How to Report a Person Abusing VA Benefits

By Chris Podbielski
Report a Person Abusing VA Benefits

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The United States Department of Veteran's Administration (VA) falls prey to those who employ fraud just as easily as any other agency. And because funding comes from the taxable income of working Americans, waste and abuse within the Veteran's Administration hurts honest citizens. There is a way to fight the criminals who cheat the VA system. Simply contact the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Hotline in Washington D.C.

Compile information. Prepare to make your claim by finding out if the VA facility disbursing the benefits is regional, state or federal. Make sure you have the names of all wrongdoers, victims or witnesses, the date of the event, and the names of people or agencies that may have already investigated the incident. Know the nature of the fraud or waste, and the effects of that activity in terms of lost time or misappropriated funds. Gather evidence if possible.

Decide if you want to remain anonymous, or if you are willing to provide full contact information. If your allegation seems vague and the OIG has no way to contact you to clarify details, they will drop the case.

E-mail the VA's OIG at vaoighotline@va.gov, call the Hotline toll free at (800) 488-8244, or send a letter to VA Inspector General Hotline (53E), P.O. Box 50410, Washington, D.C. 20091-0410. Provide all of the information you gathered in the first step.

Prepare to respond if necessary. The VA's OIG will evaluate your claim and either contact you for more information or proceed to investigate. If another agency is involved, the OIG will refer the case to that entity. If the VA only is involved, the OIG will open a Hotline file and the case will be investigated by the Office of Audit, the Office of Healthcare Inspections, the Office of Investigations or the Office of Management and Administration--all divisions within the VA. These divisions have 60 days to independently investigate and respond to the OIG.

About the Author

Chris Podbielski began newswriting in 1984 and has recently written for ncaa.com, Cal State University at Northridge and for various small business Web sites. Podbielski boasts a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University and is a graduate of the Defense Information School for journalism and public affairs.

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