VA benefits Agency Says It’s Making Progress Processing Claims

The federal agency that deals with benefits for veterans says it’s making progress in getting claims processed more quickly, including in Colorado.

The Veterans Benefits Administration is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It administers things like rehabilitation, pensions and employment and education assistance. Renaye Murphy, director of the Denver Regional office, says it’s reduced a backlog of claims in Colorado and Wyoming by 67 percent in a little more than two years.

"Nationally we have made great strides in reduction of the backlog and we have made great strides at the local level as well," Murphy says. “The good thing is that the disability decision that we do at the Veterans Benefits Administration actually opens the door to other benefits that VA provides.”

VA says it has reduced the backlog by 80 percent nationally, from a high of over 600,000 in March 2013 to more than 115,000 this week. It says that's lowest been since the agency started measuring the backlog in 2007.

In a statement, the agency says it has streamlined the way VBA processes claims so veterans don't have to wait more than 125 days for "a high quality decision."

Murphy credits better computer technology and improved efficiency involving the sharing of cases between various VBA offices.

The VA is looking to improve its reputation following controversies over health care wait times, and the over budget hospital project in Aurora.