Despite backlogs piled to the ceiling, Veterans Affairs disability claims processors still received millions of dollars in bonuses.
According to the Washington Post, that effectively encouraged the processors to avoid claims that needed extra work to document veterans` injuries in order to give the impression that high standards were being met.
NewsChannel 3 has spoken with many veterans who were forced to just wait and then wait some more for their claims to be filed so they could get their disability checks.
Those claims now make up much of the VA’s widely scrutinized claims backlog, defined by the agency as claims pending more than 125 days.
In 2011, a year in which the claims backlog ballooned by 155 percent, more than 2/3 of claims processors shared $5.5 million in bonuses, according to salary data from the office of personnel management.
Now, claims workers told the newspaper they fear the VA’s aggressive new push to finish all one-year-old claims by October 1st and eliminate the entire backlog by 2015 could continue the emphasis on quantity over quality in claims processing that has often led to mistakes.