Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Provisional Rating Approach

Jim Fausone
Veteran Disability Attorney

VA has been under tremendous criticism for the backlog of claims that it has which is approaching 1,000,000 this year.  Congress has been holding hearings on how to clear up the backlog.  Heads may actually roll at VA over this embarrassment.

So VA has to resolve the new claims being filed and the old claims waiting around.  VA has been thinking about how to handle recent filings so they don’t become part of the backlog.  VA plans on computerization to assist on the new claims.  We have heard stories of a software program that will scan applications and use artificial intelligence to make the rating. Call me skeptical that rating by buzz word is a better approach.

On the backlog, VA is proposing to have raters review the oldest claims first and issue a provisional rating based on the file.  VA would not have a complete file or send out questions or send the veteran to an exam.  The VA Fact Sheet on this provisional rating states that the veteran will have up to one year to submit additional evidence to change the provisional decision.  The provisional rating can also be appealed.   Ok, I am still skeptical that this will work.  It should help some people who have good records, but other files are not developed sufficiently for a fair rating.  Time will tell if this approach cuts the backlog.


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