Internal investigators at the Department of Veterans Affairs have told
Congress that some VA workers were "cooking the books" on benefit claims by
veterans to make it look like the work was being done in a more timely
fashion, much like earlier charges that VA schedulers were changing dates to
mask long delays in veterans getting health care appointments.
"They manipulated the numbers," Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) told me, "which is
exactly what has happened with the backlog of health care requests."
Miller said Monday night's hearing before the House Veterans Committee
will show how the VA set a goal to work through a giant backlog of benefit
claims but took shortcuts and used smoke and mirrors to get there.
"You will see where they have set a goal, but they have manipulated the
numbers in order to meet that goal," Miller said, as the office of Inspector
General of the VA will relay a host of charges about work of the Veterans
Benefits Administration (VBA).
"VBA continues to face challenges to ensure veterans receive timely and
accurately benefits and services," reads the prepared testimony of Linda
Halliday, who says the average time it takes to deal with a veterans benefits
claim is 249 days as of June 2013.