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Baltimore VA Benefits Office Reorganizing After Alleged Privacy Breach

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– More troubling news out of the VA Monday. The Baltimore Regional Benefit Office is reorganizing after what appears to be a privacy breach.

Pat Warren explains what went wrong.

The Veteran’s Administration, drawing fire for mishandling medical care, has more explaining to do.

A Baltimore employee of the benefits division was found with thousands of claims documents stacked in his office.

“Any time that you’re evaluating the problems, you’re going to find other issues and other problems. We need management to hold people accountable,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.

The discovery resulted in the removal and restriction of the employee from his position. Management began sorting the documents and claim folders to determine which contain Social Security and other sensitive information and has directed audits of all staff office space.

The Veterans Benefits Office is separate from the VA Medical System but its problems only add to the challenge.

Acting director of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson admits trust has been broken.

“Ultimately that’s what we’re after: trust,” Gibson said.

“We have a responsibility to take care of all of their needs. They answered their call immediately and they did not expect that they would have to fight their bureaucracy when they returned home. Fighting our enemies was enough of a battle for them. Let’s make sure we take care of them,” said Senator Ben Cardin.

The performance of the Baltimore Regional Benefits Office has been considered among the worst in the nation.

Maryland is home to 450,000 vets.

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