The Washington Post

Concerns raised over VA’s readiness for paperless transition

Representatives of veterans groups are warning that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ plans for going paperless does not adequately address how the department will transfer mountains of records into digital form.

The transformation is key to the VA’s efforts to combat a backlog of disability claims filed by veterans that has reached over 900,000.

“What is deeply troubling is that the scanning is so obviously a key component and there has been little to no public indication from VA about the road forward,” Richard Dumancas, deputy director for claims for the American Legion, told a hearing Tuesday before the House Veterans Affairs’ Committee’s Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

Dumancas said with the growing backlog of claims needing to the scanned, the veterans group is concerned about “the size and nature of future log jams building up which could devastate the process for veterans in the future.”

But representatives of the VA and Department of Defense expressed confidence in the technologies being used by the department.

Alan Bozeman, director of the Veterans Benefits Management System program office, told the subcommittee that the VA executed contracts this summer with two contractors who will create electronic folders for veterans with images and data extracted from paper and other sources.

“While much focus is placed on scanning, a scanned document is not necessarily optimal for claims processing,” Bozeman said. “VA is leveraging technology to ensure that the specific information needed to process claims can be identified, extracted and quickly utilized by claims processors.” ,

The Pentagon “is committed to a future that eliminates paper-based record keeping and the warehouses that support them, said Jim Neighbors, director of the DoD/VA Collaboration Office for the Department of Defense.

The challenges facing the departments in the transformation are “daunting,” noted Rep. Jon Runyan, (R-N.J.,) the chairman of the disability subcommittee.

“Often, a single record or notation can be the difference in whether a veterans disability claim is granted or denied,” Runyan said. “This is why we must work together to ensure that no records are lost, overlooked or otherwise unable to be associated with an individual disability claim.”



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Don’t be ‘that’ sports parent | On Parenting
Miss Manners: The technology's changed, but the rules are the same
A flood of refugees from Syria but only a trickle to America
Play Videos
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
Kids share best advice from mom
Using Fitbit to help kids lose weight
Play Videos
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
Transgender swimmer now on Harvard men's team
Portland's most important meal of the day
Play Videos
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
The signature drink of New Orleans
Next Story
Josh Hicks · December 4, 2012

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.