Winston-Salem, NC -- Filing claims for veterans will soon be a lot less time consuming in North Carolina. Winston-Salem is one of 18 Regional VA Offices across the country going paperless.
This summer, paper files in the VA office in Winston-Salem caused concern after an Inspector General's report found thousands of claims files stored improperly.
READ: Veterans Benefits Claims Found Improperly Stored
But now, that office has a new claims system that's entirely web-based and designed to make filing and finding claims much easier.
VA Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Dr. Tommy Sowers visited the Winston-Salem VA Regional Office Thursday to discuss the Veteran Benefits Management System (WMBS). This system provides VA employees with paperless claims processing tools and Veterans with access to up-to-date claims information.
"This is a tough task, this is not an easy thing to do, we have tens of thousands of employees that have to get retrained and move from one system to another, we've got literally mountains of paperwork that has to be scanned and we can't make mistakes," explained Dr. Tommy Sowers, VA Assistant Secretary.
Dr. Sowers says his department has made eliminating backlog a priority and by the end of this year, they hope all 58 regional offices will at least start going paperless.
"This program has the potential to allow us to improve our quality, to allow us to reduce the hand-offs, to allow us to reduce the paper, to also allow us to share knowledge within the various employees on the integrated teams so we are really excited," said Cheryl Rawls, Director, Winston-Salem VA Regional Office.
VA employees will receive specialized training to use this new claims processing system. The VA's goal is to process claims within 125 days at 98 percent quality by 2015.
WFMY News 2, VA Public Affairs