Is $720,000 Payout To Korea War Veteran Widow Enough After 50 Years?
Giving new meaning to the unofficial VA motto “Delay, Deny, Until They Die,” one Korea War veteran won his claim 5 years after he died. His widow won over $720,000 in backpay.
His widow won over $720,000 in back pay, but is that enough, or should VA pay a penalty when screwing over elderly veterans like this? Should there exist a punitive damages payout when the agency flouts the rights of veterans for so long? What about triple damages if a claim is backdated 5 years or longer?
One Facebook commenter said this must be a new Guinness Book of World Records for the highest payout after death.
Thomas Nielson, a Korean War veteran, served from 1950 to 1954. He tried to win VA disability in 1960 for an autoimmune disease he developed in service. That disease kept him from pursuing full-time employment, which is common for certain autoimmune diseases.
The symptoms of Nielson’s condition were evidenced by malnutrition during his military service. Some years after serving in Korea, the war veteran was diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome. This disease impacts the moisture-producing glands of the body. It can result in debilitating fatigue and serious joint pain.
“A record 50 plus years of spurious VA denials culminating in one of the largest retroactive payments in VA history is a legal victory but unfortunately also one of too many examples of the VA’s deny till they die policies horrifically visible in human terms,” said Nielson’s attorney Eric Gang. “I’m thrilled we got this done for Thomas Nielson, albeit posthumously, and his wife, but the VA’s half century of inaction is reprehensible, indefensible, and way too typical.”
Nielson’s widow received back pay dating back 20 years without interest adjusted for the agency’s malfeasance. Veterans are robbed of interest on money wrongly denied meaning the agency profits by wrongful denials without fear of legal recourse in instances where the denial cannot reasonably be justified.
Veterans As Second Class Citizens
Conveniently, the agency cowardly hides behind federal protections and 38 USC § 511 which precludes jurisdiction of Article III courts whenever the matter at issue relates to benefits.
This prohibition results in veterans having fewer rights than traditional Americans when a legitimate grievance arises. Where most Americans could sue in federal court for damages, veterans are left sucking hind teat. But what else is new.
Initially, the veteran enjoyed the right to proceed to sue VA for benefits in their local district court. President Franklin Roosevelt ended that with the creation of the Board of Veterans Appeals in addition to the creation of more insurance friendly regulations intended to restrict benefits payouts to divert the funds to the New Deal projects.
VA’s Splendid Isolation
For decades, VA bureaucrats got used to operating in Splendid Isolation where adjudicators had virtually no oversight and wrongly denied veterans had no recourse. That changed at least somewhat in 1988 with the creation of the Article I court named the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
However, the playing field was never truly leveled compared to other Americans, and even alleged criminals and illegal aliens. These groups of people can hire an attorney at any point for representation.
Veterans, even veterans who are attorneys, cannot hire a fellow attorney to represent them in a claim against the agency for disability benefits until the agency has the chance to develop adverse evidence against the veteran including testimonial evidence made without the luxury and protection of counsel.
Accused criminals can hire an attorney.
Illegal aliens can hire an attorney.
Disabled veterans like Nielson cannot hire an attorney until after VA first denies their claim. In some instances, veterans impacted will have been asked misleading or irrelevant questions later used to discredit the veteran that could have been dealt with by a competent attorney in the first instance.
‘Merica. Best democracy money can buy.
Did our founding fathers intend this abhorrent treatment of veterans?
Recruiters write a check VA refuses to cash unless you get an attorney after becoming disabled.
Hopefully, Nielson’s widow will put the funds to good use, but it’s too bad she had to wait so long for the benefits her husband deserved years ago.
Imagine all the resources they couple could have afforded had VA provided what the couple was entitled to receive.
Current Scheming To Reduce Benefits
The current word on the street is that some leaders within VA are allegedly pressuring agency medical examiners to wrongly support adverse findings to justify disability rating reductions without medical evidence supporting the finding. The adverse evidence is then used to support reducing benefits even in instances where a re-examination may not be justified by regulatory authorities.
It was further alleged that not only are VA employees playing ball but so to are some government contractors conducting those exams.
When that happens, though, the government contractor may not be protected by their wrongdoing since it involves dishonesty on the part of the clinician. For doctors and psychologists, their licensures could be at risk if reported, but veterans frequently do not report this form of practitioner fraud or at least negligence.
Most veterans will not fight back or have the means to do so. In the alternative, even if the veteran fights back and wins, he or she may win at yesterday’s dollars without interest.
Curiously, Congress has done nothing to stop this perverse incentive to withhold monies from veterans without interest.
Here’s one reason vets die using VA’s healthcare system:
This occured down here in South Florida. I wonder how many other parts of the country VA employees and contractors have been involved in this scam?
As usual no one will be held accountable ! Many more will die!
Holly it’s the idea that she Finally got something which I have not gotten yet. I know the frustration of knowing that the widow only gets 55% of what her husband earned but it is the same with SS you only get 55%. It was wrong in the first place to deny the man his benefits but we must remember this is Korea and Korea vets regularly have to fight to the bitter end and their widows take up the cause to get anything because of DoD and the VA’s thinking that nothing was going on in Korea in the 60’s and the Korean war was over. What everybody fails to think about is the living conditions those men and women who fought in the Korean Conflict endured. -40 in the winter, less than stellar housing and at times food was less than in plenty. I hope the lady who got this will get with a really good, trustworthy financial planner and get it invested so she can live off the interest for the rest of her life. Ben somehow, someway the VA must be forced to grant claims for those who fought in SE Asia without requiring tons of paperwork or anything more than the word of the vet 38 CFR 3.102 must be used for all Korea vets whether it was during the Korean war or after.
Hi, Unfortunately, even if the lady does receive DIC she will only receive the DIC portion of her regular pension free of taxes (that”s why it is called the “Widow’s Tax”). DIC is awarded dollar for dollar from the regular previous retirement check . Even though he died from Military connected disease, they cut 45% of my pension from the day he died, I received a phone call it went something like this, ” Hello this is a call from Dept of Finance, so sorry to hear about your loss. Just need to remind you that we will be cutting your check by 45% we also need to receive a refund from you for the 2 weeks over payment, since your husband died within the first two weeks of May you were not entitled to the entire months amount. You need to return the other half, either with a personal check, or, we can simply garnish your next check”. I don’t get any extra money at all and I think it is that way for the other thousands of spouse survivors out there. The attempts to separate DIC from retirement pension has been in the courts from the early 80’s I believe, the last effort was not too long ago but apparently, it was denied again because the Military budget has yet to be signed in the House, well thank you for that Nancy!. There was a very small stop-gap revision given to us in 2008 it was $50 a month and now after 14 years we get $325 a month extra Woo! Hoo! I doubt very much that this widow will get the death gratuity of $110,000,free dental, housing,money given in the interim to pay immediate bills, grief counselling, JAG services, etc given to new widows because to get those things the Vet has to die in combat or while still in the service or pass away within 30 days of him/her getting out. Believe me when I say I would not and do not begrudge any benefits the new survivors manage to get, good on them it”s about time! Just a little jealous I guess to be honest. I really do wish my soul mate was not disregarded quite so much.?.
In the last portion of this article, you brought up the independent contractor as examiner/provider and how few veterans bring attention the arbitrable issue of misappropriated care. I think this opens up a vast and varied topic for discussion.
Bearing in mind how injurious that it can be going forward, at which point should the veteran report fraud/negligence, or even simple errors for correction? Unless things have changed, it has been my understanding that initial claimants are not allowed to have copies of their medical files or exams, while actively pursuing their claim. Under those circumstances, any pursuit of righting wrongs would be additional years down the road.
How exactly does the patient discover if their examiner/provider is an independent contractor or a VHA employee, each requiring a different course to pursue a solution? Either one will assuredly result in further repercussions toward the veteran/patient, through vindictive actions from staff members “protecting their own”.
How many examiners/providers actually write up their own assessment of the veteran/patient for each exam/appointment? It is my opinion that transcribers are writing up these important assessments and that misrepresentations are possible. Who are those transcribers? Students? They’re learning ya know. Prisoners? Yes, some are transcribing medical files. Disgruntled, but also fully deserving veterans/family members, judging yours while fighting for theirs? Yes, they have access, also. So, how does one ascertain where the “blame” should land? Some here have stated that there have been alterations made to their various records during the years. Are transcribers changing things as they are being written into new/updated VA programing? Could it be that other people have uneeded access yet, full capability to be fudging things up?
I recall your sharing with us the difficulty encountered with billing matters. For nearly all veterans/patients and their families/dependents, it is blatantly next to impossible to get to get errors corrected throughout the ENTIRE VA system, regardless of the entity.
Another very important point to consider within the VHA are students! At the University connected VHA facilities, veteran patients are being “treated” by students, from blood draw to specialties. I know for a fact, that the VHA hospital facilities are using different “held-harmless” students, possessing a near blank sheet of patient information. Newbies having their very FIRST patient encounter within that VHA hospital’s primary care clinic and one will never be allowed to ever see their “assigned” provider. This forces the patient to waste valuable clinic time by again explaining all of the symptoms, etc., in that maybe 10 minutes. As a result the true provider to patient relationship can never be established. That makes it impossible to ever come to a diagnosis. If one is trying to develop a claim tell me, who is responsible for those “errors”? Keep in mind, the Uni/Trade School connected VHA facilities are not only the VHA hospitals, the VHA clinics are included as well. I am well aware that civilian hospitals and clinics use students also, and that it is a completely different scenerio of regulations, supervision and patient outcomes.
In any case, is the “assigned” VHA primary provider a contractor or an employee? A doctor, a nurse, or a lifeguard filling an empty primary slot that needed a breathing body? And in any case, for how long will that provider be allowed to develop your true medical history. See “December 3, 2019 at 10:43 am ”
To whom does one go about reporting the fraud or negligence? But first, and most importantly how does one figure the party(ies) to assign responsibility for the wrongdoing? If there is some preliminary light you can shed on any of this to guide those non-lawyer veterans/patients families/dependents wanting to navigate actions in that vein, I’m certain it would be appreciated.
Silly me, I thought that date link would show as live.
“December 3, 2019 at 10:43 am ”
Benjamin after what the military did to my Joe and what the CIA did after he got out I will not advise any child to go into the military. Not only did they send him home with a broken back, a handful of pain pills and No DD 214 but years later when they were afraid that someone might find out where he was for 22 1/2 months when he couldn’t tell anyone where he was they found his Mom’s house where his 201 file was stored and they purged anything out of that file that might haven anyone a clue as to where he was. At least 1 other Korea vet has had the same situation happen to him and I suspect if we could survey all Vietnam War Era vets we would find that there are many more int he same situation. My mother always said if you want to get screwed over join the military. She was a WWII vet who was promised the sun moon and stars only to find out that the promise they made was bogus. She was top of her class and was to get choice of billets out of Yeoman’s school so she put in for the west coast because he brother was stationed out of San Diego and she got Washington DC. Trump promised to help the vets but so far Korea vets have seen HO help what so ever nor have Thailand, Laos and Cambodia vets and it would be very easy for Trump to make a phone call to the VA and to DOD instructing DOD to release the Thailand, Laos and Cambodia Records and the other call to the VA stating pay all SE Asia claims. But no he withholds Aid to Ukraine in an attempt to get dirt on his political opponents.
I think many of us out here know where we stand and what ALL we are up against. Things are getting worse and will regardless of party affiliation, some POTUS, politician, whatever. Larger law firms and power people know what’s happening and they don’t care either. Like the public… silence, like media, like the two-faced lying VSOs who are made up or more enemies than allies. The writings on the wall and has been for my adult lifetime.
Good to hear of some finally getting some justice if we want to call it that, but they are few.
Yes, she deserves more. Those stone-walling the process should all be fined and jailed. The DC cliques should be brought up on charges of treason to violations of public trust and more. The very real VA motto “Delay, Deny, Until They Die,” that also could apply full circle and out into civilian care, medical boards, AMA, and on to those supporting it all in each corrupt community out here, or being silent about major issues like retaliation, censoring, file manipulations, harassment, etc.
I’d hope she spends some of that money on a few bill-boards stating something like Wake Up America or some other nasty things I can think of right now.
How they treated her husband is typical of how they treat all Korea vets. They denied that my husband was in Korea even they knew that the CIA was running special Ops in Korea at the time that Joe was there. It took 11 FOIA requests for them to admit they had records for my husband but I am yet to see anything out of the VA. Hundreds of Korea vets are facing the same situation as this lady did and they are still fighting. We must never give up.
No amount of money will substitute the life of her beloved husband, the way the VA handled his claim is absolutely bull shit, and uncalled for, another $300,000.00 in interest and another$5,000,000.00 for corrupt handling of this Veterans claim, just imagine how many more claims lay on inboxes collecting dust, or being delayed, denied and so forth, the idiots in charge should be clearly charged with neglecting the Veterans claim and booted out of office and unable to collect their pension
VA has very cold employees.
A few post back Ben had asked what I wanted for Christmas. There were so many post that I didn’t post and quite frankly, I am disillusioned about the VA and it’s ethics. However, now, as a result of this post, what I want is access to legal representation funded by the VA.
The insurmountable fraudulent behavior of the VA has run it’s course; the time for change is long over due. I read this today and instantly thought of the VA.
“Toxic organizations with fearful or cutthroat employees don’t want anyone to be better, smarter or more successful than they are. They tend to create situations where talented people can’t be successful, and hence they leave. This way, the people who are left can feel like their jobs are secure, and that they won’t be ‘found out’ as inferior or under performing. Really common problem, starts from the top and is usually perpetuated by management, first.”
My heart goes out to the deceased veteran and his family. I personally understand their frustration and pain.
TLC, I love your post and I agree.
They are 7 years denying my triple autoimmune. Just gotta love it. F me very much for my 16 years of service.
I hear you sister! 16 years for me as well ?♀️.
Benjamin, do you note my consultation to you a couple of months ago? Have not heard back from you. Maybe you decided who knows what?
Since the VA has screwed me, I do what I can to dissuade anyone who will listen about how screwed up the VA really is!
Yes I was stunned when,at Mr Trumps last rally actually stated that the VA had been fixed,even the crowd seemed shocked for a couple of seconds. I reckon the person choosing his speech bullet points needs to find another job. I’m sure just about everyone older than 30 knows the Title “Snake Pit”, I worked at a VA hospital just in the kitchens mind and even there it was run like a Mafia Organization. When I delivered meals to different floors I heard and saw such things that could be easily classified as “Mans” Inhumanity To “Man”. After my first “Initiation” being allowed to deliver meals and to see and hear the truth, I was surrounded by a group of the kitchen staff in the dirty tray washing room. I was told to eat some leftovers off a patients plate. When I refused one of the men grabbed my chin and stuffed a half eaten sweet potato in my mouth. Didn’t take me but a second to realize that if I complained about anything going on upstairs that I would be fired for breaking the rules and eating food. Of course VA isn’t fixed and I don’t believe it can be. They killed my husband through a series of misdiagnosis and still after 14 years I have no compensation just 45% of my pension taken away and no death gratuity of $110,000 which spouse survivors receive now (tax free) I’m in my 70’s now but I would like to leave something for my kids.
This breaks my heart and I’m sure you’ve contacted the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee all this time? Bless your heart. What have they done if anything. Isakson as Chairman has done what? He and Duckworth went over to see the troops and made a photo op of it.
This just breaks my heart. Does anyone know they’re going to be treated like this when they join up put their lives on the line?
Our senator who has chaired the veterans committee has done what exactly? The VA needs to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up. Otherwise stop having wars.
Frank, I don’t know how it is going to turn out. I used the APA in my brief in my case, Bray v Wilkie, CAVC Docket 17-2990 which is presently in the hands of a single Judge which has ordered the VA to update the ROP with regards to the referenced items in my brief.
If I get a decision that references the APA and doesn’t ignore my mention of it repeatedly in my brief, I’ll post to the next article by Ben. The amended ROP is due December 19, 2019. No idea how long thereafter that it will take to get a decision.
Indeed – the best government that money can buy. And it’s a lot of money. Money that Veterans don’t have. The VSO’s won’t rock the boat. We can’t afford our own PAC that can compete with The Banksters and Pig Pharma.
We’re only just now seeing the tip of the iceberg that is Citizens United. The dark money pouring into DC is staggering. Nary a Republican nor Democrat says a word about promoting the constitutional amendment that will be needed to fix what SCOTUS decision was on Citizens United. Hell, Sanders rarely mentions it anymore. But the sheeple want to blame their lefty/righty neighbors for all that ails America. As if by design.
It’s all so depressing.
The Administrative Procedure Act doesn’t tell the government what to do. It simply requires that actions of federal agencies be supported by reasoned decision-making. When challenged, agencies have to provide explanations that are plausible and consistent rather than “arbitrary and capricious.”
Any veteran ever make headway v. VA unreasoned decision-making, and implausible & inconsistent explanations, by invoking the Administrative Procedure Act?
A winnable case would be to argue that back payments should be made in current dollars. Contrary to the 5th Amendment “property taken without just compensation.” The shopping basket of goods and services is diminished by the cola increases in our back pay. The time value of money is one of the reasons for the delay especially in large jumps and in any rating to 100%.
What is your team doing, Ben? Time for a class action. Just get the awards for the past year that included back pay of more than a year and file a case for us. I’ll send you my award letter that covered the years 2009 to 2017 but that may have an SOL now. I should receive another award of back pay soon in which I’ll make the claim myself. It should be from 1987 to 2009 on remand from the BVA.
Hi Lem, at the moment, I am not taking on class action lawsuits in this context. That is generally something larger firms work on.
Benjamin, do you note my consultation to you a couple of months ago? Have not heard back from you. Maybe you decided who knows what?
Benjamin, they are doing exactly what they want to do. I am going to work I hope. I do not have use of my left hand due to allergic reaction from a product. This issue falls under consumer law under product liability design. No employer will even try to hire me at the present time with a bandaged hand. Having to get new product and on antibiotic. Had to delay appt for assistance with training to possible placement. Ben, they bring on all this crap.
I don’t see you taking ANY cases. Just making appearances on TV and Radio and in DC. My humble opinion.
My belief can someone tell me and others Veterans what is Secretary of Affairs Robert Wilke his telephone number office.
Honestly, in my opinion, the government has lost it along with many.
Ben, how would you like to be stopped by a Sheriff for coming out the side of a little town of the point when the car starts to pickup speed to carry on down the road? The position of where the car starts to pickup speed. Ben, I was coming back from an appointment wearing a casual dressed suit jacket and pants of what one would be wearing to an interview or an event of some kind. Ben, the Sheriff was treating me like he was going to arrest me. Asked me if I had a gun. I said why would I have a gun? Come back to his car. Totally unhinged. This Sheriff acted harassingly for what reason??? Ben, put it like this the Sheriff was trying to create an agenda or a situation that does not exist. See this. Ben, this abrasiveness towards me was not warranted. I almost believe it was a set up. Sheriff had camera and audio going. Like I say Ben all the government wants to do is destroy decent people. And, yes, I am decent but they hate this. I have eat enough shit to last to infinity.
Benjamin, unhinged is what I am witnessing. How much money does the VA need or the government? Listen to this. A VA charging private sector insurance company 1200 dollars for a 30 minute appointment. 750 for facility and 450 for to be paid to VA doctor. Above all, how about this? VA male doctors receive more in copay of same type doctor than VA women doctors. Plus, government subsidizes the insurance companies out of budget. Government has all these laws against discrimination but yet they are eat up with it. Ben, look at this pay difference or pay gap between male and female. This is a disgrace. The federal government taxes the hell out of the citizens and then charges these over the top copays for appointments. A private sector physician working for government outside of government would never be paid this. Medicare private sector physicians get paid peanuts by the federal government. Ben, I can’t take it. But then I say I can take what it takes. In regards to Republicans and Democrats, I am not voting at all. Not even for the president.
Why? Do you want to chat with him? Express your points of view or something?
You have to write a letter and get an appointment. If it isn’t ignored as mine was at first you’ll talk to staff and it is very unlikely you’ll get an audience with the Secretary.
Been there and done that. After a fast on the Mall for 157 days and the loss of 53 lbs., I was pretty skinny before I was given a hearing with a “neurology consultant” about organic brain syndromes including TBI and malaria in Oct of 1995. Never saw the Secretary during the Clinton Administration or the following Bush Administration.
A study of the residuals of cerebral malaria was done and reported to the Benefits Sub-Committee of the House VA Committee in 1998 which I have a copy of and can email you if you contact me at “[email protected]”. I gave up my demonstrations as a homeless person in DC in 2003. I had a little more than $800.00 per month and spent most of it on printing handouts at Kinkos. Nothing was done on TBI until a reporter picked it up in 2008. I like to think that the reporter got his idea from one of my handouts.
I’ve written a rebuttal to the cerebral malaria study that was used by the Chief of Neurology of the VA at that hearing to rebut the study that was done by Nils R. Varney. I’ll also include that in response to a request. Anyone who is having trouble with employment since they were hospitalized with p. falciparum malaria might use my material to get compensated. I never had it myself but noticed that those who had had the same symptoms I had of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) which is not easily recognized and treated. Like this case, I wasn’t treated for my TLE until August of 2015. I have a remand in process from the BVA on it. Also, as a part of my claim of more severe unemployability because of the residuals of my TBI, it is a part of my case before the CAVC. Bray v Wilkie, Docket no. 17-2990 for those who want to look it up. It is now before a judge who has ordered the Secretary to revise the ROP to include the RBA documents I referenced by December 19. Hope to have a decision by early next year.
It takes a lot of effort to get public attention. Not even the Colonel that committed suicide while sitting upon a copy of his VA medical records was able to get the attention of the Secretary.
My suggestion is to call the White House Veterans’ Complaint Line at 855-948-2311, state your complaint and ask for an audience with Secretary Wilkie. Your best chance to get into the Central Office. I’ve been in twice. Once for the hearing and once to sit down with Bobby Ogden to go through my file. After which (still working with hard copy files) she organized and tabbed my file according to the VA Regulations at the time and referred my case to the DC VA Regional Office.
It still took from 1996 until 2015 to get a hearing before the BVA. Another 2 years to get a decision to remand and probably at least another 6 months to get a decision on the remand per the current eBenefits status of my claims. And then probably another trip to the BVA in the delay, deny and wait until they die modus operandi of the VA.
My reply wasn’t properly placed.
I know what this lady went through because I am going through it now. My husband was in Korea 62-64 and came home from the service with a broken back, PTSD and Neuropathy in his feet and NO DD214. Yes you read right he was never given his discharge documents and as a matter of record he was not discharged until 12:40 PM on March 3, 2018. He had a claim pending at the time of his death and I am still fighting to get what’s mine. They owe me about as much as they owed that lady. I hope now she is getting her DIC and anything else she’s entitled to.
Barbara, this situation is very sad to read that you are speaking of. Honestly, my reading this almost breaks my heart and I do not even know your husband or you. I cannot hardly take all of this crap.
They had better think long and hard before they go stripping older veterans of their benefits or reducing amounts. Ben, this is why. They do not think ahead at all. If they followed through the federal government will add to the homelessness and add to the health issues as if we do not have enough going on now as it is of which needs attention to help. These are the points too. Ben, older veterans do not have GI Bills at all unless they served well before the 70s. Older veterans do not have the resources for assistance to help towards decent employment. Ben they do not. Here is what no one has paid attention to at all. All the legislation that has been enacted into laws during the Trump administration in regards to education and employment retraining is for younger veterans only. Ben, this is a fact. All Trump and VA have focused on for older vets is caretaker, nursing home, the new healthcare acts, and none is this legislation is centered to help move vets to Independence. Many older veterans cannot move to Independence at an older age due to how our society has become and due to they may not can physically or mentally handle it in an abrupt change. Also, older veterans even if they live to an age on up there the situation still does not compare to someone who is younger. Ben, today the federal government and big companies have made it so difficult for anyone to do anything. A fact. Too much red tape. Takes up too much time. Today, before a person can even apply to employment, this and that abd this and that has to be done by the prospective employee before the job can be applied for. A prospective employee has to have a LinkedIn account and all this crap to even be considered by the company for employment. Ben, in my opinion, this is insane. This has nothing to do with the person being able to deliver in the job itself. The LinkedIn and all of this stuff adds to the process which makes the more harder for someone to get hired. The federal government and big companies are too focused on the process and not the meat result of the employment situation. Even the technology has added time to business transactions. Here is you a real live example. A person goes to buy a bottle of shampoo. Okay, the customer asks for receipt. Ben, customer stands waiting well over an hour trying to get a receipt. Merchant could not get the printer to print out the receipt. Merchant was not trained on how to get the wireless printer to connect. Merchant could not send receipt online either. So customer left without a receipt. Now if a customer is spending this much time on this one business transaction can’t you see how this throws off everyone’s schedule. Situations like this delay everything. People can communicate issues like these to people who are in positions to implement changes and improvements but the people actually experiencing the issues will never be heard and validated by the people in more authoritative positions. Because our society has become a top down society. It is the top way or not way at all. And the top believes they are always correct and everyone else is dumb as rocks. Ben, veterans wound up in many of situations not of their own accord. The veterans still get penalized when they are in the situations that they honestly may have had nothing to do with. So is this respecting human rights? Not all. Veterans do not have the rights to get an attorney as compared to regular Americans and illegal immigrants and criminals. So you are right on. Why is this like this? Does anyone have the answers to this question? Does the Trump administration have answers to this question? No they do not. If the Trump administration really honestly cared about human rights this situation would already be being worked on. They all want donations and all want to be in office; but, still what needs to be done and changed is not happening at all. Government spends on worthless investigations and worthless hearings. Insane to me. If anyone needs mental status exams, look at many in this government. Look at their actions. Look at their slush fund for sexual misconduct behind their wives backs. Ben, this is not honorable conduct at all. Decency does still exist. But, getting back to veterans, many veterans did not invite their situation that they are in. Many apply to be retrained but have been denied. So what are the veterans to do? Get kicked some more by the people who the veterans served for in defense of freedoms and life. Ben, when does it end? Very few care. All about a dollar bill.
Wow. I mean wow. Im also a vet and for the last 14 years I’ve been denied benefits for my children. I repeatedly filed for years 2005, 06, 07, 09 and 2017. By 2017 they finally accepted part of my paperwork. The birth certs and added them to my benefits. Yet, in a strange twist. Removed their mother and backdated to 2007 to create a debt of 27k claiming i was illegally married to my 3rd wife. Even mire interesting when my lawyer contacted the prothonetary office where the divorce was filed. They to lied and claimed the 2nd divorce was never finalized. Yet thank TMH my ex wife had the original and gave me a copy. Now do you think upon faxing it in they accepted it and removed the debt? Nope! They denied it being received several times via fax, mail etc. Nothing was working. So i faxed them to Minnesota va debt collections and they entered them into my record. And waived the debt. Took me 4 months tho and in that time i lost everything. They put me in the street. So yeah there’s some wicked people sitting in seats of authority making poor decisions that destroy some of us vets. They just blame our mental condition and therefore say its our fault. As a vet dealing and coping with bipolar it really sucks. Everyone around you if you have them use you and abuse you. I have no family nor friends other than the ines i buy with my check. Cuz if your not giving money they don’t want you around anyway. No one will hire you, you become a pariah. The only ones who can relate are others with mental conditions and we all suffer. Im glad she got it finally but for him i also am thankful he finally made it out of this hell.
The life we’re living in because if the wicked running things.
Benjamin and all, I can’t change what anyone is doing in regards to this country. So I just shut up and go on. I have been only able to influence my own actions. ??????
I do appreciate the fact the VA finally honored the Korean Vet’s claim. VA delivered to the Veterans widow. She deserved every penny of it plus more. Because the legal bills accumulated during the fight for 50 years will probably take all the VA paid to the widow. Should not take 50 years.
Benjamin, I do not see how they can become any more adverse. I am not being a smart ass either. All the legislation President Trump’s has done in conjunction with the VA Secretary, none of it applies to me whatsoever including the healthcare acts. Ben, what I am saying is a fact. I am not eligible for any of it. Ben, tell me what a veteran is supposed to do? One physician submits a consult and the clinic cancels the consult. And, the list goes on. I have service connected condition that they have failed at in the past. And, is still not treated. Ben, they in the last 10 years have kicked me down the road in regards to everything. Voc rehab, deny conversion from VEAP to the Montgomery GI Bill and the list goes on. If a veteran cannot be assisted in any way, what is the purpose of being there? Ben, the situation cannot get any more adverse than this. So honestly, I do not understand the VA leadership. Ben, that data already is adverse towards veterans. The VA is not fixed. Also, when I spoke about the difference in pay among VA employees as in the ones who receive the copays, it is true the male VA providers receive quite a bit more than the VA female providers. Look at it and you will see. So I wonder how the lady VA providers feel about being shortchanged by their VA leadership because they are women? How about this Ben? Then the government has all these laws against discrimination. They are engaged right in the middle of it. And they are just now admitting sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and discrimination occurred to women in the military before the Iraq war. Back then, women rarely had a voice in regards to anything much less using an attorney to fight a sexual harassment case. Remember, Tailhook. Ben, these situations are more out in the open today and more women are being helped. Back then the lady military member just eat the shit. So Ben I do not know where the VA is coming from. Their actions have already adverse for a long time. If nothing changes nothing changes. They have been most certainly adverse to me. Honestly, what is the purpose of the VA? To serve or not to serve. Or just remain shallow and disconnected and continue to placate. Deny, delay, kick down the road. Why engage with this? If nothing changes nothing changes. Veteran just take care of themselves the best they can. Why bother? Then they do not understand why veterans do not get care or whatever from the VA. Well, if all is not accessible, vet just leave the VA. Why hang around? Honestly, Ben, all the money given to the VA from the Trump administration. Many veterans still cannot access any resources. ZILCH. ZERO. VA Secretary is not connected to situation at all. But, in all honesty, they really do not care.
Benjamin, tell me why the VR&E continues to send me the Chapter 31 Vocational rehabilitation survey to fill out? Ben, I have been retired from the military since 1996 and they have never approved me for Chapter 31. The last denial as it was VR&E to whom denied me and closed my case. Ben, it was the Voc Rehab CRC herself to whom denied me. They as in VR&E in the State of Florida to whom denied me and has been denying me here for the last 20 years. This is how long I have been in Florida since 2000. VHA would not complete any paperwork for the VR&E counselor at all. Ben, why does the VA want from me? I cannot answer their survey because I have never been approved and I have never participated. The questions on the survey I cannot answer because with their questions the answers to my situation are many with same priority and happening at the same time. Ben, what do they want from me? The new healthcare I am not even eligible for because I live near the VA under their mileage requirement. The rest of the bill would not even apply to me. Because the VA kicked me down the road, I left. What else can I do? Nothing. Because I am not fighting them at all. I am tired of their deny, delay and whatever. I do not care what they do. They are pointless. I am not hiring an attorney at all. I will just walk away like I have been doing. Because they are sneaky and they are not in anyone’s best interest but their own. Ben, they denied the VEAP conversion to Montgomery GI Bill.. Ben, I have tried with them. My efforts are wasted efforts. I am tired of their games. I have been seeing about myself because I surely cannot access any help from them. So Ben what does the VR&E want? I have told them over and over again that I have never been approved for Chapter 31. Ben, tell me what is the deal? Please tell me. Do they ever get beyond harassing people? Why do they want invalidated information to submit to the Congress? Or not inaccurate information to submit to the Congress? Ben, I do not any help from anyone but myself today.?????
Benjamin, a head person from VR&E from DC called me a year ago and we spoke over an hour over the phone. Ben, if they allow me to provide them with a write up on paper, I can write them major substance that they will sure turn it against me. I can lay it all out. But, Ben, their survey is not applicable to me. Why do they continue to try to make a square peg fit into a round hole? Ben, I am more than willing to communicate with them. But for what purpose? They could careless. If they cared, they would have already been working with me instead of against me. Ben, I can’t assist them.
The VR&E survey is poor. Because I can mark every answer on some of the questions of the survey. I am choosing not to go to physician or very little at all. But, I have been trying to get rid of a staph infection in which I am on an oral antibiotic. One situation is due to an allergic reaction from a Motorola cellphone purchased from Verizon. I have been in contact with the manufacturer. It falls under consumer law under liability product design. Ben, it is the nickel in chemical composition of the cell phone. I have had to keep it bandaged at times and having to wear white cotton glove. As for low level employment, online puts older people out of the loop. I can only apply to companies that have paper employment applications or that allow resumes. But I cannot do it online because there is a biased towards older people. Plus, I do not have a current skill set of that per say an IT company would hire for. Or accounting degree. Or finance or even some stats or math updated skills and certifications. Also, not only with my hand, the list goes on to where I had to straighten out my own care with moving it out of the VA. Plus, I had to move. Then clean out the house and help with the funeral. Clean up govt waste from the VA. Ben, it is the VA who has contributed to alot of this. Ben, I do not know what they are trying to determine. But I have 26 years since I suffered the psychotic break and breaks continued beyond 1994. My last hospitalization was 2004. I have been forward ever since. My recovery took a turn out of the VA in 2004 when my parents took the full reign from the VA. Plus, knowledgeable people in the community guided me and assisted me accordingly. People who knew what they were doing. Ben, the VA did have a good program but they closed it. This too assisted me. But ultimately, using my brain little by little is how I moved forward. Along the way with not knowing what was happening. Ben, the system does not support change forward at all. All laws are for the young period. What set the stage for my near drastic change is when I assumed my sister’s care when she almost died. No one else to handle it. I had to take it over. Legal, medical, residence. Ben, it is stress that builds resilience. But healthy stress. Since Voc Rehab denied me in 2015, I have improved even more in my brain functioning. Though, I have been having these other issues with the staph infection. Ben, I have had friends help me with my resume such as it is. My old University has been working with me online with career support. So Ben when I am slammed, I do not hang around. Ben, I can’t take it. So the VR&E survey is not applicable because the questions and answers are too limiting and do not align with my situation. Cellphone allegeric reaction and my list goes on. Now Ben when in a hundred years will the VA ask a question that will note staph infection due to cellphone made out of nickel? Ben, their survey does not apply. I can answer multiple answers for the questions. I am not getting slammed when I can only answer with one answer when there are multiple answers. If they do not believe me, they need to get on a plane and fly here. Best.
The bottom line is I am not getting slammed due to misconstrued information. I am not filling out anything until the accurate information is in place. I am not filling out anything if many pieces fit to the situation. Of same priority. The survey does not collect substantive information from subject. It is only what the VA wants to hear which includes very little regarding the situation. VR&E just needs to come here.
Benjamin, to be factual, I didn’t walk away from the VA, the VA walked away from me. Benjamin, I have been around a long time and even longer than you. Many who work in the VA today are younger. Many of the previous VA employees have retired or have left the VA. I am not a Republican or Democrat. I am solid Conservative. No person can stop the clock, but every person can slow its tick. So here I go again saying…disuse contributes to dysfunction and whatever else. “Of all the causes which conspire to render the life of a man short and miserable, none have greater influence than the want of proper exercise.” “Exercise thy lasting youth defends.” “Exercise is not a fountain of youth; but, it is a good long drink of vitality.” See Ben, none of us like being hurt in life (if one is sane at the time), but it is in the pain, the slamming, the humiliation, the letdowns, the mistreatment, the irrational, and the unjust hatred that one finds strength. Strength not to fight back…but to move forward. Strength lies in overcoming ourselves. Some people try to destroy others’ images. This is a sign of who they are, for one, are very sad about who they are. When the VA or anyone lashes out with whatever they are doing,, it is their way of trying to control me. This goes for others. They tried to control me mentally and emotionally. Same for others. Some people try to devalue others so they can feel better about themselves. It takes strength to walk away. Imagine for a second, running a marathon with other runners. This person has a rope tied around her waist that is slowing her down. This rope is attached to people behind her; person’s haters, person’s saboteurs, and etc. However, this lady runs despite them trying to hold her back. As she continues on the marathon the people behind her get more people on the sidelines to chip in to lend their spectator’s hand in trying to hold the runner back. In spite of this, the runner who is determined to finish the race doesn’t look back at them laughing at her. She does not look back at them getting more people. She does not look back at them trying to remind her of how many people are…AGAINST HER. She keeps pressing forward. She keeps pressing forward. She keeps moving forward. And despite the fact she may not have come in first place….She still WON. Why??? Because this was a marathon….not a RACE. She was not in any competition with anyone but to save herself. She had a mob of people behind her. Yet they couldn’t stop her from succeeding in what she wanted to achieve. And this is how my life has been and how we must be in life. We are going to have haters. We are going to have schemers. We are going to have many people who will be against us in life. And to be against us in life when we don’t…even know…who they are. But…True strength comes not in overcoming the masses but in overcoming myself. See Ben had the lady in my story stopped to fight the mob she would have never finished the race; which is what they wanted. Keep moving forward. Look at the blockades and the thwarting of dreams in life as detours and keep moving forward. When people character assassinate us or me, let them destroy the image of who they think we are or I am. When the world tries and holds me back…the best thing and the only thing to do is…WALK WAY. It takes more strength to walk away forward in life…when I have the world…trying to hold me back…It Takes Strength To Walk Away. Best.
Benjamin, all of this is really hard to understand. VA is working inconjuction with SAIC. SAIC has had positions that are involved in analytics which are entailed in working with VA leadership on all kinds of metrics and data. Though, the claims by the VA are that the analytics are veteran centric or veteran focused. But then not really in positive ways. I am basing my statement on their preactions of when they are constantly aiming to throw vets under the bus. It seems.
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