VA is pleased to announce the completion of a significant modernization effort in which more than 7.8 million paper files were removed from 60 locations in less than 22 months.
In 2013, VA began removing paper records from its regional offices and, in 2016, the agency launched the File Bank Extraction initiative to reduce claims processing time by establishing more electronic records. Less than 16 months after the start of File Bank Extraction, VA removed more than 1.7 million paper claims files from its regional offices.
On Nov. 27, 2017, VA began extracting nearly 6.1 million paper records held within the Records Control Division of the Records Management Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to this process, and since June 2016, the Records Control Division has not received a paper claims folder, and no paper military service treatment records have been received since January 2014.
Picture of warehouse full of paper files

“Before” photo of the RMC warehouse, before extraction and digital modernization.

The paper records are now temporarily stored in a secure facility certified by the National Archives and Records Administration where they are are organized and sent to vendors for rapid scanning into VA’s Veterans Benefits Management System.

VA is currently working with the General Services Administration to return the leased warehouse space. As a result, VA will save nearly $1.8 million per year. The other areas of the Records Management Center will remain open and operational.
VA continues to take steps to fully operate digitally and to modernize the way it processes compensation and pension claims – moving from a paper-heavy process to an efficient, electronic process – resulting in a faster, more accurate, and transparent claims process.
Improving the delivery of benefits and services to Veterans is central to VA’s mission. This enormous effort not only improves VA’s claims process, it also provides Veterans quicker decisions because millions more records will be available electronically.
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Published on Oct. 23, 2018

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  1. Dan Jensen October 31, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I suffered a lower back injury in 1986 while on active duty. Three surgeries later, the solution was fusion. Upon waking up following the procedure, I experienced extreme burning in my feet. Was told it would subside in a few weeks. Then it became a few months. Placed on high dose of Lyrica to control until the pain would subside in a few years. Was originally diagnosed as Neuropathy. Appealed initial 10 percent rating I recieved at retirement twice, both denied by a reviewer who obviously did not read my records. Second submission included 140 pages from my medical records that were highlighted and tabbed to discuss specifics. Reviewer used same letter/narrative as first denial showing he/she did not even read the file. I have now requested a Board. VA has since proposed their new review process in lieu of the Board, which I declined. I believe the reviewers are charged to quickly process reviews, and denials are valued higher than approvals. Its all about numbers, not the pain incurred by the Veterans. I look forward to my Board so they can see the injustice being provided by the review process.

  2. Richard Stanford October 30, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I filed a claim in June and it was processed and approved in less than 3 months. I think VA has improved very much over the past few years

  3. Eric Deiter October 30, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Zero transparency for the appeals process. No communication from DRO that is allegedly reviewing the case. Only information I get is when I call, and that is rarely more than a canned comment that I can read on ebenefits.

  4. DERRICK October 29, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    why does it take so much information to be proven when a veterans medical records prove a claim should be SERVICE CONNECTED, just because they didn’t do the proper process back in 1988 a veteran suffers with denials, this process needs to be corrected asap.

    • Elizabeth Langevin October 30, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      That is accurate. Claims from the 80s are easy to deny because paperwork disappears. 8 years after initial fully develped claim, I got an answer. After the “sped up system” of late, my claim was cleaned out by denying it.

  5. Patrick Bryan October 29, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    An my comments get screen to decide if they get posted, VA can’t handle the TRUTH. Patrick Bryan, Veteran

  6. Patrick Bryan October 29, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Let’s face the real facts, there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY at the VA. I have a BVA ruling overturning the ROs ruling, from 2013. Had a New hearing with the BVA April 2ND, 2018. STILL NO ANSWER, SAYS PENDING JUDGES REVIEW. The VA lies to the people once again. And to Veterans. Patrick Bryan, Proud Vietnam Veteran, disgusted with the VA

  7. Robert Bostic October 25, 2018 at 11:21 am

    These efforts to improve the VA claims process and to speed up the claims process are good news!

    • Robert J Milburth Jr November 4, 2018 at 1:59 am

      I am a success story in va’s eyes had a hearing on the 15 aug for 2018
      at my hearing my rep from DAV told me my mental disability for depression rating was too low.So he
      filed a paper to extend my rating percentage . well 2 weeks later i get BVA notice from board saying 100% I/U Granted.Next day i get a c/p letter from gainesville. c/p for mental ..rating for an increase of 20% got it in nov1 check now my bva ruling from the hearing(GRANTED) 100% I/U saying in decision i should be paid in 1 to 2 months..Well 2 months go by and still have-not
      gotten paid. Called thee good old boys at va, and to my has a clue attitude is all i get when calling. I guess 10yrs is not long enough..My question is this.. Is VA sliding claims from one dept to the next and calling it complete. moving people side to side I earned my claim and after ten I want my benefits

  8. Lawrence Gray October 23, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Placed claim. Received “denial” in about two weeks! Obviously rejected without reading because denial did not relate to the claim at all. Requested “reconsideration ” specifically , but have been informed that it is being processed as an “appeal”. 20 months later I’m still suffering. I’m broken , the system is broken. Will this fix it?

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