VA Reverses 100% To 0% PTSD Reduction, Then Lies About It To Press

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The Department of Veterans Affairs got caught with its pants down after reducing one MST Marine veteran’s 100% PTSD rating to 0% after botched reexamination scheduling.

When questioned by Kare 11 investigation journalist AJ Lagoe, VA made a response of the special type of manure that “helps make my flowers grow,” according to one attorney.

Head of VA Media Susan Carter told AJ the claim that VA dropped Marine veteran Maria Jewell’s PTSD rating to zero from 100 was “false”.

“There was absolutely no point in time where her PTSD rating dropped to zero.”

The agency’s spokeswoman not only denied the allegation in a bald-faced lie but also chastised AJ saying, “The allegations you are citing are misleading to the point where repeating them for your viewers would be highly irresponsible.”

But here is what the black on white VA decision letter stated:

You tell me what it said? Did VA lie? Most certainly.

What happened to ICARE values and the basic ethics required of all federal employees?

Just because Carter is in charge of media outreach does not give her the right to make false statements about a veteran or the agency’s unlawful reduction.

Period.

Other False Statements Recently Made

But that is not the only false statement VA has dished out recently about its female veterans who were victims of sexual assault or harassment. So, I guess we should expect the agency to handle issues like this without tact.

Some of you may recall that former VA deputy secretary Jim Byrne was dismissed on Monday. Initially, it was reported his dismissal was for failing to appropriately address a false narrative about a female Navy veteran who was sexually assaulted at a VA facility.

“Today, I dismissed VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne due to loss of confidence in Mr. Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties. This decision is effective immediately,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie stated in a terse mid-day press release.

However, the agency responded the next day to various news reports that the “loss of confidence” was not due to the sexual assault investigation but someone else the agency would not disclose.

The core issue was a statement issued by Wilkie about the investigation wherein Wilkie told Congress the allegations of the Navy veteran were unsubstantiated. However, that was false. While IG did not recommend an investigation, the allegations were not deemed “unsubstantiated.”

Now, for the female veteran involved was not just an ordinary veteran like most but she was connected with the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and was apparently assaulted while working by someone at a VA facility. Meaning, she has juice, and Congress was upset about how cavalier it viewed Wilkie’s statements about the matter.

In this context, I am not sure what is better.

To let the country know VA stands behind female veterans who are victimized by the agency’s employees. Or, to back peddle such a belief without any further explanation leaving veterans like me wondering if VA will ever get serious about protecting victims of harassment and sexual assault.

In our case, here, we have a Marine veteran whose PTSD rating is the consequence of a military sexual assault.

Do you think she felt victimized, as an unemployed mother trying to better herself through vocational rehabilitation, when VA dropped her PTSD rating from 100 percent to 0 percent?

Do you think she felt even more victimized when VA directly contradicted itself to save face at her expense trying to say the very real reduction that almost led Maria to being homeless was false?

Does the agency think we are all too stupid to read?

I guess.

Say What?

AJ’s reporting on an unlawful reduction of an MST female veteran’s disability rating is “irresponsible” despite being supported by VA’s own documentation, according to VA’s propaganda machine.

Irresponsible? Does VA use dictionaries?

–>So says the agency that wrongly reduced Maria from 100% SMC S with compensation of $3,500 to 40% without sending the notices to the proper address… that later increased it back to 100% SMC S once attorneys and the press got involved?

–>So says the agency that scams veterans out of billions in emergency room bills… including this veterans rights attorney (I helped expose that scandal with Kare 11).

RELATED: Poor Staffing Behind Community Care Scheduling Delays

–>So says the agency that, for nearly a decade, pushed its unqualified nurses and doctors to incorrectly diagnose veterans seeking benefits and care for traumatic brain injury (I helped expose that scandal, too, with Kare 11).

–>So says that agency that got caught wrongly releasing PII of millions of people to third parties that lacked necessary access to that PII (the agency exposed this scandal on its own at the IG).

Who is really “irresponsible,” here?

In this instance, the veteran and her teenage daughter were facing homelessness when Maria came into our office.

Wrong Mailing Address

That is when my friend Brian Lewis, a fellow veterans rights attorney, and I started looking into the matter. And, investigating issues like this has been where I’ve spent a lot of my time over the past couple of months instead of writing as frequently as I would like.

(Brian now represents Maria pro bono for the eviction action.)

On that fateful day in December, we traveled with Maria to the St. Paul Regional Office to dig into the problem at the center of the reduction.

For some backstory, it is vital to know VA has long struggled to correctly update and maintain mailing addresses of veterans and VA accredited attorneys representing them.

RELATED: Wrongful Emergency Room Denials Gets National Coverage

I have personally had my private health information – – thousands of pages – – sent by VA to the wrong address after updating my address at both VHA and VBA. I even contacted former undersecretary Allison Hickey to make sure it was updated… AND PROMISED IT WAS SORTED.

But that did not stop my local office from accidentally mailing my file to the wrong address when it then disappeared. Great. VA offered to provide credit monitoring but did not lift a finger to try to local the missing records.

Many of my readers regularly squawk about exactly the same problem. And it’s not just veterans. Many law firms also regularly complain that VA reset their mailing addresses to an address from some random database years earlier.

What happens?

Impact Of Poor Mailing And Database Practices

Veterans and their representatives do not receive timely notices of VA decisions. It is safe to say that VA almost always is on the winning end of the deal, too. Rarely will you ever hear that because of a mailing glitch VA paid a veteran twice what was owed.

Instead, like the case with Maria, VA’s error resulted in the veteran getting screwed out of benefits to which she was entitled in the dead of winter in Minnesota, right before Christmas.

Santa?

After Brian and I went to St. Paul RO, I got to work pushing out the story to help inform the public of what was going on. That is when Kare 11 stepped in.

RELATED: VA Considers Lowering TBI Examiner Credentialing

AJ got the story and started to dig.

That led to the news story he published Monday night. Again, another example of fantastic reporting from Kare 11 News.

Kare 11 On Veterans

For some of you who are new to this, Kare 11 is an NBC affiliate in Minneaplis that has worked tirelessly to expose problems veterans are facing nationwide, and frequently featuring research and stories I bring to them for further investigation.

The biggest story in the past couple of years was the Emergency Room scandal where VA was caught wrongly denying veterans reimbursement of non-VA ER bills originating with my own personal story.

This newest scandal starting with Maria likely will have long legs.

RELATED: VA Reverses Denial Of Kidney Transplant To Native American Veteran

In her case, VA had the correct address in its database.

Even the agency’s scheduler had the correct address. But the notice of her appointment for a future exam was inexplicably mailed to the wrong address where Maria had not lived for 5 years.

How could VA have the right address internally but still mail the notice to the wrong address without verifying the address based on the inconsistency?

The error resulted in a massive reduction, shaving almost three thousand dollars per month off her compensation, and Maria did not receive the required notice prior to the agency dropping her rating. Compounding matters, VA even received a bounce back from the US Postal Service of a different letter to the same wrong address at the same time.

No one looked into it.

Fortunately for Maria, the rating was reinstated coincidentally after the agency learned we were looking into the matter with Kare 11. But that did not stop VA’s spokeswoman of propaganda from lying about the substance of the reduction, as if AJ cannot read.

The story will not end with this singular example, though.

My favorite part of AJ’s coverage was his quote of Brian about the flowers growing. Love it!

RELATED: VA May Cut Sleep Apnea Funding Due To Agency Mismanagement

What Is Behind Scheduling/Mailing Errors?

Many veterans are likely to come forward with other examples that demonstrate the agency, or its government contractors, are gaming the system to cut corners on the backs of veterans while also profiting handsomely off disability examination privatization.

You see, that is the other part of this story.

A private contractor was supposed to contact Maria back to address scheduling her appointment, but the callback never came.

Veterans being contacted by contract examiners are reporting the contractors are pre-scheduling the exams without first verifying if the veteran is even available.

If the veteran has a scheduling conflict, the contractor frequently informs the veteran they will be unable to reschedule. So, then what?

RELATED: Is VA Fairly Denying GI Bill Restoration?

Why are contractors not allowed to reschedule? What VA policy or arrangement is behind the rigid policies that do not put the needs of veterans first?

If there is more to this story, it is safe to say the Kare 11 NBC team will investigate.

Thanks again, AJ!

Kare 11 Dupont Award

Btw, in case you missed it, Kare 11 just won the prestigious Dupont Award from Columbia University for its reporting on VA scandals.

Check back here over the next few days if you are concerned about a future examination or a reduction threat because you missed an appointment.

I will roll out a free mini-course based on an audit I’ve been doing using VA education materials to help inform the public of how VA teaches its employees on various topics.

Tune in soon.

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74 Comments

  1. Great article Ben!
    Notice how a few of these “articles” tie together!

    “Follow the money” has been said many times on here! Where is all that money, Congress allocates to the va going? IMO, it ain’t going to help veterans!

    You may be right. I’ve also come to the conclusion, “privatization of VA” is close at hand! Last night, when President Trump gave his “State of the Union Address”, there was no mention of how “…the VA has been fixed!” There was mention of our military. But nothing on the VA! That tells me something is about to happen.
    What I’d like to happen is for those who want outside healthcare, be allowed to use outside healthcare! Champva has been suggested by more than a few people on here! And many have said how good Champva is!

    Any of you have any other suggestions?

    • Benjamin, the VA is hiring so it seems. I have been witnessing many more available open employment positions under the VA. I have noted the change while involved in my own employment agenda. I am applying and have applied to companies of whom I have a good repoire with and who know me face to face. Many times when the companies and agencies have only online hiring, this can sabotage many people. In the initial stages when hiring team is screening applications, they look at those dates and that tells it all. See you later if you are older. There is so much biasness, stigmatization, and hidden discrimination around and about that it makes my stomach turn. Having everything online is a source of breeding discrimination because the online process invites too many unknowns. See my pt. In regards to the Marine veteran who was reduced while in Chapter 31 Vocational rehabilitation, this is absolutely a disgrace. This is exactly what the VA engages in or what it has become.
      The VA just could not wait for the lady Marine to finish her training to become employed. Ben, why couldn’t the VA at least wait until she finished her school to work program before they started messing with her compensation? Or whatever her retraining path happens to be? The VA just could not wait. On top of this, the Marine veteran is a single mom. Honestly, Ben, this action taken is pretty low. How low can the VA stoop? Please give me a break. Ben, I wonder how a VA employee would like it if the rug was jerked out from under him or her? Honestly, this was uncalled for. 👎😡😠

      • Ultimately, the whole federal government has been crap. Some of it is being improved. But in my case, the VA has to find ways to justify paying the veteran. Now if it is about them it does not matter. The VA leadership and employees are just give me more. Enough is never enough for them. Even though Secretary Robert Wilkie is a Republican or he claims to be and actually he is operating modusopereendi. I do not have to say anymore. All already know. I am bringing the president in play possibly.

      • Really and truly, I want to point this out. Regardless of private sector executives or government Ben, both disregard the citizens. I am referring to doing whatever to throw the little guy under the bus. Financial or something?? Now there are a few here and there who are connected and who make honest efforts to enact equal opportunity. Ben, the Republicans say the government does not work or find ways to prove the government does not work. Then the Democrats say government is responsible for everything and say big government does work. The powers to be may not agree with each other in regards to government and policies but the Conservative at the base and the Liberal at the base agree with the same issues and experience the same concerns. So Ben the divide is coming from the top. People who are working are still being hammered. Almost 30% tax rate for regular everyday citizen. Yes Ben. Medicaid beneficiaries have to have at least 12000 in income to qualify for Medicaid. Well what about those who do not. Or someone has lost their job due to illness and they cannot qualify for Medicaid. And social security is years down the road. They have nothing. Do you see this? I bet things would change if the politicians actually had to look for a job without it being handed to them by a family member or if they had to receive their care like the everyday citizen does. No difference to me between the Koch brothers and George Soros.

      • What is hard to understand is how is it the private sector insurance companies are reducing funding for payments for care to the physicians and other healthcare professionals? Reducing to the facilities. Ben, the private health insurance is stopping paying for mental health in the private sector. This is what I am being told by people who say have Blue Cross and Blue Shield coverage. Like Medicare is stripping Physical Therapy and OT in home health too. Ben, what is going on? I have witnessed increased employment opportunities in Physical therapy, OT, Human Services, Social workers but who is paying them Ben? If the government and private sector companies are reducing care, why all these jobs? See my point Ben. As for Medicaid, those physicians and medical support employees just keep pumping pills. Here the workers really do not care. Obama care destroyed medical insurance plans that many working citizens had with their employment. Family members had to go on Medicaid because they could not afford Obama care premiums. Once on Medicaid family members became addicted to Opioids. The wife did. Ben do you see this? Like I have mentioned the whole health care industry is a mess Ben. It is not just the VA. VA could be improving somewhat in some areas. They do have some strengths or they did. I am witnessing some in the public non-veterans. When I mentioned the just below 30% tax rate, this is attached to self employed Ben where I am located. Some of the claims are hard to understand when there is contradictoring information out here.

      • Maria, was probably reduced because of being female.
        As you already know, when the male veteran ratio to the female ratio has a big gap, what does that tell everyone? Numbers recently came out on this. I am referring to veterans preference. This also applies to salary and co-pay amounts. Male MD and female MD of same speciality in the VA. Male physicians salaries and co-pays are higher than women physicians in the VA. First of all Ben if you get down to it, VA favors men over women. All of the federal government favors men over women from looking at the numbers. This could be the main reason why the VA reduced Maria. Now, did the VA ever mess with Former Senator John McCain? No and hell no. And look at the wealth he had from his wife.

      • I was in the VA from 1996 until 2015 with care. I left in 2015. In regards to sexual assault, no VA employee has ever sexually assaulted me during the whole time I was receiving care in the VA. The sexual harassment, sexual assaulting, and sexual abuse happened before the VA. While serving on active duty and prior to the Navy. I will say this Ben the VA owes me a dental implant. Yes it happened on active duty with being in my dental record. VA failed at the care. Ben, I have my Navy ecords. They are paper Navy records. And, the Navy does not have all my past evaluations in their digital records either. So powers to be reviewing will not see the outstanding performance before the Navy did me in. This was content in a transfer evaluation. So this is another reason why I say they do not have all the facts. Referring to how I have been slammed by the VA in the last 10-12 years.

      • Ben, the VA had to eventually pull the molar since the time it almost dismantled on active duty. The Navy had patched it together. The VA pretended to work to fix it. The oral surgeon- I do not even think he was a oral surgeon. All he cared about was displaying his big boats and the fish he had caught. Even then, the VA was prescribing Opoids for dental
        issues. I took aspirin and dealt with it. Never took a pain pill period. Even when my car accident happened, I never took a pain pill while having a right broken arm and a gash in my head. But getting back to the dental issue, the VA failed at the care. And yes it can be seen about. I have been going to a private sector dentist not around where I live though. I have been paying for my cleanings out of my compensation. See Ben I am paying for my own medical bills. Let me share how shitty Tricare is. I will reveal it. Since the president took office, these agencies and companies just believe everyone has all these increased amounts of money. Wrong. Get a grip Trump administration. From year 2018 until 2020 and this is for mail delivery under Express Scripts, I was paying 12 dollars and it has jumped to 29 dollars. I paid for the thyroid medication. Guess what Tricare paid- 0 dollar amount. Like I have mentioned Ben the healthcare industry has turned into a pile of shit with many thanks to Former President Obama. Ben, problems are not stop signs at all. Ben, if the person does not use healthcare insurance, the pharmaceutical companies raise the prices. But if the person presents pharmacy insurance, the healthcare insurance still does not pay anything. Ben, do you see this bullshit rigged by the government and the pharmaceutical industry. How lovely Republicans.

      • I had better pray that I do not develop a life threatening medical condition because nothing will be paid. The insurance companies are reducing and are not paying for anything now hardly. So Ben where in the hell is the government subsidies going that are being paid to the insurance companies.

      • During the years when and after the Navy exited me, purchasing a home was not feasible. I was too sick.
        With Maria the Marine veteran, she is another American citizen who has been duped.

      • And the price transparency will show the citizens themselves just how much the physicians, the hospitals, and the pharmaceutical companies have been robbing them blind. Insurance and govt have been right along side of these physicians and etc.

      • I agree with the Trump administration to a point because the country has been strangled for years. Here is my issue with it though, people who have already been duped are going to be duped further. For example, Ben, if I had not entered the military, I could have more than likely be established in my life to where I could take care of myself. Yes, Ben, I did not have to enter the Navy at all. I was influenced by my mom’s brother who served in the Marine Corp for over 33 years and retired. He was the first CW-5 promoted to this rank. He served 5 trips in Vietnam and was shot down in the first Gulf War in Iraq. He was held as a POW. Anyway, when I was little, he would come to stay with us when he came home on leave. This is how I veered into the Navy. My high school offered zero ROTC back then. So I only saw the example of my uncle. He is still living today. Even after being shot down, he retired and went to teaching Mathematics at a college. He had earned a degree in Math after retiring. Anyway, Ben, no matter if the person is decently healthy and working, the body still has to be maintained to hold employment. If not, situation could snow ball with person losing their job. As for the veterans, Ben, there is no way a military member can step off active duty to proceed to see about themselves if they have been injured. Trump has funded the VA over the top but veterans being stripped. Ben, I honestly do not understand at all. Trump administration stopping resources.

      • To go even further though, regardless of whether the VA was supposed to see about the issues pay or not pay by them under their path or if I was or am pursuing the path to see about myself, the VA was blocking and has been blocking both paths. See this Ben. Ben, I have been damed both ways in the recent years by the VA. The VA needs to make up it’s mind. Either get out of the way so I can move it or the VA should move it. Although, I cannot trust the VA to move anything forward or have trusted the VA to have moved anything forward in the recent years. And, so Ben my situation is similar to the president. I am damned if I do and I am damned if I don’t. Reason why I can’t trust them is because of their thwarting and irresponsible actions that were contributing to negative impact and were about to contribute to negative impact. Lack of ethics and lack of accountability. Points to the system, all who were involved, and all who are involved in the sabateuring efforts. Best.

    • Dental implant not for Tricare and me to pay for. It is service connected and they are going to pay for it. Mr. Wilkie may not like my comment should he happen to read this blog. I am a straight down the line person and always have been. All the crap was taking me out. But it happened on active duty and it is documented. And his VA failed to honor correcting it. Black and White Ben.

    • If I can get hired, I will dump. But the private sector working citizens are having a hard time too with these greed mongering insurance companies and the federal government.

    • Ben and all, some of this money laundering healthcare system could have already been improved. I will say Former Speaker Paul Ryan is responsible for healthcare not getting improved on or not getting done. Plus, Former Senator John McCain too is responsible for this healthcare system that is serving itself. Ben, where is the money going? Private healthcare insurance is cutting payments to providers. Tricare pays zero on my thyroid medication. Why all the jobs? Healthcare jobs that is because the insurance companies are cutting. So if the citizens are getting their care cut due to the insurance companies not paying, so I ask the Trump administration why the medical professional jobs? Sometimes I almost believe they are fake jobs. Because people are receiving very little care. Ben, take a look at this. So where are the government subsides going if the insurance companies are paying very little to the physicians and the hospitals? See this Ben.

      • Angela,

        Barack Obama is no more responsible for the state of Health Care in the USA than is Speaker Ryan or the late Senator McCain; which is to say, NOT AT ALL.

        Health Care is an industry in this country. Industries in Capitalist countries like ours exist to make money, not products or services. Health Care companies make lots and lots of money. As a place to invest Capital, they rank very high—though not as high as Insurance Companies.

        To solve the problem you allude to—however vaguely—requires that the incestuous relationship between the Health Care Industry and the Insurance Industry be severed. Not regulated. Severed.

        That’s never going to happen. So cobbling something together to help poor and working-class Americans get health care in an industry swimming in lucre means slowly beating an Affordable Care Act-like legislative solution into place.

        Or not.

      • Oh my gosh, Steve, you have totally misunderstood me. I not saying to hold people’s hands. You have misperceived me. And no I am not saying to sever it. I never did say that. And if you have read that, you have it wrong.

    • I will come back to explain why I am saying what I am saying. I ultimately do not trust the Republicans or the Democrats. Yes, I realize the president is trying to improve all and he needs a Congress to work with him. Ben, even if the President had a Republican controlled Congress, I still do not trust any of them. Ben, I am around and about in the public alot of the time. So we engage in the happenings. When I mentioned about the private sector health insurance companies and the government run healthcare agencies cutting funding to pay for care, this is happening. Then I mentioned if the money is not being spent to pay for the healthcare services delivered, where is the money going? Here is an example of a government hidden money majorly drawing interest. There is a landfill area or it used to be a place for putting some kind of waste in the Northern part of Florida. Well, it had been decided years ago to be cleaned up. Well, there was money allocated for this project. Well, the area has never been cleaned up. Do you know why? Because the soil is red clay. The powers to be do want to touch it. Back to the money allocated for this project, guess where it is for years and years. The federal government is drawing major interest off of this money stashed away. Now we have a major deficit due to massive spending. Though Ben the government has major money stashed based on this landfill situation. So when the government defunds the private sector healthcare insurance companies and the government run care which reduces care among the American citizens, I almost believe it is being put away somewhere to draw interest. Just like the real example of the landfill. I look at it like this…. No matter who is in power, the American people get duped. So no I do not trust the Trump administration. Yes people are working and more jobs. But in every industry but healthcare. Because if the insurance companies and govt are reducing the payment amounts to medical professionals for services rendered, actually stopping care, and are paying for very little care or medications, why are more healthcare employment opportunities posted? See my points now. In regards to my dental issue, this incident happened on duty during lunch eating Navy chow hall cooked food. The food had bones in it. This was not food eaten on my own time. The food was meatloaf. This happened in 1995 at the Navy Base in Newport, Rhode Island. The Navy Dental on that base patched the molar. So at every turn the American citizen gets dicked. And I would never involve myself in a VA Home Loan later in life. See the government loves the American citizens being beholden to them no matter who is in power. So I say the Trump administration too is a player. Although, the Democrats trying to remove the president is and has been a disgrace.

      • @Angela … THERE you are!

        ” …Although, the Democrats trying to remove the president is and has been a disgrace.”

        Or, maybe their Constitutional Duty?

        After all, Angela, Party R impeached Clinton for having “intimate relations”—WordPress will not permit me employ the actual terminology—with an intern, and then lying about it. Which he did…both.

        The President is MEANT to be answerable to Congress—read the Constitution (it’s free).

    • Benjamin, getting down to it honestly and in relation to the VA, I just appreciate what they have already done. At least I have compensation to pay for my dental, car insurance, rent, food, copays for thyroid medication, clothes, and other necessary items. Back in the day, the VA honored the law when the DAV presented the claim. DAV acted responsibly and ethically at that time in the past. DAV actually did an above board job at that time when they took the initiative to review my Navy medical record before the Navy transitioned me to TDRL and PDRL. DAV had initiated the process before I left active duty. So Ben it does not matter to me whether they assist with anything going forward or not. My path I am making it happen no matter what. Best.

  2. I predict VA will attempt to do this to me too because I have been a thorn in VA’s side for over a decade now and they hate my guts. Mostly because I relentlessly fight back and try to expose their corruption as I fight to keep my benefits I earned. So my educated guess knowing the VA playbook so well after a decade in the trenches learning their nefarious ways, I expect VA will try to find a way to suddenly cut my VA rating in retaliation. I am and have been rated 100% permanently and totally disabled due to service connected injuries since 2011. I am almost 63 years old and have lived with severe chronic pain for decades. In the future if any of my benefits or health care I now receive are cut in any way, then I declare here and now the sole reason is VA retaliation. VA you are being warned. Leave my benefits and my holistic pain management care levels and access to that care alone. I have what I need now and if VA takes any of it away in the future it will be a targeted retaliation tactic meant solely to cause physical harm and mental anguish.

    • Benjamin, has the government stopped subsidizing the insurance companies? This could be why they are eliminating care. But they can do this only for so long and they will collapse. With the price transparency, this will shed a real light on how the American citizens have been just robbed by the insurance companies and the federal government. If they are restricting care because of costs, the elimination of the government subsidies will force the hand of the insurance companies. This action could force the healthcare facilities and the healthcare professionals to lower prices. Otherwise, very few Americans will be able to afford any care for any medical condition if the prices are not lowered. If this is what is happening, this situation could be both good and bad. There are people who have zilch care. Even the people who fall under healthcare plans whether govt or private sector, this does mean they will receive any medical care assistance at all. Regardless, govt or private sector could deny payment and care. Who gives a flying fuck. Best to never get sick and to go to the grave directly from being employed on the job. As for veterans and if having been injured, I guess SOL would be the word to describe it for fighting for everyone else’s freedoms. Stabbed in the back. Who knows????

      • Typo… this does not mean they will receive actual medical care even if the person is enrolled in a healthcare plan. Just like because a veteran is enrolled in the VA does not mean the veteran will receive any assistance at all. This happens all the time.

  3. The scheduling thing happened to me. They didn’t call to schedule or even see my availability. I got the letter in the mail and the appointment was over one hour away from me. I called them because I know they have doctors 15 minutes away from my address.

    They told me they could not reschedule. Well after a bit of my wrath, I got a call from the ACTUAL VA Hospital (not a contractor) scheduling my disability appointment at the damn VA.

    Smdh… It’s a mess. They evaluated me at the VA but at first tried to send me one hour away from my home. (The VA was 15 minutes from my home.)

  4. This seems to be a growing trend with the VA. Tomah VA (who still employs the ‘Candy Man’) wrote an assessment during my C&P exams that state my PTSD went away. That’s right, magically the disability just disappeared and guess what? So has my Traumatic Brain Injuries. Funny how these C&Ps occurred after being rated for years. It is also humorous (not so much) that the PTSD appointment didn’t cover the actual parameters the doctor is supposed to follow. The criteria, according to her assessment, has worded certain line items without addressing the actual problems. This way the VA could deny, once again, my disabilities. A decade and a half of this BS and enough is enough. The major problem with the veteran community is that we are not organized. We need to be organized better to become a voice that DC cannot ignore.

  5. The VA is a bunch of boobs that have festered to the point of a puss pocket.
    They have went down hill all the way in the past 45 years and now there is no one in the wheel house.
    What a crying shame to poop on the very people who put thier life on the line for thier freedom.
    No one has done a worse job than the VA!!

  6. No doubt a victim of CTP, cognitive therapy process. If you don’t do it there way even if the shit they are pushing doesn’t apply (very likely in sexual assault) you get kicked out of the must attend CPT and then a C&P exam sent to reduce your rating.

  7. Yup! A private contractor set me up for a C&P exam, 2 on the same day. I was never given an option. When I called to change they changed one. After I mentioned missing too much work and could be cause to dismiss me, they doubled down. The end result was I lost a half day of work. No amenities with my job, just day to day work.
    Please keep exposing these failures so that veterans are aware what can happen and how to be heard!

  8. This is AWFUL! I am a 100% disabled veteran due to deploying to Afghanistan and for MST. However, after seeing the examiner he told me that he’d been doing PTSD evaluations for a number of years and 2 hours after I’d left his office at 2PM a decision was made that I’ve gotten better! The VA had sent a letter to an old address (although I’d updated it a numerous amount of times) stating that since I’m better my rating is getting dropped from 100%-70%. These people already have their minds made up as soon as we walk through the door. It’s such a shame that we have to go through this. It’s pathetic and they get away with it!

  9. In 2012 I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. This disease stemmed from an accident where I was stuck with a hypodermic needle while working as a Hospital Corpsman. This incident happened in 1973 but the disease was diagnosed in 2012. To make a long story short, I received 40% disability and now the VA has proposed to reduce the disability amount to 0%. Not taking the liver damage or the residuals from the disease into account at all. We’re fighting a losing battle with the VA when it comes to situations like this because lawyers don’t usually handle cases like this unless there is a monitary reward for them. Suggestions anyone.

  10. These “reduction of entitlements” to veterans have grossly accelerated during the Trump Administration and GOP control of the Senate.

    • Add to that the “fake news” assault on media when the administration gets caught lying. There’s a lot of reasons to question media of any flavor. But these guys seem to be taking it to a new level. We’re accustomed to the lie, then the denial. Now we’re seeing a trend of the accusers automatically being accused and shamed for exposing a real and verifiable malfeasance. In this case, AJ presented the facts and was immediately accused of being an evil conspirator…propagandist. Goebbels would be impressed. We’re screwed.

    • Lem, the administration is doing this to the people who are working too. Their resources too. So where is the money going? The administration is sideswiping everyone. Not good.

  11. I fucking despise the VA PR machine.
    What is irresponsible is dropping a veteran from 100% to zero hoping they are alone in fighting the bureaucracy and will just go away or worse, commit suicide.
    Imagine how drastically your current life situation would change if the same happened to you.
    As for addresses, it doesn’t matter what your address is or what your contact phone number is, the VA will act as dumb as a fence post in using any information resulting in screwing a veteran or making the veteran look responsible for the problem.
    When I enrolled at the Grand Junction VA, I never once consistently got notices of appointments or phone calls at the primary number I had listed, even after notifying the VA multiple times. They did not give a damn.

    Anyone involved in the reduction of her rating should have been fired. Instead, we get ass-covering lies from their PR machine.

  12. I AM GOING THROUGH BS WITH THE VA FOR MY 100 % SERVICE CONN ECTED UNEMPOLYABILITY AFTER WTRONGFUL AND ILLEGL INCARCERATION BY THE U.S. ;PAROLE COMMISSION, WHICH I HAVE BEEN GRANTED A WRIT OF CERTIORARI BY SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, THE SOLICITOR GENERAL WAIVED HIS RIGHTS TO RESPOND TO THE SUPREME COURT REQUEST UNLESS ORDERED TO APPEATR BY SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: THEY ARE IN A NO WIN SITUATYION, BECAUSE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES RULED 5 TO 4 THAT INCREASING AN INMATES SENTENCE BEYOND ITS ORIGINAL EXPIRATION DATE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE U.S. PAROLE COMMISSION HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH PROMULGATING FEDERAL CODE REGULATIONS ON STATE OFFENDERS FOR OVER 77 YEARS. BUT THE BUCK STOPS RIGHT HERE WITH HERBERT EVANS, IT IS MY TIME TO DEAL. THE U.S. PAROLE COMMISSION, THE THIRD CIRCUIT DISTRICT JUDGE AND THE THIRD CIRCUIT DENIED MY WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS WITHOUT EVEN ADDRESSING THE LAW AT HAND IN MY PETITION: WHICH IS THE EQUITTABLE STREET TIME CREDIT AMENDMENT ACT OF 2008 (AMENDED ACT) D.C. LAW 17-389 S.S. 24-406(C), WHICH AMENDED S.S. 24-406(A) EFFECTIVE DATE MAY 20, 2009. MY CASE HAS BEEN PLACED ON FILE AND GIVEN A DOCKETT NUMBER BY SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.

  13. I was having chest pains so the VA sent me to a local hospital emergency room. The ER bill was paid but the attending ER doctor, who billed separately, was not paid. My credit was affected and after several months the VA finally paid the ER doctor.
    On another matter I was sent to an orthopedic doctor outside the VA who wanted x-rays. The VA said they would not do the x-rays as that would be “double billing”. I never got the x-rays and never went back to the orthopedic doctor.
    I now refuse to use Care card as I can’t afford the VA mess it creates on the billing.
    A third matter was having an outpatient gallbladder surgery at a VA facility which was botched causing extensive damage to my abdominal area. I decided to sue and won. Now, I live with several painful herniations in my abdomem which the VA refuses to fix. I use the VA exclusively as a 100% service connected disabled veteran.

  14. Ben,
    I am looking forward to the mini-course roll-out you mentioned. We all need the heads up, at every turn.

    I look forward to all of your posts and I did notice the intervals of time between post leaving me in wonder- what’s Ben into now.

    Thank you again.

  15. ““Follow the money” has been said many times on here! Where is all that money, Congress allocates to the va going? IMO, it ain’t going to help veterans!” (RE: Crazy Elf)

    Every chance they get, the VA will take $$ from Vets payments and divert it to administration or whatever they do with it. The top end is huge, there are more administration then there are caregivers. Fact is, the folks that shut down 100% payments without a solid reason should be fired for cause. Does nobody notice that there was no reply for the entire process, or are there no directions on the cereal box that points out the possibility that an address might need to be checked and verified? Fact is, this is a fundamental clerical issue that every rating official should be more than proficient in because this is not the first time something like this has happened over the last 5 decades.

  16. Veterans who read this and Spread my belief my belief email your Senators or Representative asked them to contact the Veteran Affairs Committee passed a new Benefit Law who is 100 percent service connected needs G4implants for free because they don’t have one work for Veteran Medical Centers or have a contract with Veteran Affairs Administration and if a Disabled Veterans who is 100 percent service connected doesn’t get the G4 implants it would cause really bad Gums Disease and worse part it would cause Cancer…Semper Fi

  17. They lie to the news and congress all the time with out any recourse. They lie and kill veterans on a daily basis. The worse decision I ever made was going to VA and the best decision I ever made was leaving!

  18. I go to the VA.gov website to check what address they have for me and they ask me to login to my “DS account”. What the fuck is “DS”???

    • DS accounts were the “Premium” accounts. You have to go to a major medical center or a Regional Office with your DD214 and any VA ID to sign up for one. I’ve been using one for about 15 years. It allows you to also go to your VA Health Care sign on and some other websites. You can download medical reports, award letters, submit claims and many other things online using a Premium account that you can’t do with just a VA Health Care Account.

  19. Nice to notice all the Trump True Believers are remaining silent.

    When the CO lies, denies, and counter-accuses, despite the existence of factual evidence—and I do NOT mean unpublished autobiographies—it shows Command Guidance for all ranks and subordinate Commands.

    You can always tell when President Trump is lying—his mouth is moving. Given the absolute ubiquity of outright lies and fraudulent distortions from their Boss, it seems stunning to me that anyone is surprised that underlings would follow suit. The VA, like any Department of the Administration, does not exist in a vacuum. The Secretary of the VA reports to the President of the United States.

    We reap what we sow. We sewed the wind by supporting a liar and a fraud; we cannot be honestly surprised to reap a whirlwind of lies and deceit.

  20. I can confirm from my own experience the sneaky scheduling practices. I was scheduled for a re-examination on short notice without any consultation. The VA websites and appointment calendar were not tracking it at all. I was lucky that I could get off work to make it on the arbitrary time and day they picked for me. I did whatever it took to make it but at least I did get notified that it was happening. I knew they would try to screw my rating if I missed their trap appointment.

    Second time was experiencing this trick for an initial Vocational Rehabilitation appointment. I received just a snail mail letter with 48 hours notice that I had to appear at a certain time and place after months of total silence. No email or phone call nothing. Was luckily able to get them to reschedule after leaving many messages and made it through the first meeting thanks to Ben’s guide.

    This is a treacherous organization that is out to trick us and trap us at every turn. Learn the nature of the enemy to be able to outsmart them at their own game is what I would like to say, but many severely injured and disabled veterans are not bureaucratic gurus to make it through. Those of us that understand how this works can give what help and advice we can to the vets we know.

  21. I am 80% DAV drawing IU pension and wonder was the current addy in DEERS or from where? Details, details…

  22. 02/06/2020

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    This problem has been going on for sometime/decades—only now it is easier to see.

    Steven do not get caught up on the left-side or the right-side, red or blue, however you mix it you get dead veterans [Clarksville—one of many examples].

    That is the issue, and our intent is to fix this damn Charlie Foxtrot that has been going on for 100 years.

    Good Journalism is what we need and Benjamin Krause is providing that—please offer suggestions or people to write too that actually cares; Example, try Senator Brown from Ohio.

    I am sure you may not be in favor to use Senator Jordon but Senator Brown may help.

    Don’t underestimate the President—he worked very quickly on my Boeing Letter he received on 12/22/2019.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

    • I don’t live in Ohio, so I can’t imagine either Senator would be in any position to do other than point out that I have my own Senators…Sheesh.

      I don’t “get caught up” in R vs D or their supposed positions—that this President is liar is simply a fact; that when the C-in-C lies as policy, it breeds a command environment of lies is demonstrable throughout history.

      I’m not sure what your vague reference to a “Boeing Letter” is in reference to, but good for you?

    • Then there’s this juicy tidbit about “pot”, “cancer”, “VA”, “Russia”, “California” and more:
      From:
      *”https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/02/05/indicted-cannabis-investor-sought-deal-va-cancer-treatment-study.html”*

  23. If anyone thinks the VA is actually held accountable for their mob-like actions, I suggest some ‘light’ reading from a Senator Johnson from Wisconsin. That will definitely illuminate how the VA does business…and the VAOIG…and the DEA…etc.

    ‘The Systemic Failures and Preventable Tragedies at the Tomah VA Medical Center”
    Majority Staff report of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    United States Senate
    Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman
    Dated 31 May 2016

    I suggest holding off eating while you read this…to avoid vomiting from seeing the blatant coverups and refusal to abide by subpoenas. Lets add in some murders…er…I mean deaths that go unaccounted for and the accused to remain employed (and seeing patients) at that same VA Hospital. Oh yes, it will make you laugh, cry, gasp and scream it has drama and amazement.

    Worth the read for sure.

  24. At my last cp exam the doctor was not given my x-rays and Roanoke VA office refuse to give him the x-rays thus, he was unable to make an accurate decision which in turn I was denied disability for my neck injury and constant headaches which I have appealed. The doctor said it always happens and it is purposely done so the veterans do not get their benefits.

  25. Here’s a new one for ya;
    *”https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/02/06/vas-palo-alto-facility-be-first-hospital-us-maybe-world-go-5g-wilkie.html”*

  26. The Big question is : what Congress is doing with the VAs evaluation system, to fix it (and get rid of these MFs that their job description is: “delay, deny,wait till they die”)? Instead of looking at the President’s activities!
    MSG VAM

    • The “Big Answer” is: a great deal.

      The problem with the VA, as with other Departments of the Federal Government, isn’t that no one knows what’s wrong—the Congress, in both houses, has acted on many of the issues confronting veterans in the VA, and has mandated statutory relief in many cases.

      For example: Benefit of the Doubt.

      The FIRST issue is that Congress has NO AUTHORITY to make changes in the VA. ONLY THE PRESIDENT, as the Chief Executive Officer, can actually make and enforce changes in the VA, through the Secretary of the Veterans Administration, WHO IS HIS APPOINTEE. Whenever the Congress DOES enact laws changing the legal parameters under which the VA is to operate, THE PRESIDENT howls and yowls and throws a fit, refusing to act or hold anyone accountable. R vs D.

      The SECOND issue is that any time the President DOES ACT to enforce or make changes in the VA, THE CONGRESS howls and yowls and throws a fit, refusing to accept the action or to fund the program. D vs R.

      The CRUCIAL issue is that VETERANS do not actually pay attention to the actions of Congress or the President, and therefore hold neither one’s feet to the fire. Both talk about how much they love Veterans, but constantly pressure the VA to “economise”. Forcing an agency that provides services means cutting services—no organisation cuts internal programms or jobs to support it’s supposed-mission.

      Stop voting the way some asshat on Twitter tells you to. Commit your vote to those of ANY PARTY who ACTUALLY support Veterans. Pay attention to Congressional legislation and to Administrative actions.

      When the VA is rocked by scandal after scandal, and nothing is done about them—like right now—then don’t just blurt out some one else’s talking points, find out why it happened and why it’s still going on.

      When the VA Inspector General keeps pointing the finger at the VA, not Congress, then the problem is in the VA, not Congress. That is an issue only the President and their VA Secretary can address. When the programs you use keep being “defunded”, or running out of money, or when the IG points the finger at poor legislative guidance or lack of Congressional follow-through, that is an issue only the Congress and your Congressional delegates (Senators and Representative) can address.

      Hold INDIVIDUALS accountable with your voice and your vote. You wouldn’t hand your rifle to some one else, just because they said things that made you feel good. In a Republic, a citizen’s weapon is their Vote.

      • Steve if you have paid attention to my comments ever in the past, I have always mentioned they are all to blame. They all skirt around accountability. DOD, Congress, VA, President, Senate…VA gets dumped on with unknowns from DOD.. They are all full of crap with no one ever following through to do what is necessary, ethical, and right. It is all about them always and the government exists to serve itself. Convention of States could take power back from the government for fiscal accountability and responsibility. Fake jobs. I noticed this in the healthcare industry. Why are there more medical professional employment opportunities if the payments and care are cut from the government and the insurance companies? Who are the employees working for to serve? If care is cut, no patients. If no patients, why are more medical care jobs posted? Fake jobs. All of you are going to really think I am far-fetched when I say this. I have noted so many contradictory happenings and situations as compared to what the administration is saying that I really have to wonder. I want to further reveal what I mean by my statement at this time but I cannot go there. I just cannot post it just yet.

      • @Angela,

        I do pay attention to your comments. You often begin with “both are to blame”, before launching into yet another defence of Trump; you do it here, later in THIS THREAD. You talk about how you agree with the Trump Administration (which is Trump), despite its venality and criminality.

        NO ONE IN EITHER PARTY WANTS FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY. The rich want to keep getting richer and protect the system that makes them rich. Party D does that with a different opiate than Party R, but Morphine vs Heroin is shades of grey. State government is no different—hell, maybe worse.

        Being a politician is a job. A cushy, wonderful, extremely lucrative job. Until that changes—and I don’t see that happening—no one is going to vote themselves out of a job.

        The trouble with us is that we served. When you’ve served, you understand—by experience—that even the worst lifer Chief Petty Officer or bootlicking First Sergeant has a point where duty kicks in. So we believe that **everyone** has that same moral compass. They don’t.

    • Angela, not a week ago, you were explaining to Ben Krause on his own site, how it wasn’t President Trump’s fault that X and Y had happened, it was because he was not being told the truth, or not being given “good” information. Your posts on this site are riddled with misinformation (lies), distortions (lies), and fabrications (lies), told and retold by Trump and the True Believers.

      If you’ve had an epiphany in the last week or so, then good on you. Welcome to reality. I hope you came to stay.

  27. It’s a shame that you have to get lawyers, press and congressmen involved to get the VA to do their job. In my case, in the past six months “twice” I was told the decision letter was mailed to me. Both times, a few days after I called the 1-800 number, the letter “somehow” appeared in my mailbox a few days later.

  28. for years I see words and words and more words on what’s wrong with the VA. It all boils down to one thing. Corruption, plain and simple. Year after year I see people wringing their hands and boohoo’ing whatever corrupt situation is the flavor of the week at the VA. None of Krause’s digging and none of AJ’s reporting amounts to a hill of beans in effecting change. The only thing they serve to do is rile up the mob. Thanks I’m riled enough. Real change begins with real action and until a real plan is put in place by the mass majority of veterans, you can expect more of the same hand wringing and anguish and more of the same “nothing getting done about it” no matter how many horror stories Krause wastes his time digging up. If you’re tired of contractors stuffing dollar bills in their pockets off your back, Stand up and be counted. If you’re tired of wrongful VA denials, Stand up and be counted. If you’re tired of being strung along for years and years and years on your disability claim, Stand up and be counted. If you’re tired of corrupt VA bureaucrats not being sanctioned and fired, Stand up and be counted. If you’re tired of the VA trying to save money off your disability, Stand up and be counted.

    I submit for your perusal “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army”

    THIS is how you effect REAL change at the VA. Not wringing your hands at Ben’s horror stories. Not sitting on your ass. Not pasting links. Certainly not asking for help on this site. You get off your collective asses, you pack your camping gear and you book passage to D.C. and you cause a ruckus that CANNOT be ignored. Its funny that we’ve done this before in an age without internet. It’s highly amusing that a bunch of entitled millenials can occupy Wall Street yet a bunch of highly pissed off VETERANS can’t band together to make common cause on Washington. Disgusting and pathetic.

    • While I agree with your theme—that Veterans need to act as well as bitch—your example is a poor one. The “Bonus Army” wound up being driven out of Washington by the US Army under the direct command of the Chief of Staff. They did not achieve the goal of the organisers. No more so than did the Occupy Wall Street.

      We have to be more than a “meme” or a moment. We have to have sustained, organised, political power. The better example for Veterans to follow IN TERMS OF COLLECTIVE ACTION (and nothing more) is that of the Trade Unions. Until the US ceased to be a manufacturing nation, the Trade Unions had tremendous political power. But it is worth remembering that they achieved that power through persistence, toughness, and the dedication of the rank-and-file. The success of the Unions against the brute force of the State (the Army and police) and Corporate lucre (private security forces) is a lesson Veterans should contrast with the failure of moments like the Bonus Army.

      In that respect, actions like those of attorneys and Media Reporters in exposing scandals HELP. They do not substitute for action by large groups of veterans, but they have an important part to play.

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