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Milktoast VSO response


Carl the Engineer
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  • HadIt.com Elder

All,

So, since I have had the VFW as my POA, for the VA, since my original claim, I figured, I would ask them for a little help.  My thoughts were that most everything is local (regional) and that a service rep from my state of WI would have acquired supreme knowledge of Wisconsin claims.  So, I emailed the person who I have been with since, again, my original claim 2 questions.  

First, my email,

Hello, my name is xxxx xxxxx, ***-**-***7.  I am life member of the VFW and have your organization as my POA for my VA claims.  I live in ******* and my CVSO is **** **********.
 
I am inquiring to know if there is a list of WI doctors that will do IME/IMO's for disabled Veterans?
 
Also, does your office keep a file on me and is that available to me.
 
Thank you,
 
The response I received,
 

Xxxxx,

  We do not maintain a list of doctors.  You can ask your VA primary care physician for a referral if more convenient.  If this does not work, you can take a VA disability questionnaire to a private doctor and submit as evidence for any claim/appeal.

  We currently maintain your VA file.   The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows you to obtain your file by sending a written/signed request to the VA.  The VA will send your files on a CD.

Kind regards, Xxxxxxxxxxx

 

The response tells me that the VSO's (this one anyway) are not helping Veterans in any effective way.  If I was in a position to help disabled Veterans for an entire state, I would look at the successful claims and see what Doctors helped Veterans and who are willing fill out DBQ's, and give them out.  Here is my breakdown,

"We do not maintain a list of doctors."- Well, that's just plain stupid and irresponsible.  Any, slip and fall lawyer has a list of "go-to" doctors.  I would actually have a database which would tell me that doctor A is 75% effective, B is 20% effective, and C is worthless, etc.

"You can ask your VA primary care physician for a referral if more convenient."- Really, so my VA PCP will refer me to a doc that will fill out a DBQ.  I don't think so, but I am going to give it a try next time I see her.  LOL.

"If this does not work, you can take a VA disability questionnaire to a private doctor and submit as evidence for any claim/appeal."- Good luck with that.  Hence, you have access to at least a third of all VA claims in WI and you can't do your homework and supply me with a list.  If private business worked this way we would all be in trouble.  When I ran a parts store many moons ago, if a supplier would not get what I wanted, I found another, etc..

Then, on my second question, apparently, they have no more than I have in my c-file disc.  And there is no correspondence from or to the VFW in my c-file, so my question I have asked before.  My thoughts here are, in my many claims, not once did the VSO call me and say, hey, you could do better if you went this way instead, or, I see you filled for A, and then later filed for B, I think you also could file for C.  Crickets......

I may write a letter to the VFW headquarters or OIC. I don't believe this response was adequate in any way.

What do the actually do,

Hamslice

I truly believe the government would go broke if the paid out everything they owed all the Veterans what they are due.  I think the VSO's are just a cog in a big plan.  

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Hamslice said:

I truly believe the government would go broke if the paid out everything they owed all the Veterans what they are due.  I think the VSO's are just a cog in a big plan.

OK, Let's get down to the bottom line.  You want the VFW to do your homework. I am not saying this to piss you off, I am saying this to get you to realize that you did your homework when you ran a parts store now you have to find a physician VA or Private doctor. In other words, have your symptoms treated and then go from there. No physician is going to sign a DBQ without treating you or reviewing your medical history. The physician not only need to review your records they need to see what is going on with you. Depending on where your claim are you might want to think about getting an attorney.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Any doctor can fill out a DBQ, they aren't that hard, and aren't any harder than any other insurance form. As for IME/IMO,  that's up to the individual doctor, and can change daily, why would you expect the VSO to have a list of that? VSO's aren't lawyers, why would you expect them to keep track of doctors?


Just bring in the DBQ form next time you go see your doctor.Filling out the DBQ, that's the C&P doctor's job, anyway. Just find in your notes anything relevant to what you are claiming and highlight it or type up a short table of contents type cover sheet that says "On this date, Doctor Whoever said ".....blah blah" so the rater can find it. VSO's can assist in some things, but other than access to the VA computer system they can't do anything you can't do. I haven't ever had to have a private doctor fill out a DBQ, but I don't know your situation in Wisconsin. I just used my VA notes and then got whatever my private doctor wrote up for X, Y, Z. I made sure to have them word it as most likely caused by service. Some things they wouldn't but that doesn't mean they are wrong. Some things aren't caused by military service. That's just the reality of things. 

They told you exactly what you needed to do. You may feel its inadequate, but they pretty much spelled it out for you without doing it for you. 

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  • Moderator

Hamslice,

what I did to get a DBQ filled out with a specialist Dr help, I called around and ask the front desk if the Dr will see me a Veteran &  examine me for my condition and review my files peratin to my condition and write me a letter for his impression/and opinion of my condition &  I have the form for the Dr to fill out...it took me 3 phone calls to find a Dr that would do it...it was urologist group of physicians ...The your girl went back ask the Dr   Dr said yes he  he is a veteran right? the girl said yes  Dr said  yes Iwill examine HIM and write up  a letter.  she got back on the phone and ask this is for your disabled veterans compensation correct? I said YES MAM IT IS.

SHE MADE ME AN APPOINTMENT WITH THIS Dr

  I went to my appointment and the Dr was great friendly   actor  matthew mcconaughey  type personality  young maybe 36/38? anyway he examined me and reviewed my records  that I took him  and I got a great IMO  in my favor..I won my claim with this Dr letter.  although he never filled out the DBQ but it was not needed.

And the charge was only like 250.00$$

I got the letter in about 5 days after seeing this Dr

From Dallas Tx

Also some hadit members have been calling Dr Ellis  form Okla-City  for a IMO.  But you call him first and then agree on the price and you travel to him  they have a Motel close to his clinic   I heard he was a good IMO letter writing Doc.

other than this just call around to your local veteran friendly  Doctors  and ask them  just be honest with them and let them know what you need them for ya.

This is what I did.  but its been a few years now.

a lot of these Dr office won't take cash  so have your credit card or personal check ready.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

pete,

No offense taken.  However, when I ran the parts store, I was taking care of those I represented, i.e., the customer.  That is what the VFW is supposed to be doing, i.e., taking care of the Veteran.

broke,

They, the VFW, have the records of a large number of Veterans.  If they shared "what works" that would be of great benefit to us Veterans.  They do not.

Also,

I live in the sticks.  There are no doctors here, just NP's if you lucky.  My VA PCP is a NP.  And 15 minutes is an appointment.  

And,

I know I can do this myself, but that is not the point.  What about the Veteran that can't zip his zipper much less use a computer, ,or even knows that he can make a claim back from Vietnam.  Just met that individual last fall.  I know the VA is not proactive when it comes to Veterans, but I would think and hope that the VSO's would.  But I don't see it.  

However, I just walked out to the mailbox and the VFW newspaper was in it.  Six pages of pictures of awards given to who's who at the VFW.  Not a single page on do this or that to help your VA claim.

Trying to help,

Hamslice

 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Buck,

This was more about what resources the VFW has and dose not use to help Veterans.  Especially Veterans that live in the woods.  Everything is centralized around large communities, which I can understand, but, they could do more.

I have looked at Dr. Ellis's stuff, and might go his way, but I can get and do most of the records and claim, but would not have his opinion or exam.  I have been successful in the past doing it all myself, but this next round will be a biggie to get out of the dreaded 90's, as we all know.

Anyway, I just not impressed or satisfied with the VFW and there support of the disabled Veteran.

In my case,

Hamslice

 

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Hamslice

I have found most VFW's are managed differently some more friendly than others  some have nothing but the old timers and don't have the patients to help with claims   mainly because they don't know how.

I went to join a VFW after I got back from Nam  I took my friend in with me also a Vietnam combat Vet...we came back together.

Well this old geezer look at me kinda weird rolled his eyes  he happen to be  the VFW Commander was (bout 72 age at that time)

I was just 21 my friend was 23....this old geezer VFW Commander called me over to the Bar  and said to me  ''Why did you bring his black ass in here ?"" grrrrrrrrrrrr

I was stunned hurt and pissed off, I walk over to my black friend and said lets get the hell out of here...I never set foot in any VFW ever since , this has been over 49 years ago.

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Im gonna stick up for VFW on their response.  However, VFW is not fully deserving of being stuck up "for".  

I dont think the VFW's "job description" would involve giving doctors a "rating", even if its "good" or "bad".  VFW represents Veterans at the VBA (Vet Benefits Administration) while you are asking for help with "the sister" VA, the VHA, Veterans health administration.  The VFW is about benefits not about health.  But it is true "they could" make a list for you, but, in my opinion, its "beyond the scope" of what they are supposed to do, which is to help Vets get VA benefits from VBA.  There are others assigned to help Vets with VHA, such as the patient advocate if you are dissatisifed with your medical care.  

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, here is why VFW "realy doesnt deserve" me sticking up for them.  

In 2002, I had a VFW VSO, who supposedly "helped" me file for benefits.  I had 2 HUUGE issues with the VFW VSO.

1.  I went in there, was out of work and well on the way to become homeless.  While they did assist me in filing for compensation, "I knew nothing" about pension, and, of course, the VSO did not mention it.  Well, that was a "great" idea for VA, but a disaster for me.  Three years later, MY DOCTOR advised me to "file for pension", explaing that I could see money quickly and avoid homelessness "while the VA is processing" my va comp claim.  Well, I did as my doc suggested, and did get pension..3 years later and too late to keep from losing my home.  Now why did he not tell me about pension and put in for me?  Did he assume I knew the difference between pension and compensation?  No, I had no idea.  But I was eligible..and desperate..and he knew that.  That cost me my home.  I could have saved it with pension, even tho its only 1200 or so per month, it was better than zero that I was getting.  

2.  About a year later, I get a letter from VFW.  They "dropped" me from representation, because they indicated I had little chance of ever winning benefits.  Now really?  Well, 17 years later, I won all my benefits, including during the period THEY said I had little chance of winning benefits!!!  GRRRRRRRRR

So, that is a double GRRRRRRR for VFW.  It was "even worse" than Bucks experience, I still feel the pain of letting my family down and making them homeless because my blankety blank VSO who was supposed to know this stuff, did not fill out a pension application for me, nor did he seem to realize that would have been a life saver.  

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  • HadIt.com Elder

VSO's don't rate doctors because the same doctor that one guy says is Vet Friendly™ could result in a denial of as many claims as are won. There are no 'vet friendly' doctors unless you find one that will rubber stamp anything for a fee. Every vets situation is different, so every doctors evaluation should be as well. Just because a vet 'thinks' X is caused by Y' doesn't mean that it is. 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

So, probably wasting my time here, but,

A VSO gets 48 hours notice of your rated claim from the VA to ensure your claim was rated correctly, etc.

So, I would hazard to guess, but the VSO(s) would be reading a whole lot of claims decisions, i.e., daily, monthly, yearly.

You would think, they, representing a State, could say, hey Doctor Bill Jones from Madison does DBQ's, because I have read his name many times. 

But no,

Fend for yourselves.

Again, my opinion,

Hamslice

I believe, if one represents himself, he/she then too, should have 48 hours to "look see" before they drop the gavel.  And have the same access as the VSO, but we know that ain't going to happen.  Its a racket.  The VSO's have the inside lane because they fund campaigns for the people that give them that lane.  And we let it happen.  Again.  

 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

VSO's aren't elected positions. They would have nothing to gain from that. 

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Buck52 I can understand your frustration with the VFW. If that happened to me I would have responded the same way. I didn't pay much attention to Veterans' Organizations when I got back (1971), but I am told back then they didn't even let 'Nam veterans in because it wasn't a "real war". At least, that is what someone told me. I certainly don't expect that would happen nowdays. Also, back then, as it is now, there are good VSO groups led by good people, and others not so much. Just like everything else; some good, some not so good. I was never interested enough to check them out because it was always at a bar and a lot of smoke. I don't need either and many other veterans don't either. I'm sure there are some good VSO's from the VFW, but I never had the pleasure of meeting any.

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  • HadIt.com Elder
1 hour ago, brokensoldier244th said:

VSO's aren't elected positions. They would have nothing to gain from that. 

But their employers give my money to political officials.  Political officials gave the VSO's an unequal access to our claims during the most critical time. 

The bottom line, 

My dues give a private party access to my claim, because congress, who was given my money, gave them that right, which I don't have.

And yes they do have something to gain.  Their jobs.  If congress gave every and anyone their level of access and the same 48 hour right to challenge, they would be out of a job.  Period.  I'm paying so they can have a job.

Nuff said,

Hamslice

And all I wanted was a phone number of a doc in WI that would do a DBQ from my rep. 

 

 

 

Edited by Hamslice
cause I can
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1 hour ago, Hamslice said:

So, probably wasting my time here, but,

A VSO gets 48 hours notice of your rated claim from the VA to ensure your claim was rated correctly, etc.

So, I would hazard to guess, but the VSO(s) would be reading a whole lot of claims decisions, i.e., daily, monthly, yearly.

You would think, they, representing a State, could say, hey Doctor Bill Jones from Madison does DBQ's, because I have read his name many times. 

But no,

Fend for yourselves.

Again, my opinion,

Hamslice

I believe, if one represents himself, he/she then too, should have 48 hours to "look see" before they drop the gavel.  And have the same access as the VSO, but we know that ain't going to happen.  Its a racket.  The VSO's have the inside lane because they fund campaigns for the people that give them that lane.  And we let it happen.  Again.  

 

They, for the most part, just let the 48 hours expire.  I signed on with DAV a few years ago and it wasn't because I really needed help.  I was working for the VA and I needed a convenient way to monitor my claims since we couldn't look at our own claim.  DAV was just down the hall and I could walk over and have them look in my file and tell me what was really going on and where my claim was in the process.  They really didn't do much else for me.  Sometimes I would see them in our office talking to managers and raters trying to get things pushed through.  I'm a bit disappointed in them because they could have contested my recent claim in the 48 hour window because the effective date was clearly wrong.  I actually called them about it before it was finalized but I had completely forgotten about that 48 hour window.  

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  • HadIt.com Elder
29 minutes ago, deedub75 said:

They, for the most part, just let the 48 hours expire.  I signed on with DAV a few years ago and it wasn't because I really needed help.  I was working for the VA and I needed a convenient way to monitor my claims since we couldn't look at our own claim.  DAV was just down the hall and I could walk over and have them look in my file and tell me what was really going on and where my claim was in the process.  They really didn't do much else for me.  Sometimes I would see them in our office talking to managers and raters trying to get things pushed through.  I'm a bit disappointed in them because they could have contested my recent claim in the 48 hour window because the effective date was clearly wrong.  I actually called them about it before it was finalized but I had completely forgotten about that 48 hour window.  

deedub,

You prove my point from an inside view.  They do not do what they can and could.  Yet we pay them too.

Shameful,

Hamslice

Give me the 48 hours and a direct line to the rater...

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  • HadIt.com Elder

VSOs are not paid with tax money, they are paid By their organization from donations and dues. There is no conspiracy.

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  • HadIt.com Elder
2 minutes ago, brokensoldier244th said:

VSOs are not paid with tax money, they are paid By their organization from donations and dues. There is no conspiracy.

"My dues give a private party access to my claim, because congress, who was given my money, gave them that right, which I don't have."

Reading comprehension.

Let me explain in plain English,

1. I pay my dues

2. VSO's, a private organization, gives my money to the Congressmen.

3. Congressmen give VSO's a secret (not me) access to my file as it is being developed.

My contention.  VSO's would not exist if we had their access.

Hamslice

And, if you're stuck on "we",  VSO's are tax exempt, therefore, you and me make up their shortfall.  So yes, we pay for the VSO reps, cause they don't pay their fare share.  

 

 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Oh good grief. I’ll leave you to whatever it is you believe. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with you and your assumptions. /out

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Let me put it a different way.  

Imagine, you could not file your income taxes unless you used TurboTax, TaxSlayer or Jackson Hewitt. 

You could file on your own, but you would not get to see your W-2's, tax tables or use a computer.  Only paper and your memory.

That don't make sense, yet we allow it with the VA and claims.

Hamslice

Oh, I almost forgot, make them tax-exempt too.

 

Edited by Hamslice
cause I had to get a piece of cheese cake from the fridge
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  • HadIt.com Elder
15 minutes ago, brokensoldier244th said:

Oh good grief. I’ll leave you to whatever it is you believe. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with you and your assumptions. /out

Too easy,

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Rehberg, Denny (R-MT) $1,300
Reichert, Dave (R-WA) $1,300
Reyes, Silvestre (D-TX) $1,300
Rodgers, Cathy McMorris (R-WA) $1,300
Rodriguez, Ciro D (D-TX) $2,000
Rogers, Hal (R-KY) $1,300
Rogers, Mike D (R-AL) $1,300
Rothman, Steven R (D-NJ) $1,300
Roybal-Allard, Lucille (D-CA) $1,300
Ruppersberger, Dutch (D-MD) $1,300
Ryan, Paul (R-WI) $1,300
Ryan, Tim (D-OH) $1,300
Salazar, John (D-CO) $2,000
Sanchez, Loretta (D-CA) $1,300
Schiff, Adam (D-CA) $1,300
Schultz, Debbie Wasserman (D-FL) $1,300
Serrano, Jose E (D-NY) $1,300
Sessions, Pete (R-TX) $1,300
Sestak, Joe (D-PA) $1,300
Shays, Christopher (R-CT) $1,300
Shea-Porter, Carol (D-NH) $1,300
Shuster, Bill (R-PA) $1,300
Simpson, Mike (R-ID) $1,300
Skelton, Ike (D-MO) $1,300
Smith, Adam (D-WA) $1,300
Smith, Adrian (R-NE) $1,300
Snyder, Vic (D-AR) $2,000
Souder, Mark E (R-IN) $1,300
Space, Zack (D-OH) $2,000
Spratt, John M Jr (D-SC) $1,300
Stearns, Cliff (R-FL) $2,000
Sutton, Betty Sue (D-OH) $1,300
Tauscher, Ellen (D-CA) $1,300
Taylor, Gene (D-MS) $1,300
Thompson, Bennie G (D-MS) $1,300
Thornberry, Mac (R-TX) $1,300
Tiahrt, Todd (R-KS) $1,300
Turner, Michael R (R-OH) $1,300
Visclosky, Pete (D-IN) $1,300
Walz, Tim (D-MN) $2,000
Wamp, Zach (R-TN) $1,300
Wilson, Joe (R-SC) $1,300
Wolf, Frank (R-VA) $1,300
Young, C W Bill (R-FL) $1,300
Senate
Total to Democrats: $12,400
Total to Republicans: $15,000
Recipient Total
Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) $1,300
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) $1,300
Cochran, Thad (R-MS) $1,300
Collins, Susan M (R-ME) $1,300
Dole, Elizabeth (R-NC) $1,300
Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $1,300
Enzi, Mike (R-WY) $1,300
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) $2,000
Harkin, Tom (D-IA) $1,300
Inhofe, James M (R-OK) $1,300
Johnson, Tim (D-SD) $1,300
Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $1,300
Lautenberg, Frank (D-NJ) $1,300
Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,300
Pryor, Mark (D-AR) $1,300
Reed, Jack (D-RI) $1,300
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) $1,300
Rockefeller, Jay (D-WV) $2,000
Sessions, Jeff (R-AL) $1,300
Sununu, John E (R-NH) $1,300

Based on data released by the FEC on March 11, 2013.

Right from the VFW online site,

Hamslice

Don't let the truth get in your way.

Edited by Hamslice
cause I can
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I would like to note:  VSO's pay zero rent in VAMC's and at VARO's.  Zero.  Maybe you have heard this before:  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE RENT.  

You can bet VA "expects" compensation for the "free rent".  Is it a coincidence that VSO's often tell Vets "Oh dont apply for an increase, you will be reduced instead". 

Or, just as bad, "OH dont appeal that decision.  You will be poking the bear and he will wake up and bite you. Just "settle into poverty" and take what they give you without appeals. 

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