VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, is enacting rule changes that could impact Individual Unemployability claims for veterans who are severely disabled and unable to hold traditional employment after previously promising he would not do it.

Despite many promises, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and now Secretary Shulkin, looks to be eyeing cuts to Individual Unemployability benefits through Individual Disabilities regulations after scheming behind the scenes for four years to reduce benefits for severely disabled veterans at the direction of the Obama Administration.

According to VA in the Friday Federal Register publication:

VA had already proposed to clarify section 3.321(b)(1) as part of a regulation rewrite project in 2013; however, a subsequent decision by the Federal Circuit held that section 3.321(b)(1) required VA to consider the combined effects of two or more service-connected disabilities when determining extra-schedular evaluations. Johnson v. McDonald, 762 F.3d 1362, 1365-66 (Fed. Cir. 2014), rev’g 26 Vet. App. 237 (2013). This decision conflicts with VA’s longstanding interpretation of section 3.321(b)(1), and VA therefore decided to amend the regulation in a separate rulemaking to clarify its interpretation of the regulation.

Now, under the Trump Administration, the cuts by way of regulatory change as implemented, may make it much more difficult to qualify for Individual Unemployability benefits for some severely disabled veterans. Most will be unaffected.

Based on concerns from insiders, this is likely the first in a serious of a few steps Shulkin’s VA will take to cut veterans benefits including Individual Unemployability benefits.

Let me explain the behind the scenes and why I think veterans seeking Individual Unemployability benefits should be concerned.

Some Anonymous Insider Feedback

Many insiders were unaware this rule was published at all until they read about it here, on DisabledVeterans.org.

How is that for transparency?  Traditional veteran organizations including The Big 6 did not know it was coming out, or if they did, they told no one. Reporters for the main stream media did not address it after a few days, either. The rule’s publication lacked the normal coordination and transparency of practically every other publication in the past, according to my contacts inside VA.

On the surface, the change also appears innocuous in that it facially addresses a change to 38 CFR 3.321(b) by abrogating the Federal Circuit’s opinion in Johnson – more on this in a second – but something is fishy.

Again, insiders under a condition of anonymity, indicate this regulatory change did not follow traditional policymaking, coordination, and consultation with those impacted. Few inside VA knew it was promulgated within Veterans Benefits Administration under Tom Murphy’s team that includes Rob Reynolds, Jamie Manaker, and Beth McCoy. This is an example of legacy Obama Team currently leading VBA prior to a political nomination of an Under Secretary by President Donald Trump.

Let’s see what other last decision Under Secretary Tom Murphy and his band of misfits will try to push through prior to being pushed out of power once VA names a nominee for Tom’s seat.

While some may believe this move is only a small move that could be used against veterans fighting for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits who need an extra-schedular rating, it is more likely a part of a broader initiative to attack these move vulnerable and most disabled veterans under the “wolf in sheep’s skin” approach.

Historically, it is highly irregular for a rule to be processed to only address one case. It calls into question how staff resources were being allocated without transparency. The second and third order consequences may actually be the driver this rule change to see how the public responds before gunning at TDIU directly.

However, another insider speculates the rule may have zero material effect and that few awards were based on the Johnson framework but instead caught up in appeals due to agency confusion since 2013. So, veterans seeking TDIU should not worry…

Let’s hope this insider is right.

But some concerns jump out right away about that line of reasoning including that many veterans benefit from extra-schedular consideration when seeking benefits.

First, Johnson was decided in 2013 during a regulatory rewrite as part of a broader scheme to reform VA regulations. Anytime you see anything about reform, you know the agency is looking to cut benefits. Now, the Johnson decision supposedly resulted in a fair amount of confusion and appeals because the regulation in question, 38 CFR 3.321(b) according to VA, was no longer being interpreted consistently with VA’s interpretation.

Second, VA is caught in an appeals backlog where the Board of Veterans Appeals is taking 3-5 years to process an appeal. That pushes the date of pending matters back to appeals filed 2013-2015. These pending matters will be mooted if not decided prior to January 8, 2018. How is that for fair?

Third, this rulemaking was promulgated without following standard coordination and transparency procedures. It also appears to be part of a broader initiative to restrict access to extra-schedular evaluations.

So, is this an insignificant change? If it is insignificant, why allocate hundreds of manhours to promulgate the rule change to begin with? Further, why does VA want to moot all pending claims under the existing interpretation of Johnson?

Or, did Johnson throw a monkey wrench in a series of regulatory reforms aimed at nixing benefits like Individual Unemployability, just like Shulkin as talked about since March 2017 and precisely what VA envisioned for the past 4 years?

SEE: Extra-Schedular Evaluations For Individual Disabilities

VA Policies Span Decades And Presidents

This regulatory change is evidence that agency policy is driven by forces that span further and wider than eight years of any presidency. The Congressional Budget Office has been after Individual Unemployability cuts for a long time and their bosses are winning.

It is also further evidence that my insider source this spring was correct about VA initiating a sequence of benefits cuts while veteran organizations sit on the sideline without effectively obstructing the cuts as part of a backroom deal.

RELATED: Big 6 Secret Negotiation With VA To Allow Benefits Cuts

Who The Change May Affect

The severely disabled veterans who need to be nervous are those seeking Individual Unemployability benefits without at least one 60% rating who are also relying on an extra-schedular rating to get TDIU could be impacted. Other veterans relying on extra-schedular for the same when factoring in multiple ratings may also be affected.

Those with pending claims hung up in the appeals process will lose out if the pending matter is not resolved prior to January 8, 2018.

VA will screw severely disabled veterans of backpay and monthly compensation payments worth hundreds of millions if not billions in money. Many of these veterans will be forced to seeking help from already stretched local or state resources, instead.

RELATED: Shulkin Promises Not To Cut TDIU Benefits Program

Now, not all veterans seeking TDIU should be impacted by this rule change. It affects veterans relying on extra-schedular.

Nonetheless, VSOs are wary the rule change is part of a broader initiative to reverse benefits for severely disabled veterans.

Individual Unemployability Cuts To Benefits

For the past ten months, Shulkin floated a variety of cut ideas to the public freaking veterans out and confusing stakeholders about the agency’s intention.

It seemed like each month a new scheme would be floated to pay for one area of benefits by cutting benefits for at least some veterans who otherwise qualify for Individual Unemployability benefits. After enough of an outcry, Shulkin would issue a promise he would not cut Individual Unemployability benefits.

RELATED: Top 5 Individual Unemployability Misconceptions

It looks like that this was all an act and veteran organizations went along for the ride.

If you carefully read the Federal Registry publication this past Friday, you will see VA intended to implement the cuts in 2013, but a lawsuit forced the agency to stop its scheme. In April 2016, VA initiated notice and comment to circumvent a decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

After a lot of pushback, Shulkin promised he would not reduce the benefits. However, those benefits proved hollow, and also support a report from an insider who told me VA curried a deal with major VSOs behind closed doors to stand by while the agency cuts benefits to numerous programs, apparently including Individual Unemployability.

On Friday, VA quietly published its final rulemaking that will severely impact veterans with pending Individual Unemployability claims or veterans relying on multiple ratings to qualify for extra-schedular consideration. (And by quite, I mean, as of the time of this writing, there was no other member of the news media writing about it other than me.)

Now, VA will only consider the impact of one disability when considering whether it will grant the special review.

RELATED: Voc Rehab Myth – TDIU Veterans Can Use VR&E

For years, severely disabled veterans too disabled to work could avail to an extra-schedular rating when their various disabilities did not add up to 100% despite having the affect of being fully disabled. Veterans could rely on combined ratings to qualify. Now, a disabled veteran must have one singular 60% disability rating to qualify for consideration.

The move will effectively wipe out entitlement to benefits for many veterans fighting appeals who were lowballed on their initial disability severity. It will also wipe out eligibility for veterans caught in the appeals process who would previously have qualified but for VA being deleterious in adjudicating claims.

RELATED: Disabled Veteran Gets Student Loan Forgiveness

VA Wins By Keeping Its Backlog Huge

Apparently, by VA maintaining and then growing its backlog, VA will benefit by way of reducing overall compensation payouts for severely disabled veterans.

One thing I wonder is how is it so many millions of veterans put their faith in veteran organizations, and even support their leaders earning half a million a year from donors, and still these organizations are unable to stop the agency from preying on severely disabled veterans to save a buck. Well, maybe a few billion bucks.

But does VA really care about a few billion bucks?

VA has no problem paying billions for IT fixes that never work to their crony buddies. The only problem they have is when poor disabled veterans get the money to support themselves or their families.

DAV Said Rule Change Will Impact Some TDIU Claims

According to DAV’s comment during the notice and comment period:

DAV believes that this proposed amendment will have a negative effect on veterans seeking increased evaluations with unique disability pictures. Subsequent to the Federal Circuit decision in Johnson, the Board of Veterans Appeals has remanded hundreds of Veterans’ decision to contemplate the “collective impact” of the Veteran’s service-connected disabilities in assessing the disability picture. Those decisions remanded by the Board do not involve 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(b).

38 C.F.R. § 4.16(b) provides, “It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled. Therefore, rating boards should submit to the Director, Compensation Service, for extra-schedular consideration all cases of veterans who are unemployable by reason of service-connected disabilities, but who fail to meet the percentage standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The rating board will include a full statement as to the veteran’s service-connected disabilities, employment history, educational and vocational attainment and all other factors having a bearing on the issue.”

The proposed amendment states that 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(b) is written to consider those cases with unique disability pictures. However, 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(b) only applies to extraschedular consideration for individual unemployability. It does not take into account the negative effect this change will have on those veterans’ disability pictures that would not be qualified or considered for individual unemployability. Under the current regulation as held by Johnson, the extra-schedular consideration will apply to the “collective impact” all serviceconnected disabilities. This proposed change will negate justice for those veterans who would not be considered for individual unemployability either on a schedular or extra-schedular basis. The proposed amendment falsely assumes that 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(b) is the catch-all for the collective impact of the entire disability picture. Thus, this proposed amendment will not afford justice and continue to live up to the ex parte nature of the DVA benefits system.

VA Says DAV’s Concern Not Relevant

In the publication, VA disputed the above concern:

One commenter stated that VA’s proposed regulation does not take into account veterans who do not qualify for consideration of entitlement to a rating of total disability based upon individual unemployability (TDIU) under 38 CFR 4.16(b). The commenter states that a veteran may be forced to drop out of the workforce and apply for TDIU as a result of extra-schedular evaluations based upon a single disability.

Section 3.321(b)(1) addresses a different issue than section 4.16(a) and (b) were written to address. Section 3.321(b)(1) provides an exception to reliance upon a particular rating contained in the rating schedule where the schedule is determined to be inadequate in a particular case and examines the rating issue from the perspective of the schedule in rating a veteran’s disability and provides adjustments to the schedule based on the veteran’s disability. Section 4.16, on the other hand, looks at the situation from the perspective of the unemployability of an individual veteran. Under section 4.16(a) and (b), the deciding official looks at the overall impairment of a veteran to determine whether the veteran is employable regardless of the particular disability rating or combination of disability ratings awarded. Thus, section 3.321(b)(1) focuses on the schedule’s failure to address the effect of a veteran’s particular disability and the latter focuses upon the veteran’s overall employability. Amending section 3.321(b)(1) based on this comment would also render section 4.16 superfluous because section 3.321(b)(1) could be the basis for a 100 percent extra-schedular rating which would be equivalent to a TDIU rating.

Now What?

The matter is still unfolding, although some insiders indicate things do not look good. It is believed this move is one in a series of moves to go after TDIU benefits and other benefits. The publication last Friday was not widely known with no press, which is unusual. And VA insiders believe the move is part of a multi-faceted approach over many years to eroded veterans benefits the agency does not like awarding.

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76 COMMENTS

  1. Is the VA going to take away my benefits because of my unemployability? Excuse me but there are other disabilities that we have that were never assfessed! Try to do this then i will have no other option to spill my guts on some things that have been swept under the rug! I will not sit idelly by as so many others will not too! What we gave to our country should not be stripped from our hearts! I can never work again for a medical reason not some BS as others say! Take the head out of your resr and smell the shit you are saying. I cant smell it for you for i can no loger smell as well. But i know a skunk when i sed one!

    • Dear White House VA HotLine 1-855-948-2311
      Still waiting.
      1. 100% disabled through the federal govt with injuries that are directly service connect to in service trauma. I still have no benefits. U.S. Army Veteran 88-90, 90-96, and After 9/11 03-05. Third generation U.S. Army Veteran plus. Entire family all the males served, something I do not see at the VA (Employees that served).
      2. Thanx VA Ohio. I still do not have any of the benefits, nor any of my claims approved. I was cut loose from the active service injuried, pretty bad. Medical Service Records, medical notes intentionally withheld. Denied medical treatment at the VA 90s and up until 2014. This is well documented in VA file.
      Akron Ohio VA.
      1. Eric Canna Akron Ohio VA Non Veteran Catholic, who stated and said,
      “ALL VETERANS WANT IS MONEY. ALL VETERAN WANT IS TO BUY CARS AND HOUSES. ALL VETERANS LIARS (LIE). ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT? THEN THIS WILL EFFECT YOUR BENEFITS!!!”
      2. Pamela Sue Sherer Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Non Veteran Catholic
      3. PETER M. BARACH Wade Park Cleveland Ohio VA NPI #1396773610 Ohio, and License No. 3280 Ohio Non Veteran Jewish Draft Dodger 1970-1973. C and P Hatchet Man engaging in “Forensic Fraud”. Peter M. Barach Aka “The Forensic Whore”, and “The Forensic Prostitute”

      3. Peter M. Barach Non Veteran Draft Dodger 1970-1973 Jewish who wrote a 20 page C and P “Cherry Picking”, while lying often and a lot. While this VA “FORENSIC WHORE” is paid over and over and over again tens-of-thousands of dollars by the VA, if NOT hundreds-of-thousands of dollars by the VA. Peter M. Barach: Engaging VA “Forensic Fraud”, Checkering VA C and P exams on injured veterans and disabled former soldiers. “Cherry Picking” through private medical notes from another draft dodger 1966-1973 Non Veteran Catholic from Lancaster Pennsylvania in order to falsify actual injuries and sabotage vulnerable veterans claims, Using a private non veteran catholic draft dodger 1964-1973, who I only saw for a series of maybe 7 months in Lancaster Pennsylvania. Peter M Barach doing “the Devils work” on Sunday, and screwing deserving injured vets, and disabled former soldiers out of their well earned benefits, and earned claims “SIX WAYS TO SUNDAY”. Sabotaging C and P exam by lying often and a lot.

      4. Still Peter M Barach Wade Park VA Cleveland Ohio NPI#136773610 Ohio, License No.3280 Ohio. Has not been turned in for engaging in “Forensic Fraud” Peter M Barach Aka “the VAs Forenisic Whore” Aka “The VAs Forensic Prostitute”

      5. All in the face of, 2 Fully Developed Claims. 2 DBQ forms filed out by 3 private VA approved doctors Ohio. MMPI with 5 page Social History, “Nexus Letter”, and 5 page origins of disease reports based on medical lit, medical research, and a modern DSM V. Everything the VA Director Tony Milions Cleveland Ohio asked for, from and FAXd to VA Director TonY Milions from Congressman Tim Ryan Ohio’s office…

      6. All this information is cobborated and cross matched with the Ohio State Reps: Senator Sherrad Brown Ohio (asst Amber Moore Cleveland Ohio 216-522-7272, Senator Rob Portman Ohio khristy Ramey Columbus Ohio 614-469-6774) , and Congressman Tim Ryan’s office Ohio (Asst Matt Vadas Warren Ohio 1-800-856-4152 has all this information

      Thanx again. And Merry Christmas VA Ohio

      • Dear New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune.
        1. I still do not have my benefits nor claims approved in Ohio. 100% disabled throught the Federal Govt with injuries service connected. U.S. Veteran and former soldier, U.S. Army Artillery 88-90, 90-96 and after 9/11 03-05)
        Third generation U.S. Army plus+ with all the males serving in family. Something that I do NOT see at the VA in Ohio (VA Employees, that serve but only social network to get into the VA for high paying jobs and great benefits) Cut loose from the service injuried, pretty bad. Like so many vets in the post Nam Era. Hurt bad in military. Medical notes withheld. Denied treatment in 1990s. thru 2007-2008, and all the way up to 2014. This is testified to in DRO meeting May 2017, with cobborated evidence in VA medical file.

        2. PETER M BARACH Ohio NPI#1396773610 License No.3280 Ohio VA Wade Park Cleveland Ohio Non Veteran Jewish Draft Dodger 1970-1973 Flunked out of John Hopkins 73, got into Ann Arbor Mi and thus majored in “CHILDREN” 1973-1975. Graduated. Went back to “SHAKER HEIGHTS” Cleveland Ohio. Where Mommy and Daddy got him in at the Western Reserve College. Local Yocal, stayed there until Peter M. Barach graduated. A little “Academic incest” going on here DID man PETER M BARACH.
        *The VA’s Bitch, “Peter M Barach” is just lying, and lying a lot and often, and this sick bastard is just throwing craziness in injured vets and disabled former soldiers VA medical files.

        3. MISREPRESENTING THE VA in OHIO, MISREPRESENTING VA PATIENTS INJURED VETS and DISABLED FORMER SOLDIERS, and MISREPRESENTING THE FIELD HE IS LICENSED in OHIO: PETER M. BARACH NPI#1396773610 Ohio and License No.3280 Ohio. Paid over and over again to engage in sabotaging C and P exams. AKA “THE VAs FORENSIC WHORE”, ann “the VAs FORENSIC PROSTITUTE” engaging in “FORENSIC FRAUD”.

        4. A lot of people helped this guy, PETER M. BARACH. Now he is being asked to do hit jobs, hatchet jobs on injured veterans and disabled former soldiers. Peter M. Barach April 2017 “Cherry Picking” 20 pages through 7 months of private medical notes (that tainted and falsified) by a Non Veteran Catholic Draft Dodeger 1964-1973 Lancaster Pennsylvania. Then after copying, cutting and pasting, and cherkers this bizarre C and P exam, PETER M BARACH “The Stand Up Guy” he is, he attempt to throw this non sense in front of the DRO Decision Review Officer in a face to face meeting May 2017.

        5. Now this after two fully developed claims are submitted. One in 2014 to 2015 completed by two private doctors. Who explained how I was injured through med lit, med research and through a DSM V.

        6. Sitting there being taken advantage of, and being strangely put with these two at the door of the Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Waterloo Road
        1. Eric Canna Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Non Veteran Catholic who said, and stated,
        “ALL VETERANS WANT IS MONEY. ALL VETERAN LIE (Are LIARS). ALL VETERANS WANT IS CARS AND HOUSES. ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT? WELL THIS WELL EFFECT YOUR BENEFITS!!!”
        2. Pamela Sue Sherer AKron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Non Veteran Catholic.
        Left Akron Ohio quitely 2016

        7. I was told flat out that these VA diseased animals, and Peter M. Barach were retaliating against me for two reasons. Might be more.
        1. I contacting my state of reps in Ohio and alerting the state of Ohio reps as to what they were doing to me as a vulnerable vet and disabled former soldier
        2. I got outside private providers to explain, and detail, and document my injuries in service. VA Patient Retaliation. VA Patient Mobbing of an injured vet, and disabled former soldiers.

        8. Left VA Akron Ohio Outpatient Clinic spring of 2016 with the help of a VA DAV Rep:
        I obtained a private doctor (a third private provider), military. Cert through the VA, but that does not matter legally. This private provider gave me a Independent Medical Opion. Another fully developed claim. A doctor by law only needs to be licensed in Ohio, legally for their medical information to be accepted by the VA.
        This doctors without having known the other two private providers in 2014-1015, explained the same thing to me about my injuries, adn eactly what i had, disease wise, and diagnosis.
        This private providers Explained: My injuries through med lit, med research, and the DSM V. This private expert created a “Origins of Disease Report 5 pages long”, Nexus Letter, DBQ Form (2nd DBQ)and completed a 5 pages Social History MMPI. This all without knowing what the other two private providers had explained to me prior to entering the VA Akron Ohio in 2014-2015.

        9. All information is held by
        Senator Sherrod Brown Ohio, Asst Amber Moore Cleveland Ohio phone 216-522-7272
        Senator Rob Portman Ohio, Asst Kristy Ramey Columbus Ohio phone#614-469-6774
        Congressman Tim Ryan Oho. Asst Matt Vadas Warren Ohio phone #1-800-856-4152

        10. All information was forwarded to VA MEDICAL DIRECTOR SUSAN M FURHER (Asst Jeff McPeak 216-791-3800 ex4070) VA WADE PARK CLEVELAND OHIO and VA DIRECTOR TONY MILIONS CLEVELAND OHIO,
        SUSAN M. FURHER VA MEDICAL DIRECTOR VA WADE PARK Cleveland OHIO. who did give 2 anpologie to both senators of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown Ohio, and Senator Rob Portman Ohio, and 2 anpology letters to ME for PETER M BARACH gross misconduct, gross unethical behavior, and gross lying on the 20 page C and P exam “Cherry Picked and “Checkered” to cover up in service injuries, and active service disabilities incurred in service.

        Merry Christmas VA in OHIO.

        11. Still I do not have my benefits, nor any claims approved…

      • Dear New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post.
        1. It nice to know in Ohio, the VA is helping injured veterans and disabled former soldiers like myself, and giving vulnerable vets like myself “THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT”.

        2. PETER M BARACH NPI #1396773610 License No.3280 Ohio VA Wade Park Louis Stokes Cleveland Ohio, Stated and Wrote on C and P Exam,
        “I HAVE NO TIES TO THE VA, and I AM OBJECTIVE”.
        Outside of that. Peter M. Barach lied often and a lot. Copying other private doctors medical information, and manipulating that medical information illegally. And “Cherry Picking” medical notes to create a “DR FRANKENSTEIN” like bull shit report, and “false narrative” C and P 20 report, that only re-victimized.
        Clearly this quote by this VA “FORENSIC WHORE” Peter M. Barach “the VAs paid BITCH”, engaging in “FORENSIC FRAUD”,
        this in itself by legal standards, and through the board of ethics and licensing in Ohio is MISREPRESENTATION. Peter M Barach is misrepresenting the VA, VA disabled Former Soldiers, VAs Vulnerable Patients, and misrepresenting the medical field he works in, in Ohio. Peter M Barach lied in order to gain favoritism from his VA CASH HOG…

        3. PETER M. BARACH has two supervisors at the VA in Ohio
        1. Diana Jonhson VA Wade Park Cleveland Ohio
        2. ELLERY SMITH Parma VA Ohio Phone 216-739-7000 Ex2509 Ms Ellery Smith was spoken to on Sept 26, 2017, and again on Oct 3 2017 (As the anpologies to Senator Sherrod Brown Ohio, and Senator Rob Portman Ohio State)
        In a 20 to 30 minutes conversation about gross misconduct, lying, Forensic Fraud, and misrepresenation by PETER M BARACH. With details. To add, Letters written to the Ohio State Reps.
        Ellery Smith still has NOT documented PETER M BARACH misconduct, gross lying, and gross “Forensic Fraud”. Only emails, and phone calls were made back and fourth alerting each and everybody to the details. Nothing has been documented about PETER M BARACH “Forensic Fruad” gross lying, gross misconduct, gross unethical behavior, and etc…Nothing documented by ELLERY SMITH PARMA VA OHIO Phone 216-739-7000- Ex2509….

        4. This psychopath engaging in “Forensic Fraud”, Peter M. Barach Non Veteran Draft Dodger 1970-1975 Jewish. Also grew up across the street from the VA Wade Park Cleveland Ohio in “Shakers Height”. Hell, Peter M Barach has family members employed (non Veterans of course) at the VA Wade Park Cleveland Ohio, and has family members working in the same dept as he at Wade Park Cleveland Ohio. All non veterans I might add collecting fat pay checks, and great benefits at the VA CASH HOG. But yet, he claims on his C and P exams, 20 pages of Forensic Fraud, that “he has NO ties” and “he is objective” to the VA in Cleveland Ohio. But yet he spent his entire 66 years living in “Shakers Heights” cleveland Ohio across the street from his VA CASH HOG.

        5. Well, I was told by a disabled veteran employee at the VA. That Peter M Barach was retaliating against me for contacting Senator Sherrod Brown Ohio, Senator Rob Portman Ohio, and Congressman Tim Ryan’s Ohio Office.
        *Sorry for telling and informating everybody about your VA CASH HOG (and gross medical misconduct) Peter M Barach Non Veteran Draft Dodger 1970-1973, Jewish…

        6. also Peter M Barach was retaliating against me for stepping outside of the VA, prior to entering the VA 2014-2015 and getting a fully developed claim from private providers in Ohio. All before I entered the VA Akron Ohio Waterloo Road. Then again stepping again outside the VA in 2016, and against getting my own private medical opinion (A second fully developed claim), that had been submitted to the DRO Judge decision review officer in a face to face meeting May 2017. So what does look like the VA is doing from 2014 to the spring of 2016 to ME???
        Also fully developed claims FAXd and Forwarded in the Summer 2017, Submitted and FAXd to the VA Medical Director Susan M Furhrer Wade Park Cleveland Ohio (asst to SUSAN m FURHER Jeff McPeaks phone 216-791-3800 Ex4070),
        Fully developed claim: FAXd to VA Director TONY MILION Cleveland ohio from asst Matt Vadas Congressman Tim Ryan’s Warren Ohio office.

        7. Well I am sorry. For reporting YOUR VA PETER M. BARACH Non Veteran Draft Dodger 1970-1973 Jewish to the Ohio Reps. Well I am sorry for reporting YOUR VA Peter M Barach, YOU Forensic Whore, engaging in”Forensic Fraud” and I sorry for reporting your non veteran’s families’ “VA CASH HOG” to the state of Ohio reps.

        8. Thanx again.
        injured vet and disabled former soldier 88-90, 90-96 and After 9/11 03-05, all artillery. Third generation plus U.S. Army, where all the males served (something I do NOT see at the VA, VA employees that actually served). Like so many post NAM VETS. Cut loose from the military injured, badly injured. Medical notes from service withheld. Denied VA treatment 1990s, until 2007 up until 2014. This verified and cobborated in VA medical file. Imagine the losses with NO safety net. No asst from the VA to support an injured vet. No support, what do think is going to happen to a disabled former soldiers with NO support VA???
        This is the way you treat vulnerable citizens VA, that served their country and got injured? This is how you treat MVP citizens VA that are disabled through military service???

  2. Just read the actual Federal Register Title 38 changes and the VA made sure to include goobly-goop lingo that ensures the VA can invent or interpret their own rules: “Section 501 of title 38, United States Code, provides VA with the authority to interpret its own regulations under its general rulemaking authority.”

    That should be changed to: “Section 501 of title 38, USC, provides VA authority to outright lie about it’s intentions in order to make the AFGE nonperformance bonus bucks supply as large as they can be on back of suffering Veterans.”

    FUCK YOU, VA and Shyster Shulkin. There’s no honor amongst LIARS!

  3. To ALL you worthless piggy VSO’s: I bet you swine would even steal warm coats intended for homeless veterans living in woods this winter, fat rat bastards! YOU sold OUT your fellow Vets….”This of course, means war”– Bugs Bunny

    • namnibor, an oldie but goodie song comes to mind, by the Association.

      Requiem aeternam, requiem aeternam
      Mama, mama, forget your pies
      Have faith they won’t get cold
      And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
      Your flag is flying full

      At half mast, for the matadors
      Who turned their backs to please the crowd
      And all fell before the bull

      Red was the color of his blood flowing thin
      Pallid white was the color of his lifeless skin
      Blue was the color of the morning sky
      He saw looking up from the ground where he died
      It was the last thing ever seen by him

      Kyrie Eleison
      Mama, mama, forget your pies
      Have faith they won’t get cold
      And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
      Your flag is flying full

      At half mast, for the matadors
      Who turned their backs to please the crowd
      And all fell before the bull

      Black and white were the figures that recorded him
      Black and white was the newsprint he was mentioned in
      Black and white was the question that so bothered him
      He never asked, he was taught not to ask
      But was on his lips as they buried him

      Rex tremendae majestatis
      Requiem aeternam, Requiem aeternam

      They don’t give a shit, never did, and never will.
      All about the money, never about the Vet.

  4. Ben, I’m not fully understanding this – Does this mean veterans who’ve been on IU for more than 10 years will also be cut? Or, is it only for those with pending claims?

    • Crazy Elf, I cannot see how they could remove IU after it has been adjudicated, unless they remove it by reassessing the disability and determine there was some kind of error.

      Typically changes like this grandfather in those who currently receive a certain benefit. If you have a vet receiving IU for 10 years, and they have been out of the work force that long, how employable will they be?

      But then, this is the VA where they make shit up as they go along, never in favor of the veteran, and nobody is held accountable when they are forced to admit they are wrong.

      When you think about this move by the VA, it clearly is nothing more than a move to screw as many vets as possible.

      How many vets accepted lower ratings on medical conditions because their combined rating using fuzzy VA math added up to 70 or 80 percent? How many would have had higher ratings if they contested 1 or 2 of the lower rated conditions?

      How many veterans have a single condition rating of 60%? When their conditions are assessed in totality, how employable might they be?

      Even if someone has just a rating of 30-40 percent on a single condition, but that condition makes it difficult or impossible to perform their job, what is the vet supposed to do, even without looking at their remaining conditions, and how that might affect their ability to work. Particularly when the VA does such a lousy job at Voc Rehab?

      I get the impression Shulkin is scrambling trying to find ever bigger pieces of pie to use for something other than vets. Why else would he float that stupid trial balloon over ending the homeless vets program?

      How out of touch can you be by suggesting one of the few successful programs your agency is involved in should be ended?

  5. Here’s two articles out from:
    “Military.com”
    Both dated: 8 Dec 2017
    1.)
    “Senators Attach VA Caregiver Expansion to ‘Choice’ Reform Plan”
    by: Tom Philpott

    2.) HUD Reports 1st Increase in Homeless Veterans Since 2010″
    “Stars and Stripes” | by: Nikki Wentling

    I think you’ll understand where the cuts to IU will come once you read these articles!

  6. Is this new cut in individusl unemployability going to affect us eho already have 100%. To hard for me to resd & u derstand right now for i am too upsetl over issue. Is there someone we can send message to. Need address (email) so i can copy & sr d for my mental ability is not good,m alresdy having problems with some other current VA problems with medical issues. But can send emsil to say how it alresdy affects my ability to function etc,

    • It affects vets who don’t currently have TDIU and vets who don’t get their’s awarded before January 18, 2018.

  7. All I want for Christmas is Shulkin’s head in a box. I love how dirtbags who never picked up a rifle love to sit and brag about how their all for the vets. And then they do this shit.

    Personally I’d like to take this opportunity to advocate for the shooting of any and all VA personnel anywhere they are found. If we are not good enough to receive federal protections after laying it on the line for the Constitution and for “America” then it is incumbent for us to protect ourselves. The best way I know how to protect myself? Gunfire.

    When, in the course of human history…

    Fuck Trump
    Fuck Shulkin
    Fuck this supposed “government”

  8. Section 12 of the Bogus Employee Act states that any VA employee who is unable to fulfill Lincoln’s promise shall immediately be removed from any interaction with veterans. And any veteran perpetrating frauds under the guise of a Veteran Service Organization shall immediately surrender their DD-214.
    Remember, what your drill instructors said repeatedly, “Civilians are collateral damage.
    Workers at VA are not, and should not ever be equivalent or affiliated with any military value system.”
    True Story.

  9. Let’s say this (for now) only directly affects those with initial claims or claims already in Appeals stage: What’s to say after they get a taste for that strain of Veteran Blood, the VA decides to re-C&P all current Vets with TDIU under the guise of re-eval., but in reality only to strip even more TDIU Vets from those coffers and thus make those Vets highly dependent upon what nibbles the VA and VSO Piggies in local/community dish-out, kind of creating a codependency amongst the piggies in wolf clothing? (or something like that?)

    I am saying, once a niche is knocked-out you know damn-well those bastards will not stop there…meanwhile, the top 1% earners and more are getting the largest tax break in history…and last I checked, we ARE STILL AT WAR??!

    This time of year or any holiday, are times when those with PTSD or any number of ailments, esp. Veterans, where the VA reneged on it’s word to not touch TDIU was equiv. to Clark Griswold getting the jelly of the month club…with sand in the jelly, instead of that bonus funded swimming pool. (or something like that…or ‘Grinch’ like),
    where the VA is SO ignorant, they do not even see the storm of suicidal Vets if they pull this one on our polulation because it’s an unfortunate reality, those #’s of 21/22 a day will indeed go up under Shulkin Shit Sandwich Hanukah Surprise! 😀
    In a mood. Rant Out. (mark my words, the VSO’s aregoing to cry, “Wee, Wee, all the way home”, and claim they knew NOTHING about this. Wait for it…

  10. another reason to swamp the White House with letters. So put down the Bud Light and type a few letter. A million or so letter there will hit a note

  11. Are we over reacting to this? It is my understanding that extra schedular IU has been rarely granted in the past. Are there any stats on how many IU cases are granted under extra schedular?

  12. When a 5 time Draft-Dodger is in charge you can easily lose your Veteran’s Benefits earned by serving this Nation. When a man shows no Loyalty to his own Country he will easily ignore the men and omen who have.

    • I knew something was fishy and he was determined to run in 2015. He sent that request for veterans to email him at :”http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/07/21/donald-trump-launches-hotline-for-veterans-calls-for-american-flag-to-be-at-half-mast-for-tennessee-shooting-victims/”

    • He got declined for Orangutan waffleosis.
      He would have been a danger to the platoon.
      I am all for a gung ho President, talking shit and everything, but he has to back it up.
      Cant show up to a gunfight with honey mustard sauce packets in your pockets. Old fatass!

    • It’s funny, but I’ve noticed something. Don the Con’s bone spurs don’t seem to impact his golf swing…

      • Re-watch the classic movie “Caddyshack” and review how ‘The Judge’ played golf…and the way Rodney Dangerfield brought pomposity to it’s knees and floating in a swimming pool. 😀

  13. Veterans who is collecting 100 percent service connected get their diminish in Pay are you Veterans saying that?

    • No, it’s not clearly stating that but rather changing the rules on current new claims and appeals in which a Vet must have -1- svc. connected @60% or higher rather than a cumulative of % to get there for extra-curric. consid., but then again, this is the VA and the VA Sec outright lied in saying they would not touch this. This also means that do not trust Congress or POTUS to NOT touch Medicare or SSA…all lies…

      • namnibor,
        What I’m confused about even more is: With all the negative information coming out from VA, WHY would anyone want to join the military?!
        Or, WHY would those currently in the military want to honor their contract!?
        I’ve told lots of young people to stay the fuck away from enlisting. Some have heeded my words!
        _______________

        My wife just told me the Pentagon is “forcing the military to take “transgenders”!”
        Even though the Pentagon said they’d have to be “psychologically evaluated first”, the Pentagon is backstepping on that issue now!
        I’m not sure how this is going to end up. But drill instructors, in Basic Training, are definitely going to have their hands full come early next year!
        I can see those “your in my space” ‘paddles’ coming out of mothballs! LOL!!!!!!

      • This is not how I read this section at all……It appears to me that 38 CFR 4.16(b) already addresses those situations where the veteran DOES NOT meet the 60% for single or 70% combined (with one at 40%) requirement in 4.16(a)………The “extra-schedular rating” in 3.321(b)(1) seems to me to have always addressed those times where, for instance, a rating of 20% for a knee problem may be correct if you have limited range of motion, BUT if it also causes inflammation and pain when standing more than 30 minutes, an “extra-schedular” rating might apply…….The veteran can still use 38 CFR 4.16(b) to get an “extra-schedular” rating for TDIU (IU)…..Although 4.16(a) of the TDIU regulations require one service-connected disability at 60% OR a total rating of 70% combined with at least one 40% rated disability, you can still win TDIU on an “extra-schedular” basis per 4.16(b) with strong evidence collected from vocational experts, occupational experts and/or physicians that demonstrates the absence of an adequate schedular rating and marked interference of employment….

  14. Screwing over veterans is a bipartisan effort.

    Why is anyone surprised of no change?

    First clue of hollow promises was appointing a legacy swamp creature to run the VA (Shulkin).

  15. As a veteran advocate, with over 25 years helping fellow veterans, and a veteran who has an IU rating, I keep a close eye on any proposed changes, deletions, and additions to the IU regulation.
    The Individual Unemployability rating law is a totally separate law from the extra-schedular so if a veteran is being evaluated for IU this will not affect him or her. Up until 2013, I think it was, when they did a lot of rewording to the whole claims evaluation regulations, the wording for extra-schedular ratings was “individual” disability but when they did the updating they forgot to put the word “individual” back in. The wording remained the same and still does for the actual manual the raters use however. Interpretation problems for the extra-schedular ratings did not begin until that wording was changed in the regulation by omiting that one word.
    The extra-schedular rating regulation has always been for 1 disabling condition that by itself meets that criteria but that also includes if the veteran has more then one disabling condition that on its own meets that criteria, not a combining of different lesser disabling conditions like the IU regulation does.
    Again, they are 2 totally separate regulations.

  16. Infuriating column Ben.

    The sneaky bastards continue pushing these cuts without any regard whatsoever for the impact, and without any regard whatsoever to cutting things elsewhere first.

    They should just rename the friggin department to the Department of Crony Contract Affairs, or the Department of Interior Designers Affairs or the Department of Gross Incompetence Affairs because veterans are the last thing on their minds.

    Its truly sad how shockingly indifferent the slack-jawed VSOs are on this. They stay quiet knowing full well many of their own members are going to get fucked. What are they getting in return for staying worthless? They have a fairly screwed up view of exactly what kind of veteran servicing they are doing.

    As for state and local resources being used, I have often thought states are pretty shortsighted and lack leadership on veterans benefits. You would think states would have very good state level veterans assistance programs to insure any veteran resident is getting any federal assistance available rather than state resources being used for a federal responsibility.

    As for cutting, why is there never any news on a contract being ended because the crony contractor did not deliver what was contracted for?
    How about the VA stop hiring corrupt hacks who lose millions in equipment, use hundreds of thousands for hush-money payoffs, commit fraud for bonuses, retaliate against whistle blowers resulting in payouts, eliminate bonuses and any paid travel relocation for any employee, get the IG office in order to stop wasting money on whitewash investigations, and stop wasting many thousands on incompetent lawyers who can’t seem to make any firing stick.

    How about not hiring quack doctors or other providers with a history of malpractice suits which will cost more in malpractice suits.

    How about eliminating the waste from Halloween and other holiday parties and Hungry Hippo games?

    And yes, the VA lowballing claims resulting in appeals needs to be fixed.

    …but I cannot see how when VSOs are worthless and congressional oversight is nonexistent.

    • Amen 91, well said!! I am absolutely livid with the VA, and the way they do things. The fraud, cover-ups, theft, murder, incompetence, vile disgusting leadership, the entire agency is rotten from the top on down.

      Same as DC as a whole, rotten inside out, through and through. This is not a government, it is a syndicate, a criminal enterprise. you no longer have television entertainment, you only have propaganda and social engineering 24/7.

      As for the states? No different, rotten to the core, anyway you look at it.

  17. This is all a big fucking mess. It just goes to show you what happens when you rely upon your Johnsons to make decisions….

    Technically sex is an instinct and not a decision. This idea is supported by the VA for me. They do not seem to posess cognitive potential for anything more epic than a rousing game of federal employee hungry, hungry hippos scoping up balls off the gym floor as a fucking morale booster.

    So it seems obvious to me that for the VA folk that fucking the veterans is not a cognitive act – it is instinctual.

    • Meanwhile 300lb Lasquisha Latonyatonatia with 10″ worth of fake fucking acrylic hanging off the ends of her fingers and bright dayglo red fake hair can sit her mountain of an ass on some unfortunate office chair with a goddamned cell phone glued to her ear talking to one of her deadbeat loser baby daddys for 8 hours a day. She gets protected by the AFGE. She is unfireable. She gets to draw one hell of a paycheck for being completely useless. But hey she’s got a great attitude! So here’s a bonus. We all know what that attitude is because we see it all the time from the VA. You’re a Veteran? Fuck you and die.

      • VA spared no expense: Lasquisha is part of the VA’s proud industrial stress-testing of furniture *and* support surfaces and foundations/structural integrity-your VA Interior Designers hardly at work.

      • Show dog I needs that bogus money to get’s to da car wash so’s I cans get my ass scrubed watch use’s want me to stank to

      • nah I just want you to stick one of those acrylic swords down your throat and perforate your bowel with it so you die an incredibly agonizing and painfully slow death.

  18. As Ben states in his above article “Veterans could rely on combined ratings to qualify. Now, a disabled veteran must have one singular 60% disability rating to qualify for consideration.”
    I have a combined total of 80% for two disabilities, each being under 60%. I get IU for that now, bringing it up to 100% total.
    As I read it though, I will be affected since each of the 2 disabilities I have are less than 60%, should this change. I will be at 80% then, and get about $1200 per month less. A large amount.
    This is not fair because I feel I was definitely low-balled on each disability benefit – that my total should have been 100% to begin with.
    Shulkin put the promise in writing he wouldn’t mess with this IU cut shortly after he proposed doing just that back in June because of all the backlash he got from 70+ congressmen and all of the VSO’s. Shulkin then sent a letter to veterans groups stating the VA “does not support a termination” of the Individual Unemployability benefit program.
    Looking at a picture of Shulkin ( he has the same devious expression in any picture he’s in) let me ask: Would any of you buy a used car from this guy?
    I knew this issue was going to re-surface again because just a short time ago, after his “promise to not fuck with IU”, the VVA chapter in Phoenix AR printed an article in the newspaper out there that Shulkin was about to change course on this again, and that VVA was totally pissed about that. So they knew, and so did all the rest of the wonderful VSO’s had to know also – but did NOTHING and you did not hear anymore about this until right now.
    This is beyond “disgraceful”. This is beyond us just “losing trust”. This is seeing the government rope-a-dope all of us veterans and all of the taxpayers to accept their “leaders” con-artist thinking once again over your dead, cold body.
    Trouble in the Glen !

    • I’m reading (hoping) that this is a Rule that is going forward and not going backward, except for our Brothers and Sisters currently in the Appeals process and whose appeal will not be decided by 8Jan18. That is such BS.

      If it’s going forward then those of us who have the 2 or more conditions and meet the 70% threshold and are P&T would be safe.

      The VA CREATED the Claims Backlog by their inability (unwillingness, stonewalling) to properly staff for these appeals. Of course we have no way to know what % of these 400,000+ claims are regarding TDIU.

      I suspect the clowns in DC and the VARO don’t either. A bureaucratic answer to reduce initially the claims backlog by dismissing them on 9Jan18. Only to be met on 10Jan18 by a refiling of the appeal. It’s a Jedi Mind Trick.

      I AM NOT A LAWYER!!!!!!! 🙂

  19. I have a sneaking suspicion that if my C&P proves service connection the rater will try and rate me at 50% for PTSD. To my knowledge PTSD is rated at either 50 70 or 100% If what I’m reading is correct a 70% rating for PTSD by itself would qualify me for UI whereas a 50% rating would not. Am I correct?

    • Not to freak you out but the VA can actually give a 0% Rating, where it’s actually considered a % as Zero % on any given disability until at a future time when it gets worse. I kid you not. Back 9 years ago I had a VA hack try to tell me the infectious diseases the USAF gave me that are…incurable…will get better…WTF?! Yes, that’s the caliber of C&P piggies working at the VA….hmmm, I wonder how many VSO Piggies double dip and perform C&P or surveillance ops for examiners?

  20. BEN. I think it MIGHT be A GOOD IDEA to dig a little more into this situation and clarify and update this mess before some of us start using SHITHEADS image as target practice. Me included. This decision? is not hurting only the vet but his family also. We’re talking millions of people here. There WILL also be deaths related to this because of possible suicides, homelessness, and bankruptcy. Something needs to be done now! before anyone gets hurt.

  21. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its adjudication regulation pertaining to extra-schedular consideration of a service-connected disability in exceptional compensation cases. This rule clarifies that an extra-schedular evaluation is to be applied to an individual service-connected disability when the disability is so exceptional or unusual that it makes application of the regular rating schedule impractical. An extra-schedular evaluation may not be based on the combined effect of more than one service-connected disability. For the reasons set forth in the proposed rule and in this final rule, VA is adopting the proposed rule as final, with two changes, as explained below.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective January 8, 2018.

    Applicability Date: The provisions of this final rule shall apply to all applications for benefits that are received by VA on or after January 8, 2018 or that are pending before VA, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) on January 8, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
    Nora Jimison, Policy Analyst, Regulations Staff (211D), Compensation Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9700. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

    • Either way, if there is a frequent interference in employment and marked hospitalizations, the extra schedular criteria is met.
      Obfuscating the duty to assist with constant rulemaking for the purpose of employee incentives is egregious.

    • Go figure; the VA’s Compensation Svc. phone # is NOT toll free…it’s like an inner swamp ring of separation/protection from us scary Veterans. How many Million$ does VA Public Affairs get allocated again?
      Also, anyone notice the *very important* phrase **final** rule**?

  22. I could be wrong, but When Shulkin stated he wasn’t going to touch TDIU this year I knew then that come Jan. 2018 something was going to come up about it again. Shulkin smells worse than a skunk!

  23. Today, I contacted one of the major VSO’s and was told the “IU” “takeaway was off the table from around three months ago!”
    When I explained it was a new deal, “she” said “…it first has to become law!” When I continued over how VA does things WITHOUT Congress’s and the President’s consent, she still believes her statement! It’s this attitude which gives VSO’s bad reputations!
    This is also WHY, in my opinion, these VSO’s are really AGAINST veterans. They evidently only want taxpayers monies to fatten their own pockets!

    • Many of these VSO’s have NO CLUE. Plus this just came out of Friday. BUT why aren’t the Biggie’s jumping up and down?: VVA; DAV, etc.

  24. Since there’s so many conflicting statements on here over the IU issue, ie; Some say it’ll affect those currently receiving IU with disabilities at below 60% for one condition. Other’s say it’s only affecting those applying for, or have applied for, IU on Jan 18, 2018.
    I believe we’re going to have to have someone explain it in more detail.
    One VSO today gave an explanation of it’s still off the table. Another one said it will NOT affect current IU recipients! [As long as the recipient continues to send in the IU unemployment paperwork each year!]
    _______
    To say I understand this issue right now is an understatement! My blood pressure and PTSD is in maximum overdrive!
    I’m one of those veterans who want to see how long it will be before the American People to tell President Trump to stop wasting taxpayers monies on a [non]government agency and slush fund for those who are employed within it!

    IT NEEDS A COMPLETE ENEMA!
    FUCK these VA, FUCK “Shithead Shulkin”, and FUCK THE CONGRESS FOR ALLOWING SHULKIN TO GET AWAY WITH ALL THE BULLSHIT HE’S BEEN CAUGHT IN!

    In the past few decades, especially since President Kennedy was assassinated, our Republic has become so rampant in corruption, it’s hard to see how they operate! Seems to me there’s would be more infighting to see who’s going to be the “top banana”!

    • ┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈Did someone
      ┈┈╱▔▔▔▔▔╲┈┈====say===
      ┈╱┈┈╱▔╲╲╲▏┈┈┈BANANA?
      ╱┈┈╱━╱▔▔▔▔▔╲━╮┈┈
      ▏┈▕┃▕╱▔╲╱▔╲▕╮┃┈┈
      ▏┈▕╰━▏▊▕▕▋▕▕━╯┈┈
      ╲┈┈╲╱▔╭╮▔▔┳╲╲┈┈┈
      ┈╲┈┈▏╭━━━━╯▕▕┈┈┈
      ┈┈╲┈╲▂▂▂▂▂▂╱╱┈┈┈
      ┈┈┈┈▏┊┈┈┈┈┊┈┈┈╲┈
      ┈┈┈┈▏┊┈┈┈┈┊▕╲┈┈╲
      ┈╱▔╲▏┊┈┈┈┈┊▕╱▔╲▕
      ┈▏┈┈┈╰┈┈┈┈╯┈┈┈▕▕
      ┈╲┈┈┈╲┈┈┈┈╱┈┈┈╱┈╲
      ┈┈╲┈┈▕▔▔▔▔▏┈┈╱╲╲╲▏
      ┈╱▔┈┈▕┈┈┈┈▏┈┈▔╲▔▔
      ┈╲▂▂▂╱┈┈┈┈╲▂▂▂╱┈
      .YOUR SENATORS

    • Go to the Federal Register from last Friday. There are 6 pages on this topic. Of course it’s confusing to read and like you and the rest of us my (our) PTSD is going crazy! These douche’s do not care about our situations! Look at his (Shulkin’s) IT fiasco and how the VA paid for his wife’s boondoggle trip. He’s a turd!

  25. ╭┳━┳┳━━━━━╭┫╰╮┈┈┈…┏━╮╭━┓┈╭━━━━╮
    ┃┃╭╯╰╮┈VA┈┃▎▃╰╮.┈┈┃┏┗┛┓┃╭┫AFGE┃
    ╯┣╯┈╭╯CASH╰╭╯╭▌┈┈╰┓▋▋┏╯╯╰━━━━╯
    ╱┃┈┈╰╮COW╮┈╰┳┻╯┈╭━┻╮╲┗━━━━╮╭╮┈
    ╱┃┏┳┳┻┻━┓┣┳┳╯╱╱.┈┃▎▎┃╲╲╲╲╲╲┣━╯┈
    ╱┃┃┃┃╱╱╱┃┃┃┃╱╱..┈.╰━┳┻▅╯╲╲╲╲┃┈┈┈
    ╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ ..┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈
    …………………….. ┈┈┈┈┈┗┻┛┗┻┛┈┈┈┈
    LET’S STEAL IT FROM THE VETERANS!!!!

  26. Benjamin:

    I am so confused… I have 1 Disability – 70% for PTSD. I am 100% P&T because of TDIU and have been for 13 years. Will this Rule have an effect on me and my spouse’s CHAMPVA? Thank You!

    • Join the discussion I was wondering the same thing, how will it affect my wifes Champ VA. I have 70 percent PTSD, three Purple Hearts, good for another 70 percent, together equals 90 percent and 10 percent unemployability.

      • Our Wives ONLY receive CHAMPVA as a result of us being 100% P&T. No 100%, CHAMPVA goes away. Secretary Douche Bag is silent on THAT subject!

      • @Bob Anderson, Khanti, and all others,
        Besides your wives losing Champva, there’s much more besides VA benefits for y’all to lose – all the state benefits as well, ie; Taxations on your homes, special pricing on car tags, etc.!
        Then there’s the free stuff from the state’s as well, fishing and hunting licences, etc,.

        And, like you said Bob, look at what ‘ol Shulkin did for him and his wife. And all the “scam/sham” contracting he’s giving out.

        Last night was NOT a good fuckin night for me!

      • CE:

        Left that out because every state is different. Here in Michigan, I would also lose over 5,000 in property tax exemption!

        As I understand it though this only applies to those not ajudicated by 8Jan2018.

        Still BS.

      • Bob Anderson,
        That’s the way I read it too.
        It could also only apply to those who’ve not reached the age for Social Security as well. For example: Those who returned from the current wars, and are still young enough to work while waiting for their claims to be adjudicated, yet far from being at an age to receive social security!

        I’ve received “multiple disability ratings” for multiple disabilities, non of which are at the 60% rate! I’ve also been out of the work force since 1983 upon getting out of the U.S Navy – “Honorable under Medical!”
        If the VA pulls a fast one, trust me – I’ll definitely be putting in for some I’ve never been adjudicated on, and an upgrade on existing conditions!

  27. Ben, I have long wondered how the VA is allowed to circumvent the law and/or court decisions simply by (literally) making up the rules as they go. With regard to this particular situation; where do we as advocates go from here? The big VSO’s blockade real reforms because it threatens their very existence. So how do we, the “boots on ground” people stop this and future detours around the law? No other federal agency (to my knowledge) is allowed to create its own rules or policies if they violate law or precedence.

  28. It’s crap like this that makes me wish young people would stop joining the damn military. Veterans are treated the same way the native Indians were treated with all the broken promises. I’d like to see the military in a manpower shortage causing the recruiters to panic and the Pentagon officials scratching their bald heads over it. I just may see that happen, but that’s a big MAYBE one day, because I read recently where the POTUS ordered the Air Force to recall 1,000 fighter pilots back into active service.

    • Dennis
      From “military.com” today, President Trump is wanting “high ranking retired NCO’s to come back as recruiters!”
      Don’t know HOW that will work out!
      In my opinion, I’ve got a sneaky suspicion the recruiters are getting caught in their LIES. So, they need better liars to come back as recruiters, to show the young ones HOW NOT to get caught!

  29. Lauren Price, to try answer your question…what can you do, and how can the VA do this…

    I can only suggest you call your Senators and Representative. Call both their local office and their DC office and explain in detail how you and your family would be affected by this.

    Put your concerns in writing before calling.

    Ask for email addresses of these aides so you can send those concerns in writing.

    Contact your Senators and Representative on their Facebook and Twitter accounts letting them know how your family will be affected with this change.

    The removal of CHAMPVA is a huge issue, and likely as big a reason for the VA to propose this change as any since the VA would be looking to eliminate that cost of healthcare, and force you on to some other health care plan like Obama Care.

    As for rule changes, this can happen in any agency.

    Congress passes laws. An agency cannot change what is stated in the law passed, but they can propose and implement rules on how to implement the law. The real problem here is Congress passing a law with enough wiggle room for the VA to change the rules on how to implement that law. Congress often passes vague laws intentionally so the head of an agency can interpret how to implement that law through rulemaking. If it is a change in the law itself, it has to go back to Congress. If there is a dispute in how the law is implemented, the dispute can only be resolved by going back to Congress, or by suing the agency in court.

    The Obama Care law is notorious for many instances of language in the law stating, “as the Secretary shall decide”. That means congress has left it up to the Secretary of the agency to determine how to implement that part of the law.

    In my opinion, it is a gutless and sloppy way of governing.

    • 91Veteran,
      I’ve contacted, as has my wife, Rep. DeSantis’ office today.
      We sent him Ben’s website, with the appropriate blog, to get his take on this issue!
      As soon as one of us hears back, we’ll put his response on!

  30. stop relying on the VA and arm yourselves create factions if necessary.and prepare for war ,hell the VA is there preparing we need to prepare also.

    • all around fucking sad . Veterans are getting raped and yet veterans still let there government control them . and yet not one veteran in this generation is going to say am going to create a army and commence war with this monarchy of a country. lol

  31. Let’s not forget that in some places that a decrease in payments cause hurt in more ways than one. For example here in Indiana where VA disability payments or back pay is NOT exempt from bankruptcies. The attorney gets more money for forcing people to go Chap 13 instead of a Chap 7. Regardless if you have the paper work from Washington DC or the state saying it is exempt. The attorneys here, and I was told, not to take the chance since a Bankruptcy Trustee, judge, can do and take whatever they see fit. That includes money in a small saving to a larger amount to come in for back pay.

    So what do you do when you’re sick or unhealthy to begin with, got a flu bug, temp of 105 and told to show up or lose it all, and to not take the chance but to change from a 7 to a 13 a day before the court date? We lose, laws or fake claims are worthless, lawyers make a couple grand more on the bankruptcy case loads for which they have an abundance of, or their primary case loads and concerns.

    Huge increase in Medicare payments. Insurance companies leaving the state or being bought out by corporations like CVS to hearing some of us have to find new plans before it’s too damn late while dealing with all the changes, can’t find anyone that knows what the hell is going on, or get rock solid info from, damn, it’s all a screwed up mess. Then not being able to find decent care locally due to the VA, activist, threats I suppose and other common excuses. What a freaking mess we have to deal with during the holidays, or in our “golden years.” Yeah, what a laugh. Great timing the government has along with the other game players.

  32. They’re trying everything to chip away at Benefits for Veteran’s who are old, and have been fighting for years to resolve a claim or an appeal.

    Rewording the VA regulations, without public debate. Then telling Veteran’s to close an existing appeal, and open a new claim to speed up a decision that would change thier effective date. Which would result in a Veteran losing tens of thousands of dollars in back pay.

    Man these guys are evil…

    Well I read through all the regulations changed since Trump took office.
    They are doing it in a stealthy way to decive the public and Veteran’s who are to frail to keep informed..

    I didn’t know that it was ongoing, and pre-meditated. A little snip here and there when it is all added up, it means the loss of Benefits in regards to every aspect of the VA system wide, Health Care, Disabled Benefits, Survivor Benefits, Bural Benefits, Prosthetics, etc..

    “The original quote, from the Holmes story The Sign of the Four, published in 1890, reads, “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

  33. To All:

    The way I read and interpret the Rule published in the Federal Register on 8Dec17 is: Those who are ALREADY P&T as a result of TDIU prior to the effective date of 8Jan18 are exempt from this latest attempt.

    Here is the language:

    Effective Date:
    This rule is effective
    January 8, 2018.

    Applicability Date:
    The provisions of
    this final rule shall apply to all
    applications for benefits that are
    received by VA on or after January 8,
    2018 or that are pending before VA, the
    United States Court of Appeals for
    Veterans Claims, or the United States
    Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    (Federal Circuit) on January 8, 2018.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
    :
    Nora Jimison, Policy Analyst,
    Regulations Staff (211D), Compensation
    Service, Department of Veterans Affairs,
    810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington,
    DC 20420, (202) 461–9700. (This is not
    a toll-free telephone number.)

    It doesn’t specifically mention TDIU.

    It certainly is capricious when there are currently 400,000+ claims on appeal that WILL NEVER be adjudicated in the next 3+ weeks. This ridiculous backlog is through no fault of the veteran rather the inability of DVA to manage the workload – SAD!!

    What say the rest of you?

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