President Obama plans to request a discretionary budget of $63.4 billion for 2014 for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which includes $155 million to go toward a paperless Veterans Benefits Management System to help clear a continuously growing disability claims backlog, Nextgov reports. The overall funding would be a 4 percent increase over what was allocated for 2013, while the funding set aside for the VBMS is four times higher than what was set aside for 2013 ($38.5 million).
The claims backlog includes more than 875,000 pending claims, 70 percent of which are older than 125 days--the VA's goal processing time. What's more, the VA already has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into a paperless benefits management system that has produced less than stellar results compared to the task at hand. Article