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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: vaoighotline@va.gov

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:

{ 597 comments… add one }

  • Master Rated Parachutist December 18, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Barry O. lowered the threshold of what it takes to claim PTSD as a disability from not having to site a particular occurrence to just being in theater a few years ago. Since then, there has been a wave of people filing for this disorder. Make no mistake, PTSD is a real condition, but it just is not restricted to people in combat or even being in the military. EVERYONE suffers a little PTSD after a substantial loss or traumatic event. What people don’t realize is that once you claim PTSD it is in your medical records and WILL be used to prevent one from purchasing firearms. Another thing people don’t understand is that you can come out of the other end with a 0% rating on anything you claim. A good friend of mine has had 4 Afghanistan tours and has never been involved with an IED, firefight, he’s never even seen anybody injured except for recreational football games. I have witnessed way more gore and guts before and after my service and without ever being in combat. When a rating is awarded, you are not looked at by VA as being 40% disabled, rather 60% enabled. Just because you get 20% from one injury does not mean you get paid at the 20% level. There is an equation used to combine all rated disabilities which comes out as your overall rating. 40% +40% does not equal an 80% rating. It is very confusing, but I believe is very fair. As far as fraudulent claims, sure there are those with no honor. As for myself, I was put through 4 comprehensive exams, x-rays, range of motion, etc. over a period of 2 and a half years. The examiners were very thorough and personally can’t see how fraud can be committed except for mental issues, probably the only thing that can be faked. Different states have different laws, but it is a crime to maliciously report disability fraud out of spite or retribution, which pretty much sounds like every complaint on this blog. these complainers need to get a life and get your nose out of business that is not pertained to you. A troop isn’t committing disability fraud just because their dog craps on your lawn.

    • Concerned January 1, 2015, 7:56 pm

      You are correct that the bar for PTSD was dramatically lowered (legal standard was changed from ‘more likely than not’ to ‘at least as likely as not’)
      But this was not Obama’s fault..he doesn’t submit or vote on legislation. Read up on Gov’t 101 to see for yourself.
      I consider myself a somewhat liberal veteran, but the fraud problem is huge and I see the ‘Red Team’ as more of a problem here (can you name a single Repub who has spoken on the issue? AND, remember voting patterns my friend: military and vet org’s usually vote Red)
      For those who disagree with me, consider this; statistics clearly show us to be at the highest level of per capita disability in history, and the applications for disability of all kinds skyrocketed with the Great Recession begun under GW’s watch. At some point, unless we bend the curve, we will have TEN PERCENT of the US population on disability of some kind. This is financially unsustainable according to actuaries who crunch the numbers.

  • Robert G. January 10, 2015, 10:15 pm

    I recently had a FOIA request for some documents regarding my equitable relief process denied. Strange thing is, the request never showed up on my eBenefits account. The request was never processed, yet it was denied.
    I have addressed this matter all the way to Secretary Hickey. Still no answer. The denial letter stated Exemption 5.

  • Patrick D. February 3, 2015, 11:02 am

    This person has claimed to be retired military getting many benefits from government. He has no current drivers license and accumulated many unpaid fines which state not military yet does much business on his wesite. Became the president of the board for our condo association and has gained four units in the past three years. Something is wrong with this picture and hope this is looked into because he rents these units out like vacation rentals when this is a long term residential condo. Is it that easy to lie about military status to claim benefits? How do we get justice?

    [Admin’s Note: Patrick, Is it possible that this guy inherited some money? If you and other condo owners are unhappy (and suspicious) you could run a background check. With the Internet being what it is today there is a lot you can learn about a person. Also, if you have enough votes have you considered changing the CC&Rs to prevent condos being rented as vacation rentals. If that doesn’t work you might want to check with local authorities if a permit is required and if he has one (he’s running it like a business typically there are health and safety laws that need to be followed. Sounds like the guy ODed on Monopoly as a kid.]

  • Stacey February 4, 2015, 9:14 am

    I know someone that is collecting 100% VA benefits. Before he started collecting benefits he was a union carpenter but gave it up to collect from out government. He never actually stopped working though. He had been doing construction work ever since and last year opened a construction company using his sons name and social security number. He makes quite a good living doing this. His don has nothing to do with the business other than using his info. He is on every job site. Up on roofs, ladders, swinging hammers, and everything else related to running a company. Including dealing with customers. I think its disgusting that someone like this is collecting a substantial check from the government because he can’t work then runs a business and takes money from the hard working people out there trying to make a living that aren’t collecting “free money”. It hurts hard working people as well as those trying to get benefits that are struggling to get any help due to the overload of people like him cheating the system. What can be done to stop this? It’s not fair to take good off the tables of those who really deserve it. He’s a fraud and it needs to stop!!

  • Synthia February 21, 2015, 1:05 pm

    I have reported fraud by a VA social worker, Corinne H., receiving a 90% rating, non combat vet, very able bodied and never gets her own mental health issues addressed, working fulltime in the VA Heath Care system in San Diego. This person even tried to get more money for bunions on her feet – blaming the military, she hasn’t been military in decades-hey, its the tight high heels This person has not been required to do regular C & P exams, is blogging risqué pictures on “Lesbian Love” and under “Social Worker” on her Pinterest – writing crazy things about me, my children and stating she can get me meds-she is not a doctor and appears to have a grandious opinion of herself. She states that I am psycho, off my meds, bi-polar….the list is too log to mention-non of which is true. She is further engaged in bondage and S & M(according to Biker or Not)-not my business, but clearly when someone is reported to the VA OIG, and this social workers Director, as I have done-something should be done. The unethical behavior of a federal employee, lack of morals and continued harassment from this person-should result in some sort of reprimand at the very least. Federal employees should be held to a high standard of ethical conduct. This is not the case and clearly this social worker needs to be reevaluated for her alleged disabilities. It’s time the VA spends time on truly needy veterans who live on the street, who are combat veterans….not the greedy! She is able to do anything physical….clearly. She is greedy and has acquired a lavish lifestyle-3 motorcycles, Mercedes…. All the VA needs to do is look at where the money she gets tax free is going-it’s all over the internet social sites. She is a fraud!!!!

  • Zahmill March 1, 2015, 12:46 pm

    I know someone committing fraud. She was discharged from the military for fibromyalgia but I’ve seen her carry beds..TVs.. and even go paint balling and sky zone jumping higher than she ever claims she can jump. She didn’t even fulfill her initial obligation. Someone instructed her to get out and collect benefits. Its crazy because she is very able bodied.

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