VA’s modernization of the claims process continues

More than 300,000 digitalized inactive-claim records removed to improve process service


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Early this year, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) began extracting hundreds of thousands of inactive-claim records from regional offices east of the Mississippi for digital conversion. Inactive-claim records are claim files that have been settled and have remained inactive for a number of years. The initiative will help reduce processing time for thousands of new claims associated with inactive records.

In the past, VBA only digitized inactive-claim records when Veterans or their family members filed new disability or Dependency Indemnity Compensation claims. The business process added days to the claims’ adjudication process as files still needed to be boxed, shipped and digitized before review of the new claim could even begin.

“The initiative will essentially eliminate adjudication delays caused by shipping and digital conversion,” said Bradley Houston, director of the Office of Business Process Integration, which oversees the initiative. It will allow claims processors and accredited representatives, nationwide, the ability to instantly review millions of inactive-claim records like never before.

Thus far, VBA successfully extracted more than 310,000 inactive compensation, pension, notice of death, and vocational rehabilitation and employment files from the Philadelphia, Detroit, Indianapolis and Roanoke regional offices.

Though much progress has already been made into digitizing inactive-claim records, more work still needs to be done. VBA currently houses an estimated 2 million claims-related documents in 34 locations across the country and is currently extracting over 170,000 claim records for digital conversion from the St. Petersburg regional office.

“The agency plans to extract the remaining claim records from regional offices across the country by the end of 2018,” Houston said. Once the records have been digitized, VBA will archive and store them for safe keeping.

Over the past five years, VBA has made concerted efforts into modernizing the way it processes compensation and pension claims. Since 2012, 387 million documents (consisting of 2.5 billion images) have been scanned, indexed and uploaded into Veterans Benefits Management System – the agency’s electronic claims processing system. Gone are the images of VA cubicles stacked with paper claims, infamously shared by the press and late-night talk show hosts back in 2013.

Digital conversion of inactive records is just one of the many ways VA is striving to put the needs, expectations and interests of Veterans and their families first.

Author

Mark Ledesma

– Mark P. Ledesma is a public affairs specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration after having served six years as a senior Veterans Service Representative at the San Diego VA Regional Office. Mark is also a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Comments

  1. George donovan Jr    

    Mark, I’m a !00% SC Vet and I assist a number of other Vets. The question regarding the filing of additional claims while a DRO Review, DRO Hearing or BVA Hearing is still pending, often comes up.

    I understand that a New Claim will be combined another New Claim that is currently in the Development Stage, is there some point that the New Claim won’t be combined with a previously fileNew Claim?

    As to pending Appeal Hearing Requests, will the filing of New unrelated claims have an affect on the Appeal Hearing Dates?

    Thank You
    Semper Fi

    1. Anthony Torres    

      II’m a Gulf War veteran with all the classic health problems associated with that conflict. I now have been diagnosed with diverticulitis and diabetes. Do I notify the VA? I utilize Medical outside of the VA.

    2. ROBERT J CORNMAN    

      I am truly disgusted with this whole process. I am ONCE AGAIN waiting 2-3 YEARS to have my appeal heard? Nothing has been improved. I can say this because the appeal process was the EXACT time frame now, as it was in 1994. My file # is C0107.

      Disgusted COMBAT Army Disabled Veteran.

    3. Justice S. Stewart    

      Thanks to you all for serving. I lost 100% of hearing and balance in right ear while on active duty (’97). I broke my left femor on a airborne jump at Cherry Point NAS, NC (’93) and cracked a lower vertebrae on Holland DZ (’88). I retired in 2005 and started my VA claim process. Still no resolution even though all records are filed and are clear as day. Zero help from the VA. Nothing but excuses and vague demands for “more records”…total (redacted). If anyone has a magic key to the VA please rent it to me…(redacted)

      1. Don armour    

        Go to your local VFW and as them to refer you to the VFW VA guru. They have a ricks for your records to be updated and re looked at. That is way to long to wait for a response. Are you able to still work regularly? Makes no sense. I just help a friend, a marine injured in desert storm get compensation and we did it In 3 months. From start to 70% in 3 months people. Go to someone that knows the system.

    4. Ara Lee Schuler    

      I live in Az my father was in the Korean War we spent 3 years trying to get him a doctors appointment it was nothing but paperwork on top of paperwork period. My father died waiting on a doctors appointment all the while the VA just wants more paperwork!! I worked with the local vets office to insure we were doing everything correctly! What a disgrace to my father! Phoenix is where the paper work gets shuffled from desk to desk. It makes me sick hearing 1 story after the next with the same issues!! I’m very happy for the vets that are getting help. For the VA to tell my father they have NO records on him is BS, he had all the paper work from the service. He had major surgery in the 80s in Tucson at the VA there. I will continue my fight for my father even tho he passed a year ago! Makes me sick!!

  2. Paul Deutsch    

    I don’t know who holds the record for the oldest claim still unresolved but it may be me. I filed in 1981 and my claim is still unresolved. I get a letter from the VA every years or so either telling me that nothing has been done or asking for something that I’ve already submitted. Appeal requests just seem to stack up with no action taken. Sending e-mails to the previous Head of the VA resulted in phone calls from one of the local claims processors but again no actions resulted and the claim is still unresolved.

    1. Karen    

      not sure if it will help, but call your Congressman in DC

      1. Shasta R. Huttner    

        What Karen said….and get with a VSO (Veteran Service Organization) Like AmVets, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America to assist you. You need someone in your corner to cut through whatever is going on with your claim. Link for VSO’s https://www.va.gov/vso/VSO-Directory_2013-2014.pdf I really hope you get help it can be done but you need to someone who knows the system and having a VSO in your corner and State Representative Senator or Congressman can go a long way.

      2. gary vassar    

        I called my congressman and my claim went backwards and ebenefits told me it was because of asking for help from my congressman. I think someone here is above GOD!

        1. Jeffrey Shaver    

          Gary, same exact thing happened to me here in WV … now my appeal claim that was turned back to the Region for them to provide more information is now in “no man’s land” and even with several requests for a hearing with the Regional Office, they just ignore them. I have contacted my US Representatives and they state that the VA states they are working on claims and nothing else. Basically, there is no recourse for the injustice they have purposely done.

    2. Gary McEwin    

      Paul, I had a claim since june 96. I got the run around big time. Then denied, denied, denied. So I got an attorney. And boy is she good. Through her help I am now fully compensated. Her name is Katrina J. Eagle and can be researched and contacted through her website. Look her up. You will not regret it.

    3. John C. Davidson    

      I gave up when both my Ohio Senators sided with the regional VA here which forced my local nurse-practitioner to rescind the emergency status of my stomach aorta aneurism. 3 years later, using Medicare, I had stents inserted, but first had a heart attack because the VA lost me health records. The only thing the VA is interested in is maintaining their status over their patients.

    4. mj    

      Well, my spouse filled in 1972 near that date in Tifton GA. It was for a hearing loss due to precussion; however the lady denied it. He now wears a hearing aid that the VA gives him, and indeed he has hearing loss. No claim was filed I guess. Then my son has been awaiting his appeal for VA ed benefits.

      It’s just a red tape mess. I best not put my name, as I sure don’t want him to loose his benefits he does have. Thank you

  3. Dr. David Hatfield, SGM, US Army (Ret.)    

    If digitizing a veteran’s file before work could begin on a new claim “added days” to the process, why is making a copy of mine taking anywhere from two to three years, according to the dates given me in eBenefits? I simply asked for a copy of my C-File through the FOIA/Privacy Act, which by law is supposed to take no more than 20 business days, and I get this statement that projects a date 2-3 years into the future! It’s not rocket science, people – how ’bout putting a little spin on and getting mine done in “days.”

    Thank you,

  4. DAVID A. BROWN    

    I LIVED OVERSEA AND I AM A VIETAM VET. HOW CAN I APPLY FOR AGENT ORANGE CLAIM?

    PLEASE RESPONE MOST URGENTLY.

    WARM REGARDS.

    DAVID A. BROWN

    ;

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Mr. Brown,

      The best way to apply for compensation benefits is to apply online through https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/apply

      I hope this answers your question. Please comment below for additional questions.

      Regards,
      Mark

      1. Rick Shay    

        Mr. Brown,
        Do like I did. Contact the Federal Benefits Unit of the US Embassy where you live. This office serves as a conduit for the VA for vets living outside the US.

    2. Terry Pierce    

      That site isn’t much help. I used it for years. Another backburner plan. Best thing to do is call your local Congressperson and have them start an inquiry..
      Good luck brother…

  5. Terry Pierce    

    I have a NON connected claim due to a botched surgery NON CONNECTED. The VA and their streamlined process keeps denying my claim stating I’m not a connected Veteran. They sent me the correct forms twice and I sent them back and to get the same DUMBASS reply.
    Now it’s time to A) hire a lawyer and B) get a Congressional inquiry started as to WHY the VA cannot adjudicate claims properly with their “new streamlined” processes and why they either cannot or don’t bother to read the claims or is this a deliberate act to put us on the backburner.

  6. lloyd irvin    

    The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is the benefits division of the Department of Veterans Affairs doing great work. keep going.

  7. Andre L Adams    

    I am located in Maryland. I filed a NOD back in Jun 2015. There was nothing new added, just things that I filed on my initial claim that I disagreed with. I asked for it to be reviewed by a DRO because I thought that would be faster. The response I got back was : We are working NODs in date of claim order to provide decisions to Veterans who have been waiting the longest. We are currently working NODs dated February 16, 2011. If you are terminally ill, experiencing financial hardship or has another cause that would require us to expedite your NOD, please let us know and we will have it reviewed as soon as possible. At this time, we cannot provide an estimated time as to when the NOD will be reviewed. The Appeals Team is diligently working to complete these cases as quickly as possible. We apologize for the delay.

    Why is it taking so long to get an response? If the VA is that backlogged why are they not asking for help to process these claims?

  8. Joe Washburn    

    Delay, Deny until they Die. THAT is the status of the VAs appeals process. Been waiting years with NO END and NO HELP in sight. Pass it here, shuffle it there, request this, lose that, repeat request, remand, deny.

    1. Terry Pierce    

      They keep making the same “error” and told me I could expedite it with new information. What new information? The Doctor botched my surgery and they have it all. And I refiled twice to correct their error. She told me any further action would cause a lengthy delay. WHY. They did it wrong and it proves they don’t read their own forms or corrected forms.
      We are DEAD to them already…

      1. James W Rhodes    

        Of all the claims of the VA’s so-called progress in the claims backlog; I for one have seen absolutely no change. They only respond to the part of the claim that they want to. When you question them about that you are either ignored or told to file another claim but the clock starts over again if you do. All VA slight of hand. The process is skewed against the VET. What is the VA’S roll? It states that their mission is to help the VET, which also means helping to assist in the filing of a claim. I have NEVER had help with my claims by the VA. YES, THEY ARE JUST WAITING FOR US VETS TO DIE.

    2. Dennis Gale McBride    

      Yes sir Joe; I told my Congresswoman’s VA assistant that they are just waiting for us to die. She said “Well I don’t think that is true.” I then said; “Do you have any proof of that?”

      It is also VA policy for doctors not to tell you that your medical conditions may be related to your service. My last primary doctor before I moved I really liked but he told me that he can’t talk to me about anything related to my compensation. I replied; “Well that is everything I have.” Now how can they properly treat something if they don’t know what caused it?

      They kept telling me I had Diabetic Neuropathy and I said it is not diabetic Neuropathy it is cause by Carbon Tet. I wasn’t diagnosed with diabetes until 2006 but my neuropathy is in my military records from 1966. Finally a compensation doctor checked me and said this can’t be cause by diabetes. Duh. They gave me 10% how generous of them.

      I had an outside test at a hospital and their conclusion said: “There is electrodiagnostic evidence for a distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy.” In other word my nervous system is degenerating and my muscles are atrophying. If I live long enough it will be like MS but not MS. It is also listed for Carbon Tetracloride in a study called ‘Toxic Neuropathy’ on Medscape.

  9. Joe Washburn    

    Request help to fill a backlog???

    The VA IS GOING TO DELAY IT FOR YEARS THEN DENY IT.

  10. Terry Pierce    

    I just want all the vets to know. The VA claims to bill us for co pay.. They will take it from your disability check AND put it on your credit reports. On top of that if the Treasury Dept. takes it from your check you are charged FEES and Interest so your balance never goes down! To pay it, they want either your banking information or credit card information and WILL begin automatic withdrawals. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR BANKING INFO!!!! They will cause you to bounce checks..
    The bills are arbitrary, they say you owe a certain amount based on prescriptions, but WILL NOT sent you and itemized statement as proof, so you never pay the co pays off!!!
    FYI, thanks for your service…

    1. Frank Warner    

      I recently filed a request to stop co-payments because of age (77) and debts. I provided a complete listing of all debts from my and my wife’s credit report and all income. I showed where our monthly debts exceeded our income. The reply was based solely upon our monthly income and included a promissory note for me to sign. I will not sign anything.
      I have a Medicare Advantage plan (Humana) a private sector insurance company. VA refuses to bill them for co-pays.
      Nothing will be paid to them voluntarily by me as payment acknowledges the entire claimed debt. And they are keeping my recently awarded 10% disability.
      Congress is useless. Presently I advise all youngsters to avoid military service because of the VA.
      Incidentally, the money from the co-pays does not go back into the General Fund. It goes to a separate fund for recreation etc.
      Actual Motto: “Putting Veterans Last, Stall Until They Die!”

  11. Joe Washburn    

    VBA is an excellent example of what is wrong with and why everyone hates government agencies. You shuffle files around but nothing gets done and nothing is going to get done. I think my local vehicle tag office is more efficient than VBA. YOU have earned the “Delay, Deny till they Die” and you will keep it till you fix VBA claims/appeals.

    Retired USCG Sends.

  12. Timothy Bradberry    

    The VA has done right by me and continues to be helpful and supportive all the way down the road. Thank you VA for all your care and support. Kudos to all VA employees that make things happen in support of us veterans.

    1. Dennis Gale McBride    

      You must of had a Bill in congress where you don’t have to prove service connection. For us older Vietnam Vets that have illnesses like from Carbon Tetrachloride we have to proved connection which is difficult when they lost 10 years of our records.

  13. Robert Jame Hughes    

    I have an appeal claim that’s been sitting a VA office in Detroit for over two (2) years now with no action taken, the VA is lying when they state “appeal claims are averaging 357 days” what a laugh!

    1. David J. Tropeano    

      The whole VA system is the most frustrating government agency that I have ever dealt with. Talk to 20 different agents about a situation and get 20 different answers! How is that possible?

  14. Karen    

    anyone know the shortest time for an appeal granted??? LOL

    1. Rich jim    

      I had one done in 60 days. But now they say they can’t find my STR. Thank you worlds greatest organization. Ha

  15. Dennis    

    I have been waiting two years for my request to be tested for Agent Orange …….and my request for hearing aids was denied and I was told that I should get letters from guys I served with in Nam to verify that I operated Heavy Equipment with out any type of ear protection……

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Dennis,

      Have you tried working with a Veterans Service Organization to assist you with your claim? They can help guide you in collecting the type of supporting evidence you need for your claim.

      You can read more about accredited representatives here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/VSO/
      Here are a few other blogs explaining what VA means by “evidence” that may also help:
      http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/20982/what-va-means-by-evidence-when-processing-claims/
      http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/21304/what-does-new-and-material-evidence-mean/

      I hope this all helps.
      Regards,
      Mark

      1. Dennis Gale McBride    

        Yes I had an LA County Rep in Los Angeles until they moved him out. I have the DAV now but haven’t heard anything. I will call them next week. They did give me 10% based on one compensation neurologist. But all the rest of stuff they haven’t even looked at. I know because they claimed on the decision 3 medical reports from hospitalizations at 2 different VA hospitals and Tripler Army hospital in active duty and it says on the decision that their request by me was not fulfilled. I mailed it to them, my Rep mailed it to them and I uploaded it on eBenifits.

  16. Scott G    

    I started a claim at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/apply and now each time on log on to add supporting documents, I get error codes such as this
    “Application Error
    We’re sorry, but the application has encountered an error. Please try again later or contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Please refer to the following error code: VDC-1490365763824”
    I have contacted the VA via telephone and after hours of being on hold, I speak to a representative who says someone will contact me right away, it has been months and I am still waiting to be contacted.

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Scott,

      I’ve been told that there’s a temporary issue with the upload feature in eBenefits. VA is currently working on fixing the problem by early April. In the meantime, you can also submit supporting documents in the following ways:

      •Complete and mail your claim form to your nearest VA regional office
      •Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. To find the VA regional office nearest you, use the Veterans Affairs National Facilities Locator or call VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000.
      •Work with an accredited representative or agent
      Please visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/apply.asp to learn more about ways you can submit.

      I hope I helped answer your comment.
      Regards,
      Mark

  17. William Oskowski    

    VA is taking my social security check to pay for what they said they would be a benefit if I served honorably…which I did.
    They suck off of the wife’s tax refund too.
    The pain clinic is the greatest….most other services are disgraceful. They deny any service connection applications…
    Arguing over why I didn’t complain for all the years since I got out.
    It seems like regular civilian doctors see so much more from tests than VA sees. That’s weird !

    It is easy to see why so many Vets are homeless…. many probably loosing homes because they can’t afford after VA gets their take ….. VA does not take into account the collection activities against its vets. for other medical or financial necessities.

    It’s a shame !

    Sincerely…..

  18. Kathleen McGreal    

    I’ve had a claim in the system for over 10 years. Don’t tell me how well it worked, works, or is working. The events that occurred during my service not only caused me years of living, but affected my children and family in a negative way. I can’t take another year like the last.

    1. Lee mason    

      I have had a claim in for 4 years. I thought that was crazy but 10 years no excuse. Vba needs to more efficient social security department needs to show them how to get these claims resolved

  19. keithbauduin    

    I work with veterans who have been getting letters stating the VA is taking away their disability or lowering it to a percentage they can no longer pay their rent and now have had to either go back to the streets being Homeless or try to get into a shelter. What is going on with this?

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Mr. Baudin,

      Unfortunately, I can’t make any helpful suggestions without knowing the reason for the decisions. Do you know if any of them work with Veterans Service Organizations (VSO)? VSOs may be able to assist them with their issues.

      You can learn more about VSOs here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/VSO/

      I hope this helps.
      Regards,
      Mark

  20. Shawn T Donald    

    I currently have an appeal in since 2000 for lower back problems and lots of other issues in that area. I was 0331 machine gunner. I have had since then a total of 4 spasms and in the case of the 4th I had to go local since my VA doesn’t have and ER. when is my appeal going to be heard last I heard its either awaiting BVA hearing or remanded.

  21. Ron buckley    

    My claim went in 2005 and 2010 supposedly it’s in washington what’s up with that . Why am I still waiting if they are working on 2011

  22. francis m doyle    

    as a viet nam navy vet who has been waiting since 2012 and had to get a lawyer in 2014 this is all bullshit as far as I am concerned.when you have something positive to show us than go out and tell the world but for me the v a is the most criminal and corrupt agency in our government. but thank you for letting me blow off my disgust with your agency.

  23. BigDawg K9    

    Terry Pierce you bring up a great point about the VA vigilant billing practices, yet claims processes for many take decades or more. The VA billing is a joke and I absolutely love the “Admin Fee” added to my co-pays and Pharmacy bills. Just another way VA makes money on those who serve/served. I don’t mind paying some copay as I would have been doing the same thing with any civilian insurance. What I don’t like is that the VA won’t hesitate to nail for interest and late fees even if they were the ones in errror that didn’t send a notice out before 30 days. Seems the priorities are a tad off.

  24. Joe Washburn    

    You see these comments? Multiply that by the THOUSANDS that continue to wait and wait and wait. And yes that includes me.

    BVA treats veterans like liars and fakers every single day.

    Delay, Deny until they Die.

  25. Calton Francovich    

    Will you reply, i am a 100 percent vietnam veteran,i been tryin to get information on my claim since 2011, no answer how do we get statud on an appeal. My appeal was remanded to Reno , only info i get is being read from a script. Please help me with the status.

    1. David Daniels    

      Here I almost 70, AF vet, filed in 2013, on oxygen 24/7, Nexus x 2, still waiting. Will probably be dead first.

  26. Kenneth Moore    

    I don’t feel so bad after all. I started my claim in 1980. Just had my Physical Evaluation exam…Does your knee bend?, Can you walk?, How many inches of scars do you have? Not bad for 36 years if trying to get compensation.(Sic.) I finally found an advocate who knows what is going on. If you are in central Ca. Contact Theresa Lopez in Madera. She is the blessing we have been waiting for. As far as complaining about the crap we face, we signed-up with our eyes open, we knew the Gov’t was corrupt then, as it is now. Do the Congressman route by all means, and keep on them…they work for us. Semper Fi.

  27. walter woodward    

    I received 10% disability in April 2015. I continued to pay for meds and got a call from VA pharmacy a year later stating that i should not be paying for meds after April 2015 date. I was charged for a year or more before they finally sopped charging me.
    The problem is no one can tell me how to get the money I paid that wasn’t supposed to be charged back. You can’t find a med refund on any VA sight and no one I talked to knows how to file a claim. Any ideas out there.
    Thanks

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Mr. Woodward,

      Have you tried calling 866-400-1238 to see if they can help resolve your problem?

      Please visit https://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/cost/disputes.asp for more information on how to dispute VA charges.

      I hope this helps.
      Regards,
      Mark

  28. Donald Clayton    

    So now it takes only a few month not a few years to get denied!!!

  29. James M Bradbury    

    I move from the west coast to the east coast and started seeing my doc at the Hagerstown VA. To make a long story short, it was decided that I was suffering from PTSD, which I am now being treated for. A claim was submitted to the VA and after 6 or 7 months, they notified me, that they couldn’t find anything that my file was base on. I contacted the National Archives and guess what, they found it and shipped me copies of which was resubmitted to them. Now I understand I have to wait and wait again. Hell, at their pace, I will be dead. Sorry, just needed to get this off my chest. Semper Fi

  30. Suzi Oliver    

    This is absolutely horrible. I am a female vet and getting ready to file a claim for MST/PTSD. I am terrified of this process and not only getting the run around, but being treated like I am lying, or being asked for ‘more’ information. The thought of navigating this difficult process is daunting and even though I have spoken to two different Vet Reps so far, nothing makes sense and I have been told two different ways to do things. I can’t figure out where to start or how…. and the clock is ticking. I opened a claim last June, and I guess I have to submit the claim by this June.
    I am APPALLED reading all these comments, seeing how my fellow veterans have been treated. And yet, ‘society’ begs us to take in tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and refugees whose identities can’t even be verified… Why publish these ridiculous little articles saying that the VA is making all these changes, when clearly, CLEARLY, they are not?

  31. James Corona    

    My VA claim was approved from 20% to 90%.

    The VA owes me retro back pay for 15 years and they’re not going to pay!

    The VA was waiting for me to die!

  32. Frederick bricket    

    My claims been there for over 4 years about time someone takes care if it font you now your sweeping them under the floor?

  33. edwin s roberts 111    

    HAVE NOT HEARD OF MY CLAIM SINCE LAST SPRING REGARDING CAMP LEJUNE 1957 DRINKING WATER PROBLEM.. I HAVE BEEN FIGHTING BLADDER CANCER SINCE SEPT. 2014. CANNOT GETR ANY NEWS ABOUT MY CLAIM AND EXPENSES???? LAST FOUR DIGITS OF SOC # 8912.

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Mr. Roberts,

      It’s likely that your claim was put on hold pending the implementation of the Camp Lejeune presumption. You can check your claim status in eBenefits. Since these claims are now being processed, you should receive an update soon.

      Please visit http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/index.asp for Camp Lejeune specific information.

      Regards,
      Mark

  34. Willie King    

    Just wondering how long does I take a local VA office to resolve a claim? Thank you!

  35. Neal J. Covington    

    My appel is over 30 years and I have not heared any tjing from the VA. All I get is more red tape out of this system. Way is that mu paper in somebody wasted basket now. What must I do now.

  36. Michele Easton    

    My husband, David had a massive stroke in 2000 while on active duty, in air force. David received 30% disability. In 2002 he went to James Howard clinic in Brick, NJ. Joseph Salzano a service officer told us, there is nothing he can do. David applied for more disability, VA denied him. Then he applied again. He was told, we have to wait anorher 2 years. Can you help us?. David had the stoke when he was 43 yrs old. After serving 24 1/2 YEARS.

  37. Gene E Magann    

    What is the mission of the VA for those veterans whose life has been devastated by doing what they believed was their duty? Subversion, punitive actions to discourage and stop veterans from filing claims? I recently filed a claim, so instead of using all the data the VA has in my case to decide my claim, the VA needs to send me to a doctor once again before they can drag out their decision process. Ok, fine! But why did they send me 250 miles round trip to see a doctor on a Friday night with an appointment at 500PM. I don’t see well to drive at night anymore. 125 miles home at night in Friday night traffic. I guess that was a thank you for your service. I have been told I could have made another appointment, sure wait another six month for an appointment. When you get an appointment with the VA, you better keep that appointment. Now sit back and wait and hope you don’t die before the VA makes a decision. I really don’t want my eternal rest to be disturbed by clapping! And that is how I feel!

  38. Billy Cox    

    The National Guard and Reserve needs a VA advocate that understands how the guard and reserves works. Thousands of guard and reserve members have served on active duty since 911, and have legitimate VA claims but are denied by the VA .

  39. Michele Easton    

    I am writing again to tell you. My husband will not write anymore to anyone in the VA. He has given up but, i will NOT. 43 yrs old he had massive stroke after serving 24 1/2 YEARS. Now he is 60 yrs old with only 30% disability!!! VA keeps turning him down. I guess the VA wants all Veterans to die!!
    I read all these stories, and cried.

  40. Art G    

    I also have an active Appeal pending in the Houston office, they keep telling me ohh it is in case review and it can take 3 to 4 years well this appeal was sent in 0n 2011 an its been 6 years an still no results, they sent me to see a doctor in October 2016, an the Doctor told me it was Military related, an sent the results to the VA office in Houston , an I am still waiting !!! It looks like they are waiting for me to die, sadly as it may sound, that is what it look’s like our Government wants !!!!

  41. Jeff    

    I want to appluad all the hard working Men and Women of the VA that are working hard each and everyday to make a difference for our Veterans.
    To those Veterans who are having challenges who aren’t linked up with a VSO , do yourself a favor and get one. It was the best thing I did when completing my claim. I can’t stress enough on having the right documentation when filing a claim. It will only help you out in the long run. Let’s all pull together, get educated and respect the process.

    Airborne 82nd Leads the Way !!

  42. Restituto D.Barraquias    

    Sir my Dad and my Mom both death both never to enjoyed any benefit during there lifetimes at usva manila due to none equity of malaria deseas of malaria none vso to asst our claim? Denied in 2002 I apply at usva manila for child benefits or death benefits it was denied due lack of evidence none vso to assist our claim infact if we follow law of child I am very qualified due to fact that during the illnesses of veteran from 1980 up to 1988 I am attending in school in 1980 up to 1988 I was 18 years old up to 1988 I was 24 the law cited if the child attending in school are entitled to received death benefit the va ,board ,uscourts are denied my claim they did not hair wether or not conteniue in school during the illnesses of my Dad or stopped denied myclaim my school record cited I am attending in school from 1980 I was 16 years old secand school record I was attending in school from 1985 up to 1988 I was 23 years old the law say the child must be attending in school on the death of veteran’s the va board uscourt affirm denied from board ? Under dkt # 15_2430 and also none vso to assist our claim denied? From 2002 up to 2016 it is 14 years of denied
    Sir I am Asking you what benefit for survivorson entitled to received death benefit after affirm from uscourts of appeals boad decision denied? What is the effects under this digital process of claims? For none lawyer or vso to assist of my claim? What happened if none lawyer or vso under digital electronic process of claim ? What possible or impossible denials? Usva claim they are many obstacles way to pass at va or road are many needle to pass a little hole to va manila

  43. Joe Washburn    

    Has it occured to anyone at VA that you are constantly running around “fixing” things? None of your “fixing” does a damn thing for us veterans who have been waiting years?

  44. Gregory D Wales    

    I am a 67 yr old veteran. I’m healthy, thank God.

    My heart goes out to my fellow patriots who suffer insult and hardship from the VA.

    Shame on all those responsible!!!!!

  45. James Thomas Coursey    

    When VA tells you that you are out of luck, because they have lost a copy of your injury and time in medical clinic for injury? Is that the end of it, I had concussion while in PR training at Lakehurst NAS

    1. Mark Ledesma    

      Mr. Coursey,

      Are you currently working with an accredited representative to assist you with your claim? They should be able to help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim.

      “Buddy statements” – statements from fellow Veterans you served with, family members or friends can also help support your claim. An accredited representative should be able to help explain this to you. You can learn more about accredited representatives here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/VSO/

      Regards,
      Mark

  46. Barbara Stahl    

    My husband served in Vietnam. He had Agent Orange which contributed to his Type 2 Diabetes, neuropathy, 30 percent kidney function, and Pancreatic Cancer which finally took the love of my life. The VA granted him 70 percent disability after fighting for it. My husband filed for 100% disability because of the Pancreatic Cancer. We hired a lawyer and according to everything I have read, Type 2 Diabetes is a factor for Pancreatic Cancer. Before my husband passed away, he wanted to make sure I was able to get DIC. He was getting compensation for his Diabetes, neuropathy and Kidney function. My husband found out he had PC January 29th, 2013. He had Whipple SurgHe had his Chemo, the hardest kind, and the radiation. He went into remission and then the PC really took over his body. He went through more Chemo and got gravely ill. He was in and out of the hospital continuously. My husband, Gary, went from a healthy 190 pounds to 130 pounds. I took care of him at home and he passed away at home with his family at his bedside.He died July 8th, 2016. My problem is before he passed away, we got everything together so I wouldn’t have any worries. I have a credit score of 810 and had some money in the savings. I have car payments and home payments also medical bills. My savings a down to almost nothing and I might have to file bankruptcy and lose my excellent credit rating all because of the VA not doing their job. After reading all the complaints something has to be done. I do believe they are waiting for us spouses of the Vietnam Vets to pass away also. These veterans had no Idea what they were in for. They were drafted, they had to go, and I know my husband was like many, proud to serve. The least the VA, VBA could do is look at the DIC claims and process them as quickly as they can. Theis is not a hand out to the Spouses. We have to live. The Vietnam War took our loved ones and now it’s taking our lives with worrying how we’re going to survive. We need help! There are many widows who have children and they too are waiting for the decisions from the VA to get their DIC. Who can help us?

  47. Paul Coleman    

    “Lie and deny!” That’s the motto of the Little Rock Regional Office.

    “Lie, delay, lie more, delay, and deny!” That’s the VA’s motto

    The VA falsifies C&P exams to avoid paying benefits due Veterans.

    It is a violation of FEDERAL LAW to falsify a government document.

    It is also conspiracy, which is also a FEREDAL CRIME, for two or more people to work together or even discuss intentional falsifying government documents.

    So, why hasn’t a large number of VA employees been arrested for violating FEDERAL LAW?

  48. John Richardson    

    It amazes me how Veterans follow the filing process properly, just to be denied or delayed for years. I was diagnosed with a rare condition known as Rhabdomyolysis. Dehydration and hot & humid temperatures, along with excessive over exertion exasperates my illness. I was diagnosed on active duty while in Bosnia during 2001. I retired from the Army in 2007 and have filed a claim and appealed the denial since 2008. I have been hospitalized every year since while my kidneys undergoes irreversible damage. I listed the conditions as Residuals of heat injury because when diagnosed in 2001 I was a heat casualty and this led to the diagnosis. My Military medical records clearly states the name of my condition, causes, hospitalization, treatment and the LOD, etc. I am still waiting for a reversal due to clear, convincing evidence of the unmistakable error by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Army screwed up because I should have been medically discharged because Rhabdomyolysis is a Systemic disease, plus I had three more heat injuries the same year. Now the VA wants to make my claim disappear.

  49. Salvador A. Figueroa    

    In Nov 2015 I received a letter stating a proposed rate reduction. It clearly states that if you file for a personal hearing within 30 days your payments will continue at the same amount. So my pay was reduced despite filing for a personal hearing within 30 days and have yet to receive a hearing date. My year deadline to file an appeal(NOD) is coming up in few weeks.

    I find it hard to believe the VA has booked personal hearings solid through the rest of time. Waiting 18 months+ to simply schedule a date seems ridiculous and plain hard to understand. Though silly, i’d happily take a hearing date 10 years down the road.

    So why i’m writing this? Both the VA and the Veteran would both benefit from simply being made aware. Be made aware that the Veteran:
    A.) You’ll likely wait months/year to schedule a date let alone get a personal hearing.
    B.) you’ll likely not get a personal hearing before your appeal(NOD) dead line expires
    C.) Your pay might or might not be reduced, the decision will be made for you.

    Veterans rely on what notification/decision letters state the options are. I feel if a Veteran knew these risks they wouldn’t bother going down this route. I could have been a 18 months into my appeal.

  50. Raymond C Wasmer    

    In the 50 years gone by since joining the Marine Corp, I’ve never seen any system as fragmented as the VA departments. The primary departments do not or can not share information. For the most frequents and basic needs of communications, there are no reliable intermediaries in place. Going to a local Congressman or VA Rep is not “standard operating procedures” for the masses. I doubt my 2nd attempt to process the same claim will be met with any better results than the 1st claim that expired while waiting for information from the VA. Dynamically the VA is a hopelessly incompetent system. I is a greatly improved medical service provider to Vets, but beyond that it is a “black hole”.

  51. Thomas W Bishop Jr    

    It’s only been six months since I applied for compensation. Social Security Disability Insurance took less than two months to decide my claim. After reading the horror stories here, I have no hope. Since I applied, I have have become a homebound/bed bound veteran on palliative care. My nexus letter was written by a sergeant major (ret). I’m fearful that if I request a hardship that I would be placed at the back of the line. That’s a line of folks that I respect too much to skip ahead of any one of them! I am extremely disappointed that the VA treats veterans this way. A training lesson from the Social Security Administration would, possibly be beneficial to VA claims examiners. I doubt this would work on people who obviously aren’t capable of carrying out their responsibilities. We served with pride and dignity and I feel as though I have been stripped of this too. Please, Mr. President help us while we’re still here!

  52. kenneth ynclan    

    Iam a U.S Marine retired. I have an appeal in progress .Which has been filed sence Aug.2015. The V.A. has not a clue on how to fix it . Here the way i would make it work. For the first thing I would get ride of all the so called higher up . They do nothing but make it worse.If the President want to make wright . Then send in retired Marines to fix the v.a.problems all of them. Less time lest money. We need help from the retired Marines who understand the veterans.It could be cough up in Months not years. I hope that someone up there will read this

    jarhead

  53. Thomas W Bishop Jr    

    After reading these posts I have lost all hope! I’ve submitted my initial claim six months ago. It went to “preparation for a decision” back to step 2 “Under review”. A command sergeant major (ret) wrote a nexus letter, as he witnessed the incident. I had pushed the “Ask the VA to decide your claim” link over a month ago. This presented me with a 5103 form, which I willingly filled out. I am currently homebound and confined to my bed. My doctor has placed me in palliative care and I lay here patiently waiting for the VA to decide my claim. Again, after reading the nightmare stories my fellow vets have posted I have come to the conclusion that I may be well dead before a decision has been made. I only pray that any positive decision will go to my wife to assist her in starting over.

    When I had applied for Social Security Disability Insurance I was approved within two months. Perhaps the VA should be instructed on how to process a claim by Social Security?

    I have asked my VSO if it would be prudent to file a hardship to see if my claim could move along quicker. I was reluctant to do this because I don’t believe that I should be put ahead of anyone that has been waiting for years. Well, the VSO hasn’t gotten back to me yet.

    I wish you all.the best! I’m confident that you have all served with honor and dignity. It makes me nauseous to know that you have all been treated this way. God bless you all!

  54. Wayne    

    Yes need to know the phone number to VBS so I can explain what happened , in short I know you are now using civilian
    Doctors to speed up things or the agency that calls us for apps call qtc , they like to play he say she said game , I really don’t like that

  55. James Tobleck    

    Incompetent captcha jerks.it’s to bad the morons in DC don’t care to talk to vets who are having problems with VBA , VHA in Michigan. How many vets killed themselves because of their lazyness.How about new director calling me . I have a lot to say and no one’s listening

  56. Richard Quintana-Sena    

    I am happy to see the VA give themselves all these plaudits. Now as a service officer I want to know when the VA is going to work on the Board of Veteran Appeals. I have cases that are OVER two and three years old. A veteran died waiting for his appeal and his wife is hanging on with social security and all we get is lip service from the VA. Fix the @#$T_F_ darn Board of Appeals. You need to have hearing sooner than one year. I will not Contact my Congressman McCain, he is to busy being a politician as is his crony from Arizona.

  57. Paul Deutsch    

    What about those of us who live west of the Mississippi River? Our claims languish just as we veterans slowly languish away until we die and then the VA can close the claim without paying anything.

    So far since President Trump took over, I’ve seen NOTHING useful happening at VA. Still Same Ol, Same Ol do nothing VA.AD75

  58. Paul Deutsch    

    My claim was initially filed in 1981. Yes, 1981. And it is still not resolved.

  59. Paul Deutsch    

    If there is a presumption for Agent Orange and a presumption for Camp Lejeune water, why is there no presumption for hearing loss for those who worked around jet engines for years and years?

  60. Paul Deutsch    

    Why is there no path for veterans to follow when the service either never created medical files for certain events OR lost the records? It happened to me when I had a back injury while traveling PCS from one base to another. No records ever got into my medical file even though I was treated at a military facility enroute.

    Same happened to my wife who was injured and treated and nobody can find any records.

    VA: “no records, no benefits. SOL sucka!”

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