VA launches collaborative training initiative to improve customer service for Veteran claims and appeals

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it recently launched a new customer service training initiative for employees to improve VA’s claims and appeals process.

VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals and the Veterans Benefits Administration Compensation Services (CS) are developing small-video training modules to focus on medically complex disabilities that often go to appeals, and in July 2018, started gathering information from both organizations’ training and quality assurance elements to focus on challenges with knee-disability ratings, since these evaluations can be complicated for both claims and appeals.

“The Board and CS have worked closely in a variety of ways,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This hands-on, comprehensive approach to training development is focused on delivering consistent, easy-to-understand decisions to Veterans.”

The training was updated at the request of Veteran Service Organizations to provide more detailed training for rating and examination teams.

The Board and CS are working together to identify and address training needs for a number of conditions. Additional planned training modules will help deliver better service to Veterans and their families.

Feedback from rating teams has been overwhelmingly positive. The new training uses video with scenarios, instead of the typical slide-based format, and will be used as the new model for training videos.

All VBA disability claims processors and contract examination staff are required to complete the training by March 31.  This training initiative is part of many improvements that support the Appeals Modernization Act, which will be implemented in February.

For more information about VA appeals, visit benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp  and www.bva.va.gov/.

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