In rush to cut benefits backlog, Veterans Affairs made errors

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 15, 2014 1:28 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File

In this June 12, 2014 file photo, Charles Tipton, of Spiro, Oklahoma, lies under a Trilogy Linear Accelerator as he waits for his radiation treatment to begin at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

(Washington) --  An internal watchdog says that in its rush to cut a huge backlog of claims for disability benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs has a high error rate that results in payments to many veterans who lack adequate medical evidence of a disability.

A report by the VA's Office of Inspector General says tens of thousands of veterans are improperly receiving benefits that are not supported by medical evidence. It says the agency is on track to make unsupported payments to veterans totaling about $371 million over the next five years.

The inspector general also found widespread problems at VA regional offices in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

The VA said it has cut in half a backlog that reached about 611,000 in early 2013. The backlog is now about 275,000.

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Comments: 3

  • Jim Starowicz img 2014-07-16 06:28

    Veterans Bill STILL In Negotiations? Miller in the House Burr in the Senate lead, once again, in that Obstruction!!
    'Congress {Conservatives in Both House's, DeJa-Vu!!} Scrambling to Lower Cost of Bill to Fix Veterans' Health Care'

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    They got the Gen. "Mission Accomplished" problems solved!!!

    What the f**k is there to 'negotiate'? You tell those you represent, them Poser Patriots, it's way past time they Sacrifice, these present wars are yet paid for! You demand they stop ignoring the many issues Veterans come back from those, flag waving patriotic, wars continue fighting for care for, decades now! You stop throwing millions at studies to get the results you already know will come back from and those served want! You stop supporting those that make comfortable livings writing and speaking what you want to hear that the issues don't exist! The proof is right in front of you and you represent them as well, after they've served!

    “We’re not going to get into a squabble about whether you cut back on education or food stamps in order to fund the needs of veterans,” said Sanders. “That is the debate that shut down the government. That is not a way that we treat our veterans.

    'House, Senate In Talks On Veterans Bill'

    "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    Jul. 7, 2014 - 'Congress has little time to finalize VA, defense bills'
    The new Veterans Affairs Department reform bill, the annual defense appropriation bill, the annual defense authorization bill, and funding for military construction and VA operations for fiscal 2015 are all on lawmakers’ immediate to-do list — in between more briefings on the situation in Iraq and other overseas threats.

    'Fixing the VA will be a daunting task'

    It went well beyond 'daunting' decades back! As the Country served continues to not demand they Sacrifice especially as to the flag waving 'patriotic' wars the few are sent into! Those served quickly ignore the many costly issues related to those wars and are long lasting results from! The Shinseki VA, with help from this entire Executive Branch, finally started addressing these long ignored issues while addressing the needs of the present, two long wars, Veterans ignored during the previous Administrations especially the just previous, they don't make the budgets needed Congress does and they serve the greater 99%, flag waving, public served!

    Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

    We who've served, those serving and will continue doing so, don't served the private sector corporation, they now have their own extremely expensive merc army, that's even part of intelligence gathering community, that they don't pay for we do. We serve the Country and it's Constitution, the whole Country, who's responsibility is the Veterans Administration agency!

    'Congress May Spend More On The Benghazi Panel Than On The Veterans Affairs Committee'
    Keep in mind all that's already been spent on the many House Benghazi kangaroo hearings!!

    USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**

    • Ken James Carlisle img 2014-07-16 07:34

      Going to Paper Claims is needed when the Regional Offices cannot use the computer systems that the VA has due to them cooking the books and stealing all the funding intended for veterans........the Committee continually asked the VA where is the money they gave them to use for things........they have no answers! The VA needs to go back to Paper Claims, the claims will get done faster too! They aren't getting done this way!

  • Larry img 2014-07-17 18:26

    The VA is now stating it needs $17.6 billion dollars to hire doctors and nurses.

    This surely will rip conservatives and republicans.

    They will need to make a choice between their sacred policy of debt and taxes.

    Our business leaders need to pony up with the cash.

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