Veterans Benefits:

Verification of Selected Eligibility Factors

HRD-86-19: Published: Jun 18, 1986. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 1986.

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GAO compared information from selected Veterans Administration (VA) cash beneficiaries' 1981 tax returns with corresponding VA benefits entitlement criteria to determine whether there were persons who were receiving VA cash benefits to which they were not entitled.

GAO obtained tax records for 451,664 persons entitled to VA cash benefits on December 31, 1981 and found that: (1) the marital status or income shown on the tax records of 18,234 VA beneficiaries differed from the eligibility requirements; (2) the tax records of 8,471 VA widows receiving income-based benefits showed wage, interest, and dividend income exceeding benefit program limits; (3) the records of 8,464 veterans showed a single marital status although they were receiving benefits for spouses; and (4) the tax records of 516 widows indicated that they were married, and the records of 783 veterans' surviving parents showed income exceeding benefit eligibility limits. GAO estimated that: (1) of the 8,471 widows whose tax records showed income exceeding VA benefit eligibility limits, 3,058 did not accurately report their 1981 income to VA and received $6.1 million in benefits in 1981 to which they were not entitled; and (2) 669 veterans received spouse benefits totalling $436,000 to which they were not entitled for at least 1 year.

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