Department of Florida

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VAOIG report on C&P Exam inventory/canceled exams

Enhanced Strategy Needed to Reduce Disability Exam Inventory Due to the Pandemic and Errors Related to Canceled Exams

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected how the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) fulfills its mission of “providing benefits and services to Veterans, their families, and survivors in a responsive, timely, and compassionate manner in recognition of their service to the Nation.”

Due to the pandemic, VBA discontinued all in-person disability exams on April 3, 2020. The exams allow VBA to determine the severity of veterans’ service-related illnesses or injuries, which in turn determines the monthly benefits VBA pays disabled veterans. To continue

providing some exams, VBA relied on telemental health and reviews of acceptable clinical evidence (ACE).

ACE exams are based on a review of medical records and history without an in-person clinical exam or testing but may include a telephone or video interview.

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to assess

  1. How VBA scheduled and conducted exams during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit veterans’ exposure, minimize claims-processing delays, and ensure claims are not prematurely denied due to missed or canceled in-person exams; and
  1. VBA’s strategy for addressing the inventory of disability exams delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.