VA announced yesterday that its Board of Veterans Appeals decided 25 percent more claims smashing numbers from the previous year by 28,000 more claims. The total number of appeals decided for fiscal year 2018 will eclipse 81,000.

“The Board’s historic achievement delivering results to Veterans and their families reflects VA’s hard work and commitment to getting it right for our Veterans under the leadership of President Trump,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Together, we have achieved significant results for our nation’s Veterans, as each of the more than 81,000 decisions produced by the Board can make a real difference in their lives and for their families.”

The press release does not mention it, but President Donald Trump appointed the first Chairman to the Board since the beginning of former President Barack Obama’s term.

For years, morale and performance at the Board languished without political oversight of the Board. For those who do not know, the Board of Veterans Appeals decides all claims where a veteran believes the agency erred in deciding the original claim. Once a veteran files a notice with the agency that she disagrees with the decision, that is generally referred to as an appeal.

In the first year of Chairman Cheryl Mason’s tenure, which is a six-year term, she oversaw the significant hiring of attorneys and pushed for a 25 percent increase in decisions, reaching that goal two weeks prior to the deadline. In the past year, over 100 attorneys were added to the roles at the agency.

In the past few years, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) played a game of pass the buck by ramming through bad decisions, then holding back appeals after certifying them to the Board resulting in a build-up of appeals that were not docketed at the Board.

As a result, a glut of appeals built up in the system as a consequence of poor decisionmaking and fudging numbers by VBA. It is worth noting compensation claims were managed under the direction of Thomas Murphy for many years. He implemented the ram-it-through method of poor decisionmaking to fudge the numbers. And, despite millions in mismanaged waste and a backlog, Murphy is allowed to retire as District Chief of the Midwest.

Murphy’s foibles aside, it looks like Chairman Mason deserves some credit for overseeing a record number of appeals decisions. Hopefully, those decisions will not come back through record numbers of remands from the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Given that no political appointee was nominated for more than six years under Obama, I think this outcome looks like reforms at the Board are heading the agency in the right direction.

Now, in case you are wondering, the position is “Chairman” and even though Mason is a woman, she is still referenced as “Chairman” instead of “Chairwoman.”

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Call me cynical but, does this now mean the meatgrinder has increased it’s denial rate efficiency by 25%? to reflect 25% increase in performance bonuses FOR 25% increase in denials?

    • That’s my thoughts after pondering the PC-ness of remembering to call Mason like others “Chair-women.” But then again for further corrections…… we are supposed to say today… “Chair-people/person.” Such identifying sexual biased his-her nouns or pro-nouns are on the way out from American language and dictionaries thanks to the college cliques that also ushered in such things like SJWs to PC-ness to destroying our American history. Oh and don’t forget we are supposed to burn the American flag, tear down historic statues, then display some ‘Rainbow Flag’ and be door-mats for all others.

      We old timers can’t forget the new ways. God forbid we use the old terms/slips like “you guys” in some group or function without ensuring everything is PC, and appeasing to all within ear-shot or writ. We have to first issue disclaimers that we may make mistakes and may offend someone out there. Such slip-ups today can cost us our lives, jobs, businesses, or getting to play the “knock-out game” with some youthful, maybe even some lefty older vet out to be hip-slick and cool to fit in with the mainstream. Let’s not unintentionally offend the all powerful PC VA team-mate army either. The retaliation of such mistakes may flow out into the civy world and community.

      Nothing like trying to do business in town or with city hall or have discussions in a totally controlled community/state while being instructed or told…”oh we don’t use those words any longer today.” “We don’t call (fill in the blank) ________ it that any longer today we say ________ .” “You need to use words that are more inclusive to all ________,” “You can’t say that it may offend _______.” “You mean ______?” Great for gas lighting to create distractions/interruptions and more Marxist BS, chaos. So just reverting to “chair woman” will still not appease/pacify the multitudes or those in solid college town communities. I have stood corrected on the issue many times to appease the Marx-Fems and college town tyrants.

      Will these new actions or ways be like the new Vet drug courts that still have such courts (drug courts/businesses/towns) raking in the big bucks while claiming they are there to serve some vet and keep them out of jail??? Big money paying for special classes to paying for those cute ankle bracelets to costs of drug testing by the police state.

      Or like the new “Out Reach” groups/hires/VA formations that aren’t so good at ‘reaching out’ to those of us under or have been VA and civilian retaliation and flak catching? Which PR firm, activist, SES ‘people’ to marketing specialist is the VA and gubbermint using today? “Ram it through” is correct. One way or the other.

    • This is true, but at least a decision let’s us move to the next step!! Better than the four years of limbo.

  2. Then, we now have this out from “military.com” by Nikki Wentling!
    Titled-
    “VA Cites Improvements at Five Hospitals Removed from ‘High-risk’ List”

    Google this and see IF your VHA is on the list.
    Betcha VA did some “numbers crunches” and had VA employees fill out the forms!

    • State Department Looking Into Democratic Socialist Employee Caught on Video
      by Kristian Wong, Breitbart, September 18,2018

      “The State Department is reportedly looking into Stuart Karaffa, a State Department employee who was caught on video by Project Veritas discussing his work for the Democratic Socialists of America during work hours — a potential violation of the Hatch Act, which bans federal employees from political activity while on duty.

      “I can confirm Stuart Karaffa is a management and program analyst with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. “We take seriously any allegation of a violation of the Hatch Act and financial disclosure rules and are closely reviewing this matter.”

      Project Veritas published a video on Tuesday morning that is first in a series of exposing the “Deep State” — or federal employees bent on resisting the Trump administration’s agenda within their federal bureaucracies, often working with former officials and other outside actors to leak their stories to the media.”

      “Project Veritas published a video on Tuesday morning that is first in a series of exposing the “Deep State” — or federal employees bent on resisting the Trump administration’s agenda within their federal bureaucracies, often working with former officials and other outside actors to leak their stories to the media.

      Breitbart News published an exclusive investigative report on Monday evening that revealed career diplomats at the State Department convened a secret meeting with at least ten civil servants to solicit criticism about a Trump appointee while she was overseas on a work trip.”

      Full Article at: https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/09/18/state-department-looking-into-democratic-socialist-employee-caught-on-video/

      ___

      Some Dumb Ass named Stuart is going to prison!

      Before going to the State Department, in August of 2016, Karaffa worked for the Department of Defense for just over five years as a Systems Integration Analyst.

      • Seymore,
        I saw that Project Veritas video yesterday. And, I was wondering if or when the State Department would get involved.
        I’m also wondering if that little bitch belongs to the AFGE. If he does, then he’ll have to see and prove that statement of “getting fired is almost impossible”!
        I wonder when he worked for the DOD, did he release any classified information to the MSM’s? They might want to look into that “matter”! Isn’t that what we’re supposed to call “investigations”? (I couldn’t resist!)

        P.S.
        Doesn’t he remind you of the guy down the street, or at a restaurant, who “acts” real feminine! Like a real PUNK!

      • Saw that video this morning and I’m spreading that bastard far and wide, if he thinks it’s impossible to get fired from a federal job it shouldn’t be to difficult to get him to quit with a whole lot of embarrasment and humiliation. well see, I’m guessing the asshole has no shame though. Sent it to a few high profiles to see what attention it gets. lmfao! Trump made it easier to get fired within the VA, he should make it easier in the state dept. as well. I’ve also made a hint that this could be the OP-ED Woodward has been speaking about and doesn’t want to reveal, if not? who cares, I damn sure don’t, he’ll be gone anyhow. if he is, lock the bastard up in a cage submerged in muddy water up to his ears and see how he likes democratic socialism. socialist don’t like people bucking there system, he’s bucking Trumps so it’s only fair right?? bet he’d cry like a bitch, CRY LIKE A BITCH!!

      • Project Veritas. First time seeing this. Hard to keep up on things. I’ll have to try to contact them again. I never heard back from them or many others like them or Michelle Malkin I tried to get to come here to blow Indiana apart and expose the whole sheebang of totalitarian, fascist corrupt evil networks and treasonous pigs….from the top (DC) down here to totally occupied main street. Perhaps James O’Keefe was busy filming this stuff since it does take a lot of time to do what he is doing, I dunno. There should be plenty for him and others to expose. The trick is to see what really happens to those corrupt freaks after the reports die down and the corrupt flee off to some happy land to retire in.

        But then again I’m informed Indiana is a ‘hands off’ state or ‘club state’ and not to be interfered with. So far it appears to be true.

        TY for posting these things I’d miss otherwise.

  3. Still playing the pc fiddle eh, Ben?

    Air force guys are such fucking clowns. They should hand control of it back over to the Army so air force clowns can learn some real discipline and morals.

    I again reiterate that if it’s my local legion chapter, the VA or here air force produces some awfully spineless punks. Lack of discipline, morality, values and ethics. Can’t turn out men in the air force I guess.

  4. Have y’all heard of WRIISC? War Related Illness & Injury Study Center in New Jersey. They promised to diagnose and set up treatment or surgery depending on what my physical detriments were. What they do however, is make you talk to five or six people about your pain/injuries/problems. Those people write down most of what you say, print it out, put it in a packet and mail it to you.
    No diagnosis. No help of any kind.
    What they are really trying to get are more Volunteers for medication studies. At the end of the interviews, they all gather in a board room with you, and talk about to you about the studies they want you to do. None of the studies had a Anything to do with my issues. What a scam.

  5. Nice and Fluffy numbering system with totally deceptive bullshit results

    While the Board of Veterans Appeals may have decided 25 percent more claims. The totally absurd reality is that the additional 100 attorneys were added to adjudicate appeal claims filed after February 2017. In no way helping Veterans in what is termed Legacy Claims.

    Although the new system does include the option for Veterans with Legacy claims to withdraw their existing appeal and transfer to the new system. There by receiving a new effective date while losing all back payments and severely limiting new evidence submission to support their claim as it rattles around the VA system.

    It is totally like stream lining the denial process.

    It is all part of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 known as Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP). Where Board of Veterans appeals legacy appeals were not included.

    A system that was designed without input from Veterans. It was developed under former Secs. McDonald, and Shulkin. Exclusively designed by Thomas Murphy and the VSOs.

    So, for the Veteran with a Legacy Claim, some dating back more than 24 years, their options are to wait it out under the old system or to lose all claims to back pay and take the Crap shoot with the limited acceptance of New Evidence in a new and rushed system. After all the standards of the the Legacy system are still Delay, Deny until they die.

    • Seymore,
      You’ll notice this was mainly going on during Obuthead’s Administration.
      While Obuthead was giving a few trillion dollars to Africa, (that’s now been substantiated!) All while he was destroying our military, putting people on the welfare system and working hard at destroying Our Republic. He couldn’t/wouldn’t give Veterans anything.
      All the names you mentioned, were put in place by the Obuthead Administration! If y’all look closer, our Republic came real close to being a “socialist ran country”! If Hillary had won – I honestly believe – our “Constitutional Republic” would have ceased to exist!

      • With all the indictments, proof, secret materials, leaks, Benghazi stuff, etc., found on Dems computers, Hillary’s, Wieners’ and wife’s lap tops also used for porn, FBI and other high level treason… none are in jail and probably won’t be. Karaffa will get a slap on the hands while media will claim something harder happened but he’ll be moved elswhere, living on an island, comfy beach home, or handsomely retired with a Soros or Clintoon/Obummer slush fund for activist, traitors and commies.

        Not that Indiana or college towns here needed any help from Obummer but he put the icing on the cake for this state to be more over-run with SJWs, hate for white people, Antifa and others go public and represented/supported by many like the NAACP, teachers unions, college profs, to those at the VA openly telling us to vote for Hillary and Democrat for better health care. With Obummer type activist running rampant during his time.

        Indiana is not really a ‘red state’ whatever that is supposed to mean. I think I’ve shown what this state and college towns are all like and that both parties are just as evil and corrupt as the other. That includes the VA crap, state agencies, one covering for the other and their “professionals” comrades in Congress, state house, media and officials that censor the hell out of us, to civy hospitals taking over where the VA left off in attacks and retaliation. That includes the medical boards, Health and Human services, DHS, any authorities,
        ALL of them. Obummers damage among others intentional destruction worked very well in my locale, very well. Wasn’t he the one who put us vets, or allowed us to be put on his admins “domestic terrorist watch list?”

      • “T”
        Hopefully it may be coming to an end in Indiana.
        From: “Associated Press”
        Dated: 20 Sept, 2018
        Titled-
        “Former VA Police Officer Gets Prison for Patient’s Rough Arrest”

        This was at the Indianapolis VHA. That cop got one year in prison!

      • Thanks for the post Elf. This would be another article I would have probably missed unless I did some digging to find it or about the specific topic.

        This cop and such making the news here is rare. Must have been too many witnesses to cover it all up.

        Odd self aggrandizing article from the Feds on this:
        “https://patch.com/indiana/indianapolis/former-indianapolis-va-officer-sentenced-assaulting-arrestee”

        I’ll have to waste more time contacting those mentioned in that article about so-called mistreatment or violations of civil or basic human rights. Ha. It’s all show and circus. Be just like contacting other agencies about health and human resources or services or loss of our Constitutional rights here. None of it will apply to their agencies and pass the buck… for years. They all have their excuses to not get involved. Or be told by Congress critter staff or state senators that no civil rights have been violated or must pass the buck on to other agencies since they can’t enforce laws just make them.

        “http://yourcivilrights.org/html/the_bill_of_rights.html”
        Free speech? While being censored on about every level. Retaliation, threats, etc., obviously is supported and promoted by all involved in such cases. LEOs claim there is nothing to do about threats of harm, local corruption, the thug mentality by local and state officials, and again much more. Media refuses to get involved in serious issues or harm done to
        vets by the VA and civy world. Local wasted tax dollars on the town’s ‘human resources claim no harm done to me. Not a minority or protected class. No laws to apply? And again much more.

        Locally we can’t trust media or officials to report much. Not the death of a white man. Nothing about LEO corruption and abuse. No great uproar when people with disabilities are shot and killed. “Good shoots.” Nothing about a quadriplegic put in jail without health care to just die with no aid. To today we will never hear such reports or happenings going on behind the lines of secrecy or info “not for public consumption.” Nothing about the mafia styled cliques and college kiddies that run the town along with the billionaire or foreigner types. I’d like to see some change in my life time for future generations but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  6. If rubber stamping denials by the truckload is the goal, then sure. I’ll bet they will continue to shatter records.

      • Trump Orders Declassification Of DOJ, FBI Documents
        Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent
        5:32 PM 09/17/2018

        ” “In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr.””

        http://dailycaller.com/2018/09/17/trump-orders-declassification/

        __****_

      • Seymore,
        Not only are the text messages from everyone being released. So are the FISA WARRANT DOCUMENTS and the 302’s! Everything is going to be coming out!

        Here’s some more interesting facts.
        There’s two executive orders getting ready to be enforced come January 2019.
        They have to do with Military Tribunals against civilians (and military members)! That “exchange” between Seen. Graham and Judge Kavanaugh, about Military Tribunals, during the hearing was very telling, to say the least!

        There is also reporting of massive amounts of construction and referbishments going on at Guantanamo Bay Gitmo! Then, we had “military.com” report, 12 Sept, of a “…courtroom being built at Guantanamo Bay Gitmo!”

        Then, there’s those videos of Gov. Kasich slipping and saying McCain “…was put to DEATH!” And, then there’s the one where Huma Abadin is seen by Generals Kelly and Mattis hugging Sen. Graham. But, then Graham walks directly over to Kelly and whispered something to him!
        These things are ALL CAUGHT ON VIDEO

        I’ve got a sneaky suspicion, all hell’s about to break loose in the coming months!

      • I’d love to see those freaks arrested on their knees and doing the perp walks in leg irons. Love it. It would be a great start then follow through with the shadow government and really really ‘deep-state’ freaks in DC. Kissinger, Soros, social media censors, Fed Reserve trash, K street lobbyist, New World Order demons, one very long list.

        None in DC or other places in Indiana have the ethics, morals, or honor to do what this police force did due to vast corruption and town leader incompetence or thuggery tactics. They all quit over all of small town corruption… like mine has.
        “https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/indiana-town-s-entire-police-force-quits-protest-immoral-things-n696386

        No way would our local cops, half way decent or the corrupt, just quit due to corruption or the mafia rule. Too many benefit from the corruption, greed, kick-backs, big money, the controls, perks, being above the laws just like up there in DC, congress and state levels.

  7. The question that must be answered is were the decisions in favor of the vet or the VA. If it was in favor of the VA then what good is an increase in decisions? None.

  8. Why the fuck would any young adult enlist in today’s armed forces is beyond me. It should be required that all potential recruits understand that their service may result in a service connected injury/illness that the VA will deny any claim filed on the first try. From then on any appeal, etc will be ridiculed, lost, shredded and denied again.
    I’m sure everyone that uses this site enlisted or was drafted with the ultimate goal of fucking Uncle Sam out of a few bucks, LOFUCKINGL. My kids and grandchildren see my everyday struggle with everyday life, and will NEVER be put through the grinder as we all have. I’ve had “the talk” with them over the years.

    FUCK VA
    FUCK AFGE

  9. My appeal hit the 2 year mark on Sept 15th 2018. I called last week and found out that on July 23rd 2018 the DRO finally began my review. November 4th will mark a decade since I first filed my initial claim.
    After being denied initially, then low ratings, then appeal after appeal, I have found little justice in this system.
    Any of you have any idea how long a DRO review takes once its finally initiated?
    I’m siding with namnibor on this one. I know all to well how the meat grinder works.

  10. Project Veritas
    Published on September 19, 2018

    Project Veritas has released the second installment in an undercover video series unmasking the deep state.

    All about bogus leaks and fake journalist that were employed by federal government.

      • Seymore,
        Whether these reprobates know it or not, what they are admitting to is “sedition”! A violation which can get them tried in a military courtroom under President Trump’s new executive orders concerning the UCMJ!
        BTW, that Attorney saying “receiving classified information” is a first amendment right – he’s full of bullshit.
        The law says – if you ain’t got a security clearance – better not get caught with classified information! (paraphrasing)!

      • Seymore,
        Whether these reprobates know it or not, receiving and sending classified information – without a security clearance – is “sedition”!
        These people can, under President Trump’s new executive orders, can be tried in a military courtroom under the UCMJ.

      • Hey Elf,

        Did you happen to catch the new release from Judicial watch regarding Hillary and $90 million in cash she pocketed through USAID agency while she was the Sec of State.

        ___

        U.S. Spends $90 Million to Help a few Dozen Afghan Women Get Jobs
        Judicial Watch, SEPTEMBER 18, 2018

        “The U.S. government has blown almost $90 million on a doomed project to help Afghan women enter the workforce with a big chunk of the money going to a Clinton-aligned “development” company that reaped big bucks from Uncle Sam while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The cash flows through the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), which is charged with providing global economic, development and humanitarian assistance. In this case USAID allocated $216 million to supposedly help tens of thousands of Afghan women get jobs and gain promotions over five years. Known as “Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs,” the endeavor was launched in 2014 and tens of millions of dollars later it’s proven to be a major failure.

        Someone must be pocketing the cash because the costly program has helped between zero and 60 women. This isn’t a joke, though it sounds like a bad one. All the dirty details are laid out in a scathing federal audit released this month by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Investigators found that around 55 women got “new or better” jobs in three years and they can’t even fully credit the U.S.-backed program for the women’s prosperities. SIGAR writes that it found “multiple problems” in the program, including security, staffing and economic conditions in Afghanistan. “In addition, SIGAR found that USAID/Afghanistan’s records on the contractors’ required deliverables were incomplete and inaccurate because the agency’s management did not give contracting officer’s representatives enough guidance on record keeping,” the report states. Of interesting note is that one of the biggest contracts went to a company, Chemonics International, with close ties to the Clintons. The Washington-based development firm was awarded $38 million, according to the figures included in the SIGAR report. “Chemonics thrived during Clinton’s tenure, nabbing more contracts during the Haiti reconstruction effort than any other company,” a 2015 news report reveals. “Peter Schweizer noted the extensive Clinton connections to development failures in Haiti in his book, Clinton Cash.””

        Full Release at: https://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2018/09/u-s-spends-90-million-to-help-a-few-dozen-afghan-women-get-jobs/

      • Seymore,
        Anything with Hillary’s name on it, especially if taxpayers monies is involved, is more than likely criminal in nature!

      • DOJ Vows To Investigate After Second Veritas Video Exposes “Deep Throat” Types Within HHS
        by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Wed, 09/19/2018 – 17:25

        “The Department of Justice on Wednesday said it would look into allegations of “misuse of government resources to advance personal interests” after James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released a second video this week exposing “deep state” federal employees pursuing socialist agendas while on the clock at their government jobs.

        In the latest undercover video, DOJ paralegal and Democratic Socialists of America member, Allison Hrabar, reveals that there is “a lot of talk about how we can, like, resist from the inside.” She discusses a fellow DSA member working from within the Department of Agriculture …”

        https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-19/doj-vows-investigate-after-second-veritas-video-exposes-deep-throat-types-within

    • Seymore,
      I believe it was Judicial Watch who released a video over some individuals, we know who now, at the FBI and DOJ who were leaking fake reports to the news medias!
      “Operation Mockingbird” at it’s best and finest!

  11. Thanks for the heads up regarding naming protocols of the Chairman. These things are tough to figure out sometimes right? And then the embarrassment of having to ask what the right thing is at the wrong moment? Aweful and then when you get it wrong??. I was even called a sexist for just asking suhc things at VA!

    Maybe you can clear up something though that has puzzled me since the Marine Corps, Ben? With female fight pilots now trained and ready do we still call the place they sit in a “cockpit”? Nobody ever made that very clear…. and the VA psyhciatrist would not answer either. I guess she needed to ponder too?

    PS – I have received a record setting eight letter of PRF issued by Roseburg VA in less than half as many years. Tell me, at what point do you call this harrassment under color of authority? Two years each yet each issued one on top of the other and EACH for action son my part never done while AT a VA facility. Pure First Ammendment stuff. Eight votes to categorize me as a violent patient yet each of the first seven just… disappeared…. when media started asking questions. What is the VA record for PRF letters against a single patient? Heck the last one was not even signed by anyone other than “The Committee” lolz. Nobody wants to claim it!

    • Gentlemen;

      Civil service rules were changed some time ago. It use to be that when somebody was elected, all the current civil service were fired and the newly elected official would hire his sycopants and hangers on were given newly vacant government jobs until the next election. whoever won would then fire all the old employees and put his people in office. Fraud and corruption were the rules.

      Under the present rules, you can fire a Civil Service Person, BUT you really have to build a case against them When I was a Union Rep, I managed to get at least two fired. Busted my balls on that. The old system was shitty, the new system isn’t much better.

      At least it is an improvement.

      Paul, The Old Sarge

Comments are closed.