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Report: Imprisoned Vets Have Collected More Than $100 Million

Image: Report: Imprisoned Vets Have Collected More Than $100 Million

(Photo by Anthony Devlin/Press Association via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 05:19 PM

Veterans who are behind bars have collected more than $100 million in improper benefits payments while incarcerated, Military Times reports.

A new report from Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general warns the number could rise to more than $200 million in the next four years if changes aren't made in how the VA monitors and handles the problem.

"The veterans who received these overpayments have committed crimes, but the overpayments are not their fault," Louisiana GOP Rep. Ralph Abraham said, Military Times. "Nothing excuses VA for failing to do its job."

Mike Missal, the VA inspector general, said the VA has been too focused on cleaning up "the disability claims backlog" — a major push for the department in recent years, Military Times reports.

But officials from the Veterans Benefits Administration said the problem is with incomplete information from the Bureau of Prisons.

"We do not get the date of incarceration from (the Bureau of Prisons)," Beth Murphy, director of VBA's compensation service, a House Veterans' Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Military Times reports.

"We have to follow up on this. There are manual processes and time lags in getting this information."

By law, vets jailed for more than 60 days are eligible only for compensation benefits equal to a 10 percent disability rating; once they are released, they are again eligible for full benefits, Military Times reports.

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Veterans who are behind bars have collected more than $100 million in improper benefits payments while incarcerated, Military Times reports.
veterans, prisoners, veterans affairs, benefits
227
2016-19-27
Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 05:19 PM
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