Report Summary

Title: Inspection of VA Regional Office Baltimore, Maryland
Report Number: 12-04179-167
Issue Date: 4/11/2013
City/State: Baltimore, MD
VA Office: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Benefits Inspection
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: We evaluated the Baltimore VARO to see how well it accomplishes this mission. We found the VARO staff did not accurately process 28 (68 percent) of 41 disability claims we reviewed. Specifically, 83 percent of the 30 temporary 100 percent disability evaluations we reviewed were inaccurate, primarily because of a lack of management oversight to ensure staff took timely actions to schedule future medical reexaminations when alerted to do so. VARO staff inaccurately processed 3 of 11 traumatic brain injury claims when they did not follow VBA’s policy for second signature reviews. Also, VARO staff did not always timely complete SAOs or address Gulf War veterans’ entitlement to mental health treatment. Further, VARO staff did not conduct homeless veterans outreach activities as required. We recommended the VARO Director implement a plan to ensure scheduling of medical examinations to support temporary 100 percent disability reevaluations. Further, management should ensure staff follow VBA’s second signature review requirements for traumatic brain injury claims. The Director needs to implement plans to ensure managers timely complete SAOs and accomplish all required homeless veterans outreach activities. The VARO Director concurred with our recommendations.