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 Because, managerial problems continued with pathetic attempts at corrective measures within an outdated support structure that has been patched time and, again, leading to failure after failure.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
You need to call them daily, ask where your claim is, who's desk it's sitting on, get that person's name and number, and their email, then call them and hound them til it moves forward. Always follow up your calls with an email that verifies what you talked about, and ask them to respond if your summary is incorrect. This puts their butt on the line and the emails leave a trail that they can't deny. I know people who do this, and it works for them.....the cya thing is real big...so if you make a trail, they're gonna scramble to look like they actually did their jobs!
another suggestion is : keep copies of everything ; e-mails , letters, phone calls with date and time ; your medical record is lost easely; the doctors will never tell you the thrut, but you can go to the record room at your V.A hospital and, by law, you can see and have a copy of what the doctor reported and also surgeries reports and results ; that is how you can find out about mistakes and problems ; and most of all do not abuse alcohol ,especially the night before your appointment; also be very careful with questions like ; are you depressed ? or do you want to talk to a counselor ?or do you have family problems???
It is a Trap and a Set up.
and don't forget to tell them that guns skeer you!
its so sad that we have the present system. i am a 100 % disabled vet. i have had 5 of the cancers caused by agent orange. i was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer and am scheduled for a right total nephrectomy. the v.a. refuses to pay anything for the surgery. it seems that i am not considered a combat vet even though i have a combat inf. badge a purple heart and am seen for combat wounds. you would think that being a cancer pt. i would be seen by a real dr. but not to be my primary is a nurse practioner.
Your local County Rep. is a good place to start, go to his office, also your State Rep. call his office; I had good results calling my State Rep. Being 100% you should not have any problems at all ; write, call, demand to see the Director of your V.A.hospital ; the surgery will be performed at your V.A. hospital or you will be sent to another V.A. that has proper equipment or doctors or sent to a civilian hospital and your V.A. will pay ; that is the rule.
At 100% you are entitled to everything at no cost to you ,that is the rule; combat or not; dental care included.
At 100% there is no questions and that is descrimination; talk to a lawyer.
Why or what reason are they giving you for saying you are not a combat vet? If you have a CIB then you were awarded that for serving in a combat zone, then that is reflected in your DD 214, but it does not take a CIB or anything but be assigned to a combat zone. You could have been the asst clerk for jelly beans and that makes no difference...granted it used to and I think we will go back to that or at least hope so. Not sure why someone gets the same benefits and retirement I do and in their career the ONLY thing they ever did was to work on a Golf Course for 20 years, no overseas tours, no short tours, no combat tours. I know the guy, he came out of AIT, went to a unit got sent over to the post Golf course and that is what he did for the next 19 1/2 years...
Gary , Pretty much the same with me and have been cancer free for almost 8 years . Once I was plugged in it was all good . It took a while however .
Be a pain in the ass and keep at it . YOU need an advocate period and your Rep is good but you'd better have the American Legion or DAV take your case along with your Rep . As you probably know they are free and they get paid per individual so they fight hard to keep you and results are paramount in that regard or they don't get paid .
Praying for you . Stay with it .
Gary you really do need to contact your Senators and Representative. We all know that they are pretty much useless but there are a few things they are good for and they all want to be seen as helping the vets. Are you in the VA system at all? If you are you need to go to your local clinic and demand to see the person in charge. When you get to talk to that person don't scream and yell. Once you have calmly and clearly laid out your case close with telling them you are going to be calling your elected reps. One thing bureaucrats don't like is congressional inquiries. It's pretty hard to motivate these lard a*s bureaucrats but they know that congressional inquiries can cause heads to roll. I have a WWII vet friend who was very dissatisfied with the care he was getting and that's exactly what he did. Now when he goes in they fall all over themselves to be nice.
And don't forget to DOCUMENT every meeting with a followup email or letter, asking the person to respond if your interpretation is incorrect. This more than anything will drive them nuts since they're big into CYA. Accountability is a big govt. catch phrase and they like to make a big deal of it.
Isn't it clear to everybody that we can't afford to support our vets because we need to send money, planes, tanks and guns to the poor Egyptian mooslim brotherhood? Jeesh....learn to suffer in silence....after all, they MUST be more needy than us...otherwise our "president" wouldn't support them instead of our vets......would he???????
(In case you don't know me, the above statement was made in furious cynical jest. Every time I hear a story like this, it makes my blood pressure rise and my blood boil, especially when I think of all the vets who are suffering as a result of our government's neglect.)
In the last year he provided direct cash aid to and 200 tanks and 20 F16 to Egypt
> >> > Hamas - 351 Million,
> >> > Libya 1.45 Billion,
> >> > Egypt - 397 M,
> >> > Mexico - 622 M,
> >> > Russia - 380 M,
> >> > Haiti - 1.4 B,
> >> > Jordan - 463 M,
> >> > Kenya - 816 M,
> >> > Sudan - 870 M,
> >> > Nigeria - 456 M,
> >> > Uganda - 451 M,
> >> > Congo - 359 M,
> >> > Ethiopia - 981 M,
> >> > Pakistan - 2 B,
> >> > South Africa - 566 M,
> >> > Senegal - 698 M,
> >> > Mozambique - 404 M,
> >> > Zambia - 331 M,
> >> > Kazakhstan - 304 M,
> >> > Iraq - 1.08 B,
> >> > Tanzania - 554 M,
: EPA costs US economy $353 billion per year -- A gift of 20 new F 16 given to Egypt . money for failed green energy companies, chevy volts, abortions, gays getting married at West Point and of course obamanotcare, Also, we have plenty of funds to spend on TSA agents to search little toddlers and old ladies in wheelchairs on a daily basis! to the Welfare, Food Stamps, Medicaid or "Obama phone" programs, wasted BILLIONS of dollars on crony-connected, "green energy" boondoggles that failed miserably ; all the ACORN affiliates/umbrella groups got tons of money to make sure the welfare bums made it to the polling places.....; increased foreign aid by 80%, each year Billions of our tax dollars to just about every country in the world now. Over $300 Billion is spent on illegal aliens each year.
Billions spent on some of the most stupid grant studies, WHY ASIAN WOMEN HAVE SEX WHEN THEY ARE DRUNK , A SHRIMP ON A TREADMILL ,WHY A BEE FLIES and on and on. There are so much nonsense they spend our money on. But THEY quietly LET FEDERAL FUNDING FOR SEVERAL KEY SCHOOL SECURITY PROGRAMS LAPSE IN THE NAME OF BUDGET SAVINGS . But No Budget in the last 4years.