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Here is another leftover from Thomas Murphy’s policies over the past couple years – the agency repeatedly failed to assign correct effective dates costing veterans at least $72 million in benefits.

Despite rumors of accountability, the agency has yet to take action against Murphy and even let him set up shop as district director for the Midwest. Talk is cheap in DC, and veterans are clearly paying the price to the tune of tens of millions each year.

Compounding matters is the shoddy help veterans frequently receive from VSOs who recommend veterans give up their effective dates in favor of winning claims quicker – – again, costing veterans tens of thousands in back pay in many instances. You see, when the effective date is wrong, it can substantially reduce a veteran’s backpay. VA created a ‘fix’ that actually reduces benefits payouts due in large part to not training its staff to process claims properly… and then fixing that system with a complex appeals process the agency still has yet to properly roll out.

All this courtesy of Murphy and his cronies.

The penalty for setting up such a system that would screw veterans out of benefits?

DAV gave Murphy an award as the top federal bureaucrat fighting for veterans benefits. Apparently, DAV likes to be ironic. And, VA likes to have a two tiered system for accountability. Corrupt senior leaders get put out to pasture to retire. Small time VA employees get the shaft after they request reasonable accommodations.

RELATED: Tone Deaf DAV Gives Murphy Top Award

According to the IG executive summary:

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a national review to determine whether Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) staff assigned correct effective dates on claims for compensation benefits with an intent to file (ITF). The ITF allows claimants the opportunity to provide minimal information related to the benefit sought and gives them up to one year to submit a complete claim. The submission date of an ITF is important because VA may use the date of receipt as an earlier effective date for paying benefits. The OIG found that VBA staff did not always assign correct effective dates for compensation benefits with ITF submissions from March 24, 2015, to September 30, 2017, resulting in $72.5 million in improper payments. Most of the errors occurred during the initial period of ITF implementation, and the OIG found that 43 percent of cases were assigned incorrect effective dates. This was largely due to a lack of standard operating procedures, inadequate procedural guidance for electronic ITF submissions, deficient and delayed training, and a lack of functionality in the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS). VBA has since reduced the number of incorrectly dated claims to 4 percent. The OIG recommended that the Under Secretary for Benefits prioritize the modernization of the ITF system and consider integrating ITF submissions into the VBMS. The OIG also recommended a special review of veterans’ claims with ITFs submitted during the troubled period.

DAV pushed hard for the ITF system, and many other programs to process benefits claims faster while placing claims development burdens back onto the veteran.

Capitalizing on the backlog, VA conned VSOs and their members into accepting a quicker processing system using RAMP that removes many of the duty to assist requirements that protected veterans claims. Instead of VA being forced to develop a claim, VSOs are now required to help. Of course, if errors occur, you cannot appeal a screw up by your favorite VSO.

What a shame.

Source: https://www.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=4543

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30 Comments

  1. Sadly this won’t get much coverage on the news. Maybe if the news actually focused on some of these stories the average sheeple might have a clue.

    Talk about caught between a rock and a hard place. Vote a guy in to push back on the deep state and now they take it out on us. By hook, by crook or by scam.

    Until we have an Attorney General that will do something and something is done to address the harm that the lying press causes by colluding to keep this charade up I don’t think much will change.

    On the upside the arrests of criminals at the VA seems to be picking up.

    Hang in there to all you on the struggle with me. Maybe the sun will shine on us again soon.

  2. Maybe had John McCain used his grandstanding in his latter months to shed light on the corruption at the VA at ground zero in his own fucking State of AZ we would be on a better path for accountability but that old goat got his choice at Mayo Clinic and now a wasted opportunity with his unique access and eyes wide shut….grr-rrr-rrr–rrrr-rr

    Meanwhile, Monsanto is paying hundreds of millions to a school groundskeeper for exact same chemicals Thomas Murphy helped the VA deny, hope all Veitnam Vets die…..imagine NFL players will also be next in line for Monsanto $$$ Grab for Round-Up on the practice field turfs…while Vets are still being denied…WTF, Over?!!!!!!!

    • Morning talking news heads are painting McCain as farting Mother Theresa farts and get this: “McCain was a *fierce fighter* for Vets and in cleaning-up the VA”.

      WTF?

      I predict the VA will run with this and another Denver VA Albatross overbudgeted VAMC in Phoenix will be erected with McCain’s name on it and the Insane McCain Psych Ward.

      Mother Theresa Farts…wtf? (call me an ass, I don’t care, that ass McCain was self-serving and ignored the p[light of his fellow Vets…unless you’re a ring-knocker)

      • Notice how they don’t say anything about how he has been collecting a paycheck and doing nothing for it for nearly a year. Leaving everyone in Arizona without the representation he was being paid for.

        All so that he could leave his seat in the Senate to his wife as an inheritance.

    • I feel you Crazy elf- I’m in middle of boxing, packing, all by self, moving back up closer to lake to be around surviving friends, while not physically feeling well at all. Neuropathy really bad, but plowing through. Was getting way too expensive in central Ohio with constant hefty rent increases and the criminal elements are not improving either. Hate moving, but embrace change….

  3. I was awarded total disability by Social Security in 1975 (not an easy feat) but the VA said not until 2008!

  4. When I worked on my claim and as a State Advocate helped other Vets over the years put in a Claims never trusted that intent to file BS claim. So many benefits officers were pushing it also and I said nope get your papers/info together in the next few weeks then we will file if we have to introduce newer evidence down the road we will. BTW screw that RAMP program also…

  5. Why do these clowns continue to get away with their tactics of screwing veterans out their rightful benefits, they need to be accountable for their actions and stripped out of their retirement plans and money and let them fight to get them back, VSOare no better one might run into one that gives a dam

  6. I’m challenging the constitutionality of the “not before” dates in Bray V United States 18-8051 at 10th Circuit. Want to help, Ben? I need an attorney.

  7. “Small time VA employees get the shaft after they request reasonable accommodations.”

    Really Ben

    What about all the Veterans these small time VA employees have helped the VA to mangle, make Suffer, die and denied any reasonable health care?

    In my case those fucking punk assed “small Time employees” played a major role in my suffering, destroying my life, destroying my ability to work and withholding any reasonable health care. The pain and suffering I had to live with for 13 fucking years because of them.

    So fuck the “small Time employees” and the Big time employees. They all have knowingly contributed to the mistreatment of Veterans. Every last one of them.

    • I’m going to have to concur it’s kinda sad to watch somebody sell out. I guess there’s no meat and potatoes advocating for those still strapped over the barrel. Good luck with your new “clientele” I’m sure you’ll fit in and become indistinguishable in no time flat.

      For the last time

      WyldeChylde

    • Suicide in Mishawaka VA parking lot puts spotlight on veteran mental health crisis
      by Veronica Ortega, WSBT 22 News, Friday, August 24th 2018

      “A veteran shot himself yesterday in the parking lot of the VA Health Care Center in Mishawaka — dead from an apparent suicide.

      We often don’t report suicide, but this is not about drawing attention to an individual. Rather, we are hoping to raise awareness and help people who are struggling.

      This is an issue that impacts people and families every day.

      In our country, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. That’s one every 65 minutes.”

      Full Article At: “https://wsbt.com/news/local/suicide-in-mishawaka-va-parking-lot-puts-spotlight-on-military-mental-health-crisis”

      ******************

      Wonder how many of the rodent population at the VA, a.k.a “small Time employees”, commit suicide everyday?

      • The clinic hasn’t even been open a year and it is already scoring point in the parking lot suicide category. Bigger Bonuses for those “small Time employees” for their assist.

        New VA clinic in Mishawaka preps for Monday’s opening
        Expanded services to be phased in
        By Joseph Dits South Bend Tribune Sep 14, 2017

        Full Article At: “https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/new-va-clinic-in-mishawaka-preps-for-monday-s-opening/article_d8a0c25d-8bf7-5172-8088-241b046c10a1.html”

  8. State senator awarded Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs contract

    “Sen. Paul Scott, R-Duncan”

    “When the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs outsourced X-ray services for its seven care centers earlier this year, the contract went to a business owned by a sitting state senator, raising questions about whether the contract violates state law. According to bid documents obtained by The Oklahoman , the department determined in May”

    Full Article accessible for $0.99 At: “https://newsok.com/article/5605803/state-senator-awarded-oklahoma-department-of-veterans-affairs-contract”

  9. Veterans Administration responds to audit findings
    By Andrew Horn | Posted: Thu 2:38 PM, Aug 23, 2018

    “BISMARCK, N.D. – On Monday, we reported on the State Auditor’s findings of state constitutional and legal violations at the ND Veterans Administration in their dealings with private nonprofit the Impact Foundation.

    KFYR-TV reached out to North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs (NDDVA) Commissioner Lonnie Wangen before the story was published, but he couldn’t be reached for comment.

    Full Article At: “http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Veterans-Administration-responds-to-audit-findings-491572801.html”

    *******************************

    Prior article on the audits findings

    Audit: Veterans Administration violating state constitution and laws with nonprofit dealings
    By Andrew Horn | Posted: Mon 7:27 PM, Aug 20, 2018

    “BISMARCK, N.D. – A state audit is uncovering questionable financial partnerships between the Veteran’s Administration and the Impact Foundation, a Fargo nonprofit.

    The report conducted by the State Auditor’s office was one of three audits looking at Veteran services in North Dakota. There’s two components- the constitutional violation where Veterans Administration is and continues to push people to donate to a private nonprofit, and the department spending more than $115,000 it got from the charity without legislative approval violates state law. Bringing up issues about transparency.”

    “The Veterans Administration website directs people to donate to Support Our Veterans Fund. Without legislative approval to solicit donations on behalf of the foundation, the Veterans Administration is violating the state constitution.

    “There’s no oversight. It’s outside the purview. Nobody can see what the fund balance is and that to me is a concern,” said State auditor Josh Gallion.

    Gallion’s report also shows the Veterans Adminstration taking money from the Impact fund and putting in a state run fund. North Dakota law says they have to have legislative approval to spend that money, but don’t have it. After a previous bill failed to put more oversight in the department, Senator Dever wants to try again.”

    Full Article At: “http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Audit-VA-violating-state-constitution-and-laws-with-nonprofit-dealings-491313591.html”

    • It is very interesting to note the way the Impact Foundation works. It is explained in a graphic depiction at: “https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54db769fe4b031c18ccc11d3/t/59aed9e7d482e950a652ad7b/1504631322533/Impact+Account+diagram.png?format=1000w”

      Essentially it is an investment fund manager which takes your investment capital and you get a return on your investment. The money you invest is held in a private account in your name but the Impact Foundation provides the investor with receipt to claim the investment as a charitable donation. So the customer can claim it as a charitable donation on their taxes and not have to claim it as an investment account.

      For more on this highly illegal operation being funded by the VA you can go to the Impact Foundations website at: “https://impactfoundation.org/”

  10. Doctor at Norman Veterans Center arrested, accused of assaulting officer
    by Justin Wingerter
    Published: Wed, August 22, 2018

    “A doctor at the Norman Veterans Center was arrested on a complaint of assault and battery of a police officer.

    Drew Cooper was arrested Aug. 14, a day after his 57th birthday, for allegedly grabbing an officer and reaching for his gun during a domestic dispute at a northwest Oklahoma City home.

    Cooper works for Long Term Care Specialists, an Oklahoma City company with which the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs contracts to provide health care at the Norman center. Cooper has been a licensed doctor since 1996, according to state records.”

    Full Article At: “https://newsok.com/article/5605507/doctor-at-norman-veterans-center-arrested-accused-of-assaulting-officer”

  11. The Roll Call: How area members of Congress voted last week
    Winston Salem Journal, 13 hrs ago

    “the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act (H.R. 2147), to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire additional Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists to provide treatment court services to justice-involved veterans”

    “https://www.journalnow.com/news/state_region/the-roll-call-how-area-members-of-congress-voted-last/article_2795da2b-68fa-58c4-89e0-c1285b543d9a.html”

  12. “Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoes larger damages for veterans who died from Legionnaire’s at Quincy veterans home”
    by Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune, August 24th, 2018

    “Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday vetoed legislation that would have increased from $100,000 to $2 million the maximum damage award families of veterans who died due to Legionnaire’s disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy could have sought from the state.

    Rauner has come under fire over his administration’s handling of repeated annual outbreaks at the home that began in 2015 with the deaths of a dozen people and illnesses to scores more. Since then, at least two more deaths have been associated with the disease.

    At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed since the initial outbreak, claiming negligence by the state. The Republican governor’s Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, has accused Rauner of “fatal mismanagement” at the veterans home, which is now undergoing a reconstruction.

    In its legal filings, the state has denied any negligence and Rauner has said the state has followed all recommendations of federal experts at the Quincy home. In April, Rauner’s veterans affairs director resigned.

    Rauner has stayed at the facility several times, including last weekend.

    In his amendatory veto of the bill, Rauner wrote that raising the $100,000 cap on damages to $2 million through the state Court of Claims was “effectively ignoring the impact of vastly expanded future litigation on the fiscal position of the state and its taxpayers.”

    “I recognize that the current law is outdated and in need of adjustment,” he wrote. “However, this adjustment should reflect regional and national averages in order to properly compensate those who, once properly adjudicated, were found harmed by the state of Illinois.””

    “The $100,000 cap was established in 1972. Rauner rewrote the measure to institute what he called “a more reasonable and justifiable $300,000” limit on Court of Claims tort awards.

    State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, called Rauner’s veto “absolutely disgusting and disgraceful” and said lawmakers would work to override it when they return to Springfield in the fall.

    The bill passed with bipartisan, veto-proof support in the General Assembly in the spring.”

    Full Article At: “http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-rauner-veto-quincy-legionnaires-20180824-story.html”

    ****************************

    Personally I think they should be going after the VA who repeatedly re-certified the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy as up to VA standards. All while Veterans were getting infected with Legionnaire’s disease and dying since 2015.

  13. Is RAMP going to become mandatory in 2019 for all new veterans claims? That Oklahoma Veterans Home. Isn’t that the same veterans home where a vet died from maggot infestation?

    • Dennis, not sure on RAMP, but on the Veteran who died with the maggot infestation that was at TALIHINA Veterans Home in Oklahoma. I know with so many of the low level VA employees committing murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide it is hard to keep them all strait. The Veteran was 73-year-old Owen Reese Peterson.

      Died a ‘horrific’ death

      Oct. 3 death of Vietnam veteran Owen Reese Peterson, who was found with maggots in his body and later died from sepsis.

      State officials have said Peterson needed a morphine pump for pain management but couldn’t get one because the center didn’t have a medical doctor on staff at the time. Insiders say he died a slow, “horrific” death over the course of two months.

      “His room was on the second floor, where there’s a time clock. You could get off that elevator to clock in or out and there was a terrible smell, a terrible odor. And it was him,” workers said.

      So, we can be sure that all of the low level employees at the facility knew what was happening to the Veteran and did nothing about it.

      One of the veterans deaths attributed to another low level employee who worked at the Norman VA Center was Arthur “Art” DiVecchio, a retired Moore police officer and Vietnam veteran. Although the low level employee didn’t kill him at work she murdered him on her way home from work. After leaving the Norman VA Center to High on drugs to drive she killed him.

      Of course, with the deep pockets that these low level employees have she was still employed there even after being written up four time prior for being high at work.
      “https://newsok.com/article/5441845/norman-veterans-center-worker-charged-with-manslaughter-had-been-disciplined-for-drug-use”

  14. Somewhat same vein, outside specialists exam for me to argue with VA said they would rate me 100% on my back alone plus busted up hands & wrist, crushed lower leg & knee being just a mass of chips, broken femur, & many undetermined problems & Rehab Medicine Clinic Palo Alto VA said there was nothing wrong with my back due to a Cat Scan & 2 EMG nerve conduction tests going on for about 3 months. They cancelled a scheduled MRI test that would show soft tissue where a Cat Scan does not. This was a few years ago & after much difficulty changing from Rehab Medicine Clinic to an appointment with Neurosurgery clinic successfully & on a Friday late P.M. they asked MRI facility to stay late & do an MRI, resulting in Neurosurgery doing surgery on my back Monday morning. Adding to headaches, they did a reevaluation following the surgery & did away with some ratings randomly, twisting things around, ignored the fact the surgeon, one of best on west coast by reputation, apologized to me as she had great difficulty extracting loose portion of disc through small incision & rubbed the nerve cord raw maybe resulting in some nerve damage. I was having problems at finish of surgery, but the disability rating gave me as I recall only 10% for back pain. And that was all for the back asked why to the rep that discussed rating with me & why they gave me 30% for unemployability as there were plenty of problems to cover 30% that were not even considered. He told me it has become a trend to use this in this manner to get the money for us as it is difficult work for the research & writing justification from the medical problems. This is the easiest way for us to get the money for you. And at the time I told him it is probably the easiest way for them to take the money away from us as well. He said no, they wouldn’t do that even if too old to work. See what is happening now in discussions about wanting to eliminate the unemployability.

    • Yeah the VA rats are always trying to find a way to fuck you over.

      Shut it down. Rico act every single employee past and present and investigate then charge.

      I’m so fucking sick of all the sellouts and being treated like this in the country I gave everything to.

      Fucking spoiled, rotten, fat, entitled, bloated, two faced lying VA rats. And all those who aid or sell out to them.

      One big pond of piss and we all gotta take a drink.

      Now line up for your shit sandwhich, fellahs.

      That’ll teach you to serve amerika.

  15. I am going down this road. In 2005 if my mind serve me correctly DAV represented me told me to drop 11 out of 13 claims I had in so I can get the other two, and I did. Not knowing that I was getting screwed in the process. Now I am fighting to get these granted service connected because a DAV representative was not looking out for my best interest. So do I or will I ever trust the DAV no but HELL NO

  16. I never saw anything saying the old system was going to shut down. They still guarantee the 125 days for the fully developed claims submitted on EBenefits as far as I know, and will continue indefinitely I think.

    They cannot force anyone to use the VSO’s. (God and millions of Vet’s know that the VSO’s cause more problems than they solve!!)

  17. 08/27/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Murphy and his cronies sabotaged the VA process.

    “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the men and women serving in the United States military from defective products and fraudulent conduct,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Department’s Civil Division.

    Benjamin, please tell Chad we have got some work for him!

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

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