VA Caregiver Program

IG Rips Veterans Affairs Over Caregiver Program Mismanagement

The agency charged with provided services to caregivers of America’s war heroes was ripped last week over multiple failures. Wish I could say I am surprised, but with all the problems we have heard of about the VA Caregiver Program, I am merely disappointed more has not been done.

Without chewing on my own hand this morning, this is what IG had to say in italics:

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) audited the Veteran Health Administration’s (VHA’s) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers from June 2017 through June 2018 to determine if VHA effectively provided program services to qualified veterans and their caregivers. The Family Caregiver Program pays a monthly stipend to caregivers of eligible veterans.

The OIG found that veterans and their caregivers did not receive consistent access to the program. The OIG found that caregiver support coordinators (CSCs) did not determine eligibility within the required 45 days for about 65 percent of the 1,822 veterans approved for the program from January through September 2017. The OIG also found that VHA did not correctly apply eligibility criteria when enrolling veterans. Four percent of the 1,604 veterans discharged from the program from January through September 2017 were never eligible. As a result, VHA made about $4.8 million in improper payments to their caregivers. VHA also did not consistently monitor and document the health statuses of an estimated 50 percent of the veterans discharged during the same period. The OIG found clinicians and CSCs either did not adequately document the extent that veterans’ health conditions changed or they failed to routinely monitor veterans and their caregivers before the reassessment leading to their program discharge.

VHA failed to manage the Family Caregiver Program effectively because it did not establish governance that promoted accountability for program management. Also, VHA did not establish a staffing model to ensure medical facilities were well equipped to manage the program’s workload.

The OIG recommended designating additional program oversight, applying program criteria to ensure eligibility determinations are accurate, ensuring veteran applications are processed within the 45-day standard, consistently monitoring and documenting veterans’ health statuses, and establishing guidelines for when a veteran’s need for care changes.


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  1. Home care or home LEO rats. Of course the news and reporters will not give specifics or details. One old neighbor woman -down the street- didn’t like the guy and thinks weapons should be banned. Didn’t report that either. All others in that hood claim he was no problem and not at all worried about him, ‘even though he may look strange.’ “He was a “horder, re-enactor, loved black powder weapons, to old military rifles.” Many say on the street this guy did not actually threaten the female rat care giver. That she freaked over the gun collection and turned him in and of course they needed hate language or crime to use the “red flag” laws here since 2005. “What ever they see like this or any amount or kind a neighbor said the home service people are to report anything of the sort to LEOs.” This story made the news because of the “amount” of stuff he collected over his lifetime. More info or specifics will never be reported, just what our fake news decides to twist and use to for their own agendas.


    Communist wanting the same hate crime laws and speech laws Europe has. And we are to trust the college crowd and kiddies for our health care and who fills the VA and care systems??? Like we have freedom of speech now, not censored enough, forced to be PC according to the college crowd, shouldn’t use pro-nouns, not use him, her, to woman, etc. And we are never supposed to be critical of college towns or their far left winger activist and demands. Oh and while they support Antifa, the SJW, La Raza, open borders, to countless other anti-American crap. So since when do colleges of any kind or level have more power than we the people, the Constitution, and help keep us old timers out of lefty town hall meetings, and hate “the townie.”

    Along with the leaders of barf-o-la claiming victory in making college towns like college campuses and we all must bow to the college town feel and all their agendas… or be labeled a hater, or shunned as not part of their happy happy global village just like Hillary, Saul Alinsky, Eugene V. Debbs (big hero here on campus like Che and Marx) that so many wanted and have “societies” on and off campus to support all their agendas for us all.

    All yes good ole America. Not anymore.

  2. Federal Agent stealing through the Care Givers Program at the VA.

    Federal special agent accused of conspiring with brother to steal $100,000 from VA
    Brian Entin | Daniel Cohen, 7 News Miami

    “(WSVN) – A federal agent is accused of stealing money from the department where he used to work, and investigators say that money was supposed to be helping injured veterans. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.

    Brian Entin: “Mr. Barros, is there anything you want to say to the veterans who say they needed that money?”

    Adolfo Barros: “No, I don’t. Talk to my attorney.”

    Adolfo Barros didn’t say much as he walked out of court. He’s accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Brian Entin: “The Feds say that you claimed you were injured, but that you weren’t, and that you scammed the system.”

    Adolfo Barros: “No comment.”

    Barros was in the Marines and is a former VA police officer … until two weeks ago, when U.S. Marshals arrested him, he was a Health and Human Services special agent.

    His job was investigating fraud, but prosecutors say he was the one stealing.

    According to Barros’ indictment, he submitted “false and fraudulent documents to the VA,” claiming he had “a serious injury in the line of duty.”

    Barros signed his brother Daniel up to be his paid caregiver. For two years, they collected a monthly check through the VA’s Caregiver Support Program.”

    Full Article At: “”

  3. Pennsylvania isn’t that one of them there Blue States with all the weird people??

    PA man arrested in Seneca Co. after selling veteran’s cemetery grave markers
    by Daniel Wohler, Tuesday, August 21st 2018

    “WATERLOO, N.Y. — A Pennsylvania man is facing charges after being accused of selling numerous brass veteran’s cemetery grave markers at Empire Seneca Scrapyard in Waterloo, according to New York State Police.

    Troopers say Ronald G. Cichinelli, 29, of Johnstown, PA, is charged with Criminal Possession Of Stolen Property, a felony.

    Troopers contacted the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the Cambria County Pennsylvania Veteran’s Affairs Office and learned that the markers were stolen from a cemetery in the State of Pennsylvania.

    He was arraigned at Seneca County Central Arraignment, and was sent to the Seneca County Jail on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

    The grave markers were recovered and are being held as evidence, troopers say.

    The investigation remains ongoing, and it is likely Cichinelli will face additional charges in the State of Pennsylvania.”

    Full Article At: “”


    Another one from the blue state crew


    3 Pa. Men Facing More Than 1,400 Counts Of Allegedly Having Sex With Dogs, Horses, Cow & Goat
    Authorities Found ‘Large Volume’ Of Homemade Videos While Searching Property
    August 20, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    “MUNSON, Pa. (KDKA) — Three Pennsylvania men are facing more than 1,400 counts of allegedly having sex with multiple animals.

    In addition to the 1,460 counts of sexual intercourse with animals, 41-year-old Terry Wallace, 34-year-old Marc Measnikoff and 32-year-old Matthew Brubaker are also facing charges of cruelty to animals, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

    The Clearfield County District Attorney’s office says a 16-year-old boy living in a “makeshift farm” on Mouse Lane in Munson, Pa., with the three men told state police Wallace, Measnikoff and Brubaker were all having sex with animals.

    The animals included dogs, horses, a cow and a goat. The teenager told police the men used a specially design V-shaped pen to facilitate the sexual contact.

    Authorities served a search warrant on the property Saturday morning and took Wallace, Measnikoff and Brubaker into custody.

    While searching the property, authorities found a large volume of homemade videos, recording equipment and cameras.”

    Full Article At: “”

    1. Johnstown man facing charges after attempting to sell nearly 1,000 pounds of veteran grave markers
      Posted 9:18 AM, August 21, 2018, by Cale Ahearn

      “CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa.– A Johnstown man was arrested and is facing charges after allegedly attempting to sell nearly 1,000 pounds of veteran grave markers believed to have been stolen from southwestern Pennsylvania.

      Ronald Cichenelli Jr. is being held in Seneca County Jail, and has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

      Employees at a recycling yard where the items were taken recognized what they were and notified authorities.

      On the reverse side of the markers, some were stamped “Cambria County, Edensburg, PA.”

      The Cambria County Commissioners issued a statement saying, “These are venerated items meant to pay homage to our county’s veterans. They are paid for by the taxpayers of Cambria County and intended to honor those who have selflessly served us over the generations.”

      Under Pennsylvania law, the desecration, theft or sale of venerated objects, such as a veteran’s grave marker, is a second degree misdemeanor.”

      Full Article At: “”

  4. Sexual trauma claims by veterans wrongly denied by VA, investigation finds
    Donovan Slack, USA TODAY Published 12:00 p.m. ET Aug. 21, 2018

    “WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs improperly denied hundreds of military sexual trauma claims in recent years, leaving potentially thousands of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder without benefits, a VA inspector general investigation found.

    Last year alone, the investigation found the agency mishandled as many as 1,300 sexual trauma claims. Some 12,000 veterans file for sexual trauma-related PTSD benefits each year.

    The inspector general found the VA failed to order required medical exams in more than half the cases, didn’t obtain necessary records to back up the claims in hundreds of cases or denied claims despite contradictory evidence.

    The agency neglected to provide adequate training to employees vetting the claims. It stopped conducting quality audits of the sexual trauma claims process in 2015. And the following year, it shunted the claims into a national queue where staff without any specialized knowledge processed them.

    The VA has specialized processing for other types of claims, including those related to traumatic brain injuries or from prisoners of war.

    The inspector general recommended the agency review denied claims, reintroduce specialized vetting and audits, and provide better training for claims processors.

    In response to the findings, Paul Lawrence, the VA’s top benefits official, said the agency will comply with the recommendations.

    Such pledges were met with caution Tuesday among veteran advocates and assault survivors like Ruth Moore. She was raped twice by a supervisor in the Navy and endured repeated denials of her claims by the VA over 23 years.

    “This is why women commit suicide, this is why women are homeless, this is why women don’t get help,” said Moore, who went on to found Internity, a nonprofit in Maine dedicated to helping survivors of military sexual assault.”

    Full Article At: “”

  5. Ben you know what this means right? The VA is going to go after those vets who “were never eligible” to repay that $4.8M. (Even tho I’m positive none of the vets or caregivers knew they weren’t eligible) This translates to a total pay stop. I know first hand they did it to me for 6 months for 36 cents. Yes you read that right. They said they overpaid me & stopped all pay until my audit was complete…. 6 months later. VA made me & my children homeless over 36 fn cents!!!! I hope these vets have backup income like SSDI or a decent savings account. Otherwise, it’s about to get real ugly for them.

  6. At least it appears from recent IG Reports that the IG is becoming more responsive to complaints.

  7. Seems everything the VA touches, seems to always affects the veteran’s negatively.

    Seems many veteran’s are Over payed. Thousands of dollars. These veteran’s are being the victim.

    The VA does not care if they over paid, due to their incompetence. The VA punishes these veteran’s, by putting them in a situation that puts these veteran’s and their families at risk of losing everything.

    Someone said 95%, were being denied. Those who received it, are being strung along for a period of time and then Bam!

    You owe the VA.

    The VA does this with veteran’s applying for a disability. 95% denied. 5% obtain their deserved disability claims approved.

    The VA then begins the process of taking it away. Reexamination after reexamination.

    The VA is even going after veteran’s who fought for this country and were determined to be permanent and total and permanent.

    Many exemptions qualified for those who are rated as being total and permanent. What does the VA not understand, what Perment and total ! MEANS.

    The VA is very adversarial towards veteran’s and confirmed by the highest level of authority Secretary Shulkin himself.

    How many of these veteran’s, will end up committing suicide.

    Or is that the VA plan. 22 veteran’s committing suicide each and every day, must not be enough.

    I will say again, we as veteran’s must be heard. Seems the only way our elected officials Find out problems through News report’s.

    Many of these report’s give you an opportunity to reply via Facebook.

    Type in veteran’s, house, Senate, VA, department of veteran’s affairs. VA inspector general’s report.

    Read those report’s and state you comments. Who knows someone may, read that post and take action.

    It takes One person to say something that catches their attention and act.

    We can not afford to mount a campaign on our own. Need to use what we have.

    Don’t look a Gift Hourse in the mouth. Opportunity ! Let’s all take advantage of the opportunity.

  8. I once worked with the Caregiver Support Program (CSP) when employed by the VA though I am no longer with the Agency. While with the CSP I noted a number of issues that bordered on the thin line of moral, ethical, and legal negligence. Rather than remain silent and allow these infractions to persist, as was the usual response by a number of my coworkers, I began amassing objective evidence to support an official complaint. Among these concerns, though not serving as an exhaustive list, was:

    • One Caregiver Support Coordinator (CSC) routinely denied veterans and caregivers (dyads) access to The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers with denial letters dated on weekends and federal holidays—dates on which no CSC worked—without a thorough review by our interdisciplinary team. Essentially, this CSC sat in an office and utilized sole discretion as to who would and wouldn’t receive services, with no clinical indication or oversight whatsoever concerning such decisions.

    • On a national scale, there was no consistency in the application of CSP services, because the then-CSP acting National Director allowed veterans integrated service networks (VISNs) to run the Program according to each VISN’s own interpretation of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, which meant there was no standard operating procedure (SOP) in place. Without an SOP, services in Vermont wouldn’t reflect those of Nevada. A dyad could qualify for services in one VISN though relocate to another region and remain disqualified for nothing other than an alteration of zip code.

    • There was no standard by which CSCs operated as a matter of adequately and appropriately assessing dyads for CSP services. CSCs in one city were conducting home visits to monitor the clinically-indicated needs for services while CSCs in a separate city—though within the same state and VISN—worked from home and may have never actually seen the dyads assigned to their caseloads. Rather, nurses were utilized for clinical monitoring and this presented a significant barrier to understanding the complexity of individual needs. For instance, unless a nurse has specific psychiatric credentialing the health worker may not maintain competence when evaluating posttraumatic stress disorder, whereas a social worker is trained in such evaluation.

    • There was very little oversight regarding the issuance of stipends. One dyad may’ve qualified for the highest tier while the caregiver maintained full-time employment and was out of the home for a significant portion of time when the veteran required assistance. Another dyad whose caregiver was with the veteran around the clock may’ve qualified only for the lowest tier, without logical justification for the disparity of tier levels.

    While compiling a list of perceived Program infractions I discussed the information with a number of my colleagues, some of whom were receptive to these matters and assisted me with the compilation of evidence. It didn’t take long to collect enough data to warrant a preliminary investigation. Whether as a matter of fate, misfortune, sabotage, or otherwise, my supervisor unexpectedly targeted me for firing while foolishly discriminating against me in the process of amassing evidence to support the termination.

    I was suddenly faced with the phenomenon of threat prioritization, target acquisition (metaphorically speaking), and self-reliance. It would have been impossible advocate for dyads to the degree necessary if my employment was terminated. I wouldn’t have access to the compiled data to support a complaint. At the same time, my job was in jeopardy and it appeared as though the sparse number of allies I maintained were hesitant to assist, because they feared reprisal. Which was of greatest importance, remaining employed so I could bring injustices to light or focus on reporting without substantial evidence after having been fired?

    Engaging conflict on two fronts is difficult. Still, it had to be done. I filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint regarding my personal experience with VA management. I subsequently initiated a whistleblower complaint, as well. The VA Office of Resolution Management response? “The EEOC has held that an allegation that an agency engaged in reprisal for whistleblowing is not within the purview of the EEO process and is not a recognized basis within the EEO complaint process. Because the EEOC lacks jurisdiction over whistleblower claims, this matter will not be addressed in this letter and/or in the EEO forum.” I would first need to engage the greatest threat and then address the aforementioned CSP matters.

    Once the legal process was initiated and in motion, I began contacting multiple media outlets to report the CSP issues. Not a single source responded to my concerns. I then contacted Ben, believing he could highlight the matters much in the same way he had for other veteran-centric topics throughout the years, to no avail. Ben’s response? “This is not the kind of case I would handle at this time,” and, “Take care, Ben.”

    I then contacted the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), as the DAV ignored my report and the VFW advised that I contact the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). I also contacted the VA Accountability Team via their online form though they, too, referred me to the OIG. I then contacted the OIG and filed an official complaint. Any guesses how that went? An automated confirmation stated I would be contacted within six weeks if an investigation was started. I heard nothing back from the OIG. All of this preceded establishment of the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

    Now, years later, the OIG issues a damning report with corrective measure recommendations concerning the CSP? Multiple sources (i.e., media outlets, attorneys, veteran service organizations, OIG) were made aware of these issues over a thousand moons ago. Whether by passing the buck or ignoring concerns altogether, dyads have endured questionable treatment from the VA regarding the CSP for years. What has been the bureaucratic response when unresolved CSP problems have persisted? Why, increase the size of the problematic entity via the VA Mission Act expansion of CSP services, of course.

    I would declare the OIG’s most recent report regarding the CSP as laughable; however, I see nothing amusing about this matter.

    1. Lauren thanks for your work, but when are the real boobs going on the cutting block?T

  9. I wonder if the VA system will ever get cleaned up after fiasco after fiasco, seems it’s an ongoing problem with no end in sight, the Veterans are the ones who lose royally in the end

    1. Yes you are right until the Veterans awake that this is sabotage from the highest level

  10. @ Elf,
    I know it’s Uncle’s link but, if it is up to date and if you haven’t seen it yet, just maybe it can give you a start for answers to some general questions. “”. I hope it is helpful to you!

    1. @ Elf,
      Here are a couple more links that may be helpful. Maybe also check your stste webpage for resourses; some of these may be combinable.
      Rev.2018May CHAMPVA CgHandbook PDF “”
      It may be helpful to look at resourses available outside of VA for ideas. “”. It seems to allow access to info without membership.

    2. Thanks Rosie,
      The wife is/has been checking out different things. Not only the VA caregiver stuff. Also with the state caregiver stuff.
      She’s registering with the state of Florida now to become a caregiver. That way we won’t have strangers entering here. She knows how I feel about that issue!

      1. Getting A Social Security Disability Caregiver


        Paying Spouses to Care for Their Elderly or Disabled Partners – Medicare, Medicaid, VA & Other Options
        Page Reviewed / Updated – Apr. 2018


  11. The OIG is a dog with. Seperate the OIG from the VA and give it subpoena power. Then give it the judicial power to compel compliance with the power to jail for non-compliance.

  12. Pity most of the public are led to believe veterans get the best of care and have it all. Like they care much anyway. If so then why the need for those special organizations like DAV or Wounded Warrior, or “out reach” projects that may help some but are choosy, divisive, and ignore some major issues, or may lead to squandering the donations. Thinking the VA, the unionized, med boards, or DC, the whole sheebang is above reproach.

    Investigations? I’ve dealt with their so-called “investigations” on many levels like many others have. Jesters, jokers, actors, “self-serving” all. Pardon the blanketing approach or thinking. If the shoe fits wear it.

    OT a bit.

    “Hampers” care? Bargaining rights for better care? How about allowing the ethical well intentioned MDs to put patients and their needs first instead of chasing MDs off or attacking them over patient needs and comforts. Like is done to some of us patients past or present. They don’t sure as hell circle all their wagons or “use their rights” to protect some patients or lab rats.

    Would anyone happen to know ALL the unions connected with the VA, contractor’s, and connected civvy health care systems?

  13. Go to old Mexico, become a mexican citizen, come back as an illegal and have better healthcare than Veterans. Problem Solved. P.S. You have to vote Democrat

  14. My wife has stated many times, she “…will NEVER put me in a veterans’ home!” Nor, will she “…send me to the VA Veterans’ home…” to be “…taken care of…!”
    That said, in the not to distant future, because of declining health issues, I have a feeling my wife is going to have to ask VA for this benefit.
    How long will it take to receive it, is the question she has!?
    With all of the poor healthcare by VA, I believe it’s going to be a long time in coming!

    1. Wish the best for you and yours Elf. It’s a toss of the coin. You get some acceptable care or not. In-home, hospice, VA or civvy homes, etc. May be able to use Medicare stuff in combination with VA allowances, etc.

      I’ve seen too many wrongs, red tape, bureaucracy, games, to deal with any of it. In-home care workers today are also rats or informants for LEOs like many others are told to report on customers, their homes, contents, hobbies, weapons, living conditions, and on it goes. Kinda like schools telling the kiddies to report on their parents or give home-life details or info about their parents.

      Seen the days long waits for some to get their ‘end of life’ meds to ease their pain and passing… that came too late. Oh, in and out of home care including so-called ‘nursing homes.’ Noticed such pain and suffering is like water off a duck’s back to the majority of those ‘visiting’ types, politicians, and those trained not to care too much cause after all it’s just part of life. While the elite, Congress, the connected get far better attention and needed meds or care. Just fact.

      Seen too many with DNRs in a ICU just shoved in a private room then telling family to wait for hours until they are cleaned up to be seen. Tired of waiting then just walk in to see some horrible sights or the patient laying in filth and such with those so-called health care staff more concerned about their finger-nail designs, signing Hallmark cards for some occasion, celebrating something, or then ranting about hospital rules instead of dealing with the obvious issues or patient at hand. With most people merely sitting and playing the demanded wait games by staff for things to come to their anticipated endings. With family being complacent or compliant with the “machine.”

      Nope, big difference about “care” seen on TV ads or all the propaganda we are bombarded with. Nothing like seeing reality up close and personal countless times. Differences between the connected and not so connected patients. Politics like geography having divided the majority of my clan I’d rather go it alone. Living in a community/state like I do. I have lost all faith and hopes in this medical system – on all levels. Seen too many times what having a DNR really means to med staff and the younger bunch leaving activist kiddy med schools who can’t compartmentalize their activism/politics/hate for old people from professional ethics. Nope. got a nice large log chain around a nice tree in the yard by the picnic table and campfire site. Winter or summer, day or night, rain, shine, deep snow, mud, I can crawl out there, chain up, pad-lock it all, and do as planned with notifications made. If I don’t croak from something swiftly like HAattack or stroke. Let God sort it all out and many here in this sick society in my mind…. be damned. Easy, simple, hassle free.

    1. I am not encouraging commission of crimes, but I would rather see every Veteran who contemplates seriously suicide, take out one VA Boob each time instead. That seems to be the only way to get the attention of a mule who just kicked you repeatedly in the head.

  15. In reading the Executive Summary in the downloaded report, one finds out the purpose behind the investigation and what corrective measures were discussed. My thanks to Lauren Price for your thoughtful perspective.

    Many readers come to Ben’s site to find information that may not be easily found elsewhere and to evaluate points made by the posters to the site. I realize Ben is not responsible for what Uncle publishes as a teaser. But I think, as yesterday’s installment proved, it might be in all of our best interests, to do a speck of research before commenting on any topic of the day.

  16. There are several key factors to note in this report. The first and most glaring among them is that the OIG used the “Caregiver Support Program Guidebook (VHA published in April 2012)” as part of their audit of the program. This “Guidebook”, was not widely disseminated to the 140 facilities (and nearly 600 employees) that operate the program. It was “revoked” when the SecVA issued Directive 1152 in July 2017 – a short summation of rights and responsibilities of the program employees. The disturbing factor of the inclusion of this “Guidebook” as part of the OIG investigation is that they only investigated a 12 month period (June 2017 – June 2018). So this begs the question; WHY was this “Guidebook” even referenced if it were no longer valid? The next issue of high concern is that the OIG made particular mention of the MILLIONS that were “potentially” overpaid to veterans’ caregivers due to the overt lack of oversight in the program. What the OIG went to pains to avoid discussing is the other side of that coin ~ how many MILLIONS did the program NOT pay out to those who were revoked or reduced in tier unlawfully. Our organization initiated (and continues) the investigation that spurred this report. We are disheartened that the OIG chose to only examine 1 year of the program, only discuss how much money the program “potentially” overpaid, without acknowledging those who were disenfranchised and most importantly; that the OIG did not address the root cause of the impetus for the investigation; that tens of thousands of veterans were revoked or reduced in tier and while trapped in VA fiefdom’s of VISN-only control, the “program executive” continues to claim that the program is still growing at alarming rates and of course therefore, needs MORE MONEY. As that very “program executive” has provided us directly with the participation numbers for 2 years in a row (on the heals of our FOIA which gave us the historical ones); Veteran Warriors throws the “flag” down on the contention that the program is growing. It is NOT. The number of participants has steadily declined since 2016 and now has a DENIAL OF APPLICATION rate of over 95% (according to the very numbers provided by the “program executive”).

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