Are VA Claims Accurate 90 Percent or 45 Percent of the Time?

Allison Hickey is the Veterans Affairs Department’s underscretary for benefits

Allison Hickey is the Veterans Affairs Department’s underscretary for benefits Veterans Affairs Department via YouTube

It depends on how you count.

Allison Hickey, the Veterans Affairs Department’s underscretary for benefits, told a hearing of the Senate VA Committee that the Veterans Benefits Administration now processes claims with an accuracy rate of 90 percent, up 7 percent from 2011, an assertion repeatedly challenged by Ranking Member Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Burr said the American Legion conducted a review of VBA claims accuracy and determined an overall error rate of 55 percent, meaning an accuracy rate of only 45 percent. That review looked at 260 claims at 11 VBA regional offices and found error rates ranging from a high of 83.3 percent in Pittsburgh to a low of 31.8 percent in Indianapolis.

Burr repeatedly asked Hickey, “Are they wrong?”  Instead of answering directly, Hickey said the VBA has a “statistically valid process” to assess its error rates and that the American Legion took a different approach. 

She did say the American Legion is right for “the way they look at it.”

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