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Boston Veteran Administration benefits office unacceptable errors

During a 2015 inspection of the Veterans Administration Regional Office in Boston, one in six traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases were assessed the wrong degree of disability. This is in spite of a warning some four years ago that there needed to more safeguards and oversight.

The failed inspection also found that disability checks were often inaccurate, cutting local veterans out of thousands of dollars.

In 2011, the benefit office had 30 TBI claims randomly reviewed. Eleven of those claims or 37 percent were not processed correctly. In 2015, it was somewhat better, with five of 30 claims processed incorrectly. The inspector general for the VA said the error rate was still unacceptable. The errors caused calculations for monthly disability benefits to be wrong. In one case, a vet was shorted over $31,000 in two years. The disability rating for that veteran was listed at 70 percent when it should have been 100 percent.

The VA Office of the Inspector General stated that poor training and oversight is responsible for the failures from the benefits office. Another review is planned for next year.

Traumatic brain injuries are common among veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, which are full of improvised explosive device (IED). There are many long-term health problems associated with TBIs, including deficits in cognitive and behavioral functions.

Unfortunately, TBIs are also common injuries for civilians as well. Such an injury can happen while playing sports, in a car crash or from a slip-and-fall accident. If you have suffered a TBI due to another person's negligent actions, an experienced lawyer can help you learn more about seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.

Source: Boston Herald, "Boston VA office incorrectly processed 1 in 6 traumatic brain injury cases: ‘An absolute travesty’," Jack Encarnacao, April 30, 2017

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