Audit: Michigan department has failed to make sure veterans get maximum benefits

Dec 20, 2013

Michigan has done a poor job over the last decade making sure veterans collect all the benefits they’re entitled to. That’s according to a new report from the state Auditor General’s office.

The audit shows the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs (DMVA) has failed to adequately track the performance and spending of veterans’ agencies across the state. That includes organization such as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion.  

Last year, Michigan was ranked among the worst states for how well veterans utilize their federal benefits. Governor Rick Snyder responded by creating a new agency within the DMVA to address veterans’ issues head-on.

“The audit points out a lot of deficiencies that we knew – that we saw coming,” said Nick Cook with the new Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.

Cook says they’ve been working to fix many of the problems for months. He says a new contract with veterans’ organizations across the state will help make sure money and services are distributed properly.

But he says additional resources may also be needed to do the job right.

“We only have $2.9 million for this program, which equates to about $4.26 to every veteran in the state of Michigan,” said Cook.

Michigan is home to about 700,000 veterans.