How & Where to report VA abuse & fraud
Post date: Aug 31, 2011 2:25:02 AM
War veterans who suffer physical and emotion illness frequently suffer financial hardships due to their inability to find suitable employment. Veterans Affairs (VA) offers substantial medical services and benefits to those who have suffered a disability.
Unfortunately, the VA disability benefits can serve as an incentive to commit fraud and abuse. Psychiatric disabilities, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is one area that has seen a substantial increase of claims. One study of veterans seeking a PTSD disability claim found that 69% of those veterans scored higher for symptoms of malingering than the control group of non compensation seeking veterans on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2).
Just because someone does not appear to have a disability does it mean their claim is fraudulent. Before acting on your instincts to report fraud it is best to find out why they are receiving those benefits. If you have ever thought that someone in a handicap parking space looks healthy, but later come to learn that they are waiting for a kidney transplant, you learn not to judge by appearances. Another example is someone who often experiences seizures.
Because PTSD is not a affliction that can be measured it is difficult to determine who is a malingerer and who legitimately suffers from the disorder. There are legitimate psychological and mental impairments for collecting disability.
Before reporting a fraudulent claimant you need to understand more about their exact disability and to become familiar with the conditions/symptoms of their disability. Once you are familiar with their diagnosis and the symptoms of their disorder, then you need to consider things that are incongruent between their behavior and their diagnosis. That in-congruency is something the VA wants to know about.
You can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs’ hotline at (800) 488-8244, between 8:30 am – 4:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday–excluding Federal holidays. Write the VA hotline at: VA Inspector General Hotline (53E), P.O. Box 50410, Washington, DC 20091-0410. Or contact them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The types of complaints the VA hotline accepts:
- Employee misconduct.
- Patient abuse.
- Serious safety violations.
- Theft from VA beneficiaries.
- Theft or misuse of Government property.
- False claims by beneficiaries, claimants, patients, employees, or contractors.
- Systemic problems with VA programs or operations.
- Gross waste of funds or official time.
The VA hotline will want to know:
- The particular VA facility or office involved.
- The identity of the wrongdoer(s) and victim(s).
- The alleged legal or policy violation(s) or other misconduct.
- The effect of the wrongdoing, such as dollars lost, delay produced, etc.
- The date(s) when the event(s) occurred.
- The identity of any witness(es) to the event(s).
- Copies of relevant documents that support the allegation.
- Whether anyone else has already reviewed the allegation.
- An address and telephone number of a named complainant and whether the complainant wishes confidentiality.
The VA does NOT want to know about:
- Claim for VA disability and pension benefits, and ratings, appeals, or home loan issues.
- Claim for VA education benefits.
- Patient health care dispute.
- Tort claim or other legal issue/case/claim.
- Litigation matters.
- Employee grievances, unfair labor practices, union matters.
- Whistle blower retaliation issues.
- Whistle blower disclosures not related to the VA.
- Discrimination and EEO complaints for VA employees, former VA employees, and applicants for VA positions.
- Discrimination and complaints related to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
- Personnel Actions/Adverse action appeals/MSPB matters.
- Disagreement with law or other political dispute.