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.
“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.