VA employees facing discipline over claims delays

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – As many as 11 employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs regional office in Philadelphia could face discipline over their handling of benefit claims.

The VA’s inspector general had found this spring that Philadelphia staff neglected mail, altered claims dates and reviews and made $2.2 million in duplicate benefit payments as it tried to reduce backlogs.

Investigators say more than 31,000 inquiries were delayed for an average of 10 months.

The VA says Friday that eight employees have been notified about their proposed discipline while three others are expected to get such notices.

The proposed discipline ranges from two-week suspensions to termination.

The final decisions will be made after employees get a chance to respond.

The VA’s inspector general has been investigating similar complaints at several other regional offices.

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