VA: Glitch linked to disabled vets receiving too many benefits

by May 19, 2015

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Many people would agree that having too much money is not something military veterans are typically worried about. In fact, most veterans and their families struggle enormously to make ends meet thanks in large part to the expense and extent of injuries and illnesses suffered during active duty. And those who do receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs aren’t exactly getting rich off of them.

However, now the VA is reporting that too many veterans are getting too much money. Evidently, the system designed to help people who served this county is too helpful and now efforts are underway to change this.

Workers at the VA say that the computer system used to expedite the process of getting approval on a vet’s application for benefits and calculating the level of disability to compensate is inaccurate and faulty. The software system only takes into account an applicant’s self-reported symptoms in calculating the disability rating. VA employees must actually input additional information to make the calculation of disability more accurate.

However, according to reports, this human element of the process is severely lacking. In fact, employees say they are encouraged not to override the computer-generated result and only about 2 percent of all applications filed through the system were overridden.

On one hand, this may seem like a benefits issue at the VA that actually works in favor of veterans instead of the many that work against them. On the other hand, however, it can be problematic for future veterans who apply for benefits because the funds available to them are being overspent right now.

It will be interesting to see if the VA addresses this issue immediately or if they will be slow-moving and delayed in their efforts, as they have been in other instances. Either way, the decision could have a significant impact on Tennessee veterans.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Automated System Often Unjustly Boosts Veterans’ Disability Benefits,” Daniel Huang, May 11, 2015