VA Under Fire For Paying Out $10.8 Million In Bonuses To Ineligible Executives

The Department of Veterans Affairs is facing intense scrutiny after an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General revealed that the department paid out $10.8 million in bonuses to senior executives who were ineligible to receive them. The 92-page report found that although the payments were canceled after the alarm was raised, some haven’t been recouped yet.

Veterans and lawmakers have expressed outrage over the findings, with many questioning the VA’s priorities and commitment to serving those who have served the country. Shelby Anderson, a disabled Marine veteran, said, “It’s a slap in the face to see $11 million spent on bonuses while countless veterans wait for the support they desperately need.”

Concerned Veterans for America Executive Director Russ Duerstine called for the resignation of Undersecretary of Health Shereef Elnahal and Undersecretary of Benefits Joshua Jacobs in light of the news, stating that “leaders who do not honor the public trust need to be held accountable.”

The money for the bonuses was taken from critical skill incentive (CSI) payments, which were created through the PACT Act to help the VA meet its staffing requirements by incentivizing employees with high-demand or shortage skills. The Office of Inspector General facing intense scrutiny the matter and found that the issuance of the bonuses “lacked adequate justification” and was due to “breakdowns in leadership and controls at multiple levels of VA.”

As the VA continues to recoup the improperly distributed funds, lawmakers and veterans alike are demanding accountability and a reevaluation of the department’s priorities to ensure that the well-being of those who served remains at the forefront.