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SgtStelmo last won the day on November 7 2018

SgtStelmo had the most liked content!

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About SgtStelmo

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  1. Broncovet, I agree with your excellent advice. As I read your advice I was reminded of another of my pet peeve's. I do not remember exactly when, but it certainly was years ago that the VA decided to issue new VA ID cards. At that time, their stated reason was to provide each Veteran with an identification number such that they could discontinue using SSN's. Well I have the new card and the ID number on it. But after spending all that money the VA still uses one's SSN. Not one time have I ever needed to use my VA assigned ID number.
  2. I would like to address one thing that vetquest said. He explained how a file was pulled in order to address the congressional inquiry which was certainly true not long ago. But the VA has decided to move out of the stone age and they now digitize the file. That allows it to be in multiple places at the same time. But to address the larger question. The primary means Congress has to control the VA is through appropriations. They have no say on individual VA decisions such as claims. But a congressional inquiry generally cannot hurt. Like anything else it really depends on the particular parties involved. Once I prepared a letter for my mother to send to her Congressman. As is the norm, the Congressman served as a message boy between her and the VA. Well the VA's reply was provable false. The Congressman's staff showed no concern that they had been provided false information. Happens, but admittedly not often. Writing is a prime way to vent your frustration with bureaucracy so in that regard it always helps.
  3. Asknod, First, I never said one could get both pension and compensation. Because you state 'by law' would you mind providing me a citation for that law. I see no reason why a person cannot get both, providing the sum total of those two plus any other income does not exceed the pension maximum. But eager and willing to read your citation. I was talking about the requirements to get Aid-in- Attendance, which is neither pension nor disability. In order to be eligible for AIA you must meet the basic eligibility requirements for a pension. Today there are hundreds of thousands of veterans who cannot meet these requirements. AIA is a means tested benefit once determined eligible. All your medical expenses are deducted from your income. So if you need a person (could be anyone, son, daughter, whatever.) who charges two hundred dollars a week to cook and do laundry, you need a statement from them. Those eight hundred would be deducted from your income and AIA will ultimately make up the difference to the full pension total. Many medical expenses are deducted so it is a yearly basis determination. Hope that helps clarify issues.
  4. You mention many things but one thing seems to be missing. You have not stated that you have not been working or in the alternative that your condition causes you to miss a substantial amount of work. In this regard let me remind all that the VA has the ability to check your IRS records. Perhaps this could be the roadblock, but cannot be certain because you do not address it.
  5. Great answer Berta, In my case the VA sent two requests to Social Security. After the second Social Security replied that they had no records for me! I was dubious at first, but after checking the fax number it was evident that Social Security is as bad as the VA is some areas. I always wonder why people think more government is the answer when the opposite is most efficient.
  6. Okay let me chime in a couple of issues here. I read the statement and find two crucial problems with it. First the statement is dated November 11, 2018. Considering that is still five days away that seems problematic. Second, I did not read the words "under penalties of perjury" or something similar. Aside from that (and I admit this is a SWAG) is that Aid and Attendance is only available for one who meets the eligibility criteria for a VA pension. So would be helpful if you explain how you are procedurally entitled to it as opposed to medically entitled to it.
  7. Hello 8up, I think you are correct when you state they are waiting for the 120 days to lapse. That is because the Order is not a Final Order until the appellate period has closed. Even though one might have a favorable decision the VA can choose to appeal. (This only applies to cases at the CAVC.). The CAVC is the first level where the proceeding is 'adversarial', and the VA is formally the opposition.
  8. I have an answer here. You have heard of the 'opioid epidemic' this country is experiencing. As such, the government is tracking down on these and other addictive drugs. (i.e. benzopyrenes). This is not necessarily the doing of the VA, but what is required pursuant to collateral government bureaucracy. And so when you identify the drug as 'pain med' I am sure this is but the first step of their changing your routine. Sadly our government (not just the VA) tends to overreact. And that is what is going on now. My dad was dying. The doctor wrote out a script and gave it to me. She said right from the start, good luck getting this filled. It is almost next to impossible. I lucked out and after a half dozen pharmacies I found one willing to sell the drug. I do not remember the name but it was an opioid. So the sick pay the price for the criminal actions of others, a really sad outcome.
  9. Nobody answered so I will using one word, no. The people who schedule the tests (medical personnel) having nothing to do with billing and collecting. So one hand does not know what the other is doing, nor do they care much. On another note, I have found the VA will always try a CAT scan first. Then, if that does not complete the task, they mostly likely will schedule you an MRI. Naturally if the CAT scan solves or answers the pertinent medical question, there is no need for an MRI.
  10. Yes this is a sad, sad situation. But let me take it one step further. (Yes, I know when I do this my local facility asserts I am crazy, but so be it.). I maintain this is criminal conduct, and the VAOIG should refer the matter to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. There is a federal criminal statute codified at 18 U. S. C., Section 1001. The short title for this criminal law is 'false statements'. (Ret. Gen. Flynn et al. can give us the low down on this I suppose.) So not let us review the elements of proof necessary to establish this crime. First, a VA appointment is an official proceeding of the executive branch of government. So the first prong requiring an official proceeding of the executive, legislative or judicial branch is met. Second, is the statement false. In this situation the nurse (I am assuming it is a nurse as it is not explicit.) admits the reading he/she put in the record did not reflect the actual BP reading. Thus the statement is not true, ergo false. Third, is the false statement material. Well the VAOIG found that in 99.5 % of cases it could result in catastrophic results. Sounds material to me. The last and final element of proof necessary is if the false statement was intentionally done. Not only did the person admit they intentionally altered the reading but they explained why they did so. So every single element of proof a prosecutor would need to establish is found in this brief article. People like this, be in within or outside the VA, need to be prosecuted and punished. But the reality is that very few VA crimes are prosecuted. And when there is no deterrent one witnesses what happens. Sad on steroids!
  11. One aspect of what you say really concerns me. You correctly mention that the Evidence Intake Center is run by a third party. I have mixed feelings on this. First, does anyone know anything about this company? A year ago or so I looked them up and found countless complaints against them, although none of those complaints concerned Veterans nor the VA. Do you want items such as your date of birth, address and social security number revealed to unknown third parties. Will we be notified if this/these third party has a security breech? With identity theft being what it is today, this is seemingly a slippery slope we will slide down. Back to your post, one other comment. It might be too late to reap some benefit provided by the VA to counter this situation. But it is not too late to file a belated appeal. If you provide sworn testimony that you provided the documents, copies of the documents, with articles showing what transpired, you stand a good chance at winning. Worst case scenario is you lose, but you won't know that unless you try.
  12. "38 CFR § 3.102 Reasonable doubt. It is the defined and consistently applied policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs to administer the law under a broad interpretation, consistent, however, with the facts shown in every case. When, after careful consideration of all procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding service origin, the degree of disability, or any other point, such doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant." I have provided this regulation because of it's pertinence. And yes, I know the VA can ignore this regulation, like they ignore countless other regulations, laws and the United States Constitution. But if one is going to fight for their lawful benefits, they should fight to have the strongest possible case. That being said, most VA doctor's (Note I did not say 'all') are not the Veteran's friend in issues concerning disability. And so I assert it is always in the Veteran's best interest to create "doubt". Id. Assuming this doctor's report is construed as opining there is no nexus between his active duty record and his claimed disability, what argument does he have to appeal if he does not have an opposite declaration from his private doctor?
  13. You mention 'and all I am doing is going for secondary not a direct' in a way that implies some importance to it. I am not sure that is true. It seems to me that the only true difference between the two is that in a primary you must establish the nexus between an event/condition during active duty and the claimed disability, while in a secondary you must establish a nexus between the primary and the claimed disability. You still need to make all the connections, which I sometimes find to be an absurd standard. Especially when the secondary is a well known symptom(s) of the primary. But that is life with the VA. And speaking of absurd standards here in another one I fail to grasp. If a person has a condition that is incurable, why must they have an active diagnosis? By definition, an incurable condition is one that is active for life, except within the wacky world of the VA.
  14. This is truly sad. If one tried they could not make up this kind of reprehensible conduct.
  15. Let me add one other point about shredding. It is a criminal violation of the Federal Records Retention Act. But nobody is ever held accountable so if there is no jeopardy is it a real crime? I also wasted my time once actually talking to a VAOIG special agent and recommended they could monitor the trash cans in the hospital. The philosophy at the VA is, why work when one can just as easily use the circular filing bin (trash can).
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