Military and Veterans Disability System. Pilot Has Achieved Some Goals, but Further Planning and Monitoring Needed
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Since 2007, the Departments of Defense DOD and Veterans Affairs VA have been testing a new disability evaluation system designed to integrate their separate processes and thereby expedite veterans benefits for wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers. Having piloted the integrated disability evaluation system IDES at 27 military facilities, they are now planning for its expansion military-wide. Part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 required GAO to report on DOD and VAs implementation of policies on disability evaluations. This report examines 1 the results of the agencies evaluation of the IDES pilot, 2 challenges in implementing the IDES pilot to date, and 3 whether DOD and VAs plans to expand the IDES adequately address potential future challenges. GAO analyzed data from DOD and VA, conducted site visits at 10 military facilities, and interviewed DOD and VA officials. GAO is making several recommendations to improve DOD and VAs planning for expansion of the new disability evaluation system, including developing a systematic monitoring process and ensuring that adequate staff is in place. DOD and VA generally concurred with GAOs recommendations and provided technical comments that GAO incorporated into the report as appropriate.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Medicine and Medical Research