Thursday, July 14, 2016

VA Opened Door to Disability Fraud?

Trying to Serve More Veterans Faster, VA Opens Door to Disability Fraud
The Wall Street Journal
By DANIEL HUANG
July 14, 2016

"There are some veterans “practicing outright fraud. On balance, there are a lot more deserving veterans who are still getting turned away.” Jim Strickland
Brian Jacobson, an Iraq war veteran in Susanville, Calif., said he was told to ‘act like you have a screw loose’ to get more VA disability benefits. PHOTO: MAX WHITTAKER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Iraq war veteran Brian Jacobson took a call last summer from the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center to schedule a coming medical exam for his disability benefits.

When he asked the clinic staffer what he might expect at the appointment, the 28-year-old security officer said she told him he would get more benefits if he acted “like you have a screw loose in your head, wear clothes with holes that haven’t been washed in a while and act like you’ve been homeless.”

Mr. Jacobson, who served three years in the Army, said he was appalled. After spending 15 months on roadside bomb patrol in Iraq’s Diyala province, he separated from the military in 2008 and began receiving disability compensation for conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Though he was qualified for the benefits, “[the coaching] made me feel dishonest,” he said.
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