The Department of Veterans Affairs VA shelled out more than $142 million in performance bonuses in 2014, the same year that the VA's healthcare scandal exploded and revealed the VA was systematically denying veterans access to health care.
The average individual payout was over $900 for the thousands of employees. A total of 156,000 VA workers qualified for bonuses as a result of being rated them "fully successful" or higher at carrying out their responsibilities last year, including officials at delay-prone hospitals. But those ratings were later found to be inflated, as the vast majority of workers were getting rated highly enough to get a bonus.
More than 325 were compensated with $5,000 to $13,000 in year-end bonuses, according to data given to the Washington Examiner by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
Before he resigned, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said he'd stop bonuses at the troubled agency. But in the summer of 2014, Congress approved legislation allowing the agency to hand out up to $360 million in bonuses each year.