Whistleblowers Claim Veterans’ Informal Claims Were Thrown Out
Published February 21, 2015
An investigation by CBS has found widespread mismanagement at the Department Of Veterans Affairs with the result that many veterans were denied benefits even when they were eligible for these.
Every year, the Veterans Benefit Administration processes disability claims for veterans, providing them approximately $95 billion, in disability, pension and other benefits. However, widespread mismanagement at the agency has resulted in many claims simply being denied, and veterans being robbed of their due benefits. In many cases, veterans died even as they waited for a response from the Veterans Affairs.
All of these problems were uncovered recently by an investigation which was kicked off after the scandal at the Veterans Affairs Hospital at Phoenix. At least five whistleblowers at the Oakland California Veterans Benefits office, told investigators at CBS News, that there were more than 13000 informal claims that were filed between 1996 and 2009 and stored in a file cabinet at the office. Those claims were simply ignored until 2012. Some of the letters that were sent out after those claims began to be processed, involved veterans who died during that period of time.
According to the whistleblowers, there were many informal letters from veterans, who were at the end of their lives, begging for a chance to claim benefits. Informal claims are filed by veterans who want to apply for benefits, and Veterans Affairs is required under the law to provide these vets with an application.
Supervisors at the office however simply ordered staff members to write “no action necessary” on the claims, and threw them aside. Some of these veterans and their families were not even aware of the type of benefits that they were eligible for, and the veterans in these cases died before they even got a chance to find out.
To file a claim for veterans benefits or understand what types of benefits you are eligible for, speak to a California veterans disability benefits attorney.