Allison Hickey ‘Final Love Note’ To VA Employees

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Allison Hickey Final Love Note
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Allison Hickey Final Love Note

Benjamin KrauseUnder Secretary Allison Hickey stepped down on Friday but not before sending a “final love note” to VBA employees across the country. Questions still remain about why Hickey covered for VA executives linked to allegations of pay fraud and nepotism. However, yesterday’s article led to some revelations about Diana Rubens and Kim Graves that I will write about later this week.

RELATED: Why Was Allison Hickey Covering For Rubens, Graves?

One thing I will say is that I am sick of VA executives boosting the image of Veterans Affairs by talking up how many items they touch while doing their job. It would be like me bragging about how many times I push a key on my computer keyboard. They should add things like, “2 million pounds of paperclips used.” Or, “10 billion pages printed on a printer using computers.” Or, “1 million claims shredded unlawfully.” Or, “1000 whistleblowers retaliated against.”

They always seem to leave out the full picture.

ALLISON HICKEY FINAL EMAIL

SUBJECT: My final love note – Thank You and God Bless!

VBA Team Members, VA Team Members and Partners,

Over the last four and a half years, I have sent you many a note acknowledging all the extraordinary efforts and results you have driven to significantly improve our delivery of benefits and services to our over 12 million Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and Survivors.  In every one of these notes, there was also an ask, a call to action, for the next level of service we can and should provide.

This note–my last to you–is no different.

I asked you all four years ago to embark on a seemingly impossible mission, knowing from my early and continued conversations with you that you were “All In!” — so willing, able and ready to transform VBA in scope and scale never achieved before in our history.  You committed your heart and soul in such phenomenally dedicated ways.  I am proud today to acknowledge that together, we have changed how we serve Veterans for all time — and we are not done yet.  There is still more to do!

As a direct result of a Transformation Plan we developed together and implemented together — we have eliminated a decades old backlog by nearly 90 percent, reducing it from 611,000 to just over 70,000 today — and increased our accuracy at the claim level by 8 percent to 91 percent, to 96 percent at the issue level, and to over 98 percent in 7 of the 8 error categories — with the last one at 97.7 percent.  We have now completed 1.4 million claims and over 6.3 million medical issues in just the last year — the highest in our history of VA — increasing our productivity by over 81 percent!  Year over year, you have exceeded the previous years’ service to Veterans across all of our business lines — Compensation, Pension, Fiduciary, Home Loans, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Insurance, Benefits Assistance and Outreach, and Transition And Employment Services, Public Contact, Call Centers.  You have leveraged the enabling support of our Support Services, IT, General Counsel, Public Affairs, Legislative Affairs, Strategic Planning, Communications, HR, Finance, VHA C&P exams, Contractors, PMO offices, MyVA,  Labor Partners, ISOs, VSOs at the National, State and County levels, and other Veteran Advocates to achieve this record-breaking level of service.

With this combined effort, Veterans now wait on average 92 days for a high quality decision and fiscal year to date, their claims have taken 127 days on average to complete.  This is the lowest ADP and ADC in the 21st Century!

We no longer touch 5000 tons of paper in a single year. We now complete 99.9 percent of all Veterans claims in our newly transformed digital environment.  We did this all in a record-breaking 2 years — something not done before at this magnitude in the Federal Government and not easily matched even in the commercial business environment.  You have made history across both Federal and Commercial space in your “All In” efforts to achieve this transformation for our Veterans, their families and Survivors.  The technology you have built, tested, and deployed has been instrumental in this accomplishment, but the real success belongs to the people who built and use it every day to make such a big difference in our Veterans’ experience.

But we aren’t done yet.  There is more to do, and that will take new, fresh thinking and energy from your next leader in VBA as my mission with you comes to a close.  My heart and spirit will remain with you as you continue your efforts. I am so very proud of each and every one of you.

I came here as a calling to transform VBA and to help so many Veterans, Service Members,  their families and Survivors.  My heart and passion will always be focused on that aim.  After 4.5 years of this blessed honor, it is time to serve others and you in a different way.

There has never been a job I have been blessed to do that was so rich with purpose; no customer so honored to serve; no team so amazing to work alongside as this noble mission.  Together, we have made such a big difference to many millions of those who have borne the battle.  We have many more to care for as well – so continue your “all in” efforts! (That is the ask!  Remember: Integrity, Quality, Grant if you can – deny only if you must!)

I throw to each of you — the virtual “starfish” for making such an amazing difference to so many…and to this one.  I look forward to seeing how you take it to the next level.

So Very Proud to Be Your Under Secretary

Allison

ALLISON HICKEY LOVE NOTE EMAIL FOOTER

The starfish story:
 
While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.  As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young woman, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
 
The Old man smiled and said,” I must ask, why are you throwing starfish in to the ocean?”  To this, the young woman replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them in, they will die.”  Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile?  You can’t possibly make a difference!”
 
The young man listened politely.  Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “I made a difference for that one.”
 
Allison A. Hickey

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66 Comments

  1. Here’s the big question: Why is her letter addressed to the VA and not to veterans? (Possible answer: She does not understand that she was there to serve vets, not VA employees.) Crazy stupid! Typical VA disconnect! Insanely idiotic! She doesn’t get it. The VA absolutely doesn’t get it, especially executive leadership. They truly believe they are there to serve each other. We vets are just in their way.

    • So right-on, Bruce!
      A very *clear case of disconnect* in that diatribe and siren song to VA employees!

      What perhaps should have been mentioned in her little “starfish story analogy” is the VA’s way is to damage that very “starfish” (we Vets via shredder, shitty care) before tossing it back into the ocean (VA Appeals).

      I am now convinced that “Reducing Claims Backlog to 70,000” really means many of those claims are now living (or dying) in the VA Appeals backlog, which I do think the VA *believes* this smoke and mirrors and “play of numbers” somehow makes them look incredibly efficient.

      Wouldn’t it have been more fitting, considering the situation, for Gen. Hickey to have taken that opportunity to relay that the VA has a VERY LONG WAY to go yet in cleaning-up corruption?

      She wrote that making it sound like she and all VA employees are farting rainbows. The glaring lack of any addressing TO **Veterans** just paints a more clear picture of the disconnect and as others have already stated, “They just do not get it”!!!

      They are at the VA **for** the Veterans and Survivors…NOT the VA employees!!!!

      This reads just as all things do that are always proceeded by, “A VA Spokeswoman stated:”….and IF Hickey wrote all that herself, well, it just further sheds light on how the VA has their priorities skewed. VA employees have their Union. The VA upper management also has ALL their backs.
      Where’s the “Veteran” in all that syrupy mess of a goodbye letter?

      OH…I GET IT~!! We Veterans…we are “the starfish” being repeatedly thrown back into the “ocean of appeals”…I get the analogy…subtle, but still got it. Regardless if that “starfish/Veteran” having a missing limb or [fill-in blank], just keep throwing them BACK into the ocean of appeals, even if only “half a starfish”…even if they can no longer “swim”…throw them back because it’s the way we clear the backlog.

      Damn! Clueless!! Self-serving right to the end. Do not really know what else to say…

      • Bruce, I asked myself the same question when Bob McDonald took office; why was his first letter to VA employees and not to those he was appointed to serve, veterans? In fact, I don’t recall “call me Bob” ever writing a letter to his constituents, the veteran community.

      • @Walt- Not to worry, Bob McDonald will correct himself by just stating, “I misspoke”, and all will be fine in VA Land!!
        When Bob stated, “I misspoke”, that was also only to the media and VA spin machine…not an apology to the very Vets he is there to supposedly serve and immediately insulted by starting his reign of VA Sec. by taking no time at all to start with the lies.

      • Yes, namnibor… I am glad you pointed that out, the part about throwing starfish back into the sea is her way of slipping up and saying that is how claims are handled, dumped into a sea of appeals. We need to keep her talking, like detectives and interrogators do when they have a murdered in front of them. Criminals and evil people in general, and she is both, often slip up and say what they are really thinking, and either directly admit, or symbolically admit, what they have done. At the very least, she equates veteran intellect and their lives with that of the lowly starfish. If she had of said the woman on the beach actually took some of the starfish home and put them in an aquarium, to make sure they did not wash back up on the beach, that would be different. No, she did not make sure the starfish were going to survive. It may be just a transcribing error by someone else, but you have to wonder why the story starts out as a woman saving the starfish, then turns into a man (Bruce Jenner-ish.)

      • @Ron Nesler: Yes, they forget Lincoln’s edict starts with “To care for him who has borne the battle …” It does NOT start with, to send warm and fuzzy love letters to each other at the VA. The woman is nuts. And, screw her stats on electronic claims. No one believes it. Hence, “VA is Lying (vets are dying).” If she was an honest person, and wanted to make a real name for herself in history, she would pony up and pay for a few of your “VA is Lying, Vets are Dying” billboards to go up, across from VA hospitals and claims processing buildings! Ron, maybe you know people with the ability to get this idea out: We need to start “Operation Silver Lining”. That not so cryptic code name means that we all work together to encourage VA executive leadership to come forward and tell the truth about what they are really up to at the VA. I would bet heavily that if the VA simply started advocating for veterans like they know how to do (but have not to this date) they would actually spend no more in taxpayer dollars, and quite possibly even less. I mean, approve claims, give fair ratings, grant education benefits in a prompt manner, and so on. They would become the most loved people in American history instead of being despised. What if Bob McD walked down the halls of just one VA hospital and chose ten vets at random. Then, use those vets as models for the rest of the VA to follow, while making sure they get the best care this country and the world has to offer. Then, go to a VA regional office and do the equivalent of that! Bring a news team with him. And a team of VA staff to follow up and do it all right. He and the rest of the VA can do this instead of constantly playing the same old games. They would save money right from the start, and vets would finally be served! Then, take those vets and put them on the news, bring VA employees of all kinds with them, and have them all agree that this is how it is going to be for all vets from now on, instead of playing the INCREDIBLY STUPID, INSANELY WASTEFUL same old rotten games the VA has always played. Save money by simply doing the right thing, every time, for every vet, instead of all the wheel spinning drama that costs billions and gets no results. Honesty, integrity, and loyalty to the ones they are there to serve, and no more touchy feely crazy starfish stories! How do we get this kind of word to them? They just might get it!

    • Bingo! These people have truly believe that their glowing “success” is totally unrelated to service to the veteran. They are down the rabbit hole, where VA is LYING and Veterans are Dying, while they posture for the media and heap phony accolades upon each other. To them “success” is measured in numbers of trees turned into paper, numbers of meetings attended and number of dollars wrested away from taxpayers. None of them have ever been accountable for anything, none of them have ever suffered want or worried about the utility company shutting off their services for lack of payment or lived without health care coverage.

      • @Ron, namnibor, Walt, Bruce and everyone.
        Wasn’t it Ben who once put something on here where VA spends something like $25 million (taxpayers monies) on a “public relations firm”? I keep wondering if they helped Hickey write that diatribe? Only, after reading it a few times, I don’t think so. It reads like a person who got caught with her hands in the proverbial cookie jar.
        I guess we veterans ARE those “starfish”!

      • Ronald, what have you heard about the billboard going up in Florida and reported being removed!

        Your group using billboards is outstanding and is having an effect!

        Since someone stated the billboard was taken down in Florida, I did contact that county government office and advised them what was being reported and the person stating they know nothing about a billboard period!

        The person did state that the VA does have an office in the same building!

        I like facts, not hearsay!
        If there was a sign and taken down illegally, those people are doing so against our first amendment rights!

        If you ever need help in Colorado, if it’s in my power and ability, I will do my best to assist!

        Keep up the great job of helping your fellow veterans, a gun is not always the answer, the pen is mightier than the sword in some instances!

        Thanks

      • @James,
        You lucked out. I emailed a few Volusia Co. Board Members and did NOT get a reply, concerning that “VA is Lying” billboard being removed.
        I was trying to confirm it. Or if it was rumor.
        But, like I said, I received no reply.

        I believe, since the Former Marine had only paid for one month, That’s why I got no reply. It just simply ran out.
        But again this is only an opinion. Like I have stated many times now!

  2. Well, she gets to be a clueless corrupt dipstick in a corrupt system! I’m losing my lunch! I’ve been jerked around royally seven ways to Sunday, and I am fortunate! What about lives shortened, limbs lost, good men just imploding with anger over this injustice. It will all come out some day some how. God bless you all and don’t get too bent outta shape with resentment. Let’s try to have a little fun while they fuck us over, OK?

  3. @Bruce, Walt & namnibor,
    I’d like to know how many of her “facts and figures” are correct? How many of those ‘claims’ went into the’appeals’ status would be interesting to know!

    Yes, she should have said ◀something▶ to the “veterans community”. But, we all knew that wouldn’t happen.

    I’m also interested in knowing, Will she “voluntarily” go to the ‘committee’ on Wednesday? I do believe those other two women are supposed to be there. I’d love to be a “fly on the wall” for that!

    • Elf, in your opinion, am I being paranoid, or do we all take a risk saying anything against the VA here? And, do we take a much bigger risk when make specific remarks and complaints against specific VA staff and leadership? I suspect that most veterans, possibly about 90%, are very reluctant to say what they really think about the VA and its leaders. I myself hold back and heavily filter what I say here. Maybe it’s like combat — if you aren’t scared you are a danger to the mission.

      To answer your question on stats: I am betting that Ben Krause, and Stars and Stripes, and others like them, will get the real stats and show Hickey is GROSSLY exaggerating and tampering with statistics. I posted a case here yesterday from DOJ where they arrested a VA Union Rep for stealing a ton of money from VA funds. One of the charges was “Communicating false information.” That woman faces decades in federal prison and $500,000 in fines. Hickey has done the EXACT same thing, and then some!

      • @Bruce,
        You want my opinion, here it is Bruce.
        First, there is NO RISK when you’re naming names by using direct quotes FROM (reputable) news sources. Whether they be liberal or conservative.
        “Freedom of Speech” is guaranteed to us under the first Amendment of our Constitution. If you’ll notice, I either give direct quotes, or I ask in the form of a question or I give “My Opinion”. This way your covered.
        Being “scared” before “going into battle” is normal. Once in it, it’s different.
        For example, I once had to resort to holding a “VA patient advocate” responsible for her inaction when it came to my healthcare. I took her in front of the director. After she spoke, I said, very calmly, “That isn’t entirely true!” As I pointed to my file. You could see his anger toward her. Within a few weeks. I received better healthcare and that P/A was no longer there.
        The key issue here is, “Do you have proof of what you say?” I still have all emails, documents, pill bottles, forms etc., etc.

        As far as that “former union president” goes, remember this. The “multiple agencies” who investigated her, did so over many months, or possibly more than a year or two. How else did they get an indictment?
        After the indictment, comes the arrest. After the arrest comes the trial. After the trial comes the sentencing. UNLESS a PLEA DEAL IS REACHED BEFORE THE TRIAL BEGINS or during the trial. But, there’s still a time, during a trial, when the prosecution will not accept a deal!
        Here’s something else to concider. About two or three years ago, the wife and I were discussing why young adults today were being caught lying so much. Now, I’m not saying this is a new thing. But it seems more blatant nowadays. Question to you, What do you see almost ALL of our elected and appointed officials doing more often? How many broken promises have they made to get themselves elected or appointed? Look at McDonald, how many lies has he told since he was appointed? There’s more coming out every week now. Veterans are coming forward more often now. Why? Could it be VA is crumbling?
        Could it be “The writing on the wall is here against VA? I don’t know the answers, but look at the facts. Then decide what you think is the best course of action for you?

      • @Bruce,
        Here’s another something you might want to ponder.
        How many “attorney commercials” are on tv today asking to help veterans with their claims processing? I’m in Florida. The one most prominent attorneys office is “Morgan and Morgan”! There’s others but his firm is, in my opinion, the most prominent out there.
        They have offices nationwide. Have you heard of them? Bet you have!
        Now, why is it more attorneys are wanting to help veterans?
        Do they know something we don’t know, YET? Why aren’t the VSO’s helping veterans like they did DECADES ago? Or, were the VSO’s always this way, and the truth is just now surfacing?
        How many claims, as Hickey so proudly didn’t expound on, went into that dark pit of “appeals process”?
        Finally, what kind of person writes a “letter” like that? What was she thinking? If you were to let someone read it, what do you think would be their first reaction?

  4. Regarding the Under Secretary for VA Benefits, Allison Hickey, resignation and her Philly VARO mentioned shortcomings:

    Both Secretary Bob McDonald & Allison Hickey have failed to oversee the duties & responsibilities of their DIRTY Office of General Counsel regarding protection of disabled vets’ VA compensation benefits awards pursuant to Title 38 Part 14.  Various state and commonwealth family law associations hire LOBBYISTS to payoff the OGC in order to keep the 1987 Rose v. Rose U.S. Supreme Court case as Status Quo, even though 38 U.S.C. Section 211(a) was repealed and rewritten in 1991.  Section 511(a) is the law of the land now.  See ANESTIS v U.S. at https://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/14a0078p-06.pdf

    A reprehensible case in point, also within the scandalous Philly VARO, is the 2014 case of a homicidal disabled Marine, Bradley Stone, who became motivated after he was having almost 30% of his VA award stolen from him by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and given to his drug addicted ex-wife without a proper Apportionment claim submission by the PA Title IV-D Agency as directed by federal directive IM-98-03.

    https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/financial-support-for-children-from-benefits-paid-by-veterans-affairs

    Stone was not retired with U.S.M.C. and therefore could not, by definition, have waived a portion of retired pay in order to receive his VA award. (see 42 U.S.C. Section 659(a) & (h)(1)(B)(iii))

    38 CFR 3.458(g) was completely ignored by Pennsylvania & Philly VARO Regional Counsel and demonstrates that Stone never received proper due process in his contentious child support hearings.

    Stone article:  https://touch.mcall.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-82292888/

    In 1986, the old VA along with DoJ properly came to the legal aid of distressed disabled vet Henry Kee in the VA v. Kee Texas Supreme Court case:

    https://law.justia.com/cases/texas/supreme-court/1986/c-4376-0.html

    OGC now simply tells all disabled vets caught up in the adversarial family courts, ‘Rose v. Rose is Status Quo & you are on your own to fight the state or commonwealth’!

  5. From that email I think the woman went off the rails. Hopefully she is sucking down Zoloft at her beach house trying to find her sanity. This is an email I sent to my congressman’s office on Oct 13th over her inability to answer him in TWO months. She thinks they did claims in 91 days but can’t answer a damn letter in 62?

    And, yes it is on the record she said before that God told her not to retire.

    —– Forwarded Message —–
    From: Robin Mitchell
    To: William Doyle ; Hickey Allison VBAVACO ; Clark Willie VBAPHIL ; Beth VBAVACO McCoy ; VAVBAWAS/CO/Office of the USB VBA ; Bob McDonald ; Tricia Parker ; Debi Bevins ; Cleveland Johnson ; Posti Robert Scott VBAVACO ; MCATEE MARVIN VBAINDY ; STEPHENS MICHAEL VBAINDY
    Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 1:10 PM
    Subject: Re Hickey’s word means nothing

    Bill,

    I just got off the phone with Michael Scheibel. His excuse was he didn’t have a signed release. 60 days to figure that one fact out. And, he still doesn’t have an answer. He said they are still working on it and will get it out in the mail soon.

    So much for Alison Hickey asking for another 30 days to get your office an answer. Scheibel couldn’t answer one question about John or his case as he was not familiar with it and didn’t have the file in front of him when he called me.

    As a military officer Hickey had 72 HOURS to report on a congressional complaint but cannot muster a coherent answer as to why under her helm Michael Stephens and crew were allowed to violate Title 38 Duty to Assist, Fast Letter 09-52, Training Letter 09-01, court cases on spouses providing aid and attendance, etc

    When God whispered in her ear not to retire I only wished he had said some golden tidbits on being an effective advocate for veterans.

    This why the VA is Lying boards are going up around the country and why I support the American Legions call for Alison Hickey to step down.

    Robin Mitchell

  6. Dear Allison, congratulations on reducing the claims backlog by “90% reducing it from 611,000 to just over 70,000 today.” Your “all in” followers have “made such a big difference to many millions of those who have borne the battle” in part by rejecting claims with lightning speed and forcing “those who you are so blessed to serve, Veterans, Service Members, their families and Survivors” into the abyss of the appeals process where many will die before they get an honest answer from the Department of Veterans Affairs. I guess your “all in” them forgot the part of your message about “Integrity, Quality, Grant if you can – deny only if you must.” Think about this Allison as you move on to “serve others in a different way.” Hopefully in your new life you will have another chance to get it right, but I will warn you not to attempt to achieve the same “record-breaking level of service” in the private sector with the “voodoo arithmetic” you have used at the VA, because if you do, the next job that you will be NOT SO blessed to do will not have such not such a “rich purpose.” Nor will it have new customers that you will be “so honored to serve,” It will be the Unemployment Line where you will be the honored customer that some other bureaucrats will be proud to serve. It’s never too late Allison to be one of those “Starfish,” to be fortunate enough for someone else to give you a second chance; if you are, please try to get it right, for what comes around, goes around.
    Best of luck Allison from your honored Veteran constituents.

  7. Great Job Brothers and Sisters!
    The VA “castle” is falling apart! Keep feeding “Shit in the fan” till the whole Castle is Down!
    MSG VAM

  8. Starfish: was it a man or a women? Or was it Bruce Jenner?
    Also regarding the 611,000 claims. Am I the only one in that 70,000
    group? Every time I go to the VA and talk to vets 9 out of 10 are still
    waiting on claims to be addressed?
    How do they pick these so called leaders.
    Straight out of Disneyland.

    • Jenner should sell his/her ‘unit’ on e-bay. Maybe someone in VA executive leadership will have the winning bid. I’m pretty sure there is a big shortage of balls there!

  9. I often wonder, as of the past few days, what (former) Gen. Hickey is thinking about as Wednesday morning fast approaches?
    Will she do the right thing and testify, or not? Will she do right by the veterans she so adamantly says she “served” and “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”?
    What’s going through her mind right now? Does she see “the handwriting on the wall”?
    Will she be like Martha Stewart, and “take the fall” for a number of “good ol boys and girls”? Or, will she “take down that house of cards”? Which is, in my opinion, starting to feel a “Noreaster” blowing up Washington’s backside.
    Methinks something IS brewing. Just can’t put my finger on it, YET!
    But, I will bet VA is in a “death spiral”! And they don’t know how to stop it!!!!!

    This morning I received an email from the;
    “Judicial Watch Blog”
    “Corruption Chronicles”
    Titled:
    $600 Mil in Obamacare Deals Plagued with Fraud, Negligence”
    dated, Sept. 28, 2015
    They think there’s more monies involved in it than what’s been reported.
    This article is but one testament to many such fraudulent schemes against taxpayers done under the auspices of the MANY government entities.
    The VA, DOD and other government agencies better wake up. Because AMERICANS are waking up. They are tired of the “elected” and “appointed” officials NOT doing their jobs. And breaking their promises, continuously!
    This morning an article came declaring the “Budget talks had stalled before it got started”! There was disgust in the writers words over it!
    I even received an article, (from “VA is Lying”) concerning how veterans of the “First Gulf War” were denied benefits over being exposed to “Sarin Gas” while deployed in Iraq. Even though the evidence proves otherwise.
    There were more articles concerning how there will be no COLA increase for our seniors, veterans and military. This being the first time in something like 40 years.
    It seems to me AMERICA IS WAKING UP though. They see how our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and future generations will NEVER be able to pay down the massive debt this government has bestowed upon us.
    I believe we will see a massive shakeup soon. Maybe in 2016. The abuse, corruption and mismanagement by this government can’t continue.
    Millions of Americans see it. When will they stand up and help stop it?
    I feel like Thomas Paine did when he wrote the “pamphlet” called
    “Common Sense”! Completely and utterly helpless. And yet angry.

  10. Think congress should question some of the employees doing the claims and not all from the same office and ask them how they perform their duties, how were they able to complete so many claims and what instructions were given to them and how many veterans were sent denial letters or placed into another pile etc!

    • Watch the the Senate Veterans Affairs sub- committee hears on July 2014 , questioned VA benefits rating workers turned whistle blowers . I promise you will be infuriated at the level of fraud and Illegal levels VA goes to to defraud veteran’s and to claim great in roads in claim numbers reductions . And there are multiple sub committee all with similar fraud hearings , year after year .

  11. Oh really? I personally know a few Vets that can call this woman a liar. My nephew spent close to 12 YEARS in Korea and now has epilepsy because of a head injury during a training mission when his half track rolled over. He has spent the last 10 years fighting the VA for a rating because he has seizures and its very hard to keep employment when you have seizures in front of your boss.

    I know another Vet who has been fighting the VA for a rating for 52 years! I guess he is the living proof that the VA “denies Denies Denies till you die”

    And heck I had to fight the VA for EIGHT MONTHS and finally threaten to go to the press and let them know that you had a VA pharmacist that was practicing medicine without a license as he was deciding if you would get the medication the VA Doctor prescribed for you, and he refused to send my medication…right till I contacted VA Sec McDonald personally (and yes I have his email and phone number) and told him we can settle this man to man and be gentlemen, or I can go to the press and you will wish for the “good old days” when all you had to deal with is the secret lists in Arizona. In less then 5 days after the call and email my problem was corrected. The Chief of staff and the patient Rep/advocate were warned they were on probation and if they ever disrespected a Vet again they were terminated. The Pharmacist was demoted and is on probation for the next 5 years and just ONE mistake and he loses all of his retirement and the 23 years that he has (and no they REFUSE to accept his retirement papers as if he retires, he will be fired before he can retire) And they removed the Hospital director with a warning that she is now a cubical critter and if she so much as blinks wrong, she is terminated.

    Guess the VA is scared about this coming out and the stink that it will bring when the public finds out that you have this felony happening right under their noses at the VA and the VA takes this long to correct it?

    Anyone wants the VA Sec’s contact info, please let me know and I will post it here.

    • @Daniel Grey
      You ain’t the only vet out there who’s been screwed by VA. I went twenty three years with a “clear and unmistakable error” in my file. Do you think VA corrected it where I should’ve received all that backpay? NOT ONY NO, BUT A HELL NO!
      In my opinion, you should have reported these “criminal activities” by VA to the news medias. And, you should have also received a written apology from all concerned. From McDonald all the way down!
      That would have brought to light more egregious acts against veterans!
      The way it now stands, VA can sweep it under the rug! Never to be viewed again!

      From my understanding, McDonald has changed, or doesn’t answer, his phone number and emails anymore. I may be wrong. But, by all means, publish it on here!
      Lets see what happens.

      • Ok elf, here is his personal cell number (513)509-8454 leave a message

        and his email is robert. a. mcdonald @ va. gov.

        (remove the spaces for the email)

        And it does work as I contacted him less then three weeks ago and got the matter corrected. I received a phone call back from DC and they were saying “ROGER That” and “YES SIR” and as I said it now is corrected.

        SO try it and see but please dont abuse it or spam him or he may change these again.

      • I did call that number, left a message and about three days ago his office called, not Mr McDonald!

        I advise her about the VA falsely accusing me of disruptive behavior and the director telling my congressman, that nothing was ever done to me due to the reporting of disruptive behavior!

        When in fact they did everything they could to punish me and slander my name without having to provide any proof!

        His employee asked is that person still working and who was involved!

        I gave the employees name and told her, higher management above her! She then asked for my last four!

        Ok, will get back to you? Not going to hold my breath for a future call or investigation!

        Talk is cheap! Action is what counts and I hope they do not send those employees to just give them a lame excuse and not have to provide McDonald’s office with the proof, they used!

        Veterans need a way to defend themselves from false allegations, VA should not be able to accuse a veteran and use the lame excuse, WELL it’s been collaborated!

        If that were the case anyone and everyone would be in jail! Facts not fiction matter and they must produce the evidence and name who did the collaborating, and the veteran getting a chance to debunk their lying!

      • Good for you James. I hope you get some resolution to this. I suggest writing an email to McDonald. Thank him for his office returning your call regarding this issue, then detail the conversation in your email, with as close to what you said as possible. Tell them you look forward to hearing from them on how this will be fixed, and that you are ready to provide them whatever they need to determine the facts and resolve this. Then send the email. It puts everything in writing that they cannot easily refute or claim was never said. It also makes clear you are not going away and you want this resolved. Documenting this phone call in an email to them will also help you if they respond and say nothing happened.

      • Maybe it was because McDonald was talking to another Vet. This number has been published on a VA webpage so you should not get too upset if he did not call you back personally. The point of the matter is that you called the number and they DID contact you back. That alone is worth something as there are hundreds of thousands of Vets that cant even get to his office, let alone getting a call back from that same office.

  12. General Hickey is a flag officer, an academy grad. She belongs to the biggest ring knockers club known to man. She’ll continue to receive VA compensation, probably the max, her military retirement and benefits. The generals parachute isn’t gold it’s platinum…………..Her biggest problem from a professional point of view is which government contractor should she accept a position with, I intentionally left out the words WORK FOR at her level it’s not work as we know it

    I’m trying really hard to wrap myself around this love letter from a military general WTF over……………..

  13. Sounds like the theme song to “The Love Boat” played when she left! smh The OIG even has an award show this thursday despite the proof they were siding with VA and whitewashing reports. One big RICO crime racket!

    • Yes, here are the new lyrics: “Veeeeeeee Aaaaaaaaaaaa, so shiny and new, come aboard, we’re neglecting you.” Hey, how about the theme to Fantasy Island.

  14. New VA slogan: “To exploit, imprison, maim and kill those who have borne the battle, and destroy their dependents.”

  15. Adolf Hitler loved his dog, and Allison Hitler, I mean Hickey, loves her starfish. (I would bet heavily that if she saw a starfish struggling back toward the sea she wouldn’t even notice, much less, rescue it.) And, this fixation on star fish may explain why she thinks it is good idea for vets who have lost legs and other limbs to have periodic x-rays to document the still missing limb. Yes, the VA really does that to all amputees! Crazy bastards. Notice there are no stats on how many approved claims they are, but instead she just say the allegedly huge increase in finished claims were “accurate”. A rejected claim is accurate as far as the VA goes. Ask any vet!

  16. Can we have a contest to see who can guess what drugs she is taking? I say, Ecstasy, a shitload of pot, and LSD. Oh, and crack. She is either grossly exaggerating and the VA has become God’s gift to mankind, or she’s crazy. Let’s go with crazy.

  17. Questions I would like McDonald to answer is, if you can reduce the claims backlog from over 600,000 to 70,000 in such a short period of time, why couldn’t you do that before? Were they all rubber stamped with a denial? What percentage of those claims reduced are now on appeal? Will you stake your pension on those claims accuracy being over 50%?

    • That’s the problem with the VA quoting their own statistics; they can poop-out whatever numbers they want because NOBODY holds the VA accountable…Congress could certainly help this situation by ceasing enabling a dysfunctional agency.

      Demand Accountability!

      The VA could easily backpedal when caught in this BIG numbers LIE and simply state: “Oh, our VA Spokesperson is Dyslexic and *meant* that 70,000 Claims were shredded, and 600,000 Claims were placed in a musty Philly VA Basement with the OTHER 700,000 in Appeals…so you can easily see how we simply MISSPOKE”

      Logistically, going from 600,000 to 70,000 in a REALLY SHORT TIME, cannot be correct with all the maleficence and scandals going on. I am more freely apt to believe that many have been shredded or stamped DENIED and they are currently in APPEALS…and the VA more than likely would state they have no way of tracking Appeals and Notices Of Disagreements…selective statistics.

      If Rep. Miller does not demand Accountability WITH TEETH…I hope you Veterans in Florida vote his ass out next round.

      • Trust me, if I, and my wife, were in his district we would put “an opinion letter” in a newspaper and hopefully that would get his a$$ thrown out ASAP!

  18. Strictly anecdotal story here, but I’ve filed 4 claims during Gen. Hickey’s tenure. One took 19 months to adjudicate, and there were glaring errors that were changed on appeal. The next 14 months and one condition has also had one item that was denied approved (and an appeal is still open). The next took 14 months also, and several items are currently under appeal. My most recent claim was decided in eight months, but I just appealed two conditions.

    Long story short, I have had 4 claims while Hickey was in charge, and all of them should be considered backlogged. Two of them had errors, and I expect the other ones will also be ruled erroneous. Even if I give the VA the benefit of the doubt, they will have completed exactly 0% of my claims on time and, at best, 50% of my initial claims accurately.

    I can’t understand the criteria Ms. Hickey’s team used in calculating accuracy and times to complete claims, but my personal experience tells me these performance metrics are fabricated out of thin air. Maybe 90% of the vets out there are getting accurate decisions in 2 or 3 months, and I’m the outlier in this data set, but I doubt it. These marvelous (and miraculous) results people are so proud of would be far different if an independent auditor looked at the numbers.

    • Something, tells me you are right about the 90 percent, but I think it’s 90 percent declined or letters being sent out, the VA needs more proof, other than what we have already looked at!

      How else can there be such a high number of claims complete!

      I truly believe it’s a sham and avenues were taken in the wrong direction!

      Management stating o.k. they want better numbers and claims done faster, we do that!

      Mass denied letters being sent to veterans, there that takes care of that!

      Go back to congress OH you meant adjudicate the claims, we thought you meant to just reply to the veterans and we did that!

      Need to find out how many claims were denied or sent back to the veterans we need more information!

      I bet each employee will receive a big bonus for cleaning out the back log!

      If it is found out that just letters were sent out and claims put into another suspense file, those employees should have legal action, they are grown-ups and know right from wrong!

      Enough games! Just do the right thing and follow the law and give the veterans the benefit of the doubt, as the law stipulated!

      How can people like that live with themselves, knowing it’s wrong and real people are being hurt! And even killing themselves because of their misdeeds!

      • namnibor,
        Just two words:

        “Job Security”

        It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Y’all know people who work for VA. Most, not all, are cowards or are acting cowardly. They won’t stand up and be counted in public. Remember the “VA is Lying” billboard that just went up out in Phoenix? Remember what that “Former Marine” said about the employees chipping in to put it up. But were too afraid to come forward! That what’s happening nationwide. When that ceases, then we might see more VA employees come forward. Until then,
        “What does everyone think we should do when confronting people like that?”
        I, and my wife, laugh at them! We also point out news articles to the veterans waiting to be seen by healthcare professionals whats going on nationwide. And we do it right in front of the employees! I, and my wife, believe it shames them!

      • That’s quite okay, Crazyelf….all you have to do is close your eyes, tap your heals together while reciting the “Starfish Story”…and all troubles in the world magically go away.
        “There’s no place like home”
        “There’s no place like home”
        “There’s no place like home”

        I also rescue “Flying Monkeys” when I walk the beach. LMAO!!

  19. “Starfish Story”
    Hickey just happens to be a General.
    “Stars” are representative of those top tier ranking positions.
    Was this “Starfish Story” more telling of a heady case of Narcissism?

    If Hickey happened to be a full-bird Colonel, would that story have reflected poor Eagles caught in beach pollution and her setting them free?

    Either way, the VA employee gets the farewell “parable”…never mind Veterans.

    Will this “Starfish Story” soon be looking for voice overs at Disney?

    • In a CSPAN presentation on the Veterans Administration 2013 Budget with of Senator Burr of North Carolina and the Veterans Administration Secretary and Under Secretaries, the Senator Burr was asking Allison Hickey what if her plans for a better and efficient Veterans Administration doesn’t work? Hickey was not even listening to him at all…(sound familiar) the Senator again with sort of a commanding voice said to her, “Miss Hickey, what if your plans for a better and efficient Veterans Administration do not work?” Hickey, looked like she was caught in some head light’s again but this time she uttered a coupe words, we’ll adapt!” Adapt, is for combat and survival not for the Veterans Administration to do. The VA is a failed organization and does more harm than good to veterans. They have doctors that retired, doctors that couldn’t survive a private practice because they would be weighted down with medical mal practice claims…clean house in the VA in the USA! Kick out the bad and there has to be some good to keep and get rid of those VARO and the VSO and NSO’s that don’t do anything except cause more grief to the veterans they represent, that is unless it is their brother or military buddy!

      • I have sinus/allergy stuff going on now, so I completely missed the scent of ‘Troll’ in the Fall air.
        Remember, even ‘Trolls’ can be that little ‘starfish’ picked-up and thrown back. LMAO!

        If Gen. Hickey attends that ‘meeting’, it would be great if someone on that committee reads her ‘starfish story’ back to her…then asks the real questions.

        I am wondering if the VA’s new “DBQ” online zip line filing method is an even more efficient way to deny claims with no VA employees having to worry about ‘paper cuts’?
        (those starfish are quite prickly as well) LMAO

  20. Hey Vance have you ever made a “good argument” or are you always shopping for a bonus?????? What department do you work in???????? I’d be careful, the rats are looking for the exits……..

    • Thanks for the clarification Fred, because, you know, it wasn’t obvious at all or anything.

      What am I “full of shit” about, because I say I don’t work for the VA (which I don’t)?

      You’ve got this whole insult thing down though, as well as incorrect assumptions .. don’t stop now, you’re totally rocking this!

  21. To all,
    How many times have y’all spoke to a person on the phone; ie: city rep., county rep., state rep., federal gov. rep., etc., etc., etc.. Then when you want verification of that phone call, no one remembers?! It’s as though it, the “call”, never took place.
    But, when one “emails a request for an answer”, SILENCE. NO response or reply.
    How many times has this happened to y’all?
    Just giving y’all something to ponder, that’s all!?

    • I am betting some of that could be fact that things like texts, emails can be admissible in court as evidence and when they speak on phone they can always state they have reasonable belief and protection of not being recorded unless both agree to that happening….just a thought.
      Light banishes darkness.

      • @namnibor,
        Yep, down here is a “two party record law”! So, if it ain’t on “recording”, “it” didn’t happen! Or at least that’s the way it happens here!
        On emails, it’s only IF one can get them into court, where “it” did happen.
        The only sure way is by “certified return receipt requested mail” where one gets proof positive!
        Like you said, sooner or later everything has the light shined on it!
        I believe, VA is slowly imploding. We veterans have to keep the pressure on them. Shame them into submission……
        I really don’t see any other way.

        That new scandal out in Phoenix that was reported a few days ago. Is one way to keep the pressure on!
        It was the one titled;
        “Delays at VA Urology clinic implicated in deaths”
        I got it off of VAwatchdog.

  22. Well I have to say that I have had several complaints with the VA and have filed my share of complaints. One is my wife’s claim just being completed after almost 9 years. We put the claim in on March 07, 2007, and she got 90% because they didn’t consider the secondary conditions that went along with her Lupus including her Chronic Lung Disease, just to name one. And no the 90% wasn’t just for the Lupus as she was already at 70%. But I do have to say one thing about Allison Hickey. I myself as a 100%, R-2 Rated, with Aid and Attendence Veteran with 340% worth of service connected disabilities and wheelchair bound, have complained personally to Mrs. Hickey 3 times have been lucky enough to get results. This includes two VA employees being reprimanded. Also my complaints were personally handeld by her and resolved. I can’t say that about any other high ranking VA official, a do have written a lot of them. With that said, it doesn’t excuse her from the wrong actions she has taken, but atleast she helped me with what I had asked her to, or forwarded to the head of the right department. I don’t know how many of other Veterans have asked for help from her except for 2 that I gave her information too who where also helped within a week of contacting her as I was. For that, it is hard to see her go, as she was the only one in a upper position within the VA to help me and a couple of friends when we needed it, with the VA hospital we go to.

  23. I LIKE THAT ANALOGY BEN REGARDING “PUSHING A KEY IN YOUR COMPUTER, BUT I HAD HER NUMBER AND BY ALL MEANS CALL ME “CRAZY PICKY?” I USE MY SENSES AND EVEN WRITING YOU SEE IT PORES ROTTEN HORSE APPLES!” NUT YOU KNOW THOSE THUMB DRIVES THESE DAYS ARE NO BIGGER THAN A FINGER NAI
    “YOU SEE I CALLED HER OUT ON HER SHIT AND I WASN’T IMPRESSED!” I really do have an awesome heritage, “BUT OFFERING ME A “CHOICE CARD? ANYONE ELSE GET THE SAME CALL AND I COULD SEE ANY DOCTOR I WANTED?” NOT MUCH LATER AND THE MONEY IS GONE-GO FIGURE!” BUT I AM NOT SHY AND I WAS INSSISTENT ABOUT MY CHOICE CARD AND EVERY VETERAN GETS ONE RIGHT?”
    YOU CAN CALL ME ANY NAME YOU WANT JUST NOT, “AVERAGE MIND.
    “GEE, WHAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS SETS THIS SAYS “RANK IS NOT DESERVED.”
    MAY SHE BE AT DYSNEY ON MR. TOADS WILD RIDE AND NEVER ALLOWED OFF AND FOOD ON THE FLY!

  24. ultimate irony ultimate excuse. these people need first show us why as a v.a. employee your healthcare not at v.a.? too good for the poor folk, doubke.standards, unamericanism we do not and should.not have an aristocratic.form.of.government, all doctors executives line up for flu shots and notification that if u wanna work here …you get ALL your healthcare right where you work, otherwise you are creating a situation whereby it is accepted that poor.veternas.do not deserve as much as rich veternas making bg bucks and or civilian employee , they toi ca get it all where from they speak, money where motuth is

    imagine how aghast some will be …if my plan implemented, big bucks saved quality really improved both physiologically but psychosocially . a new dawn, one in which doctors who test with low levels of.cannabinoids will be fired.for.being stupid

  25. “OKAY, WHO IS THE ONE TO THROW WATER AT HER AND MAKE HER MELT? All I saw was what looks ???” I DID HOWEVER, HERE THE WORDS “I AM MELTING!”
    Funny, I did my civic duty and because I seen so much waste and fraud and abuse against VETERANS, “INCLUDING MYSELF.” I called and stated the PhD changed my words and changed my answers too. “WHAT SAY YOU TO PUTTING ME IN MY NIGHTMARE AND I CAN SAY-“YOUR SCREWED!” Do not worry about the now CIVILIAN she is now. “Why did I feel turn coat status with this not sure, FEMALE? “I care not your sexual preferences but as stated “LADY BRING IT, GAME ON!”

    Yes Ben, I did call her on her DSM Behavious ASK ME WHY?
    A secret, I really do have enough credits that not just a junior college as some (harder for others? I was excepted to my program and my back had a retort, “NOT GOOD?enjoy learning all I can but I “TRUELY CALLED IT AND TRUST ME A “CHOICE CARD”ANY DOCTOR I WANTED?” ( HICKEYS SHUT UP BITCH TAKE THIS!” NOW THIS IS HOW I BELIEVE, ” IF I HAVE TO FIGHT ALONE ANYONE WHO WISHES TO PARTICIPATE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-“SHOWTIME MY FELLOW VETERANS!” (Ask me who else they tagged and Mia familia. “You betcha I will worry about them invading her laws were no damn reason to call the, OR DO THEN BE READY NONE OF US protectected
    P.S.
    BENJAMIN KRUASS,
    WHAT DID SHE HOLLER AND WE NEEDED THE MONEY FOR VETERANS?, “THINK ON EACH STEP, PROOF IS HIDING BUT “stating THEN SECOND ACT, THEN AGAIN AND AGAIN, “THEN CHANGED TO ANYONE WHO WOULD BE IN DISCOMFORTE ME? “STILL TRUCKING. BEST PART IN THE DAMAGE DONE AND APOLOGIZING BETTER SAY IT TO MY FATHER! ( additional like eating and cannot do the universal sign for choking so one two punch on my stomach).
    “No wonder she ran because she is a damn fool I can read you and assess you and state you have a Pathological and a bit of a Sociopath!” (Trust me, I had to write APA papers based on a selection of movies, a friend from the university of Phoenix? Never try to do the negative thing, just ditch them! SHE MUST NOT HAVE A CLUE APA PAPER FORMATS IN DAMN, EVERY SINGLE CLASSES!
    “SO, WHO THREW THE WATER ON THE WENCH HICKEY?” SHE HAS MELTED DAMN THE BAD LUCK! DAMN, “EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT SHE WAS NOTHING MORE THAN PLAYING CHICKEN TO A SENATE HEARING!”
    (AGAIN PLEASE BE UNDERSTANDING WITH DAMN CAPS, I AM NOT SHOUTING I CANNOT ALWAYS SEE! :-O
    How does one confront a person truly with doing a truly class action lawsuit!
    KMA VA, NO JOKING ABOUT THAT CARD, HOW WASTEFUL REGARDING TIME USED “WISELY THINK FIRST BUT BE READY FOR MORE LATER! She truly was part of that “drop” so no clue of WTH SHE COULD NEVER EVER DO THE JOB BY TAKING AWAY VETERANS WHO ARE TOTALLY GIVEN A DAMN PROCESS and in school is only good for the person who might be missing limbs, this truly can be a problem! THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT, BECAUSE NOT EVERY MILITARY MEMBERS GETS THE BEST-JUST SHITE! (Know some who do for veterans and the movie of a seal, he sat on the board and that gave away equipment for these Veterans. “BUT THAT IS TEXAS!”
    I AM ONE WHO DOESN’T LIKE CONFRONTATION! BUT TO ASK FOR HELP “MY PHYSICAL PAIN CAUSES GREAT MENTAL ANGUISH?” GET IT? BUT A FAMILY SUPER PISSED OFF! “NEWS NEXT!” ANY/ALL WHO HAVE DONE ENOUGH OF VETERANS ARE INVITED AND A DATE WILL BE GIVEN!”
    CURIOUS; “ARE YOU/OR NOT CLOSER TO ADVERSARIES AND EXTREMELY CLOSE?” YOU CAN ANSWER HERE OR VIA EMAIL!

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