Each Day, The Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) sends thousands of letters to veterans and their dependents. The current system mandates hard copy letters to every veteran.
With the advent of electronic mail (e-mail), and Secretary Shinseki's goals to transform VA into a 21st Century organization, eliminating the claims backlog by 2015, I suggest that optional e-mail communication between veterans and VA be established. VA is beginning the paperless claims process transition, but the agency spends seemingly limitless amounts of Federal Funds on paper and postage.
When veterans apply for benefits, they could request to have all communication transmitted via email, rather than receiving hard-copy notification letters. They would still receive the same letter, but they would receive it instantly as an attachment to an email. Veterans with limited internet access could still request hard-copy notification letters mailed to their address of residence.
1. Timeliness - Much of the claims process to award benefits to veterans is spent waiting for mail to arrive to either party. As email communication is instant, this proposal would help eliminate the backlog and save time and energy waiting for mail to arrive.
2. Financial - Providing the option of receiving all communication electronically would save VA, and American Taxpayers, countless funds on postage, paper, and envelopes. VA would also save money by devoting fewer human resources to sorting and delivering mail, re-directing personnel to the actual claims process.
3. Environmental - With our nation's efforts toward sustainable, responsible environmental practices, the Federal Government must take the lead. As VA is one of the largest agencies in the Federal system, we have a responsibility to model sustainability for the nation. Electronic notifications will save paper and resources throughout the nation, thus reducing our environmental footprint.
Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.