The VA is going paperless; good or bad. There are now two VA Evidence Intake Centers, one in Newnan, GA and the other in Janesville, WI. All appeals and any evidence submitted to the VA must go to these Evidence Intake Centers rather than the local Regional Offices (RO) around the country no matter what the evidence is; medical records, buddy or laymen statements, military records, anything having to do with a veteran’s claim get sent to the Evidence Intake Centers. Going paperless may seem like a good idea for expediency. However, there are some potential problems and pitfalls starting with more vulnerability for veterans on the issue of privacy as well as computer errors which could result in a catastrophe for thousands and thousands of veterans.
There’s also the issue of sending documents to just theses locations to be scanned and uploaded. What if the scanners are behind or if for some reason, the document does not get scanned: accidentally or otherwise misplaced. What about the many duplicate documents in the claims file? Is the paperless program is going to be able to figure out on its own if the document’s already been scanned into the system? Moreover, a paperless program is only worth what is scanned in the system. If a document is mischaracterized, the document can be more difficult to find than if there was a paper claims file. I’m not sure where the paperless claims file program is going in behalf of veterans, but I do know this, it sure is scary.