VA audit: Overworked Seattle office didn’t read mail, told veterans they’d lose benefits

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BY ADAM ASHTON

Dozens of West Coast military veterans incorrectly received letters indicating they’d lose unemployment benefits after an overworked Department of Veterans Affairs office in Seattle lost track of records the veterans had submitted, according to a VA Inspector General report released this week.

The mail audit stemmed from a complaint that suggested about 1,000 pieces of unread mail from veterans were being stored indefinitely in a yellow bucket without a response from employees assigned to evaluate benefits claims.

In some cases, the complaint alleged, veterans were told they’d lose unemployment benefits because they had not returned information to the office in a timely manner even though they had met their deadlines.

The unemployment benefits are given to veterans who can’t hold a job because of a service-connected disability.

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