Pay & Benefits Watch Pay & Benefits WatchPay & Benefits Watch
Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

Claims Acceleration

ARCHIVES
The Veterans Affairs Department has come under fire for its benefits claims backlog, but new legislation would build on VA's efforts to expedite processing and payment.

Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., last week reintroduced a bill that would shorten the turnaround time and improve the efficiency of the department's disability claims processing. VA in June 2010 expanded its fully developed claims program, which expedites processing for disabled veterans seeking compensation or pension benefits. If veterans submit all the evidence and paperwork required to support claims upfront, the remaining steps will move forward more quickly, according to the department.

Donnelly's bill would codify the program and make veterans eligible for compensation from the day they notify VA a claim is forthcoming. The legislation also would require the department to notify participants if their claim is not eligible for processing and automatically include an appeal form with any decision.

"Reforming the VA claims processing system will require many new ideas to provide timely and accurate benefits to veterans while ensuring that all of their rights are protected," said Joe Violante, national legislative director at Disabled American Veterans, noting the bill would "ensure that participating veterans not only get quicker decisions on claims for disability compensation, but that they remain entitled to full benefits retroactive to the first date they notified VA of their intention to file a claim."

VA has taken additional steps to reduce required paperwork and speed the claims process for certain veterans. Officials in July 2010 announced a new rule making it easier for veterans to submit claims and receive compensation for service-related post-traumatic stress disorder. The department also has eased the standards under which Vietnam War veterans qualify for benefits related to Agent Orange exposure.

Modernizing Workers' Compensation

The Labor Department is working to streamline its workers' compensation program by eliminating paper-based claims.

In a June 28 Federal Register notice, the department announced plans to launch a free Web-based system that will allow employees claiming workers' comp benefits to submit documents electronically. Agencies will be required to use the new process after Dec. 31, 2012. Labor also will support video- and teleconferencing during claims hearings.

The 1916 Federal Employees' Compensation Act provides basic compensation, along with medical, rehabilitation and death benefits, for government workers injured on the job. Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers the benefits paid to about 49,000 federal employees monthly.

 
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.