The salaries paid in the failed VA system:
"Delays have increased despite a new $300 million computer system and 3,300 claims processors hired since 2010 – 765 of them for additional positions."
I'm wondering where the heck the environmentalists are and why they aren't squawking about all the trees involved in the VA's pathetic attempt at processing claims! I had one Veteran tell me his file with the VA is 6 ft high! One Veteran, a 6 ft high file!!! Despicable!
"For example, the VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has been conducting reviews of the nation’s 57 regional offices. In the inspection reports, patterns emerge. Phrases like "inaccuracies in processing," "incorrectly interpreted policy" and "use of inadequate medical examinations" show up over and over again contributing
to the unnecessary delays resulting from mismanagement.
In Roanoke, Va., for example, inspectors found paper files — some of them active claims — stacked by the thousands on top of already-full filing cabinets. A structural engineer reported that the sheer weight of it all actually put the building in danger."
"Problems from that era are found in the VA system today, have grown to gigantic proportions and constant "reporting" of planned improvements during this decade have been entirely ineffective. Because, managerial problems continued with pathetic attempts at corrective measures within an outdated support structure that has been patched time and, again, leading to failure after failure. The aforementioned two foot stack of paperwork for the yesteryear veteran’s claim has now grown to four, five, or six feet today because of improper administrative management that leads an unbelievable error rate in claims processing. And the penalty for getting a claim wrong is essentially nonexistent because it is a problem that is being accepted because management cannot develop a fix."
Absolute incompetence and the management is rewarded:
In 2007 Rep. Harry Mitchell, chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee on oversight, said he would hold hearings to investigate after reports that budget officials at the Veterans Affairs Department received bonuses ranging up to $33, 000. A list of bonuses to senior career officials in 2006 documents a generous package of more than $3.8-million in payments by a financially strapped agency straining to help care for thousands of injured veterans re-turning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Among those receiving payments were a deputy assistant secretary and several regional directors who crafted the VA's flawed budget for 2005 based on misleading ac-counting. They received performance payments of up to $33, 000 each, a figure equal to about 20 percent of their annual salaries.
Performance payments??!!!!! Performance payments for poor performance! And the errors continue:
Problems were known and the system should have been ready to correct it. That did not occur. Take a look at some of the claim error rates around the country the above graph that are rather unbelievable.
These errors lead to significant delays, compounded by the number of claims entering into the system. VA completed 977,000 claims in 2009, but took in, for the first time, more than a million new ones. In 2010, VA completed 1 million claims, but received 1.2 million new ones. By the end of 2011, officials expected to receive 1.45 million claims –- a double-digit increase over the number of claims received in 2000. In plain language, more is coming in that is going out and their delays will increase with a claim error rate exceeding 60 percent in some locations..
Statement by Linda A. Halliday Assistant Inspector General for Audits and Evaluations Office of Inspector General Department of Veterans Affairs:
"Our inspections of 50 VAROs from April 2009 through May 2012 disclosed multiple challenges that VBA faces in providing timely and accurate disability benefits and services to veterans. We focused our efforts on specific types of disability claims processing, including temporary 100 percent disability evaluations, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and herbicide exposure, which we considered at high-risk for processing errors. Based on the 50 inspections completed, we determined that VARO staff did not correctly process 1,442 (30 percent) of the 4,812 high-risk claims we reviewed. Of these, about 32 percent affected veterans’ benefits and approximately 68 percent had the potential to affect veter-ans’ benefits. The errors we identified resulted in a total of approximately $15 million in overpayments and $800,000 in underpayments to veterans. Herbicide exposure-related claims represent an area where initially we saw a consistent error rate of about 45 percent. Nineteen of the 20 VAROs inspected in FY 2011 did not follow VBA policy in processing claims for residuals of TBI. We found that VARO staff did not adequately process about 740 (45 percent) of 1,650 TBI claims that we reviewed."
The Bay Citizen provides data regularly updated with statistics clearly indicating failure of the St Petersburg VA Regional Office to meet standards of support. As of December 12, 2012 the following was reported:
47,782 veterans are awaiting response to their claims of a disease, injury or illness suffered while in the military.
Average wait time for veterans was 1,383 days for those who appeal as of May 2012, which is an increase of 20.3% in the prior 1.1 years.
Average response time to a claim was 284 days as of October 2012, which is an increase of 34.2% in the prior 1.5 years.
There was a 7% decrease in disability claims in the last 85 weeks while 65.8% of veterans (31,438) are waiting 125 days or more (the VA standard is 125 days) for a response as of December 17, 2012.
Whether those performance figures are applied to a private business, or to a government office, they are shocking and completely unacceptable.
The system is simply broke:
"They're not interested in quality," said attorney Gordon Erspamer. "They are interested in production and getting the decisions done, regardless of whether they are right or wrong. "The system is simply broke. We can do a lot better for our veterans." The VA says its error rate on disability claims is 14 percent. But the Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed a subset of those claims and found an error rate of 38 percent. And the Board of Veter-ans Appeals found the agency made mis-takes in 73 percent of cases. Attorney Gordon Erspamer says errors are often the result of a well-known practice at the VA, "There's a practice called topsheeting -- a very famous term at the VA. And that is basically you take a look at the file, you look at the top pages of the file, and you write a decision."
Recently, Darin Selnick, a retired Air Force captain and former special assistant to the secretary of veterans af-fairs, on an east coast tour with the Concerned Veterans for America to promote important is-sues facing veterans, said:
"I’ve just never seen in an organization that has so much money and so many employees, such in-competence...You have to have a good executive core that leads and manages and trains. What you have is some good managers, but they’re thwarted by a vast number of leadership and management that really care about themselves first and the veterans second."
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results! The VA system is a bureautic broken mess. It is time to "topsheet" the federal government and write the decision to get them out of the VA system. It seems to me our Veteran's claims should be handled and regulated solely by each respective state. Maybe that seems so simple a solution to such a complex mess. I'm not sure what all the answers are but I'm sure of one thing:
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
- President George Washington
A few years ago, we called the VA to inquire about services for my father to be moved from one state to another after he had suffered a debilitating stroke that left him blind and wihtout his memory. We wanted to care for him as a family, rather than leave him and my mother alone in the town where they had retired. After I was asked if he had been "eligibilized" I was informed it would be "months" before they could get to his case. "After all," they said, "We don't help just anybody."
As if my WW2 combat veteran father was "just anybody."
The V.A. run pissing tests on me and other Vets because of pain killer; but the civilian population on welfare driving cadjllacs and on drugs are not checked; what a f....up administration .
Could anyone tell me if the VA was set up for anyone who served honorably in this country's military?
My son needed health care when laid off from his job. It was a fight to the finish. Mainly do to a clerk who
kept telling him since he did not serve during war time, he was not eligible. He proved he had served
in and during a war, so finally got care.
I have a daughter who served in Cuba during the Nicaragua mess, she was in intel. She is told that was
not a war so she does not qualify for care. She was in four years and was honorably discharged.
If you can get VA so called benifits is it because you served in the military or only during a war?
Thanks for any help with this. Jo D.
God bless your kids and tell them I said THANK YOU for serving!! I do appreciate all of our vets. They should be given the BEST!!!
God and the soldier--All men adore --in time of trouble --then no-more
When the shootin' is over--and all things are righted --God is forgotten
and the soldier is slighted.I read a book a while back that tracked our treatment of Veterans back to the Revolutionary
War. And the old verse sounds true.Even after Born on the Fourth of July supposedly brought long overdue change.
some folk wonder Why most Vets do not support Obama Care/
I agree with you 100%, the VA system is COMPLETELY BROKEN. My feelings are that the VA system should become a private business venture. I am sure that if it was taken out of the hands of the government the money would be used wisely and all the veterans that needed financial and medical help would be taken care of. As it is now, a $300 million computer system hasn't helped the back load of claims because they are still pilling up and why in the heck is anyone getting paid bonuses when the claims are not being processed in a timely manner. Who ever heard of getting bonuses for not doing their jobs?????
I know for a fact on how the VA System is doing.. ..POORLY. My husband, a vietnam veteran, was in heavy artillery on the DMZ for 18 months. His outposts were bombarded daily, invaded by the enemy, many major injuries occurred and were not reported or documented. Due to the multitude of injuries occurred in the military in Vietnam, he went to the VA hospital in Baltimore, the VA hospital in Fort Howard and other VA hospitals upon his return to the United States in Sept. 1972. None of the VA hospitals did anything for him. Robbie was crawling and in extreme pain and the VA hospitals released him to his parents.
The VA supposively filed a claim for him in 1972, which was denied. In 1983 he was again in the VA hospitals, they filed another claim which was denied. In May 2010, I filed a detailed claim with photos as proof he was in Vietnam and Agent Orange dioxin defoliant was still being used. As of today, January 27, 2013, the detailed report, highlighted in yellow to make it easy to understand, with photos and documentation of what happened has either gotten lost, misplaced, or whatever. But my husband has not been able to work due to the heavy medications given him by the VA Medical Centers in Washington DC, Baltimore and Fort Howard. The VA Centers has told him he has parkinson's disease, severe TBI, severe PTSD, hearing loss in both ears, vertigo, perforated ear drums,headaches, dizziness, tinnitis, agent orange dioxin poisoning, ringing in ears, nosebleeds,severe neck and back pain caused from a truck hood hitting him in the head and back when he was on the DMZ, insomnia, numbness in his hands, arms, legs, feet and face, and lets not forget the jungle rot of the skin most of the veterans came home with. He has had these same health problems since he came back from Vietnam and our GOVERNMENT (THE VA) HAS DONE NOTHING FOR HIM. THAT'S 40 PLUS YEARS. We will be lucky if they will go back till 2010 if they finally claim that he got these injuries in Vietnam. Now like most veterans, they have no retirement from their many different jobs they have done through the 50 years of working on various jobs. Since we are waiting for their judgement, what little bit of savings we had has been used up.
The only thing I can suggest to all VETERANS get out before you get injured. The VA wants you to die so they do not have to pay you any money.
The VA is like the rest of the government, they get larger to pay for themselves not for the injured veterans. The VA administration and the Government are like a worm getting fatter on the taxpayers money and not doing their jobs...they benefit themselves only...not the public.
And is it broken, still living in a paper world down there.
Please tell your husband I said thank you for serving. God bless him. Makes me sick that there is no justice here.
The VA is a part of the oh'bummer admnistration . This inefficiency is not incompetence it is done intentionally as part of oh'bummers intent to destroy our military .
OMG, Geraldine....this is such a horrid story...I am sooooooo sorry that you and your husband have to go through this hell. Have you tried contacting your state senators or some of the members of the armed services committee? I would be happy to help you write letters to these idiots if you have not already done so. This is a horrible travesty and a story that I have heard over and over again. I try to help whenever I can with these kinds of situations. Sometimes you just have to rattle some BIG cages to get action.
God Bless your husband for his service and for all the suffering he has endured, and I truly believe there will be a special place in heaven for you both, while these idiot bureaucrats fry in hell!
It is time to put the veterans themselves in charge. Many of them the ability to organize and technological facilitating. Yes put our veterans that have served out country so will in charge of their own department. They will get things moving and processed on time. Time to get rid of the bureaucraps that cause all the head aches.