By Doug Oakley, Mercury News
February 20, 2015
OAKLAND — The Oakland office of Veterans Affairs improperly filed and then lost about 14,000 unprocessed veterans benefit claims, some dating back to the 1990s, according to a federal government investigation released Wednesday.
No one will ever know the fate of those 14,000 informal applications for benefits found in a filing cabinet in 2012 because after they were discovered by a VA management support team, they disappeared, according to a report by the federal Office of Inspector General, which investigated problems at the office last summer.
The Office of Inspector General was tipped off to the sloppy practices at the Oakland office by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Oroville. He said as soon as he took office in January 2013, he started hearing from frustrated veterans who complained they were getting the runaround from the Oakland office.