VA Downplays Claims Computers Being Taken Offline

Leo Shane III | Stars and Stripes | April 9, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs’ new claims processing system was taken offline for repairs this week, raising more questions about the department’s long-term plans to break the claims backlog.

In a memo to raters within the department’s benefits administration, officials with the Veterans Benefits Management System said the problems started Monday morning, with claims officials nationwide being unexpectedly booted from the system.

The message, first posted on the website, instructed raters to use older processing systems until further notice. VA spokesman Randy Noller downplayed the incident, saying the problems were confined to the ratings tool aspects of VBMS, and were a result of system updates.

“This marks the 13th VBMS release, including patches, issued in the past six months,” he said. “Occasional system issues tied to this software development approach are to be expected.”