The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was recently questioned about the whereabouts of $6.3 million they were given for research into traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The money was intended for a Texas research facility. The Director of that facility was fired after it was discovered $2 million of that $6.3 million was unacceptably diverted. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has offered an explanation of how those funds were used.
Sec. Shinseki’s explanation letter, which was two weeks late, was sent to Senator Richard Barr (R-N.C.), who is a ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and Representative Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the Chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee. Both men called Sec. Shinseki’s explanation “insufficient.” According to Barr and Miller, Sec. Shinseki’s explanation in no way clarifies why the $6.3 million, which was supposed to go directly towards TBI research, has yet to be used in TBI research.
Sec. Shinseki’s explained, with no additional details, $3.4 million went towards “lease payments, operation expenses, staff salaries, and the relocation.” Additionally, $450,000 will eventually be used to “establish treatment protocols” at the Waco, Texas location. Sec. Shinseki’s letter closed by stating “[a]ny remaining funds will be used to support health-care operations and appropriate research activities.”
Senator Burr and Rep. Miller asked Sec. Shinseki to specifically account as to how the appropriated money was sidetracked from its original intent. Both men pointed out the VA’s Inspector General’s conclusion that of the $6.3 million, none of it was used for its intended purposes of research and clinical services for veterans suffering from TBI.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.