VA program for handling vets' finances criticized

Posted at: 12/10/2012 12:42 PM
By: AP


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A federal program that's supposed to provide guardians to safely handle the finances mentally incompetent veterans is under fire after a critical audit.

The federal Inspector General of the Veterans Affairs found last year that the program had "significant weaknesses" and needs to be changed. The program assigns relatives, friends and associates of veterans to oversee their finances when they no longer can.          

Now Sen. Charles Schumer is accusing the VA of "needless foot-dragging" to enact reforms.

Schumer says Monday the veterans are losing out to guardians who fail to protect them       

He wants the VA to impose stricter qualifications for the VA fiduciaries, including background checks. He also wants the program better explained to veterans' families.     

The VA didn't initially respond to a request for comment.

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