Nextgov: VA Touts Improvements But Warns of Challenges for Digital GI Bill Platform

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ modernization efforts for its education benefits delivery system have led to improvements and faster delivery times, officials told a House panel on Wednesday, despite challenges due to reliance on legacy IT systems.

Ronald Burke, deputy undersecretary for the Office of Policy and Oversight in the Veterans Benefits Administration, said the agency began a “transformative” chapter in its modernization efforts on the digital GI Bill platform after awarding a contract to Accenture Federal Services last year. After years of stalled improvements, failed rollouts and resets, Burke said the agency was now leveraging cloud-based automation and human-centered design to develop a new digital platform for veterans to access and apply for education benefits…

The VA released its fourth iteration of the digital GI Bill platform in April 2022, featuring processing improvements that enabled quicker claims processing and less manual processing actions. The agency also released new digital enrollment-processing features and email verification options for students attending institutions of higher learning in January of this year, in addition to enhanced system capabilities for the automation of supplemental claims processing.

However, Burke acknowledged that the system’s reliance on “many legacy IT systems” has made it challenging to adapt to emerging technologies while implementing new legislation. The agency has been decommissioning decades-old systems while increasingly automating Post-9/11 GI Bill supplemental claims. Read the full article here.

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