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Va Disability Claim Error Rate Hits 26 Percent In Oakland Regional Office

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carlie

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http://vetlawyers.co...nn+%26+Moore%29

"Bergmann & Moore Testify Before Congress: VA Disability Claim Error Rate Hits 26 percent in Oakland Regional Office

On April 24, 2012, in B&M News, Department of Veterans Affairs, Disabled Veterans, In the News, Politics, VA Disability Benefits, Veterans, Veterans Law, by VetLawyers

"The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made a stunning admission at last week’s Congressional hearing about VA’s backlog inventory of 1.1 million claims.

For the first time, VA revealed more than one-in-four disability compensation claims processed by VA’s beleaguered Oakland office are riddled with errors. Almost all of VA mistakes are against Veterans, forcing them to appeal.

Paul Sullivan, managing director of public affairs & veterans outreach here at Bergmann & Moore, testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Reporters from the Military Times, NextGov, and the Washington Post covered the hearing.

Sullivan told Congress that when VBA speeds up claim processing, VA makes mistakes. Then Veterans must appeal, often with the assistance of a private practitioner such as Bergmann & Moore.

Sullivan remains especially concerned about the impact of delays on veterans with psychological conditions. Being forced to wait months or years for healthcare and disability benefits for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and military sexual trauma (MST) can often worsen a Veteran’s health.

VBA’s Director of Compensation Service Tom Murphy confirmed VBA leaders had met with Veterans advocates, including Sullivan, and were willing to grant attorneys and agents access to their clients’ computer and paper VA files.

Murphy also pledged to lawmakers that staff at Oakland’s VBA Regional Office would receive additional training in coming months to improve productivity and quality.

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), a member of the Committee, admonished VA during his opening remarks: “VA should remember that ‘VA’ should stand for ‘Veteran Advocate’ and not ‘Veteran Adversary.’”

Wednesday’s hearing was titled, “From the Inside Out: A Look at Claims Representatives’ Role in the Disability Claims Process.” Bergmann & Moore testified on behalf of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates.

The hearing was held as investigative journalist Aaron Glantz of the Bay Citizen reported on very serious problems our Veterans face at VBA’s Oakland Regional Office:

April 15: “Veterans’ Disability Claims Buried Under Paperwork: The average wait for a decision in the Bay Area is now 313 days.”

April 16: “VA Pledges to Overhaul Disability Claims System: Promise comes after The Bay Citizen reveals Bay Area veterans wait an average of 313 days.”

April 19: “Send Immediate Help’ to Oakland’s VA, Say Bay Area Reps: Letter to veterans secretary cites ‘extreme disappointment’ over decision not to overhaul troubled office”

Carlie passed away in November 2015 she is missed.

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Some more recent claims accuracy reports.

I like this old thread. Wasn't sure where to post this info.

 

https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-18-05663-189.pdf

 

https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-15-00399-410.pdf

 

 

I am not a lawyer, and nothing I have written is legal advice, it is just how things appear to me based on my limited understanding, and therefore may be incorrect.

Edited by Jake206th

I am not a lawyer, and nothing I write is legal advice, it is just how things appear to me based on my limited comprehension and understanding and therefore may not be accurate.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The so called average wait is fiction. What they should be required to report how long do 100% grants take. 5 and 1/2 years for me

Veterans deserve real choice for their health care.

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More pressure should be put on our so-called vet reps to catch these errors when they occur and start making the VAROs CUE themselves.

Particularly when the errors stem from inadequate VCAA letters.

I just read something here that caused me to type a reply that ended up being an angry rant - I am thinking over if I will even post it.

I had stated here many times anyhow the same thing-

Every time a vet or survivor gets lousy advise from a vet rep and doesn't complain to a higher authority in the vet org about it- that allows the rep to do it again to the next vet or survivor who walks in their door.

It is not only lousy advise, it is the fact that a well trained vet rep could catch some of these RO level errors right away.

And the recent hearings bear out how critical these errors can be- errors that reps are trained to challenge.

As you all know I made an enormous stink a few years ago when even the Director of my state vet org would not support me as to questioning my erroneous VCAA letter.

4 reps, to include their director, read the letter I got and tried to tell me it was fully legit. I even have a letter from their director on NYS letterhead trying to convince me it was correct.

It did not comply with even the basic tenets of the VCAA.

The BVA agreed with me in my decision as to the faulty VCAA letter. But I had mitigated the VCAA error's damage myself with evidence so the VCAA letter I got didn't cause a remand.

Still ,how many claimants would even know if their VCAA letter was erroneous?

It should be the first thing their rep looks at.

It is the first thing the BVA reads.

You take backlogged ROs that have a growing error rate, and then add to it incompetent vet reps, and you have vets and widows with 2 hands tied behind their back from the git go, , waiting for years for a decision that could be riddled with errors that have caused a denial.

The fact that my vet org would not support me as to getting a proper VCAA letter added years to that claim but I took actions against them.

I bet there are hundreds of exemplary vet reps out there, overworked and overwhelmed, yet working side by side with incompetent reps.

The backlog is due in great part,in my opinion, to piss poor claims representation because many if not all of these errors could be caught right away by POA reps and challenged immediately.

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Berta:

You are correct and the so called free advise from many Vet Reps can damage or delay claims. My experience has been for the most part trying to talk for a couple of minutes to a Vet Rep who is not exactly with me but thinking of other things to do. They are lousy about returning calls and most of their product is filling out forms and mailing them off. Once a claim leaves the office until there is a hearing it only gathers dist in the VARO filing cabinet.

There is no accountability and very little communication.

Veterans deserve real choice for their health care.

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Just wanted to add something about Paul Sullivan- I interviewed him once for a radio show and he is a fabulous lawyer in my opinion and a great asset to Bergmann and Moore.

Many here are familiar with the work Veterans for Common Sense has done.

Paul Sullivan

Executive Director

Veterans for Common Sense

Post Office Box 77304

Washington, DC 20013

(202) 558-4553

Paul@VeteransForCommonSense.org

www.VeteransForCommonSense.org

My

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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26 PERCENTexcl.png Now I'm wondering what it is in the Houston ROsad.png I hate to imagine.

Papa

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