Veterans Benefits Administration:

Problems and Challenges Facing Disability Claims Processing

T-HEHS/AIMD-00-146: Published: May 18, 2000. Publicly Released: May 18, 2000.

Additional Materials:


Stephen P. Backhus
(202) 512-3000


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Veterans Benefits Administration's (VBA) claims processing operations, focusing on: (1) long-standing performance problems; (2) claims processing complexities; (3) challenges to improving performance; and (4) VBA's initiatives to improve performance.

GAO noted that: (1) VBA's problems with large backlogs and long waits for decisions have not yet improved, despite years of studying these problems; (2) moreover, VBA's new quality measurement system shows that nearly one-third of decisions are incorrect or have technical or procedural errors; (3) many performance problems stem from the process's complexity, which is growing as the number of service-connected disabilities per veteran increases and judicial review requires more procedures and documentation; (4) although VBA has initiated a number of efforts to streamline its claims processing performance, it is unclear how much improvement will be gained; (5) VBA may need to collect and analyze additional case-specific data to better understand its claims processing problems and better target its corrective actions; and (6) because some issues affecting VBA's performance are a function of program design, more fundamental changes may have to be considered to realize significant improvements.

Apr 19, 2018

Apr 12, 2018

Mar 22, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Jan 18, 2018

Jan 17, 2018

Jan 11, 2018

Dec 7, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here