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More On Murray-ptsd Review

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Guest Berta

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Murray Protects Veterans with PTSD from VA Scrutiny, Stigma and Penalties

Senate Passes Murray's Amendment Today; Blocks VA from Wasting Resources Investigating 72,000 Veterans and Penalizing Those with Paperwork Errors

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 22, 2005

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) stood up for America's veterans by ensuring that those who need help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are not scrutinized, stigmatized, or penalized by a planned VA investigation.

"Veterans with PTSD deserve the VA's compassion and support, not costly investigations, penalties and stigma," Murray said. "Veterans should not be punished for mistakes the VA has made, and that's what my amendment ensures."

Earlier this year, the VA announced plans to investigate the PTSD disability claims of 72,000 veterans. An earlier study of a small number of cases by the VA's Inspector General found errors in about one-third of the claims examined. Many of the problems uncovered were paperwork errors. Murray and veterans organizations like the American Legion and the Paralyzed Veterans of America feared the VA would use the review to strip benefits from veterans with mental illness.

The review would also take time and resources away from processing current disability claims.

"The VA must not delay its work on today's disability claims in order to investigate decisions it made years ago," Murray said.

Murray said the VA's review would send a message to veterans that if they seek help for PTSD, they will be subject to scrutiny.

"It's already hard enough for veterans to seek care for mental health problems. I can't stand by and let the VA throw down another barrier in front of veterans with PTSD," Murray said.

Murray blocked the review today by inserting language into the FY 2006 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, which passed the full Senate this afternoon. Murray's language says the review cannot proceed until the VA justifies the program to Congress. It also ensures veterans cannot be stripped of their benefits except in cases of fraud.

Veterans leaders applauded Murray's work.

"Senator Murray has given veterans some body armor to protect them from administrative errors and penalties," said Skip Dreps, government relations director for the Northwest Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, which represents 20,000 veterans nationwide, including 500 in Washington state. "We bore the burden of battle once, and we shouldn’t have to bear the battle again when our government makes mistakes in our benefits."

Now that the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill has passed the Senate, it must be reconciled with the House of Representative's version.

http://murray.senate.gov/news.cfm?id=246352

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This is a key statement which supports my point if view on all of this and the Inspector General's Report (I posted a link at the old hadit on that)

"Senator Murray has given veterans some body armor to protect them from administrative errors and penalties," said Skip Dreps, government relations director for the Northwest Chapter of the Paralyzed etc....

Technically the VAROs are being reviewed as well as PTSD vets-

I feel it is discriminatory to select one segment of disabled vets ( the segment that VA makes the least awards for-as far as I know) when had they question say-an Iraq amputee or a WWII POW or a

AO Vietnam vet with DMII- it would have been a different story-

and if they screwed with widows- well look out-

I hope all AO vets realise that they have the Nehmer decision (one of the most significant pieces of legislation Vietnam Vets ever got after all those years of being treated like second class citizens- due to a widow.

Nehmer V Principi- and Nehmer Order and Stipulation (Beverly Nehmer with the help of NVLSP gave you

the benefits of retroactive payments due to AO unlike any type of VA disability situation)

In order to review a claim thoroughly -this commission will begin to see the real picture-

that errors are made consistently at VAROs to the detriment and expense of deserving veterans.

Matilda Bonny got the accrued regs changed-in 2003 -she is the widow of a vet-

God help them if they start messing with us widows.

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Hi Berta,

Just received my Christmas present (December 24, 2005) from the VA. A review of my service connected disability (ies). I am unemployable with 70% PTSD. I thought this witch-hunt was over? The latest word from POW's was that it was over. Am I missing something? Please respond to my personal e-mail wdsharpe@earthlink.net. Thanks.

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Johnny 60- to the best of my knowledge that PTSD review crapola is over- I posted today a link to the latest GAO report-

I think it now seems obvious to the Disability Commission that the problem was not some wannabee PTSD claims- it was the processing of all legit claims for veterans-

Many many veterans orgs and veterans wrote to the Disability Commission griping over the proposed PTSD review-

I wrote and told them that in 20 years I have only seen 2 real PTSD wannabees and one wannabee widow and none of them got a dime from the VA- I added that it is SO difficult for a veteran with a legitimate disability - PTSD or otherwise- to get a proper VA decision on their claim-anyhow- that it is irrationale to assume that wannabees are somehow getting their claims favorably processed.

That GAO report is very interesting-

I posted a link under HCVA- in claims research. Berta

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