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In 2017, the VA switched to the “National Work Que” (NWQ). In theory, this should ease some of the problems between different VARO’s.
This is what the NWQ means:
QuoteBefore the NWQ, the VA's practice was to process a veteran's claim at the regional office in the State where the veteran lived. The challenge was that some regional offices had large backlogs and veterans in those states were often left in limbo even if the regional offices in other states would have been able to process the claims faster because of not being so busy. The NWQ is supposed to increase effectiveness and efficiency by automatically assigning the claim to the regional office with the most capacity. On its face this is a common sense idea. The NWQ allows the VA to distribute its workload evenly across the Nation to reduce waiting times for veterans who file claims for benefits. However, there are some concerns about whether the NWQ is actually performing as it should. Unfortunately the VA claims backlogs have increased from about 76,000 backlogged claims on May 2, 2016 before the NWQ was fully implemented to now almost, well as of February 4th 101,000. One has to question whether the distribution of work throughout the NWQ is in fact more effective. Rather than assigning a claim to a specific employee to work the entire claim, the NWQ breaks up the claim into individual tasks, such as scheduling a disability exam. After one claim processor reviews a file and completes an action, the NWQ will likely assign another claim processor for the next step. The second claim processor then also has to become familiar with the file to determine whether additional action is needed for the VA to make a decision. It does not make sense to me on how having multiple claim processors completely review the same file can possibly save time.
It goes on to discuss the pro’s and con’s of the NWQ. One thing is certain: After Feb. 2017 the NWQ is a reality. Another portion of interest to Veterans and VSO’s follows:
QuoteThe VSOs used to receive an advance copy of the rating decision before it was sent to the veteran. This practice gave the VSOs 48 hours to review a proposed decision and raise objections before the decision was finalized. But now that the NWQ has been deployed VSOs complain that they no longer have a chance to review a decision and try to resolve errors before any incorrect decision is sent to the veteran. I hope the VA will explain what steps it is taking to work with the VSOs to ensure the VA decisions are accurate.
This seems to refute that age old process that where you live impacts how soon your claim is processed, or how likely you are to get benefits based on where you live:
QuoteOne of the principal fundamentals of NWQ is to ensure that veterans are served equally, regardless of where they live. A review of claims from 2015 shows that in many instances the timeliness of a decision was significantly impacted based solely on the state in which a veteran lived. Some were receiving decisions in 106 days while others took more than 213 days, nearly double the time.
Read the full thread below
In 2017, the VA switched to the National Work Que (NWQ). In theory, this should ease some of the problems between different VAROs. Source: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115hhrg29368/html/CHRG-115hhrg29368.htm This is what the NWQ means: Quote Before the NWQ, the VAs practice was to pro...