VA Can Reduce Disability Payments by Ensuring That Veterans Receive Scheduled Reexaminations

HRD-84-14: Published: Dec 8, 1983. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 1983.

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GAO reviewed Veterans Administration (VA) controls for ensuring that scheduled medical examinations for reevaluating veterans' disabilities are being held.

GAO found that many scheduled reexaminations are not being held because regional office staff do not always place reexamination dates in the master record file. Consequently, VA is not always able to identify those veterans whose disabilities are considered likely to improve. Many of these veterans continue receiving higher disability payments than they should be receiving. GAO estimated that VA could reduce disability benefits by $31 million annually by identifying veterans that should be scheduled for reexamination.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of Veterans Affairs should direct the Chief Benefits Director to: (1) ensure that the planned review to identify future examination date errors provides for sufficient reporting to enable VA to determine the extent of further case review that might be warranted to identify additional errors occurring on lower rated disability cases or on cases with released-from-active-duty dates before 1972; (2) require that future examination dates for confirmed ratings be entered into the system through video display terminals; and (3) include future examination dates as part of the headquarters and regional office statistical quality control reviews.

    Agency Affected: Veterans Administration

 

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