Accession Number:

ADA488343

Title:

Veterans' Disability Benefits: Better Accountability and Access Would Improve the Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC

Report Date:

2008-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

55.0

Abstract:

Recent military conflicts have increased interest in federal efforts to support servicemembers preparing to leave military service. Through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge BDD program, the Department of Veterans Affairs VA, in collaboration with the Department of Defense DOD, has made efforts to streamline access to veterans disability benefits by allowing some servicemembers to file a claim and obtain a single comprehensive exam prior to discharge. This report examines VAs efforts to manage the BDD program and how VA and DOD are addressing challenges servicemembers face in accessing BDD. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed relevant documents and data, interviewed officials, and conducted site visits and interviews at selected military bases. GAO recommends that VA iiprove timeliness and accuracy measures for BDD and predischarge claims data, collect additional data to monitor these claims, evaluate the BDD paperless process initiative, and improve its reviews of BDD operations. We recommend that DOD improve how it measures its goal for participation in VA benefits briefings. We also recommend that VA and DOD disseminate promising practices for the cooperative exam process. DOD concurred with our recommendations. VA generally agreed with our recommendations but did not agree to track the timeliness of BDD and predischarge claims development.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE