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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:

{ 589 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.

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