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Allied Support to Reduce the VA Backlog

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Finding Better Solutions Together

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Inter-agency Council on Veterans, and the National Academies of Science propose that factors such as changes in health care education, Veteran suicide rates and homelessness issues are among the primary reasons for the VA claim backlog.

In the last two decades, science has revealed medical and psychological contributors to Veteran’s wellness. These provide increased awareness of the emotional and behavioral impacts of bio-psychosocial factors on accessing employment as well as income potential.

Some factors are identified as the neurological effects of Gulf War Syndrome, mild traumatic brain injuries, and sleep apnea. These transitional trends have changed the way our current generation of Veterans file their claims. Information is widely available via the internet to all seeking compensation for their injuries. This has impacted the way our current Veterans Service Officers (VSO) manage the new claim.

We found that psycho social problems impact comprehension and task oriented aspect of the claims process. Stress factors compromise the ability to manage and adapt.

Other government and private entities have initiated development of innovative, community-based interventions to create an effective response to stress and trauma. The approach uses the concept of resiliency skills.

Alternatives for Vets found this to be  incredibly useful in the claims process and decided to use skills from Motivational Interviewing and Brief Solution Focus Therapy to assist Veterans in better gain control of their claim process.  This has allowed us to increase claims capacity.

Why did we need to increase capacity in this area?

  1. The role of the VSO has become an important part of Veteran culture. With over 800,000 claims filed a year and a staggering increase in the Veteran population.
  2. VSO is likely to be a long-lasting key partner, critical for establishing an interlocking system with allied agencies.
  3. VSOs in this vital role have experienced an overwhelming increase in case loads with minimal consequential support mental health support. Alternatives For Vets leads a change in this industry.

Intake process includes a custom planed intake that is designed to keep the facts moving forward. 

Image of a paper with a diagram and text on it that explains the Quadrant Solving System.

Our intake model, The Quadrant Solving System; assists the provider in obtaining necessary facts and paves the way for obtaining and uncovering the evidence necessary to drive the claims process. I parallel, the system provides education and information to the claimant to create image of control over uncontrolled factors.

The Quadrant Solving System serves as a platform for managing claimant information so that the provider (VSO) does not have to retain all facts in his or her memory. Instead, QSS paves the way for a well developed plan between VSO and claimant. This way, when the claimant returns for follow up, the provider does not have to start from the beginning and try to recall what happened during the last interaction.

By doing so, the “dance” of provider and “claimant” contains less working stress. In addition, the QSS is a cursor for:

  • Initiation of Research and Development of facts and evidence.
  • Helps create an attainable goal and working partnership with VSO
  • Write briefs and arguments without prior education
  • Platforms to contain valuable information that allows providers to effectively move forward
  • Duplicate to increase services

Please email us at Veronica Lira, MSW if you are interested in a concept presentation.

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