"We're still processing your application..." Real life consequences

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We saw this story last night and it just goes to show you how “backed up” organizations are, in both staff but also the proper tools and resources to control their information. It also shows the huge personal impact the lack of technology (in some cases) is having on the lives of many, many people.

While the video goes more into more detail, the paper file backlog at the Veterans Affairs office has left 565,000 veterans waiting for their benefits. Many have conditions ranging from shrapnel wounds to PTSD and have filed claims for disability pay.

The story mentions one veteran who, after 7 months of waiting, had only received a letter mentioning “We’re still processing your application for compensation”

The VA has 4.4 million active records across their 56 regional offices (all paper), with most files being hundreds of pages long. They are all currently processed by hand, while they do intend to switch over to an electronic system by the end of 2015. Why does this have to take 3 years is what I’m wondering?

How many more people will be affected by this, and have to wait for their benefits too, who knows? It’s clear though that the right technology in place could have solved this problem many years ago.

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