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Frustrated! Va 800# Giving Me The Run Around


Cherie33

Question

Im so frustrated right now... Ok, a few weeks back, I received an award letter stating the exact following:

Dear Mrs. Worthen,

We made a decision regarding your entitlement to VA benefits.

This letter tells you what we decided. It gives the evidence used and reasons for our decision. We have also included information about what to do if you disagree with our decision and who to contact if you have questions or need assistance.

Your current benefit payment will continue unchanged.

What We Decided

We made the following decision(s) regarding your claimed issue(s):

Dependency of your parent " " is not established. The parental income exceeds the dependency income limits.

Aid and Attendance for Spouse Sept. 18, 2014 (Effective Date)

* Entitlement to additional benefits based on the need for aid and attendance is established.

* Entitlement to aid and attendance allowance for "Spouse Name" is established effective Sept. 18, 2014 - the date you filed your claim.

Ok, so I've called the 800# a couple times and each time I have received a different explanation as to what this all means. The last phone call I was told that I was receiving the MAX benefit amount and that I wont get anything additional. I told her that cant be true, it just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, I spoke to someone else about 2 weeks ago and he submitted and inquiry too iris, and told me it would take 7 business days to hear back, today she told me 10 days...someone else told me that, it appears that the VA has not addressed the addtl award amount however it has in my file that they are suppose to pay the addl for my aid and Attendance spouse, and that's why he sent the inquiry in the first place.

Has anyone ever dealt with this kind of situation? I'm not sure what to do. Its been 10 days and I haven't heard anything from the VA.

Thank you,

Cherie33

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Yeah, I recently had similar problems with Buffalo RO.

They granted a CUE claim I had pending for a longer period of entitlement, but said there would be no payments to me because I already got paid accrued on the same issue.

If there was no monetary value to me, they would not even attempted to award the entitlement date favorably.

I got paid 6 months of accrued in 2012 ..they owe me about 16 to 22 more months.100% under 1151 plus SMC vet (deceased) spouse and one child.

They did not cite any regulation or rationale whatsoever for saying the payment I got in 2012 remained unchanged.

Then I got into a rigarmorale with the RO director but she sent my files to VACO. They can read at VA Central Office .

They buggered my other claim up too.

Email the Under Secretary

allison.hickey@va.gov

Maybe the new VA scam is to make awards ,that they cannot really deny, but then not pay the owed amount.

This is probably one more way the VA has claimed to have 'reduced' it's backlog, as the VA Press Release I post early today here indicates..

Getting an award, which is better then some bogus denial ,still makes no sense at all.,if they don't acknowledge retro is due.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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Welcome to "Peggy". We cant give you a reasonable answer right now, so if you call back later we will also keep you in the dark. Or, stay on the line, and we will have one of our employees try to confuse you some more, by giving you a completely different answer than last time. Our new "honesty" policy requires we tell you this. Wait..they repealed that one. Now stay tuned for the next employee BS session. We thank you for your service. Good Bye.

Seriously, based on what you posted, your spouse was granted A and A. You may be able to get your answer here:

http://www.veteransaidbenefit.org/aid_and_attendance_pension_benefit.htm

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Berta,

Thank you so much for your input, I most certainly will email the under secretary.

It made absolutely no sense to me. Why say that the aid and attendance is established as well as the allowance with an effective date, and the say (as the person I spoke to on the 800# said) oh you are receiving the maximum benefit so it doesn't change. I said yes I am receiving the maximum 100% benefit for a disabled veteran plus a dependent. Aid and Attendance is an additional SMC and if you red the VA rate table, it has a figure that you add to your current award for a spouse that has A & A. She then says she wasn't lying and wasn't going to sit on the phone and argue I said argue, maybe you should get your facts straight before you try to converse with me.... Really ticked-me off. Especially after I've been told different things every time I have called about this issue.

Cherie33

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evidently the Buffalo RO has someone doing telephone surveys .Im in Tejas and they called me.

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Mrs. Berta is right as well as a lot of members on this website!!! Mrs. Berta has been through alot and alot of fighting.

I have the same issues with 800#, IRIS, etc, that is why I sent an email to the secretary. Everyone at the 800# number gave me different answers and IRIS was about 15 to 20 days late in response times.

I had a bad experience though emailing the secretary. I just got home tonight from an additional C&P exam that they called me on Wednesday March 25th of last week to be scheduled in Florida for Monday March 30th, I live in Texas now. To top it off the address I was suppose to go did not have me in their system after almost getting there to verify the appointment. I called around, researched online and finally found out I was scheduled to be in Mississippi for the exam. My wife and mother in law are pissed after all that driving. The C&P went exactly as I thought, the same as the others, hurry up, not listen, etc, etc, etc. Wanted me to take a 370 question test and interview me in less than an hours time.

I wonder what the procedure is to drop my claims and have my case brought to Texas. My original case back in 1998 was in Texas anyways. I did move to Mississippi for 3 years and did submit a claim and it ended up in Mississippi cause I was informed to mail it to Mississippi but I returned to Texas in last few months, due to issues out of my control and being closer to family again.

I have given up but now do not know what to do. I have 3 or 4 brown envelopes in my mail box when I return home just tonight all Demanding information from me that I already sent in and Demanding all sorts of other stuff. Each envelope had a date of February on it but marked out by hand, then hand written with March 25th date. and it says mail room received it on March 19th to send out. So what is what? The VA is messing with me very very bad and now I'm afraid. I should have kept my mouth shut and in my own opinion and just waited the 5 to 20 years for them to process it.

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Ok, so I sent an email to Ms. Allison Hickey, the Under Secretary as suggested by Berta, and her response was that she will have someone call me directly to explain everything. She also cc: David McLenachen and the Office of the Under Secretary.

So, I'll be waiting on a phone call.

Cherie33

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Yeah, I recently had similar problems with Buffalo RO.

They granted a CUE claim I had pending for a longer period of entitlement, but said there would be no payments to me because I already got paid accrued on the same issue.

If there was no monetary value to me, they would not even attempted to award the entitlement date favorably.

I got paid 6 months of accrued in 2012 ..they owe me about 16 to 22 more months.100% under 1151 plus SMC vet (deceased) spouse and one child.

They did not cite any regulation or rationale whatsoever for saying the payment I got in 2012 remained unchanged.

Then I got into a rigarmorale with the RO director but she sent my files to VACO. They can read at VA Central Office .

They buggered my other claim up too.

Email the Under Secretary

allison.hickey@va.gov

Maybe the new VA scam is to make awards ,that they cannot really deny, but then not pay the owed amount.

This is probably one more way the VA has claimed to have 'reduced' it's backlog, as the VA Press Release I post early today here indicates..

Getting an award, which is better then some bogus denial ,still makes no sense at all.,if they don't acknowledge retro is due.

This morning I received an email from "David McLenachen" who was referred by Allison Hickey, and he said that he would have someone look into this for me and call me, and then he asked for my phone number. I noticed that he also copied (2) other people, who are "Elaine Craig" and "Marie Gregory". So, lets wait and see what happens..

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Yeah, I recently had similar problems with Buffalo RO.

They granted a CUE claim I had pending for a longer period of entitlement, but said there would be no payments to me because I already got paid accrued on the same issue.

If there was no monetary value to me, they would not even attempted to award the entitlement date favorably.

I got paid 6 months of accrued in 2012 ..they owe me about 16 to 22 more months.100% under 1151 plus SMC vet (deceased) spouse and one child.

They did not cite any regulation or rationale whatsoever for saying the payment I got in 2012 remained unchanged.

Then I got into a rigarmorale with the RO director but she sent my files to VACO. They can read at VA Central Office .

They buggered my other claim up too.

Email the Under Secretary

allison.hickey@va.gov

Maybe the new VA scam is to make awards ,that they cannot really deny, but then not pay the owed amount.

This is probably one more way the VA has claimed to have 'reduced' it's backlog, as the VA Press Release I post early today here indicates..

Getting an award, which is better then some bogus denial ,still makes no sense at all.,if they don't acknowledge retro is due.

Ok, so I sent an email to Ms. Allison Hickey, the Under Secretary as suggested by Berta, and her response was that she will have someone call me directly to explain everything. She also cc: David McLenachen and the Office of the Under Secretary.

So, I'll be waiting on a phone call.

Cherie33

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I dealt with David McLenachen once and I think he is or was a OGC lawyer....

Ms. Hickey CC a few other people on my recent email to her ( sent many since you last posted and they resolved one issue )

and I CCed a VACO person on my recent email to her......

This person was, I believe, the person who actually read my evidence last week for my 1151 HBP claim.

He was also, per the director of my VARO supposed to do something about the CUE claim.

Now the director said to me last week, my CUE claim is over, there was no input from VACO on it... Say what?????

Over my ass.

Stay on them Cherie33

If I had believed some of the ridiculous denial I have received over the past 20 years I would be in a mental crapper by now, without any knowledge of VA case law at all...

As Tbird's motto states Knowledge is Power.

They dont have the knowledge here at hadit. We have the Power.

What bothers me the most, and the director who has called me many times, is as sweet as she can be, but she doesn't have a clue on 38 USC,CFR....and probably did long ago as a rater but has to depend on her employees to know these regs and they dont.

Some of the stuff she has said on the phone makes no sense at all.

I depend on VA's documented statements.

I am beginning to think we are experiencing a new VA scam......

Grant the claim but don't pay the cash.....

Ratergate, retrogate, screwtheveterangate, Heck, this stuff is worse than Watergate.Those criminals got caught.

.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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LoL @ Ms Berta....no pun intended! :)

...........Buck

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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Ms. Berta,

I know you are so right.. David sent me an email this morning asking for a contact number, so I responded with my home and cell number. He then responded and said that he had forwarded my info to the Director of Compensation services and that someone will be calling me to help me with that issue soon. A couple of hours later, I received a call from a Mr.G. Johnson from Washington, DC. he said that he would be contacting the VA personally and then will follow up with me in about a week to make sure this issue has been resolved. So, we shall see.. I have never had any trouble with being paid my retro benefits (at least to my knowledge). So, I thought this was kind of petty, although I want my benefits plus the benefits for my family in which I earned! They really need to have better training sessions with the people who answer at the #800, its just all messed up. They aren't on the same page, they just cant be, or we wouldn't receive so many different attitudes and explanations for the same issue. But hey, what do they care, as my hubby says, they sit behind their desk all day being the gate keepers and not doing their jobs. If a veteran calls and you can't answer their question, don't just feed them a line of BS, go and find someone who can answer their question. And dummy me, I thought that the #800 was the VA.. Until s the lady I spoke to said, Oh they have at least 10 days to respond and I send them another note, letting them know that i am waiting on their response. Really, lady? duhhhhh.....

Anyway, Im waiting.. Its their move now..

Cherie33

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I dealt with David McLenachen once and I think he is or was a OGC lawyer....

Ms. Hickey CC a few other people on my recent email to her ( sent many since you last posted and they resolved one issue )

and I CCed a VACO person on my recent email to her......

This person was, I believe, the person who actually read my evidence last week for my 1151 HBP claim.

He was also, per the director of my VARO supposed to do something about the CUE claim.

Now the director said to me last week, my CUE claim is over, there was no input from VACO on it... Say what?????

Over my ass.

Stay on them Cherie33

If I had believed some of the ridiculous denial I have received over the past 20 years I would be in a mental crapper by now, without any knowledge of VA case law at all...

As Tbird's motto states Knowledge is Power.

They dont have the knowledge here at hadit. We have the Power.

What bothers me the most, and the director who has called me many times, is as sweet as she can be, but she doesn't have a clue on 38 USC,CFR....and probably did long ago as a rater but has to depend on her employees to know these regs and they dont.

Some of the stuff she has said on the phone makes no sense at all.

I depend on VA's documented statements.

I am beginning to think we are experiencing a new VA scam......

Grant the claim but don't pay the cash.....

Ratergate, retrogate, screwtheveterangate, Heck, this stuff is worse than Watergate.Those criminals got caught.

.

Ms. Berta,

I know you are so right.. David sent me an email this morning asking for a contact number, so I responded with my home and cell number. He then responded and said that he had forwarded my info to the Director of Compensation services and that someone will be calling me to help me with that issue soon. A couple of hours later, I received a call from a Mr.G. Johnson from Washington, DC. he said that he would be contacting the VA personally and then will follow up with me in about a week to make sure this issue has been resolved. So, we shall see.. I have never had any trouble with being paid my retro benefits (at least to my knowledge). So, I thought this was kind of petty, although I want my benefits plus the benefits for my family in which I earned! They really need to have better training sessions with the people who answer at the #800, its just all messed up. They aren't on the same page, they just cant be, or we wouldn't receive so many different attitudes and explanations for the same issue. But hey, what do they care, as my hubby says, they sit behind their desk all day being the gate keepers and not doing their jobs. If a veteran calls and you can't answer their question, don't just feed them a line of BS, go and find someone who can answer their question. And dummy me, I thought that the #800 was the VA.. Until s the lady I spoke to said, Oh they have at least 10 days to respond and I send them another note, letting them know that i am waiting on their response. Really, lady? duhhhhh.....

Anyway, Im waiting.. Its their move now..

Cherie33

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Scam problem is nation wide at VARO's Former VA employee sentenced in benefits scam

Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 4:01 pm | Updated: 1:00 am, Thu Jan 22, 2015.

By TOMMY WITHERSPOON twitherspoon@wacotrib.com

A former Waco Veterans Affairs Regional Office employee who concocted a fraudulent scheme that defrauded the federal government out of more than $650,000 was sentenced to almost four years in prison Wednesday.

Kristin Galloway, 32, the pregnant mother of two small children, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $154,400 in restitution. She pleaded guilty in October to theft of government property.

Galloway, who worked at the Waco VA regional office for seven years, apologized to her family for bringing it stress, worry and shame and asked U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. for mercy.

According to records filed in the case, Galloway, a rating veterans service center representative, fraudulently posed as a veterans’ service representative with a veterans organization and offered to assist veterans in obtaining VA benefits for a fee.

VA investigators discovered she used her employment at the VA to gain access to a veteran’s files and unlawfully increased his disability rating to 100 percent service connected, court records show. The change in his status generated a $261,683 retroactive payment.

After meeting with the veteran, Galloway created a Chase Bank account in his name without his knowledge. She also created an email address in the veteran’s name and had all VA correspondence intended for him diverted to her mother-in-law’s address, according to court records.

She also created a fake Facebook account for “Cynthia Christy,” the alias Galloway used during her fraudulent scheme, officials said. She also used two prepaid cellphones to conceal her identity.

Galloway also used her job to submit and backdate a forged VA application for benefits for a family member, records show. She opened a post office box as part of her scheme so she could intercept VA correspondence to the family member.

Galloway also fraudulently rated a claim for another veteran and received $154,000 from the veteran the day after the veteran received his retroactive VA payment of $386,753, according to the records.

Agents with the Veteran Affairs Office of the Inspector General launched an investigation in the fall of 2012, shutting down the accounts and intervening before Galloway could collect on any more money, Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gloff said.

Agent Rachel Malone of the Inspector General’s Office testified Wednesday at Galloway’s sentencing hearing that she and her family lived a lavish lifestyle in a $300,000 home. They took an overseas trip, spent $15,000 on furniture and another $12,000 during another shopping spree. She also had LASIK eye surgery, Malone said.

“It’s important that the veterans who served our country be able to get the benefits and help they need from the VA,” Gloff said.

“When people like this defendant take it upon themselves to defraud the government and use that money for their own personal needs, it takes money away from those deserving veterans.”... My take is that there 's no way others didn't know ...........Lord help us !

Edited by DustyAO105 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Sad but she was probably so busy working on her fake claim she had little time for veterans.

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