Representatives of the Veterans Benefits Administration are apparently shirking their duty when it comes to protecting the benefits of veterans they’ve been assigned to oversee, according to a new inspector general report.
The VA has what it calls a Fiduciary Program, designed to help veterans who are not in a position to take care of their own benefits, due to age, injury or some other reason. To help each veteran, the VA appoints a fiduciary to disburse benefits. In fiscal year 2013, the VBA provided over $2.6 billion in benefits under the program.
But the program is fraught with misuse. And even when the VA is aware of the misuse, it simply fails to take action to remedy the problem. In total, during 2013, the VBA “did not timely complete required actions to ensure the protection of 758 beneficiaries.”
“Misuse” is defined within US Code as “any case where a fiduciary receives payment under the laws administered by the VA Secretary, for the use and benefit of a beneficiary and uses any part of the payment for other than for the use and benefit of a beneficiary or the beneficiary’s dependents.”