Our local VARO is representative of others around the country. Detroit is better than many from our experience. VA nationally reports its accuracy rate on disability claims of 83% so it makes errors 17% of the time. A recent VA IG report is troubling as Detroit had a 21% error rate. The VA IG found in Detroit:
Management did not timely train Rating Veterans Service Representatives (RVSR) regarding new procedures for evaluating traumatic brain injury (TBI) claims despite VBA issuing new guidance in January 2009. Also, staff needs to improve the processing of temporary 100 percent disability evaluations.
VARO staff did not accurately process claims for 25 (21 percent) of 120 claims reviewed. We identified nine additional claims processing inaccuracies attributable to claims redistributed to other VAROs to complete for workload management reasons.
Management also needs to strengthen controls over the following areas:
• Establishing mail procedures to ensure staff timely record Notices of Disagreement (NODs) for appealed claims in the Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System (VACOLS);
• Correcting errors identified by VBA’s Systematic Technical Accuracy Review (STAR) Program; and
• Processing incompetency determinations.
Read more at http://www4.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=3668
We know in Detroit if you make automobiles with 21% defects it is not acceptable. You will go out of business and the competition will eat your lunch. The Detroit VARO and those around the country need to get to an acceptable error rate so they do it right 99 % of the time, not 83% .