More than 40,000 backlogged mail packages of veterans’ disability claims material were discovered at a VA regional office in Florida, according to a new report from the VA inspector general.
Investigators also found more than 1,600 boxes of unprocessed veterans’ claims material at a scanning facility with which the St. Petersburg, Florida, regional office was contracting.
The report, published Wednesday, comes just after VA officials touted the reduction of backlogged claims to just under 75,000 cases, a decrease of 88 percent from the highest point in 2013. While the agency had committed to reducing claims backlog to zero by the end of fiscal year 2015, VA officials have since admitted that it may never reach “absolute zero.”
The investigation into the St. Petersburg regional office was launched in response to an anonymous allegation about massive claims backlog at the facility in July 2014.