Imprisoned veterans received more than $100 million in improper benefits payments in recent years because Veterans Affairs officials were too focused on bringing down the first-time claims backlog, according to a new report from the department’s inspector general.
And that number could rise to more than $200 million in the next four years if changes aren’t made in how VA monitors and handles the problem.
Officials from the Veterans Benefits Administration said the problem lies with incomplete information from the Bureau of Prisons. Beth Murphy, director of VBA’s compensation service, said her department is working on fixes.
“We do not get the date of incarceration from (the Bureau of Prisons),” she told members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Tuesday. “We have to follow up on this. There are manual processes and time lags in getting this information.”