Eric Shineski, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, recently announced an ambitious goal. By 2015, he hopes to have every veterans disability claim processed within 125 days at 98 percent accuracy. A significant part of that process involves transferring to a paperless system, something which has already begun to happen, according to Stars and Stripes.
The progress was announced in recent testimony from Tom Murphy, the director of compensation service for the Veterans Benefits Administration. He said the VA is planning on introducing a method for veterans to electronically file a claim in the very near future. That will help the VA reduce the significant backlog of benefit claims, which currently stands at about 557,460.
"How do we take care of those veterans in less than 125 days, which the secretary has stated is our goal, and do it with the resources we have currently on board? The only way we're going to be able to do that is…to get out of the paper world and into the digital world," Murphy told the House committee, according to the publication.
The need for a streamlined processing system has grown especially important as thousands of troops get ready to leave Afghanistan. According to USA Today, the U.S. is expected to leave the country completely by 2014, with 23,000 troops set to come home by the end of this summer.