Department of Veterans Affairs

Veteran Benefit Fraud

Military personnel and veterans along with their families should be protected against future austerity measures brought on by a some of their brothers and sisters who have illegally gained resources and benefits for themselves and his/her families. These individuals have earned the right to expect that the U.S. Government will appropriate review and prosecute any individual found to be abusing the system as this cause reduction in his/her benefits should austerity measures be needed during this ‘lean’ period. The Veterans Benefit Administration has been plagued for many years with increasing political pressure to accelerate claim processing to provide fair and equitable benefits to veterans of all eras. Unfortunately, yielding to this pressure of increasing claim speed has also come with an unintentional side-effect of lowering the clinical criteria that has been established and maintained by the Social Security Administration and the forensic / disability examiner community. Even V.A. watch-groups (vawatchdog.org, etc.), have raised concern about fraud. The National cost of fraudulent claims is not fully known, but the VBA does have some estimates including the number of claims diagnosed with malingering but benefits were granted. I would purpose that a rotating Inspector General or non-VBA group be selected and established to review claims to insure accuracy and fidelity. If any misrepresentation is determined than the veteran along with any individual involved in developing or substantiating the misrepresentation in the claim be prosecuted. There is currently no penalty within the VBA system for misrepresentation, and with a veteran being able to adjust his/her claim repeatedly and file many appeals this only increases the changes of obtaining a non-eligible benefit increasing the cost of veteran care and benefits. "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan" (A.L.) also means protecting these benefits from fraud.

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Idea No. 7013