Report Summary

Title: Inspection of the VA Regional Office Phoenix, AZ
Report Link: http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-12-00246-226.pdf
Report Number: 12-00246-226
Issue Date: 7/17/2012
City/State: Phoenix, AZ
VA Office: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Benefits Inspection
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: We conducted this inspection to evaluate how well the Phoenix VARO accomplishes its mission of providing veterans with access to high-quality benefits and services. We found the VARO lacked effective controls and accuracy in processing some disability claims we sampled during our inspection. Inaccuracies in processing 87 percent of the 100 percent disability evaluations claims resulted when staff did not establish controls to schedule future medical reexaminations. In total, VARO staff did not correctly process 39 (47 percent) of the 83 disability claims. These results do not represent the overall accuracy of disability claims processing at this VARO as we sampled claims we considered at higher risk of processing errors. VARO staff followed VBA’s policy on correcting errors identified by STAR program staff. However, VARO managers did not ensure staff completed or used adequate data to support SAOs. We recommended the VARO Director develop and implement training on processing traumatic brain injury and herbicide exposure-related disability claims, and addressing Gulf War veterans’ entitlement to mental health treatment. The VARO Director concurred with our recommendations.