An investigation by a Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general found that the Department “improperly denied hundreds of military sexual trauma claims in recent years,” USA Today reports.
The details: The department didn’t order medical exams in the majority of cases, and re-routed the sexual trauma claims to staff with no “specialized knowledge” to handle them. Denying such claims could have left “potentially thousands” of veterans with PTSD, and no benefits to cover treatment. At least 1,300 sexual trauma claims were “mishandled” in 2017 alone, per USA Today. The IG recommended reviews of the denied claims and improved training, which the Department’s top benefits official Paul Lawrence said the agency will comply with.