A veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder may qualify for a VA loan to help cover medical expenses and other expenses.
That is the conclusion of a new report by the government watchdog group Veterans For America.
The report, released Monday, comes as the VA has been hit with a record $1 billion payment crisis as it struggles to provide care to veterans.
The VA’s largest hospital in Cincinnati is still closed, and its other facilities are in need of repairs.
The agency has also been hit by a spate of lawsuits that have forced it to cut staff and slash spending.
The federal government has already handed out more than $2.2 billion in loan guarantees and other relief, according to the Veterans For American website.
But while the VA’s own data shows that more than 75% of the loans are for veterans with PTSD, it also showed that nearly half of those loans were issued in 2014, the year of the deadly VA scandal.
The Veterans For Americans report found that veterans with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), or CTE, are the largest group of borrowers in the VA.
They account for nearly three-quarters of all loans and over 70% of loans to VA hospitals, according the VA, which has struggled to cope with the growing number of vets returning to the battlefield.
The VA’s loan rates for borrowers with CTE vary from $1,000 to $2,500 per month.
The average rate for borrowers under 65 was $1.1 million, and for those ages 65 and over, it was $2 million.
The median rate for all borrowers was $7,500, according Veterans For Americas.
Veterans For America said in a statement that the VA data “shows that a significant percentage of veterans with CCE who are eligible for loans do not qualify for VA loans.”
It said the VA is “understaffed, underfunded, and in need to make significant cuts to its budget to support the health and safety of veterans.”
The VA said it has “no plans” to change the rates, but said it wants to reduce its reliance on federal loan guarantees, including those from the Veterans Health Administration.
The government also has set aside $100 million in new loan funds to address its financial challenges.
In addition, the VA said that it has been unable to increase its loan volume to meet its costs, which it said is “an important source of funding.”
The VA said in April that it had more than 1,500 borrowers who are enrolled in VA loan programs, but the total number of borrowers is only about 5,000.
Veteran advocates have long criticized the VA for failing to adequately care for its veterans.
VA Secretary David Shulkin said in February that the agency’s medical center, VA Medical Center of Excellence, had become “a ghost town” as a result of a backlog of more than 50,000 veteran applications.
The hospital is not accepting new applications.