||Inspection of the VA Regional Office, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
||Sioux Falls, SD
||Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
||Office of Audits and Evaluations
We conducted this inspection to evaluate how well the Sioux Falls VARO accomplishes its mission of providing veterans with access to high-quality benefits and services. We found the Sioux Falls VARO staff lacked effective controls and accuracy in processing some disability claims. Overall, VARO staff did not accurately process 21 (31 percent) of the 67 disability claims we sampled. These results do not represent the overall accuracy of disability claims processing at this VARO as we sampled claims we consider at higher risk of processing errors. VARO staff followed VBA’s policy for correcting errors identified by STAR staff, as well as effectively completed all SAOs. Staff also properly addressed Gulf War veterans’ entitlement to mental health treatment and provided outreach to homeless veterans. However, processing of competency determinations was ineffective. We recommended the VARO Director develop and implement a plan to train staff on processing herbicide exposure-related disability claims, as well as implement controls to ensure staff follow current VBA policy on processing competency determinations. The VARO Director concurred with our recommendations.