 million in benefits to 1,656 Florida Veterans. These payments averaged $1,236 monthly
and were made three months faster than the department’s 125-day goal.
Under the “Express Lane” Pilot program based in the Seattle Regional Office, staff members are realigned
to address disability claims based on claim complexity.
Like a supermarket check-out “express
lane,” small employee teams focus on rapidly processing numerous less complex claims that typically involve only one
disability, thus freeing their co-workers to process the more complex and multiple-disability claims that demand the greatest
level of unilateral effort.
“Express Lane” Pilot, while managed from Seattle, is also being tested at three additional VA regional offices:
Nashville, Tenn.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Muskogee, Okla.
The St. Petersburg and Seattle pilots are among more than three dozen VA initiatives exploring optimal ways to organize
and deliver benefits and improve service to Veterans.
For additional information and/or questions about benefits for Veterans may be directed to VA’s toll free benefits
number at 1-800-827-1000.# # #