traumatic brain injury

The Boston VA is still failing to process benefits claims for veterans’ claims with traumatic brain injury (TBI) at a rate of 1 in 6.

In 2011, the regional office erroneously processed 11 of 30 TBI claims according to a watchdog audit. Four years later, Boston RO has improved to 1 in 6, which is still an unacceptably high number.

A reporter at Boston Harold contacted me to discuss my investigation into VA nationally concerning its TBI benefits program after hearing about a local case that is similar to the cases I highlighted two years ago with VA’s scandal first broke.

That scandal involved VA using unqualified doctors to assess the TBI of veterans claiming benefits for the injury. Only four specialists can conduct initial TBI assessments: psychiatrists, physiatrists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons.

RELATED: TBI Benefits Facts And Tips Page
VA instead selected family practice doctors, unqualified nurse practitioners, and others to conduct the exams, which resulted in some veterans being erroneously denied benefits.

A nationwide investigation reviewed almost 25,000 veterans were impacted by the scheme. In response, former Secretary Bob McDonald issued an equitable relief plan to allow veterans affected to have new exams with a qualified doctor.

RELATED: Secretary McDonald Announces TBI Scandal Fix

Veterans deemed to have been wrongfully denied benefits before will receive benefits and payments dating back to the date the error first occurred.

According to the Boston Herald:

Benjamin Krause, a Minnesota lawyer and TBI-diagnosed veteran, said the VA has shown a tendency to assign the effects of TBIs to post-traumatic stress disorder, a less permanent condition.

“With TBI, you don’t improve,” Krause said. “With PTSD, the VA says you do.”

An investigation by Krause and a Minnesota television station last year found a host of instances where vets were screened for TBI by staffers who did not have the medical credentials the VA’s own guidelines require.

In response, the VA conducted a national review of TBI exams from 2007 to 2015, and offered to reprocess more than 24,000 vets who weren’t diagnosed by a required specialist.

“We let these veterans down,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald acknowledged last year.

Coming tomorrow in Day 2 of the Herald’s series on the Veterans Affairs Boston Regional Office: A local Marine’s struggle to get the VA to correctly diagnose his TBI-related seizures.

Do you have a story to tell about your dealings with the Veterans Affairs Boston Regional Office? Email us at [email protected]

I encourage any readers with more information about the TBI scandal to reach out to reporter Jack Encarnacao at the email above to help with the story.

Source: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2017/04/va_errors_an_absolute_travesty

Lily

Disgusting, what excuse do they have at this time for not giving the best treatment to vets?

David Isakson

This is the very type of thing that irks me to no end. There is no excuse for this kind of incompetence, our veteran brothers and sisters deserve better than this.

Rick b
Factually , the VA doesn’t really care who does not only TBI C/P exams but any exam. Just think about it, the VA uses NP, and PA to conduct exams, yet these same people cannot legally write a proscription outside of the VA Medical Center. I have had 6 C/P exams in the last 6 months, 2 were conducted by doctors who got them medical education one, in Burma the other India, a NP who actually conducted two separate exams… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
@Rick b – – – Agree with everything you posted. Why in the hell does the VA spend millions of dollars on television and radio commercials misinforming veterans, and the public – – – about how great the VA healthcare is? They are always showing what looks like a combination of Club Med, Shangri-La, and Queen’s Medical Center. What they should be doing is paying their VA CHOICE bills, so VETERANS DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH COLLECTIONS and have their… Read more »
james gallegos
I agree with you. I think that anyone doing an examination and are not qualified and it is found out, the employee and management should be fired right out. Or two strikes and you out. Any veteran denied should get back pay and interest. Ben is right PTSD and TBI will never go away, when the veterans did not receive treatment for a long period of time. Constant head pressure and migraines’, wearing a hat you get headaches or migraines’.… Read more »
Rick b
Oh the name of the examination where the veteran is not present is called an( ACE Exam) , Acceptable Clinic Evidence as outlined in VHA Directive 2012-025 dated Sept 17, 2012. The examiner is the one who decides to do an ACE exam. This being the case, I would expect it to be used a lot more as time goes on. Quote : Unless VBA personnel have specifically required that an examination be conducted, once VBA has requested an evaluation… Read more »
Jo3n
Ain’t that something, another law the VA was allowed to adjust for the benefit of the VA, and a death sentence for what% of twenty-five thousand? The same people still are allowed to destroy a countless number of Veterans and their families. “Veteran Friendly?”, I just ain’t feeling it. I truly believe that the numbers are worse than any numbers acquired using VA numbers. At every level, they lie. Greed protecting greed at every level of the VA. How does… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Good article, Ben. What about Veterans who sustained Combat-related TBI during the 1991 phase of the Gulf War?When will the VA begin to address those injuries? Veteran Friendly my ass! The VA may be a lot of things, but one thing it has never been is “veteran friendly”. The VA lies at EVERY LEVEL. @CJ – – – Thanks for calling. Laverda JOTA. Nice ride. Will keep you in the loop. May take a while to get everything sorted. Now,… Read more »
-.-. .---

@Disgruntled Veteran: Not as smooth as an Electra glide. Welcome back to rabbit hole.

-.-. .---

Time to check out for the night. Goodnight all, and God Bless.

lily
I’m over at some website called vets yuku and the vets there I think are mostly VA employees or worked for the VA. They keep saying the VA is so wonderful and attacking anyone who says otherwise. It seems extremely dangerous on many levels for any vet to go to the VA, especially if that vet has gotten VA compensation. One little error by a nurse, doctor or psychologist can cost the vet his or her compensation. Imagine you go… Read more »
Seymore Klearly

46 72 69 63 6b 65 6e 20 53 6e 6f 77 66 6c 61 6b 65 20 74 72 6f 6c 6c 21

Seymore Klearly

01000110 01110010 01101001 01100011 01101011 01100101 01101110 00100000 01010011 01101110 01101111 01110111 01100110 01100001 01101100 01101011 00100000 01010100 01110010 01101111 01101100 01101100

Disgruntled Veteran

Roger the 08:58 comment. Who is the illiterate one at 09:05 who cannot spell? Snowfalk? What is that?

91Veteran

Octal or Hex. I don’t recall.

Seymore Klearly
Hex & Binary 4f 68 20 61 6e 64 20 44 69 73 67 72 75 6e 74 6c 65 64 20 56 65 74 65 72 61 6e 2c 20 49 74 20 77 61 73 20 6d 65 20 49 20 61 6d 20 74 68 65 20 69 6c 6c 69 74 65 72 61 74 65 20 6f 6e 65 2e 20 20 4e 6f 20 67 6f 6f 64 20 65 78 63 75 73… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

Roger That. I get them as well.

Rick b
LILY, vets yuku AKA Veterans Benefit Network, is one of the sites I was banned from because I always challenged their guy Cruiser, who claims to be a retired rating official of the VA. No doubt Cruise seemed very knowledgeable but sometimes you had to wade through the garbage to see the facts. See his comments concerning Bradley v Peake, or his comments about cataract ratings, or his comments about separate ratings for asthma and sleep apnea… He always (… Read more »
lily
Rick I’ve been reading some of Cruiser’s comments. It’s almost funny how he gets all upset anytime someone dares to bring a shred of negativity on the VA, a VSO or a C&P exam. Cruiser is actually a very bad guy from what I’ve seen. He will only tell half the truth which means you get denied or a lower rating. He’s only concerned about himself too. Cruiser got mad because one of the vets he claims he was a… Read more »
namnibor

These assholes simply do not care one bit about “servicing” Veterans. If the VA “serviced” Veteran’s vehicles the VA would cause even more deaths by doing just as shitty work. Why? Because they are assholes and assholes always do shit work.

Assholes.

Crazy elf
I’ve got this sneaky suspicion, the main reason VA can’t perform C&P’s. Or have qualified Physicians to handle any kind of workload, is ———- The great, or even better than average, physicians don’t want to work for the VA! Wasn’t there “talk” about this some time ago? They see all the corruption, waste, fraud and abuse going on. Then they weigh their options. They know, sooner or later, VA is going to take a massive hit – possibly by the… Read more »
namnibor
@Crazy elf– Also, only on my first 1/2 cup of java this morning, but I completely concur that very soon, the VA will be running to congress for more $$$ and the stinker of the situation is I am betting that Shulkin will claim he has done SO MUCH already to clean-up the VA **but** in order to continue (misappropriations) these changes of hands of more billions, the VA indeed requires more billions. Wait for it… The Three Big Piggie… Read more »
Rick b
Crazy Elf, I agree with you, in fact the VA even conducts “so called VA C/P exams” when the veteran isn’t even present. All the examiners have to do is to look at the medical record and make a decision that they can voice an opinion based on the medical record. The name of this type of exam escapes my feeble mind, ( TB Memory issues) but its true the VA actually allows c/p exams without the veterans being present… Read more »
james gallegos
I think the VBA does examines with out the veterans and without the medical records. just wing it, they knew ahead of time they were going to deny the claim any way, why bother doing anything else. if they would have used the medical records they would have found evidence from Cat scans, MRI etc. nope I had to get my records and make copies and send them in. If they would have looked at my military records, I would… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

@Crazy Elf – – – You make plenty of sense, despite the personal H2O Black shortage. Yeah, the 2015 threatened closure was bullshit. Just like “Major liar McDonald” as SucVA. Good question regarding those lost Billions of $$$$$$$$.

BIG bonuses!

namnibor
I just realized something while taking another look at Benjamin’s “Bad VA Art” today with the medical person holding the TBI sign with a rubber glove and that telltale sign this was a stunt Dr. and not a VA Dr. because if you went to the VA for a TBI or even an ear infection, that VA medical hack would have insisted on sticking that forefinger up the Veteran’s ass and that glove finger is not stained brown number 2… Read more »
Seymore Klearly

When I have been to the doctor and they start putting on the glove and pulling out the lube. I always tell them we are not going there today. It is a one way exit only.

They can keep their fickle finger of fate.

Seymore Klearly

I also always refuse the photo op procedure.

Seymore Klearly

I figure God did not give me a rear end to help support the rubber glove, lube and hinny cam industries.

Crazy elf
namnibor, It’s amazing you brought up the D.C. VHA this morning! This came out a couple days ago from “military.com/Daily News” about that very issue! Titled; “Veterans to Disclose Experiences at VA Hospital in D.C.” 29 April 2017 by Stars and Stripes Looks like the American Legion will be hosting a type of “Town Hall Meeting” on May 3rd, 2017, to let veterans “…tell their stories!” It’s all about how that VHA was caught up in a major scandal recently!… Read more »
Crazy elf

P.S.
namnibor, this will be the reason behind VA wanting more money – Wait for it! It’ll happen, SOON!

Seymore Klearly

Of course with the last billion of the choice bucks due to run out in August. There is a good 3 billion in additional funding to request. Even though nothing has changed to actually improve the program.

namnibor
The VSO’s will hand-over those Veterans that DO happen to tell true horror stories to the Disruptive Behavior Committee for further processing and serving of the glove and finger to the brown-eye. Call me paranoid, but what better way to find out those Veterans that are “dissenters” and “disgruntled” about the VA than to have the dinosaur VSO’s come out and act as if they care then run behind the bushes or closed door meetings to exchange for favors down… Read more »
91Veteran
Crazy Elf, I’ve commented here before about attending the Legions town hall which is a part of their Save Our System dog and pony bullshit. I doubt this meeting would be much different. It gives the VA a chance to make it look like they are doing something publicly. It would be worth it to attend though just to see what either the Legions or the VAs response would be to veterans having problems with their VA. Sometimes I get… Read more »
Lem

Problem is the Psychiatrists, Neurobehavoralists, Neurologists and Neurosurgeons are refusing to minimalize their reports.

Rick b
This is off subject but….. The greatest thing about this blog, is the freedom of speech. Unlike Hadit.com and Veterans benefit Network, who actually banned me for not being politically correct, and challenging some of their senior members.. At one time I was actually a moderator on Hadit.com ( in the early days). Veterans Benefit Network are so afraid someone is going to start flame wars that they actually shut down threads that the moderators don’t agree with… Hadit was… Read more »
Crazy elf

@Rick B,
This is exactly WHY real veterans come to this site! It’s because Ben believes very strongly in the “1st Amendment!”
I also have a strong feeling Ben believes in the “2nd Amendment” as well!
Because, without a “2nd Amendment” we wouldn’t have a “Constitutional Republic!” One, where all men and women are treated equally!

namnibor
I really love hadit dot com and as you say Rick b, because it remains a treasure trove of Veteran knowledge and medical crap. I never engaged in much blog activity at that time in life so had no idea other Veteran sites are snippy and sometimes full of attitude and censoring. However, I owe much of my research supporting my claims, how to navigate and what pitfalls to avoid, all from that site. Also keep in mind that people… Read more »
Lem

Free speech also means free from disagreeable speech. We have the right to moderate or leave. This site has too much abuse so while I like Ben’s articles I’m not paying much attention to the posts. Too much junk off topic after the first few posts. I would prefer more moderation so that I don’t miss well thought out on topic comments.

namnibor

You want your own defined form of censorship in other words. An ignore function would work just as nicely without instigating personalities or expressions of individuality in which you seem to loathe.
If you desire censorship as such, that freedom is wasted. You have the freedom and choice to read past comments and it does not take that much work, even a caveman can do it. Yep, I am that caveman.

Lem

Like I said I don’t have to read all the comments. Your free to speak. I’m free not to listen.

And so are others for this off topic nonsense

Seymore Klearly

Hey Elf,

Did you happen to catch the news that the Democratic paid strategious have completed their analysis of how Hillary lost the election. It wasn’t the Russians.

The three main reason in order of importance.

1. She did not get enough votes to win.
2. People who had voted for Obama voted for Trump instead of Hillary.
3. Nobody wanted a Commander and Thief in the White House

91Veteran

Same here. Many times I might disagree with Ben or other commenters, and sometimes harshly, but other times I agree with the same people.

I like the idea that we can state what we think, and still stay focused on what the main problem is.

I would rather have people state what they think than them trying to polish a turd, and at times vent.

We already get that crap from VSOs.

And congress.

Crazy elf

“BREAKING NEWS”
From:
“End Times Prophecy News”
dated: May 1, 2017
Titled;

“Breaking: Hospital evacuated! Hazmat situation!”

“Brother Jim reporting!”
A VA hospital, in Philadelphia – University City – was evacuated last night, 30 Apr. 2017, around 5 pm. due to an unknown odor!
At this time, It’s “…not clear what is causing the odor!”

(This is talked about in the first few minutes of the video!)

Crazy elf

P.S.
COULD it be a dead veteran just bursted out of his/her body bag!?
You know, like what happened up at the Hines VHA in Chicago some time ago?
I wouldn’t put it past VA to cover-up this incident, *IF* that’s the case!

Y’all might think I’m stretching it a bit, only that’s why I’m called “Crazy Elf”!

namnibor

Was there a big chili feast for the AFGE the night before that caused an unusually large volume of swamp gas to escape from the purple team?

Dennis
hmmmmm. With PTSD the VA says you “improve” with time…. Ok. VA, please tell me the length of the list of veterans names diagnosed with PTSD whom VA has improved the quality of life for? Please VA, explain to me the road to recovery that you offer as an effective treatment for PTSD? When or where can I attend the picnic held for patients that recovered? Gee, I hope it is in the park on a sunshiney day with bluebirds,… Read more »
Dennis

sorry, I forgot.

Ghandi was condemned.

91Veteran

Good points.

And how ludicrous is it to suggest a person trained to visit extreme violence on the enemy might show an instance of violence at some point in their future.

Really? You gotta be shittin me!

Jo3n

I’m amazed that any odor emanating from the VA would close it down. Must be some type of lab; meth or something. Hell, they all smell like death already.

Dennis

I am betting it was cabbage and corned beef hash night on the mental ward. At those times I asked to be placed into the paded room – it has air conditioning. Phew!

Windguy

It’s all so fucking depressing

91Veteran
I can’t say I’m surprised the VA is still doing this. Its a typical VA response. Get caught red-handed screwing veterans, publicly claim that fixes will be made, then as soon as the media dies down and goes back to what the Kardashians are doing, go back to business as usual. It proves whatever fix the VA claimed to make had no teeth, and no follow-up by congress and VSOs to insure the VA was in fact fixing their deliberate… Read more »
Jo3n

@Lem, you’ve contributed well on this site. How long have deserving Veterans played nice. We’re dying off. Yes, I have copped an attitude towards those who constantly say, “I know but”, and dismiss the atrocities with warn out defences. I have been lied to so many times most of us get mis diagnosed til we find out too late. And Lem, some time, after being nice forty years, I get angry. God Bless you Lem.

ANutterVet- Last Post
ANutterVet- Last Post
My system crashed twice in less than 8 days. Before crashes, I experienced fake and eccentric emails with attachments, critical errors, then later combined with prima difficulties with Microsoft Support Services, missing files, email settings changed, duplicate and triplicate email folders, saved older emails are missing body information, and other circumstances that are complex for me to describe relating to the improper functioning of the computer system. The first scan revealed three [3] items that were quarantined, then deleted. Then… Read more »
91Veteran

Anuttervet, I don’t know what software you are running besides Windows 10, but there is an NBC News article from 6 days ago about an antivirus update from Webroot that quarantined Windows 10 systems files.

It caused crashes all over the world.

-.-. .---

This is why I don’t use M.S. Now if I could only find an isp, that can stay connected during a simple update, now that would be truly amazing.

ANutterVet
@91Veeteran – Thanks for recognizing that Microsoft royally screwed up. No one else has backed me up on what you stated, and what was previously only a suspicion. All of you posted is absolutely spot on. I’m not an expert in many pc or internet topics, but I do know that Webroot is classified as one of the best antiviral programs on the market. Even though many believe that all antiviral and malware applications are of the same quality. I… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

@ANutterVet – – – It appears that YOUR machine was “nuked”. What a nightmarish situation! For all who doubt that this is what happened, this article refers:

“https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/04/av-provider-webroot-melts-down-as-update-nukes-hundreds-of-legit-files/”

-.-. .---
@ANutterVet: I think too many things, unfortunately, happened all at the same time. Computers crashing, new posters, practical jokes, trolls, changing handles. Really bad timing. I think everyone needs to step back a bit, and think. I apologize if I added to the confusion, by changing my handle from cj to -.-. .— I thought I made it plain for everyone to see, and didn’t do it as a means to hide, or comment under a different handle. I think… Read more »
ANutterVet
I apologize as well. My intention, because I anxiously deleted the strange emails with attachments, was to possibly lure in a character with almost the same keywords in posted comments with punctuation errors. Unfortunately that was not the case, and I’m sorry for any confusion that I may have caused. I felt like a peeping Tom was around and snooping about me turf. Everyone has their own assumptions to deal with, and any personal vendetta’s that makes them think they… Read more »
Ex va
@-.-. .—, @ANutterVet, you guys are the best what more can i say. i am glad to see you both. Sometimes doesn’t take much to get me confused. i did get lost a few times this weekend, i know we were getting trolled which added more to the confusion. It brought up old issues i have, which i can only take responsibility for and have to change that somehow. I don’t fault anyone except the damn trolling. They just want… Read more »
FLB

I have always felt that the VA Boston healthcare system was the best in the country. I guess the Regional Office is just that. They make the decisions about compensation good or bad for thousands of veterans.

Cantigny
yeah, we all know the “wait-lists”, which makes the news more than other VA/VBA issues is only the small tip of the corrupt iceberg at VA/VBA. would be much better if news outlets, like @Ben’s blog does and others, presented stories of the bigger issues like the manipulation of examinations to thwart disability, mis-leading assessment reports from tests(xray,mri, etc) to twart disability, losing mil med records on purpose to twart disability, on and on…those and others are more of a… Read more »
FLB

@Cantigny, I hope you read the story on May 2, in the Boston Herald about the combat veteran with TBI. Sound familiar.

FLB

Deafening!

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