Senate, House Veterans’ Affairs Leadership Call For Fix to VA Health care Applications Error that is Delaying Benefits for Thousands

(U.S. Senate) -Leadership from both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs are calling on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin to extend VA health care enrollment opportunities after a coding error reportedly resulted in the incorrect closure of up to 440,000 applications.

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., and U.S. Representatives Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Tim Walz, D-Minn., expressed their concern that the VA has not taken enough steps to prevent this potential coding error from delaying VA health benefits.

“Given the enormity of the impact on veterans, we urge you to take additional steps to further ensure veterans receive every opportunity to complete their applications and that those applications are not improperly closed due to VA error,” the members wrote. “To that end, we recommend that VA send an additional letter to those veterans who were potentially impacted by the coding error, clarifying what additional information is needed. Given the wide-spread reporting of this matter, we believe that a clarifying letter will provide veterans with some peace of mind on what is actually still needed to complete their enrollment.”

The error may have occurred when the VA requested more information from veterans to complete their pending applications. The VA allegedly transposed two codes requesting different information.

The members are asking the Secretary to send another corrected letter to veterans with incomplete enrollment applications, and not to close any health care applications from these affected veterans for a year after the secondary letter is sent, so that they have the opportunity to provide the correct information.

The members’ letter to Secretary Shulkin can be found online HERE.