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(WTKR)   VA operator "The average time frame they are showing at your regional office is about...wait, that can't be right. Hold on for one moment, okay...Yep, the average time your claim will take at your regional office as of today is 30 months"   (wtkr.com) divider line 84
    More: Asinine, Hampton Roads, regions  
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7215 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 May 2013 at 8:46 AM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-24 10:22:23 AM

Just Arrived: WordyGrrl: I'm guessing there are two main reasons for the backlog: Obama did, in fact, unleash a lot of funding to hire more counselors but there's been no similar increase in the number of administrative workers who process claims. Second reason is that apparently every vet getting out who has a tour in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is claiming PTSD, back pain and tinnitus -- all of which are "hard to disprove" medically (for lack of a better term) and greatly increase their chances of getting a 100% rating. With the drawdown, that's a helluva lot of people all making claims at once. Those who are just "working the system" are making it harder for those who are seriously banged up and in need of help.

/As one of the Farkers mentioned above, if you need to claim disability, DAV, AMVETS and VFW organizations are a good place to start because they have people who know how to put a claims packet together correctly, how to file appeals, etc. so the claim will go though a lot faster.

Do you actually believe this?

I should clarify. I can't deny that there are probably a fair sized group of shiatsacks that are playing the system but saying that every vet getting out now is doing this?? Maybe I'm just reading too much into your post that really isn't there... If that's the case I'm sorry.
 
2013-05-24 10:24:13 AM
As a software engineer working on a VA contract to build out the new VBMS software to work claims, 30 months is nothing. The entire VA is a giant cluster puck if the eay we get our requirements is any indication.
 
2013-05-24 10:24:25 AM

hasty ambush: HotIgneous Intruder: Guess who is providing the free slave labor for the Global American MIlitary-Industrial-Media Empire?
If you guessed "troops" you'd be RIGHT!


Media?

Well paid volunteer slaves:

When those elements are combined, military officers and enlisted personnel are compensated as well or better than 80 percent of their counterparts in the private sector of similar ages and educations


It's too bad that as usual, the people pay the costs while the contractors keep the profits, whether the people see any benefit at all.
 
2013-05-24 10:25:05 AM

Just Arrived: WordyGrrl: I'm guessing there are two main reasons for the backlog: Obama did, in fact, unleash a lot of funding to hire more counselors but there's been no similar increase in the number of administrative workers who process claims. Second reason is that apparently every vet getting out who has a tour in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is claiming PTSD, back pain and tinnitus -- all of which are "hard to disprove" medically (for lack of a better term) and greatly increase their chances of getting a 100% rating. With the drawdown, that's a helluva lot of people all making claims at once. Those who are just "working the system" are making it harder for those who are seriously banged up and in need of help.

/As one of the Farkers mentioned above, if you need to claim disability, DAV, AMVETS and VFW organizations are a good place to start because they have people who know how to put a claims packet together correctly, how to file appeals, etc. so the claim will go though a lot faster.

Do you actually believe this?


It worked for me.  I was at 10% for the better part of a decade.  My DAV rep did everything for me - I didn't even need to go back for another eval.  He took my medical records in, argued a bunch for me, and next thing I know I'm at 30%.
 
2013-05-24 10:25:30 AM
1. The VA for the most part is staffed by unionized civil service employees. To expect anything approaching efficiency from a group that is very hard to fire is unrealistic. The VA should be staffed as much as possible by Veterans. Veterans taking care of their own

2. VA benefits, like the tax code, MEDICARE, Obamacare etc are an overly complex bureaucratic nightmare resistant to change because to many careers/jobs (see 1. above) are tied to keeping it that way. If you were to streamline the system you would need fewer people to run it.

3. Making the VA a cabinet level agency solved nothing. In fact it made it worse by giving veterans another level of bureaucracy to deal with. It should be place under the DOD as major command with a flag officer appointed as commander. with a military command staff-far easier to relieve of command than a bunch of civilians.

4. The current head of the VA is the same genius who thought he could solve the Army's morale problems back in the 1990s by buying them all a bunch new French looking hats.
 
2013-05-24 10:29:03 AM

hasty ambush: HotIgneous Intruder: Guess who is providing the free slave labor for the Global American MIlitary-Industrial-Media Empire?
If you guessed "troops" you'd be RIGHT!


Media?

Well paid volunteer slaves:

When those elements are combined, military officers and enlisted personnel are compensated as well or better than 80 percent of their counterparts in the private sector of similar ages and educations


Yeah except for this part of the article, which you obviously missed:  "Of course, their civilian counterparts aren't being ordered to spend long periods away from the families in places where people are trying to kill them, either. That fact isn't factored into the study."

Low ranking troops are not even remotely compensated properly for what they endure.
 
2013-05-24 10:30:19 AM

bark_atda_moon: The VA saved my dad's arse.  He lost his job at 61 and has a lot of pre-existing conditions.  The VA hooked him up with affordable medicine and free physical therapy.   The biggest problem is that anytime he goes to the hospital he is there all day due to how packed it is.

I don't know what all of the non-veteran unemployed folks do before they can collect Medicare.


Die
 
2013-05-24 10:37:44 AM
Just find a nice comfortable bridge to live under in the meantime.
 
2013-05-24 10:51:39 AM

orbister: vudukungfu: It is the
VETERAN,
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

No, that was politicians passing the 1st Amendment.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

First amendment again, plus the jury in the 1735 Zenger libel trial.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

Guess what? First amendment again.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

No, that was the NAACP, its lawyers and the Supreme Court. Ten years later soldiers were shooting protesters at Kent State for exercise their right to freedom of assembly.

It is
theVETERAN,
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

Bzzzzzt. Sixth amendment. Lawyers and politicians, again.

It is
the VETERAN,
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

Depends who you mean by "us". Rich white men could vote after independence. Everyone else had to wait for ... who else ... lawyers and politicians.

Don't kid yourself. US veterans have fought in honourable wars, unnecessary wars, well planned wars and disastrous wars, but no US veteran ever has fought in a war which threatened the basic rights and liberties of America and Americans.


The revolutionary war kinda set the stage for all this to be possible, no?
 
2013-05-24 10:52:13 AM
Thinking an effective protest might be via recruiters- show up at their offices en masse accross the country and hint you want to join, then bring up lack of veterans assistance, then leave.
Skew the data to show the pentagon "if only we had better care, we'd have all these good soldiers" etc etc
 
2013-05-24 10:59:20 AM

bark_atda_moon: Daeva: bark_atda_moon: The VA saved my dad's arse.  He lost his job at 61 and has a lot of pre-existing conditions.  The VA hooked him up with affordable medicine and free physical therapy.   The biggest problem is that anytime he goes to the hospital he is there all day due to how packed it is.

I don't know what all of the non-veteran unemployed folks do before they can collect Medicare.

We suffer and die, or at best get stabilized then have to deal with debt collectors wanting 3400 dollars to look at your piss and give you a shot because of a kidney stone.

Sorry to hear that.  Best of luck to you.


Im personally fine now still paying off debts but am employed and thankfully insured now. Working in an non-Profit mental health place as a diagnostician, i now work to improve the lives of those that would suffer and its rewarding even if not paid well.
 
2013-05-24 11:09:51 AM
I guess the Fail tag is waiting in the queue.
 
2013-05-24 11:33:40 AM

Boeheimian Rhapsody: The revolutionary war kinda set the stage for all this to be possible, no?


Not really. It set the stage for the Articles of Confederation. Everything in the Constitution was fought and won in meeting rooms.
 
2013-05-24 11:39:07 AM

FilmBELOH20: hasty ambush: HotIgneous Intruder: Guess who is providing the free slave labor for the Global American MIlitary-Industrial-Media Empire?
If you guessed "troops" you'd be RIGHT!


Media?

Well paid volunteer slaves:

When those elements are combined, military officers and enlisted personnel are compensated as well or better than 80 percent of their counterparts in the private sector of similar ages and educations

Yeah except for this part of the article, which you obviously missed:  "Of course, their civilian counterparts aren't being ordered to spend long periods away from the families in places where people are trying to kill them, either. That fact isn't factored into the study."

Low ranking troops are not even remotely compensated properly for what they endure.




As a veteran I am goig to say your argument fails. It goes along the lines of we cannot pay firefighters, etc, etc etc. enough. WE could double or triple their pay and stil say the same thin but the tax payer isnot abottomless pit of money and personnel costs are really the biggest part of the military budget when you factor in thingss like training despite al lteh MIC rants

First we have to realize and hope there are people doing this for morethan the money. Currently the miitary pays much better than it did we I was in. The fact that people re-enlist knowing what the pay is and the likelyhood of having to return to those god forsaken places separated from famliy etc. So it is more than about the money.
 
2013-05-24 11:50:05 AM
I know that this is not how FARK works, but I need to share. I have a number of spinal injuries acquired during my 7 years in the Army. I applied for disability, and was initially denied. I continued to get treatment from VA medical facilities, although I had to pay, unless I was in school and unemployed (which was not very often). When one of my doctors found out I was paying, he was in complete disbelief that I did not have a disability rating. I subsequently, at his urging, reapplied for benefits 18 months ago. My claim has gone nowhere, because the VA cannot find my military medical records.

What upsets me about this is that I can mostly function in my day to day (even if I move like a 70 year old man in the morning!), but there are young men and women out there who cannot, and they are receiving the same neglect I am experiencing.

This weekend, instead of taking 30 minutes to go by a new flag at Walmart, please write a letter to your congressman asking them to do something meaningful for our veterans.
 
2013-05-24 11:54:03 AM

Just Arrived: WordyGrrl: I'm guessing there are two main reasons for the backlog: Obama did, in fact, unleash a lot of funding to hire more counselors but there's been no similar increase in the number of administrative workers who process claims. Second reason is that apparently every vet getting out who has a tour in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is claiming PTSD, back pain and tinnitus -- all of which are "hard to disprove" medically (for lack of a better term) and greatly increase their chances of getting a 100% rating. With the drawdown, that's a helluva lot of people all making claims at once. Those who are just "working the system" are making it harder for those who are seriously banged up and in need of help.

/As one of the Farkers mentioned above, if you need to claim disability, DAV, AMVETS and VFW organizations are a good place to start because they have people who know how to put a claims packet together correctly, how to file appeals, etc. so the claim will go though a lot faster.

Do you actually believe this?


I can't speak for the VA but I work for SSA and we get a lot of claims from people who either can't/won't find work. Even though they have a snowballs chance in Hades of getting disability becuase there isn't anything significantly wrong with them, we still have to develop the claims which can delay things for people who have a legitimate argument for disability benefits.

Thankfully, our office has a good processing time (we avg 2-3 months for the initial/recon stages) so it doesn't hurt us too bad. However, I'm sure states with bigger populations and higher unemployment are hurting!
 
2013-05-24 12:19:33 PM

The Ice Queen: Just Arrived: WordyGrrl: I'm guessing there are two main reasons for the backlog: Obama did, in fact, unleash a lot of funding to hire more counselors but there's been no similar increase in the number of administrative workers who process claims. Second reason is that apparently every vet getting out who has a tour in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is claiming PTSD, back pain and tinnitus -- all of which are "hard to disprove" medically (for lack of a better term) and greatly increase their chances of getting a 100% rating. With the drawdown, that's a helluva lot of people all making claims at once. Those who are just "working the system" are making it harder for those who are seriously banged up and in need of help.

/As one of the Farkers mentioned above, if you need to claim disability, DAV, AMVETS and VFW organizations are a good place to start because they have people who know how to put a claims packet together correctly, how to file appeals, etc. so the claim will go though a lot faster.

Do you actually believe this?

I can't speak for the VA but I work for SSA and we get a lot of claims from people who either can't/won't find work. Even though they have a snowballs chance in Hades of getting disability becuase there isn't anything significantly wrong with them, we still have to develop the claims which can delay things for people who have a legitimate argument for disability benefits.

Thankfully, our office has a good processing time (we avg 2-3 months for the initial/recon stages) so it doesn't hurt us too bad. However, I'm sure states with bigger populations and higher unemployment are hurting!


The last numbers I saw, 45% of new veterans claim disability, each claiming on average 8-9 ailments.

MIlitary service runs in families and many tell their kids you'd be fool not to get your check for life. As a vet myself, I had relatives that were 90% disabled (~$2500 month check for life) (do to DUI accident in the states) and worked in a steel mill, 100% disabled for diabetes, many 10-30% for knee and back injuries. There is definately a culture of I "earned" it, so I should get a check every month for life. The problem was made worse by the normal govt agency imperialism, that is no agency wants to get smaller. So during peacetime when disabled veterans were dieing faster than they were being replaced, the bar for claiming disablity is lowered.

I think vets should be offered free mental and physical health care, but sending cash to people for the rest of their lives has really corrupted a noble cause.
 
2013-05-24 12:29:33 PM
This is a big problem for the VA. Whenever there's a budget cut (read: every time congress meets on budget matters) the VA has to cut personnel and operations.

Here's the quandary  Do they cut surgeons? ER staff? Nursing? General Medicine? Radiology? Nope. Those are all vital to the patients health and safety.
They cut the administrative and clerks. Meaning, the guys doing paperwork, reviewing cases, taking phone calls.
It's about the only department in the hospital that's SAFE to cut. Which means, extended wait times for claims results.

If those assholes in congress dont want to pay for veteran benefits, they should STOP MAKING SO MANY VETERANS!
 
2013-05-24 12:45:30 PM

X-boxershorts: ManRay: My GF is a tech writer working on a contract for the VA. They are updating their medical records system overhaul. Her experience dealing with the VA on a client basis alone has been enough to turn her away from being a raging lib on healthcare to someone that does not want the government anywhere near it. My experience with my grandfather's care was enough for me.

I have not met anyone with a good VA story. They all have stories, but none are good.

The VA is severely underfunded. This is what you get when you follow the small government ideology to it's conclusion.
America sends it's youth to fight for it's interests, then America should see to it that those who return are taken care of.

Hint, there is one party in particular that has taken a solid stance against funding Government Services.


The VA was farked up long before the Republicans got a hold of it. The VA may or may not be underfunded, but the funds they have now are not serving their mission very well. You don't have to bring politics into it to see how farked up it is.

I am in the "If you got shot at on behalf of the USA, we will take care of you" camp. The crap that my Grandpa had to put up with for minimal help was embarrassing.
 
2013-05-24 01:02:19 PM
Why aren't the right-wingers screaming bloody murder about THIS? THIS is something outrage-worthy. Fark Benghazi and the stupid IRS bullshiat.

This is just shameful and it needs to be remedied ASAP.
 
2013-05-24 01:04:40 PM
I put in a claim about 8 months ago, for some neck issues I have. Every couple of months I get a letter from them apologizing for the wait. Last week I received another packet to fill out, with a letter that said, "We need more information to process your claim. Please list the dates and locations where you were exposed to asbestos." Sheesh.
 
2013-05-24 01:11:15 PM
Government-run health care is awesome, isn't it?
 
2013-05-24 01:16:23 PM
As someone who used to work for the VA this does not surprise me.  Micromanagement of the employees that process claims and the antiquated filing system are just some of the reasons why this delay persists.  They can keep throwing money at the problem and hiring new personnel but until they change the process end-to-end of how they process claims, it won't matter.

It's really sad because most of the employees really believe in their work and truly want to help the veterans.  A lot of them are veterans themselves.  It's just that the process is so farked up it's nearly impossible to get things done.
 
2013-05-24 02:14:31 PM
I am wondering in this particular case what's the real story here

FTA

"I did my 4 ½ years, I got out, and I did not come out the same way I went in," said Edwards.

Not able to work because of his PTSD and back problems, James desperately needs the money a VA disability check would bring, so he called the VA office in Roanoke this past week to ask yet again about his claim, and decided to record it.



I manager large mfg and distribution operations.  The old "back problems" is a favorite for soemone wanting extra money.  Not saying this is the case, but both of these malady's are judgement calls in many cases by the medical field

Not discounting that 30 months is insane.  Though the figure that 786,000 are awaiting claims decisions. That just seems like a lot, both the backlog and sheer number applying.  Is that like everyone that was in the service??
 
2013-05-24 04:40:20 PM

SlothB77: Does government-run health care seem like such a good idea now?  If this is how a government-run program treats war veterans, why would you expect it to treat health insurance participants under its umbrella any better?


You prefer to have decisions about your healthcare made by people in whose financial interests it is not to treat you?
 
2013-05-24 04:41:26 PM

vudukungfu: orbister: no US veteran ever has fought in a war which threatened the basic rights and liberties of America and Americans.

What about when the Germans when they bombed Pearl Harbor?


Helen Keller could have held them off in her Spitfire.
 
2013-05-24 04:43:44 PM

FilmBELOH20: Low ranking troops are not even remotely compensated properly for what they endure.


Unless there is a shortage of recruits, the compensation is by definition - and the market - perfectly adequate.
 
2013-05-24 04:44:09 PM

Just Arrived: WordyGrrl: I'm guessing there are two main reasons for the backlog: Obama did, in fact, unleash a lot of funding to hire more counselors but there's been no similar increase in the number of administrative workers who process claims. Second reason is that apparently every vet getting out who has a tour in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is claiming PTSD, back pain and tinnitus -- all of which are "hard to disprove" medically (for lack of a better term) and greatly increase their chances of getting a 100% rating. With the drawdown, that's a helluva lot of people all making claims at once. Those who are just "working the system" are making it harder for those who are seriously banged up and in need of help.

/As one of the Farkers mentioned above, if you need to claim disability, DAV, AMVETS and VFW organizations are a good place to start because they have people who know how to put a claims packet together correctly, how to file appeals, etc. so the claim will go though a lot faster.

Do you actually believe this?

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, of course. Those three ailments can be pretty awful, plenty of soldiers suffer from them and treatment is definitely needed. Back pain (unless an X-ray or MRI shows damage) is hard to disprove, there's no test that can genuinely detect tinnitus, and it's highly  unlikely that EVERY troopie who's had a tour in Afghanistan/Iraq  acquired PTSD --  but I haven't seen an OEF/OIF vet yet who hasn't claimed PTSD at least. For the latter, just rattle off a list of memorized symptoms and get become a drama queen when you don't get your way, and voila...you get a rating, and for PTSD, I haven't seen too many partial (less than 100%) ratings.

It's slap in the face to those who do come back with trauma, and the "welfare queens" are a drain on the system. But like any office that provides a service to those in need, we get our fair share of those "working the system." It's not our job to weed them out, though. If the paperwork says they've got a rating or whatever disability, we do what we can to help them get a job.
 
2013-05-24 04:53:37 PM

Boeheimian Rhapsody: The revolutionary war kinda set the stage for all this to be possible, no?


No, not really. Canada didn't have a revolutionary war; is life and liberty so much less valued there? Algeria, on the other hand, did have a revolutionary war...
 
2013-05-24 04:56:03 PM

Lando Lincoln: Why aren't the right-wingers screaming bloody murder about THIS?


How much of a right wing cause is "Spend more taxpayers' money on sick people NOW"?
 
2013-05-24 04:59:26 PM

Jikankun: As someone who used to work for the VA this does not surprise me.  Micromanagement of the employees that process claims and the antiquated filing system are just some of the reasons why this delay persists.  They can keep throwing money at the problem and hiring new personnel but until they change the process end-to-end of how they process claims, it won't matter.

It's really sad because most of the employees really believe in their work and truly want to help the veterans.  A lot of them are veterans themselves.  It's just that the process is so farked up it's nearly impossible to get things done.


This! When I started this VA gig a few months ago, I was shocked to see that 90% of what they do is all paper-based. Part of the reluctance to go digital is, I think, some high profile instances of leaks of sensitive info like names, SSNs, etc. from things like letting a temp take the VA laptop home with her (it was packed with veterans info), thieves broke in and stole her laptop, etc. As for the digital stuff (I'm using that term really broadly here), a lot of it looks 80s era (CWINRS, for example) and very inefficient. As in, I think a frickin' Excel spreadsheet would probably be a better solution for a lot of things.
 
rbt
2013-05-24 09:56:40 PM

SlothB77: Does government-run health care seem like such a good idea now?  If this is how a government-run program treats war veterans, why would you expect it to treat health insurance participants under its umbrella any better?


Government run health care works much better when everybody receives the same treatment. Everybody includes politicians, doctors, hospital administrators, and their families.

Elect politicians who rely on the VA and it will be fixed very quickly.
 
2013-05-25 12:03:40 AM
Canadian Bacon.  Great movie.  Good job on the headline subby.
 
2013-05-25 02:09:43 PM

SlothB77: .
"Yep, the average time your claim will take at your regional office as of today is 30 months."

Does government-run health care seem like such a good idea now?  If this is how a government-run program treats war veterans, why would you expect it to treat health insurance participants under its umbrella any better?


Because under a private system, unless they had a sh*tload of money they wouldn't be treated at all.
See, private companies don't like to do anything that will cost them money. Treating veterans for years, decades, sometimes the rest of their lives would cost them money. That is why it would not happen.
This clusterfark is also the result of your vaunted republican party doing all it can to reduce funding, staffing, and resources for veterans services, because "guvmint jobs be evil!".

What should have been done as soon as W the Decider decided to send these people to that sandy sh*thole was an IMMEDIATE gear up and mobilization of the VA system, to avoid the fark-ups that happened with the vietnam war. That should have been top priority... instead the "6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months" meme was pushed, and 6-6-6 became over ten years. Fewer dead than in vietnam, but a much higher percentage coming back broken due to advances in care and technology. We owe them.

And all you want to do is whine about "government run programs" like a little b*tch.

Now get your head out of your ass and stop repeating what you heard on FoxNoise.

/veteran
//fark you
 
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