VA not only denied care to vets, but also denied benefits to their families after death

VA not only denied care to vets, but also denied benefits to their families after death

In a voice choked with emotion, Rustyann Brown told lawmakers Wednesday how the Department of Veterans Affairs routinely turned its back on veterans and their families, even in death.

Mrs. Brown, a former employee in the VA’s Oakland office, was assigned one day in 2012 to a special team given the job of reviewing more than 13,000 veterans’ claims dating back to the mid-1990s that had never been addressed. As they sorted through the mounds of papers, she said, they often discovered that the veterans had long since died without receiving the requested benefits.

In those cases, Mrs. Brown testified, VA managers instructed employees to mark the files “NAN” — for “no action necessary.” But she said taking that step also prevented a veteran’s survivors from receiving benefits.

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