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Roger Baker: NARA to Aid VA With Disability Claims Backlog

Roger Baker

The Department of Veterans Affairs will tap the National Archives and Records Administration to help the VA in its migration from a paper to paperless claims process, NextGov reports.

VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker announced Thursday that the agencies signed an agreement for NARA to help VA scan its disability claims, used in the electronic veterans benefits management system.

The electronic system will be implemented in 16 regional offices by September and 56 regional offices by 2013, Baker said.

The VA is still faced with an enormous backlog of paper claims that it does not have the scanning systems to handle, Baker said.

The agency has a backlog of 897,566 disability claims, 65 percent of which have been pending for more than 125 days, the report said.

Per the agreement, NARA will aid VA with its backlog by scanning paper claims.

The team will focus on scanning claims relevant for updating current claims, Baker explains.

VA aims to eliminate the claims backlog by 2015, according to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Baker said the electronic system should be viewed as an investment to improve service to veterans instead of as an expense.

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