The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General on Wednesday confirmed that more than one-third of the people thought to be seeking eligibility for VA benefits are deceased, and said many of them have been dead for more than four years.
The OIG report confirms the worst fears of members of Congress, who said in July that they would investigate unsubstantiated claims that thousands of veterans died before they ever became eligible for VA benefits.
In July, reports surfaced that an estimated 239,000 veterans died before they became eligible for benefits, or 28 percent of the nearly 850,000 veterans thought to be seeking these benefits.
307,000 Veterans Died Awaiting Veterans Affairs Health Care:
According to a report issued Wednesday, Hundreds of thousands of veterans listed in the Department of Veterans Affairs enrollment system died before their applications for care were processed. The VA’s inspector general found that out of about 800,000 records stalled in the agency’s system for managing health care enrollment, there were more than 307,000 records that belonged to veterans who had died months or years in the past. In a response to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs’ request to investigate a whistleblower’s allegations of mismanagement at the VA’s Health Eligibility Center, the inspector general also found VA staffers incorrectly marked unprocessed applications and may have deleted 10,000 or more records in the last five years.