Reforms Ignore Need To Overhaul VA Debt Collection
One noteworthy article this week addresses consistent problems veterans face when attacked by VA debt collectors in its Debt Management Center.
Last month, the American Legion (Legion) provided testimony to Congress exposing problems in how the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) goes about collecting debts. In many instances, the debts owed are the result of agency failures or haphazard application of standards directly harming veterans’ finances.
The large majority of debts are in the form of overpayments. In 2016 alone, VA sent almost 187,000 overpayment notices for debts up to and beyond the tens of thousands of dollars.
Under the present legal framework, when VA says a veteran owes money, regardless of who was at fault, the agency can withhold the funds from disability compensation payouts or tax returns to recoup the funds. Veterans who contest the results are forced to jump through sometimes impossible hoops to resolve the matter.
And even when resolved, such as through granting of a waiver, VA computer software still allows the agency to withhold finances even though no money is truly owed.
Requesting a waiver from VA to resolve possible overpayment is one of the few ways veterans are able to avoid repayment or at least delay repayment pending adjudication at the DMC. But most veterans fail to file for a waiver much less understand the legal requirements to avoid repayment regardless of the reason.
VA Debt And Widow Cheri Lopez
Vice News published the story and provided numerous examples where veterans were economically injured as a result of the program. Here is one curious story to ponder:
Scott Oswell joined the military at age 17 and served for 16 years until he died in a helicopter crash during combat on July 4, 2007. He left behind a wife and three children. After his death, the VA told his widow, Cheri Lopez, that she would receive a monthly entitlement for the kids. When she remarried in 2008, she says, she informed the VA seven times in writing and over the phone and sent the U.S. Army a copy of the marriage certificate.
In December 2015, she opened her mail to find a notice from the VA saying she owed the agency $177, 655.05 for benefits she shouldn’t have received. The VA said she never told the military she had remarried.
Lopez appealed the debt and the agency admitted it had made a mistake. Now she owed $103,293.05. Lopez paid off the debt with the money she had set aside for expenses including her children’s college costs and their wedding funds. Lopez was five classes away from a bachelor’s degree but said she could not finish because the debt means she can no longer receive federal student aid.
While this one is perhaps not the most sympathetic, as she likely should have realized she was receiving an overpayment and not spent the money, some folk’s cases are less obvious.
I think of the countless examples where VA VocRehab forces veterans out of training. Or, the program fails to properly accommodate the veteran resulting in the person dropping out of school. Either way, that veteran will need to pay back any unearned subsistence payments if they fail to complete the term resulting in supposed overpayment of thousands.
In these instances, it seems unfair for VA to assert the veteran received the funds they did not earn since the agency’s failures resulted in the veteran dropping out of the program, to begin with.
Anyway, this topic is an interesting one, and I have no doubt VA is failing to do everything it can to help minimize the adverse effects on veterans when the DMC comes knocking.
A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. Theodore Roosevelt……….WELL THAT AIN’T happing THEODORE………
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. Theodore Roosevelt
OFF TOPIC your scripted news…………….”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHDDQVZ-A98″…….THAAAAAAT’S entertainment
I do not know of any vet who has had to pay fees that a BONAFIDE attorney has charged. It is common for any attorney working for clients against a big bad boy to have to keep accurate records concerning hourly fees.
Fees are only paid unfortunately after you case/application for benefits is denied and you go to the Board of Veterans Appeals, unfortunately, which is why we need to press for payment of attorneys’ fees from the very start. It is a violation of due process for the VA to have attorneys working against you to deny your claim and for a veteran not to be afforded an attorney from the gitgo. American Legion, DAV, VFW, and other organizations represent the claim until if gets to the appellate level then the veteran can hire an attorney paid by the government @ $200/Hr, which in many areas is low pay for attorneys by the hour.
Again, a detailed record of fee hours is mandatory in other non VA situations.
Ben would be the man to put together with the DAV, VFW, Am. Legion, and other organizations if he can get them all to work together attorneys to sue the VA and its employees as the case may be. I would volunteer to help him. He is a sharp guy who went through the bruising VA process BEFORE he went to law school and as a consequence like an elephant he never forgot. The problem with authorizing of atty fees at the beginning is it would step on the toes of the DAV, VFW, Am. Legion, and other organizations who hire “reps” to prepare claims and present them to the VA. They have a lot of experience in preparing these claims and generally do a good job but sometimes they stub their toes, so to speak.
As to paying any fees which the VA doesn’t authorize payment for , it seems to me that the Attorney would face a lawsuit by the Vet he/she represented for malpractice.
REMEMBER MY FELLOW VETERANS………………..
When your psychological counselor follows VA policy that is not in accordance with their duty under the law, to render care to/for you above all other things,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
(the law defines their duty as the standard duty of care to which therapists and psychologists are held to in the community), they are subject to suit for negligence and for gross negligence and for not following the law,
NEGLIGENCE PER SE, UNDER WHICH THE PLAINTIFF, YOU, DO NOT HAVE TO PROVE DAMAGES………
Check it out, Hello, Ben, what do you think?
You are right but remember each of the veterans who fought and won in the Veterans Court of Appeals or had to go higher to the Federal Courts or in a few cases to the U.S. Supreme Court had a long hard fight, but they hung in there and WON, and when they WON, they made it easier for others to follow because of the “Precedent” sometimes called Res Judicata, or Collateral Estoppel, which means once the appellate court has decided an ISSUE the issue does not have to be decided again but other veterans can get their rights/compensation when the issue in their case is the same.
Nothing that was worth while was ever easy and those of you who have had Dads and Granddads who fought at the Battle of the Bulge or at Tarawa or at Hill 881 with Chesty Puller in Korea or in your own lives at the Ashau Valley with the 7th CAV or in Iraq or in Afganistan, (remember the sole Navy Seal who survived?) and other difficult situations, will stop and think about how you can whip this pig called the VA.
One Case won over this kind of low life Psych “care” will set the VA on its heels, and it will pay attention.
Now, without telling your “counselor” at the VA each time you go to the VA for counseling either record the session, (secretly) or as soon as you get out of the session, write in a notebook whose pages cannot be torn out (like a looseleaf notebook, get one of those speckeld black and white notebooks) and start a diary be very precise as to what you have said and what your counselor has said to you, This “diary” is a record which can be admitted in court as bonafide evidence.
It only takes one case. I lost a case in the highest State Trial level court, but won in the next appellate level and when the big guys against whom I was litigating appealed it to the highest appellate state Court, I won there too. It changed the law for a lot of other folks. The same happened to me in the Federal District Court, where I was ruled against by the U.S. District court Judge, but I appealed it to a Federal Appellate Circuit court they overruled the Federal district court in my favor. IT WASN’T EASY, but fellows and gals, did you ever get the person of your dreams waiting for them to CALL YOU??
Now in my little ditty above I forgot to tell you that you also have a cause of action for fraud, (for which they award punitive damages if proven) and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and other causes of action. Time to stop sitting around bemoaning the enemy attack, scratch out your plan a counter-attack.
It is also past time for the VA to pay the legal fees of lawyers who help veterans file their cases at the beginning so there will not be stuff left out at the Board Of Veterans Appeals, when it is difficult to add things, Lean hard on your Congresspersons and Senators, do not take no for an answer. Denial of counsel at the beginning before you face 6 Haaarvar Government Lawyers at the appellate level is an issue of DUE PROCESS.
Keep pounding away, don’t take no for an answer.
The VA does have to pay legal fees by the hour and $200.00 per hour but your attorney has to be willing to that the case to the CAVA and request attorney’s fees. To do so he must keep a detailed time diary. But if the CAVA finds a reason to deny then you will be liable under most fee agreements for what the CAVA doesn’t order the VA to pay.
Nice post and really glad someone listened !
May I ask did you do it your self or did am attorney do it.?
Where can veterans find the information on how to file such cases, what type of lawyer.?
Some of us are disabled and have a hard time knowing what to do or who to contact.
I agree we all must fight, fight, fight when they have been harmed.
Traumatic brain injury leaves us confused and in my case, when pressured my mind races and I get confused as to what I had said and sometimes forget what the question was.
I have been fighting the VA over the disruptive reporting and even with real evidence, I always run into VA employees who don’t want to listen and cover up the truth.
The VA admitting they did wrong, but will do nothing to correct it. Thanks for your post.
James, I wrote that myself, but I am a lawyer who like Big Ben fought the VA in my own jungle of crapola.
You must find an advocate who can assemble your paperwork and knowing what the causes of action will be get ready to present your causes of action. Have you been to the DAV, or the American legion? A TBI certainly has that effect. There exists an organization of Brain Trauma advocates and victims which helps all persons afflicted by such injuries. Please don’t give up, that is what they expect you to do. As I understand it you were at one time granted a 100% rating because of the TBI? You might be able to file an action to enforce that ruling and then file for med malpractice against the persons who withdrew the rating and file criminal charges against them if they are not qualified medical persons for practicing medicine or psychology without a license, and other causes of action. Give the basic facts to one of the advocates at DAV, VFW, Am Legion or one of the other organizations who are fighting for vets. Ben should be able to give some guidance or one of his lawyers on staff. Keep me posted. Which facility is giving you grief, by the way?
I was shot in the head 1972, discharged 1973, applied for disability for PTSD, I did not know I had a traumatic brain injury because. The VA denied me care after refusing to adjudicate my claim for PTSD.
VA told me over denied your military record’s were distroyed In the saint Louis fire in may of 1973.
Not knowing any better, I felt now am I going to prove Anything, they say my record’s were distroyed.
They told me to find someone who whitenesed the event ! That was not going to happen, I did not even know I was taken to a German hospital and then to an American hospital.
I was new in the unit and after being shot they transfered me to Munich and placed me in an apartment by myself.
Worked 1 day for 24 hours answering a phone, which seldom rang. 5 other soilders whom I only seen a few times.
I was working at the fort Lyon vamc in southern colorado as am administrative assistant and the VA started the process of closing it down and that made my PTSD act up.
I vegan drinking heavy and missing work and some employees dod not like me for personal reasons.
I took a medical retirement and hired an attorney and he won my case and I am 100% p&t unemployable.
Come to find out the VA had my official military record’s all along. Only after treatment did I discover that I had been suffering from the tbi, VA denied my traumatic brain injury.
A former or former coworker reported me to the disruptive committee and they did not reguire her to furnish proof and they used hearsay as evidence.
The Denver VA has been covering it up since 2004, I guess PTSD and traumatic brain injury was not enough suffering, so they punished me more.
And still punishing me.
There were no Vietnam Veterans’s records which were destroyed in the Fire in St. Louis and they knew it at the time they said it, NONE
I went to the regional office and found my records there which they were hiding and I raised holy hell, pounding on the counter and , Bingo there they were. And then the Regional Director took me into his office and apologized and said that my accusations that employees were sabotaging the records process was absolutely true, ,(but his admission, he said was off the record)
I was shot in Germany, them say my record’s were distroyed In may of 1973, I did not know the month at the time
I was discharged in Oct of 1973, just telling the veterans their record’s were distroyed and then tell them to prove that you were shot.
A veteran with a traumatic brain injury did not know any better and time after time being denied we throw up our hands.
At least the veterans I came in contact with got the treatment they deserved, I made sure of that.
I guess they served me lemons so I made lemon aid.
But reading all of these stories I read, make me ashame that I even worked for the VA.
I gave worked with some very nice employees and some not so nice, those employees knew they better not let me see them treating a veteran bad or I would have reported them.
Nant employees had and have the God syndrome and think they can do what ever they please.
I only remember one person coming into the hospital and said he was a veteran, but I questioned him and come to find out He and others were using the same chart giving false information.
I called the VA police, but he ran out to fast.
I have had doctor’s try no to follow the rules, telling me oh yea shoe me the rule, so I would. Don’t make many friends being this way and I did not need friend’s.
When the VA closed they transfered many of the bad employees to New clinics, where their God syndrome became worse and now other veterans must feel their rath and I am not there to stop them.
All they want is to feel powerful, but they are picking on disabled veterans, real hero’s, real brave.
Cowards is what they really are and a real danger to veterans.
@James s Gallegos: James, your character, is miles above those that harmed you.
I appreciate that, many VA employees have never served and were never shot or mammed. They have no clue what a soilder lives through on a daily basis.
Always having to be prepared to go into harm’s way, hearing the stories of those returning from combat zones, makes now want to be more prepared.
Those that suffered injury or psychiatry problems are hurting from those disabilities, believed their country would care for them and make them as whole as possible.
For many that never happened and yet they send kids off to war and come home to VA employees who could care less, what the veterans have done or been through serving this country !
To many people who have never served, see’s stories of military personnel sitting in a room somewhere in the United State’s fighting the war.
VA employees should be required to watch real life war, so they can really understand whom they are caring for and see that real people are dying.
You gave small communities where everyone knows everyone and those people fill up a medical center or hospital and only hire friend’s and relative’s.
That causes a very big problem for the agency and abuse occurs any time a employee reports another employee as now you will be retaliated against by all of their family members and friends.
Yes, James, you nailed the human psychology which keeps us from going forward, and it is the same in every bureaucracy where people get jobs because of who they know, (Sort of how Songbird McCain didn’t get kicked out of the academy or flight status, and by violating the regs regarding the bombing runs got shot down and collaborated with the enemy and caused more of our compatriots’ deaths. Then after committing sedition he got elected Senator and crapped on the Vets while in office…..(Big Hero, like Kerry), all hot air and little temper tantrums cuz we didn’t want him as President.
Desperate I wrote to McCain about my problem thinking he if anyone would get involved.
Nope, his office sent me that letter, we only care for those who can vote for us.
They call this country the United State’s, but they have chopped it up into really small pieces and each little piece has a senator or congressman and will only have authority or say they can only represent those in their piece of the pie.
They say the people elect the president, they may vote, but the electrol college elects the president.
In my opinion, every person who voted did so thinking their vote would count, whwn it really don’t count.
@James s Gallegos: James, it is much worse than you described.
Lem, good scoop on updating, I chuckled at your successful “forum shopping” in filing your lawsuit in the best state which has the best malpractice laws; could you explain more about that issue, and that other vets can do the same?
I happen to be in Wyoming. I compared to other optional states for filing. Where it happened mostly. CA. My attorney’s states admitted to the bar. CA, DC, NJ, RI. There is also the option of witnesses states of residence which I didn’t bother to pursue because my RI attorney agreed that WY was the best she knew of to bring the case.
All but WY limit “pain and suffering” to $250,000.00. Also WY adheres to strict reading of contracts. Thus deviating from CFR and Code based on other precedence is much more difficult. And there is a lot of Appeals Court Precedence that deviates from CFR and Code.
@Lem: Lem, I hope your whooop heir butts, I am not playing around when I say this, I think your probably the smartest person I have ever know, I wish I knew half of what you forgot. I get stuck in the in the preparing stages, I know damn well they fucked up, I have the proof in my hands, Then I tend to over-think everything, analysis paralysis, I will git er done soon enough, just wish I was thorough like you are.
I have a feeling my VA therapist is a little weasel. The first moment he spoke he shot from the hip telling me he’s here to help vets get off disability. Thenmy therapist tries to get me into voc rehab when I say I can’t work. I’m getting my notes soon to find out if my therapist has been saying I’m doing great.
Demand to see your records and take the records to an outside shrink, cuz many of the VA shrinks are not practicing their profession, and they can be held liable for malpractice if they can be shown to be enforcing a VA policy instead of practicing their profession for you. Go to a University head of Psych. Many outside shrinks hate the VA and their ways
I will report him if he lied. I’m old enough to follow my gut instinct and it’s telling me my current therapist is grade A weasel. You ever get that hunch with people at the VAMC?
A lot of people think this, that’s why they are rated the worst government agency.
I believe every veteran having problems with the VA should go over their local VA’s head and send a letter to the Secretary of veterans affairs and let him know what is happening.
If nothing else he can not say he knew nothing about it. !
VA facilities will blow u off and make excuses.
All veterans need to get copies of all their record’s from when they were first treated to the last visit and do so often.
If you not done this before do it, the VA will write things you said or didn’t say and put what they thought you said and twist it.
Veteran’s will not be able to change what was in their chart.
The VA will tell the veterans, if something was posted wrong, write us what was wrong and how it should read and we will file it !
This is a problem. Many veterans do not understand that they have two folders, the medical record’s and then they have an administrative folder.
The administrative folder or record is where they file non medical or administrative paperwork.
So when you write about the problem, it gets filed into the administrative folder and it will never see the light of day and no will read it and no action will be taken.
But at least if you ever have to take them to court, veteran’s have to know they have two different files.
Every veteran should be sent a copy of every derogatory comment made in his record and every time a derogatory comment is made the veteran should take the VA to court for Defamation, libel, and slander. VA opinions should not have any special protection or immunity and I do not believe they have any immunity
Maybe Ben could give veterans advise on veterans rights about taking VA employees to court.
What type of attorneys are needed to take individual employees to court. Veteran’s with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, do not know how to handle these type of matters.
How to go about doing this, VA told me I could sue the employee individually, not the VA.
But how to we know what type of attorneys will handle these types of cases !
Personal Injury attorneys, those who specialize in DEFAMATION, LIBEL, AND SLANDER.
You have to be persistent as most attorneys these days only want to take ‘EASY CASES’, (like many attorneys have relegated their practices to auto accident stuff)
Ordinarily the DAV, VFW, and American Legion would be the ones organizing attorneys to do this but they have themselves become competing bureaucracies which are mired in the competition for the “dollar of the veteran” and have little real interest in the best interests of the veteran. The perpetuation of veterans’ problems is what keeps these organizations in business, so they would not like to see the VA be disbanded, vets access to the best private medical care, and rules set up for an immediate appointment of an attorney to represent each Vet, upon recognition of a vet’s claim either for disability compensation or any other type of benefits. These organizations are like the great hunter who never shoots the wild animal and never really ventures out where he would be able to shoot the wild animal, but he always comes back with tales of his pursuit of the greatest wild game and again he outfits himself to go on the next outing with great fanfare.
did you ever try to gain entrance to the DAV, VFW, American Legion to discuss an issue other than their forcing you into one of their channels of desperation, like putting you in line to talk with a rep? No lawyer would ever try to get their attention in a matter of great importance because of their jealousy for their “turf” which is control over you, the vet.
However, each time you get a “flag” you need to pursue it, because “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”
If we don’t kick up a storm, every time, we are dead……………………
Your right trying to find an attorney to go after VA employees, is impossible, they hear the VA or suing the government and eveyone I spoke to reply we don’t handle those cases.
You are also right about veteran’s keep fighting when they have been harmed. VA employees are taught you work for the VA and not the veterans.
They have and will continue covering up for bad employees.
Patient reps, are not helping veterans, they are there to stop veterans from complaining.
Even when it’s a valid compliant, the veterans news someone from the outside to investigate.
Not the VSO’s. ! Veteran’s are nothing but a nuisance to VA employees..
They would let someone kill a veteran and then defend the employee that killed them.
It seems not to matter if veterans have all the proof needed to win a case, WE so not matter.
Ask the VA all the problems at the VA are caused by veterans and they use the illegal disruptive committee to shut them up.
I am really surprised there is not any news reports of veterans killing VA employees.
I guess the VA state’s veterans are dangerous, if that were true, the veterans would be in the news
Not the VA. !
If Secretary Shulkin does not follow through with his promise to fire bad employees, that might change, veterans are people or human and can only take so much.
Just think 22 veteran’s committing daily, if veterans were so dangerous, one would think those or some of those veterans would have tried to kill VA employees.
Nope, they had more morals than the VA and only hurt themselves. Passive people and ignored by the VA.
That is old hat. Now you can sue the government directly instead of having to file against the “Secretary” by name in your initial claim. Same for any branch of the military. I have an outstanding SF – 95 claim for $3,750,000.00 for medical malpractice.
When I file, if necessary, it will be against the current Secretary of the VA by name at the VA general counsel’s address. My claim is presently under reconsideration. I have to change attorneys because the one I had isn’t registered in Wyoming where I want to bring the case to court because of Wyoming tort laws and explicitly in interpreting contract wording.
Use a form SF 95 to begin the claim. Look for an attorney advertising VA or SS assistance. You can get a list of VA attorney’s admitted to the CAVA Bar from the CAVA. Also you can get a list of local attorneys from you local Bar Association.
So you drop out of voc rehab and they make you pay it back?
Do you still have the paperwork telling you that you have 100%? If you do, then take it down to your DAV office and ask them to get a court order enforcing that decision. Who was the Lt. who made that stupid decision, which caused you to have to pay for your web gear, etc. ? Man, You need an advocate in your area to crack the whip on the VA. Who told you that the contract was not enforceable and upon what basis? There is no reason why you should not have 100% TBI based upon the incident for which there are records. They hid my records for a long time until I went to the regional office and pounded on the counter and then my records “magically” instantly re-appeared!!
The Director of the Regional Office took me into his office, speaking not on the record, but apologizing for the mis-conduct and telling me that I was absolutely right about the criminal actions by employees to obstruct the process of compensation awards, but that he was doing everything to make it better……(Union Reps in the Way) If every offending bureaucrat was sued then they would get the message because someone would take action to reduce the further clog in the courts. P.S. down with lil’ cocks
Thanks for repling to Rickey, I agree he should be 100% perment and total !
Repayment? Let me tell you about repayment
I couldn’t get home after ets because of repayment. I was injured in basic training with a grenade spent 3 days in hospital and it took 6 years for me to find the records! Of that. the appeals board that is in process of a N O D hasn’t even seen these records yet? about 2 years later after many complacations from the first accident i was injured when the main gun i was loading in an M-60 tank exploded i was pulled out of tank unconscious. I was transferred to another unit so i could return to firing range to help train new recruits, this was about 6 monts past my ETS. The army was already in violation of breach of contract, i inlisted and past entrance exams for a guaranteed MOS for combat engineers and promoted for that exam before inlistment. That never happend. I had to go to the JAGS office for some reason to get discharged i had already served over my 3 years. So my feild gear is about 4 hundred miles away at firing range i need to turn this gear in so i can ets. I drive there and my new lutenant will not let me have my gear. I have to pay for that. They kept my last check, left me at the front gate of Ft lewis my home of record was california. I ran out of gas no money no wear to live. while getting some gas i was offered a job and worked there slepping in my van till i had enough money to get home! Fast foward to three years ago, i transferr to Mather va hospital care they exposed me to hep c and are trying to cover it up. I have tryed to contact patients advocate since then and nothing. Mather va puts me on high blood presure meds and don’t tell me about the meds some kind of medicine for blood presure and nitro i don’t have high blood presure! I pass out and was out for more than 5 minutes end up in emergency room. DMV gets this info and sends me a medical exam to have Mather va to fill out. So i lose my license because they didn’t finish the paper work and it took a year to get an eye exam from va. I lost my license because of eye sight several years later after eye exam i don’t need glasses. Well i still don’t have a license. I get a co-pay bill and i refuse to pay because of the mistakes they made with the meds and paper work screw up. And there is more problems. So they take my little $133 compensation check. I’m sorry i have to stop this only adds grief. I am telling you there is somthing so wrong here. From the start of this there is so much here i can’t mentally hold it togather. I don’t have it mentally to put it all togather so it never gets done. PTSD TBI INSOMNIA. I recived a packet from va board saying i was awarded 100% plus 10% my wife gets a CHAMPA medical card in mail. After two breast cancer surgerys for my wife we find out i am only given 10 % compensation i just can’t keep this up since comming to Mather we have been homless for a year and my wife and i are 62 and in poor health we face homelessness every month i have a mental problem that makes it hard to communicate so i soud like an idiot to every one, just talking to me, it’s embarrassing every one i talk to thinks i am crazy. Things are so outrageous i can’t help but think i am crazy. How can any one think i can keep going with no future. I can’t get a grasp on reality any more. From the beginning i had a leagle and binding contract from DOD in hand and only told yep thats a contract we don’t have to honer that because we make the rules. It’s worse than you read here
Rickey, you are not crazy. ! It’s your disability and I must ask, have you appealed your rating, if not do so now.
I also want you to make an appointment with a social worker at the VA and tell them your situation with you and your wife being on the verge of homelessness.
They maybe able to help or give advise. I want you to make an appointment with mental health and tell them also, explain to them that your PTSD is getting worse.
Like the other post from the other veteran, with what happened to you while on active duty and the problems with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
You should have been rated at 100% disabled, probably at 100% perment and total and unemployable.
You said something about champ VA, I believe a spouse only gets champ VA, if the veterans are 100%.
How did you find out you were not 100 % and only 10%. Do u still have the letter granting you the 100%.
All it takes is for a employee to make an error and did not type in the extra 0, so instead of 100 it was posted at 10% and that is why your receiving only ten percent.
In any event, you have to keep being seen to make a paper trail of your disability and you need to ask to be seen by a neurologists for your traumatic brain injury if not done already and get scans of the brain.
The VA lied to me telling me that my military record’s were distroyed In the saint Louis fire in may of 1973 and refused me care for forty year’s and me not knowing I had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
I know exactly what you have been through and going through and I’m sorry that they are doing this to you and your wife.
Do what I am asking you to do, if nothing else you will leave a paper trail
I was shot in the head and after hiring an attorney and winning my claim and getting a copy of my official medical record’s did I find out the VA had my official military record’s all along.
I also read that that when they shot me, that I was taken to a German hospital and then to a American hospital. !
I did not remember any of that. They sent me back to work as if nothing happened and they did this to a lot of soilders.
You speaking about your gear, I have nightmares, where I am still in the army and they are bugging us out and I can’t find my gear and that scared me.
I will be saying prayers for you and your wife !
Remember it not you making you feel crazy, it’s your disability and never give up. Hug your wife for us, she is a strong person and loves you very much, many times they can’t take it.
Ask our Lord to help, you will be surprised what he can do with out you knowing !
Ricky, let me know who the Lt. was who forced you to pay for your gear, and I will make some inquiries into his present status, and although you can’t sue the gov’t for stuff they do while on active duty, you can make them correct their mistakes and they can certainly suffer in their careers, The next promotion beyond five stat general is CIVILIAN…………………………..
well namnibor your 64 dollars still beat my 15 a month..[lots of beans and rice..LOL] and my energy assistance check of 55 dollars a year for heat, fuck you cant even by a cord of wood for that much, what a great system we have…NOT…..and thank you for your service, what BULLSHIT
Buying toilet paper was a chore because no assistance provided such and food pantries had it. Really bad when you have to walk 3 blocks to a public library to take a shit because you ran out of ration of t-paper.
That too, was a zoo. One of my many trips to that library to relieve myself, I walked-in to an older man just standing in middle of bathroom wanking off….WTF? There’s kids there! WTF? Not to worry, he was the city employed janitorial staff at the library….fine lot, all of the taxpayer funded lackadaisical hacks…and crumbs tossed to Veterans.
But do not commit travel pay fraud. I repeat…
Let me toss out a kernal of VA goodness. When I got my VBA award it was at nearly the same time as SSDI and I was dirt poor. I had been attending weekly homeless vet meetings held by VA. When I explained to the VA counsellor that I was withdrawing from the homeless program because of the award, she asked me about back pay money. I explained they had backdated it more than five years effectively and that the money would be substantial. I said, “I’m not really sure what to do with it all.”
Then she blew me away with what she said. She first asked, “Do you have a big screen TV?” I said, “What does that have to do with anything???” She then flatly told me the truth. She said that she advises all of her homeless vets who get awards to IMMEDIATELY spend the cash on consumer items, “…and definately,” she said, “DO NOT invest in stock, bonds, or savings accounts.” Don’t buy a house – just get a nice apartment, she went on.
To this day I remember my astonishment because this seemed contrary to anything that seemed reasonable to me. She then explained, “I can still work for you and there is a high chance that you will still qualify for more benefits, but if you put that cash into an account or invest in financial assets then you will be disqualified from some of the programs I have access to.” Some programs she explained examine your financial sheet and anything over a pitance in your account will disqualify, and my status as homeless was in full effect until the next review many months distant.
However, she went on, when reviewing your finances they do not count a new car, new big screen tv, new computer, new clothes, or new living room set complete with ottoman, or absolutely anything considered a retail item when they screen your finances. So she, being VA, was advising ALL vets like me (who simply no longer needed homeless services at that point) to behave in a manner that drained ALL cash or liquid assets from a vets accounts in order to be able to pass the poverty test for remaining in the program.
Can you see a commonality between her thinking and desire to get the MOST for “her” vets as possible and the thinking of VA in general that delights in twisting rules and policies for ends that simply were not meant to be? Good Lord, I remember thinking, I just went from homeless and desperate to a financial life in which I will not want again for rent money, food money, medical care, and my whole life mission now is simply to find a way to live each day as an excellent man – and this government worker from VA is telling me now to hide my assets behind retail purchases??? SHE TOLD ME TO DRAIN MY BANK ACCOUNT, in order that she could continue serving my needs as a homeless vet! I never asked her just what the hell more they could do for me that I could possibly need!
And they call me insane…. my God, the system after decades finally came to my aid making it possible for me to carve out a comfortable life and the very first piece of finacial advice a VA homeless program lady gave me was, “Get ALL of that money out of your accounts, and I can still get you benefits until you are dismissed from the homeless program.” She also explained that my VBA (and SSDI) could not be attached by creditors or through any lawsuit unless the amount in my bank acount was more than a couple months worth of comp checks so she advised setting up dual accounts, one for SSDI and one for VBA and to make sure that at the end of each month both accounts had been drawn down to zero. Sounds like VA financial thinking, right?
“Go buy a big screen tv, season tickets to the Duck’s football game, new clothes, new car, and return when your balance sheet shows you are broke – and I will be here to help.” This sentence reflects precisely how the VA worker thinks. Look carefully at what she advised – is that not precisely how VA itself behaves? Spend all the money on frivolous bullshit, then come back to the table with an empty account saying, “Please sir, I want some more.”
So before we go to judging those who accepted money that turns out was not owed, just keep in mind that there is an ARMY of folks out there employed by VA giving advice to leverage just this sort of thing and to do just that. I did like the lady but honestly I never looked her in the eyes again or went back. She is a pig.
@Dennis- You tell the honest truth. Been there, and done that same scenario as you but instead of the VA Homelessness it was a community-Based one that centered mostly around one of my big chronic diseases, including the Hep B the USAF gave me in an unsterile surgical blood transfusion scenario of unmistakable medical error, but just like the VA Homelessness Program you spoke of, the one I was in did help me out a lot, especially when the VA refused to abide by the well-respected private infectious disease Dr.’s test results, medication that absolutely was required and was at that time, the only new 3 drug cocktail for the stains of virus I have according to that thing called Science, a Genotype and a Phenotype…the VA refused so the community-based took me back when I had just received SSDI but still dirt poor, lived in public housing nightmare, gunshots night and day, stabbings in hallways…bad shit….but I was poor, but even as poor as I was, Public Housing and the needs-based community program STILL required I pay 40% of my own rent, and had a dual qualification for Medicaid/Medicare at time because I was still waiting on the VA…and most Americans do not know this, but when you are dirt poor and just receive your SSDI and whatever/if any back pay, you STILL have to wait another 12-24 months to qualify for Medicare…in limbo.
So, long story still too long, I was bouncing between community and waiting on the VA Comp. Well, once the VA comp was approved, and back pay, the community based kicked me immediately off my very expensive medication assistance program ($3,000. a month…30 tablets and still on it)…so I am then told I need to try again to get the VA to approve this at the time not on their formulary pharmacy and get it there…and to keep my assets low for means testing reasons, as you pointed out, Dennis.
The VA wanted to use meds from a decade ago, would not follow a civilian Dr.’s treatment plan, wanted me to travel Columbus to Dayton, because brand new VAMC in Columbus, no Infectious Disease Clinic.
So…when I got my VA Comp. 100% and SSDI, I did the honorable thing and contacted each and every agency of assistance I was using, including housing, to remove my name.
This took 3 months for housing agency to do and these social worker gov’t cows and pigs looked at me like a was an alien or something when I insisted I no longer needed their assistance and did not want to be in a position of owing for something I did not qualify for…
Get this: I was told a few times by these workers, “We are not used to people wanting to get off of these assistance programs and if you had not said anything nobody probably would have noticed, we are that swamped always)!!!!!!
I pay for everything with no extra assistance, all copays Medicare, Pt D Drug plan, and rent and such, live a humble, pragmatic life…but once you have been through the meat grinder and back….oh…the FUN PART is the VHA and Social Security simply never ever, ever talk to teach other…at least at that time it was the way it was and had been for decades, was told….all a nightmare when the pigs and cows dishing the help out are instructing people how to further abuse the system.
I would have a convenient skydiving accident before ever living in public housing again…a real zoo.
I survived on basic food pantry hand-outs and tons of noodles for a few years because as a single white male, no consideration of being a Veteran, I was somehow supposed to live on $112. a month on food stamps.
Oh, I made it work, but I also gained about 60 LBs that I have shed in last couple years…not a healthy system.
Obama provided many increases to those around me in public housing, including doubling their food stamps while reducing mine at that time to $64. a month. Other’s in public housing were trying to tell me ways to work the system and when I told them politely what I thought of that, I was immediately labeled as an undercover cop of some kind…that’s when the destruction of property, attempted carjack and robbery, all took place….oh, and that gunshot through my side apartment window…a real zoo….and all the animals know how to work it because a good amount of the critter’s family WORK in those SSA/VHA jobs….see how it works?
Nepotism down to the shoestrings.
Who at American Legion, or which office, do we contact if we want to
add someone’s story about the DMC?
The American Legion should have that answer and also contact the local newspaper and claim that shit head Shulkin, is not doing what he promised.
Flotmorton, Benjamin, do either of you handle cases against other than the VA? i.e.; the National Guard Bureau?
I at the end of my 37 Year career (24 yrs AD, 13 yrs Res). In the last year, I’ve had the NGB deny a LOD, deny my claim to sanctuary and deny an MEB that the AD physicians recommended, which by the way would have gotten me a medical retirement and a VA rating.
There was an appeal process for the LOD and I was successful with that, however there is no process to appeal the sanctuary claim or the MEB denial.
Everything thing they have done denies me my rights and protection based in US code but they do not care. Of course also kicked off orders, owed back pay and all the other humiliation the govt can hand out when things are wrongly handled as though it’s you’re fault.
I can’t even tell you what this has done to me emotionally to be treated this way after 37 years of writing the blank check to the government to be treated this way and now knowing I look forward to more of the same with the VA, yay!
I’m losing the will to fight and even to have a retirement ceremony because of the repeated kicks in the teeth at every turn. I think I need a lawyer to help me fight so they don’t get to do this to anyone else but there don’t seem to be any that take on the government.
The military, primarily the National Guard Bureau has become every bit as incompetent and corrupt as the VA it just doesn’t make the news. Many of the NGB positions are contract now not even military (probably ex VA employees).
Any help would be appreciated. Not how I envisioned my career coming to a close, I can’t even express how hurtful and depressing this is
contact your local DAV office and ask them to file on your behalf a cause of action in U.S. District Court with a “Writ of Mandamus requiring them to do their job in accordance with the statutes, and to file for damages because at the time you were dealing with them you were not on active duty so they do not have that immunity. Who is the screwball who denied your claim, find out.
Here’s three “MUST READ” articles!
“IU Cut Reversal Leaves VA Looking for Ways To Fund Choice Expansion”
16 June 2017
“Military.com” | by Richard Sisk
“Ex-VA Exec Says He Wasn’t Told Hospital Cost”
15 June 2017
“Associated Press | by Dan Elliott
This one is about the Aurora Colorado VHA over budget hospital.
“VA Chief Withdraws Staab Appeal; Vows to Replace ‘IU’ Pay Cut Too”
From: “The Military Advantage Blog”
Posted by: Tom Philpott June 15, 2017
Again, it’s up to us too give “ideas” to our “elected and appointed officials” on how “Shithead Shulkin” can save monies.
We on here have written many examples of the massive waste, fraud, corruption and abuse permeating within the Veterans Administration!
Call your representatives asap to give your ideas a chance to work!
That’s my opinion this morning!
How the HELL could VA Sec. Shulkin NOT KNOW the MASSIVE cost overruns of the Aurora Colorado VAMC? He should have even known about this in previous years before become chief turd.
There’s absolutely NO WAY Shulkin was not aware of the VA’s Black Hole Project.
This just shows that we Veterans were only considered as low-hanging fruit to fund Choice Expansion and the irony of this is most veterans get denied to even utilize Choice. What’s Shulkin and Co. want to try to do next? Take-back all wheel chairs from veterans and sell them for scrap? Maybe steal benefits from Surviving Veteran Spouses? Take away service dogs and sell to a circus?
Yeah, the VA needs a MASSIVE audit and a MASSIVE enema. (if the word ‘enema’ hurts anyone’s virgin eyes, well too fucking bad) (Oh no, I said virgin as well!) 🙂
Lying Rat Bastards, the entire lot.
@namnibor: Oh, I can just see it now, Shithead takes back Veterans government issued wheelchairs, and issues the new and improved VA Scapegoat board. With a nurse practitioners order, you can be issued the add on device, that allows you to strap on 2 carefully matched boards with anti skid mark wheels. Soon the shithead will contract out the construction of the new Veterans Memorial Express, eerily resembling a giant hot wheels track, complete with hoop de doo’s. Yes my fellow Veterans, visiting your local VA will now be as fun for you as it is for them. I’ve seen these on the test track, in a horrible accident. The test drivers shithead and ‘lil’ cox were so mangled they took on the look of dyslexia, and became shit on the end of ‘lil”cox head………I filmed the entire even, “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ_x7Wn4fyo” “lil” cox is the big fellow, of course.
You know something, this “DMC”, which is an entity of the VA, sounds a whole lot like the “DNC”! Y’all know how that ‘agency’ works. They’re the ones who got caught “rigging the election AGAINST Bernie Boy’! They’re the ones who got caught ‘cheating’ during the debates: ie; Getting the questions before hand! They’re the ones who were (probably) implicated in many different illegal activities throughout the campaign!
So, doesn’t this sound a lot like HOW the Veterans Administration works? They “rig the system against the Veteran”! They “cheat”, every way possible, against the Veteran! And, They’ve been “implicated in MANY illegal activities against veterans for decades!”
Of course, the Democratic Party has been around since 1829 to perfect HOW to screw the average citizen! The current VA has only been around since the early 1920’s!
This tells me, that I’m pretty sure they’ve gotten it down pat by now on HOW to screw the average veteran!
Well, that’s my opinion this morning!
Yep, folks, innocence and good deeds are prosecuted; but yet, the lovely corruption blossoms and thrives. Many people hate rules, law, and order. They do whatever they want to with total disrepect and total disregard of what the rules or law states. Many people brush each others backs with nobody being held accountable. SAD. With no world order, nothing positive can be accomplished and many lives are destroyed. Though, folks, we have people who really do not care about anyone but themselves. But, even then too, in many cases people do not even care about themselves. So if one does not even care about themselves, how can one care about others with what happens to them. It all comes from within internally. Case in point with total disregard for rules. Here is an example. I went to put my trash in the dumpster but could not. Folks there is a sign that all residents put all garbage into the dumpsters. Also, there are about 10 large trash cans set aside for the plastic bottles to go in, plus some cans for metals to go in, plus some cans for cardboard to go in. Different item types are separated out to be put in different trash cans. Folks, surrounding the dumpsters this morning was just food and trash thrown everywhere with bugs and flies buzzing around. Folks this was happening because a few individuals chose not to even put their garbage in the dumpsters or even in any of the individual cans. These individuals could have exerted a little personal responsibility and put their garbage into the dumpsters. There was nothing preventing them from doing this. Though, folks, these certain individuals chose not to which is not following the rules and laws of the property. So Benjamin, the rules and laws not being followed is everywhere not just in the VA. I was disgusted when I witnessed this earlier this morning. Benjamin and folks, if people cannot follow simple rules with putting away the garbage in their own backyard, how in the hell can anyone follow rules and laws in professional employment with doing their jobs with some accountability and productiveness. All principles start in one’s own backyard. It is true many people who are not aware of this are hollow and cannot even fulfill their own obligations in greater responsibilities when required to do so. So folks not following rules and laws is everywhere even in the smallest of responsibilities. Best. Everyone have a great day!!! Where I am located, it is storming.
time to play nighttime warrior, and surreptitiously dump the garbage back on the threshold of the offending party, with an untraceable note requesting them to put their garbage into a proper container, to prevent the accumulation of flies and rats. do you have an HOA? HOAs have the power of God……………..
@Flotmorton P. Gildersleeve, can we really just take a VA employee to court? Where can I find out? I have at least one issue I would like to settle. What if where I live is in a different county? Where is there reading material on how to sue employees of the VA? Night y’all..
I took a VA employee to court and VA responded with aggressive action. In Oregon it is a violation of law to telephone a disabled person at home and tell them you are going to cut off services for ANY reason. When the CBOC manager called me at home and informed me he was going to turn me into the disruptive behavior committee for faxing complaints and leaving messages, he violated that law.
I went to district court and told my story to the judge who agreed he had violated the law and she issued a restraining order against VA which barred them from any further calls to my home. VA response was to issued a catagory one violent and disrutpive patient record flag into my record, terminate all local care, require I be under armed escort at all time, and sent me a letter threatening police involvement if I did not cease faxing complaints. Incredibly, in their own letter to me explaining the reasons for a DBC Cat One flag the listed the restraining order placed on them as the disruptive incident upon which he flag was based.
Additionally, as a FOIA request revealled, after the reatraining order had been issued against them, VA police was ordered by the Chief of Staff (according to a FOIA produced VA police report), to review ALL communications on file with them that I had EVER sent to VA to look for “… any possibility of a threatening statement.” The VA police report which had been closed finding no threat had EVER been made by me as alleged by the CBOC mananger who was served withy the RO, was reopened. The police again reported after interviewing FIVE people and reviewing every single fax, comment, or report of behavior by me that, “It has been verified by VA police that no outstanding threat against VA personel or property has been made by patient (Dennis)”.
Yet, VA proceeded to implement a Cat One Violent Patient record flag anyway.
So yes, you can sure VA, and you can take them to court. Without ANY doubt you will lose whatever benefit you found by going to VA and they will attempt to see you imprissoned for doing it. I am not making up one shred of this.
Dennis, you are a hero for sure in the battle on behalf of veterans against the cesspool they call the VA. However, when they took illegal action against you that was your opportunity to go back to court and ask the judge for damages for violating the court order and then going to the IG for disciplinary action against them AND FOR DAMAGES.
Dennis, I don’t know how old you are, but you should get the VA to pay Rehab for you to go to Law School, because you would be “HELL ON WHEELS”.
Your creativity and ingenuity, and brilliance would set the VA back upon their heels. The VA cannot take actions against you because you asserted your rights under the constitution and those persons who implemented the
“get even” actions should have been made to pay punitive damages. Anyway, thanks for the very creative actions you have done which has made an inroad upon the crappers in the VA.
It seems to me, Dennis that once they determined that you had committed no offenses verified by VA police that you had a great opportunity to sue them for defamation, libel, and slander in a Superior/Circuit Court. It is just like wiping out the enemy or a bunch of roaches, the job is not done until you take out the last roach…………………………….Nice to have a jury see what these crackheads do…………………………………………..
Dennis, do you remember when the 4 VA cops approached me to “take me into custody” for “acting out”, (calmly requesting a copy of my x-ray)? and I calmly asked them if they were coming for me, and when they said: ‘Yes sir,, we are…and I said GOOD, CUZ I REALLY NEED THE MONEY. You must stop them from using illegal means to prevent you from insisting that they do their job. Each time they blatantly try to blame you for their own misdeeds you must attack them legally. and guys like you and I must calmly, like sharks eyeing the prey tear them up bloody, when they carry a mistake by themselves into “I didn’t do it but so did he/she” bureaucratic defense………………………..
Just file the small claims lawsuit in the county where you live and let the VA get in their little Uber car and drive to where you are; When the judge asks you questions tell the judge that you wish for him/her to grant you the limit of damages for “fraud” for punitive damages in accordance with what you saw on “Judge Judy”. Tell the judge that you understand that when someone has shown bad faith, he/she can be made to pay “punitive damages” and ask the judge to grant you the court’s limit of punitive damages, (which in most counties is $25,000, I believe).
If anything, this will get the VA’s attention and make them POST HASTE resolve the issues.
If they take out their wrath on you by stalling after you get the judgement, go back to court and ask the judge to award you more damages due to their actions.
I remember talking via the internet to a prospective heart throb and she was a realtor who couldn’t get paid her commission for the sale of a property. I had never met this person but she explained that her broker and her broker’s lawyer couldn’t get the Fannie Mae people to get the process moved along. I asked what the particulars were and then I called Fannie Mae to inquire what the hold up was and WHO had the matter in his/her control. After finding out WHO this person was I called him.. He said the “folder” was in his in basket and that he had not time to get to the matter yet. I asked him if there was any reason to deny the payment. He said no. I said that then it would be in his best interest to take the matter from his “IN BASKET” and put it in his ‘OUTBASKET” He agreed and several days later the Real Estate Lady I had been communicating with GOT PAID HER COMMISSION. She thought I was a genius, but that was not the case, you just have to find out where the stoppage in the pipe is and relieve the problem. (I am a former “master’ plumber….HaHaha.
Of course this has been my philosophy all my life. find the stoppage and fix the problem.
Good luck! Semper Fi…………
Just remember, what effect if there are 100,000 small claims actions against the VA commenced throughout this country? (How do you get the attention of a mule? You hit it on the head, (or preferably in its private parts), and the mule will pay attention).
As well, if there are 100,000 hearings on the record, there will be many of them where the result is that the veterans will be granted their disability compensation, etc. and will save a great amount of time and suffering by veterans. As well, this will shed a little light on the biggest offenders in this garbage like bureaucracy.
Kat Owen, hustle down to your local courthouse and file a small claims lawsuit against the VA and phone in and find out who the several clerks and the supervisors are and name them as defendants in the law suit. Then make sure they are served, (you can serve them via registered mail but if you can afford to serve them in person, it gets a little more response.
If they try to postpone the case go before the judge and plead insolvency and distress.
When you go to court wear your raggiest clothes and take the baby, (grandbaby with you and tell your story to the judge. I bet he will rip them big time. Make sure you ask the judge to order them to expedite your payments.
The problem with serving them court paperwork only makes matters worse. Yes they do and will “Red Flag” my husbands file and make life a living hell for doing so. I’m sure they are already going to red flag it anyways now that I got a governor on my side to help speed up the process.
I wouldn’t have even bothered with all of this in the first place, but between the Pension Center and Arizona DES Dept. of Economic Security a.k.a. the welfare dept which whom threw a wrench into this mess. The DES was the ones who required I apply for my husbands social security as part of the re certification of the application process for my husbands AHCCCS/ Medicaid/QMB which helps pay for my husbands deductibles, copayments and out of pocket expenses for his medicare. Well, once I did that and he got approved for social security, the DES screamed “OVER PAYMENT” because he got both checks from the social security and VA pension. Even though I put that SS check aside and not touching it, it doesn’t matter, it’s still considered over payment. So when that happened..they cut him off the AHCCCS/QMB/Medicaid to pay for his premiums, co payments and deductibles. So this is when I called the DMC, to get them to speed up the process so they can make the adjustments, and I can re-apply for the medicaid again. So he’s cut off until the adjustments are made, which is going to hurt us really bad considering my husband just had a heart attack and was in the hospital for 20 days. Also he has Congestive heart failure, diabetes, stage 3 kidney failure and stage 4 liver failure and that’s just to name a few. I need that medicaid!! or he dies. But hey! that’s exactly what the VA wants..to have him drop dead. I am doing the VA a huge favor by saving the VA medical expenses by having my husband on medicare and AHCCCS. So it’s not only the DMC I am dealing with, it’s the DES that I have to fight as well. I cannot wait until Sept of this year, I need this done now, or he doesn’t see his doctors and get his medications. If he dies as a result of not processing this paperwork soon, then I have no other choice but to take legal action against them…and I will.
Did anyone on your behalf or did you find out “who” is the party obstructing resolution of your situation Every illegal turn by the VA needs to be met with an offensive attack upon a particular offending creep who needs to be put under the floodlight and grilled as to why he/she is obstructing the resolution of your situation. Sure,, they can red flag your file, but the U.S. Constitution, (5th A and 14th A require……………………………………………………
procedural DUE PROCESS, THAT IS, NOTICE AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO RESPOND, SO JUST POSTING YOUR RECORD WITH A “RED FLAG” and not advising you of the action taken is a violation of your basic constitutional rights!!There are penalties for denying you basic DUE PROCESS so folks you don’t have to take it lying down in the middle of their road. Within a reasonable time, of the “red flag” they need to advise you of the action they took and WHY they took it; THEN YOU HAVE THEM BY THE GONADS, FOLKS, because no amount of bureaucratic B.S.
will prevent their “writings” from being torn to shreds by any decent questioner. then “off with their heads”.
The DMC did this to my husband and I years ago, when I received a back child support check in the mail. Child support that was owed to me years ago, I was surprised I even got one. My husband collects a improved pension from the VA, meaning he’s not service connected but unable to work due to illness or injury and falls below the poverty level.
No sooner than I got that check, I called the same day to DMC to report the check for the amount of $200. I got a couple more checks after that which totaled to $600, and I called those in as well. It took the damn DMC 7 months to even send us the paperwork in the mail about the over payment..and to top that off..they just cut off his pension just like that! Not a deduction or lowering his pension until the debt was paid, Oh no..just cut him off and left us with no income at all. I fought them constantly calling every day, bugging the crap out of them. They ended up taking back well over $2,800 for only $600 in child support.
Now I had to apply for my husbands Social Security Retirement, he got it and his first check in the amount of $862 came on the first of this month. I contacted DMC and let them know, I noted each person I spoke with, each dept, noted the times I called, documenting everything. So they tell me it’s going to take all the way until September 2017 before they can make the adjustments…BULLSHIT! I’ve played this game before with them. So I opened a saving account at our bank and deposited the $862 and I am not touching it, and for each month they delay getting the adjustments done, I will deposit another check and another. When they finally get around to pulling their heads out of their butts and sending me the letters in the mail…I will have a money order for the full amount owed back to them. I even pulled in a Governor and I have his staff working with me to speed up the process. I swear everything will be documented, anything I fax I will have copies of, anything I mail…they will have to sign for it and I get the green card back showing they received it. Even when I finally do make out the money order for the total amount owed to them, it will be sent by priority mail and they will have to sign for that as well.
If they screw just the slightest thing up, well then they can tell that to an attorney. Because I am not playing any more games with these idiots.
The thing is..they only have to do minor adjustments to his payments, meaning what ever my husband gets from Social Security each month, they only have to deduct that amount from his pension, which they would only send my husband $547 each month to make up the difference. But they don’t do that because they take their sweet time doing the paperwork, processing the claim. Waiting for that owed money to build up and keep building until..BAM! Then they want to chop your head off for their crap that took them too long in the first place. I agree Ben, the DMC needs a serious overhaul!!! Fire them all! I could do their job a lot better than they can, because I am already doing it…and I don’t get paid for it neither…they do!
It’s SO obvious that the VA likes the way things are. As of right now, Dr. Shulkin, (shithead), thanks Crazy elf, is the VA. You would think that a Dr. Shithead would most likely be a proctologist(sp). I once had a Dr. Yankovich as a Dentist. Not in the VA, we don’t get dentists.
You know the more that I think about it (and I know that this may be idealistic), that could you imagine how much more that the VA would be ran, if Shithead ‘Shitty’ Shulkin (thank you @Crazy elf) would agree to accept 5 – 10 areas of interest from Ben and Company, pertaining to the VA Distribution Hub and Network of Products and Services. Looking for overbilling and overcharges of private sector service companies, theft of Controlled Substances, time theft by VA – AFGE Employee, etc..
I know, I know, this is totally idealistic if VA showed any type of enthusiasm in finding areas where changes are needed. The VA as a whole, would be fantastic. But, you know what, its all up to the VA. No one else. The VA is so smug, that they don’t even ask for suggestions or help. Recently, the VA had a program where employees couldn’t talk about anything that was negative happening in the workplace.
The VA is a strange creature.
@Flotmorton P. Gildersleeve, truly love the name. Your post is like a dream. The VA is a nightmare. Again, Veterans have the answer. Problem being, the VA doesn’t listen to Veterans. Congress doesn’t listen to Veterans. Senate doesn’t listen to Veterans. There are lawyers listening to your posts. They just know better. In our President’s words..The VA is just….Mean. He wasn’t speaking about the VA, but the same applies.
Thanks, The VA has probably put up with my shenanigans because I are a lawyer and they know that despite my disabilities, the combination of my experience as a former Marine officer looking out for my people and as a lawyer that I don’t put up with their crap. I wish that folks could each have the benefit of a personal representative who would assert the facts quickly and then pounce. Most Vets who are denied benefits need to call for a hearing on the record and despite the lawyer not receiving pay authorized by the VA get that rep into the hearing on the record, cuz they are very leery about on the record screwing up and if they had played games earlier in the denial, this is the time to hit them hard, before you get to the long, long appellate procedures via the BVA and CVA where you face six government lawyers and it is difficult to add new evidence, despite the new regs. I have always treated every bureaucracy the same, politely until they start to exert themselves in areas where they are not permitted. I guess the facts above and that the word got around that I had a VA doctor actually fired, makes them a little more careful. There are so many things in the VA that need changing that we need to put the pressure on from many different levels like you know, how we did it; air strikes, naval gunfire,, artillery and then the mop up. The VA will not listen to “Nice” the only time they step up is when they realize their ass is on the line
Problem is, whenever people talk about the problems in the VA, the focus is on the hospitals and medical care. The VA’s problems also are in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) side of the house too. That’s where veterans have to suffer the issues with processing of their application for disability benefits.
The VBA also is responsible for updating dependents in the system too – but that’s a “low” priority for them. So, they sit back and wait for the benefits to get paid out, then come and hit the veterans (or dependents) with a stiff bill. In other words, you can’t count on them to keep you on track.
Again, the VA is all about making the system so horrible to deter veterans from seeking benefits and/or healthcare. I gave up on seeking medical care from the VA years ago. So, them treating us veterans like crap works. I also took years to seek disability because I didn’t want to go through the slow and ineffective process. So again, thank you VA, you made your system so horrible that I rather not be bothered with fighting with you all.
Yes, I agree with you about VBA. I have a friend who found out that her dependent was not even legitimately listed in her profile in VBA. My friend gave VBA the paperwork via fax to change this and VBA still let it fall through the cracks. My friend contacted VBA religiously over a period of time and they still could not find the faxed paperwork for my friend’s dependent. I believe they were saying she owed them back pay but in reality she did not. She had to prove her dependent to them. This situation from what I remember was a mess. This whole situation happened because the VA did not do their jobs. When a veteran provides the VA proper evidence and documentation and the VA still cannot get it right, then, this is a serious problem. As for the VA making it difficult for the veterans to receive benefits, yes, this is true. But you know what folks, I honestly do not want anything to do with the VA. I really did not choose to get in the VA way back when. Back many moons ago, I really did not have a choice in the matter. My situation landed me in the VA. If I could become totally independent back in the workforce with sustainability, I would exit the VA entirely. It is really a hell of a note for someone to enter the military for whatever reason which is a honorable action taken on behalf of the person serving, and then be punished later after exiting the military by the VA with not awarding benefits that are due them is sad. GOOD DEEDS are punishable by some of our society; but yet, the corruption thrives.
Every occupation in large organizations includes bonus-for-performance incentives than only serve a necessary chain of individuals. It’s the perfectly geometric pyramid. The guy at the top scores big, the guys at the bottom are legion and get a pittance of what the top and middle get. Public sector – private sector – doesn’t matter. Make no mistake – the incentives are not in benefit to veterans.
@Benjamin and all, remember this is the VA speciality. Their objective is to hammer veterans. Benjamin, even with the forthcoming Accountability Act, I seriously doubt much will change. Benjamin, remember when the Pentagon paid the re-enlistment bonuses to the National Guard soldiers in California, then, they said it was mistake and the Pentagon wanted the money back. Remember, President Trump and Congress stepped into the situation. The resulting decision was the Pentagon no longer was requiring the money to be paid back due to the Pentagon financial error. So with whatever the VA has done that is not ethical, not legal or not humane, it is on the VA—Not the Veterans. It is not for the veterans to be used as the VA’s scapegoat when the errors originated in the VA. This lady who was a veteran spouse, Benjamin, that you wrote about in this news article with her having to pay the money back to the VA, folks, I do not believe she should have had to pay it back particularly if she has all the written documentation of her trying to initiate contact with the VA to take care of the situation. Here the VA is not taking responsibility once again. So Benjamin, I do not see any accountability at all coming forth even with the Accountability Act. The VA will never own up to anything and suck it up as it is them. Benjamin, the veterans will always be the scapegoat for the VA errors, negligence or incompetence. All part of the Leftists. Benjamin, the VA thrives in viciousness. Benjamin, nothing is going to change. But you know what Benjamin, the left- wing and the VA are really deranged and hateful. They are too sad for their own good and they do not even realize it. Folks later. Benjamin, our country is in a mess due to the Leftists. I am sure that many of the VA employees exhibit the same disrepectful and demeaning attitudes as the leftists towards the veterans. The Democratic party has been infiltrated by Marxists with the Marxism so the Democratic party is imploding just like Obamacare. The Democratic party is not what it used to be. The point that I am getting to here is the Democrats and Leftists never take responsibility for anything. The VA is just like this and I still foresee a rough road ahead with more of the same irregardless of the new Accountability Act that is forthcoming. Later folks.
I meant to say,
“When the employees in the VA have to deal with the consequences of their financial errors, Medical errors or whatever the errors happen to be, the errors will no longer happen in the VA and will no longer happen when directly dealing with the Veterans.” This would be the ideal situation; but, I predict, even, with the Accountability Act, the VA will continue to squirm it’s way out of having to deal with the consequences of their actions. With what Secretary David Shulkin is trying to do with the Accountability Act in the VA, I will have to see and witness it to believe it. With the state of our country due to the Leftists, the Deep State, and the Obama holdovers doing their best to deligitimize the Trump Presidency and doing their best to destroy this country, I am skeptical about everything and anything. And, this includes the Department of Veterans Affairs. So really who knows??? All aspects of the VA need to be reformed. Secretary David Shulkin appears to be doing what he can with all that is in his realm when it relates to improving the VA. We will see; but, I do not hold my breath.
In all situations where the veteran is overpaid regardless of who’s fault it is, the veteran is usually afforded the right to request a wavier of the debt and within that request explain why they should not be required to return the money. The wavier request actually works.
For example: When I was much younger I assumed the payments of a Home from another veteran, who had used his VA benefits to obtain the loan. His loan fell under the old rules where he was not required to get VA approval for someone to assume the payments. The assumption was legally completed going thru a lawyer and signing all the necessary papers. Later, when I decided I no longer wanted the home, I allowed another veteran to assume the loan, and it was completed exactly the same way I had done it. 6 years later I received a letter from the VA stating that I owed over 60K’s for this loan because the last person had walked away and did not make payments. All three of us ( those that had the home) received the same letter. The original owner went bankrupt and just flat out told the va to screw off. I requested a wavier of the so called debt, stating that the last guy legally assumed the loan, and that I have legally fulfilled my obligations. The wavier was granted. I don’t know if the last guy paid or not.
Another time, my son was using his chapter 38 benefits, apparently the college did not understand that the va only make payment if my son received passing grades. Toward the end of the third year he received some failing grades, but the va paid him the chapter 38 benefits based on the schools submitting of the paper work. Later the va went after my son for re-payment of 5-6 K. I drafted a letter and request for waiver, for my son explaining that the over payment was based on the schools mistake and noting my son did. (What 22 year old kid would have known that he was not entitled to the money?) The Va granted the waiver but, for every month that was considered an over payment he lost a month of chapter 38 benefits.
So, while the va does go after over payments and they should, there is a way to request a waiver, and if the waiver board feels the request is justified they forgive the debt.
The lady in Ben’s example could have requested a waiver, but she already knew she was not entitled to the money and so informed the VA. She kept receiving the money, and kept spending it this after she had notified the va she should not be getting the payments. In my opinion, if she had requested a waiver of the debt, it would have likely been turned down based on the information that Ben posted but she should still have had the option to request the debt be forgiven.
Rich B., I believe she should have made more noise to whomever even if it had to be a Congressional member to really get someone’s attention about the VA not doing what they were supposed to do. She should have asked for the waiver if she knew about it. She may not have known. I have been in the VA forever begin and did not know a waiver could be requested. Best.
Wish I knew about the waver, I went to school failed and had to pay the money back.
Did not know that I had a traumatic brain injury from being shot in the head while on active duty.
Because the VA refused me care, because the VA lied and told me my official military record’s were distroyed In the saint Louis fire.
I first applied in 1974 for disability denied for forty year’s and after winning my claim, did they pay me all that back pay.?
Hell No. !
Once I received my 100 %, the VA reported me as being disruptive and punished.
Way to go VA, veterans First, bull shit !
I remember back around 1992 – ’93 I purchased a software program that enabled me to financially audit utility bills. After getting familiar with the software, I discovered that I could evaluate each and every month for errors.
The advantage of checking each month for mistakes was fantastic. Commission was 50 cents on the dollar, 50%, 50 – 50. So if $10, 000 was discovered, commission would be $5,000. This is great.
Now, lets say that someone is good in calculating how each facility or distribution hub(s) or network(s) within a agency, say like the VA. Oh my goodness, there would be a lot of commission monies if VA agreed to have their Agency’s Distribution Networks(s) of all items, claim amounts, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, etc..
Someone most likely would be busy for a long time. There could be something to this. What say you?
When I went to the outpatient pharmacy, I found an old black guy in a wheel chair and I asked him if he was getting his meds, ok. He told me that he had been there in his wheel chair for six hours….
I went up to the Director’s office and I told the assistant director to take care of this older gentleman veteran NOW. The assistant director told me to lower my voice and not to be so upset. I told him that I wasn’t in the least upset but that if they didn’t take care of this veteran PRONTO then they would, in fact see me raise my voice, I took no shit from these bureaucrats. This is what you have to do, ON SITE, don’t let them pull this “acting out” crap on you. We are tired of being “schlepped” around and we need to stand up for our rights. Thanks, Ben, for your great work. You are a good lawyer.
I wish I had been there at the outpatient pharmacy in Dayton,, I would have resolved this situation for you my fellow veteran. These bureaucrats are wanna be bullies.
I believe that the VA and their employees when they screw up….and don’t care, need to be inundated with immediate criminal and civil complaints for each and every infraction they commit until they get the message……………..We need to organize a bunch of lawyers and need to develop a system whereby it takes only a short time for them to be served with a summons (AT SOME IMPORTANT SOCIAL FUNCTION OR AT THEIR HOME) AND IMMEDIATELY BE ARRESTED, (You can develop the system for citizen’s arrest). Just make them do their job, eventually they will get the message, trust me. As well, if each bureaucrat is involved in financial distress of a veteran or his family he/she should be personally sued, and the VA should not be allowed to come to his defense. No automatic defense for intentional and grossly negligent acts.
Patient Advocates/Ombudsmen need to be outside of the direction and authority of the VAMC facility director, like a “mini” Inspector General, with arrest authority. Severe conditions demand severe consequences.
I am glad it worked for you, unfortunately many veteran’s that complain about their care, don’t have to get loud, just saying something about an employee gets the veteran reported to the disruptive committee.
Once reported nothing, but nothing will stop the committee from punishing them. !
You are guilty and not innocent until proven guilty.
Hell, a veteran does not even have to be at the VA or clinic or do or say anything and yet be reported as being disruptive.
Don’t believe me, call the VA in Denver and tell them you are doing an investigation and use my name, I give you permission and ask them who reported me as being disruptive from the la junta Colorado clinic.
They will not be able to tell you or won’t, because it never happened, the Denver VA told me they had no written evidence and I was to have come into the clinic at least twice a month and become disruptive and not one incident was written down or reported.
They punished me anyway, the Director told Senator Bennett’s office that they never coded my record’s nor did they ever Red flagged my official medical record’s. Lie
Just the other day Denver VA called me and told me that back in 2004 the disruptive committee was handle wrong and that if they would of received a report how a days like they did to me
I would have never been punished for 5 year’s and not threatened with federal charges Arrest and banishment from all VA care.
When I asked for an apologize the VA representative stated why should we apologize to you for what happened back in 2004 we did not do this to you !
That happened before we were in charge !!!!!
James: They tried to pull that crap on me although I did not “raise” my voice in demanding a copy of my X-ray. You have to confront them calmly and demand that you be treated with respect and efficiently. If they know that you know what the rules are they will treat you properly.
About ten years ago when i first started using Dayton VA the CBOC sent me to dayton to get my medications, after about 4 months went by they started sending me notices that i owed them $21.00 and. My wife was telling me and i was telling my wife that it was suppose to be free. The next time i went to get my medication i got to the window after waiting about 3.5 hours, Had to see the pharmacist which took1.5 hours and then wait in line 2 hours just to pick it up, and they said you can get this one but you owe and it has to be paid before you can get your next refill, so i paid the $21.00.
Hell, and we’re still trying to get an accountability law. There are so many things wrong with the VA. I spent some time looking at past posts. There’s so much wrong, just mean…..
And of course as they are bending you over they whisper in your ear “thank you for your service”
one of the worst va collection scams, involves those with VA pensions (a needs based benefit).
Often a VA pensioner may also receive SSDI income, after winning a social security disability award. There could be up to a year retro pay involved plus possibly another 2 years or so of back pay for the time it took the SSDI claim to be granted.
But then, when the VA pensioner receives his/her 1st payment from ssdi to include backpay as income to offset future VA payments, the VA then wrongly begins collection attempts against the retro and back pay periods too, based on the eligibility dates instead of based on actual income dates Too many veterans get confused and let the VA rip them off. The VA knows better too! Offsets are based on income not retro eligibility.
VA shouldn’t be using the excuse that the veteran can send in proof they don’t owe for the backpay periods, when the VA and SSA have all the tools necessary to exchange the necessary information to completely avoid the erroneous collection based on back pay eligibility dates. Instead, the VA let’s the Veteran act as a carrier pigeon to get SSA proof and deliver it to VA as the only means of defense. It’s Insane and this is a prime example of how the VA creates so much bad PR.
There are too many veterans who may have erroneously paid back tens of thousands of dollars because the VA wrongly collected a debt which wasn’t actually owed.
There should be an IG audit of that whole process.
and that’s my 2 cents and opinion on this subject
VA has been doing this a long time to me
Biggest reform needed is the ability to have an audit trail to prevent fraud. People don’t like to pay back money they never got. And if you are getting compensation it comes out of your check without due process of an audit trail.
Comments are closed.