Department of veterans affairs fast facts –

2006 – Two teens steal a laptop computer and external hard drive containing the personal information of approximately 26 million veterans from the home of a VA data analyst. The laptop and hard drive are later recovered and FBI testing suggests that the data was never accessed. In 2009, the VA pays $20 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by veterans.

July 2010 – The VA unveils new regulations making it easier for men and women who served in the armed forces to receive benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. Under the new rules a veteran only needs to demonstrate that he or she served in a war and performed a job during which events could have happened that could cause the disorder.

January 30, 2014 – CNN reports that at least 19 veterans have died because of delays in simple medical screenings like colonoscopies or endoscopies, at various VA hospitals or clinics.

This is according to an internal document from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, obtained exclusively by CNN, that deals with patients diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and 2011.

April 2014 – Retired VA physician Dr. Sam Foote tells CNN that the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system maintained a secret list of patient appointments, designed to hide the fact that patients were waiting months to be seen. At least 40 patients died while waiting for appointments, according to Foote, though it is not clear they were all on secret lists.

May 9, 2014 – The scheduling scandal widens as a Cheyenne, Wyoming, VA employee is placed on administrative leave after an email surfaces in which the employee discusses “gaming the system a bit” to manipulate waiting times. The suspension comes a day after a scheduling clerk in San Antonio admitted to “cooking the books” to shorten apparent waiting times. Three days later, two employees in Durham, North Carolina, are placed on leave over similar allegations.

June 23, 2014 – In a scathing letter and report sent to the White House, the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) expresses concern that the VA hasn’t adequately addressed whistleblower complaints of wrongdoing. The report also slams the VA’s medical review agency, the Office of the Medical Inspector (OMI), for its refusal to admit that lapses in care have affected veterans’ health.

August 26, 2014 – The VA office of the Inspector General releases a report on delays at the Phoenix VA health care system. The study looked at more than 3,000 cases and found that dozens of veterans had “clinically significant” delays in care, and six of them died. The report says investigators could not conclusively link their deaths to those delays.

November 10, 2014 – Secretary McDonald announces the VA has taken “disciplinary action” against 5,600 employees in the last year, and more firings will follow. Beyond sacking officials that don’t meet the VA’s values, McDonald says the reforms will include the establishment of a VA-wide customer service office to understand and respond to veteran needs, new partnerships with private organizations and other reorganizations to simplify the department’s structure.

December 15, 2014 – The VA Inspector General releases a report that indicates a VA fact sheet contained misleading information, overstating the scope of its review of unresolved cases. The VA claims that it reviewed cases dating back to 1999 but it only examined cases dating back to 2007. The inspector general also questions how the VA resolved an issue with delayed appointments. The VA reported that it reduced the number of appointments delayed more than 90 days, from 2 million to 300,000, but did not provide paperwork detailing whether the appointments were canceled or if the patients received treatment, according to the inspector general.

March 10, 2015 – CNN reports that more than 1,600 veterans waited between 60 and 90 days for appointments at facilities operated by the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. About 400 veterans waited six months for an appointment, according to documents provided to CNN. The average wait time, according to documents dated January 15, 2015, was 48 days.

September 2, 2015 – The VA Inspector General releases a review of alleged mismanagement at the VA’s Health Eligibility Center. According to the review, more than 307,000 deceased veterans were listed as enrollees with pending VA applications. The inspector general calculated that about 35% of all pending records were for deceased veterans. CNN reports that many of the deceased veterans may have died while awaiting treatment.

December 2016 – The VA sends letters to 592 people who may have been exposed to HIV, and hepatitis B and C while receiving dental care at the Tomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin. Hospital officials report that a dentist at the center, hired in October of 2015, improperly re-used his own dental equipment instead of using the sterilized, disposable tools as VA rules require.