There have been a plethora of investigations into the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many finding some questionable things. In 2016, the VA was accused of dropping calls or hanging up on those calling on the suicide hotline. Not much has changed, apparently, in the years since as a separate investigation now claims the VA may owe $190 million to veterans.
The VA wrongly charged veterans for home loan fees, and even after they learned about this in 2014, they have yet to refund the money, according to USA Today.
The investigation, which was conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General, claimed senior officials for the VA knew about the wrongly charged funds for years but did not act.
“Loan Guaranty Service management, which provides oversight of VA’s Home Loan Guaranty Program, was aware since October 2014 that thousands of exempt veterans may have been charged home loan funding fees. OIG finds it troubling that senior VBA management was aware that thousands of veterans were potentially owed more than $150 million yet did not take adequate actions to ensure refunds were issued,” the Inspector General’s office wrote.
With the VA’s Home Loan Guaranty Program veterans pay a small fee, but disabled veterans are exempt from this fee, the Washington Post reported. This is the issue as disabled veterans were charged the fee as well even though they should have been exempt.
“The average funding fee charged to these exempt veterans was $4,483, and the fee was as high as $19,470,” according to the report by the IG.
The report added: “The review team further estimated that VA could owe an additional 34,400 exempt veterans funding fee refunds of $164 million over the next five years if VBA does not implement adequate controls to minimize or detect inappropriate funding fee charges.”
Towards the end of the report, the IG characterized the misconduct as “troubling” and made a point to state upper management of the VA were “aware that thousands of veterans were potentially owed more than $150 million yet did not take adequate actions to ensure refunds were issued.”