The Department of Veterans Affairs admitted it wrongly declared more than 4,000 veterans dead over the past five years, cutting off benefits for them and their dependents.
The agency disclosed that it wrongly terminated benefits for 4,201 veterans between 2011 and 2015 in a letter to Rep. David Jolly (R., Fla.) this month. The admission came more than six months after Jolly initially requested information on veterans whose VA benefits had been erroneously cut off following a series of mistaken death cases by the VA in the Tampa Bay area.
More than 1,000 veterans had their benefits disrupted in 2015 alone when the VA erroneously declared them deceased.
“During calendar years 2011 through 2015, VA terminated 2,057,790 awards due to the death of the beneficiary. During the same period, VA resumed awards for 4,201 of these beneficiaries after receiving information indicating the beneficiary was not deceased,” Danny Pummill, the VA undersecretary for benefits, wrote in the May 6 letter.