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New Va Scandal: Cbs News Finds Thousands Of Vets' Benefit Claims Discarded


pacmanx1

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Good ole oakland regional office got caught again. Gotta love it. ....Btw my earlier pending claim from 1983 was from this varo and is currently at compensation service central office on review from a email I sent to Allison Hickey. The dro stated that I should have an answer on this appeal for early effective date of service connection by the end of next week. ..We shall see. ....

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In the link I posted the other day here in VA Scandals forum here , it says 14,000 claims:

"Investigation: Oakland VA office lost thousands of veteran claims
By Doug Oakley doakley@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 02/20/2015 06:41:28 AM PST0 Comments | Updated: 6 days ago

(In part)

"OAKLAND -- The Oakland office of Veterans Affairs improperly filed and then lost about 14,000 unprocessed veterans benefit claims, some dating back to the 1990s, according to a federal government investigation released Wednesday.

No one will ever know the fate of those 14,000 informal applications for benefits found in a filing cabinet in 2012 because after they were discovered by a VA management support team, they disappeared, according to a report by the federal Office of Inspector General, which investigated problems at the office last summer. "

http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_27561325/investigation-oakland-va-office-lost-thousands-veteran-claims

What I don't get is where were the 14 thousand claimants? Didnt they try to get statuses of their claims? and how about their thousands of vet reps?

At least when VA lost my AO IHD 2010 claim and my 2012 1151 claim for a while, they ultimately found those claims, because I aggressively complained via IRIS.

Then again we have been mantraed to death by VA ,saying to be patient....lulled into thinking the backlog has caused claims processing 'delays.'

When the reality is ALL of the VA filing cabinets need to be searched.And any vet or survivor who never got any adjudication at Oakland should come forward.

The 'disappearance' of the claims they Did find, is as bad as finding them hidden in a file cabinet.

I got my "We have received your claim for benefits" blah blah letter last week, My claims were filed over 2 years ago. I guess 14 thousand claimants never even got a letter like that.

But nevertheless I had my proof of their receipt of those claims from USPS on line and every 4 months or so,. i got a status on them, via 800 or IRIS even if it was ass backwards. Because at least they found the claims at some point and verified they had them.

Then they even said I had 2 more pending but that was wrong and they fixed that recently.

PS..I am a little suspicious of this story....I don't doubt that claims were stuffed into a filing cabinet.I even bet that might be the case in many ROs, ..but 14,000 ?????

If 14,000 people got a fish sandwich at Mc Donalds, but had really ordered a Big Mac, wouldnt they have raised some collective Hell by now?

And where were the vet reps.....I am sure many of these claimants had someone on their POA.

(maybe their reps were stuffing their file cabinets with claims too)

Vet Orgs justify their existence with the amount of claims they file.If any of these 14 thousand had filed their claims via a vet rep on their POA, the rep should have a copy of the claim in their POA file.,unless they have a policy to destroy POA files that have been inactive for a long time.

There is more to all this than we know.

.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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I think most of the ''VSO'' or people at the RO or doing it hiding the claims, or doing what they are ordered to do? no tellin.

but someone is doing it claims don't just get lost on there own, someone has to be misplacing the claims,

what I don't understand is how can the VA make a HUGE MISTAKE sending Veteran a letter that's been decease over 7 or so years ago. a letter that states ''if you disagree with our decision''? wow that is a very bad & Huge mistake.

They should award his widow automatic DIC

this particular widow said she would be ''happy with just 400.00 a month''

Buck!

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Shameful.........

I think a thorough investigation is called for and the guilty parties fired.

This is the reason why vets confidence has declined.

Further, this is a example of administration manipulation to "cook" the books.

Truth has to be a part of this process.

I'm beginning to wonder if they relaxed the nexus portion of the pyramid (in service disability, current disability, and nexus connecting the aforementioned).

Would the process go much faster.

The process is getting bogged down at a certain point and that point must be identified, corrected, and/or recalibrated.

The brave U.S. VETERANS deserve better.

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a little more on this

In part:
“But a CBS News investigation has found widespread mismanagement of claims, resulting in veterans being denied the benefits they earned, and many even dying before they get an answer from the VA.” For example, Dorrie Stafford received a letter last summer addressed to her husband, Wayne, an Army veteran. But there’s just one big problem: “It’s dated July 29, 2014, and thanks Dorrie’s husband … for the disability claim he filed in July of 2004,” CBS reveals. ‘The decade-long delay is just one problem; the other is that Wayne died in an accident seven years ago, without hearing a word from the VA.“ According to whistleblowers, there are 13,184 similar cases dating back to 1996, and it’s not simply an oversight. One concerned employee, writes CBS, "said VA supervisors in Oakland ordered her team to mark the claims 'no action necessary’ and to toss them aside.” It’s increasingly evident our veterans are more well suited outside the system than in it."

http://patriotpost.us/posts/33449

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Yea..many of us remeber the "October 2008" shreddergate, which, altho the VA promised to fix that (under Dr. Peake), its the same old same old. Remember what happened shortly after 2008, where Cleveland RO was found by the VAOIG to be one of the worst? You guessed it, Christine Alford was promoted from RO boss to VACO.

Im still trying to get my claim fixed from the 2008 scandal, and now there is the new one. I think Christine Alford is good friends with Bob Mayes, but I dont know if either or both of these are still employed by VA. Secretary McDonald should investigate both Christine Alford and Bob Mayes, and may uncover the source of this "culture of denial".

As I mentioned, Im still giving Secretary McDonald a "hall pass"...6 months is too soon to fix this, but, mostly, I like the changes I have seen with McDonald.

I dont know if he reads this, but the "email allison hickey" or email "Ronald McDonald" should be expanded. We should be able to email the RO boss...it would save a step...and only if the RO boss did not fix it would we email Allison/McDonald. Its the chain of command we learned in the military. You report and issue to your supervisor. Give him some time to deal with it. Then you go to his boss, and his bosses boss, on up to the pentagon. Its the chain of command. We had to memorize ours when I was in boot camp. If it worked there, why not here in the VA/

Edited by broncovet (see edit history)
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The labyrinthine, juggernaut, convoluted, clandestine,antiquated VA disability 'process' needs to be scrapped and completely redone.

Is there a flow chart somewhere that details this absurdity?

Putting some numbers on that chart might give better insight as to what's REALLY going on, and I don't mean the fluff reports they do now.

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For all veterans who qualify for VA care should be able to go to any doctor that accepts Medicare and let VA pick up the tab. Have the vets doctor fill out any C&P exams or better yet have a specialist (in that field) do the exam. That would solve the care we get overnight. I believe in the long run money would be saved.

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OIG is the Office of Inspector General. I think that agency investigates government waste and mismanagement but I'm not sure about this. My husband had his V.A. file at Oakland from 1965 when he was discharged from the Navy until about 1993 or 1994 when we moved to Montana. Oakland was totally awful even though his exams showed he was very sick. In 1970 VARO Oakland sent his notification letter to an address in Santa Rosa that included a zip code for San Luis Obispo. This 1970 claim requesting reevauation should still be a pending claim but nobody at BVA or Regional office will look at this issue because Court of Veterans Appeals upheld the March 1994 rating decision that he had entitlement to a rating from a date in 1987. Oakland kept denying his claims and never got his records from the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego despite the fact that he listed that hospitalization on his 1965 application for compensation and pension. My husband sent them copies of those hospital service records in 1995 but V.A. Regional Office Ft. Harrison, Montana never reopened the 1965 claim. My husband got a rating for service connected varicose veins effective in January 1992 but his earlier informal claims for service connected varicose veins made in writing during V.A. medical exams in Oakland are now missing.

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For all veterans who qualify for VA care should be able to go to any doctor that accepts Medicare and let VA pick up the tab. Have the vets doctor fill out any C&P exams or better yet have a specialist (in that field) do the exam. That would solve the care we get overnight. I believe in the long run money would be saved.

That would allow a direct comparison between the health care delivered by the VA and private medical care. Something that the VA has been deathly afraid of. The government would prefer to have veterans just pay for Medicare, and use the VA.

Fairly recently, it was even proposed that the VA charge Medicare for veteran's treatent. If properly implemented, the "Choice Program" allows an alternative that is practical and preferred by many. Why should the VA attempt to duplicate services already and more conveniently in the local communities? To my way of thinking, and experience, A VA clinic is useful for medical appointments related to VA prescriptions, and other than an occasional annual or semiannual exam, little else. Indeed this type of service is what is overloading the VA clinics, not true medical care. When I need medical care, waiting more than a few days at most is unacceptable. My choices are to see a private physician, acute care provider, or community emergency room. Getting the VA to pay even an emergency room can be a big hassle. All of that aside, there are conditions that are mostly veteran oriented. It does make sense to have the VA deal with veteran unique conditions, and let community medical systems/resources deal with things that are fairly common in the general population. After all, that's what has been going on for decades.

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One thing that is almost certain:

If there is a scandal at one Regional Office or Medical Center, you can almost be assured its happening at many of the others, too. VA will likely deny this, but we have seen it too many times..its usally a systemic problem compounded by a fox guarding the hen house (VAOIG).

One example: I had tried to get a docs appointement at my VA. The clerk told me to "call back next month". I asked why not just enter me an appointment right now for a couple months out? "Oh THE COMPUTER wont let me schedule appointments more than 30 days out."

That is a lie and I knew it when she said it...I had already gotten appointments for 6 weeks or even 8 weeks later. This means my VAMC was doing the same crap they were in Phoenix..this amounts to a "secret list".

Pete...VSO's do work for the VA! First, ask nod pointed out that VSO's (the organization, not the individual) get paid for each POA from VA. Think about it...the DAV represts many many Vets, but some of those smaller VSO's much, much less. So, who gets most of the money? You guessed it..the ones with a lot of Veterans POA. Also, in the VSO's charter, the VSO committs to "cooperate with VA". This is a problem. If your neighbor sued you, would you want an attorney who represented him? I doubt it. That is the problem..VSO's are paid by and cooperate with VA. That's often in conflict with the Vetrans goals.

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Fox News ,at about 6:30, said Little Rock has been found to have dated claims that were 20 years old ,to appear they were new claims.

Also Pete Hegseth (Concerned Veterans of America)has prepared a 100 page report on how VA can put veterans first.......If you watch Fox you know who he is.

When I get more info on above stories I will add it here.

I wonder what 'dates' they mean..I have received , yesterday and last week, the initial acknowledgement of 2 claims I filed over 2 years ago.

That wont affect any retro for any claimant , but those letters, if that is what they meant on FOX ,could certainly make it appear that these letters confirm recent claims they received, and not the ones it takes years to even acknowledge.

The letters do not say the date of the claims they are for.

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What does the union have to say about this?

Does the AFGE instruct its members to lie?

Does the AFGE coach its members on how to answer questions from investigators?

The AFGE Celebrates veterans NOT using the Choice program https://www.afge.org/index.cfm?ContentID=5414

They do not want veterans having a choice to get better care than at their VA meal ticket.

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Wow NK that is pretty notorious as your profile name implies. I agree with you though. So far in my experience Unions, some mind you, are as bad if not worse than the agency you're trying to fight. I've learned this the hard way both by VSOs and AFGE. From my experience and observations they are just part of the problem. Same old same old. Ask yourself " are you really gonna bite the hand that feeds you". Some people, some agencies won't do that, not when their own bread and butter is on the line.

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I hope that this "Truth" brings some much needed change from all agencies. It's dispicable that this type of obstruction of justice is just allowed to happen from all fronts. Not only allowed but in most respects encouraged. Things need to change. We really need to fight for these changes. JMHO.

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