IG report: Fast tracking claims helped VA backlog stats, hurt veterans


By Mark Flatten | Washington Examiner

Fast-tracking the oldest claims for disability benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs forced veterans to wait longer to resolve their cases, but falsely made the agency’s statistics look better, the VA’s inspector general said in a report issued Monday.

Department claims raters also have been accused of using paperwork tricks to improve their productivity numbers, including putting in the wrong origination dates on claims, cherry-picking easy cases and leaving the harder ones to linger, or simply ignoring bins full of critical documents for years, according to Linda Halliday, assistant inspector general for audits and evaluations at VA.

The latest investigation into how disability claims are processed echoes similar reports that bogus appointment lists were kept at VA medical facilities as part of a “systemic” nationwide effort to hide long delays in delivering health care. The IG is investigating potential manipulation of medical waiting lists in about 70 VA facilities nationwide.

at Washington Examiner.