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Maybe Buyer Is Starting To Get It----


Guest Berta

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VETERANS RESOURCES NETWORK

http://www.valaw.org

Chairman Buyer Foresees Additional Claims Staff For VA

From: Veterans Press <Vetspress@mail.house.gov>

To: PRESS_RELEASES-VR00@ls1.house.gov

Chairman Buyer Foresees Additional Claims Staff For VA

Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, at a full Veterans' Committee oversight

hearing on claims processing at the Department of Veterans Affairs

(VA),

Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) heard testimony of excessive wait times

for

claims decisions and clear indications that VA needs more claims

adjudicators.

The backlog of pending claims and the time it takes VA's Veterans

Benefits

Administration (VBA) to process a claim has increased over the past

two

years. Major concerns cited yesterday beyond the backlog of claims

included:

* A lack of quality in claims decisions;

* A need for medical staff who conduct disability

examinations to have a greater knowledge of health issues specific to

veterans;

* The perception that some claims processors have

a

complacent or dismissive attitude about their work.

"Veterans just want to be treated well. They recognize that

something is

not right and they are making a claim. How they are treated is

important.

It is about quality and attitude," Chairman Buyer said.

Dr. William Jones, a retired U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, recounted

his

own tribulations with the VA claims process system over the past six

years.

Characterizing the claims process, he said, "the process is

programmed to

procrastinate . . . there appears to be little motivation to move the

claims

forward."

Ronald Aument, VA's Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits, said that

Dr.

Jones' case showed how the claims adjudication process has gotten

overly

complex. He discussed VA's challenges to making "timely, accurate,

and

consistent" claims decisions, in the face of a steadily increasing

claims

workload.

"It is unconscionable that some veterans are waiting up to five

years to

receive a decision on the benefits they are entitled to

receive. This must

change. The VA must be given the resources needed to improve the

process,"

said Committee Member Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

Buyer, at the hearing's conclusion, asked representatives of veterans

groups

who had provided testimony, including the VFW, The American Legion,

Disabled

American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and AMVETS, if they

thought that VA needed more claims adjudicators.

Hearing their unanimous agreement that additional VBA staffing would

help

resolve the claims backlog and problems with quality decisions, Buyer

said,

"the increase in disability claims can be directly related to the

increase

in U.S. military operations abroad. Doing more with less is not a

strategy

of success."

"We will need to increase the staffing at both the regional

compensation

office level and at the Board of Veterans Appeals to attack this

backlog and

prepare for the anticipated increases in additional claims," Buyer

said. "I

look forward to working with Ranking Member Lane Evans, veterans

groups, and

the Administration to come to a viable solution to resolve this

pressing

concern."

Testimony provided by:

Panel 1: William B. Jones, M.D., Col., United States Air Force

Reserve

(Ret.)

Panel 2: Mr. Ronald R. Aument, Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits,

VBA

Honorable James P. Terry, Chairman of Board of Veterans' Appeals

Panel 3: Mr. Donald Mooney, Assistant Director for Resource

Development

Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission at The

American

Legion

Mr. James Doran, National Service Director of AMVETS

Mr. Brian E. Lawrence, Assistant National Legislative Director

for DAV

Mr. Blake Ortner, Associate Legislative Director of PVA

Mr. Quentin Kinderman, Deputy Director, National Legislative

Service VFW

###

VETERANS RESOURCES NETWORK

http://www.valaw.org

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Guest allanopie

Maybe Buyer Is Starting To Get It?

Hello Berta,

These guys can do all the flipfloping they want. It won't wash the blood from their hands or make them sleep any better at night.

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Guest fla_viking

Dear Fellow Veterans & Friends.

The bad faith claims tacticts are delibert and used to dely claims. If they were to hire one ajudicator per vet. They would stilll make it last 3 years to get out of the RO. The type of claims work where they just photo copy previous decisions, or just look at what you dont have as a disaboity and deny your claim on that. There is no skill or real examination of our claims going on now. THey have denied our claims even before they get them. For what they do and how they deny our claims. THe staffing now is more then enough. All they have to do is deny my claim so I can take it to BVA. That is not going to change with new ajudicators.

They complain about quality of decisions. That has been an ongoing issue for 75 years. If they really wanted honest reviews of our claims that would have been worked out.

Every few years they throw us vets these bones to keep us quite about the abuses were going through. Vets hope that with patients the VA will impliment these promises and the problem will be resolved. for the past decades its always been the same story, differnt directors.

Terry Higgins

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Although I feel that more rater's are needed to help with the back log of claims, increasing the number of raters will not be of help to the Veteran unless the quality and accuracy of these raters is also improved.

What good are more raters, if they continue to rubber stamp claims with denials, just to show that the backlog numbers are being delt with.

Increase the number of raters, YES! But also impliment some type of oversight authority to see that the quality and accuracy of the claims being decided upon are being improved as well and cite those raters who are not making the grade and replace those who do not.

Supervisors are not doing their jobs in following up on Veterans complaints of poor adjudications by raters and poor exams by examiners. Three strikes a year and you should be out waliking the bricks for a new job like the rest of the population.

No! Numbers is not the only thing to be fixed to make the system better.

Jim S. :)

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I agree with terry, more raters aren't going to fix the problem. Take SS for instance.....their approvals are usually quite quick (for better or for worse) and they do not bog down the process with endless regulations and red tape. It can be difficult to get SS at first, but once you've proven you're need for aid they only care if you're working or not and, generally, take your word for the level of disability. The VA, on the other hand, treats every exam like an inquiry to prove SC, level of disability, ability to work, etc., which grinds the system to a halt.

In my opinion, the regulations need to be changed to better protect established claims....if someone has a disorder that is not likely to get better then C&P and the adjudication process is needless. It should be enough for the veteran to say he/she still believes that the old rating is still valid, rather then treating each reexamination as a new claim.

I bet most of the claims before the VA today are for existing conditions....does anyone have access to records which show how many claims are newly opened and how many are "reexaminations"? I would be interested to see......

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I have been hearing this crap since Bush 1 was President and Derwinski was its Secretary and also cited many times on bad VA Claims handling. It has not changed the waits are just as long or longer. Mine took over 5 years and in my opinion should have been decided in 5 months.

I have not seen one sign whatsoever that the current Administration really wants to settle claims any faster. If anything they have invented new ways to drag them out including DRO's and AMC. More hurdles for many Vets.

Talking about it and doing something are two different things.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think Buyer and all the rest are hoping the vets will die off and leave them in peace. The main driving force in the VA claims process is delay, delay and then delay some more.

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Dear Fellow Veterans & Friends.

The bad faith claims tacticts are delibert and used to dely claims. If they were to hire one ajudicator per vet. They would stilll make it last 3 years to get out of the RO. The type of claims work where they just photo copy previous decisions, or just look at what you dont have as a disaboity and deny your claim on that. There is no skill or real examination of our claims going on now. THey have denied our claims even before they get them. For what they do and how they deny our claims. THe staffing now is more then enough. All they have to do is deny my claim so I can take it to BVA. That is not going to change with new ajudicators.

They complain about quality of decisions. That has been an ongoing issue for 75 years. If they really wanted honest reviews of our claims that would have been worked out.

Every few years they throw us vets these bones to keep us quite about the abuses were going through. Vets hope that with patients the VA will impliment these promises and the problem will be resolved. for the past decades its always been the same story, differnt directors.

Don't forget that an election is coming up in Nov. 06....Make the vets feel good until the election is over. I shouldn't be cynicial, maybe they are for real. My claim or claims has being ongoing for approx. 13 years now...I got word that two of them has been granted but don't don't know what the hold up is for the other one. Surely they will get into the Christmas Spirit and lay some moola out...ha ha

Terry Higgins

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Dear Fellow Veterans & Friends.

The bad faith claims tacticts are delibert and used to dely claims. If they were to hire one ajudicator per vet. They would stilll make it last 3 years to get out of the RO. The type of claims work where they just photo copy previous decisions, or just look at what you dont have as a disaboity and deny your claim on that. There is no skill or real examination of our claims going on now. THey have denied our claims even before they get them. For what they do and how they deny our claims. THe staffing now is more then enough. All they have to do is deny my claim so I can take it to BVA. That is not going to change with new ajudicators.

They complain about quality of decisions. That has been an ongoing issue for 75 years. If they really wanted honest reviews of our claims that would have been worked out.

Every few years they throw us vets these bones to keep us quite about the abuses were going through. Vets hope that with patients the VA will impliment these promises and the problem will be resolved. for the past decades its always been the same story, differnt directors.

Don't forget that an election is coming up in Nov. 06....Make the vets feel good until the election is over. I shouldn't be cynicial, maybe they are for real. My claim or claims has being ongoing for approx. 13 years now...I got word that two of them has been granted but don't don't know what the hold up is for the other one. Surely they will get into the Christmas Spirit and lay some moola out...ha ha

Terry Higgins

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Terry Higgins

If you win some backpay you can take me out to lunch when you visit the Tampa VAMC next time.

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actually the 3'D's are "DELAY, DENY, and hope you DIE".

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Guest allanopie

>Make the vets feel good until the election is over?

You nailed that one Terry.

This ain't nothing more than damage control, "lip service".

A week or so ago, we were all lying crooks stealing from Bushes play money.

Now he points out the obvious & says we need to put, "more" on the payroll. How about taking care of the ones you have now & enforce the LAWS, CODES, & REGULATIONS, that are already in effect?

Allowing the DVA to do whatever it chooses , without "ANY" oversight, regardless of existing laws, than put head hunting pricks, like Buyer & Nicholson in charge to "care for them", somehow falls short of putting any wind in my sail.

We ain't going anywhere & they will see to that.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

It seems to me that Buyer is just setting the table, for later on being able to claim that the increase in staff that is needed, will require additional charges on lower categories of veterans.

Since the budget now is inadequate to provide all necessary medical services, if he wants to hire more "adjusters", where will he get the money, except by cutting benefits.

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