Every now and then I’ll encounter Veterans via VAntage Point who are clearly adept at understanding the laws and regulations that govern VA claims processing. People who know these laws and regulations also understand how they constantly change due to updates in technology, new medical findings, new court decisions, etc., which can add to the complexity of processing claims.
For gurus, like Veterans service organizations, other Veteran advocate groups or Veterans like you who have interest in keeping abreast with VA laws and regulations, you’re in luck! VA recently overhauled the M21-1— the guidebook manual that dictates the policies and guidance of VA claims processing.
Now called Live Manual, this latest version of the M21-1, Adjudication Procedures Manual, is available to everyone through the KnowVA Knowledge database.
KnowVA is an external-facing Web platform that provides you access to the same information claims processors use to process and make decisions on benefits claims. It contains new features like the ability to conduct key word searches, browse by topic or search by specific question. The information is always updated so you’ll never fall behind on the most up-to-date guidance.
To access Live Manual via KnowVA, visit www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov.
The creation of Live Manual
VBA employees are routinely asked what changes could be made to enhance their jobs. Many expressed the need for a consolidated location for claims processing guidance that was housed in multiple VA intranet and Internet sites.
Live Manual was created by and for VBA employees to make information easier to find, helping employees to process claims for compensation, pension and burial benefits accurately and timely for the benefit of Veterans and survivors. It is user friendly – and because it is a single resource – it significantly reduces time when researching laws and procedural guidance. The final product leverages industry best practices for knowledge management across large dispersed organizations.
Creating the Live Manual required evaluation and integration of more than 4,500 individual pieces of published guidance as well as a thorough review of approximately 6,000 pages of existing M21-1 guidance.
Have any questions about the Live Manual? Ask below in the comments!
Mark P. Ledesma is a public affairs specialist with VBA’s Office of Corporate Communications. Prior to joining OCC, he served Veterans as a senior Veterans Service Representative. Mark is also a Marine Corps Veteran.