Processing of Claims Targeted for Extra Personnel
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is putting Americans to work with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, while bolstering staffing at VA benefits offices where Veterans’ claims are processed.
“Our hiring has put about approximately 2,300 people in jobs at these important local offices where staffs are working hard to process claims for eligible Veterans and their family members,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
The new hires do not directly decide Veterans claims, but they are involved in general office administrative work supporting the professional adjudicators making compensation or pension decisions or processing changes in Veterans benefits. This frees the more highly trained personnel to spend more time on their core activities.
VA expects the additional staffing will reduce the time it takes VA to process claims, meaning Veterans will receive benefits more quickly than they would otherwise.
The Recovery Act provided $150 million for the program to hire and train the new staffers. VA has hired 500 new staff members as permanent employees. While Recovery Act funding for the temporary employees will expire in September 2010, the 2011 President’s budget includes funds to retain or replace these employees on a permanent basis and to hire more than 2,000 additional new processors.