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Help Change Va


rogus

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I have a letter that i plan to send out to as many Congressmen as I can. If it is of interest to any of you please feel free to copy it.

To the Honorable ,

I am writing to you because I believe that you truly care about United States veterans and their struggles with the Department of the Veterans Affairs.

As you are probably aware according to a Knight Ridder news service story 17% of veterans die prior to having their benefit claims resolved. As veterans we have become second class citizens due to the 1933 Economy Act (H.R. 2820 – now Title 38 USC 211) which legally bars veterans from meaningful judicial review and closes all judicial branch, Article III, and U.S. District Courts to veterans.

38 USC 211

"All decisions rendered by the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs under the provisions of this title, or the regulations issued pursuant thereto, shall be final and conclusive on all questions of law and fact, and NO OTHER OFFICIAL or COURT OF THE UNITED STATES shall have jurisdiction to review by mandamus or otherwise any such decision."

Although there is a “Special” Court of Veterans Appeals read the words of former Chief Judge Frank Q. Nebeker (1994, State of the Court) :

“…the Court’s operation has demonstrated that that there is a vast gap between the theory and practice of judicial review and it is that gap which appears to be frustrating the original intent behind enactment of VJRA and the implementation of the goals of meaningful judicial review”

“Neither the Court, through the Board, the Board, nor the General Counsel has direct and meaningful control over the Agencies of Original Jurisdiction (VA Regional Offices).”

“Too many of the Court's precedent opinions must focus on law clearly stated in statutes or regulations but ignored below. Indeed, the rate of adjudication error is far too high for a healthy system. Most importantly, though, those opinions should serve to guide future adjudications of similar cases. Why permit the initial adjudicators to ignore those decisions simply because their operational head ignores them and doesn't issue directives and provide training to follow them?”

“Many ROs appear to do what they think they must when they get around to it. In fact, recent examples show that attorneys on the General Counsel's staff, too, have little leverage to require cooperation when they attempt to obtain information concerning cases, so they can meet their obligations as the Secretary's attorneys to report the status of a particular case to the Court. The attitude in at least some of the RO’s seems to be "I don't care what the Court says the law is; I care only what my boss says it is."

In fact ABC – 20/20 News (Fighting For Justice, June 2, 2000) reported Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) members actually destroyed veterans’ files and records to deny veterans appeals in the hopes of substantial cash bonuses from the VA. And that at the time of the report the Court of Veterans Appeals had only ruled in favor of the veteran 18 times out of 14,000 cases.

Such actions continue to this day, however even if a veteran were able to have his case heard in court the scales are still weighted against him/her due to the following court case:

"Pensions, COMPENSATION ALLOWANCES, HOSPITAL, and other privileges . . . are GRATUITIES. They involve no agreement of parties; and the grant of them creates no vested right. The benefits conferred by gratuities may be redistributed or withdrawn at any time in the discretion of Congress." (See Lynch V. United States, 292 U.S. 571, 577 (1934)

It is also interesting to note that during 1934, the Supreme Court had perceived the rights of America's battle-injured defenders, in a different light, and accordingly determined that it was the INTENT of the United States Congress, that VA medical care treating war injuries, VA disability compensation concerning war injuries, and all other veterans' non-contractual "benefits", have the legal significance of nothing more than GRATUITIES (GIFTS).

As such, veterans have no recourse when we must sell our possessions and homes while awaiting a decision from a governmental agency that operates under complete autonomy and separation from true judicial review of its actions. We lack even the basic rights that are constitutionally guaranteed criminals.

Therefore I am requesting your help for all veterans throughout America to repeal or amend 38 USC 211 and to congressionally redefine veterans’ benefits as being benefits earned through service to our country.

Sincerely,

Robert L Anchors

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Rogus

It is really a shame since many of the politicians who support vets and the troops also support the VDBC and the GAO in their recommendations and efforts to cut veteran's benefits. They are such hypocrites. We need radical regime change not in Iraq, or Iran , but here in USA.

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I agree. And though it seems that there might not be many Republicans receptive to this letter there should be some democrats that are. Patty Murray from Washington State comes to mind.

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Even with that being said until these 2 changes are made the VA can continue to do what ever they want unchecked. If congreess redefines are benefits as benifits and not gratuities and gives us access to courts their asses would be sued continually.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Rogus

I would love to see the VA on the receiving end of many lawsuits. With this supreme court in place, however, I am not so sure of the outcome. The courts if the take their lead from the Bush Court will always come down on the side of the big boys. We are all in deep @#$%

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Sounds good to me.

Many government agencies, city, county and state failed to implement key feature of accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The courts got tired of these agencies ignoring their demands to comply. The courts then opened the door for legal actions by those who were unable to access public bulidings as a result of non compliance. The VA is lost in self involved splitting of hairs over legal issues.

Thompson was so concerned about the cost of C&P exams he argued before congress that the shoot from the hips system of adjudicating claims without required C&P exams was just fine. The VA has taken it upon itself to invent ways to save the congress money without the congress asking them to save them money. I agree that congress is the best approach. The courts can't see the forest through the trees on VA issues.

I also will work on my letter to my Senator.

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Guest jstacy

Writing letters to Senator and Congressmen are good faith Ideas. But believe me when I write this: A Politician is a politician and the only way to make a movement is through direct pressure. The best thing to do is to get a petition together and get the required amount of signatures and have it put on the National Ballot. This would require Hadit Veterans to sit outside of Walmart with the Petition and get it filled corectly with Names of people. It may also require asking for Identification of the people to avoid any scams the VA can come up with. Remember the only thing that can make a politician act like he has a wedgie is the thought of losing Votes.

Second, is to gather all of the negative events over the history of the VA and present them in a spreadsheet summary to the Media, Congress, Senate. The press will get the Public involved and the Senate can hold hearings on the issues.

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Guest frank

II HHINK YOU WROTE A VERY GOOD LETTER, I HAVE WORKED WITH CONGRESSMAN FRANK PALLONE JR, IN NEW JERSEY HE DID NOTHING TO HELP ME.IF YOU LIVE JN NJ PLEASE DON:T VOTE FOR HIM, THIS IS 4 YEARS I AM WAITING FOR HIM TO DO SOMETHING HE IS NOT FOR VETERANS TRUST ME

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I would like to thank everyone for their input.

I believe that with the number of congressional seats up for grabs this november that if we can get something organized we could make a difference. All of us here are directly affected by this issue (the VA). Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent I don't believe any congressman up for re-election wants to be on the wrong side of this issue.

If we can contact local TV, radio or newspapers about this issue or sit in front of WAll-Mart and collect signatures if enough of us do it we should getthe attention we need.

Although I am not a lawyer but it seems to me that we could ( and if someone out there is a lawyer please advise on this ) file a (class action) lawsuit to have the 1933 Economy Act overturned on the basis that it denies due process of law and that it is discrimination against a minority of the public (veterans). This could be similar or even covered under the Civil Rights Act. Again if anyone knows the law please respond.

With the recent media attention to the VA DATA THEFT now could be a good time to start to take advantage of that media attention. So long as politicians are in the spotlight they will have to make some type of response.

If anyone would like to get involved in something like this please let me know and I will do my best to arrange something.

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I heard on the news today that a Class Action Lawsuit has already been started against the VA. I know some guy in I think Indiana, who had run for office and lost had started it, but according to this article it says there are two Class Action suits.

http://www.news8austin.com/content/your_ne...asp?ArID=163576

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