We have a problem, Houston, Waco, Oakland, St. Pete’s et al. Our VAROs are faced with an interminable backlog of claims. This, in turn, is being passed on to the BVA in the form of erroneously denied claims, perpetuating what those in the business refer to as the hamster wheel of remands, new C&Ps, eternal ratings disputes and even more appeals.
From what I see, it might be smarter to leave the country, change your nationality and return indigent and report to SSI for your free Welfare check, food stamps and Section 8 free housing. All of these amenities are yours instantly with no waiting period or interminable backlog. Win-win. No questions asked. Who do we make the check out to?
Member Mark has discovered the mantra of the VA beating the dead horse of claims adjudication. Quite simply, it is summed up in thirteen simple rules. VA seems to have engaged in the majority of them so I expect we’ll see the others employed soon. It seems like a list the government hands out to its problem agencies in times of trial and tribulation.
Herewith are the tenets of how to resolve the dilemma.
1. Buying a stronger whip. (appointment of Shinseki)
2. Changing riders. (USB Hickey)
3. Appointing a committee to study the horse. (Congressional Inquiry)
4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses. (Emulating Accenture Inc.’s approach)
5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included. (FDCs)
6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired. (Post hoc rationalizations at the appellate level)
7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse. (VBMS outsourcing to IBM)
8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed. (Tiger Teams)
9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance. (Congressional Appropriations again and again)
10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance. (VA Aspire and the “Academy”)
11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses. (introduction of DBQs)
12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses. (Federal Register and tampering with 38 CFR)
And, of course, VA’s favorite…
13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position. (Too numerous to list here)
Mark neglected to include rule #14
14. Offering dead, underachieving horses an annual bonus.