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July 11, 2015

Philadelphia VA employees face discipline over claim delays

Responses to inquiries from beneficiares came an average of 10 months behind schedule

Health News Veterans Affairs
041515_VAPhila File/AP

This file photo from June 29, 2009 shows the Philadelphia Veterans Hospital.

Eleven employees at the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs regional office could soon face discipline after an audit revealed earlier this year that VA staff neglected mail, manipulated claim dates, and filed late responses to more than 31,000 inquiries from veterans, widows and other potential beneficiaries.

RELATED STORY: Audit slams mismanagement, delays at Philadelphia VA regional office 

The VA has already notified 8 employees about their proposed discipline, ranging from 2-week suspensions to termination, while 3 other employees are expected to receive similar notices, the Military Times reports.

Following an investigation by VA inspector general Richard Griffin, a 78-page report detailed ineffective leadership, confusing policies and workload issues at the Philadelphia regional office that contributed to $2.2 million in duplicate benefit payments to 56 beneficiaries, while claims were delayed by an average of 10 months.

All of the employees facing discipline will be given a chance to respond prior to any final decisions, according to the report.

Approximately 825,000 veterans in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware are served by the Philadelphia regional office, which contains one of three VA Pension Management Centers in the United States.

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