July 11, 2015
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.
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.