Board Of Veterans Appeals Seeks Veteran Appeals Feedback In Forum

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board of veterans' appealsThis Thursday, VA’s Board of Veterans Appeals is holding a panel discussion with real veterans to get a no-holds-barred perspective on appeals problems.

Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) chief Carol DiBattiste has invited four veterans, including me, to speak with BVA attorneys and Veterans Law Judges about the plight of veterans in the appeals processes. The panelists are:

  • COL Lucretia M. McClenney, Commission on Care, U.S. Army, Retired
  • Abby Malchow, U.S. Navy
  • Benjamin Krause, JD, CEO of Armo Press, publisher of DisabledVeterans.org, US Air Force
  • Chris Neiweem, The Neiweem Group, U.S. Army Reserves

There are two primary questions panelists will be asked during the forum:

  1. What one change would you like to see the Board or VA make based on your personal experience with Board hearings, appeals, or the claims adjudication process?
  2. Based on your experience with BVA or the VA claims adjudication process, what are we doing well and what should we continue to do?

Since you are my trusted readers, I wanted to give you a heads up about the event in Washington DC to get feedback on these questions. What do you think?

If you had an opportunity to speak truth to Board attorneys and judges, what do you think you would say if asked?

About Board Of Veterans Appeals Panelists

Personally, I am flattered they thought to invite me, and I am looking forward to see where the conversation will go. I ran the names of the other panelists and found the following:

  • Lucretia McClenney is/was on the Board of Directors of Bon Secours Health System, Inc. She is also Special Assistant to Department of Veterans Affairs and apparently runs the Center for Minority Veterans. She was also on the Commission on Care.
  • Abby Malchow presently works in foreign military sales for the US Navy following working in Buenos Aires within a State Department program.
  • Christopher Neiweem used to work for IAVA as a legislative associate after serving in the Army. He now runs his own consulting company. He was also one of the veterans who exposed high-pressure sales tactics of for-profit colleges that preyed on veterans for their GI Bill money.

Some of you may be wondering how the Board was tricked into inviting me. Two months ago, I had a conversation with Carol DiBattiste about her selection to take over at the Board. She decided to invite me despite knowing my very strong stance regarding the need to expose VA scandals.

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168 Comments

  1. Only one of the 3 is a veteran? This is gonna go real well as only one of them has boots on the ground experience as to what we veterans have to go through. No wonder BVA seldom gets anything right with such a disconnect of perspectives

      • That is Soooo true ! Both of us, besides the 100 % physical
        disability rating injuries HAVE PTSD. We go to VA MC
        PSYCH (Now called, “Behavioral Health,”) and we’re getting
        28 yr, old kids, or 64 yr old grandmothers who know NOTHING about combat, THAT IS WHAT THIS “MIX” reminds me of.

      • VA NEEDS TO FOLLOW SIMPLE VA RULES, “WHEN THERE’S ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CLAIMS, VA WILL ERR ON THE SIDE OF THE VET ” NO NEED TO PAY $100+ FOR CIVS WHO’S OVER QUALIFIED BUT HAS NO UNDERSTANDING OF VETERANS LIFE. I’D GET RID OF THEM IF I WAS IN CHARGE. THEY PROLONG THE APPEALS & 95% IF THE TIME DENIES THE RATINGS ANYWAY. USELESS BUNCH OF BUREAUCRATS. I’D PUT SNCOS, MSGT, TO RUN THE VA, NOT Col’ who suck congress to make 06 & above.

    • Im a disabled vet suffering from a back,neck..”PTSD” injuries due to a 1974 assault via officers. The BVA has admitted that I was injuried…however “Malum in se” means nothing to them. more than 42-yrs Ive waited and on Aug 1st,2016 Judge Reiss issued another extention of time to provide additional medical data. The V.A./BVA SHOULD SEEK THE PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE OF SIR/DR. TIM-BERNERS-LEE!!!!! THUS CHANGE THEIR ENTIRE COMPUTER DATA BASE FOR VETS…GIVING US THE FULL LEADERSHIP OF GOVT “””ACCOUNTABILITY”””WHILE ALLOWING THE DISABLED VETERANS.ORG/DR.DONALD MILLER ATTY.TO “”CLASS ACTION”” MONITOR & SUBMIT THEIR REPORTS RIGHT TO CONGRESS. .AT THE END OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS IS OUR ””U.S. CONSTITUTION”’ITS FAR PAST TIME THAT THE-ESTABLISH ”U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS””ADDRESS THE JUSTICE INTERITY ACT FOR THE V.A./BVA!!!! WHILE FORMER U.S. SENATOR CARL LEVIN SHOULD NOW TAKE FULL CONTROL OF THE V.A. AS HE WAS THE BEST ”VOICE’ WE VETS EVER HAD.I WORKED WITH HIM AND HIS BROTHER U.S. CONGRESSMAN SANDER LEVIN FOR MORE THAN 20-YRS. AND THATS WHAT YOU SHOULD TELL THEM FROM ME…ILL NOT DIE!!!BEFORE MY EYES SEE JUSTICE FOR THE VETS!!! “”PTSD=V.A./BVA.GOVT.

      • I agree with what Terry Wilson has said. Also if you has been getting treatment from VA doctors what do you need a compensation and pension department. That’s money that could go towards veteran’s who needs its

      • If you need help with a ptsd rating. Kenneth carpenter maybe able to help you. The VA told many veterans that their records were distroyed in the st Louis fire

        Many were told this. Even veterans like me. Who were discharged after the fire.

        I finely found Kenneth carpenter out of Topeka Kansas. Where we discovered the VA lied to me for over 40 year’s

        Within 1 year. I went from 0 to 100 percent perment and total and unemployable

        The unemployable sucks. Once I obtained my disability I became unemployable. Even after working for the VA for 22 year’s.

        Doc said they go in the veterans favior if the claim is questionable. Untrue. ! I’m proof.

        The VBA admitted to the VA committee that 99 percent of veterans whom get a denial letter. Will not go forward or fight their decesion.

        How many veterans were told their record’s were distroyed or lost and it was up to the veterans to furnish proof. !

        Many veterans like me. Think how can I prove something without the military record’s

        Remember they were told those record’s don’t exist. !

        The VBA. Knows if they send out denial letters. That’s all they have to do and veterans are being taken advantage of by this tatic.

        The VA will tell veterans. Without a service connected disability in writing. They do not qualify for Care and those veteran’s will have to suffer and many with ptsd. Because of lack of treatment. Find it unbearable and therefore take their own life.

        Dirty trick and dirty shame. Even when the veterans should win their case they only get disability pay from when they last applied. Not from when they first applied. Even when the VBA lied to that veteran about their military record’s being distroyed.

        Call Kenneth what u got to loose. Nothing. Because you have nothing and if you keep believing the VBA. You will never get justice.

    • Need a little more directed fill ins for the first adjudicators and get their buts in trouble if the miss too many items. ie: list all of the treatment items in the record and your assessment of them. List all of the adjudications in the record and your opinion of adequacy. List completeness of detail in C&P exams and adequacy. Reason for not ordering a do over if inadequate etiology. Are there any implied claims not addressed implied by the claim or the record.

    • Well for vocational rehab is only good for those who can have rehab. How. About us who are unemployable for ever?
      And for those of us who requested a neurological exam due to TBI but they say they don’t have a record of it are left out also! For with 30% or greater brain damage I believe I qualified but was told that because I wasn’t a recent returning Vet I didn’t qualify for TBI group. Again left out.
      And if may well be that are waiting for us to die from either our problems or take it upon ourselves to end the missurey !

      For our quality of life sucks! To put it buluntely!

      • Pictures do NOT ever show-up in posts here. I think after the 4th or 5th copy & paste of same non-indented long paragraph is more than enough for getting the word out. Hint, hint….

      • Hey James,

        Seems like a great way to prevent any of us Veterans from following and commenting on other comments on here. Did you learn that in Troll School.

        Copy and paste copy and past copy and paste copy and paste.

        Oh and you are a piece of shit troll asshole. Now fuck off.

      • I agree. My TBI was denied because ” Not Documented.” Well, it was documented in 1984, fell and hit head during Grand Mal Seizure in medical records. Subsequent Depression, ( treated 1988 at VAMC), Seizure Disorder are all indicative and presumable of TBI.
        Denial without any C&P Examination.
        The personnel chosen by BVA , except for Benjamin, are not in any position to provide feedback on the going- on sat the BVA.
        Why not VSO Officers/ Representatives who actually handle the claims/ appeals ??

      • And what if your rehab was misdirected because of erroneous diagnosis and medical presentation.

        What if you weren’t diagnosed and treated for complex partial temporal lobe seizures for 41 years?

      • This is a later reply, but I just got 40% for TBI after being retired from the Army for 31 years.. (yea don’t ask me why I wanted so long) after I was rated I got into the “TBI Clinic” and the doctor says… well your neck & back injuries are likely due to the same incident, and tbi causes sleep apnea, and memory loses.. so I will send you to get treatment for memory loss, ( which is just learning ways things to help you remember) and he then says you are discharged back to your Primary care clinic, cause this clinic is really for the new veterans who got TBI recently…. Factually, the va started pushing Vietnam era veterans out the door after 9/11. Not to begrudge any veteran.. but consider the benefits the new veterans get that us older guys don’t.. care giver program is one that comes to mind…..

      • It took me 40 years to find out I had a TBI, because the VA hid my records and only after hiring an attorney did they magically reappear. Since I had a TBI and did not know it, I believe that the TBI left me in a Twilight Zone and I had no idea what to do.

        Maybe your TBI, did the same thing to you. The VA denied my claim for the TBI, stating they needed more proof, they had all the proof. So that is telling me, they did not check the records and in an effort to clean out the back log, they just decided to send denial letters to all veterans.

        which is proven by Ben’s post on the VA denying TBI claims.

      • The definition for your “twilight zone” is anosognosia.

        anosognosia

        [an′əsog·nō′zhə]
        Etymology: Gk, a + nosos, not disease, gnosis, knowing

        a lack of awareness or a denial of a neurological defect or illness in general, especially paralysis, on one side of the body. It may be attributable to a lesion in the right parietal lobe.

        Note, though not in the above definition also can be “left frontal temporal lobe” and the opposite for left handed people.

      • It was only 16 years from 1969 that I was diagnosed in a C&P evaluation due to some subtle sensory losses on my left side and follow up neuropsychological testing done right. So our injuries are approximately the same age.

        Tell your psych about anosognosia and ask him/her to help you with specifically adjusting to it. It took me another 10 years to discover what the primary problem was and I still haven’t fully adjusted to it. But the twilight zone isn’t nearly as foggy as it was before. And I’ve had to do it all on my own just knowing what was wrong.

    • All of them were Veterans. Abby Malchow is off active duty and currently serves as a reserve Navy Chief Petty Officer, Chris Neiweem is a Veteran of the US Army Reserves, Lucretia McClenney is a retired US Army Colonel, and, obviously Ben is a Veteran of the US Air Force.

      The people who put together the program at the Board of Appeals, from Carol DiBattiste all the way down to myself, are also all Veterans.

      • BULL CRAP. WE NEED VETERANS ON THIS WHO ARE DYING FROM AGENTORANGE HERBICIDESWHO HANDLED IT OUTSIDE OF VIETNAM ON GUAM, OKINAWA AND THAILAND AND STATESIDE. WE HAVE BEEN APPEALING FOR 30 PLUS YEARS. WE DON’T HAVE LONG LEFT TO LIVE.

  2. Benjamin,

    If given a chance to mention the glaring disconnect of the “process”, how about asking them what the hell were they thinking when “Agent Orange” Murphy was hired to head things and how that appears entirely insensitive as well as disconnected from Veteran’s perspectives? I am asking why not ask them WHY they do not follow their own freaking regulations and why are they STILL keeping the Vietnam Vets hanging with A.O. as well as presumptive with Gulf War Illnesses, Burn Pits, Depleted Uranium, et al? Do these eggheads realize from a Vet’s perspective it indeed seems like “Deny, Deny, Wait For Vet To Die”? I just lost an acquaintance recently that was 20 years or so older than I and he had been fighting the VA for Agent Orange related illnesses and cancers, blood and nerve disorders right up to his funeral. Why is this acceptable?

    Oh…also do not drink anything ‘orange’ in the refreshments options…they may ALL be orange. 🙂 Review the movie “Silkwood” to see what lengths a ‘Board’ will go to. Plutonium was used in ‘Silkwood’ against the “worker reporting wrong-doing”…

    • I THINK LIKE THE AGENT ORANGE WE TO THAT HAD BEEN INFECTED WITH VOLATILE CHEMICALS CHEMICALS AT CAMP LEJEUNE NC SHOULD COME AUTOMATIC IF YOU SERVED DURING TIMES OF CONTAMINATION INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR US TO DIE. SEMPER FI THAT.

    • Agree…

      definitely need to ask why VA & VBA don’t follow their own rules/laws as in Title 38.

      why VA diagnosis takes such a long hamster-wheel approach versus civ doctors can diagnose so much faster, with same data mind you.

      Why such quackery with the C&P exam process? We all know what’s going on with this. VA law states “benefit of doubt goes to veteran….”, yet VA docs & VBA legal mostly returns “deny” no matter the medical evidence.

      Internet is filled with these type of veteran journeys & VA outcomes:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/30/us/report-finds-sharp-increase-in-veterans-denied-va-benefits.html?_r=0

      • VA Med Ctr, Ft. Miley San Francisco STILL HAS THIS senile 80+ yr old Hindu from India Dr. Thind who’s life mission is to deny legit claims to Vets. I fought his SOB & had his decision overturned by VARO NOT VBA. Now everything goes to Indianapolis and they’re not any better there. Still as crooked as Hellary C. No wonder the whole VA sucks & stinks. Hope Pres. Trump will clean house & rebump the whole entire program soon. They also change rules by themselves w/o proper hearings. Anyway, thx Vets for your service. Doc

      • I agree because it happened to me and many other veterans. Where we were told over and over that our military record’s were distroyed in the saint Louis fire.

        Those that apply most are sent letters of denial and stats from the VA itself state’s that 90 percent of veterans will not reapply.

        It took me forty year’s and only after hiring an attorney did we find out they lied about My record’s being distroyed and as far as the go in favior of the veterans is a joke !

        If they would have done their job and I be seen for my ptsd. I would have not had to go through. Like drinking to self medicate and ending up in jail and trying to off myself.

        These people are criminals and should be treated like criminals. They knew what they were doing and will continue to do. Until someone is held accountable. Not just fired But put behind bar’s.

      • Who are we talking to here each other, no one hears us can’t you tell, NODs are taking just as long as appeal to BVA. be cause they are deining claims so we can appeal or not either way it makes there percentage of getting claims out of the office. I talked to one vet and he state that his claim was denied within two week so now it will go to the appeal side of the house

      • I contact Senator Cornyn March of this year. Since then thing have only gotten worse. All the Senator’s office will say is that they sent an inquiry… nothing ever comes of it. The VA says they will take care of it, but nothing ever changes. They have pushed me to the end. It took me 3 hours to get to the VA Wednesday. I could barley get out of my car. I was there but the clinic refused to see me “in this condition.” They sent my back to the ER; who gave a shot of toradol and sent me home… I was expected to make it to another appointment the next day. I am so tired of living like this, dirty, filthy, and confined to bed most of the time. Despite the pain I was in I went. They had to put me on gurney for an hour as my muscles were again spastic and cramping. The doctor wants to put me an assisted living home? I doubt I will make it past Christmas. No body cares and the VA knows it.

  3. Ever notice how OIG and BVA operate within DVA? shouldn’t oversight be external? Kinda seems like the inmates guarding the prison, don’t it?

    • IrateVet24601,
      Your close, —
      Only, it’s the “inmates running the asylum!”

      How do I believe the “conversation will go?”
      Just like the “conversation” went with ‘McDuck’ a few months ago!
      Absolutely nowhere!

      • Crazy elf- But…this meeting will make excellent pixy dust & rainbows for the VA Spin Machine to show,,,The VA Cares!!!
        I am only surprised the other three were not all VA Interior Designers. Close, though.

  4. I would ask how much a foreign military costs and whether try would set up a payment plan based off the pittance VA gives me or whether I should just buy action figures.

    • IrateVet24601
      You forgot the “disappearing Cheshire Cat!”

      When the “conversation” is over. All the VA heads will disappear and will never be heard from again.
      Then it will be business as usual.

      namnibor,
      They will probably NOT want to discuss (“Agent Orange Denier”) Murphy, or his recent “appointment”!
      I’ll bet you they will stay away from any conversation concerning his involvement in anything. How? By changing the subject!

  5. Yesterday, I commented on “wide spread voter fraud”! Many, especially ” Liberal Democrats”, out there don’t believe it’s happening.
    Last night, on “The Sean Hannity Show”, Newt and Sean show a (partial) video clip of this. Then discuss the illegality of it.
    titled;

    “Newt Gingrich on Huge Amount of Voter Fraud Being Discovered – October 18, 2016”

    “Project Viritus” brought this issue to the forefront. By using “true undercover journalistic investigations!” Thank You, Viritus!

    (Do y’all remember the movie, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”?
    There’s a scene in it where the Swedish Male Immigrant, who own the restaurant, finally becomes a U.S. Citizen. He shows his “Citizenship” document before going in to vote. The townspeople, “north of the picket wire”, is voting for “Statehood”! The “Cattlemen” want their territory to remain “Open Range!” This says volumes on this issue decades ago!)

    I bring this up because, in the Constitution, it states, to vote – one MUST BE A CITIZEN!
    Which means, one must have gone through the proper steps of becoming a citizen!
    Newt Gingrich askes “WHY?” hasn’t the FBI done their jobs to curtail this? Then he answers his own question by saying: “Director Comey is in the tank for Hillary Clinton!”
    That’s about the size of it!
    So, I guess we “real true American citizens” are going to have to be very vigilant on voting day!

  6. What one change would you like to see the Board or VA make based on your personal experience with Board hearings, appeals, or the claims adjudication process?

    Reduce the time for deciding a Notice of Disagreement Decision (NOD).
    Why does my Notice of Disagreement take over 2-years and I am still waiting for feedback. The Indianapolis VA was contacted (June 2016) I was informed, “Tell him it may take another 3-years for us to look at his paperwork.

    Previously, a VA employee working in that offices told this vet, “Yea, we still have the problem of VA employees going to lunch and we don’t know if they will return to work that day.”

    Based on your experience with BVA or the VA claims adjudication process, what are we doing well and what should we continue to do?

    From my perspective, you have no boots on the ground leadership and you will continue to provide unsatisfactory service. Consider shutting down locations that cannot get the job done. Where the VA has non-performing locations, shut them down and transfer the work. Make each location competitive.

  7. This is my first time ever commenting at this website. I do so only because Mr. Krause has the panel discussion with the Board of Veteran’s Appeal. I wish Mr. Krause well at this event.
    I served, ( US Army), from 1972-1976 was Hon discharged. In the mid-80’s I attended community college and after 3 years graduated with a degree, I fought VA over educational benefits etc. I went thru substance abuse treatment in the mid-80’s, today I have over 30 years of recovery living. In 1988 the Supreme Court issued a ruling, Willful Misconduct which applied to veterans and their GI Bill educational benefits. I was in the category with millions of veterans who lost their education benefits, and I lost out on the opportunity to continue my education, because I once had to battle substance abuse problems.
    I filed claims with the VA (1998) for service connected compensation, there were 11 claims. From 1998 to 2012 I fought for compensation, my rep was Disabled American Veterans. The Board’s final ruling (after 14 years) were 9 claims denied and 2 granted. The two that were granted had a rating of zero percent.
    Some of my claims were for PTSD, I had been in therapy with a VA psychologist since 1999 for depression etc. At one therapy session a few years ago, the psychologist made this remark to me:” Had I been screening soldiers in 1972 when you enlisted, and you told me that you experienced these issues before you enlisted, { there were 3 incidents I had mentioned to the doctor, things that had happened to me before my enlistment } I would of barred you from enlistment.”
    A veteran should not have to wait 14 years ( or longer in some cases ) to have a claim adjudicated. I recieved a court martial while I was in the service, and I still received an honorable discharge. The court martial caused many hardships, mainly employment related, and has left a stain on my record.
    Please fix the systems. I will gladly converse with anyone about these comments.
    Thank you.

    • Any potential for “organic brain syndrome” in your background. Were you ever knocked unconscious with a blow to the left front of the head or the right side of the head? Or even severely dazed resulting in a severe headache that lasted more than 4 hours? How about p. falciparum malaria? Other brain illnesses such as meningitis? Before or after service but before beginning your substance abuse. ETOH makes you not care about losing competency. The above listed items can cause anosognosia–inability to recognize dysfunction while it is happening. ETOH brings on a transient state of anosognosia as an example of “trying to fight your way out of the paper bag without knowing the direction>”

    • good luck! I served with the 7th cav. 1965-66 1st cav div. I have lost my right leg, my lungs look like a honey comb bee hive,., I survived the battle of the Ia Drang Valley, also the bon son operations. my primary doctor is just a doctor’s asistant. The cleveland va is a joke. For wounds that I suffered and ptsd i am 100% disabled. But my heart and cerclation and lungs that made it very hard to breath is not related to agent orange! the va said my problem is , up until 30 years ago i used to drink and smoke. agent orange has nothing to do with my problem’s. that is why i lost my leg 16 year’s? because i smoked and drank a few beer’s. It took 8 years to get in front of a judge. she could not believe they turned me down for an automobile grant. said she had to send me back to the orgianial DRO. Guess what. the DRO turned me down again. And the DAV who was supposed to be repercenting me was really sorry. if it wasnt for being in a wheel chair i would have kicked his ass. He said to me, that all the army vet’s were just cry baby’s. and the sad fact was. he had never been in combat. when i am in the wood’s deer hunting on my 4 wheeler i’d like to see him. accident’s do happen. he would be just another dead mf. It really pisses me off. at one time in my life i was one hell of a man and if need to be, one bad son of a bitch. now i am 72. ive retired from the coal mines. raised my 3 kids and have a wonderful wife. So Fuck The VA and the DAV

      • ya I agree, the last C&P exam in Gainsville Fl I saw a neurologist for my back condition which I was 20% for and the first thing he told me was ( I KNOW THE VBA AND THEY ARE NOT GOING TO GRANT YOUR CLAIM AND I SEE IT THE SAME WAY) he said this before even the exam. The VA uses the C&P examiners to help them deny claims and those scumbags do it because they are fee for hire scum because no one will hire their own asses or they could not keep their own practice going, so they turn to the corrupt VA for work! The service organizations are no different and the DAV pays their higher ups in the hundreds of thousands a year in salaries like one person who puts out the email news letters gets over $239,000 a year and the head guy in charge gets over $300,000 a year. They have thousands of veterans volunteering as service officers through the country for no pay cause they care about veterans but pay those huge salaries and continue to ask for thousands in donations which I believe they get money from the VA. all the service organizations are the same. when was the last time they rally did anything or say anything on behalf of veterans. well for one they were opposed to the choice program and privatization of the VA because it hurts veterans, well how about how much they hurt veterans by not defending veterans rights. right now Syrian refugees and illegal aliens have more right than us. another thing is they give us pennies in increases for VA disability and social security while they the government gives themselves thousands in pay raises and Obama wanting a 18% increase in his retirement which amounts to $81,000 more a year well were is our 18% increase and how can the VA justify $177 million in bonuses for scumbags who kill and hurt veterans. I hope and pray Jeff miller is selected as the next VA secretary and if not we are going to get screwed. how about the thousands of veterans that died waiting on claims and appeals, no one mentions them.

  8. Until an Attorney is allowed into the process of representing the veteran from the day of discharge forward, the current “Quid Pro Quo” between VSO’s and the VA will continue. I would need much more of your time to say how i really feel.

  9. Col. McClenney, Special Assist to dept of Vet Affairs? A senior officer who is a senior manager at the VA. Sounds like an, “all is well at the VA”, McDonald mouth piece. Do we really need a Go To Jesus senior manager explaining how to fix the BVA?????

    Malchow??? A sales person for the Navy from the State Dept. in a foreign country, that’s reassuring, should know a lot about the problems at BVA and how to fix them?????

    The only in the trenches veteran is Ben why doesn’t that surprise me.

    For me personally, the answer to your question #2 above is, NOTHING…………

    Watch your 6 my friend…………..

  10. What one change? Well, if an attorney is needed, the ability to hire one much earlier in the process than is currently allowed.
    If that can’t be done, then standardization of the claims process throughout the VA would greatly help veterans everywhere, and would reduce the need to appeal in the first place.
    There is no reason why a veteran submitting a claim for X at Denver should have their claim process treated any different than if they went through the claims process for X in Philadelphia or California.
    Veterans submitting a claim should be examined by a properly credentialed doctor in the medical area being claimed, using a standard examination process as used at any other VA or entity examining a disability such as Social Security. DBQs should be mandatory and filled out be the examining doctor, and that doctor should sign off on the examination attesting to the fact that they conducted a thorough exam, filled out any DBQ necessary and that the veterans medical records and C file were thoroughly reviewed prior to the exam. In addition, the doctor should be required to provide a statement of any evidence unavailable during the exam. “Xrays/MRI and radiology report not available. Veteran claims treatment in service for X, but states his records were lost at Grab-ass Regional Office.” In addition, that doctor should be required to provide their CV within a week upon request, and any VA training on presumptive conditions should be mandatory and the training record of the examiner attached. Far too many C&P exams ignore the law regarding presumptive conditions, and it takes veterans years to force the VA to acknowledge that.

    Go back to giving the veteran the benefit of the doubt!

    The C&P process from hospital to hospital and doctor to doctor is a grab-ass mish-mash that has no standardization at all, results in poor exams and records that are used by the VA to deny earned benefits to veterans for many years.
    There is no reason why one doctor will fill out a DBQ and another will not. There is no reason why one VA has a doctor contracted to do these exams for all, yet is a general Practioner and does not have the proper credentials for performing the exam. There is no reason why outside contractors perform these exams at one hospital, but VA quacks provide them at others.
    Finally, any C&P report and all documentation involved in that report should be provided to the veteran within 2 weeks of the exam.

    If that cannot be changed, then at a minimum, any VA flunky who is in a position to set policy should only be setting policy in areas in which they are trained and have expertise in. Tom Murphy should shut his damn mouth on Agent Orange or any other issue affecting veterans unless he can show specific training and research conducted by him on the effects of Agent Orange or any other exposure.

    The VA likes to ignore health problems reported by veterans as anecdotal if there is no specific VA research smacking them in the face proving it, and even then they ignore that as a matter of policy.

    The VAROs and BVA should be required to conduct specific tracking of every adjudicator involved in a claim, and whether their work is accurate, or if they have a high remand rate that might point to either a need for specific training, or that the adjudicator is a lazy buffoon and should be fired.

    • 91Veteran you touched on a lot of good points. I broke my neck while in service back in ’95, I was released from the Army after having metal plates put in my neck with only 20% disability rating. 10% on my knee that was injured during PLDC (training class) and 10% on my neck. I’ve been complaining about my shoulder and arm going numb since ’98. The Dallas VA (pm&r) damaged a nerve in my leg when they gave me a steroid shot to try to stop the pain in my lower back because my neck didn’t heel properly. After going back and refiling claim after claim I was finally granted 90% disability and it was temporary in 2012. In Oct 2016 I was supposed to go get re-evaluated to determine if the 90% should be upgraded to 100%. But I found somebody in DAV that re-did my claim and added my original issue me breaking my neck and the fact that it had not been upgraded or even looked at since I was discharged in ’95. I was finally granted permanent 100% disabled and 100% IU in June 2016, 20 years after I was released from the Army. I’m not going to talk about the meds they have me on that don’t work because I’ve been on them to long…

      My one question would be, Why do vets have to wait so long for a claim to go thru?

  11. To be plain down honest. I would not tell them anything. They know what is wrong and refuse to do anything about it. Until they make the rules they right punishable and to uphold the punishment nothing will be done to help us.

    • True in some respects that they know what’s wrong. In others, I see this as an opportunity for Ben to help veterans.

      Nothing hurts the VA worse than having facts on the record, and the VA doing nothing about it. Ben telling them whats wrong is a chance for that to be on record, with veterans holding them accountable to fixing what has been pointed out to them.

      On another note, although there are two others on this panel that might not know shit from shinola regarding veterans claims, I see Ben being included as a huge positive.

      The VA could have easily made this panel into a dog and pony show by inviting the DAV, VFW or Legion to be on the panel, with nothing but ass kissing and brown noses resulting from it.

  12. What they need is a pissed off veteran like the “Irate veteran” from YouTube vamadness channel . He’d be happy to provide input.

  13. Just one word tell them to DIE
    and the hope its pancreatic cancer that extends to their families. More VA propaganda and your going to be a tool by going.

  14. You can ask them if they are going to continue to not allow you to ever see a Dr or specialist, on what your appeal is on until after your 18 months are up and you can not add anything new to your fill, so they can deny you and say well you never saw a Dr…. if it was an issue why is there nothing new… well the results are to old to use you have to start over… we sent you to test its not our fault that Triwest didn’t pay the bill so the Dr. we se4nt you to wont release the test results…

  15. The veteran should be automatically and FULLY and irrevocably decreed to be the winner in any case not otherwise decided within 180 days of a veteran filing a form 9. And, I don’t mean after the VA stalls for a year in forwarding the case to BVA, I mean within 180 days of the veteran FILING the form 9.

    • I agree that would speed things up Ron, but what would prevent the VA from rubber stamping DENIED on claims just to meet that deadline?

      That problem would need to be addressed since the VA does that now, with nobody being held accountable.

  16. I see there is a board member from Bon Secours Health System on the panel. I have been a patient in one of their hospitals and it was worse than the VA. In fact, the locals here call it Bon Voyage. It is known for its lack of care and hospital born infections. When I was there, a state health inspection found numerous violations of sanitary conditions including patients using common soap, filthy rooms, inoperable heating/air conditioning units in patient rooms, crash units not properly prepped, peeling paint and the list goes on. It just figures this would be the type of representative who would be listening to the problems of the VA when they can’t control their own enterprise. Just sayin…. Ben, good luck, I just hope it isn’t a waste of your time.

  17. First and foremost there should be more accountability for blatantly errant denials. Many of the claims should never have to go to the lengthy appeals process, but regional offices get public praise and monetary gain from clearing claims from their rolls and quick unwarranted denials currently accomplish that for them. No medical or even logical reason required. They should have all approved appealed claims added to their wait time calculations so they will have some incentive to properly decide claims.

  18. I to work for an insurance company many moons ago and I was involved with claims processing. It is actually a very simple procedure. All the VA has to do is implement the guidelines set forth from the Federal register which states what diagnosis fits whatever % of disability and if the application and medical records meet the criteria, onward for payment or denial. It’s easy! But no, paper work is lost, someone forgot how to type, applications sitting in warehouses unattended to so they can make their quota and say there is no back-log. Unreal!

    Ben, I would say ACCCOUNTABILITY!!! That one word which no one at the VA wants to hear! If you can’t own it, explain it, you are fired!

  19. Benjamin, my first thought would be to mention to them to review the process of lowering the rating percentages. Based on my own personal experience one of my ratings was lowered 10% after 16 years and the difference cost me a great deal. If this happened to me imagine how many other veterans it happened to. By lowering percentages the VA is manipulating the numbers to save money by not paying veterans at a higher rating percentage and this is wrong because that 10% difference I mention of mine cost me the 100% rating.

    Based on my experience the C&P exams are moving in compliance with policy, so I feel this is a good thing.

  20. Simple question madame, “As the ruler of the Nation of VBA, I would like to know how you define “personal integrity” as practiced by your minions, and specifically what happens in your realm when one of them falls outside of those guidelines?”

    As far as what can VA do better? Read and follow the rules.
    What does VBA do right? They ignore VHA doctors.

    • You are 100% correct because they didn’t send the disability letter to me nor the follow-up letter to claim the injuries sustained while training on a Tank range in Fort Knox Kentucky. Thank GOD my drill sergeants have retired because they truly
      lied on my 3 different article 15’s which probably lead the VA not to send my much
      needed disability letter(s) that they were supposed to send to me by LAW. Regardless of all of the abuse in trying to make me get a Dishonorable, I got an
      Un-Characterized instead! They didn’t train us to kill like the Chinese or Russians
      but instead it was like a working vacation there.

  21. Please tell them it is unacceptable that veterans are waiting 7 or more years after their original filing (and 4 years after their initial award) to have their claim(s) adjudicated. Many veterans die during this process. It is a form of governmental oppression and control. How are veterans expected to assimilate back into society if they do not have the means to do so? Being awarded for service-connected injuries/conditions is the foundation for a veteran getting back on his/her own two feet. Please tell them that. These delays are unacceptable.

  22. Ben,

    1. The Board must review the finding of the VA and the meat of a denial. (veterans would like to know there is a foundation for the denial).

    2. Treat the Veterans that are appealing, as someone deserving of the Benifits. (Veterans feel as though they are trying to cheat the government when all the veterans wants is what they are in titled to.

    3. Make quick decisions
    (I had a claim in for adaptive housing grant this has been going on for a year I have MS. I was denied the grant now I have a decision to make do I appeal or do I pay for the work my self see it is just not worth it to me to keep fighting.

    4. The Social security office has disability case and SSI case where they will allow the person to be paid Benifits while in appeal. If the case has merit.

    5. The board should be able to grant a penalty for miss handling a claim and the veteran should be a one time payment, a lump sum a retribution for the delay. This should be on top of the veterans back pay.

    • Your 5th comment is probably one of the best on this thread. I love the idea of “granting a penalty for mishandling a claim.” It might encourage disability reviewers to really think about the outcomes!

  23. Ask them why do Vets have to fight to prove their claim is valid when there is documented evidence in their service medical record plainly stating or inferring said medical issue? Ask them why does the VA go to the ends of the earth to deny as many claims as possible, instead of exerting even half that effort to validate and grant claims?

  24. Benjamin,

    The issue, brought up previously here, is that the VA at all levels does not follow their own statutory and regulatory guidance. Instead, they do what suits their needs. This applies at every level, and the case managers do what is easiest for their case load.

    The reality is that if proper work were done at the lower levels to administer actions correctly and in accordance with the regulations, a lot of time, money and pain could be bypassed and these issues would not need to go to admin review or further to appeal boards.

    What I would like said – loudly and clearly – is that I have “no confidence” in the VA system. They make me ashamed of my country. They should be ashamed of themselves. Even their Core Values and Core Characteristics are nothing but a rhetorical device, and they actively work against them and against the interests of Veterans in need. Advocacy my ***.

  25. i don’t know why Mr. krause never called me about this problem concerning the backlog of the cases at the v.b.a. i emailed him twice in the last 2 month,s. the first time he e-mailed me he said he would get back with me as soon as he could!!! well it’s been 2 month’s! i am going to paste my protest that i done in Oct. 2014 that took place on the step’s of the state capital bldg. this has been going for decades at the v.a. in north little rock, Arkansas for decades. if i am not allowed to post this story here, then i will know what ‘s up for sure! if the pasted story is not posted here then it will leave a big?????????? in my mind about this major cover up! please read the hole thing. it explain’s everything! thank you and god bless! my home phone # is 870-297-2034 call anytime and i will explain! Washington ,d.c. know’s all about this and has did nothing! how many hundred’s or thousand’s of our veteran’s have died waiting on on a board decision because of the neglect of the veteran’s administration??? no just including Arkansas, all the other state’s as well! if it was happening here in Arkansas, then i would say it’s happening through out the whole v.a. system. just call me i’ll tell you then truth and i got paper work and names and #’s to prove this!!!!!!!!!

    • James, you spammed this page by reposting the same post over and over in violation of the site policy so I deleted them. Please avoid doing this in the future. I receive numerous inquiries from tons of veterans and am unable to respond to all of the messages. If you feel you need direct help, please contact your Congressperson or a lawyer.

      • I’ll help with those responses if you like!

        I’ve worked on my own case and as an activist for veterans with organic brain syndromes. If you have Westlaw account I’ll do some research and use my medical background as a Navy Corpsman for 13+ years. I’m very familiar with 38 CFR part III and part IV (chapters 3 and 4) and can respond to possibilities for veterans with organic brain problems and with orthopedic problems.

        See Bray v Shinseki at the CAFC in pro per.

        Lem at [email protected] 307 316 8568

      • Covers TBI and diseases such as cerebral malaria. Syndromes that are not inherited or that you are not born with such as autism.

  26. Can who reads this would if you a Veteran myself can you please if you agree can you please signed the Veteran Medical Center has Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist that knows how to put G4 Implants because their is not one Veteran Medical Center does not not one Veteran Medical Center a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist i need VETERANS to passed your Voice into the my Senator my address is 681O Spouse Drive Apt. 151 Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314.

  27. What I would like to see asked and answered is the following:

    Pursuant to 38 USC §7107(a) and 38 CFR §20.900(a), appeals are mandated to be considered in docket order. DVA policy proscribes within its procedural manuals when an appeal is docketed:

    M21-1 – Adjudication Manual
    Part I, Chapter 5, Section F
    Docketing, Certification, and Claims Folder Transfer (16 August 2016)
    Topic 1(a) (appeals docketed upon updating VACOLS “immediately following receipt of VA Form 9 – Substantive Appeal at the regional office […] without requiring BVA to physically take possession of the related claims folder”)

    M28R – Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Manual
    Part III, Section C, Chapter 3
    Administrative Reviews, Advisory Opinions, Appeals, and Equitable Relief
    (08 March 2013)
    ¶3.07(c)(11)(b), Page 3-12 (“An appeal is added to the BVA docket immediately upon receipt of the substantive appeal (VAF 9) at the RO. This automatically occurs when VACOLS is updated.”)

    Although it is clearly evident that a docket number is based upon the date a VA Form 9 is submitted to the Regional Office and NOT on the date the Regional Office completes any requisite development and certifies the appeal to the BVA, most (if not all) appeals receive a docket number only after the Regional Office certifies an appeal. This translates in an unnecessary prolonged delay in adjudicating appeals.

    Any doubt about the foregoing conclusion is easily dispelled by critiquing the decisions listed on the BVA website. Not only does all of the decisions list the date the Regional Office rendered the contested determination but a good majority list the date the substantive appeal was submitted, which a majority of the time does not correlate to the same Fiscal Year as the assigned docket number. In other words, docket numbers are assigned months – and in some cases, years – after a substantive appeal is submitted.

    Notwithstanding the explicitly clear statutory and regulatory mandates and DVA directives, I found several instances where decisions were rendered out of docket order and it was not because of advanced age or financial hardship as afforded by 38 CFR §20.900(c). Moreover, the wide disparity between docket numbers assigned to substantive appeals submitted within the same month is staggering; I found an example where two substantive appeals submitted to two different Regional Offices in June 2013 were given Fiscal Year 2016 docket numbers (in both cases the Veteran passed away before BVA rendered a final decision).

    As such, my questions would be:

    (1) why is it so hard for DVA to properly docket appeals within VACOLS in a timely manner after a Veteran submits his/her VA Form 9 to the Regional Office?

    (2) why are a majority of substantive appeals docketed in VACOLS only when the Regional Office is about to transfer the appeal to BVA?

    and,

    (2) why is the BVA deciding appeals out of docket order contrary to the criteria set forth within 38 CFR §20.900?

    (On a personal note, I would also ask why her predecessor (or any other Board member for that matter) never responded to my December 2015 letter asking essentially the same questions.)

    • But in practice it doesn’t work that way unless you refuse a DRO. If you accept a DRO or local evaluation expect the VARO to try to keep your case from ever actually reaching the BVA.

      From experience.

  28. I am surprised you were chosen. I have never read a comment by you that was positive towards the VA. There is honestly more positive than negative for people who are informed and honest. I guess giving credit where it is due doesn’t attract enough people to whine here.

      • James, since you have access to a computer, it might help you to go to your elected representatives Facebook pages, or your local medias Facebook pages and post comments on why they have not helped you.

        This assumes you have a Facebook account. If not, it would be worthwhile for you to create one.

        Explain in your comment that you requested help, but get no response, and that you had to fight for your wheel chair for years, but now that you have it, you cannot use it in your home or to get to your medical appointments.

        Public Facebook comments on a Senator or Congressmans Facebook page tends to get results.
        Public comments on a media Facebook page may interest them in doing a news story on you.

      • You call anyone that disagrees with you a “troll,” ‘Seymore’. I agree with Stan. I am surprised Ben was chosen given his dissonance toward the VA. Ben asked for opinions on this issue and that is what Stan gave: his opinion. Grow up.

      • Gee MIFNP,

        Why do I get the impression that the post for MIFNP, rosebud and Stan come from the same IP address?

        And yes I do consider Stan, rosebud and MIFNP to be trolls not because I disagree with you all. Each and everyone of you came here posting insults and are looking for confrontations to distract from the article and preventing furthering discussion on the article.

        No matter how many times you change your name it still makes you a troll.

    • You know Stan, in the interest of being informed and honest, why not offer some specifics of how you think Ben or others commenting here are not informed or honest about something?

      Why not tell us how we are all wrong and only you can see the truth?

      It might ease some of that butthurt of yours.

      I mean, since you are looking for information and honesty and all.

    • If you would read past posts. Many veterans state their are some good employees. But it seems those employees are few and far between.

      It seems that any of those employees that stand up to be ? about how they have seen veterans treated are retaliated against.

      We are not winning. We are telling the truth and most of management is not looking out for the veterans. They are destroying the trust of veterans and the public.

      You must not look at the news very much or you would be on here defending veterans not employees.

      Why is the VA reporting so many veterans to the disruptive committee. Why are they pleading the 5th. Why are criminals who broke the law. Like strong arm robbery kept working. Excuse. Well this other employee had a DUI and was able to keep his job !

      More excuses than Carter has liver pills. One scam after another one lie after the other

      Answer that

  29. I am very glad that Benjamin was chosen to attend. Change has to start someplace and quite often, change is a painful process.
    The difficult part will be convincing all ELSE attending, that they ARE NOT all that “stellar” at doing their jobs or they would not need such a meeting, right?

    Benjamin, if may ask, will they reimburse you for travel & board for this and even so or not, do you need donations to help?

  30. Just talk I was in 70//73 A.O 30% it has been hell trying to get help .back in 73 my appointment was canceled,Thay told me to call back remake it .20 years old and you tell me to call back ,,no till the 2005 may be soner. And it happen just in the past year or two.
    You call back ,,make the apoint,m. 1. Told you called to soon 2.,then told you called to late ,appointment callender closed. 3 call back . So you see no fun !

  31. Do you find it strange that a top VA official would invite Ben into a teleconference to obtain his opinions, when Ben’s opinions are onviously documented for the world to see? Without a doubt I would monitor this site if VA management of her calibre and justify it as a repository of anecdotal evidence offered by a multitude of veterans.

    I would correctly claim that “listening” to the stake holders was a good use of my time and the most efficient way to learn, what might otherwise be learned from a teleconference. If I want to REALLY understand somebody elses position, I will read what they have to say if it is available. She cannot be stupid. She most certainly has availed herself of the relevant information from this site and others or she is not doing her job as I see it.

    “On the face of it, Watson, it appears as an honest official reaching out to listen to the public – clearly she lies! and that is precisely why she is guilty!” Watson cried, “But Sherlock how on Earth could you know that just by glancing at this???”

    “Elementary my Dear Watson, she appears honest. No truthful VA official would dare to do that.”

    • I seem to recall in a previous post by Ben that he hit her pretty good, then Ben explained she had contacted him.

      I kind of get the sense that Mizz DiBattiste is either trying to prove to Ben that things have changed, that she wants comments rather than smoke blown at her.

      Or it could be the old keep your friends close, your enemies closer kind of deal.

      I believe it’s the former, and Ben’s previous post may have stung a little. It gives me hope that she might have enough of a conscience left to feel the sting as opposed to the usual VA connected bureaucrat like Stan.

  32. I think that all veterans should pull together and make OUR VOICE HEARD no one is really speaking out for us I donot think anyone really care they may talk about helping us but this has been going on for a long time and their has been no change. You call VA OFFICE with questions they say think you for your service and then laugh at you, there is no help their..i am having problems with the ATLANTA RO. I can see every day that I am not the only one by looking on line, talking to other veterans We need to get together. If you haven’t notice the people running for President haven’t had too much to say about us( Disable VET). I met a homeless vet at the vso I heard the agent tell the vet that it may be 2 years before he hear anything from VA. My claim is for prostate cancer agent orange Vietnam 1971 72 claim filed in 2012,and I know that there are millions of us with the same problem, We need a web site that BOB people can read.

  33. Mr. Krause, The Board needs total reform because it has morphed into a total slave of the Regional Offices and the Secretary. The Board serves the VA only, instead of reviewing individual rating decisions for compliance with regulations and laws to the benefit of the Veteran. The veteran’s first chance to be heard is the decision review officer at the regional office, the second stage is the Board, and the third and best chance to receive a fair hearing is at the Court. If the Board spent more time correcting RO decision errors verses blanket denying appeals to the VA’s benefit we would get more equitable decisions for veterans. When the VA allows benefits in certain cases from one VARO but denies the very same benefits from another VARO then we have a system that is not equitable and fair to the veterans. Regional Offices failure to comply with remand instruction of the Board further complicates the appeal process, and when the Board fails to enforce its decisions upon the regional offices it destroys the integrity of the appeals process. The Board is supposed to be the Police of the 50+ Regional Offices and to ensure that the VARO’s are in compliance in their decisions. It comes down to who you draw as your administrative law judge and their supporting staff who crafts the decision for the Judge to sign, if you draw a mediocre judge then you will get mediocre decisions. You know more than most what needs to be addressed in this conference, especially when it comes to accountability. The Board is supposed to be the veterans accountability check and balance against fatal or flawed decisions by the Regional Offices, where clearly the Law states the benefit of doubt is to be given to the veteran. The entire appeals process is now more than ever a adversarial system against the veteran, in stead of working to compensate the veteran, the VA does everything in its power to deny. Good luck with the panel!

  34. Q1. Mandate, no, compel use of eBenefits by the VA. I went through my MEB/PEB for 2+ years, was put on TDRL a year ago. In all this time, very little of the data in eBenefits is either accurate, current, or ever entered in the first place. And this is not an isolated incident, I assisted 7 other active duty WW through their MEBs, and it was the same problem in all our instances. We would receive letters not reflected in eBenefits, and six months after an initial decision, eBenefits would still show “in progress”. There is so much broken, try and use the tools they have before coming up with any new ideas.
    Q2. I really try to be positive, but there is nothing good I can think of from my experience or that of my fellow WW vets. The only thing I can say is follow your own VA rules, and provide some method to quickly and effectively deal with the smaller problems as they come up, rather than let them snowball. I still greatly resent my VA claims rep piling conditions on to my form AFTER I submitted it, and when I found out, it was easy to see why I was having problems because it looked like a bogus claim. He said he was doing me a favor “every little bit helps to get 100%”. There was nothing I could do to get anyone to take action against him or even make my complaint official. He should have been fired for defrauding both me and the VA. Now I can’t go to a cardiologist because my heart condition was rated “not service connected”–while I was on active duty!

  35. Why dont you talk to them about the failure of the VA to allow its medical professionals the time to provide Vet’s with professional evaluations about service connected conditions. The reality is, most VA employed medical professionals refuse to provide opinions to Veterans that provide for Service Connection. The majority of PCP in the PACT environment refuse to lift a finger to help us. This forces Vets to seek outside help, even after the laws establish that the VA holds an obligation to the Veteran to provide us with this type of help.

    Why doesn’t the PACT team helping Vets!! They are supposed to be OUR doctors, OUR medical teams, not agents for the VBA.

  36. Well, I read all the comments here . I wonder what happened to Carol Dibatistte, I still wish she would’ve been on the panel. I believe my question would be, with all this computer-technology , why do veterans have to go through so much crap to get a piece of paper ? I believe they have all the information they need at their fingertips . I feel like it’s a set up again . I just can’t get rid of these trust issues . Good luck man I hope it works out well .

  37. Tonight is the “Final Debate” between Mr. Trump and “The Butcher of Benghazi”!

    That said, here’s a new article out from ” Townhall.com”
    titled;

    “Veterans Issues Have Been Missing From Debates, But New VA Bombshells Are Dropping”

    by Cortney O’Brien | Oct. 19, 2016

    It’s a good read for all veterans and taxpayers!

    Hillary NEVER discuses veterans issues at her rallys. Only Mr. Trump is aware, and very vocal, of our many issues!

    New report out, Hillary wants to “…bomb Iran!” She believes “…it is a viable…” solution to everything happening in the Middle East.
    If she “steals this election”, be prepared for more war!

    As I’ve said before. Does anyone really believe the VA can handle more of the same, as what it’s going though now?

    • @crazy elf- Going directly after Iran would be the equiv. of igniting that final fuse leading to Armageddon. Russia and China and possibly N. Korea would back Iran, while all would be fueling the desires of these horrific terrorists…they want us to die, even if it means no Earth is left…because extremists think they have a bunch of virgins in the sky floating about awaiting their martyrdom. Bad Witch Idea of The Hildabeast. Watching debate tonight even though mailed out my ballot the other day.
      Still waiting for Veteran Issues to pop-up at the debates. Last chance tonight.

      • I was in LR recently to travel to my Vietnam unit Reunion in Branson, Mo. I am sorry for the terrible treatment you have gotten. I get good medical in Jacksonville, FL, but the C&P group are scum to Vets that really have issues. They turn almost everyone down for compensation. Some are so feed up they end their lives, I am sure that those in C&P just blow it off. I am going to fight my issues, damn them.

      • namnibor, the “Hildabeast” actually stated that, about Iran during a ‘Goldman Sachs’ “paid speech”!
        It finally was released today from “Wikileaks”!!!!!

        I agree with you on “Armageddon” IF she’s elected!

  38. The one thing that I believe would do the most profound good for the system would be to allow veterans to have legal representation from the onset of any claim and the means to pay for that representation.

    After all haven’t we all earned the right to be offered the same protections that Citizens have.

  39. Ask if anyone in the room knows of the gigantic accountability and transparency problems within the entire VA system for beginners. Go around the table to get their words from each individual there in the room. If they look puzzled, you then know what you are dealing with at this meeting. If you get intelligent comments from one or more, you can lead the discussion from there into VBA issues. You have to know what acorns you are dealing with first before you ask anything. My guess? Shit..

  40. The very idea of Benjamin getting closer to the Master VA Cookie Jar with a shining light sabre of accountability has caused an influx of dazed & confused rabid trolls about this evening. Careful where you step, trolls are not usually entirely domesticated…

  41. MY CASE,IS,IN BVA,WASHINGTON DC JUDGE MARY ELLEN LARKIN FOR THE 10TH TIME AS IT HAS BEEN REMANDED 10 TIMES OVER 30 YEARS,FOR THE AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES I HANDLED, MIXED AND POWER SPRAYED ON ANDERSEN.AFB GUAM DURING THE VIETNAM WAR AND LATER WHICH I KILLED THOUSANDS OF UNBORN BABIES AND COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF VETERANS DIRECTLY EXPOSED TO AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES ONANDERSEN.AFB. I AM A MURDERER OF VETERANS. I AM DYING WITH 33 AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES INCLUDING 4 CANCERS. AND SEVERE ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE.

    • Leroy, don’t beat yourself up over this, you were following orders. Vegetation control they called it.

      I remember getting dropped off at pump house 5 and commenting on how nothing was growing anywhere around the building. Sgt. Slaughter responded, “don’t worry, ain’t nothing gonna grow here”.

      It sure was easier than mowing all that crap. Many man hours were saved.

    • Leroy,

      Number one you need to remember you were told that it was safe to be around and that it wouldn’t not harm anyone.

      Sorry to hear about what you have has been done to you.

    • Mr. Leroy G. Foster
      Please release your concience of this terrible, unwarranted burden, that you have shouldered for all these years. I assure you, NONE of your brothers feel that you are to blame, for anything. You sir, are a true patriot, and don’t you ever forget that. YOU did NOTHING wrong. Please live out the rest of your life in as much peace as you possibly can.

  42. The last debate is history. Again, only Mr. Trump mentioned the word “veterans”.
    He stated, “…Veterans are being treated worse than the refugees!”& “It’s a disgrace!”
    So damn true!

    I hope people listened to what was being said during the debate.
    I had a friend once who said he could tell the difference between “…what was bull, and what was shit!”
    I hope y’all can see the difference!

    • Yes. The whole Remand process is just another Delay tactic even though enough facts are in evidence, presumptive service- connection already established and another C&P to fish for things that aid in Denial.
      Plus, Remand means you cannot file and be on the docket at the U. S. Court of Veterans Appeals.

  43. We see the oppression and know of the intergenerational trauma left in its wake.

    Let us not forget the millions who gave their lives for us to understand the domestic threat we have succumbed to by allowing inaction & conformity to be written protocol, and public policy rather than prudent practices that consider the entirety of our physiological enviornmental ecological oneness whereas the awareness of how swiftly biochemical changes made to our kind directly affects us all; ignorance vs. accountability, we are all in this together… like it or not.

    Learned behaviors can be controlled, organic damage and biochemical influxes must be managed with consideration for the physiological of said populations: anyone with a brain or acknowledges they have one have been grossly neglected medically for the past 90yrs.

    Ignorance vs Accountability… We all have a brain, don’t deny they are a vulnerability and a key reason we have survived this long.

    Our physiological enviormental ecological oneness is unique to others depending on what we put in it, where we go and what we are subject, influenced and considered by.

    It is amazing how hundreds of millions of Brian injured populations who suffer from all manners of neurological impairments, biochemical changes and prejudical persecutions over being labeled by said conditions have remained silent before the courts and have been used to fund institutions mapping our country; without redress until now.

    Godspeed,
    Rev. Dr. Leela Alvarez
    Daughter of VOFW

  44. What do I think? Well for starters, they must and should realize the VA is ours not theirs and if it were not for us veterans, they would not have a job. they must also understand the reason for thousands of appeals is due to corrupt C&P exams who aid and assist a corrupt program to ensure their bonuses are bigger by saving VA money when they waste more and steal more from veterans. My last C&P examiner told me before he even examined me, ( I KNOW THE VBA AND THEY WONT APPROVE YOUR CLAIM AND I SEE IT THE SAME WAY) he even wrote in the exam though a opinion was not asked for I’m given one anyway! the exam was for a increase on my back which I didn’t ask for but the VA sent me anyway and even in it told him I was already service connected. Because of his exam I lost 10% disability for my back and its this kind of crap that cause veterans to appeal! The attorneys and judges need to start defending the veterans and ensuring this kind of corruption directed by the VBA stops! The board has done some great work for veterans and attorneys as well but no one is doing anything about the corruption in the claims by the VBA. How many claims analyst are qualified to interpret law or medical diagnoses weather from VA or service medical records. If the board is granting claims based on the fact primary lateral sclerosis is a variant of ALS, then how come no one is fighting to get it presumed from service like ALS. the difference is only how long they take to affect you but in time they do the same thing. ALS will kill you faster and PLS will make you wish you were dead! I know I have it. I think the question should be what is causing so many appeals and how can we change. the judges are doing what they can but the real problem is with the claims and C&P and VBA.

  45. Back to the Board issue: As a CVSO I know that any decision the board makes is not precedent setting. But how can they award one widow DIC (service connect a death) for a cancer such as bladder or brain due to agent orange while the veterans and all the rest of the widows are being told no? In my life I don’t remember meeting anyone with brain tumors, yes I live in a relatively rural area, until I became a CVSO. Now I have met and worked with about 7, 6 Vietnam veterans, 1 Thailand. Seems pretty obvious to me. But of course when I ask the brain cancer research folks if they ask about military service they said it was not on their data.

    Oh and that raises the issue of Thailand airbases. Are they really so simple minded as to think that AO was only used on the air field perimeters? Take a look at some of the aerial view and you can see there is nearly no vegetation anywhere on the airfields, protect the high dollar assets by preventing cover, or around most mess halls and other various building. This have to prove you were on the fence line, on the airstrip, is insane.

    Thanks for letting me vent,
    PJ Babcock, CVSO
    SFC (Ret), US Army/Army Reserve (2004)

  46. I think one big thing is that the Judges need to understand that what is written in our VA records is misleading. IN MY CASE THE c7p DOCTOR SAW ME for a first time add my feet claim and then saw me for my Appeals board C&P. HE wrote in a way there was no change in my claim. A month or so after that the appealet court got my case how I don’t know and then sent it back to Waco and they put me back to C&P and saw the saw doctor. This time he found things to up my disablity. I went from 30% to 70%. How in a span on a couple months I had nothing wrong to several things wrong.
    Also the VA need to post were Vets can get to information on what dates the appeals board is working. A lawer can find out but a vet can not. Understanding that is not perfect but it gives a vet with an appeal about when he may hear from the board. And if they go way past that date on his appeal he can start asking what is up with his claim. My claim was also most 7 years and found out it got over looked and they found it and pushed it though. I believe on the most part the the aeal judges try to do the right thing and get it right. But as I said at the first the directors of the hospitals get all over the doctor for saying the wrong thing in a vets record I was told by a Dallas high doctor that. Hope this helps.

  47. I was 18 in the Naval submarines school in New London Conn. on my way back from class when a Lt. Nelson caught my attention and asked if I could give him a hand moving some boxes near by. I felt I could not refuse him and didn’t think any thing wrong with going to his office to help. When I arrived he pointed to a group of boxes on the floor across the room and as I picked up one I heard the door lock behind me.
    When I turned he had dropped his pants to the floor and was masturbating in front of me asking if I see anything I liked? I just stood frozen and said I think you’ve got the wrong guy Sir! He said put down the box and come here and then I was forced against my will to perform oral sex on him and after I became sick and threw up in a waste basket close by. I was then told you can’t tell anyone or I would be Court Marshal and sent to prison. Besides who are they going to believe you or an officer like me? Two weeks later I was given a note and told to report to a building for a meeting upon arriving I found Lt. Nelson again but this time he was with a Lt. Commander! I was fearful that he might have thought I’d told someone and was now in deep trouble. I was but not for that they both told me to follow and took me to a different office where they stripped me and took off their clothes and both took turns raping me from behind for the first time in my life I was terrified as I was also made to perform oral on the other as I was Raped! Again, and again I was told to keep quiet if I knew what was good for me. Since 2008 I have been trying to get a claim for PTSD when writing my Autobiography the memories came flooding back and after three Psychiatrist two of the VA and one not associated with the veteran department all came to the same conclusion I had sever PTSD along with other mental problems. When the board review my case the said NO he does not have PTSD ! How can people not in the Psychiatric field come back with that kind of conclusion?

    • @Keith I Peterson-

      Firstly, am truly sorry you have endured what you have. What you have vividly described is blatant Military Sexual Assault, regardless of gender or situation, there must be records of your in-service medical showing because of nerves, IBS issues, if you felt too pressured externally or by your own feelings of exploitation, and never let the military know, like USAF would have OSI, Office of Special Investigation, Nave would have NIS, et al., and I guess I am also speechless but also know you are not alone in yours or similarly vile experiences, in various Branches, and by equaled gender combinations, even freaking animals. Am thinking your tangible evidence and most importantly, undeniably showing it’s a Service-Connected event, you need to press-on, as emotionally challenging this will be to acquire your VA Benefits.

      Know that quite often, the vile snakes that do these kinds of things to each other are control freaks and with that, usually are a tight-well-connected in command chain of even fellow creeps or sociopathic enablers.

      I would even start talking to sexual assault advocacy groups, as again, this is something kept very muffled under the ugly radar, during war and non-war times in all Branches. A very small %, but more than enough for life-long collateral damage.
      Benjamin might be a bit busy at the moment but do not let that dissuade you from contacting him at the link on this page and your contact info. Maybe make bullet points of significance that follow timeline to where you are now just to keep it to point. Peace.

      • Cannot get the Reply button to click for Keith Peterson. Hopefully, you did get properly treated.
        Many VAMCs have special mental-health professionals dedicated to treating Military Sexual Trauma.

      • @Ovez Japanwalla- Only if you can pull those VA mental health “professionals” from their all glass conference rooms habitually masturbating to the public….because…the inmates are running the VA asylum.

  48. YOU NEED TO TELL THESE ATTORNEYS THAT THEY ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM WHEN THEY KEEP REMANDING APPEALS BACK TO THE VA DISTRICT OFFICES THAT MESSED EVERYTHING UP THE FIRST TIME. GET THESE APPEALS OFF THE HAMSTER WHEEL THAT THE DISTRICT OFFICES CREATE FOR THEIR BACKLOG TO ASK FOR MORE MONEY….MY 2007 APPEAL HAS BEEN REMANDED FOR THE THIRD TIME AND THIS IS JUST RIDICULOUS. THE VA MAKES THE SAME MISTAKES OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER…….

    AND THEIR REWARD IS MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY…..

    STOP THE MADNESS……..THEY SHOULD GET ONE SHOT AT IT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE AND IF THEY MESS UP, OH, WELL, WE WIN. …. BUT GIVING THEM YEARS AND YEARS AND REMANDS AND REMANDS TO GET IT RIGHT IS JUST NOT WORKING. …..OK …… BECAUSE THEY WILL NEVER EVER GET IT RIGHT, BECAUSE THEY HAVE YEARS AND YEARS AND MORE MONEY AND MORE MONEY AS THEIR REWARD FOR [email protected]#$ing IT UP THE FIRST TIME…

    FIRST RULE OF PHYSCOLOGY… NEVER REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR….

  49. I would like to know if the claims department can prove they have adjudicated each claim fully and why so many veterans claims are being dismissed and why so many veterans are not given the Benefit of the Doubt as per Law.

    Why, are there so many Veterans told their Military Records were Distroyed in the Saint Louis fire of May 1973, Veterans Discharged after the Fire were still told their records were destroyed ! When in fact that was not the case and the Veteran had to suffer for 40 years with PTSD and A TBI and unable to receive treatment because they denied the claim.

    And when the Veteran hires an Attorney why all of a sudden the Military records are Found, that proved the Veteran deserved their disability from day 1, Why the Veterans in these cases were not payed back pay from when they first applied, Knowing that the Veteran was not told the truth about their records being destroyed.

    Why are there so many reports of Veterans records missing or destroyed, Via Shredding or hidden, Why has no one been held accountable for lieing to Veterans about their claims.

    How many Claims are denied each day and put into Appeals

    Again why is the VA claims department no following the Law and giving the Benefit of the Doubt in claims.

    Why, Must they have Attorneys ? And why do Veterans have to Hire an Attorney to obtain a disability, that the claims department lied to the veteran about his records being destroyed, when they had them all along.

    Why are so many veterans sent denial letters on all most every case of veterans that I have spoken to or they give 0 percent and tell the veterans they need more evidence and it take veterans decades to get the proper rating.

    Last, How many employees have been fired because of them denying veterans their deserved claim, but were lied to.

    Need to pay back pay to any veteran, where it was found that they were lied to about their claim.

    Why does the VA not send reminders to veterans of what is needed to prove their case and provide the veteran with their full file so the veterans will know what their using to approve or deny the veterans claims. This should be Automatic !

  50. Set a “timeline” for VA SOC to NODs [ala FOIA response times]. Looking at WHERE delays occur – its in issuing SOC and getting the case to BVA.

    GO BEN!!

  51. I saw doctor “No” for about 5 min. He indicated he had reviewed my medical history then contradicted my PCP in almost every area. He is a P.A. and ignored my testimony,, my records, and checked no. Gatekeepers determined to keep that money in the VA. Hell, if the closed the VA, divided up the budget among all veterans seeking health care we would have a 20k each to buy private insurance and mortgage a home (for homeless and low income) or what ever. Fire all of these worthless “quacks” and social works/case mangers that don’t do anything, don’t know anything (or wont tell you what benefits are available) and in general incompetent and ignorant staff whose lack of care, and accountability is probably at the root of many of these veterans who are committing suicide. I would sure like to see the data… who is dying, why, and how many were struggling with VA issues. The VA is a criminal enterprise used as a jobs program and money laundering thru contractors for the upper administrators. I am sure many in congress are complicit and refuse to open the box. John McCain, a war veteran, own state has one of the worst VA hospital…. Phoenix. I wonder if he has even stepped foot in the place to see what else is going on behind closed doors. The put me in the metal health wing and it was utterly appalling how veterans are treated. Except for those abusing the system…. using mental health as an excuse for a place to stay after blowing there money on crack and what not. Frequent flyers who now ho to use the VA for b.s. What a great shame on the America people. What can we do?

  52. Laws are no longer followed ..

    Veterans Laws Unique Aspects and Implications

    The VA is legally obligated in ways that are unique to veterans laws. These obligations include the VA duty to assist veterans in the development of their claims. This guide provides an understanding of these unique aspects and their implications to veteran claimants.
    Perhaps the analogy most helpful to an understanding of the “benefit of the doubt” rule is that the standard is similar to the rule deeply embedded in sandlot baseball folklore that “the tie goes to the runner.” If the ball clearly beats the runner, he is out and the rule has no application; if the runner clearly beats the ball, he is safe and, again, the rule has no application; if, however, the play is close, then the runner is called safe by operation of the rule that “the tie goes to the runner.” Similarly, if a fair preponderance of the evidence is against a veteran’s claim, it will be denied and the “benefit of the doubt” rule has no application; if the veteran establishes a claim by a fair preponderance of the evidence, the claim will be granted and, again, the rule has no application; if, however, the play is close, i.e., “there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence,” the veteran prevails by operation of 38 U.S.C. section 5107(b). Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 49, 55-56 (1990).

    The Court has held that the failure of the BVA to apply the benefit of the doubt rule or to set forth clearly its reasons for not applying it constitutes error. See O’Hare v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 365, 367 (1991); Sussex v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 526, 529 (1991). In addition, the Court notes that 38 U.S.C. 1154(b) provides specifically that the Secretary “shall resolve every reasonable doubt in favor of the veteran.” 38 C.F.R. § 3.302. Furthermore, when the BVA can cite no evidence or facts by which to impeach or contradict a claim, there is no justifiable basis upon which to deny application of the doctrine under 38 C.F.R. § 3.102. Sheets v. Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 512, 516-17 (1992).

    Veterans Laws Unique Aspects and Implications → Benefit of the Doubt → Benefit of the Doubt

    4.1. Benefit of the Doubt

    Pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 3.102, any reasonable doubt must be resolved in favor of the appellant

    “[w]hen there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence regarding any issue material to the determination of a matter.”

    “The Secretary shall consider all information and lay and medical evidence of record in a case before the Secretary with respect to benefits under laws administered by the Secretary.When there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence regarding any issue material to the determination of a matter, the Secretary shall give the benefit of the doubt to the claimant.” 38 U.S.C. § 5107(b).

  53. Here’s something which I believe wasn’t touched upon.

    Re: Those veterans who’ve had “Clear and Unmistakable Errors” made during their claims process!

    For example;
    How about a vet going over 20 years – at 10%, then continued at 50%, due to a “incorrect diagnosis”. All due to a VBA employee “changing the diagnosis”. Not the rate of compensation!

    Then one day the vet does an investigation, to realize he/she was misdiagnosed!
    Yet, in his/her medical file, 20+ years prior, is proof positive a “misdiagnosis” was made.
    Shouldn’t VBA be held accountable for, not only correcting the ‘mistake’, but granting the vet all the back pay due? Especially IF the rate of disability/compensation is raised, say from 50% to 100%?

    I had this happen to me! That’s how I know it’s probably happening to other veterans!
    Problem #1 is, most VSO’s won’t go “that extra mile” to help veterans with this issue. It’s only when a veteran retains an attorney, will VBA realize and correct the situation.
    Problem #2 is, most attorneys won’t touch it. Unless there’s a LOT of money involved!

  54. will this “meet” return the the same results you & Ron left with, after the McDonald meet you two attended?

    i think i recall. though could be wrong, those results weren’t too favorable.

    But ask them the questions anyways and see how the ball is played.

  55. Current wait time to get your C-File through an FOIA request is 8 months. It would be helpful, and also cut down on the time a veteran waits, if people that are filing FOIA requests, just to find information on someone other than themselves, are forced to the back of the bus. Veterans filing FOIA requests for their own records should take precedence over all ohter requests.

  56. Massive efforts are underway to trick future veterans and to engage a system that eliminates the blockage of JAG and other lawyers being able to have proper professional contact with their Client.

    Kindly read:

    GBX CONSULTANTS, INC.

    Professional Services Management Firm

    GBX Consultants, Inc., is a professional services management firm that provides superior business consulting, project and program management, and employment training services in both the public and private sector. GBX has a solid reputation for quickly and accurately translating the overall organizational vision and mission into actionable tasks, which results in the development of sound business reengineering and transformation initiatives that accomplish organization’s goals.
    We bring together perspectives from a wide range of industries and business models and seek out practical sources of action; not abstract or conceptual models. Our clients get the best results and gain a competitive edge.

    Can a private firm located on a military base administer “how to” advice on VA issues including even displaying their title as VA Benefits Advisor?

    Can the private firm in substance “advice” their “client” on base who also has a spouse of a foreign country at the base gates and such advice deals with decisions that impact on the spouse’s future benefits?

    Is there an end run in process to eliminate the JAG duties to advise active soldiers and their spouses as part of a program and substitute un licensed lawyers to give advice without disclosing first their conflicts of interest, their over-all skills in light of the whole picture and their access to information not made known to the client?

    Is the the future way to weed down VETS, the costs and just another hidden agenda where the VET in the end does not receive what was third party beneficiary his right under the contracts?

    Good Luck with your answers. Read the VOW Act. Look See
    at the Feds paying huge amounts for these professional consultants who are not licensed lawyers and have no malpractice insurance and who are likely unknowingly being “used” as much as the “vet” is being mislead — is this possible?

    • Hey hleebell,

      I found your comment interesting and started checking things out. Almost immediately found troubling info on GBX. Right from the get go on their website’s about us page they state:

      “GBX Consultants, Inc. is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business with offices in the Washington, D.C. metro area and Southern California. We have operations in 50 states, 2 U.S. territories, and 16 countries across 15 time zones.”

      To me that is a very large area for any small business to cover.

      Further checking through FedMine showing their Dunns number and main office location provides the address: “6858 OLD DOMINION DR STE 200, MC LEAN, VA 22101-3832”.

      A Google search of that address show that Ste 200 at that address is also the same address and Ste for MedStar.

      MedStar’s websites about us page states the following:

      “MedStar Health’s physicians, nurses, researchers, and support staff are all focused on one thing—caring for you and your family. Our 30,000 associates and 6,000 affiliated physicians support MedStar’s patient-first philosophy of care, compassion, clinical excellence, and customer service.”

      MedStar is defiantly not a small business and is not Service-Disabled Veteran Owned. But it does claim to be a non-profit business.

      A check of Google maps show that the same Suite 200 at the same address shows that both MedStar and GBX are actually inside the loop considered McLean-Langley VA.

      Back to GBX’s website and the management are all former intelligence agency empolyees.

      Basically GBX is CIA.

      Sources

      FedMine at:

      “http://www.fedmine.us/userDownloadedfiles/Contractor_DUNS_833113157-GBXCONSULTANTS,INC_copyright_FEDMINE_211319.html”

      ~
      Google Search at:

      “https://www.google.com/#q=6858+OLD+DOMINION+DR+STE+200,+MCLEAN,+VA+22101-3832”

      ~
      GBX website about us page:

      “http://www.gbxconsultants.com/company/about-us”

      ~
      MedStar Website showing address for MedStar:

      “http://www.medstarnrh.org/our-network/locations/mclean/#q={}”

      ~
      MedStar Website’s about us page:

      “http://www.medstarhealth.org/mhs/about-medstar/#q={}”

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Definitely worth looking into

  57. All board members should be veterans.

    When I went for my Agent Orange evaluation the Doctor said,
    “I am going to ask you 3 questions”.
    1. Do you have cancer? (no) – 2. Do you have diabetes? (No) 3. Do you have heart failure? (no)
    “Well, then you have no effects from Agent Orange”.

    He would not consider Neuropathy or Amyloidosis.

    • Do you have any information if those conditions. May be caused by the agent orange

      If you can find that they do get copies. File an appeal and use that information as proof and ask to be seen by someone else.

  58. Ben, I am pleased your going to be on this panel even if I have no confidence of anything changing.

    My husband, Marvin continues to be in limbo as far as AO discisions. We currently have 74% disability for PTSD and hearing loss.

    He has kidney cancer with mets to the brain and colon cancer. They missed his brain mets and it took 4 months and seeing outside doctors to finally get a diagnosis.

    The VA in Atlanta sent him to Emory and met with us stating all treatment outside the VA would be covered 100%. Another lie. We had our attorney file a claim for miss diagnosis and of course that was denied. I had to leave my job of 14 years and go through my retirement before any real help arrived.

    The VA has also declined to pay for cost incurred at Emory, where they sent him because they could not treat him at the Atl. VA. He is under hospice care at home and even though I was told I would receive payment as his full time caregiver that too was denied.

    It’s crazy that the VA can continue to deny him and me for disability. Marvin’ s case has been reviewed by doctors who have no experience with his cancers or any cancer for that matter. He has for letters from his doctors, two of the VA docs that state it’s most likely that AO is the cause for his cancers this was not enough.

    Listing all the rainbow agents under AO is another way to deny vets their due. Take for instance Agent White. This was a mix of AO and Picloram. Publican was outlawed in the U.S. as a cleaning solution for dry cleaning due to it’s carcinogenic effects on people. Picloram is a nasty chemical that causes kidney and colon cancer.

    The VA knows this but still denies it. Marvin was stationed for a month in Camp LeJune, claim denied.

    The VA can waste a billion dollars in just a few short years but they fight tooth and bloody nail to deny as many vets as possible.

    The average annual bonus for the VA according to a recent report is 400 million. Just how many vets could benefit from 400 million.

    A wasted 500 million on hospital construction overages and rock art. That close to a billion dollars. Seems a billion dollars would go a long way in paying claims to veterans.

    One VA exec received a $63,000 bonus for 2015. For what? As long as the VA is in the horrible shape it’s in I don’t understand why the bonuses.

    I think you picking out some of the best correspondence you receive here and showing what vets are continuing to experience is not a bad idea. We have been battling the VA since 2005. 11 years too long. Perhaps if the VA spent less time trying to deny everyone and did their jobs, money would be saved and vets served.

    Just my humble opinion.

  59. Ben…
    You asked:
    #1) “What one change would you like to see the Board or VA make based on your personal experience with Board hearings, appeals, or the claims adjudication process?”
    AND…
    #2) “Based on your experience with BVA or the VA claims adjudication process, what are we doing well and what should we continue to do?”

    Answer #1):
    a.) For starters, Veterans are required to file a SF 4138 to file a disability claim. The RO reviews the claim and schedules a Veteran for a Claims and Pension exam.
    Nothing wrong with is so far, but the following is where the problems start to occur.
    When a Veteran attends the C&P exam, lets say, for Orthopedic or Neurological, the doctor conducting the exam, for the most part, does NOT possess sufficient enough knowledge in these fields of study.
    Most understand the basics, however, attending a C&P for an accurate assessment of the Veterans condition(s), is like an individual going to an eye doctor for an ingrown toenail.
    A LOT of Veterans (esp. ME) are victims of the “Appeal Hell” (mine is 14 yrs.+), due to these examiners, who have no business opining on medical opinions involving conditions they have very little knowledge about.
    Doctors who opine on conditions they are not specialists in, are committing LIBEL, being that it is written and the adjudicators are rendering their opinions based on truthful and accurate statements, made by those C&P doctors.
    b.) Doctors have a tendency of making “Personal Opinions” and/or failing to document EVERYTHING a Veteran states during an exam.
    Case in Point:
    I once mentioned that I refused to wear a back brace, because it is uncomfortable, it makes me sweat something fierce and i was advised not to for a certain length of time.
    My PCP entered: “Refuses to wear back brace, because “…it makes me sweat”.
    Another slanderous statement made…
    I was prescribed Zocor for a slightly elevated Cholesterol. The pharmacist instructed me regarding side effects, one being muscle weakness. I was told to STOP due to any effects.
    I took two pills and started feeling weakness in my legs.
    My PCP asked why I stopped, I told him of the side effects and that I should have to pay for that brand of Meds.
    He entered: “When asked why he stopped Zocor, he refuses to pay the copay”.
    This same jackass now runs the clinic!?
    At a recent C&P exam, the doctor had sent me a letter, stating that she found “Abnormalities”, yet, when I reviewed her notes, I did not notice any notes resorting to those abnormalities?!

    c.) It appears that no one is paying attention to details, ESPECIALLY with Veterans who have a multi volume file.
    When I was employed at a local RO, the F-A-T folders pending outcomes, just sat in peoples cubicles, sat under tables, on top of file cabinets as bookends for a row. They are sidelined and the less complex, < 10 pg. folders were adjudicated.
    The reason…"INCENTIVE PAY" aka: Quota bonus.
    Each quarter, Regional Offices jockeyed for incentive pay, by competing with other ROs for a cash infusion in everyones check, if they resolve so many claims, within so much time; to reduce the backlog.

    The PROBLEM with this…
    i) Management at these ROs must get substantially more pay, because they really 'pressure' employees to perform and if they don't, they are written up. After 3 write ups, they are either demoted or terminated. This forces adjudicators to solve the 'Easy' files first, just so they meet a quota.

    ii) Important issues are either dropped or missed, due to people not comprehending what the Veteran
    writes or the folder collects dust, and is worked when employees are close to meeting or beating a quota. Then, it is rushed through.

    iii) It seemed like what was more important were the day to day meetings, Pot Lucks and Office Retirement parties.

    ALL of this, forcefully puts the Veteran in an appeal status.

    Answer to #2…

    Shouldn't this question be worded: "Based on your experience with BVA or the VA claims adjudication process, what are we NOT doing well and what should we continue to do?"
    Well…for starters…
    a.) Hire doctors in 'specialized' fields, so "General Practitioners" are NOT rendering false and/or misleading information!
    b.) Get rid of that stupid incentive pay! Let people spend a reasonable time on a Veterans claims, rather than rushing them through, with plenty of mistakes.
    c.) START A SECOND SHIFT, by hiring temporary workers, train them and resolve this terrible backlog.
    i.) Hire more admin law Judges, for the insurgence of cases about to enter BVA.
    d.) A C&P exam should be conducted de novo, whereas these doctors should NOT have access to any controversial statements made by other doctors.
    e.) Doctors should be held accountable, if they make false and misleading statements (Libel) about ANY ailment that could have an adverse effect on a Veterans claim.
    f.) The Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ), should be revamped…it is to long and cumbersome.

    There are three prongs to establishing a Whistleblower Claim…
    #1) Gross Waste of Funds
    #2) Gross Mismanagement
    #3) Abuse of Authority

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is guilty of all three prongs.
    #1) Forcing a Veteran into an appeals process unnecessarily is a waste of taxpayer funds. Awarding employees with an "Incentive Bonus" is just salt on an already open taxpayer wound!

    #2) I don't have to address the #2 prong, fore it's clearly obvious that my and many other files have been mismanaged for many years.

    #3) Abuse is somewhat vague and more difficult, but I can relate it as abuse, when a doctor doesn't disclose everything accurately and truthfully…an adjudicator resolves your issues w/o reviewing all the facts in your file…a C&P examiner renders a medical opinion of a Veteran, before they walk into the office, primarily due to what other doctors said.

  60. You can tell them my wife had her claim in for nine years before the BVA granted it after it was sent to a expert medical opinion. Then they didn’t get it right, even after McDonald sent it back. She is rated home bound due to her Lupus, and PTSD, Chronic Lung disease, and a host of other ailments, even the doctor giving the medical opinion stated they were manifestations of her rated lupus. They still only gave her 90% total with IU and Homebound. Does that make sense to anyone. So now it’s back to the drawing board with a resubmission. But, because of that SOCIAL SECURITY Denied her claim twice, and we had to hire an attorney, and are waiting for a hearing. I myself am a Wheelchair Bound War Veteran with 340% worth of service connections with R2 status, and aid and attendance and service connected Multiple Sclerosis, so it’s difficult for me to do anything, and I’m waiting for the VA to start rating children of Gulf War Veterans, because after our return we had two kids. One is bi-polar, cuts, and Anerexic and Belimic, and the other has Spinal Bifida and Spondolysiosis, with a space in his spine and a fracture. Yet he still managed to become a 2 time All-State First Team Basketball player, with lots of scholarships he had to turn down due to the pain he put himself through and moving to a class 2 with his spondolysiosis, due to his playing, that has crushed him. But he is going to nursing school because of what we have been through. Always available at [email protected]. God bless my Brothers and Sisters

  61. Last October of 2016 the VA website said the BVA was reviewing cases with docket dates up to October of 2014. This was posted on their website. The day after the presidential election (last November) the docket dates started moving in reverse by months at a time. Within 6 weeks after the election, they moved all the way back to February of 2013, and it’s still there now. How can this be? Why is nobody talking about this? Since cases to review are taken in docket date order, how can they go backwards by a year and 9 months within 6 weeks, especially after being given more money by congress to hire additional judges to review cases? It took two years to move the current docket date from January of 2013 to get all the way up to October of 2014, and now within a few weeks have slid all the way back to February of 2013. No way could there be that many hardship cases filed and approved to cause such a reverse action. I check the current docket date at the VA website every morning as I’ve done for years and watched my docket date ( May of 2014) go from being reviewed at any day now to currently being years away from a review once again. I’ve yet to get a straight answer from the VA concerning this and the logic behind it. Does anyone out there have an answer as to how or why this happened? The funny thing is the current docket numbers on the VA website are listed under…”Helpful Information”. Helpful to who? With what they are doing, anybody with a BVA claim will never have any idea what-so-ever on when their claim will be up for review.
    I was originally told they were about 3 years behind. Now over two and a half years later, with my locked in Docket date (supposedly) and what they’re showing, it’s looking more like 6 or 7 years. I sure would like to know who controls the website docket dates and how this could possible happen. Does anyone know?

    • The APPEALS PROCESS IS BROKEN AND VETERANS DIED WAITING JUSTICE. THE BIGGEST SCAM OF IT ALL IS AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES DENIED CLAIMS. MY APPEALS HAVE BOUNCED FOR 31 YEARS. H.R.809 THE FOSTER ACT WITH THE MASSIVE COVERUP OF AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES ON ANDERSEN.AFB GUAM DURING VIETNAM WAR AND LATER. THE VA APPEALS PROCESS KILLED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS AND THEIR CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN. SHAME ON YOU ALL. MAY YOU ALL ANSWER TO ALMIGHTY GOD FOR YOUR CRIMES AGAINST US.

      • Leroy, your exposure was different than the exposure of the veterans that were sprayed with soil sterilizing strength Agent Orange and were unable to change clothing or wash until it rained.

        On Guam at Anderson AFB, you had the option of but probably the order to wear protective clothing although you probably considered it to hot to wear. I’m sure that is in the consideration of your denial along with the state side exposures for the same reason as well as the corn farmers and other grain farmers that used it for weed control at a lesser strength.

        Does that make you feel better for your mistake? I suspect not but I suspect the order to you was in writing. If your supervisor ignored it then you need his testimony to that effect or others with similar experience.

        You can use TITLE 41, Section §7101
        (9) MISREPRESENTATION OF FACT. The term “misrepresentation of fact” means a false
        statement of substantive fact, or conduct that leads to a belief of a substantive fact material to proper understanding of the matter in hand, made with intent to deceive or mislead.
        As a possible way to break through the obstruction if indeed that exists in your case.

      • Ben, Boy are you misinformed. I was using exactly what was sprayed from C123 aircraft which theirs didnt penetrate the soil but did defoliate the trees. I however mixed the AO DRUMS with diesel fuel and waste JP4. AS WELL AS USED SILVEX 50 LBS BAGS AND MIXED WITH WATER AND WASTE JP4. SILVEX AS YOU KNOW HAD 7 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF TCDD DIOXIN THAN DRUM AO. ANDERSEN AFB DIOXIN LEVELS REACHED 19,000 PPM IN THE SOIL. NOWHERE IN VIETNAM IS IT THAT CONTAMINATED WITH MASSIVE PLUMS OF TCE AND PCE, ARSENIC AND LEAD IN THE NORTHERN LENS ACQUIFER . I WAS GI’VE NEVER A RUBBER APRON, A FACE SHIELD AND RUBBER BOOTS THAT WERE USED TO TRANSFER LOX AND RUBBER GLOVES NOT ASBESTOS GLOVES. I WAS TOLD TO WEAR THEM WHEN LOADING THE AO HERBICIDES INTO THE TRAILER BUT NOT SPRAYING IT BECAUSE IT WAS UNSAFE TO DO SO STANDING ON THE MOVING TRAILER. THE AO HERBICIDES BLEW BACK ON ME FROM THE WIND AND NO I WASN’T ABLE TO WASH OFF MILES FROM ANY FACILITY. YOU ARE A SAD SAD MAN. YOU DONT HAVE A CLUE OF REAL EXPOSURE. NOT SITTING IN A FUCKING OFFICE IN SAIGON IDIOT.

      • As I said, law sees the Military as doing thing right presumptively unless proven otherwise. You can’t do it on just your say so. You need some proof to get to discovery. An FOIA request for the written orders of the time from the Base Commander to your OIC and witnesses of your OIC’s orders would suffice under Title 41 and Title 28. The Court Decision on Agent Orange Specifies in Country Vietnam. You have to have a new case and break the SOL shit out of luck statute of limitations.

        So you are the one not informed enough. Never sat down with an attorney, I take it.

      • Two of my campaigns are Operation Prairie I and Prairie II. Kiss off know nothing never been there MSGT.

        And you might spend some time googling Agent Orange and 2-4D, the marking on the barrels we hauled up the Cua Viet River on the LARCS to Dong Ha.

    • I got a ridiculous ruling on my PTSD problem, I then filed an NOD almost a year ago and nothing. I am finding that C&P should never have reviewed my file based on their own guidelines. Before I filed for disability I had been treated for years by the VA Health who said I had combat related trauma. Their decline summary is a total joke.

      I have been asked to go to D.C. to testify sometime in April, are you going too? My daughter was Donald Trump’s first Miss USA and a close friend is very close to Mike Pence.

      • John, whether you think Trump or Pence are well informed on this, PLEASE don’t pass up The opportunity to let them know what reality is like for veterans.

        They likely do know, but tell them anyway to counter what they are hearing from ass-covering bureaucrats.

      • Speak up for us also, John. Get expanded BVA and CVA Judge Panels until we get caught up on the back log. Title 28 allows a drawing from retired judges for this purpose. They still draw a full pay check and many volunteer for 5 year recalls. They can be set up for teleconferencing from their home to grant hearings and have clerks that can brief the cases.

    • I do not know the direct answer, But if you would go to You Tube and look up the Committee of Veterans Affairs past committee meetings this may give you insight on how the VBA will take a case and deny it and how its sent to another desk, So it shows action taken and that file is no longer counted as being considered as part of the back Log.

      The VA Admitted that only 10% of denial letters to veterans, where the Veterans will not reapply for their Benefits. So they are playing the old Game of Deny, Deny, Hope you Die, Tactic.

      This tactic is harming veterans, just like the wait list scandal. There were over 500 thousand claims and over 200 thousand veterans Died before their claims were completed. Many Veterans have received a letter from VBA after they have died, telling the veterans they need to provide more evidence.

      The Veterans would have been able to provide proof, But without being allowed to receive care, because they do not have an Adjudicated claim through VBA. They are left without treatment and there fore unable to get the proof needed.

      Running Veterans in a Big Circle. If Veterans would watch the Veterans Committee in Washington, they can see with their own Eyes, How the VA will Lie, Lie, Lie and the committee members call them out and keep getting double talk and when asked who was in charge no one knows. Because they do the same thing with VA employee’s, as they do with Veterans files. MOVE them, that way no one can be held accountable.

      IT WASNT ME, That Happened Before I came on !

    • Gene,
      Because of guys like me. I got an advance on the docket because of my age at 75 for a 2015 rating decision appeal on a claim submitted in 2009 and another in action since 1991. It took 6 months to get it meaning there were 6 months of applications ahead of me for the office considering those applications, meaning if you were under 75 and not terminal or destitute you were waiting to be even considered for docketing. Docketing is from certification date (the date you are reporting) which is in control of the local VARO. Just getting that far may take you decades.

      Lots of VAROs were treating veterans as far as certifying an appeal like I was treated. So you have a lot of 75 plus year olds that can step in ahead of you. Of course if you are over 75, poverty stricken or terminal you can apply for an advancement on the docket yourself.

      Hope this helps you understand the situation you are experiencing. I’m suggesting my original claim was way ahead of your original claim but my docketing certification didn’t occur until 2015 well behind yours. It may be positive for you to know I have all ready had my first BVA hearing and now my DE novo review is being processed. But my VA Comp and Pen file is over 6 ft thick if stacked in one pile. So it is going to hold up the BVA getting to your case unless Congress expands the number of BVA judges. You might join me and others in requesting your Congressman and Senators do that. They could cut the bloat out of the privatized Choice contracts to pay for it.

      The judges serve for a lot less than $5,000,000.00 per year in compensation compared to the average for the top 5 executives of Health Net and Triwest (total of 10 executives and over $50,000,000.00).

      The VA might expand the Medicare Billing offices to take over the claims processing and turn the appointments making over to an expanded 1 800 827 1000 phone bank on government salaries. The executives would get a lot less and that would mean paying a little more for operators would be well in hand for the total expenditure.

      • A lot you know about it MSGT. I have 5 campaign ribbons. How many do you have? And do you have 43 years of VA experience and a Comp & Pen File if stacked one page on top of the other that is over 6 feet tall? Yeh, I was only an HM1 with 2 years in country. Kiss my ass.

      • Thank’s for the come-back Lem. I didn’t know about the 75 years of age rule. If the current docket date set-back is indeed due to this then the current docket dates they are showing means pretty much next to nothing. Maybe by the time I hit 75 my turn will finally come up by moving up on the list. Based on how they now operate, it looks like the BVA wait time right now is about 6 to 7 years. They must have just got flooded all at once for the docket dates to move backwards by over a year and a half in 6 weeks time. With Trump threatening a complete overhaul of the entire VA system, I was suspicious about the current docket date going backwards the day after he won the election. There are a lot of angry vets out there that are frustrated with the system and lash out on these boards. We’re all in the same boat guys. Nothing is accomplished by fighting each other. The only ones that really understand the sacrifices vets have made are other vets and their families. The Government pretty much looks at us as collateral damage that’s better off forgotten as opposed to the cost of wars. I’d like to thank everyone here for their service and the personal sacrifices they have made. You are all true Americans and what makes up the best part of our country.

      • All claims were denied under McDonald at the rating board level. Probably an employee revolt or the individuals assigned didn’t feel qualified to make the judgement. Thus the BVA was flooded.

  62. Note what this VA guideline says. It is not followed by the South Georgia, North Florida C&P. I have been treated by the VA Health for 6 years for combat related trauma and they define it as PTSD. The VA gives me 4 prescriptions for my problems and when I told them that treat me I was declined they rolled their eyes.

    Here is the VA guideline which was not followed in my case.

    • 38 CFR § 3.304 (f) (3)

    3) If a stressor claimed by a veteran is related to the veteran’s fear of hostile military or terrorist activity and a VA psychiatrist or psychologist, or a psychiatrist or psychologist with whom VA has contracted, confirms that the claimed stressor is adequate to support a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder and that the veteran’s symptoms are related to the claimed stressor, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, and provided the claimed stressor is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran’s service, the veteran’s lay testimony alone may establish the occurrence of the claimed in-service stressor.”

  63. James Gallegos and 91Veteran you are both spot on as the British say. James, thanks for the meeting info, I will pass it on to my committee. We are forming a non-paid committee that will deal with the realities of the VA C&P and Health. I personally have had great care from the Health group here in Jacksonville, FL. I have serious back problems and PTSD, but I have very caring VA health people taking care of me.

    I have buddies in Western NY and the Regional VA C&P followed the guidelines. Guys that I served with that went thru my traumas got 100% within 6 months. They deserved it. They will be on the committee too. If you would like to be on the committee and have irrefutable experiences or evidence we would welcome you to join us. Wounded Warriors is just down the street and I am going to talk with them about joining us. They need all the good press they can get. I hope they have changed their ways, I have heard they have?

    • LOL. I had a meeting in the Central Office with 5 top DVA executives including a media person on organic brain syndromes in October of 1995. Nothing came of it. The effort was misused to get a drug trial that was reported in the 1998 along with other denials to the House VA Committee.

      John Booss, MD, Department of Veterans Affairs National Director of Neurology at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT, in his testimony before the Subcommittee on Benefits, House Committee on Veterans Affairs , on July 16, 1998

      Prepare for a long hall. It took 3 administrations to get to the 2008 TBI decision by Congress from my beginning effort in 1988. But keep trying and turn up the heat. It may help a little. Just be aware the lobbyist have more campaign contribution money than you do. And the corruption swamp is very deep.

      • I recognize that. Just pointing out the lobbyist with check books are the ones that get listened to in DC. Spent more than 3 years off and on total in DC. And as I said, it took more than 20 years to get a little. And that was only done through the Media. So seek out the media and do your best after you have been heard by the Government. The government won’t listen unless there is a public outcry. It’ll be to busy listening to the sound of a pen on a check book.

        And it is certainly going to test your patience.

      • Look up Bray v Derwinski at the 9th. You’ll see I was also on a mission for others. Most who are worse off than I am and are still being stiffed by the VA. I was compensated by the VA for my TBI from 1983. 9 years late but at least by the time I went to DC I was getting 50% combined compensation.

        How could I turn my back on those who were similarly injured, many in combat or on the front line, while my injury was stateside in an MVA on liberty.

        The 2008 TBI rule change was a start. It still leaves much to be desired in the rehabilitation area as well as recognizing the economic deficit experienced by most that get under 50% compensation.

        You have a lot to work on. Across the street from the Post is a Union office that won’t let you use their premise for a sign against the Post. Don’t expect any help from places you would expect to help you but be happy if some one or some organization offers a hand.

        Any assistance I can give I’ll be happy to give.

      • There is a street rag, I think it is called the Metropolitan News. It is free and printed twice a week I think. Most Washingtonians pick it up. Your best inroad is to get some Washingtonians to support your effort. They are there full time. Pick it up but be aware that if you can get them to do a story on your effort it may be a hatchet job done for an advertising lobbyist. It is the way the town works.

  64. Also: Nils R. Varney, Ph.D., Director of Training at the Iowa City VA Medical Center, in his testimony before the Subcommittee on Benefits, House Committee, on July 16, 1998,

  65. Why doesn’t the Veterans Board of Appeals just stop these games that they play? Do they really not know the terrible problems that they have and need feed-back on them? First and foremost are the long wait periods. When they get your paperwork and any new evidence it can take 90 days just to get you in their system. Any time they go to Congress and ask for more funding to fix a problem, they get it. Why don’t they ask for enough to get caught up on Appeals? Veterans having to wait for years just to get someone over there to pick up their case file is completely ridiculous. Their excuse is a shortage of man power. Try telling the IRS, or any of the places you do business with that you’re too busy doing other things to look over what you owe and write a check to them. You’d have your utilities shut off, home repossessed, and pay a ton of penalties and interest to the IRS. Nobody but the VA gets away with this garbage. If the big wigs there really have no clue how to fix this or what it takes, and need feedback, then they shouldn’t be running the show there to begin with. Asking for Veteran feedback is a joke and a bad one at that. Nobody wants to see any more of their phoniness or hear their new “Veterans First” slogans. Stop talking crap and try showing us something for a change. The Board of Appeals is running about 5 or 6 years behind now and the VA is also losing ground on new claims. This whole thing is an insult to every ones intelligence. Supposedly there is a bill in congress that’s supposed to speed the process up. They’ll approve it, implement it. wait a year, see that the VA has fallen even further behind on claims, The VA will make up a ton of excuses like they always do and things will just continue the same way. If the VA hasn’t received enough negative feedback by now, from Veterans complaining about the appeals process, then they must have their fingers in their ears all the time which would explain why nothing ever gets done over there.

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