Jump to content
Ads Keep HadIt.com Online. Consider Turning Off Ad Blockers to Keep HadIt.com Online! ×
  • 0

Disgust Over Iu Problem


Old 5311

Question

Disgust Over IU Problem

Tom Philpott | June 23, 2006

Readers of Tom Philpott’s Military Update column sound off.

Former Rating Specialist Attests to ‘IU’ Problem

Regarding your column on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ lax oversight of disability ratings for Individual Unemployability (IU), I can say from first-hand experience it has been a poorly kept secret for many years.

I worked for the VA from 1973 to 1988, spending four of those years as rating specialist and four more as supervisory claims examiner. While I was a rating specialist, the VA conducted a nationwide review of IU cases. As I recall, it found that a third of cases were decided correctly, a third were questionable or lacking sufficiently developed evidence, and a third contained “clear and unmistakable error.”

An example of a clear error was a 60-plus WWII veteran who worked his whole life in a physical job and retired due to a job-related injury after he was 60. He had static combat-related wounds that combined to a rating of 60 percent disabled. He had been placed on IU with nothing more than his application. He had not even claimed his service-connected injuries had in any way made him unable to work.

Many years ago the adjudication officer of the Seattle VA Regional Office had made it policy that veterans with qualifying percentages would get IU when they retired at any age, and without any examination to see if their service-related condition had worsened to cause them to be unable to work.

By the late 1970s, the WWII generation of rating specialists were retiring and being replaced by Vietnam-era veterans. We all knew that the former practice was not permitted by VA regulation, so we did not do that. Your article indicates that 79 percent of new IU ratings go to veterans over age 60. So it sounds like that long-ago discredited policy has resurfaced.

When I left the VA in 1988 the Court of Veteran’s Appeals was just being organized. Friends who continued to work at the VA said the court imposed huge procedural burdens on the rating process. Cases that were clear-cut and required only a short rating narrative to support findings became pages long to comply with court requirements. Case after case was remanded for further paperwork. The court’s effect on the rating process should be studied.

Congress gets involved periodically too and enacts “VA Medicine.” That means making causal connections between medical conditions that are not supported by science but favored by veterans’ groups.

The VA employees I knew were competent and hardworking. The problem is a rating schedule that has not been scrutinized for half a century, "medicine" influenced by powerful political forces and a legal review system that dramatically burdens the whole process.

ROBERT CARPENTER

Bremerton, Wash.

The GAO recommendation that VA tighten its oversight of the IU rating is long overdue.

While working as a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Officer, I complained about IU decisions for several years. In extreme cases, veterans said they had been prompted by their service officers to make these claims and to abandon jobs and rehabilitation programs to support their claims.

This occurred following a determination by the vocational rehabilitation staff that the veteran is "employable" and that the opportunity for rehabilitation to a suitable job is feasible.

While working as a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Officer, I complained about IU decisions for several years. In extreme cases, veterans said they had been prompted by their service officers to make these claims and to abandon jobs and rehabilitation programs to support their claims.

This occurred following a determination by the vocational rehabilitation staff that the veteran is "employable" and that the opportunity for rehabilitation to a suitable job is feasible.

M. FARMER

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Answers 3
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters For This Question

Popular Days

Top Posters For This Question

3 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

The VA has strict guidelines for IU and they do follow them, at least at the Gainesville (Fla.) VA Hospital. I was IU for awhile with the recommendation of four doctors and the strong recommendation of the VA Vocational Rehabilitation manager and councilor. Mine was a sound case. I presented nearly 600 pages of medical documents to prove it. Some of my service-related conditions have worsened over the years.

To say the system is broken is to say money is more important than our veterans VA care should be the major concern, and the president and Congress should properly fund the Department of Veterans Affairs. They seem to find money for pork and illegal immigrants but not for the veterans.

D. E. HUDSON

Via e-mail

Now I know why the VA is dragging its feet on my request for IU.

I have two VA doctors, two orthopedic surgeons, one pain management doctor, one primary care doctor, one physiatrist and another VA doctor sending me for a compensation and pension exam. I have another doctor from Social Security Administration stating that, due to my service-connected disabilities, I can no longer work.

But this is not sufficient for VA to grant me IU. They now say, after my sixth surgery in two-and-a-half years, that I will have to go back on 100-percent temporary disability and go through the entire process again. I guess they figure that in time IU will be done away or they will find a doctor who will state the other eight do not know what they are talking about.

The fact that I had to give up a well-paying job to raise a family of four on peanuts, just because I served my country in time of war, makes me regret ever having put on a uniform.

JOHN P. BROUGH

USN-Ret.

Vie e-mail

I was awarded IU effective Jan. 1, 2005. I had been employed at the U.S. Postal Service for 19 years as a full-time mail handler, making $57,000 a year with overtime. I now draw IU compensation in place of that salary and am having a very difficult time making ends meet.

If it wasn't for Army doctors who did my knee operation backwards, I would still be employed with postal service and able to provide for my family of four. Now here come congressional auditors wanting to change IU eligibility to save money so that Congress can spend it somewhere else.

Too bad we couldn’t just sue military doctors for their mistakes. It could reduce the errors. Instead we get the peanut offerings of the VA.

JOSEPH A. HIHN, JR

Via e-mail

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest fla_viking

Dear Fellow Veterans & Friends

It took many of us decades to become SC with IU. Now that we made it, the government wants to take our comp away because they now belive the process they developed was flawed.

This is nothing more than spilling the chess board when they see they are loosing.

Terry Higgins

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • HadIt.com Elder

VA rating specialists are disgusted about IU because they have not figured out a way to keep their jobs and get IU as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.


  • veterans-crisis-line.jpg
    The Veterans Crisis Line can help even if you’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care.

    CHAT NOW

  • question-001.jpeg

    Have Questions? Get Answers.

    Tips on posting on the forums.

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery instead of ‘I have a question.
       
    2. Knowledgeable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title.
      I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
       
    3. Use paragraphs instead of one massive, rambling introduction or story.
       
      Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph, there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.
     
    Leading too:

    exclamation-point.pngPost straightforward questions and then post background information.
     
    Examples:
     
    • Question A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • Adding Background information in your post will help members understand what information you are looking for so they can assist you in finding it.
    Rephrase the question: I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine, but the claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
     
    • Question B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • See how the details below give us a better understanding of what you’re claiming.
    Rephrase the question: I was involved in a traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?
     
    This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial of your claim?”
     
    Note:
     
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. This process does not take long.
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. The review requirement will usually be removed by the 6th post. However, we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.
    • This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before hitting the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims, and this helps us do that.
  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

    tinnitus-005.pngptsd-005.pnglumbosacral-005.pngscars-005.pnglimitation-flexion-knee-005.pngdiabetes-005.pnglimitation-motion-ankle-005.pngparalysis-005.pngdegenerative-arthitis-spine-005.pngtbi-traumatic-brain-injury-005.png

  • VA Watchdog

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines