Are VA Claims Really At Historic Lows?

VA Claims

Benjamin KrauseYesterday, VA sent out an email to millions of veterans and stakeholders boasting the agency’s claimed reduction in the disability backlog to 98,535. But are the numbers true or a product of smart bureaucrats spinning reality?

READ: Email To Veterans From VBA Boasting Backlog Success

In bold, the email tells readers three things:

  1. VA is providing a record level of service
  2. Veterans should celebrate historic lows for VA claims
  3. VA experienced a historic success for veterans’ service

The body of the email reads:

This week, we reduced the disability claims backlog to 98,535 claims – an 84% reduction from its peak and a historic low. This reduction means that Veterans’ disability claim decisions are being delivered more accurately and efficiently. The faster Veterans receive completed claim decisions, the quicker they can access the benefits they are entitled to.

As we mark this important milestone in VA’s history, we commit to continuing our efforts to improve. We will never waiver in our dedication to providing the best possible service to Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and Survivors.

This all reads like a bunch of basic training “hoo-rah” to me but the question here is, “Are these assertions true?”

Kind of but kind of not.

First, it is true that VA is providing a record level of service if by service they mean ‘more expensive than ever.” It may not be true if by service they mean, “quality.”

Second, America should not celebrate anything it does not understand – especially when the government is espousing a great victory. A good example from the GW Administration is his epic “Mission Accomplished” celebratory announcement on the Iraq war “victory” in 2003. Last I checked we still have troops in Iraq who are fighting and dying.

Third, if by “historic success” VA means they have twisted and misaligned numbers to support its claim of 98,535 claims in the backlog, then yes, “Mission Accomplished” and it was all a huge “historic success.” I am sure many news outlets will bite on the email’s sentiment and report that VA is doing a great job.

However, this may not be the whole story, which I will report on tomorrow after checking the facts. One smaller veteran organization just wrote in this morning to inform me that the accurate number is closer to 600,000 claims in the backlog — depending on how you define the backlog. The actual inventory of claims may be closer to 1.5 million.

Apparently, there are 10 baskets of actual claims but VA is only counting 4 of those baskets. When I hear back from the group to confirm certain numbers, I will write the story on what is really happening at VA.

Until then, should America be skeptical? Absolutely.

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  1. My name is Charles W. Allman III., CEO, Georgia Veterans Group, Inc., Co-Founder, Buffalo Veterans Group, Buffalo, NY. I am a Viet Nam veteran who has PTSD, and I had Cancer in 1975, from my direct contact with Agent Orange (UNLOADED AO BARRELS FROM TRANSPORT SHIPS). Received a Medical/Honorable discharge, and submitted my claim two weeks after my discharge….November, 1967. My claim is still open??? Its’ been 48 years fighting for my disability compensation. I have won many decisions throughout the 48 years of fighting, most set the stage for thousands of other veterans to receive fair compensation for their injuries, while they served their country. I have been a “whistleblower” in the 10 Million dollar scam were top adjudicators in Atlanta, in 2000, stole the money by making up claims for veterans who had already died, giving each claimant 100%, and having the money routed to family and friends of theirs, throughout Southern Georgia.
    Of course you know they came after me with everything they could think of, but I’m still here, still fighting ,and still waiting.
    I won my case of ” an earlier effective date” as one of the final issues to be corrected. They owe me 20 years of back disability payments, by under rating my conditions for years. I haven’t been paid yet. BVA decision in my favor, February, 2015……… and they want to pay me at the 10% rating of 1967…I am 100%, and have been since 1999(according to the VA..) I got Cancer in 1975…..!!! Went to a Cancer Research Hospital, volunteered for a research experiment which was to use a new formula of Chemothrapy. That was 1976!!!! VA in Buffalo sent me a check for $ 1,900. to cover the 20 years….. the person who did that, does not work at the Buffalo VA RO, anymore….but I’m still wait for the correction….even the Secretary of the VA called about my case recently…. STILL WAITING, age 68, started, age 19!?! CWA III.

  2. I do not think the VA has a clue as to what is going on. They took it upon themselves to arbitrarily reduce my PTSD rating 20% with no treatment, C&P or anything else. They have yet to respond to claims I applied for two years ago. Claims made over three years ago have not even been addressed. Down to 68K backlog, my aching back. Nothing but lies, Intentional.

  3. 08/30/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    What happened to all of the Management at the VA?

    Did they kill Deming?

    I wonder what Peter Drucker would say if he was alive?

    Phoenix Business Journal (blog)-Aug 6, 2015
    A famous Claremont University management guru gave us a good start: “Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing” – Peter Drucker …

    Anyone contacted Claremont University?

    Where are the guys promoting Total Quality Management (TQM)–like the guys (Ernst&Young) at the LA Times Building back in 1989?

    Where are the Six Sigma where errors are measure out to .00002 percent?

    Have the gone out of the minds?

    Or do they have a President [like Johnson] telling McDonald how it is [VP Humphrey during Nam]?.

    Bob your not going to come out smelling like a rose.


    Don Karg

  4. Ben Hi!
    The VA and their C&P GANG, are just continuing to BULLSHIT in the back of the COMBAT AMERICAN DISABLED VETERANS !
    Lets GET COMPLETELY REED of THESE “MFs”, (Mighty Folks)

  5. Audit the VA’s own numbers: their Monday Morning Report.

    Compare the numbers in arrears, such as Total Appeals Pending.

    Compare that final number as of 2013, 2014, with the summary 2015.

    They are denying current claims and kicking them into what I will call the Notice of Disagreement; and that process is where we learn veterans fight for decades to obtain their earned benefits.


    Total Appeals Pending

    There is room for improvement!

    1. Agent Orange, there’s a great article on
      this morning concerning this very issue. Check it out. Seems a congressman is blasting VA over what he calls not being truthful.
      If you Twitter or use Facebook or other websites, please forward the info. Plus it might be good to send it to your local news stations. I did. And so did my wife.

      1. The title of the article is-
        U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne Blasts VA data showing a reduction in claims backlog as ‘self-serving propaganda’
        by John Sharp
        on August 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

  6. Why the VA should be changed from within.When there is only privatized medical care, good luck in trying to get govt accountability because those of us who work pr are a patient in the private medical business cannot get any accountability whatsoever and it is that it really isn’t any different than what you deal with the VA, The “private ” healthcare is for profit only and you think that you’re getting crappy care now? Well, just wait till private medicine is all there is !?! because .there won’t be anyone to write or complain to and that is what we’re all geared into getting. less real medicine, 3 times the cost and no one to help. The insurance cartel tells whatever health care plans to deem little necessary care and for all to profit, there isn’t much care to go around. or anyone to go for help.. The private health insurance plans are just salivating at how much money they will get from the feds on your behalf. Just because it is private health care doesn’t mean it is any better than the VA. Been there done that like many millions of others, so hold those in charge of the VA accountable, where you can at least call on legislators or get it in the media, because again. in the private healthcare system. there just isn’t anybody to call..

    1. In all due respect, I happen to get GREAT care using Medicare and Private Healthcare at a major university. The only area I honestly have issue with consistency of care is with the Psych. Dept. and guess why? Because they now barely have any Staff Dr.’s there, only enough to babysit the Resident Dr’s in Training…that are from the VA…or spend more time at the VA than anywhere else…the VA is training these Dr.’s to CHANGE diagnosis in charts from PTSD to “Adjustment Disorder”. This is NOT corporate America telling them to do this nor even from within the University Medical Center. No, it’s the VA whom is doing or at least trying to do this. But, with Private Healthcare I can FIRE my Dr.’s if I cannot understand him/her, do not like what they are doing, etc. With the VA you really have no choice…you have to take what they throw at you.
      All my other Specialists and Primary Care Dr. are Faculty Staff and feel I really have a cohesive TEAM (aside from glitches with the mental end but that is just for medication management…I see a private cognitive therapist as well).
      The VA effectively killed a couple of my best friends through their negligence. One of the friends was qualified for Medicare but was too hard-headed and stuck with the VA…well, see where that unfortunately led him, six feet under.
      I am sure there are great medical staff at all levels of the VA…but they have been quite a minority in my experience as well as my brother who’s in an entirely different State.

      So, I think “it would be more likely than not” to receive Crap Care at the VA rather than at Private Health Care because at least in Private Healthcare, they have the very REAL threat of malpractice. The VA could care less about malpractice and I wager you would find MORE Dr.’s at the VA that have been sued multiple times than you would anywhere else and ONLY the VA would hire them…that goes for medical staff at all levels and even the security guards (Barney Cops).

      If the Presidential Election were tomorrow, at least with info had thus far, I would vote for Trump and I have never voted Republican in my life. I really think he has the BALLS to FIRE a lot of quacks at the VA.

  7. To Bruce (and everyone on here), I’m reminding you about Gorbachev. If you remember, Walt Disney, himself, refused him entry into Disneyland. (This is what’s called a “call back” to what McD wants VA to be)! Because of what he stood for- Communism.

    As far as those German scientists, they would have ended up in Russia. So, what would they have done then? We, America, would have been thoroughly screwed. Russia would have been decades ahead of us. Not just a few years. Russia was still realing from the devastation from WWII. (Remember, it was America that gave weapons, ammo and food to them during the war).
    It reminds me of when Russia tried launching a missle from a submarine in the early to mid 70’s. It didn’t work out so good, remember? One doesn’t “light off a missle INSIDE a sub!”

    Now for VA. “Pride” is a weakness. McD and all below him are full of it! In my opinion, they want to be “GOD-LIKE”! They believe, however wrongly, they can do no wrong. That in itself is a destructive force! Sooner or later the balloon will burst. I think i will be sooner than they think.
    I say this because. According to the web (Facebook, Twitter and other websites my wife follows), the “milinials” (age group 18 to 29) of which there are approximately 80 million, are pissed at this government. Why because they feel they have been lied to, way too many times.

    Also, according to statistics they make up the majority of all the military. You don’t think family members and friends are telling the men and women in the service what’s going on?! I wear my VFW hat everywhere. I’m being approached constantly by young and older people and they want to know, “What’s happening with our VA and government?”
    So far I’ve given out all the websites I know of, including this one, a number of times. So many times I can’t remember the total so far.

    Remember, “PRIDE” IS a weakness that will destroy VA and all within it!!! There is no defence against it, that’s an historical fact!

  8. This kind of reminds me how major consumer brands play with the “truth”. Take a manufacturer of boxed “cheesy poofs” as an example: they will place a significantly large label plastered on front that states ” LOWER FAT”, while never really qualifying WHAT they are actually LOWER THAN…lower than fat itself, or what? Then, because they are required to post in the ingredients disclosure on side of said “cheesy poofs”, this company’s legal team determines than NOTHING in current law restricts them from changing and reducing the font size OF the ingredients by 50%, as to make it incredibly hard for the all-too-short attention span of American Shoppers, so they never REALLY had any product that was “LOWER FAT” than previous “cheesy poofs”, but they ARE “LOWER ON THE SHELF LOCATION” than OTHER brands….we are talking about “product placement”, nothing whatsoever to do with FAT CONTENT, and so goes the VA and their truth in advertising and disclosure. Nothing less than spinning the lies into something somewhat believable by common tripe.

    1. namnibor, that “cheezy poofs” example you used didn’t work out for their PR people. They are now required by FDA, to be truthful in advertisement.
      I see a big change coming for all government agencies, entities and private corporate agencies.
      Taxpayers are really getting pissed. Yesterday on the 6:00 news, channel 9 & 6 here in Florida. Some people were angry at how their taxdollars are being spent by the Commissioners of Orange Co., Florida. Letters were sent to IRS demanding an Audit. There’s some questions over HOW these commissioners are not being audited. When it’s required by their own laws each year. Now, I don’t know what’s happening in other parts of the U.S., because, as I’ve said before, we here in Florida don’t get that much news from other areas. Plus, the news medias are biased in their reporting.
      I believe this should be a lesson to everyone.
      It a piece of “Parchment”, written over 200 years ago that spells out exactly what our government is to be. And they are to work for us-
      “Of the People, by the People and For the People”.
      Somehow our Elected and Appointed representatives have forgotten that part.

      1. P.S. namnibor, this should set an example to everyone. If the proper government agencies, corporations or businesses don’t get turned in for their wrongdoing. Don’t expect anything to happen! We all know it takes time to get the ball rolling. For the past year, there has been more negative reports of VA wrongdoing ever. The news outlets have been somewhat great on reporting on it. But more needs to be done by us and the taxpayers. The middle class is the one that’s being hit the hardest. Wake up middle class.

  9. When I received and read the email yesterday evening, my mind immediately thought:, “There is NO WAY the VA is even counting ANY Claims that have either been currently appealed, in appeals, and denied claims with Notice of Disagreement”….no, this is definitely the VA “fudging numbers” and they have been doing this all along but more aggressively of late because of the ELECTION YEAR coming-up, as well as the Under Secretary’s “promise” to “eliminate the backlog by Oct./2015. Well, NOTHING qualifies WHAT “eliminating the backlog actually entails”…nope, that definition was kept WIDE OPEN and by design, am sure of it.

    How many Claims have been “eliminated via shredding” or hidden/squirreled away like the “mildewed/flooded VA basements or warehouses as we have read about the Philly VAMC”?

    Smoke and mirrors, very far from any semblance of truth. Ben described it right-on…there’s JUST ENOUGH “truth” in the VA’s claim about the backlog…but FAR from the WHOLE TRUTH. BasTURDs.

    1. I forgot to add that we do not know just how many Veterans are “deceased”, also known as “Died while waiting”, on their list? What about the Survivors from those that died waiting? Do they not qualify as part of the whole backlog and “claim processing”?

      This reminds me of huge corporations that COUNT on all the “little lies and cover-ups” to keep people from seeing the glaring ugly truth that hides within, as a great true story and movie made of this type of behavior is “Erin Brockovich”, (Julia Roberts)…I view the VA acting just like those huge Public Utility and Chemical Corporations out in California that true story depicts and does so very well.

      What really worried me is if the VA is selectively awarding “easy or easier claims”, then falsifying dates on older claims to make it look fresh as a wedding cake…but we all know, most wedding cakes LOOK MUCH BETTER THAN THEY TASTE…fact!

    2. namnibor, we must not forget October 1st is fast approaching. How much $$$$$$$$$ is VA going to demand from Congress?
      I wonder, like you, how many claims never made it to an adjudicator for whatever reason or excuse? Seems to me this is just one more lie on top of many lies VA has perpetrated against veterans and taxpayers.
      Did you know there are 80 million “milinials”, (18 to 29 year olds) out there. I heard that on the “Herman Caine Show” two days ago. And guess what, they aren’t too happy with what’s going on right now in our (their) government!!!!
      They (a majority) aren’t for any of the people running for president, except for maybe Donald Trump! It’s all over Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media outlets. They ARE talking. The dems and repubs are losing a lot of votes because these young people remember the lies that they were being told! And you have to remember the milinials are the majority in the military today. We all know how these young people get when they feel screwed over!
      As a matter of fact, when I went to the store this week, one of the cashiers asked about the lies VA has said. I think she was about 20. She, and then some of her co-workers, started saying they were pissed at the VA for what’s happening to the veterans! So word is getting to these young people.
      I hope when all is said and done, Ol McD, and others in VA, gets what’s coming to them!

      Read my “comment” at the bottom here. It’s about “Pride”! It was a reply. People who have an excess of “Pride”, well, believe it or not, it can then be used against them as a weakness or weapon! I feel Ol McD and others in VA have that “weakness”! It’s as though they want to be “God-like”. We know what happens to people like that. Their downfall isn’t pretty!

      My wife just came up w ith an idea. Why don’t veterans and taxpayers start bombarding the IRS to get them to audit the VA? Sounds reasonable.

      1. The perhaps large problem with even attempting to get the IRS involved with an audit of the VA is the fact that other than their payroll, am betting the VA operates pretty much tax exempt, so those monies DO end-up getting taxed eventually in payroll to the many sub-contractors the VA may use, construction companies for the way over-budgeted Aura, Co. VAMC, and it would be such a MESS because pretty sure the VA would simply legally deflect audit entities by deflecting to and BLAMING the VA’s Contractors, not the VA **directly**…see how this works?
        Make no mistake, I for one am all for a huge audit of the VA but I think it would be akin to trying to “herd cats”.

        However, it bothers me to no end that Congress does not ask for irrefutable proof in numbers of exactly HOW and WHY the VA ran out of ca$h so quickly…is the VA ready to state they have actually PAID OUT CLAIMS to match these amounts? Nope. Nobody has asked nor demanded, and the VA probably counted on this.

        At this point, the integrity of the VA MUST BE QUESTIONED.

      2. namnibor, P.S.
        I also wondered how many veterans on that ‘backlog list’ have “passed away”?!
        Seems to me I remember something on here, 60 minutes or some other program about “spouses” being contacted by VA AFTER a death.

        I agree, a huge audit should be done. By a registered CPA who is not affiliated with VA!
        On your comment of why Congress hasn’t asked the “Why” VA was broke so soon, well, that’s Congress for you! Those people are just as bad as VA, in my opinion. Could it be they, or their spouses, have stock in the many corporations that have contracts with video? You know, “don’t bite the hand” mentality!

  10. It’s the end of August and Bob McD has now been the Sec for exactly one year now. Personally, I haven’t seen meaningful improvement on any fronts of the VA whatsoever. I am sure this “reduction in backlog” has left out everything to back it up, and that many mistakes were made that will surface after their “claim” above. I am sure Bob McD will use the reduction claims of “84%” to his advantage when talking about what he accomplished in the past year. The entire government lies. Governments of all countries lie to their people. The entire array of Departments are dysfunctional, crooked, mismanaged and run by lazy bones. Their is no such thing as transparency and their never will be. The VA will forever be kept afloat and paid for by taxdollars because the government will simply NOT shut it down – and that would be perceived as a FAILURE of one of their Departments. They know most people are stupid or are consumed by their own problems in life and will just have to buy into what they “declare” as the truth. Those who don’t buy into it are not enough to topple or change it. So they continue to get away with outrageous lies right to your face by their insane sound bytes of how great things are and that we should “celebrate” these wonderful lies ’cause that is what we want to hear, after all.. However, more and more people are getting turned off to the government and their lying to us all right to our faces. What is the answer folks?

  11. I do think they are doing better, it took them six months for mine to go through in the last year, I fought for a podiatrist for 3 years but this year got one when requested from a new doctor the first time. They are granting everything I request so far.

    Maybe they have a long way to go but if you keep beating a dead down horse, they may never rise up. I will reserve my opinions till I see more later.

    The only thing that has pissed me off in the last couple of months was when the podiatry office called and made an appointment for 60 days out which is not in regs, when I called the so called choice program that sent me a letter saying I was qualified for it, they told me I had to go to Dallas to sign up. How is that qualified,

    1. i can add i witnessed what i think is a fast disability award from VA to a veteran friend of mine i know from a support group recently.

      he was in country Vietnam. he says proven duty stations at hotspots with the AO maps. so he and his wife finally got around to filing a AO claim after much prodding from me and another veteran. i thnk in less than 2 years, he was granted.

      during their process, St Louis returned no records, and most of his buddies from past era are dead. i think he made use of DAV or AmLeg to help with his claim. he and his wife got very frustrated with all this. after his C&P this year he was awarded 100% SC.

      get this, but not for AO or his history or another neurological disease. VA awarded for a heart condition. the service officer of the org he used to help him, told him or suggested to him not to pursue it further…like for CUE or backpay or the AO/neuro link. due to lost St Louis records or something like that.

      he and his wife had only been in this VA claims spin cycle for less than 2 years i think and both of them were getting really frustrated with the amount of paperwork, lost mil records, back and forth from VA appointments, etc. most of us here have been in it for way more years. i can empthize with their frustration.

      so in less than 2 years he got his 100% SC but for something totally different than what he originally claimed with the AO stuff.

      with that said, i think VA is doing speedier claims on some things but kinda deflecting the issue regarding CUE’s/backpay/AO stuff. that’s my observation today, though that can certainly change and prove me wrong.

      VA did sorta the same with me when they granted 100% SC, in that they left out quite a few important SC medical disabilities secondary to the injury/illness. the PVA at the time said something like, “you got 100%, what’s the problem? don’t push it, its not important to get that stuff listed…”. researching on haditcom, i learned it is VERY important to get that stuff listed.

      well like my friend that i mentioned above, yes he got his 100% and for an ailment he didn’t even file for, and was told not worth pursuing it any further. i wonder, in reality did the VA really owe him much more in back pay, and quickly did his claim and send him on out the door? i don’t know, but i wonder.

      it took me another few years just to get the VA to correctly list the secondary issues and i had to see priv doctors for that because VA wouldn’t do it. i think it is very important to get the correct diagnosis, the correct secondary issues listed with the correct (as odd as they are) VA diagnostic codes entered into your records.

      i too, ponder as mr @Ben wrote, “Kind of but kind of not.” in regards to has VA really cleared up so many claims? and how many did they short change, like i feel they did with my veteran friend. they owe him backpay, no question about it.

      the website haditcom shows clearly over and over what i’m trying to express here as i find it difficult to do some days. the unsuspecting veteran gets a claim granted in short amount of time, but are the codes all correct? was there a CUE that should have been addressed via the rules of Title 38? did the RO really give the benefit-of-doubt with all in the medical records to the veteran or just a few to satisfy “claims completion”?

      1. I stopped going to VA years ago because of treatment I was getting so about two years ago I started going back part of my leg is gone SC and I have a bladder problem not one time has my primary Physician said I needed to go to a specialist so i got appointment with the civilian Dr. My what a difference and he couldn’t believe that the Dr. hasn’t sent me to a specialist long story short the VA just don’t give a shit

  12. Just looked on YouTube news break down, VA lawyers caught using veterans claim numbers to divert veterans monies to private banking accounts, while sending letters to those veterans claim denighed. Veterans who have legitimate claims, were duped, if the federal government really looked into this, they would find it wide spread. These people use your disability to line their pockets with your money, sweat and tears. You did what you’re country asked and low life’s are stealing your money, into different bank accounts electronically! Look it up. If I could find an honest lawyer and know what they’re doing, they would get a pretty penny, 25 percentage of I estimate 2.5 million back pay on a clear and unmistakable error. Ben with your source’s could you dig more into the allegation of this being done or already done, that would explain a lot of why veterans are being sent denial letters over and over and just to find out they had all the evidence they needed in the first place, when telling the veteran his records were destroyed in a fire, when the veteran was discharged way after the fire! Why don’t the VA have to explain when and how they found the records and only finding them after an attorney made a formal request! . They don’t care if a veteran is called a lier, when they tell others they were shot and unable to prove it and all because someone at the VA hid my evidence and pockets the money for themselves in secret bank accounts. Does anyone know a good lawyer who is willing to take a case like this, to get a veteran all the back pay they deserve! . It’s not chump change. There should also be monies for pain and suffering and neglect. Now that I finally seen with my own two eyes, I can not tell what happened to me and be able to show them the proof! . I am so grateful to Kenneth carpenter for bringing the truth to light and now I can hold my head up high, as now no one can call me a lyier any more. Now I can walk away with a smile, knowing I have the proof.

    1. i’ve thought and mentioned before along the same lines as what @James wrote.

      in that, do some VA actuaries calculate payout numbers on claims they know can be granted, tally those numbers up, add those numbers to overall budget requests, yet never intending to make the actual granted payout. Congress budgets the requested monies, and somehow somewhere the VA is using that money and or drawing interest on it.

      and of course VA just keeps sending “deny” letters and any other “letters for claim holdup tactics” to stretch out the time. sure in one sense i see that might sound not possible, but citizens have see this type of money behavior across the board with, banks, insurance companies, federal gov, many major businesses, wall street, etc.

      so it isn’t too farfetched, is it? i would like to think i’m wrong and over thinking it, but experience steeped in reality, especially with VA over the decades drives home a “cautionary tale”.

    2. There’s a place in hell for these people. Good post. I’m a vet, too. Damned shame! The VA garnished my SS Disability and I fought for 10 years, still did not get all of it back. Seems the last $600 was an administrative fee — for their mistake! But this is nothing to what you combat vets have suffered. God bless!

    3. James, I can’t find that article. I don’t know how to get on UTUBE. Is there a way to Google what you found?
      How old is that article? Were they lawyers employees of the VA? Or lawyers in the private sector?
      Can you give me, us, soom help and as much info as possible?

      1. It’s a news report on YouTube, try veterans harmed by VA. Do you have a smart phone. You can Google veterans harmed by VA

    4. Lawyers for civilian injured disabled workers are doing the same pilfering of worker comp claims as well as wc judges, insurance adjusters and others This would be the biggest R,I.C.O. IN TH HISTORY OF THE INSURANCE CARTEL comp included.where the the injured disabled worker gets little to nothing but many claims are milked even before closing them and they can be milked again after closing them without the disabled worker ever knowing about it. There’s a huge theft of insurance claims but yet it is civilian disabled workers who get called a fraud and a malingerer.
      Does that sound at all familiar?
      Then we;’re stalked or set up to look like we’re criminals , such as being stopped by police for being a drug dealer. There are many billions of insurance dollars that have been illegally siphoned off by those who claimed to be our representative or care givers like doctors, rehab, even though we report this to the district attorneys and the DOJ’s agency.
      Money out of claims that has not been audited in the private sector or for disabled vets. Congress knows where the money goes but they refuse to investigate our complaints. I just want to know why not. AND why there hasn’t been an audit as to where all of the disabled workers and disabled vets claims money goes. somewhere in the SWISS banks. The SSA knows more about this than anyone can imagine, because there are some in the SSA that are rift with fraud too. IT IS Another government agency that refuses to turn over any data or records related to any disability claims.. There is more to this national epic story and it involves the public, private and veterans disability benefits to which most have not been getting for many decades, many decades.

  13. The ONLY action VA has taken to clear up the claims backlog is to make filing a claim more difficult for veterans by killing INFORMAL CLAIMS PROCESS and to funnel a lot of unfortunate veterans off into the black hole of the appeal process. The VA is LYING and Veterans are DYING.

  14. Yea, right. I think it’s a “publicity stunt”!

    I wonder how many veterans are learning their claims were denied? I bet the VA employees were like a “Henry Ford assembly line”. Where they sat there with a ‘rubber stamp’ that says, “DENIED”!? Or sent the “bins” to the “shredding room” for disposal if it was way past a date to be adjudicated.
    Or how about the 35,000+ vets in Atlanta, Georgia. Where they were denied healthcare? Or in California, Florida and elsewhere, where claims were shredded? I also wonder how many veterans were on that email list that have “passed into heaven”! (Bet we hear about that soon!)
    Bet Ol McD is counting all of those also?
    This is just one more B/S stunt coming from VA….that’s my opinion folks….it ain’t gonna change.
    I wish we had another Warren G. Harding as President. He knew how to “take care of a corrupt VA employee”! Remember what he did to Charles R. Forbes, a (“poker buddy”), back in the day?! If not, Google —
    “How the VA developed it’s culture of Coverups”
    a story by:
    David Fahrenthold
    It’s also in the “Library of Congress”!

  15. If you believe the VA reduction then ask this one simple question? ” What is the status of my claim? “

  16. Another reason it’s lower is because they rammed through claims to get them done, but the product is not up to the proper ratings, and then ends up in appeals. As of Monday, there are 313,338 pending appeals, which has increased as the backlog of claims was “decreasing.” It’s all just shell games tactics.

  17. I have been seeing the VA use private medical diagnoses to make a rating and avoid the C&P exam process. I had a case in Des Moines for a vet with an herbicide-related cancer that was diagnosed by outside oncology people. I submitted their records and 29 days later they rated my client at 100%, total and permanent. I have another case pending in Oakland for ischemic heart disease caused by herbicides in Vietnam and have submitted private records showing the diagnosis, heart surgery and severe arterial blockages. I have asked Oakland to avoid the C&P process and rate my client based on the private records. We’ll see how this goes. That said, there are still regions where the backlogs are substantial and claims are taking an ungodly amount of time to decide. Houston, Seattle and San Diego are three regions where my cases are taking more than six months, at this point, so I don’t really know what to make of this VA announcement. One of the things the VA could do to speed up the process is to accept outside records that show a definitive diagnosis as all that is need to make a rating. It is a complete waste of time to have to put a veteran through the C&P exam process just to come to the same conclusion as the private doctors.

    1. Stu, it seems to me that private healthcare physicians know a hell-of-a-lot more than VA physicians every day of the week!
      Did you know down here in Florida, VA is having a very hard time filling positions of physicians, nurses and others. I believe it was partly due to a scathing channel 9 (WFTV) news article which came out months ago. After the article, the news caster said, quote, “Who would want to work for the VA?” At that time, you could hear everyone on the set bust out laughing! True story!!!

      1. I agree with you completely. I just got a 100% decision today in the Portland region on a claim I filed in June. The only big rating was 70% for PTSD and 10% for tinnitus, 0% for hearing loss. I used a VA contractor Ph.D. to do the evaluation and they went with what she said on his ability to work. No C&P exam. Let;s hope that more of us can find outside medical people to do their evaluations that the VA will use to grant service connection and really speed up the process.

  18. Even if the backlog is 95,000 claims, that is nothing to brag about. We all know it is really several hundred thousand and the “VA is Lying”.

    Now, let’s all pitch in something and send a few bucks to Ron Nesler’s “VA is Lying, Veterans are Dying’ national billboard campaign!

    1. Bruce, I got an email from Ron yesterday. He said the billboard in Florida should be up soon. He was going down to pay yesterday for 28 days worth. He said he couldn’t count what I sent snail mail, cause he hasn’t received it yet. I informed him I will send more when he gets ready to add another 28 days. I really want that up by the Tampa/ St. Petersburg area.
      I hope he gets one up in the Memphis, Tenn. area also.
      And, of course, all across this nation. Each month I’m gonna chip in what I can!
      This is a very worthwhile venture…..
      I do believe the news medias will jump all over it….
      If not–THEN SHAME ON THEM!!!!!!

      1. Title: ‘How to avoid turning your administrative battle plans into a self-imposed ambush trap that your own army falls into’:

        The billboard is a good idea and it will have positive effect. But, we have to understand that the VA itself will be happy to see this billboard in as many places as possible. This is how they beat us by using asymmetrical warfare strategies that they must use to compensate for the fact that there are far more of us than there are of them.

        They will most likely even help sponsor it, covertly, and possibly even out in the open. They want these billboards to become the ‘tip of our spears’, and encourage as many of us as they possibly can to get behind those spears.

        Why would they want to do that? Ol’ McD went to West Point and had some advanced infantry training on top of that, some of it akin to special forces training where the main premise is “Never fight fair”. He learned from advanced warfare classes and training that you reduce the enemy in mixed dynamic phase-line attacks, and the concept of a FEBA may no longer exists (forward edge of the battle area, i.e., there is no front line anymore).

        McD’s main battle strategy has always been to force the enemy, the competition, anyone he competes against, to play by their own rules that he imposes upon them. This is what makes billboard campaigns and other creative approaches so effective.

        What McD and the VA is doing right now is going about their business as usual. It may be far in the back of McD’s mind if he has even heard about the billboard campaign yet, that he will just use it as another diversionary tactic that he steals from us and uses for his own objectives.

        His plan will be to use the billboards like a sound bite taken out of context in an election campaign. He needs something like these billboards right now. His staff will be tasked to come up with a clever slogan or counter-claim like, “The VA saves hundreds of lives a day by telling the truth when it comes to controlling potentially dangerous opiate prescriptions”. They will do so at a special retreat in Hawaii at a 4 star hotel or some other exotic destination, on the taxpayers’ dime, and ours, of course, as usual.

        They will try to use the billboards the same way they use every other disaster that they create. They love how the billboard message distracts away from the multi-billion dollar hospital construction fiasco, especially since vets are paying directly out of their shallow pockets (compared to the VA’s endless financial resources).

        Solution: in addition to the generic message of the billboards and bumper stickers, (VA is Lying, Veterans are Dying), mix it up with 20% of the billboards having a picture of a VA official saying some heinously stupid thing like they are famous for doing. Like, quote the VA doctor who told the vet to “off himself”.

        Be very careful about going after McD himself on these billboards. If that is done, have in place the suggested offer of a incredibly generous golden parachute resignation/retirement plan, BEFORE going after him. We have to understand we are not going after Sadam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden, or an ISIS leader.

        With those kind of acrtual physical/war enemies, we put up propaganda posters, and, yes, even billboards, in villages and cities in their own country, like in the process of taking down then removing Sadam. To continue with that analogy, this needs to be more like how we removed Boris Yeltsin (with booze, pretty women, snow mobile gifts, palace estate retirement benefit, and the ultimate, Gorbachev who we brought to America and gave him a full Presidential retirement that rivals that of any actual US President.

        Finally, though it is a disgusting analogy, it needs to be similar to how we brought Nazi rocket scientists to American and placed them high up at NASA instead of putting them in prison.

        This (an arranged retirement for McD) remains as heavy punishment if you acknowledge the fact that McD actually wants to be the Secretary of the VA. He wants to be hailed the hero, he wants to stay in that cabinet position no matter who the next President is. He wants to be portrayed as the Savior of the VA.

        But, believe this, he knows their is major risk right now that he could end up in major legal trouble and be traded in like a pawn that makes it to the other end of the chess board. History has a way of repeating itself. Shinseski went down in flames, and McD is on a fixed path similar to but worse than any forced-to-resign CIA Director, VA, or Secretary of State in history.

        One final variable on this is where McCain comes in, with his new push to sponsor legislation to make it law that vets go to any private doctor they want, and the VA reimburses them.

        Don’t fire existing VA medical staff, but turn every single VA hospital and clinic, and every single VA administrative office of any kind, into civilian contracted facilities. Vets will be able to go there if they want, and they just might, instead of going to now-existing private hospitals and clinics, and so on, IF, and obviously ONLY if, they are treated like they would be treated by going to a long established private facility.

        Start by having a photo ready to go of the VA psychiatrist who told that vet to “off himself”. We have to keep it simple, but we must be dynamic at the same time, so the billboard campaign doesn’t get sucked into the VA black hole of successful damage and distraction control that they do so well.

      2. So, what your saying then is Ol McD’s got a lot of “Pride”! He wants all the Glory. He’s selfish, arrogant and self centered, right.
        Well, “Pride” is a weakness.
        We veterans have to use that to our benefit. It can be done. We just need people who have the “gift” of being able to turn the tables on him. Someone, or many someones, who can make a complete fool out of him each and everytime he speaks. That includes everyone below him as well. Force him, and his subordinates, into more lies which will ruin his, and their, already somewhat tarnished reputation.
        “Pride is a weakness!” I would prefer stupidity, but “Pride” will work!!!

        Ben, can this be done?

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