Quick Pay Program Starts Tackling Medical Backlog

by Levi Newman on December 2, 2010

The VA’s new Quick Pay Disability program seeks to tackle a major problem—the substantial backlog of existing claims.

The new procedure is a part a number of programs launched to speed up payment of compensation benefits to Veterans with service-connected disabilities.

“A fundamental goal in the transformation of VA’s claims processing is to make sure that Veterans receive in a timely manner the benefits they earned through their service to our Nation,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in a press release. “VA’s ambitious tests of numerous innovations reflect our commitment to constantly improving how we meet our mission of responsiveness to Veterans, their families and survivors.”

Injured veterans wait up to six months or more on disability payments. The delay causes economic hardships in the veteran’s family, leading to foreclosures, relocation, damaged credit and other financial extremes.

Established in St. Petersburg, FL, Quick Pay makes faster claims decisions and benefit payments, according to the VA press release. Claims with sufficient evidence submitted under the Quick Pay plan delivered payments in less than 125 days. The approved stipends averaged $1,236 per month.

Since Quick Pay initiation, over 1,600 Florida State veterans received more than $2 million in benefits.

The trick for veterans, however, is to make sure to submit claims accurately and with the right criteria of proof needed for application approval. Claims can even take less than 10 days to approve with adequate information provided.

The VA’s goal is to be able to approve claims in 125 days or less before the year 2015. Although Quick Pay seems to be leading officials toward that goal, it is not meant to achieve the objective all on its own.  Other programs help as well as such as the second test program, Express Lane.

The Express Lane pilot programs aims to deal with claims based on their complexity; the Express Lane VA employees handle small, less complicated claims, while employees in other lanes will work on the convoluted claims. Express Lane is in Seattle, WA, Nashville, TN, St. Paul, MN and Muskogee, OK as of right now.

Three-dozen other initiatives are in production as well, according to the VA. VA officials hope that all the programs together will help them to reach their five-year goal.

See more about the transformation plan at the VA’s website.

Photo thanks to takomabibelot under creative common license on Flickr.

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