|Title:||Inconsistent Disability Benefits Questionnaires May Lead to Inaccurate Mental Competency Determinations|
|VA Office:||Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
|Report Author:||Office of Audits and Evaluations
|Report Type:||Management Advisory Memo
While assessing an anonymous allegation of wrongdoing involving two fiduciaries, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) discovered inconsistencies in the disability benefits questionnaires the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) uses to elicit medical professionals’ assessments of veterans’ mental competency. VBA uses disability benefits questionnaires when inquiring about a veteran’s capability to manage their finances. Two of the four questionnaires included the regulatory definition of mental incompetency, but none of them posed the question for assessing mental competency in a way that matches the regulatory definition wording. Language discrepancies on the questionnaire can lead medical examiners to provide inconsistent competency decisions for veterans.