Leo Shane III
May 25, 2016
The issue stems from lingering errors in Social Security Administration’s record sharing with VA. When that department incorrectly listed a veteran as dead, VA policy was to cut off benefits immediately, doubling the frustration of victims looking to correct the record.More than 4,200 veterans were mistakenly declared dead and had benefits cut off by Veterans Affairs officials over a five-year span, according to new department data that shows the problem was much bigger than previously believed.
The issue came to light after a congressional inquiry in 2015 by Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., who for the last few years has been tracking multiple constituents’ complaints about premature death notices.
After initially estimating the total veterans affected as around a dozen each month, VA released new information on the problem this week, pegging the mistakes as harming more than 70 veterans a month.
“These numbers confirm our suspicion, that mistaken deaths by the VA have been a widespread problem impacting thousands of veterans across the country,” Jolly said in a statement.
“It’s a problem that should have been addressed years ago, as it has caused needless hardships for thousands of people who had their benefits terminated and their world turned upside down.”
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