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VA failure left vulnerable veterans without help

The Department of Veterans Affairs fumbled the roll out of a federal mandate aimed at providing mental health care to more veterans, a KING 5 investigation found.
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Original Investigation

'Veterans are dying:' VA mishandles roll out of mental health benefit 

Published: May 14, 2019

A 2018 law makes more veterans eligible for mental health treatment but a KING 5 investigation found the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has done little to spread the word about the program.

Credit: Provided
Bran McIan, a former Army special forces medic, poses for a photo while deployed in Afghanistan.

Follow Up Story 

Lawmakers demand change after VA fumble left veterans without help 

Published: May 21, 2019

Members of Congress who championed a 2018 law that increases access to mental health care for veterans say the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hasn't done enough to implement it.  

Credit: AP Photo/Mark Tenally
The east face of the United States Capitol Building is seen in this general view. Monday, March 11, 2019, in Washington D.C.

Follow Up Story 

'Deeply frustrated' senators demand action in letter after VA mishandled mental health benefit 

Published: May 23, 2019

Five U.S. senators sent the Department of Veterans Affairs a letter demanding immediate corrective action in response to a KING 5 investigation that revealed the VA fumbled the roll out of a 2018 law, which expanded access to mental health care for a group of at-risk veterans.  

Follow Up Story 

Veterans group blasts VA for handling of mental health mandate 

Published: June 7, 2019

Vietnam Veterans of America is calling for changes at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after a KING 5 investigation revealed the agency didn't properly implement a 2018 law that expands mental health care to a vulnerable group of veterans.  

Follow Up Story 

Senators press top VA official on mental health fumble in veteran suicide hearing

Published: June 19, 2019

It's the first time the VA secretary has talked publicly about the issue since a  May KING 5 investigation revealed the VA missed Congress' deadline to notify eligible veterans of the change, and the agency failed to treat the majority of other-than-honorable veterans who qualified for help under the law. 

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VA Secretary Robert Wilkie responds to questions at a Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing on June 19, 2019.