MMQB: Congressman seeks to end ‘Delay, Deny, Hope that I Die’

Hope that I die.

Delay, deny, hope that I die. Never has this statement had more truth than for veterans without family members when they pass on.

For these veterans, a successful VA denial is one where the agency stonewalls the veteran until they die. Once they die, the claim goes away. That has been a perverse incentive for denying certain veterans unjustly until a recent bill proposed by US Rep. Dan Maffei.

Hi and welcome to another edition of Monday Morning Quarterback for Veterans. I am your host, Benjamin Krause, creator of

This is the weekly piece where I let my hair down and tell it like it is. I cover a few current topics that will impact veterans moving forward.

This week we will talk about:

  • VA’s perverse denial incentive
  • VA hiding documents about veteran deaths
  • Legislation ending soon that helps rural vets get local care


The perverse denial loophole may soon end

Delay, deny, hope that I die.

That has been the informal motto of many veterans referencing VA denials and delays, especially from the Vietnam war. The sad reality of veterans claims is that VA has an incentive deny older veterans with the goal of delaying the claim until death.

Unlike Social Security, if a veteran dies without qualifying family prior to a claim being paid, that claim will not be paid. This creates a clear incentive to improperly deny a claim. On the other hand, for veterans with family, the claims will get paid if the veteran is married or under certain other criteria. Still, even these families have additional hurdles to jump because VA requires them to file a new claim for the benefits even if the veteran was alreayd deemed entitled but waiting the payout.

According to VA figures highlighted by Congressman Dan Maffei, approximately 22,000 veterans died in 2013 with claims pending. Many of these veterans were already deemed entitled prior to dying. The only hang up was VA’s slow processing procedures.

Still, the greater the backlog, the greater the likelihood of more veterans dying while waiting for benefits. The more veterans who die, the higher the chances are that the claim will not be paid, especially when the examinations have not yet been held to substantiate the claims.

Congressman Maffei is looking to end the perverse incentive the policy creates by presenting a bill called the Veteran Families Fairness Act. The bill will ensure the claim is not lost. Congressman Maffei stated,

“In the event that a veteran passes away during the claims process, their family members should not have to suffer even more as a result of inequities within the VA system. My bill takes concrete steps to address these flaws and ensure that veteran families have fair and timely access to the benefits their loved ones have earned.”

Maffei’s bill would allow the veteran’s estate maintain his or her claim against VA even if the veteran lacks a qualified living family member. For wives and certain children of deceased veterans, they would not need to restart the claims process from the beginning.

This is a bill all veterans should look at. In addition to this perverse incentive, VA is hiding behind another incentive that precludes COLA increases from being included in a backpay situation. For a veteran wrongly denied a 100% rating, VA saves via inflation and interest by not paying out right away. Over a ten year period, VA saves thousands by wrongly withholding the money.

And it is really a win-win for them. If you beat them after ten years, VA is only out the money they would have paid you anyway and not a penny more. They can then make money on the back side while reinvesting that money in the capitol markets (that is what the Treasury can do, like a CFO of a corporation). Now, if you die or merely give up somewhere along the way, VA does not need to pay a dime.

VA is like a casino where the house always wins. What a scam against the will of the American taxpayer – most of whom want to honor our obligations.

Source: The Citizen



VA hiding documents on veteran deaths in Florida

In an article titled, “Sen. Nelson: None of the controversial VA deaths occurred at Haley,” VA is getting a temporary pass but will hopefully release needed information soon.

In Florida, delays in treatment likely contributed to five deaths and nine other injuries according to documents released to The Tampa Tribune.  The deaths were rumored to be linked to two hospitals in the stated: James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa and the C.W. “Bill Young” VA Medical Center. Nationwide, at least nineteen veteran deaths have been liked to delays. At least 63 other veterans suffered injuries. According to the documents released, the deaths were the result of delayed endoscopy tests.

My only beef against Sen. Nelson is that he should be focusing on whether or not the treatment in the hospital contributed to the deaths. Instead, Senator Nelson is clearly focused on whether or not the veterans died in VA hospitals in question. In my mind, this is not relevant since many veterans die after being discharged from the hospital. I think I speak for everyone that what matters to us is whether or not medical malpractice at the VA hospitals in question was linked to the deaths regardless of where they finally died.

We would like to tell you more, but VA is now blocking further releases. VA is currently locked in a fight with Tribune over further document releases from their Freedom of Information Act request that led to the above disclosure.

Hopefully the matter will be illuminated fully sometime in the near future.

Source: The Tampa Tribune



Legislation ends soon that helps rural vets get local care

Legislation allowing veterans to receive local care in rural areas is set to end after three years. Senator Jerry Moran seeks to fix that. Seeking a common sense approach to VA benefits, the Senator hopes other legislators will agree and extend the program.

The program, Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home), allows veterans to avoid traveling long distances to get only VA care in locations far from their homes. For years, lawmakers have bemoaned VA’s policy to require that veterans travel up to 5 hours or more to get health care. Without an extension, common sense will be tossed out the door and veterans will be denied fair and reasonable access to health care.

According to Senator Moran,

“If reauthorized, the ARCH program would continue to offer cost-effective, quality health care services for veterans who may not have sought VA health care before, as well as services closer to home for those who do not have immediate access to VA hospitals or outpatient clinics.”

Let’s hope this one gets resolved quickly for the benefit of these veterans.

Source: Great Bend Tribune

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  1. I have had a long struggle with trying to get a service connected disability approved (35 yrs) and now I have a second claim against the VA hospital. They have all been denied and I believe a cover-up has been going on. My latest attempt is that I am writing a book titled “Twice Ambushed’ by the Veterans Administration – It will be published by Amazon and will be completed in the Spring of 2017. I hope to get a copy into the hands of everyone who has Veterans Influence. It is ridiculous how veterans are being treated. I am a Viet Nam era veteran


  3. I am pretty sure the VA wants me to kill myself. For years they’ve denied me mental health care. There will be no putting me in prison when my brains are all over their AO. I’m not going to kill myself in my home for nobody to see. Let everyone know what VA health care looks like.

    1. The Congressmen who say they show interest in this decades upon decades are just following the all talk and no action! George Miller and Mike Thompson have been appraised of MANY VETERANS and do nothing!!! The many problems, young and old, man or woman veterans still are being abused by this failed VA Health Care System! The VA cannot connect the dots in medical records and even have DENIED a medical condition that has been documented since 1968! They are, “THEY” do not care about anything but wasting $$$$$ as the Chief of Primary Care for Northern California, “why should I care, it’s the public’s money!” I believe this VA is fraudulent, last in the medical realm that kill’s and harm’s UNITED STATES VETERAN’S by miss diagnoses, over medication, wrong medication or failed medical procedures that cause more harm. FTVA! FBO!

  4. Father died before his claim was done. They keep telling him his records had been lost he suffered so many years with the agent orange stuff. He died with ITP and they said he had Congestive Heart Failure. He knew he was dying and told us that last Christmas was probably his last. He was such a proud person and he didn’t tell us of things he found out from his doctor’s but let us know he was ready to go be with the lord. They sent my mother letters after his passing and now 6 months out she was told she would get some of his VA benefits. Strange how they treat our brave men that go fight for our freedoms. Sad

  5. Thank you Ben for all that you do for our veterans. I feel the pain as my Father age 93 has been pursuing his rightful benefits for over two years now. My sister and myself have taken every avenue to assure his claim was honored.

  6. Great article Ben. You get better and better at this, and I am sure the VA is putting you on their retaliation list. You will be in good company. I forward yopur articles to all of my contacts. I hope your other readers will TOO. It is time for the VA tl stop getting a free ride on screwing veterans.


  8. Yes…33 years I have been legally on record as suffering PTSD due to Combat in Vietnam. Because no one else is alive from my outfit and I have the burden of proof the VA has LIED, DENIED and even the trusted DAV is involved with the process of deny, deny, until you die policy. They live in the same VA facility and NEVER help. They say they do but, I have caught them in so many lies to me that I have NO faith or trust in the DAV anymore. I am on record with private Psych’s and VA Psych’s as having severe chronic PTSD with a GAF score of 52. The idiot they bring in for my Comp & Pen says I have never had PTSD in my life and within 15 min diagnoses me with a Personality Disorder, he negated with a stroke of a pen 33 year’s of confirmed PTSD diagnoses. The DAV in their infinite wisdom, said oh well he does not have PTSD and NEVER called me for any follow up. I still cannot get a phone call back from the DAV. They are cowards and they lie and are paid off by the VA. I am, and have filed charges against the psych in my last C&P with the State Board of Psych Certification and Licensing. I will not let this man whom the VA pays to deny disability ratings get away with what he did. I now have a new C&P. I will NOT be a friendly person to this next Psych at my C&P. If I sense he too is a paid off outside vendor not fit to evaluate a veteran with PTSD I am going to break his jaw and beat the hell out of him on the spot.

    1. Dennis, I hope your just saying that about breaking a jaw, you will find yourself in prison for two year’s. I have a friend that just grabbed the lapel of a dumb ass VA fake doctor and he ended up in Leavenworth! I know exactly how you feel and the VA from what I see is the same failed medical system all over the U.S.A. I really am looking for a lawyer to help me but is doesn’t involve compensation (yet) Do you know that the VA violates Chapter 38 of the CFR every second that pertains to disabled veterans and veterans seeking help for discriminations against veterans. I wish those who so smugly tell you how it is or what it isn’t would go to war for one day then they just might shut the fuck up and do the right thing for all of us veterans. It was a huge lie that the VA would be there when you need them! I was a Combat Medic, wounded severely May 14th 1967 and the VA Medical System (such that it is) has done nothing but cause me pain and anguish! FTVA!

      1. Thank you for your kind words. Yes I do want to break a jaw or two…but common sense overrides my feeling’s and I stop at that precise moment. I do appreciate your advice and I will not give up. I have my 3rd Com & Pen coming up and believe it may come out in my favor. I will keep everyone posted. Again, thank you and sometimes a kind word can make a very big difference in a moment of belligerence. Thank you!

  9. It is a damn shame that Veterans Get treated like second class the Illegals anyway you can though,make sure other ountries get all the aid they need,But the hell with the Veterans, Sick of it. GMCM Ret.

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