Veterans Affairs Announces Claims Backlog Cleared, Technology Key Factor Paul October 3, 2012 News 28 Comments Follow Duffel Blog: WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that the massive backlog of claims has been “reduced to a manageable level,” according to an official statement. “We typically see a huge workload with education benefits needs around October and February to coincide with the school year,” said spokesman Ian Johnson. “But a combination of technology and hard working claims processors have reduced the backlog and substantially sped up the process.” The 27,000 employees recently hired by the VA to stand around the office water cooler “has been a big help,” according to Johnson, but it hasn’t been the only factor. “We’ve reduced complaints and new claims to basically zero in the past week by making a simple change: turning off our phones,” Johnson said confidently. “Veterans calling in and asking for an agent are told to call back later, which really helps us out with getting ahead and reducing the caseload.” He went on to speak about new technological breakthroughs that VA has produced. “In the past, we’ve had 2 or 3 claims processors standing around an old paper shredder,” said Johnson. “It was grossly inefficient. We could only clear ten to fifteen veteran claims per hour that way. We’ve already installed the new Future Issue Request Evaluator-Veteran system in four regional processing offices and they’ve been very successful.” The FIRE-V system is a completely automated system that claims processors now use, which is credited with reducing processing time from 22 days in the past, to a current average of 487 days — an astonishing 2114% improvement. “How it works is basically the employee takes the veterans’ records and inserts them into this slot here,” Johnson said, as he pointed to a soot-colored opening. “What’s really amazing about this machine is that you can put in hundreds of records and it will scan them all simultaneously.” “In the office, we nicknamed it ‘The Burn Pit’ because it burns through records much faster than our old systems could,” he added. The Veterans Affairs spokesman went on to say that they are upgrading the FIRE-V system to handle benefits appeals as well, through the use of a complex conveyor belt system directly from the mailroom into the “burn pit” for further processing. Don't miss the next story.Get the latest news and alerts from Duffel Blog delivered to your inbox—free. Short URL: http://duffelblog.com/BTE81 Scott Robinett says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM Owen Campbell says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM Ah….everything is illuminated. Dudley Toelke says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM They borrowed that technology from the National Personnel Records Center. The NPRC has been ahead of the technology curve for years! Monk Silouan Brown says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM Finally, the truth has come out. Sara Kirstein says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM Once again, the Duffel Blog blurs parody and reality… Chad Underdonk says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM Mr Johnson also claimed that “the FIRE-V system will also be a great asset this winter as it will save the V.A. hundreds of dollars in heating costs at each location where it has been implemented. Best of all the program will be attractive to whichever administration is in charge in 2013l. Liberals love the program as being an energy saver and a shovel ready job, while conservatives like it because it pisses off the E.P.A. and is revenue neutral.” Harleigh Holmes says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM As an experienced contractor I still use the tried and true method of highlighting the file, hitting the Delete key and then transferring the call to one of our military academies televangelist centers for further assistance. Richard D. Zink says: April 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM Typical Defense Department / VA shenanigans – using foreign technology ( a British Steam Locomotive ) to do something that one of our top-shelf American made in China paper shredders could do, just as nicely. Plus, you lose that wonderful packing material to boot. Rooster says: October 28, 2012 at 5:21 AM i’m looking forward to waiting my 487 days to receive my notice for ashes. i think the FIRE-V is a great system. Look at all that carbon dioxide they’re pushing back into the atmosphere! think of all those healthy trees that are going to grow with that so they can be cut down, shredded, and made into paper for more forms to be filled out in tripliciate to go into the FIRE-V system. Think of all the physical activity those 27,000 extra employees are going to have processing the claims in this manner! Also, just look at the improved efficiency we will get when all those employees are laid off as a part of the sequestration that’s coming right after the election. coldnorth says: October 5, 2012 at 4:06 AM My favorite was ” …no you cannot re-enlist due to your medical status, but I see that you’ve been through an MEB and returned to duty” Co. R.G. Fitzbottom says: October 5, 2012 at 2:20 AM Capt. Obes, this is Kilo One-Six , Sitrep, Over, Army wife is sick of your cyber stalking “break” and wants you to suck it. Kilo One-Six out…. Sgt Az says: October 4, 2012 at 8:38 AM I got injured and walk with a cane. I was medically separated for the injury. The VA still has not processed my claim and its been over a year and a half. I need another surgery on my knee and the VA is saying they can’t do it until my claim comes back. The VA system sucks, if you are still active and making comments about than you have no clue what its like. You have a different priority when you have to deal with the VA, don’t worry when you get out you will see and understand where we are coming from. Bubbamadtoo says: October 4, 2012 at 6:45 AM Laughed so hard I spewed coffee all over my monitor. I’m just glad my appeal was completed (in 782 days) before it met the FIRE-V system. Keep em coming. Barry says: October 3, 2012 at 10:49 AM I am so confused. I thought this was a satire website… Now you are reporting the facts, except maybe about the FIRE-V. I am sure they still use the old File 13 (AKA: burn-barrels). Why buy something new when you can get an old rusty barrel, uh, I mean, File 13 and a book of matches? DOC says: October 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM Because they have all this extra money laying around they had to spend it somewhere or they would have their budget reduced next year. Barry says: October 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM Yeah, Doc, I guess that’s true. The VA does receive a lot of money under the guise of “helping” the vets. That money has to go somewhere. You can only do so many team-building exercises in Las Vegas or Hawaii, before it gets boring. DOC says: October 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM “You can only do so many team-building exercises in Las Vegas or Hawaii” You my friend are a genius! TopGoz says: October 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM Sig… They got it right. One of the best Duffel Blog stories yet. sig says: October 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM I think your numbers got mixed up: “….with reducing processing time from 22 days in the past, to a current average of 487 days…” should probably be “…with reducing processing time from 487 days in the past, to a current average of 22 days…” Chris says: October 3, 2012 at 10:42 AM No, that was right. Progress through regression… Lt. Butero-Trinkejo says: October 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM I guess sig hasn’t dealt with VA logic. sig says: October 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM Only 9 years TIS. My time is coming… Lt. Butero-Trinkejo says: October 3, 2012 at 12:44 PM Sig imagine all the dumbassery you have ever dealt with in the military then multiply it by 1000% then add lazy civilians who show up for a check. It has gotten better then worse… Hell I have a great uncle who had a claim denied because the Pacific wasn’t a combat zone for the Navy during WWII. Yes it gets that retarded… CPT Obes says: October 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM The VA system has gotten a helluva lot better over the last few years. They have sped up processing times, and when I needed a surgery they couldn’t provide, they allowed me to choose whom they contracted for it. Not too bad. BTW, LT, I see you comment nonstop on every great article here on the Blog, don’t you have a platoon that needs training? Your PSG must be livid… Army Wife (P) says: October 4, 2012 at 12:38 AM CPT Obes, If you are albe to Follow this guy that closely, shouldn’t you be working as well? Pot, meet kettle… And further more, suck it Captain. it’s called creepy cyber stalking, and you are doing it right.