Right Hooks

Los Angeles VA Found Shredding Unprocessed Claims

Secret wait lists are one thing.

Dan Gilmore · Aug. 21, 2015
Photo courtesy Sh4rp_i, Flickr

Working off a tip, the VA’s inspector general in February sprung a surprise inspection on the VA Regional Office in Los Angeles. He found that employees were about to shred nine unprocessed claims that veterans filed with the agency. Of those claims, two of them were from homeless veterans who were seeking disability compensation, The Washington Times reports. Another was from a veteran who said he could not be employed because of the severity of his PTSD. In short, the VA’s action would have entrapped those veterans in a bureaucratic morass. The IG’s report could not verify that VA supervisors had ordered the paperwork destroyed, nor could it determine how many unprocessed claims passed through the shredder. In response to its findings, the IG made surprise inspections in 10 other VA offices to see if the paperwork problem is systematic. Secret wait lists are one thing. Document destruction and the resulting denial of care is another.

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