VA accused of shredding documents needed for veterans' claims

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 1:17 AM

S. Dept of Veterans Affairs has been systematically shredding documents related to veterans' claims -- possibly affecting benefits for veterans, according to an investigation by the inspector general.

VA accused of shredding documents needed for veterans' claims

The U. S. Dept of Veterans Affairs has been systematically shredding documents related to veterans' claims -- possibly affecting benefits for veterans, according to an investigation by the inspector general.

Investigators with the Dept of Veterans Affairs audited ten vererans benefits offices around the country and found that staff were destroying mail related to claims, according to a report by Military. com, citing an OIG report released on Thursday.

The astonishment audit, which was conducted at the offices on July twenty, two thousand fifteen, came after reports of such document shredding in Los Angeles, the website reported.

Investigators reportedly sifted through some 438.000 documents awaiting destruction at the regional offices. Of one hundred fifty-five claims-related documents, sixty-nine were found to have been incorrectly placed in shred bins at six of the regional offices, according to Military. com.

Those offices were in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Reno, Nev. At minimum two of the sixty-nine documents headed to the shredder directly affected benefits and nine had the potential to, according to the website.

The OIG report concluded that, "The potential effect shouldn't be minimized."

"Considering that there are fifty-six [VA regional offices], and if weekly shredding is conducted, it's highly likely that claims-related documents at other VAROs are being improperly scheduled for destruction that could result in loss of claims and evidence, incorrect decisions and delays in claims processing," the report said.

Click for more from Military. com

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