Arlington, VA – Today the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (HVAC) announced the committee will hold a full committee oversight hearing to assess ongoing concerns regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs Crisis Line (VCL).
The hearing, which will take place on April 4, comes on the heels of a report released by the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) last week revealing continued failures and widespread negligence under the VCL at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The OIG’s evaluation discovered deficiencies in multiple areas. The report found that some backup call centers used a queuing process that may lead veterans to perceive they were on hold, and that VCL leadership had not established expectations or targets for queued call times, or thresholds for taking action on queue times.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“The Veterans Crisis Line is often a last resort for veterans who are having suicidal thoughts, and lives will be lost if it is not functioning properly. We applaud the HVAC for investigating the status of the VCL and taking steps to ensure veterans are not being neglected by the hotline employees entrusted with responding to their calls for help. CVA will continue pushing for strong VA accountability legislation that will allow Secretary Shulkin to discipline those responsible for the VCL’s failures.”
The House of Representatives recently voted 237-178 in favor of the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, H.R. 1259, a bill which would make it easier to terminate bad VA employees. The bill was passed with bipartisan support. CVA will continue to urge policy makers to pass this critical legislation in the Senate in order to prevent future negligence from impacting veterans’ lives.