Adequate Time



It shouldn’t take a government agency (VA) very long to verify a medical record that came from another government agency (one of the Armed Forces).  Most, if not all, of the documentation in question in these medical records has already been checked and rechecked multiple times prior to it reaching VA for a claim.  In some cases, VA has even ran tests then required the claimant to undergo the same exact tests they contract out to a civilian agency (VES – Veterans Evaluation Services) for no apparent reason other than to drag the process out even longer.   The only thing that VA is doing when they drag their feet in the claims process is costing the TAX PAYERS more money.  These claims should be processed, start to finish, within 90 days.  There is no reason to drag them out for these lengthy periods, it only causes unwanted stress and hardship on the service member and their families, which none of them deserve.

For years now the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has rejected legitimate claims by Servicemen on the hopes that the claimant wouldn’t pursue any further action because of the length of time they (VA) take to make their decision.  In most cases, a claim can go unsettled for 12-18 months or longer.  Depending on the determination from VA that 12-18 month period gets paid in a lump sum to the claimant.  This amount could range anywhere between a couple thousand dollars ($2,000), to forty five to fifty thousand dollars ($45,000 – $50,000), to hundreds of thousands of dollars (these figures are just base amounts and do not include anything extra).  With the number of returning Servicemen this country is expecting and the percentage which will ETS or retire, wouldn’t it be in VA’s best interest to settle these claims in a timely manner rather than dragging them out for months or even years like our Vietnam Veterans have encountered.  Some of our Vietnam veterans are receiving million dollar checks from the government due to these ridiculous processes.

If VA is under staffed and cannot handle what is required of them to process these claims in a respectable amount of time, our Government Leaders should step in and do what it takes to make sure we are taken care of.  We, as Serviceman, never hesitated in completing our mission(s) to guarantee the safety and well-being of this country! Why does it take VA so long to CARE for US after we ETS or Retire?  One VET without a home, medical care, or the benefits they DESERVE is ONE too many!!!!!

Jeffrey L. Thomas served in the U.S. Army and Indiana Army National Guard. He retired after 22 years of service. His is married and have six children and proud grandfather of one. Jeffrey has been waiting on his disability claim for 16 months. He currently lives with a family member, receiving food stamps, and trying to stay positive.

Author

Jeffrey Thomas

Comments

  1. Teri Jefferson    

    Secretary Shenseki, the secretary of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, is working to get the claims processed and paid to vets within 125 days. This process should be completely implemented by 2013.

    1. Clarence Crim    

      I have been waiting since 05/05/2008 for a decision on my appeal. No one at the VA
      can tell me what is going on.I called the board of appeals and was told that all My information was at the regional office. I have sending letters from My Staff Psychiatrist and my Staff Physician. They seam to loose information untile they started E-Benefits. Is there anything that you can do for me to speed up the decision. I lost my business last year and it has put me in a hardship.It is hard to live on Social Security. I do not know what else to do.
      Br
      Clarence Crim

      1. Sarah    

        You need representation. I used the VFW and my county VA representative both of which are free and wonderful resources.

    2. Rette Leavy    

      Let there be no confusion to this blog, thankfully, to Secretary Shinseki for his diligence and persistency to correct the social ills of the VA claim and compensation backlog by hiring and training his personnel. The solution does not lie with whether the program will be implemented by 2013, rather the problem is the backlog VA has in placed now, and whether the individuals are willing to put forth the effort in creating and sustaining such system by working at curving down the backlogs. In that, get these claims ready, measured, and processed to the veteran’s mailbox today and the least likelihood of having an overdraft in 2013 can be reduce to a minimum. Moreover, we accomplish this with an “attitude of commitment” for our stakeholders, the veterans, and the organization- daily.

      In addition, the veteran can summarize only a portion of the VA’s medical communication with that of the governing body amongst the regional level as to how a claim is substantiated and winnable. There are however many articles, books, policies and procedures as to how this is accomplished. Again, for the veteran this remains the two-fold mystery. Such effective communication between the two organizations is crucial and is mainly the deciding factor as to whether the veteran gets their benefit.

      Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure, veterans will not quit using the VA programs just because they are dissatisfied with the output of service. They will however remain an advocate to have a governing body in placed that are inclusive to operate within an organization that requires some type of balance, control, and stability. The real makeover is how VA read and comprehends medical documentation and whether the decisions made are based on biases or incomplete data on both parties. In addition, the program works, it just takes longer than usual, but the question remains “who is working for sure?” Hang in there!

    3. David Prestage    

      SIr,
      Before I retired from the military I applied for the Pre Discharge Program “Benefits Delivered at Discharge”. I applied on 4 April 2011 and did not retire until 1 July 2011. I moved from Columbia, South Carolina on 29 April 2011 and to reschedule all appoints thru the NOLA Regional Office. After some time had passed went to the NOLA VA Regional Office to see what the delay was on medical appoints I had in South Carolina. I went back to the NOLA Regional Office over and over just about every two weeks requesting rescheduling of the appoints. After 8 months of writing letter going to the NOLA Regional Office and 1 congressional complaint I got my medical evolution date of 27 December 2011. There was a series of medical appoints I went to on 27, 28, 29 December 2011 and 11 January 2012. After all of the appoints I waited until 3 February 2012 and went back to the NOLA Regional Office to see when my case would move to the next phase. I was told at that time by Mr. Richards that my case would take at lease 340 days or more to complete, I asked why since I had applied for Benefits Delivered at Discharge why it would take so long. I was informed by Mr. Richards that I never applied for that program and my case was not in that program and the NOLA office can not support any of the Pre Discharge Programs at this time due to back log of cases.

      From May 2011 until February 2012 the program I requested and applied for I was never entered in to even after I had asked about over and over. In March I had made several complaints that I was not entered in the right program I found out that I had filled out all of the information and forms but the NOLA Regional Office just did not enter me into the right program. I went back to the NOLA Regional Office and asked about it, I got Mr. Richards once more and he informed me that a mistake had been made and my case was in the traditional program and there was nothing to be done now I would just have to wait and let the case run it course. I asked to see a supervisor and he told me no the supervisor would only tell me the same thing and there was no use in getting him. Mr. Richards also told me to stop making complaints and the case worker would get to my case much faster and to stop making congressional complaints all these complaints only slow down the process by months.

      I did everything the VA has asked of me and nothing I have written to the VA Regional Office in NOLA, Under Secretary Hickey but have never received any response. No one cares in the VA and I have written sever congressional…

      1. michael    

        I am getting the same response, I had appointments but they seemed to have lost the documentation. It would be nice if some of that money the GOV is throwing at VA would go to hiring competent people to settle claims. How about hiring a VET VA not just promoting a slacker from inside the organization. Fed up with the VA and the incopetence. Still waiting since August 2010 for my claim.

    4. Douglas W Carnes    

      My claim was submitted in July 2011 and here it is a few months away from hitting its year mark. I submitted a statement which made the claim more complex which in turn is dragging it out and not addressing what is important in the claim and is ending my federal career as a civilian. My clearance has been revoked because of a service connected mental illness that the VA is dragging their feet on deciding. I have contacted my local senator. I was told 180days from start to finish in Columbia SC.

  2. Jim Starowicz    

    It’s simple, and with decades of obstruction:

    No Revenues = Still No Sacrifice = That’s Called ‘Support’ For The Troops = DeJa-Vu all over again!!

    Now a decade and counting added to the previous decades of under funding the VA, while the peoples reps Still try and lay blame on the Agency, after rubber stamping wars and costs of and those represented cheer on these wars! While the wealthy and other investors garner their booty, still from both, and many have the chutz·pa to call themselves more patriotic{?} then others wrapped in those false flags, using false slogans and various cheap symbols of!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71

  3. Veteran72    

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that it should not take the VA very long to process claims for compensation. Most if not all the pertinent info needed is, for a lack of a better way to say, right there in front of them. If not immediately available to the VA one would think they would have the leverage to readily access just about anything on record about the claimant. My friend has been waiting now for15 months to hear a final rating decision from the VA for his agent orange claim. However, I have never waited for more than two months. I truly do not understand why the time difference. We are serviced by different VA regions, but should that alone add 13 months to his claim processing versus mine. I think not. Some one please take a hard look to see if all the VAROs are doing the same process. Obviously, not!

  4. Toby J. Nolan    

    It Took 21 Months For A C&P For PTSD. I Am Now At 702 Days And Still Waiting. I Pass the 125 Days About 6 Times. I Will Not Give Up Until I Die.

    1. David Prestage    

      my brother is at 500 days and i am at 10 months only time will tell and the VA does not care if you live or die only shut up and wait

  5. Joseph Simpson    

    Things with in the department of Veterans affairs has not gotten any better fro most veterans and there is real suffering going on due to denials of claims that are totally valid under VA Regulations and the law. However the VA is above the law, this is well documented with the violations of Due Process of Law of countless veterans, BVA Remands that are left sitting for years without any action by regional offices as required by judges orders to expedite and OIG Reports of VA employee violations, lack of care of Confidential Veterans Records / loss of records on regular bases, and No Accountability of VA Officials and employees. There have also been several VA employees who have claimed they are not allowed or encouraged not to approve VA Claims. Bottom Line the VA Is Above The Law and there is No Accountability and never has been. nothing will improve until we veterans and out families stand together and Demand Change Now. We need to march on Washington like never before, litterly Shut It Down with full media coverage on the suffering of our nations vets at the hands of the VA and Congress Knows it. i have seen so much first hand on this issue with my own claim and by talking to other vets and their families. Homeless rates are Up not Down, many give up on the VA and the process since it causes so much on vets and their family to put up with. Suicide rates are at alarming numbers, I even had two DAV Reps commit suicide, one the day of my BVA hearing. Too Many vets die Before their claims are resolved leaving a spouce to fight the VA when that should not have happened. How would like to know how VA officials sleep at night knowing the truth about claims. And Most Important is ; there were about One Million VALID Claims Back-log Before Iraq even started and they have never been dealt with fairly by any means. This Must Be Done NOW. I want this as a Major Issue of the Presidential Elections as well as one of Rights Violations. I tell vets every day Bring It Out – Tell America the Truth. I have also started a petition on Facebook calling for this to be addressed by Congress and the White House and Full Accountability of VA Officials. May God Bless Our nations Veterans

    1. Rette Leavy    

      I was personally told once that if VA followed its own policy and procedures that none of this chaos would be happening. The laws were put in place to have an effective governing body that for the benefit of our nations veterans and their families be protected, delivered, and done so without a shadow of doubt. In addition, to the advocacy work let us add the law governing concurrent receipt, a law that was forbidden up until 2004. A veteran could receive both his VA disability compensation and his well-deserved military retirement benefit. Now, many of our nation’s military retirees have to pay their own disability compensation out of their retirement benefits. An interesting article came out in The American Legion magazine, written by a veteran who retired from the Marine Corp. Here was a veteran who enlisted in the Marine Corp in 1942 with big pay as he call it ($21.00 a month) He served in the pacific for 31 months without so much as R & R. This veteran went through three battles and was wounded in Okinawa. After the War he went on to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve and was ordered to Korean Conflict. He served two tours and decided to make a career out it. The Veteran was promise by our respected lawmakers [then] that he and his wife would get free dental care and free medical care after his retirement. This law was thrown out the window in 1978 or thereabouts. The veteran believes that the government discriminates against military retirees. He clearly states, “All federal retirees-except military retirees-receive their full retired pay, plus VA compensation if they rate it” (as cited in The American Legion Magazine, April, 2012) He went for 40 years from 1968 without his full-retired pay. I was interested in this article because it is very close to home-what a story and look, what he did for his country, the sacrifice he so diligently made.
      Today, a veteran in the civilian sector who retires from a civilian job (e.g. Chrysler LLC) will received without a shadow of doubt their full retiree benefit from his/her civilian employer as well as the full VA compensation if they rate. Not so, with a military retiree and the law makers say write your congressman and senator-for what I asks, because this has been done on countless occasion only to find out that my congressman voted against it and have voted against it since it was introduced. Military retirees should be able to draw their full VA disability compensation without a phased-in law that every lawmaker seem to think is the greatest thing since the founding of this country. It was dutifully…

  6. Tom Dullaghan    

    What a shame, This Government is NOT our friend. I am a Vietnam Vet, who was not given my chance to get help 41 years ago. I decided to go back and I have diabetes and
    have been suffering with PTSD all these years. I filed 10 months ago, and have been told
    it will take over a year to get these processed. I live in North Carolina, and NO effort by anyone in the VA, do anything to help.
    I’m going to contact my US congressmen and complain!!!
    God bless all my fellow Vet’s

  7. Tristum, Beeks    

    It took VA 18months to rate my PTSD, and depression combined the two for 30% which I thought was also wrong they should be two separate things. Hypertension was rated at zero since 94-95 then they increased it to 20% and only paid me for the 18month back pay figure instead of going back to 94-95 . Let me tell man it’s not right I served over twenty years for this country and to be shit on just don’t sit right with me.

  8. Lemoris Alston    

    Jeffrey, I feel your pain. I am a Vietnam Era Vet. I have been waiting over 18 months now. I am being supported by my wife or I would be homeless. Because she is a good hard working woman, I am put in needing co-pay for my medical service from the VA and my many needed meds. No one sees a need to step up and speak for us. We carry no weight in this country. I hope you can hold on as I continue to try. It is not easy.

  9. vets wife    

    Jeffrey, everything you commented above is true but i recently seen on the va homepage a new disablility benefits questionnaire(DBQ’s) that can be filled out by a private medical doctor, so the claims process for C/P would speed up because they dont have to be reevaluated by a VA doctor, so that says alot of time and should open up more space for vets that cant go outside into the private sector of the medical field. They do not reimburse you for the cost but for some like my husband he has private insurance as well, so he can get alot of his private doctors to process this new DBQ form. Im so glad the VA has finally listen to us, on this topic. It truely was a waste of money for the VA to do the exact same test as someone who paid a private doctor to do the test. Its looking the the VA truely is trying to correct so many issue that need so much reevaluation. Ty VA i think this should help speed up some of these claims and leave more time open for VA doctors to process claims that vets cant go outside the VA. I do have two question i am alittle confused on, One if you have a private psyche MD fill out the form for PTSD and stressors and same evaluation tests, can they do this to help speed the C/P process claim up if the VA denied it the first time without the private doctors findings and is still sitting in stage one of the appeals process now with the private doctors finding. Second question- Can a vet get there primary VA adm. doctor to fill out some of these forms for C/P if they have seen and treated them, to speed the process up or does it have to be filled out strictly by a private medical doctor. A response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for trying to get these claims handled in a timely matter. I hope this will help some vets.

    1. vets wife    

      THANKS FOR ALL THE RESPONSES, IT TRUELY HELPED OUT ALOT. LOL SO, ILL TAKE THAT NOBODY FROM THE VA KNOWS THE ANSWER TO MY QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE DBQ FORMS? I GET ABOUT THE SAME RESPONSE WHEN I CALL THE VA, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, JUST ANOTHER WASTE OF A VETS TIME.

  10. RICH YOUNG    

    I LAST RECIEVED A COMMUNICATION FROM THE VA IN AUG 2011 “GATHERING INFORMATION”. I AM BEGINING TO THINK I’M TO DIE SOON AND THE VA WILL AVOID PAYING ANOTHER CLAIM.

  11. James A. Warren R.P.L.S.(retired)    

    I am 100% disabled, have lost my home and my business.

    I have an Attorney working on my case. It’s been a year and a half! Why should it take this long?

    James A. Warren R.P.L.S.(retired) U.S.M.C.

    1. James A. Warren R.P.L.S.(retired)    

      I hope you received my email. Please help me if you can!

  12. LaDell Bishop    

    I agree, it is sad that the Federal government has tied its own hands with its red tape making it hard to hire people that could help.

  13. Valerie    

    It took me 2 years to get my SC disability and that was almost 20 years ago. I havent had a rate increase since even though Ihave had to have 2 more surgeries one of which they botched, admitted it, and have had daily pain and decrease in mobility but wont up my rating. I would also like to include other issues I have with the VA: I made an appt with my PCP first week of Jan 2012 and wont be seen untill May 31 2012, When I was pregnant they delayed my care bc they lost my urine sample and did not tell me for 2 weeks eventhough I had an ultrasound of my 12 week fetus in hand. Not to mention when I was pregnant 6 months earlier they could not fit me in for 4 months and at that time I was 8 weeks pregnant. When I reached 9 weeks I called and begged for an appt bc something was not feeling right….the baby had died and I did not find out until 12 weeks when I went to a private OB. BTW I had to pay for all of this because they could not fit me in to be seen which equals no auth for services!!!! I could tell you many more but wont at the moment. But something needs to be done.

  14. D goss    

    Every veteran should be aware of the VA Monday report and this will provide an answer to most of your questions about why it is taking so long. The web address is http://www.vba.va.gov/reports/mmwr/ If you look at the second tab of the spreadsheet you can find your state. Please note that they only identify items that are over 125 days they do not break it down any further. The thing to keep in mind is that the currently returning vets are being fast tracked to receive the care that they need. I for one am not going to complain about that. I do think that they need to include that in their spreadsheet.

    1. william    

      D goss, I took a look at The Monday Morning Reports and I come to this concluding; the VA RO’s have a personnel problem. I looked over each and every year and months and I must say it seems like the managers are not motivated to improve on progress. If the managers are not motivated then no one else will be. The data from month to month and year to year doesn’t seem to change by much. There should be someone who could motivate them to set goals and try to do better than they have each month and each year. I didn’t see anything like that in the numbers. It seems like everyone working in the VA RO’s is satisfied with the static qua. I think it should be a shame for someone who is paid by tax payers are setting satisfied with the static qua.

      There is not one private organization that would set around being satisfied with the static qua because they would be busy trying to find their next customers, so, I guess the VA (the government) need not to worry about finding new customers because their customers list is a fixed list and as long as they drag in process our claim they would always have a government job paid for by tax payers.

  15. D. Green    

    I believe the Va wants Vets to give up or die.I’ve been waiting 1825 days, had Congressman,Senators,DAV, VFW .All VA has to do when a Congressman or Senator inquires is that they have 30 days to acknowledge that they received there inquiry,that’s it .
    The rating board or VA is not held accountable,Congress has known that this is going on but just sits around on there Fat A$$$

  16. Steve Isaacson    

    Jeffrey Thomas: I have read your story and I can relate to you. It is a shame that Vietnam vets are left behind. I waited for over 23 years until I got my 100%. But, If you want to go forward and wait no longer. what you need to do is change P.O.A.’s if you do not have the military order of the purple heart as your P.O.A. now. I am not down grading the other organizations, they only have so much resources to work with.. The Military order of the purple heart has Attorneys backing them up. try them. I did and I am very glad I did.

  17. Robert Candelaria Sr    

    I have been appealing for nine years since 2002 and now finally my case has been desided and let me tell you it has been absolute torture for those nine years. I can’t count the number of times my paperwork was lost and no body could tell me why or when my appeal was going to get desided. I do believe that they just want you to give up, don’t do it keep insisting and fighting I almost gave up, but thank God I am able to survive somewhat now althought all is still not ok i have a lot of issues (ptsd) but me at least i can pay my bills and eat healthier now.
    God bless America and all our wariors.
    PS I have a son that is a Marine his son my grandson is a Marine currently serving in Okinawa and my other son served in the Army i am very proud that my family loves and serves proudly for the United States Of America.

  18. Darlene    

    I know we all have been hurt. we all have been denied. over and over again.
    I also believe I may have griped to many times. I know there are many in the world that
    suffer just as I do. I am trying to keep my head a bove the water. I know even when I am feeling so depressed, I think there isn’t anyone for me. I think I am not worth anything, then I pet my dog Hugo and I have someone to care for. It makes life worth living still, I will make it through. I have children I can attempt to cook for for easter and I have some help so I won’t be doing it by myself. It is inmoprtant to me to keep trying
    and not give up. to know I am an able indiv. even through hardships!

  19. william    

    I can understand working with individuals who file claims from the past and those who do not have the necessary medical record or paper work to back up their claims. However, I’ve heard a lot of horrifying story about the VA medical centers and how long it takes VA to process a claim. After my injuries I have been receiving medical treatment from a VA medical center and I have not one complaint. I love all of the doctors I have seen so far. I can tell the VA has made a lot of changes and improvements, but one place I serious don’t believe they have improved on, is how fast they can process a claim. If I just knew what the problems are I would be more than happy to come up with suggests helping them process claims faster and more sufficient.

    My VA regional office is located in Denver, Co., and it would be nice if someone there could call me, email me, or send me a letter stating they have or have not received all of the medical records or information they need in order to satisfy claims. Because I have sent them by U.S. mail all the medical records I could get my hands on, and according to e-benefit web site I see a message stating my attention is needed to show proof of my injuries. That same message has been there since November, 2011, but I have sent them my medical records already. I can’t help to wonder if my claim is just setting around some where with out anyone paying any attention to it, and may be someone will get to it by New Year, 2013. I really don’t think I can go to work anywhere with my medical condition. I don’t think after I tell an employer about my medical condition they would want to take the risk with me of reinjuring myself and suing them for millions of dollars.

  20. Tbird    

    The thing that I really don’t understand. We knew we were going to war before we went, we knew military members would be filing claims, so why at the very beginning of all this did the VA not hire more raters, it takes time to train a rater and probably a good two years to get them up to speed. More raters in my mind would have reduced the backlog before the big influx of the OEF/OIF and better prepared the VA for all the new claims.

  21. Veterans Benefits Administration    

    Below is a response from the Veterans Benefits Administration to some of the questions and concerns in the above thread. We hope this response helps and feel free to continue to add your comments to this post. We plan to watch the conversation and respond as best we can.

    VBA is working very hard to improve the delivery of benefits and services to Veterans and their dependents. We are exploring new technologies and techniques to make the claims process more efficient. Changes in our training programs have resulted in significant increases in productivity and accuracy from our new employees. Some regional offices have also instituted mandatory overtime to keep pace with the increased number of benefit claims.

    In processing claims, VA must adhere to its obligations under the law even though they may appear time consuming. For example, under its duty to assist, VA is generally required to attempt to get pertinent evidence from hospitals, doctors, and the military services. Therefore, claims received with all the necessary evidence can move the most quickly. The complexity of some disability claims or the number of conditions claimed means that some claims may take longer to process than others.

    The staff of every regional office across the country is fully dedicated to VA’s commitment to Veterans and their families and VA strives for continuous improvement in its performance. You can check the performance of any regional office by clicking its respective state on VA’s Aspire website located here: http://www.vba.va.gov/reports/aspiremap.asp.

    1. Maurice Wyman Scott    

      I believe that the Central office is doing its best, but innovation without application is pretty much a waste of money, policies are only as good as the people who carry them out, A lie can’t ever trump the truth.
      04/08/1212:30:35

      Thanks to all, I am at the point where public arrest is probably the only alternative to exposing the truth of the Columbia Regional Office. I have two appeals pending, according to the VA Regional Office they are currently with the DRO. Now he’s where the lies have been extending from year to year. Now they say that they the DRO is awaiting files of missing documents from the National repository in St. Louis, now my claims process was started in 2003, so we know thats a lie, because when it was first started, St. Louis sent them originals and all of everything, and they never send it back.

      But in response to a IRIS, last week a customer contact supervisor named Ed, called me, and asked what the problem was, he stated that he would go to the DRO and ask, and call me back, which he did, he stated that in conversation the DRO agreed that I had a head injury, and that I am diagnosed with TBI, he stated that the DRO agreed that records seeming have been lost or misplaced, He also stated that the DRO agreed that I sustained several reported, and documented Kidney Injuries in multiple accidents in the service, and that I am now currently diagnosed with stage four kidney dysfunction. Now here comes the lies, but she has requested records from St. Louis, to try to recover the missing records. Now this is the second time they have told this lie, in April of 2009, they said this one for delaying my original claim, stating while sitting in my face, that thats what they were waiting on, Then, I asked deliberately four times while face to face are you sure, and each time they said yes, Then I sprung a letter from the very repository saying that they have repeatedly told the Columbia Regional Office that they have all the records, and have had since 2003. Now they are telling the same lie, being proactive, and because I figured the same pattern again, I had another letter from the repository saying that on three previous occasions, they have told the Columbia Regional Office, they are in possession of all of my records, i.e. service medical records, I asked this reported supervisor if he had a fax machine with immediate access, he responed yes, so i stated before we continue, let me fax you something, he stated that when he recieved it, he would call me right back, well the letter was faxed, and to date no response from him,…

  22. Maurice Wyman Scott    

    While we continue to public tout our VBA innovations, the local offices have continued those same old policies, of delay, deny, stall and forget. These aren’t innovation issues, they are issues of compliance. We can’t continue to throw monies at issues, that monies can’t address, the confortable employment capacity of the tenured employees at these regional offices. This system is broken, but not inasmuch as reported, but moreover in a culture, more than capacity. The problems exist without oversight, our system of Inspector General as a military culture means someone to investigate, and look out for our well being when our rights are violated, within the VA, its a entity that makes excuses, does reports and investigations with little changes for those issues. Just an administrative exercise without teeth. This is my story published in two separate venues, with more than 100k in hits, it’s public policy that is the need, not systems.

    What to do when they lie, and you catch them in delaying and stalling by the DRO

    Thanks to all, I am at the point where public arrest is probably the only alternative to exposing the truth of the Columbia Regional Office. I have two appeals pending, according to the VA Regional Office they are currently with the DRO. Now he’s where the lies have been extending from year to year. Now they say that they the DRO is awaiting files of missing documents from the National repository in St. Louis, now my claims process was started in 2003, so we know thats a lie, because when it was first started, St. Louis sent them originals and all of everything, and they never send it back.

    But in response to a IRIS, last week a customer contact supervisor named Ed, called me, and asked what the problem was, he stated that he would go to the DRO and ask, and call me back, which he did, he stated that in conversation the DRO agreed that I had a head injury, and that I am diagnosed with TBI, he stated that the DRO agreed that records seeming have been lost or misplaced, He also stated that the DRO agreed that I sustained several reported, and documented Kidney Injuries in multiple accidents in the service, and that I am now currently diagnosed with stage four kidney dysfunction. Now here comes the lies, but she has requested records from St. Louis, to try to recover the missing records. Now this is the second time they have told this lie, in April of 2009, they said this one for delaying my original claim, stating while sitting in my face, that thats what they were waiting on, Then, I asked deliberately four times while face…

  23. Maurice Scott    

    To the VA, and directed to someone to answer please, no complaint, but what does it take to get you, the central office on board, we aren’t just venting, we are hurting, while the folks, and not all, can’t stress that enough, but when a simple few have the mentality of not helping, but collecting a check, then thats the stuff that drives us, crazy.

    There are some bad people working for you, much of the delay isn’t the systems, but when folks aren’t willing to change. As I’ve said previously, stop telling us, nonsense, when from reading your own issues, we know that its just bull, but you say it, anyway. I and every veteran just want someone to tell the truth, if the truth is obvious, do your damn jobs, without working so hard to attempt not to do any.

  24. Shelia Winsett    

    I have a case that has gotten all the way thru the Court system and should have never gotten out of the Regional Office. While I was in an appeal at the Court, the RO ruled on my case again without asking permission for jurisdiction. I argued they could not rule because it would violate OGC PREC 20-94 but no one listened to me. The RO ruled and then I made the argument of jurisdictional issue at the Board which I was ignored again and they ruled causing my appeal to go to the Court again making the same case at the Court in 2 separate dockets. I made my argument over this jurisdiction issue and no one would listen or address it. The RO finally ruled again making the second jurisdiction error but this time would not finalize the appeal onto the Board. Finally, after years the RO admitted they made a jurisdictional error but the case was already at the Board before they realized it. The Board denied making the error and the Court says it is unclear to them which case the jurisdiction error was made. The Court upheld its decision without sending an Order for the Secretary to answer why this jurisdiction happened and asking that it be clarified.

    What this sums up is a case went all the way thru the Court system that should have never been there. Wonder why there is such a backlog of cases. How much taxpayers money do you think has been spent on this one case of mine. I have been docketed at the USCAVC in l9 cases. Admission of error has happened but because I appealed these cases to the Court, the Board says there can be no clear and unmistakable error in them.

    Where is the justice for me? How many times does this happen causing a backlog of claims with federal employees errors. Just look at the waste federal employees of the VA Department have caused on this one case. The Secretary does not know about this because none of his employees is going to get such an error to his attention.

  25. Veterans Benefits Administration    

    Maurice,

    I hear your frustration in regards to the communication you’ve received from your regional office. Unfortunately, from what you’ve stated, some of your records are missing and there is now a search to find them. Your benefits office must make all the necessary attempts to locate your records prior to processing your appeal.

    When adjudicating a claim, we must consider all relevant evidence. If
    evidence is missing, our duty to assist mandates that we request the missing records, both federal and non-federal. In the case of federal records, which seems to be the case here, we must make an initial request for records, and continue with follow up requests until the records are either received, or we receive notice from the records’ custodian that they are not available.

    We realize this process can be time consuming; however, we have a legal obligation to obtain and consider all relevant evidence. This includes any records from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, which may have records not yet considered or retrieved by us. In making sure we have all the correct and necessary evidence prior to moving forward with your appeal, the regional office must continue with its duty to assist until all the records and evidence are received or a negative response of such evidence is given. We hope this response has helped you to understand our regulatory obligations and our commitment under the law to perform our duty to assist.

  26. eddie    

    The problem I believe is the fact that the VA deliberatly delays claims processing. When I was getting out of the military I filled for my benefits prior to getting out I was still on terminal leave which I remember clearly. I provided all of my medical documentation, statements and anything that was asked of me. I was initially given a rating of 0% within 60 days, then another 90 days a recieved a rating of 20%, then in another 90 days I recieved a rating of 60%. So thus far its almost a year even though I submitted everything prior to getting out. I truly believe it has to do with the overall budget. It seems as though the gave the ratings based on the congressional decisions and budget approvals and not the actual medical evaluations. It also matters what state you are located. States in the south have more initiative than states like NY, NJ, Con and others.

    If the program to which was esablished to quickly take care of veterans prior to discharge actually worked then immediately after discharge the claim would have been processed. This program realy does not work.

    You also have information incorrectly worded in records which cause the veterans to have to scramble to correct. for instance if you have a broken back it may state back strain in your VA claim which will cause your claim to be evaluated incorrectly even though your records clearly show you having a broken back.

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