VA TBI Examination

Department of Veterans Affairs is sending new VA TBI examination reprocessing letters to veterans entitled to new exams due to VA’s failure to use qualified doctors.

The examination notice letters include language highlighting that veterans run the risk of a rating reduction if their traumatic brain injury (TBI) claim is reprocessed. No doubt luminary (sarcasm) Under Secretary Tom Murphy had his hand in that one. But they do get the point across.

Act now. If you do not, you lose out.

RELATED: VA “Greatly Regrets” Using Unqualified Doctors

Veterans receiving the notice letters have one year to opt in for a new examination. If the qualified doctors confirm a previously undiagnosed TBI, they could be entitled to significant health care and compensation benefits.

VA TBI SCANDAL BACKGROUND

For a little background, VA repeatedly failed to follow its own policy standards for examining veterans for disability compensation who reported TBI. As a result, many veterans were misdiagnosed due to VA using unqualified doctors.

After being outted in the press (first by me to NBC), VA Secretary Bob McDonald made an equitable relief decision to grant the nationwide re-examinations.

One of my clients was “patient zero” and we busted VA through the press starting in spring 2015. What unraveled was a huge 24,000 veteran scandal spanning almost a decade. McDonald did the right thing by announcing the equitable relief resolution.

RELATED: NBC Special On TBI Scandal

VA NOTICE LETTERS

The letters initiate the one-year notification deadline whereby you can get a re-examination.

The letters are quiet on exactly what VA will do if the veteran receives a higher rating regarding the earlier effective date. My best guess is VA will provide an effective date of when the TBI claim was initially made in the record, but we will need to wait and see.

RELATED: Congressional Hearing On VA TBI Scandal

Here is the boilerplate language:

NEW VA TBI EXAMINATION LETTERS

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has conducted a special review of traumatic brain

injury (TBI) examinations completed between 2007 and 2015 in support of disability compensation claims for TBI. This review revealed a number of initial TBI exams that were not conducted by a neurologist, psychiatrist, physiatrist, or neurosurgeon. You are receiving this letter because your initial TBI exam was not performed by one of these specialists, and we are offering you the option to undergo a new TBI exam by an appropriate specialist.

To ensure that you have the opportunity to fully support your prior TBI claim, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has exercised his authority to permit reprocessing of your prior TBI claim if you undergo a new TBI exam conducted by an appropriate specialist. If you would like VA to reprocess your prior TBI claim, you must notify VA within one year of the date of this letter. Upon receiving your request, VA will schedule you for a new TBI exam by an appropriate specialist and, once the exam is completed, VA will reprocess your prior TBI claim. You may also provide copies of medical evidence from private physicians for consideration as part of this review.

If you request reprocessing of your prior TBI claim and are currently service connected for TBI and/or any residuals of TBI, the new decision may result in an increased evaluation, a proposal for a reduced evaluation, or continuation of your prior disability evaluation.

Important: Please note that you have one year from the date of this letter to request a new TBI exam and reprocessing of your prior TBI claim. If you submit a written request, please state that “I am requesting reprocessing under VA’s special TBI review.”

DOWNLOAD: VA TBI Reprocessing Letter

If you are a veteran who does believe you are entitled to such an examination but have not received the letter, you may want to fax VA a notice that includes the above-quoted sentence to get the ball rolling.

“I am requesting reprocessing under VA’s special TBI review.”

That is what you write. Then fax it to the Janesville VA location – 844-531-7818. Keep a copy and check in here to let us know how it went.

namnibor
“The examination notice letters include language highlighting that veterans run the risk of a rating reduction if their traumatic brain injury (TBI) claim is reprocessed.” <—– VA Passive-Aggressive PsyOps at work here essentially telling sick Vets that, yeah, you can TRY but know we will be looking for OTHER WAYS to reduce your ratings if you cross the mighty VA. VA Under Secretary Tom Murphy's opening punches. Will Tom Murphy issue these Vets Agent Orange Snow Cones as rewards for… Read more »
namnibor

I meant: “What an ASS”. (need coffee)

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Let’s see, the way I read this is; you could, 1.) receive compensation,(?) OR 2) it could stay the same, (?) OR 3.) It could go up, (?) OR – #4.) You could see a – “possible reduction” (!) Me thinks this is VA’s way of saying; “You should have left well enough alone!” Here’s my ‘thought for the day’! With the Republicans, and some Democrats, ‘calling out the corruption, waste, fraud and abuse which IS VA!’ I have a… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Here’s another aspect we veterans, and especially the taxpayers, should be angry about. In 2014-15, Congress, (both houses), passed a bill. Which was signed by POTUS. Disallowing VA employees a bonus in 2015 and beyond. Yet, in late 2015, someone, in violation of said law, in VA gave out bonuses. Which is not in compliance with federal law! Therefore, would it not be safe to say – any and all VA employees who received a bonus ARE complicit in breaking… Read more »
namnibor

Probably because the inmates and AFGE Thugs are running the asylum called the VA. They already wiped their asses with the mandate for Accountability…

mary
mary

to Crazy Elf– That info needs to be forwarded straight to Trump! These VA infiltrators have been going way too far… been getting away with way too much. I wonder how many more vets are going to be typed in as non-human medical subjects, as well as a score of other criminal deeds. Thank you, Ben, for keeping us well informed.

91Veteran
91Veteran
I agree the VA will never comply with their Duty to Assist a vet in this process, but in my opinion I believe any veteran with a TBI should be re-examined, and carefully be aware of what should be examined and who should do it. If nothing else, if done by one of the named specialists, it will establish a valid baseline of their function as of a specific date. Then, at some point in the future if a vets… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

I forgot to add, even if the VA ignored evidence and reduces a percentage, it would still give the veteran the ability to appeal that decision and point to the evidence the rating official ignored.

Wade
Wade

I would think that from a legal standpoint it would make sense to include that. I believe the problem is Congress who only care for their political careers and not really vets. They withhold legislation and funding and have had oversight for decades. Wish we could fire most all of them. My bet would be that the VA continues a rush on to see implementation of what they have been trying to do for 2 years.

redturtle984
redturtle984
Perhaps we can be realistic about this minor issue elsewhere in VA; “Veteran should be aware that participating in VA healthcare may improve the condition, or may not improve the condition, or may kill or maim the vet. In any case the vet alone will be responsible for coping with the harm done by VA staff and should update any exisiting end of life directives before proceeding.” How about we place that info bubble on every appointment card mailed out,… Read more »
Glenn
Glenn

“The VA is like a spoiled child, who has been caught doing MANY things wrong for years.”

I disagree. Certain members of the VHA believe that folding into with the low standards of corruption is the best way to gain a stronghold on one more government pension.

It’s the result of poorly trained and motivated personnel. Resulting in a fostering of more corruption. One a bigger scale than most organized crime rackets

redturtle984
redturtle984
I want to thank you Ben for spearheading the assault on this issue for America. Each individual in the war on VA atrocities and abuse plays a vital role. There is no army of one. That only works in the movies. Your role has directly influenced this nation and is noteworthy. It seems I have a pet peave with everything VA. This issue unexpected hit ine. Who would have guessed lolz? The TBI letter showcases the terrible choices vets have… Read more »
Lem
Lem

Most of the ratings are more than 3 years old and not reducible.

namnibor

That is absolutely not what Veterans have a actually experienced. I have talked to many Vets that have had the VA hack away at their Disability Rating, regardless of the year count. Please provide a reference in Title 38 that states after 3 years the VA cannot reduce ratings. Please surprise me with some fresh horse hockey to back this up.

Lem
Lem

I can show you several rating letters that state, including my last one that ratings over 3 years old could not be reduced. (usually referring to my 20% hearing loss.

So have you read any rating letters or are you just issuing fog.

namnibor
You did not answer the question with a specific reg. that supports that as a fact. YOU seem to be issuing VA Fairy Dust Fog. Again, please provide a reference to a Title 38 Rule that supports what you wrote. BTW, I have known a Vet in recent past that had a % rating for Tinnitus and after going through later C&P’s that Vet was told by the VA his Tinnitus was….”all in his head”, literally. And yes, he had… Read more »
redturtle984
redturtle984
I have zero doubt that these vets will maintain their current rating. My cynical post was speaking to the kick in the teeth it is to tell a sick vet who has been fighting ANYTHING in life that there is a shot they will lose everything. Proof that this is a disservice to America is the immediate posts by fellow vets picking up on this. If your information is accurate, Lem, then why include that jack ass statement on a… Read more »
Lem
Lem
PTSD has never been considered a permanent disability rating. For individuals with an intact brain it is a temporary condition. Check your medical history. Subtle brain injuries occur even with a “bell ringing” that didn’t result in long term unconsciousness. Also any prior to service injury may make the recovery from PTSD difficult to impossible. In that case PTSD is an aggravation of an old injury and is permanently compensable. If you wrote home about a “bell ringing” in boot… Read more »
redturtle984
redturtle984

VA concurs that PTSD is a temporary condition only.

James
I have to disagree with you on this matter. I was shot in the head and it followed me for 40 year’s and even with medication I wake up due to nightmares. I knew something was wrong and the VA refused me any care. Just because I did not have a service connected disability on paper from the regional office. Due to the lack of care. I was forced to live with a traumatic brain injury and suffered with severe… Read more »
redturtle984
redturtle984

I have been assured that in less than 50 years I will no longer need treatment for PTSD. VA defines temporary as any pre death time frame for any given vet. All botched VA operations, therefor, only harm the Vet on a temporary basis.

This far exceeds the performance metrics of non VA healthcare.

Thanks Lem! VA is a great tool, but
I would say that today you take the cake as the best tool!

Semper Fi!

namnibor

“Lem” must stand for “Lemming”. The VA also concurs.

PTSD is not something you “just get over”…severe anxiety and depression tied in a knot called PTSD is not akin to the common cold.

What’s next Lem? HIV/AIDS does not really kill? The VA concurs with Troll.

Bill
Bill

I will make sure i bitch out my shrink for my ptsd is not temporary and after 40+ years I should just be able to “get over it” according to you Lem.

If the va concurs with this temporary condition why is my rating Total and Permanent?

People who do not know what they are talking about should either gather the facts before spouting off or just shut the hell up!

James

Here. Here those statements set off my PTSD and your right if you don’t know the facts shut the hell up.

People like this need to be dropped of in the middle of our enemies and let us watch. How they act. !

Once their circled. !

Bill
Bill

Mine to James…i have been wound up all day from this thread

James
I think it’s amazing veterans with a TBI could be rated at 0 percent. ! How do They come up with this. How do They measure it. ! Do they know everytime you have a bad day. Is it the PTSD or is the TBI that’s effecting the veterans. Do they count how many drinks a veteran had to drink to fall asleep. ! Do they look at all the arrests the veterans got from actions caused by the PTSD… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
A few weeks ago there was quite a discussion on the VA is Lying FB page over ratings being reduced. Someone posted a good explanation of rating reductions which I took to be factual. It was posted after several reported reductions in their ratings. From what I read, there are 2 kinds of descriptions of a medical condition, static, which means unchanging, and another term that I dont recall which meant the condition could improve. From what I read, a… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

Your comment redturtle brings a question.

Say you are a TBI vet currently rated at 60%, then get get this re-examination and the VA in this infinite wisdom claims you should have only been rated at 40%.

What are the chances the VA would claim a veteran was over compensated for their TBI disability, and withhold disability compensation to recover that 20%?

Bill
Bill

The VA and our cuŕrent leadership is a discusting mess.

I would like to slap that 17 year old kid who to me to enlist.

redturtle984
redturtle984

I am reporting that comment to DBC!!!

Bill
Bill

Who is dbc?

Bill
Bill

Accorfing to my google search it stands for Detroit Beer Company, In that case please feel free

Lem
Lem

It is not just unqualified PA and NPs. Even when done by qualified Neurologists and Neurobehavorial psychologist the exams are rarely done according to VA Regulations. Supposed to be done over weeks at different times of the day and under working conditions.

I had one that was done according to regulations and my TBI was diagnosed in 1985 following a referral by a psychiatrist doing a C&P for PTSD

redturtle984
redturtle984
Just because the VA has a historically spotty record in regards to details like integrity, professionalism, legality, or ethics is no reason for you to toss doubt that the VA will not comply with regulations. By my calculations 75% of the truth is told by less than 33% of the diagnostic technicians 26% of the time. VA concurs. This adds up to 134%. RAND confirms the addition of the numbers to be accurate, based on reports done which themselves reported… Read more »
Lem
Lem

More verbiage without specifics.

redturtle984
redturtle984

VA concurs.

namnibor

RAND concurs with the VA.

namnibor

Fresh VA Troll Spray was needed.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Troll Spray for TROLLS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Where do these people get their facts from, a garbage can? According to my sources, and maybe Ben can clarify this issue of concern among us. “…after ten years, VA can not take a disability rating (%) away. On the other hand, they can lower the compensation, ($$$)!” AND then, “After twenty years, VA can not take the disability rating (%) or the compensation away!” On the other hand, VA does what it wants. We… Read more »
Richard Rust

VA Can do what they want .. If You let them

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Here’s my HOROSCOPE for today; “ARIES” (March 21 to April 19) “Your not Sheepish when it comes to asserting your opinions on what you think is right or wrong. Be assured that your being heard, and something positive will follow.” Folks, we ARE being heard. Look at how VA is digging in for a fight. Their losing, and they know it! We MUST keep the pressure on them. The more people who learn just how corrupt VA is, the better!… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

Crazy elf, that the DNC is going to have the “Gentle Giant”, Mike Brown’s mother speak during the convention should tell you all you need to know about their priorities and whether veterans will even be mentioned.

James
Off topic. Someone on here asked me about the Choise program and I gave them the wrong number to call 1 8883368262 that’s the correct number to the Denver vamc choice program. Sorry for the error. I have them the regional office. In the TBI situation. The VA threaten veterans by saying if you reapply. Your rating could be lowered. ! You know that veterans Will read this and not reapply. Because if their10% they know or are worried they… Read more »
Robin Mitchell

According to acting assistant undersecretary for disability benefits David McLeanChen once service connected for TBI any doctor can examine you to reduce it or deny aid and attendance under SMC T.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Question for you Ben. Would every TBI veteran, even living in another state, still fax their request to the Janesville VA? I ask because that would make it a typical VA disaster by design. Why overload a single location with so many requests? VA seems to do this on issues affecting many vets, and in my opinion, it’s done simply to make it harder on vets living elsewhere to get proper information from that location, and especially hard because it… Read more »
dennis
dennis

There’s a five year rating period. Check out and read up on Title 38 CFR Subsection 3.344 (a).

Jo3n

I wish my case went as unbelievably as good old Lem’s did. The VA is very passive aggressive. My fear is the quality of any Doctor who is hired by the VA. I have been going to, and fighting with the VA for over 40 years. I can’t remember seeing a Specialist at any VA. I don’t trust the VA.

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