Claims processors at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are grappling with a surge in claims stemming from the PACT Act, resulting in a significant number of them resigning. The Act expanded benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances, overloading the VA staff with processing demands. Coupled with a stringent quota system in place since 2017, the processors are facing a dilemma of thoroughness versus quantity, leading to increased job stress and turnover.
- The PACT Act, implemented in August 2022, has expanded benefits to millions of veterans, resulting in a surge of cases for the VA to process.
- VA’s strict quota system, in place since 2017, requires claims processors to earn points per pay period by completing tasks; but the increasing complexity of claims has made achieving these points challenging.
- The VA has witnessed a growing number of departures, with over 2,000 claims processors having resigned or retired since 2020.
- Processors have voiced concerns about the balance between quantity and quality, as the quota system pressures them to process more claims, potentially compromising thoroughness.
- The VA’s response includes reviewing the standards system, recognizing top performers, and attempting to reduce employee burnout with new hires and more training sessions.