The Department of Veterans Affairs has mistakenly declared thousands of veterans to be deceased and canceled their benefits over the past five years, a new snafu to emerge at the embattled department.
The VA has made the error more than 4,000 times over a half-decade because of employee mistakes or erroneous cross-checking of data by the department’s computers, among other reasons, according to correspondence between the VA and the office of U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R., Fla.) reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The VA changed its procedures to address the issue, but it isn’t yet clear whether the new system is effective.
“Although these types of cases represent a small number of beneficiaries in comparison to the millions of transactions completed each year in our administration of benefits, we sincerely regret the inconvenience caused by such errors and work to restore benefits as quickly as possible after any such error is brought to our attention,” a VA spokesman said in a statement.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the latest data represented an increase in the error rate or what prompted the VA to tackle the problem.