Shocking Photos: VA Stacks Veteran Health Claims Floor To CeilingThe VA’s Office of the Inspector General included this photo in its assessment of the VA’s Roanoke, Va., regional office. Inspectors found veterans’ files stacked on top of already-full filing cabinets throughout the facility. (Photo via Office of Inspector General, Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
The Veterans Administration has such a backlog of veteran health claims that its file rooms are overflowing, stacked on top of cabinets and on the floor. The processes for managing the claims are just as bad as these picture make them appear, according to the VA Inspector General.
According to a May 15 report from the VA Office of Inspector General, incoming service treatment records are not date-stamped, so no one knows how long these stacks of records have been sitting there, a spark away from setting off an inferno.
The RO has a large file room used to store claims folders, as well as service treatment records (STRs) and copies of official military personnel files (OMPFs) that have been combined with claims folders. We observed that the file room was overfilled with records. As a result, RO personnel have encountered difficulties locating files and in moving banks of files in the permanent shelving units due to the volume and weight of the files.
The intake processing center (IPC) within the RO receives incoming documents and files from the mailroom. We determined that mailroom personnel did not date stamp STR files and copies of OMPFs files at the time of receipt. Without this information, RO management cannot review and assess potential issues and delays with receiving and processing STR and OMPF requests.