Artificial Intelligence, Robots Help Streamline Veterans Benefits
The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) provides money and other benefits to veterans and their families. The agency, however, receives so many applications and pieces of mail. In fact, it receives 25,000 or so letters on a daily basis. You can imagine how long it would take to sort and open all these letters by hand.
Fortunately, the VBA has some help to make things work and prevent significant delays. It streamlines the process using artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. These processes are used at various points throughout the process, but are especially helpful in the beginning, at the intake stage.
Benefit claims must be resolved within 125 days. While this may seem like enough time to successfully complete a claim, this timeline is greatly reduced at the beginning, when the first stage would often take 10 days. Thanks to robots, though, those 10 days have been reduced to just one. The bots handling the mail are very efficient. They figure out what needs to be done and get the letters to where they need to go, quickly.
However, the technology does not take center stage. At the VBA, customer service is its highest priority. That’s why the agency allows hard copy applications, which are the preferred application method. While paper mail tends to slow things down, technology is not always convenient for veterans, who are primarily seniors. Many are used to paper mail and aren’t going to change their habits now. That’s why digital files are not required by the VBA. Veterans are encouraged to send in their application in a format that’s convenient for them.
Accenture Federal Services is in charge of implementing these innovative technology solutions. The company was awarded the five-year contract in 2019. Besides technology, the company provides process improvement to increase accuracy, efficiency and responsiveness.
The VBA focuses on outreach efforts to get feedback from veterans. While the VBA used to do site visits, those are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19. Right now, the agency does virtual town halls and asks attendees to voice their complaints. The VBA strives to find the perfect balance of technology and convenience. While the latest technology coupled with modern processes would no doubt make the process smoother—not to mention significantly cheaper—applicants would not be very happy if they were forced to submit digital files only. For them, simple processes are better, so the VBA has to continually find ways to maintain convenience for the veterans while streamlining internal processes to prevent delays.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
While robotic processes are in place to help determine what benefits you are eligible to receive, robots are not foolproof. You may be able to benefit from an expert in the field. If you have been denied benefits and want to learn more about your options, don’t miss out. Contact White Plains veterans benefits lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon to learn more. We can help you understand the rules. Fill out the online form or call 914-294-2145 for a free consultation.