VA Flag System

Benjamin KrauseMichelle Malkin of Fox News exposed the scandalous VA flag system using stories of readers. Malkin reviewed our coverage here of the VA flag system, how it impacts veterans and then called to get the inside scoop.

VA uses secret Disruptive Review Panels that evaluate veteran behavior following complaints from VA employees. The decision of these panels can result in a veteran having their access to health care restricted in a variety of ways. These restrictions range from forcing veterans to embarrassingly check in prior to appointments to flat out refusals of access to health care. The veteran is notified of the flag only after the panel has reached a decision without allowing a due process review by the veteran of the allegations and evidence prior to the administrative procedure. One veteran was informed she was flagged because her health care was too expensive. Outrageous.

Malkin’s coverage of this is significant because it gave those of you who reported experiences to me the opportunity to help America learn more about this secret, Soviet-style program once I relayed those experiences on. Malkin was shocked at what she learned – enough so to write about it yesterday:

Disabled Air Force veteran and veterans advocate/attorney Benjamin Krause has been raising questions about the system for months and warning his peers. Under the VA policy on “patient record flags” (PRFs), federal bureaucrats can classify vets as “threats” based on assessments of their “difficult,” “annoying” and “non-compliant” behavior.

The VA manual says the flags “are used to alert Veterans Health Administration medical staff and employees of patients whose behavior and characteristics may pose a threat either to their safety, the safety of other patients, or compromise the delivery of quality health care.”

That last phrase is priceless. Untold numbers of vets are dead, and legions more have languished because of the VA’s failure to deliver “quality health care.” The Office of Special Counsel just confirmed to President Obama this week that vets across the country were exposed to contaminated drinking water, dirty surgical tools, untrained doctors and neglectful nurses — and that whistleblowers were retaliated against or ignored.

Yet, the VA’s soulless paper-pushers seem more preoccupied with flagging and punishing “disruptive” vets who have dared to complain about their disgraceful treatment and abuse.

One brave veteran is fighting back. Longtime veteran and advocate Lawrence Kelley III was brave enough to come forward for the piece by Malkin. Kelley was helping veterans get educated about their right to sue VA for malpractice by handing out legal fliers at VA – a gutsy move by any estimation.

After VA confronted him for his 1st Amendment speech on federal soil, he was flagged for the legal “threat” he posed, “Once you complain, you are on their hit list forever.” Kelley is now challenging the flag due to the VA flag system’s unconstitutional nature:

“This discussion of patient record flags has me fired up,” Krause explained, “because of the clear unconstitutional nature of the program. It reminds me of the old Communist techniques used to keep Soviet citizens in check, since I am aware of more than a few veterans who are flagged merely because of their threat to sue VA.”

We are going to hold VA accountable and blast their communist system using our laws under the Constitution. Check back soon to see what happens and click below to read more of Michelle Malkin’s coverage.

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Voc Rehab Survival GuideBenjamin Krause is an award winning investigative reporter, Veterans Benefits Law attorney, and disabled veteran of the US Air Force, where he served in its Special Operations Command. He attended Northwestern University and  the University of Minnesota Law School using VA Vocational Rehabilitation.

While in law school, Benjamin won his decade-long fight for full disability benefits and now helps others do the same with this website and his guide, the Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans. Since its first publication in 2011, the guide has helped the veteran community receive millions in untapped benefits through the VA Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment program. 

Connect with Benjamin on  Google+,  Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.



Bruce Wallace
Vernon, after the President signs it. Not to sound negative, but don’t hold your breath, and don’t expect it to be accessible. The current administration’s focus and priority is on illegal immigrants. These people watch movies like Elysium, the action film starring Matt Damon (2013), that has a message about Mexican immigration and health care. It is a wonderful story and would be great if it was possible in this lifetime. The almost realistic thing about the movie is that… Read more »
I have been made to suffer the past two years at what I thought was the worst VA in the nation until the Phoenix story broke. I am sure I have been flagged because I complain too much and too hard about all issues dear to me: employee rudeness (at all levels), incompetence, and unwillingness to treat. These three things just seem to be near universal at my VA so I have a lot to be mad about. I didn’t… Read more »
Bruce Wallace
The VA also lies and says there is no flag when there is, because they know it is illegal. The VA has terrorized me AND my wife with heavily armed VA police, exactly like the Mission Valley harassment example recently reported by Ben to the mainstream media. They even have K-9 units with 4 or more guards, all for one veteran, me. They do this to me because I have spent years applying for a certain benefit that the VA… Read more »
American Veteran
Here’s a thought, Ben. With investigative findings coming out that the VA has a systemic strategy to deny, lie, and conceal poor management and bad healthcare, I would think that there would be an opportunity for you to present the facts in a coherent and damning manner that can be accessed by complainants to help them win their case against the VA, whether as a military veteran patient or military veteran employee. Say for an equal employment opportunity situation where… Read more »
American Veteran
Robert Hadley

It’s not up to President to pass new laws it’s up to congress to do that. Please take civics 101

Robert Hadley, you must be a VA person, you know a doughnut in one hand and a supply of KY for the next veteran (Male or Female) who demands quality medical treatment in the other! If it was up to this President there would be no American Flag’s allowed and the Veterans Administration Health Care would be used to take care of the public under The Obama Veterans None Care Administration. I can’t believe that everyone getting $$$ that works… Read more »
The President or POTUS, can write and make an Executive Order at anytime and DOES NOT NEED THE APPROVAL OF ANYONE-civics 101? How about 7th grade learned years ago? And yes again in college, thank you, I aced the course. Look up Bush, how many did he sign as an executive order? Just FYI, POTUS just signed a new one, and I truly wonder if it is because the so called PTSD/MST mental well being is not working. WHEN IN… Read more »
Denise Beckman
Nope, not anything of that nature since my education has been put on hold. Mr. Hardly, I DID TAKE POLITICAL SCIENCE AND THE PRESIDENT CAN DO THIS REALLY COOL THING CALLED AN “EXECUTIVE ORDER” AND IT BECOMES THE LAW! AWESOME RIGHT? HOW MANY DID BUSH DO? HOW MANY HAS OBAMA DONE? WHY ARE THE IDIOTS IN THE OTHER TWO HOUSES SCREAMING AND BEING BIG BABIES? Seriously, they can get anything productive done because they’ve been so busy working on how… Read more »
WOW! COOL! Because I sure hope they flagged my record! And it would be the nurse who I meet the first time, “why are you here again.” Now, do you think if you were in a civilian hospital that would fly? Even a military hospital, we like to keep the rank going please, not reverse it! I have purposely stopped answering their calla so they must leave a message. This nurse? A gate keeper! And the doctor talked about pain… Read more »
SSG Anthony Hofmann
My situation most veterans can appreciate (Chronic Pain) Here is how my (PCP) and Pain Management fight for my well-being (PCP) at this time will not increase Pain Meds talk to (PM) We at this time well talk to your (PCP) for increase in Pain Meds at this time you need alternative methods.(Veteran) only thing left Acupuncture (PCP) Get (PM) to give you a console for acupuncture..(PM) AT this time we well have your (PCP) give you a console for… Read more »
You know what? I can totally relate with you! I really never knew my back surgergys in the civilian sector to connect with my back, because truly I really did hurt the damn thing! There are the facts, right there before them stating injury, also abbrieviations that yes, morons, I didn’t go run to the VA and do what “I was told to do.” ( which many more will lie on this one can it can be hard to notice… Read more »
Ferret Derpderp

Ummm…is this for a dissertation. Its sure is LONG enough….

Paul Garner

The Old Sarge:

Quit rambling. I read it 5 times and still didn’t understand it. What is the problem?

Reuben Castro Acosta
Reuben Castro Acosta


Molly Marine
II didn’t threaten to sue VA first… Instead I straight up sued VA & I won. I’m not flagged & I get pretty good healthcare now. In addition to that, they service connected me @ 100% Total & Permanent. I’m a prominent veterans leader & advocate. Makes you wonder what I know right? The thing is Ben you catch more flies with honey than vinegar… But you’ve already ruined any chance of making headway with VA because you’ve set yourself… Read more »
Wow Johnson

Wow. Talk about Snarky.

I have been an extremely reluctant patient at the VA for 21 years. I have never been the least bit confrontational. Recently I had the receptionist cut me off because I was getting frustrated by her clearly orchestrated response…I really hate it when I get “canned answers. I am pretty good at recognizing a script being read to me. 21 years and now suddenly I am confrontational? Just before she cut me off she stated she marking her my file… Read more »