The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is offering complimentary credit monitoring for veterans affected by the 2011 privacy breach.
In March of 2011, the VA received a request for personal records, including social security numbers, of deceased veterans. This request was made by the genealogy website Ancestry.com to help improve their family history databases. While the VA was obligated to release this information under the Freedom of Information Act, an error occurred where the information of 2,200 living veterans was also included among the records.
When the information went live in December of that year, the error was brought to the attention of the VA, which immediately launched an investigation into the problem. Meanwhile, efforts have been made to notify all living veterans whose information was released about the mistake and what they were doing to minimize the impact.
Currently, those veterans whose information was compromised can obtain a free year of credit monitoring from any of the 3 main credit bureaus by calling 1-877-322-8228. So far no misconduct has been reported and veterans’ disability benefits have not been affected.
Protecting veterans privacy is important to protecting a soldiers’ rights to benefits. Many programs exist to help disabled veterans manage their affairs and finances if their disability impairs them from doing so on their own.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.