Claims Backlog

Want To Know Why The VA Claims Backlog Increased Last Month?


Claims Backlog

After years of following disgraced VA director Diana Rubens work the system, I came across a leaked email yesterday that gives insight into the claims backlog.

Rubens is the head of Philadelphia Regional Office whose fraudulent behaviors resulted in her being demoted and then reinstated after VA was unable to hold her accountable.

The reason? Her own boss at the time, Danny Pummill, was complicit in her fraudulent scheme, and since he was promoted after then undersecretary Allison Hickey stepped down, the court would not allow VA to hold Rubens accountable.

RELATED: Why Did Hickey Cover For Rubens, Graves?

Pummill actually took over as undersecretary but resigned some time later reportedly due to an insider deal benefiting a government contractor.

Rubens still leads Philadelphia RO, and in her leaked email, she highlighted that Trump’s hiring freeze is partly to blame for the growing backlog documented last month.

RELATED: VA OIG Takes Action Against Corrupt SES Employees

As a result of the freeze, according to Rubens, VA “will not be able to maintain the progress in output to ensure [VA] can render quick, quality decisions to our Veterans.”

For some quick background on Philadelphia RO, this is the facility that tried to spy on House Committee staffers investigating the destruction of a room of boxes of misplaced claims documents.

It is also the facility where a regional executive forced her subordinates to pay for an participate in psychic readings at her home. That executive, Lucy Filipov, was reportedly allowed to resign with a settlement and a clean employment record.

Diana Rubens forced out the former head of Philadelphia RO in tandem with her friend and colleague Kim Graves, who did the same at St. Paul RO.

Both reportedly took incentive pay they were not entitled to after literally taking demotions to run their respective facilities.

Rubens even moved her lover to the area after giving her a remote job, an act that, had a male executive done the same, abused his power while moving his concubine with him, that hypothetical male executive likely would have landed on a lead headline somewhere.

Below are the actual numbers for claims as of January 2017.

Have any of you ever noticed when VA is talking about how great of a job it is doing, the conversation only fixates on volume of claims or patients rather than on the quality of the services provided?

In 2013, VA’s Allison Hickey was proud to announce they were expediting claims processing to fight the backlog. Many suspected the plan would result in many claims being incorrectly decided, resulting in a increased backlog of appeals rather than initial claims.

That concern became a reality now, and appeals have ballooned. The Board of Veterans Appeals is now taking 3-4 years to process appeals.

Willie C. Clark Sr., deputy under secretary for Field Operations, said the new system has improved efficiency for veterans and the result is that “they submit more claims.”

Does this resonate with you? Claims go through quicker so veterans submit more claims? Or, is this a symptom of poor decision making quality resulting in veterans coming back for more bites at the same apple?

Data On Claims Backlog From Diana Rubens Email

Veterans Benefits Administration Top Achievements for Veterans, their Families, and Survivors

Data as of January 31, 2017

· Paid nearly $74B to 4.66M beneficiaries in FY16

· 1.3M claims completed in FY16 – seventh year in a row of more than 1M claims!

· Completed 5.76M issues in FY16

· Consistently completed more than 100K claims per month, every month of FY16

· Reduced inventory 55.8% from 884K peak in July 2012 to 389.9K

· Issue-based quality is 95%

· Average days to complete a Veteran’s claim is 119.4 days – a 228.6-day reduction from 348-day peak in Sept. 2013

· Now processing nearly 100% of disability compensation claims electronically via VBMS

· Completed over 6.89M rating and non-rating claims in VBMS and nearly 5.7M rating decisions in VBMS since inception

· Completed 3M non-rating and administrative action end products in FY16 – already completed 964K through end of Dec. FY17

· In FY16, 1 in 4 Veterans submitted their dependency requests online and 63% received payments in under 1 day

· Reduced dependency claims inventory from 269K peak in August 2014 to 101.9K – only 1.9K left to hit our FY17 agency priority goal of 100K


· VBA completed 202K appeals actions (including full grant, SOC resolution, and certified/recertified to the Board of Veterans Appeals) in FY16 – a 20% increase over FY15 – 72K already completed through Jan. 2017

· From the end of FY16 through end of January FY17, VBA has increased the number of certifications to the Board, lowering the Substantive Appeal (VA Form 9) pending inventory from 50,157 to 46,564. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in inventory in FY17.

· Overall, VBA resolved 113,197 appeals in FY16 – over 15,627 more appeal resolutions compared to FY15


· Nearly 6.26M registered eBenefits users

· National Call Centers (NCC) answered 4.1M calls in FY16

· Average call wait time at NCCs is 1:32 minutes, and 100% of those calls are getting through: reduced the blocked call rate from 59% in FY15 to 0% through Jan. 2017!

· Provided more than 14K VA Benefits Briefings through the Transition Assistance Program to an estimated 378,000 transitioning Servicemembers and family members in FY16

Diana Rubens Email On Claims Backlog


Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 8:38 AM
Subject: Feb 2017 Station Update

Good morning!  I hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day!

I wanted to take a minute to give you an update on so many terrific things going on for the Philly/Wilm ROs.

Let me start with an added thank you for so many of your whose performance in FY16 rose to the level of ‘E’ or ‘O’, as you should have seen that monetary thank you in last week’s check.  In addition to the end of the year performance awards, we will continue to use our local awards programs (like Making a Difference and Birthday month) to recognize special contributions throughout this fiscal year.  You  can direct questions about awards to your immediate supervisor and or Division managers.   Again, a heartfelt thanks to all of you working diligently to deliver benefits and services to our Veterans and their family members.

At the beginning of this month, Loren Miller, our Acting NAD Director hosted a meeting here with all of the Directors from the ROs across the North Atlantic.   This meeting provided a unique opportunity for our VSCM, James, to interact with District leaders as we discussed VSC operations and the National Work Queue.   James and I walked away with the same message, although there have been some adjustments to how we get the work (through the Q), our focus remains on our Veterans who have been waiting the longest for their decision.  I’d ask that the VSC keep that in mind when addressing work in your queue.

Our SSD folks have been working with St. Paul SSD to consolidate a component of work done by our Finance folks – the review and adjudication of waiver requests – to St. Paul.  We have engaged employees and our labor partners throughout this process.   In order to support the employees working on the waiver consolidation, and in accordance with the National agreement, we will use the coming months to ensure refresher training is done for employees who have focused primarily on waivers up until now.  The outcome to keep in mind is that our Veterans, and other claimants, who are dependent on our benefits receive timely responses on debt waiver requests. 

I want to also let you know that I have provided AFGE a ‘heads up’ that VBA may see a return to mandatory OT as our national claims backlog has teetered around 100,000 claims (about 25% of our inventory).  If VBA were to re-establish mandatory OT, I believe VBA would first engage nationally with our Labor Partners.  And if/when the guidance came, we would engage locally to ensure we met our labor obligations, and provide the greatest flexibility to the workforce here.  I believe the potential return to mandatory OT is a result of several factors – not the least of which is our slip up in backlog, but the hiring freeze also results in a concern that as an organization we will not be able to maintain the progress in output to ensure we can render quick, quality decisions to our Veterans.  Unless a decision is made at a national level to resume mandatory OT, it will not be implemented locally. 

In the VSC we have talked for quite some time about the likelihood that we will get new performance standards for individuals.  I believe we are on the verge of seeing new VSR standards released by VBA for use across the nation.  As I review the locally negotiated process for implementing such a change, we will stay focused to get the standards in place as quickly as we can.  I  want to ensure VSRs in the VSC have as much time as possible to get familiar with the new standards, so that as we move through the end of the first half of the year, you enter the second half with time to ensure your success and exceptional service to our Veterans.

Lastly, I’d mention that between now and the end of March, we will have a host of visitors from both inside and outside of VBA.  This week we have EEOC visiting as part of VA review, we also have a standard OIG Benefits Inspection Division (BID) review going on in Wilmington, which will be followed by a BID visit here in Philly later this month.  The IG focus will be on a standard visit protocol, with current topics for review being SMC, TBI, proposed reductions, system compliance and special correspondence.  For the month of March, we will see various VBA elements – from Comp Service, BAS, P&F and NAD – spend time with us.  We have done a tremendous job over the last year improving processing, local procedures and more importantly, service to Veterans.  I’m proud of the work we’ve done, work you’ve  done, and you should be too.  Please be open and honest should you have any of the above folks ask you any questions.

I’m including the link to the monthly reminder of what we have done VBA wide for Veterans, family members and survivors we serve every day. 

I’m also including the message from our new Secretary, Dr. David Shulkin – who coincidentally grew up in the Philly area, so he knows “who we are” – let’s show him how well we do!


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  1. Backlogs, schmacklogs….us veterans are getting royally screwed. I presently have an NOD appeal, that was “expedited” due to financial hardship….I am in constant contact with my VSO. He routinely tells me, I will talk to the senior rater…tomorrow…she has already left for the day…this is at 2:30 pm….bullshit…they are backlogged because of laziness and ineptness. Period…and I am fed up with it. They need to clean house, regardless of the “union”….they are killing veterans.

  2. Nuttervet – what did you use for a proofing box? I bake all of our bread – have for 10 years – it’s my zen. While I’m fond of “longer is better”, there are times I want precision on the proof.

    1. @Windguy: For a proofing box I use an old undercounter refridgerator. I took the compressor etc out, added a light socket and bought a controller off of amazon for about 15 bucks. I have seen people use coolers for the same thing. We just happen to have this from the year before. It was one of those 100 dollar refridgerators from home depot. It burned out after only a year. I also use it not only to proof bread, but to start all my tomato seeds, and get 100% germination. Instructions for the controller is included, easy to follow. Let me know if you need any more info.

      1. @Windguy: Here is the controller, just hook it up to a light socket and use a 60w bulb for heat. “”

  3. Rubens Skates & They came after me for an “Overpayment” of $16 bucks….Then wanted to know if I needed to pay it out in payments. (That`s rich ain`t it) Of Course, I said “Naw, Get it. Take it out now….I don`t want to OWE Yall anything”
    I`ll never forget that “Smirk” on her face, As she took the 5th before the Veterans oversight committee. I`m old & shaky, I`ve Never hit a woman, But I truly believe I would enjoy beating (her) ass.

  4. @ cj, great… i hate that.. i can’t get on my regular internet tonight either..My browser was acting up today too.

    1. @Ex va: I still not sure what is causing this to happen. Maybe when the comments get to a cerain number it is hard on the servers?

      1. @ cj, you are probably right, today the comments were in the 20’s, i think it is probably the server. Earlier i didn’t have much problems and now my internet connection isn’t acting right. Kept throwing me off.

      2. @Ex va: Same here, keep getting booted. Will say goodnight and God bless. Sleep well, will talk soon. I will give you my email next time and send you some proper recipes.

  5. @cj @Ex va – Here is a link to review [and its food related]. cj, especially since you have a proof box. You can add many different types of fillers to this food item that is a big seller in Hawaii;


  6. @ cj, i did have an automatic bread machine, i could make some nice breads, not at the level of chef like you. LOL! Do you know how to make Italian sauces? I could do some but they were not that great. I end up using from jar.

    1. @Ex va: Bread machines do a fine job. Yes many sauces, most are very simple, infact the best sauces are always the most basic.

      1. @ cj, what do you put in your sauce? You don’t have to say. I do the basic, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil. It is ok not the greatest.

      2. @Ex va: For a tomato sauce for pasta? I have several. Different for Pizza. Also cream sauces like Alfredo, and simple sauce for raviolis that is just olive oil, butter and sagel. It depends on what kinda pasta it’s for.

      3. @Ex va: You would be surprised what you can do by following some of the recipes on youtube as well. Many very good Italian cooks. That goes for just about any kind of food. Then just make a little change here and there for you own liking and write it down.

      4. @Ex va, @ANutterVet: Pizza’s are another story altogether. I make thin crust and deep dish, and on occation stuffed. The sauces are different for each. The flour for the thin crust is imported. It is a shame the local supplier here won’t sell it in small quantities. So I order it online.

      5. @ cj, a plain tomato sauce for pasta, do you put meat in your sauce? I use plain stuff, but doesn’t taste as good as an Italian restaurant. Don’t know what i am missing.

      6. @Ex va: I just noticed we were at 100 comments and the browser crashed. Then the last 3 comments show as 3 instead of 1o3…….so maybe it is the site and not us.

      7. @Ex va: yes always meat. Start with a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes 6in1 is a good brand. Then add some olive oil, bowned Italian sausage, garlic. basil, oragano. You can aso add chopped onions, chopped carrots, fresh peas. your sauce will be better than any restauraunt. Sometimes I even add a little sugar if it taste too acidy. The wife likes to add red pepper when I am not looking. lol

      8. @ cj, i haven’t used crushed tomatoes i was using tomatoes and tomatoe paste. I heard sugar was good then i was told not to use. I wrote this down and will try to make some good sauce. If i could do that maybe i could do the pasta maker too. The carrots and peas never did that. Sounds really good.

  7. @ cj, i know it is not a fun test, but it will give you peace of mind after you get it done. The sooner the better, less anxiety and stress.

      1. @Ex va: Very good reciopes, most have to be broken down for size. They were written to feed a very large family. Some are for treats that make a bakers dozen. I spend all Saturday making pastas, pizza dough, ricotta chese. bread for the week. Usually a very busy day.

      2. @ cj, i bet the people in your family love your cooking and baking. That takes talent. You probably save your family a lot of money with doing all this yourself. Sounds delicious. I need to start doing something like that. I don’t have that kind of equipment or talent. But i could do a few things with that bread machine that wasn’t too bad. Homemade tastes best.

      3. @Ex va: you can do almost everything without any special equipment, althoug rolling out pasta dough is a chore. The best would be to keep an eye out for a pasta making machine, it rolls out your dough with no effort, you can find them for about 10 or 15 bucks at resale shops or craigslist.

      4. @ cj, i will look out for a pasta making machine. I made noodles a few times. They were ok. Pasta making machine sounds good.

      1. @cj @Ex va – I went to a baking and cooking school for 3 years. I use to make a lot German pumper knuckle, rye, Polish sweet bread [heavier than Portugeese [spelling] sweet bread], babka [Polish bread w/ white raisins, and don’t get me started with the German-Pole specials.

      2. @ANutterVet, @Ex va: Same here, a cooking fool, only mostly Italian, also all kinds of breads. Even have my own proofing box, Pastry board, and pizza peal. And an excellent collection of knives and rolling pins, out to 40 inch.

      3. @ ANutterVet, @ cj, you guys sound impressive with bread making. Wow cj, you should have a bakery. Lol! @ ANutterVet, how many years you spend in college?

      4. @Ex va, @cj – about 7 years. main core was all science from biology, chemistry, microbiology, virology, cell biology, genetics, physics, and many other sciences, geology, volcanology, Hawaiian botany [plants], etc. I didn’t take classes like bowling, typing, or other non challenging courses. At least not challenging to me.

        And now its time to eat. He will not divide us, he will not divide us. Do you know how many times I heard that today.

      5. @ cj, that is excellent you can make your own breads. Do you do doughnuts and pastries too? Proofing box, that is great.

      6. @Ex va: Not pastries or dougnuts. The proofing box is needed to control the temp for rising dough. It is usually too cold in our house for dough to rise properly.

      7. @Ex va: The around mid March I use the proofing box to germinate all my tomato seeds. Last year I had about 200 tomato plants. What we don’t use or can’t can we bring over to the veteran food locker.

    1. @cj – Ancestor Immigrant Day [AID] is copyrighted this day, February 17, 2017, by ANutterVet. I didn’t realize the acronym spelled AID until I wrote this post.

      OFF TOPIC – Starts tomorrow —– Ancestor Immigrant Day [AID]

      1. @ANutterVet: This is a repost from above because when i post it must launch on a rocket into the unkown……

        cj February 17, 2017 at 12:33 am

        @ANutterVet: What I need is a new gi doc, I had a great one then he left the practice for a better place. Of courst the wouldn’t tell me where he went, so I was left with this other guy that I don’t think is any better than a va doc. I usually feel like crap for a few hours after taking the meds. Then the morphine kicks in and takes care of that. What I really need is an endocsopy done.

        I will have to look up what that day is lol.

      2. @ ANutterVet, i am glad you copyrighted this. Lol!!! I am mixed race with Irish, Native American and i don’t know all, i am a mixed mut i guess.

      3. @Ex va @cj – same here, I’m Cherokee, German-Pole, Irish, English, but I think in the Hawaiian local boy. what do you make of that?

      4. @Ex va: Wow, you know Native Americans are not suppose to drink, and that all Irish know how to do is drink? You have a push me pull me going on there. hahaha just kidding.

      5. @ cj, yeah my ancestors use to be some drinkers. I don’t drink, my dad was a bad alcoholic. He self medicated. Cj, i would get the test done just to make sure everything is ok.

      6. @cj – Yeah, its getting close to 1am. While we were at lunch earlier, my wife brought up to me that she would like to see me spend more time in learning the things in which we agreed upon. I can’t argue, she’s right. With that, I’m going to close and eat something. By that time, it will be crash time. So, cj and Ex va, you Brothers have a good evening. Hope your feeling better. God bless. Aloha [I can feel the trade winds]

    2. @ cj, glad your appointment went well today. @ ANutterVet, your experience really angers me and i can understand why you and your wife are upset with them. The va has little credibility to me they have hurt too many.

      1. @Ex va: Hey Ex va, how are you? I hear you, some of the shit games they are playing with Nutter is crossing the line, between doctor patient confidenciality.

      2. @ cj, still a little weak. I did some walking felt like i was going to fall a couple of times. He should be treated better than this. I have heard of others treated badly and i hope this changes for the better. Jerkoffs bs va shit. This is why I do not trust them.

      3. @ ANutterVet, you will get yourself out of there because you are smarter than any of those jerkoffs. They probably feel threatened by your knowledge and education and they should be because they don’t have the sophistication that you do and never will no matter how much education they receive. Can’t fix stupid!!

      4. @Ex va @cj- With the VA, no one will be able to fix their stupidity. Wife said today, they brought in reinforcements, because they are learning that I the type of person that has way too many unanswered questions, and you keep on bringing these questions back up, and are demanding answers. Ex va, there might be something to this madness.

      5. @ ANutterVet, they may be bs you. From the beginning this just doesn’t sound right. To not treat makes them negligent and i know they can get into trouble for not treating chronic pain.

      6. @Ex va, @cj – You Brothers have a good evening. Hold the fort down on your end. Aloha Nui Loa [Google it please] No I got to figure out what to eat, its late, and don’t want to eat anything too heavy.

    1. @cj – I’m up for a bit. Long day today. Not really encourage. More questions than answers. Still need to eat before it gets too late. My wife and I finally had a “couple time” earlier. The weather was really damp today, and my lower back is all but jumping out of my skin and doing the du wop dance. I’m taking off tomorrow, its ancestor immigrant day. I’m going to let everyone know that I’m here, and that they have to deal with me. LOL How is your day going my Brother?

      Stomach’s sphincter is going on and off. What does this mean? HUNGRY

      1. @ANutterVet: yes I read your posts. Damn va. Thursdays are alway good days for me. The center that is treating my tbi, is an appointment I look forward to. They know you by name, they are welcoming, they don’t judge, and you wish the time there would last the entire day. Other than that my insides feel all tore up today. Probably alll th meds eating a hole in my stomach.

      2. @cj – That’s why God gave you a thumb. Plug it up. LOL I get that way sometimes when taking meds, especially if my is mixed with stress. I didn’t post everything that occurred today. I had two appointments today. And, they pulled a slick one on me by bringing someone into our discussion, but they didn’t tell me ahead of time. I called them out on what they did, and gave them a scolding. Is your stomach burning or churning, or just upset?

  8. Once again, I have nothing to add, you men and women have said it all, and quite eloquently. I think a link to Bens site, should be sent to every single news outlet. Even overseas, nothing like being embarassed by the press from another country over the way you treat your veterans…..Just food for thougt.

    This is a repost as it was intended to placed near the end.

    1. @Benjamin krause, @All: Infact, I am thinking this is exactly what we all should do. WE should engage in this mission together, Each pick a couple of states, and start emailing the link to Bens site. When we finish with the entire country, we can each take a few other countries and send the link to those. I imagine this will cause quite the problem for D.C.
      Maybe then we will be taken seriously, What do you think about this approach Ben? Would there be any legal fallout for doing such a thing?

  9. I wish I could win several million dollars in the lottery so I can do just like a lot of millionaires are doing- leave the country and avoid paying taxes! Where would I go? I don’t know. Probably go to Switzerland, a country that knows how to stay out of everyone’s business and leave other country’s alone. If I had the monies, I swear to God I would leave and not look back! And no, the door ain’t going to hit me on my posterior on the way out because I’ll be leaving as quickly as a silent or a loud phart can clear out a small room! Lee Greenwood can go on singing and the rest of the poser patriots can hang on to this corrupt and crime infested shining beacon on the hill! Been through enough, and done seen enough here. This old Viet-Nam vet has had it!

      1. However, Alaska is looking very tempting to me. Will require pretty much starting almost from basics but am okay with that.

  10. I agree, But it is also due to the VA not processing claims correctly for Veterans exposed at bases on the EPA Superfund sites for many years. The VA act like they know nothing about EPA SUPER FUND reports, but if that is the case, they must be only Government office as even NASA did a report on how toxic Trichloroethylene is. And TCE and PCE was found in the water on bases by EPA for last 40 Years? So anyone who was their on a base for last forty was contaminated by drinking water. This was all over the country, not just Camp Lejeune, Why Obama and McDonald made such a point of speaking only of Camp Lejeune I am not sure, unless they really did not know? How could they not when OSHA,EPA,NASA, all was writing articles about safety concerns? So many claims and appeals from this, as you can see Veterans on BVA decision site with conditions similar to what is expected of a person who was contaminated. They hide it.

    1. Yep, one of the top polluted in so many ways Air Force Bases was also in Pres. Clinton’s “early closure” bases, and Loring AFB was at the very top few spots for Super Fund Clean-up Sites and was only in last few years they have started activity as an Air Base again, after metric tons of soil was railroaded out and extensive steaming of all the ground…and it’s a huge ass base, so can attest that other military bases are toxic, and that’s before even talking about weapon storage era from developmental era of Manhattan P., which was spread-out to many locations, more than most know. Concrete does not last forever, but a long half-life seems forever…

      I think the US Gov’t. did not wish to open themselves to widespread class actions and that’s crap much more severe than the lead in the water in Michigan. All about keeping the claims down so more cookies for the piggies…

  11. OFF TOPIC -** VA’s New Medication Stipulation** – If you’re being prescribed any Opiates, Benzodiazepines, and-or Muscle Relaxers, be prepared for changes in the types of medications the VA will currently prescribe.

    Due to the drug abuse epidemic, overdoses, and the new modality for treating pain, muscle spasms, and-or anxiety, the VA is now starting to be VERY restrictive with Veterans prescriptions. Therefore, be prepared for your prescriptions to be reviewed and revised by a specialized team of medical providers. And, more than likely, you’ll not be informed ahead of time so that you can add your input.

    Here is the bottom line- If you’re currently being prescribed an opiate pain medication and a benzodiazepine, you can expect a couple of changes. [1.] the VA is cracking down on prescribing an opiate and benzodiazepine together, [2.] if you’re taking an opiate, expect the VA to taper you off of the pain medication, [3.] in lieu of being prescribed any medication that can be addictive, the VA is now offering other modalities [treatments] to help give you relieve from your ailments, and [4.] if you don’t comply with the new treatments that is forced upon you, the VA will automatically cut you off the medications.

    With these new changes, don’t be surprised if you get some circle jerking thrown in the mix. And, you’ll have no warning about the changes, and they will take effect immediately. Today was my day to be informed about the new prescription protocols. Some of you may have already experienced these new changes.

    1. I went through all of that HELL last year, this time in the private medical using Medicare and it was all framed around that nasty phrase the leaves the patient entirely out of the mix, Evidence Based Healthcare. We have Obama to partly thank for the way they have cracked down.
      Know what I did?
      1. I had enough. Been in cognitive therapy for 20 years and on Alprazolam on same dose more or less entire time. I ceased care and told them since my state had approved medical MJ that’s the route I was going, like it or not. I got completely off all Benzo’s and I also ceased taking the small dose pain RX but only take it when it’s extreme and went as naturopathic as I can in areas that once required controlled RX’s…and the major univ. medical center I use, the VA has infected that place, and at least in Psych Dept., they are constantly rotating from graduation to the VA…most speak little English.
      I had enough.
      I would seriously just not allow the VA to have any more control as far as those controlled RX’s and tell them where to shove their frankenstien medicine. But that’s me…I never had or have addiction issues, even quit smoking with no issues 4 years ago, do not drink…and I responsibly tapered off the Benzo’s, and no longer giving them an ounce of control.
      Rant Out.

      1. @Namnibor – Hey Brother, man I’m glad your pain can be managed by other alternatives. And, as you know each person with pain is due to each persons problems that is causing the pain. This is where Evidence Based Medicine falls extremely short. Therefore, causing additional problems the Veteran that is being treated for pain.

        Believe me, I don’t trust the VA rats either. They’re sneaky, manipulative, and don’t give a dam what you’re experiencing while they are treating you. But at this current time, I don’t have a choice on where to get treated.

        Oh, we had it out big time today. We were behind closed doors, and they were trying to convince me to take 2 tabs at one time, instead of me only doing one. I refused, raised my voice, and someone knocked on the door, and only asked the VA employees if they were ok. Never mind me.

        So I sarcastically said to the person who knocked on the door, “Hey, what about me? Aren’t you going to ask me if I’m ok? Don’t you care about me?” Her facial expression changed, and I could tell that she was pissed off and shut the door.

        Fortunately Brother Namnibor, you were able to keep your dose of medications at a lower level compared to others that may require a higher dose. And let me assure you, I hate taking these types of medications. But right now, the VA offers squat. They’re not even set up to handle what is required to be successful with their new policies.

        And, even though the VA has a substantial footprint of Evidence Based Medical Care, they still let each individual physician determine how they were going to treat patients in pain management. Now, the VA is rolling out a policy that applies to all VA Medical Centers and Clinics when treating patients that are on opiates, benzos, or muscle relaxers.

        I understand about the abuse and addiction epidemic that is happening. But, the problem with the VA, is that their protocol is flawed when treating patients that have severe chronic pain. And more importantly, to those patients that due to their medical condition, have become more sedentary, and lost a lot of muscle mass and tone. Therefore, their musculoskeletal system is now compromised. This is where I’m at.

        One other thing, before the VA starts you on a new their new treatment protocol for pain, they may give you a surprise drug test. Why do I say this? That’s what they did to me. And, I was informed that I tested positive for an unknown opiate other than what is currently being prescribed to me. The plot now thickens.

        When they shared this with me, I denied it. Why? Because I’m not taking any additional opiate. That wasn’t good enough for them. They sent my sample to another VA drug testing lab for further analysis. They acted as though they didn’t believe me, so I told them, “Right now, go and contact a polygraph specialist, and I’ll take a polygraph test.” They looked at me sort of strange, and never gave me a response.

        Brother Namnibor, I agree, the VA is nothing but a circle jerking carnival. And, here is what they put on the Veteran, and I think you’ll agree, they always put any problem that is revealed, straight dab in the Veterans lap. Its the Veterans problem, even though it was the VA’s Evidence Based Medical Treatment Protocol that actually caused the problem.

        This is frigging dirty science. And, when this was revealed while we were talking, I said, “You know, this is what you folks do all the time. You cause the problem, and then have the Veteran deal with the consequences created by the problem.”

        Yes Brother, your correct, the VA loves to control Veterans. And, realizing this, I shared with them, “This is what boggles my mind. You folks know that I’m a biologist, and I love to do research. But yet, you can’t talk to me like one scientist to another. Why is this because it is really strange.” Again, no response.

        I share my experiences, in order to give out information that may help others. Namnibor, like many others, you mainly post very good, and relevant information. And like many others, including myself, go into a analogic rant every once and a while. I use rants to express myself, in a way that helps me to release a lot of dam frustration while dealing with the VA.

        And Brother let me share with you, when things change and I can get out from the control of the VA, I’ll post that information right here in Ben’s blog. Thanks for your comment. Peace, rant out.

      2. Well, I did not say I was better for going my own way, as I still indeed deal with chronic pain and more like everyone here, but I simply got tired of the hassle and constant justification to keep my current treatment plan rather than whatever the big pharma dollars evidence based ink tells them to dish-out instead…tired of it.
        Your are correct in when you mix PTSD and crap into the mix as a Veteran, they have no idea how to deal with the non-human test subject.

      3. @Namnibor – I hear you Brother. The VA is missing the ship totally. Have been for a long time. I just want to speak to them like one scientist to another. And then, measure the results. In my book, and yours as well, that’s not too much to ask. Or is it?

      4. @Namnibor – Brother, I went and reread my earlier post. My post, in no way shape of form, was meant to be sarcastic. I’ll save that for the VA. Its been a long day. And now, like the number crunching sicko and analyst that overcomes my mind, I’ll review my VA experience that I had today. Then try to think of ways that they will present something to me that is twisted and full of shit.

    2. @ ANutterVet, so how are they going to deal with Veterans who are seriously disabled/injured with chronic pain issues? Is the va not going to treat chronic pain because some in the past have had addiction issues? What is the treatment for alternative pain relief? This is the wrong, people are suffering in pain.

      1. @Ex va – Hey Brother, how you been? I’ve been hoping that you pain has been less troubling, As per the VA, good question. I’m not convinced or satisfied with what happened today. Actually, the first thing that came to my mind is, “How are they going to use this against me, and for their benefit.”

        I’ll tell you, it got so heated this afternoon, that if something erked me a little bit more, I may have lost it. It came very close. Was a good thing that my wife was me. Many times women know exactly when to step in to divert the so called heat that is in the room. My wife also got in a few jabs that pricked at their ego’s.

        Overall, I can’t say what is going to happen. I do foresee, frustrations, and again, if something goes wrong, it will be up to the Veteran because they’ll put the problem straight dab in your lap. Its been a long day. I haven’t even had my dinner yet.

      2. @ ANutterVet, been better myself, still weak from the flu. Thank you for asking. So sorry of this va bs. I am glad your wife was with you and she made some comments too. This is negligence i don’t know how else to take it. You go for medical treatment and do not receive it. Just wrong!! My pain has been getting to me, my meds do not take all of it away it takes the sharpness down a notch or two, but never does it take it all. If this is the future of pain management we are all in trouble. It is hard to believe. Don’t trust them in any capacity they have no credibility.

      3. @ANutterVet: What I need is a new gi doc, I had a great one then he left the practice for a better place. Of courst the wouldn’t tell me where he went, so I was left with this other guy that I don’t think is any better than a va doc. I usually feel like crap for a few hours after taking the meds. Then the morphine kicks in and takes care of that. What I really need is an endocsopy done.

      4. @Ex va @cj – Hope your pain gets lowered tonight. Brother, you’ve been dealing with this cold for awhile. Those immune suppressant meds take there toll on you. I don’t like those types of meds.

  12. Here’s some additional information being brought out on the WWW and the “Alt-right news medias”!
    It’s been confirmed:
    Obama, along with “lying Loretta Lynch”, had given the NSA, in Jan. 2017, the authority to “spy” on all America!
    Now, 1.) it was confirmed the NSA was behind the DNC hacking. Which they then gave the information to Wikileaks!
    And, 2.) It’s now been confirmed, someone(s) in the NSA was the “leak” behind getting Lt. Gen. Flynn to resign.

    These latest “leaks”, or “hacks”, are considered “classified Intel”, unlike the DNC leaks which weren’t.
    This can lead to a 10 year prison term for the “hacker(s)!”

    1. Each Obamamite Turd that’s left in gov’t is a ticking implosion waiting to happen. I have never seen such butthurt over anything, and I live with chronic gastro issues, so by all standards, I am a pretty good judge on both implosive & explosive gastric issues, and everyone of those or at least most, of the Obamanation Klingons remaining are a huge liability…and that especially includes the VA and the Veterans Committees. Sorry to say that, but it’s true.
      When the stability of one’s congress critter’s ass on the stairmaster in morning is way more important than addressing, let alone hearing said problems and scandal at the VA are more important, Pres. Trump has a hell of a lot of swamp water to drain.

      My unique gastric medical experience has me highly recommending D.C. for repeated thorough enemas and do not stop until farmers are willing to come back, trample and plow the shit into a healthy nation again. Nothing less. Our Founding Fathers would more than likely say the same except the words TREASON would be used a lot. So would the gallows.

    2. As a matter of fact, namnibor, the information I just gave on the “leaks” from within the NSA, was confirmed by Judge Napolitano yesterday, 15 Feb. 2017!

  13. Took a nap after watching President Trump’s “news briefing” this afternoon.

    It lasted an hour and fifteen minutes.
    Never before have I seen anything like it. I’ve watched news briefing’s since Kennedy!
    He had a lot of fun with the news medias. “CNN” wasn’t the only media called out over putting out “fake news”!
    The “New York Times” and the “Washington [Com]Post” were called out for running a false story yesterday and today.

    When all was said and done, then came– “CBS’s” George Stephanopolis (sic ?), and friends. They had some stupid and ridiculous shit to say about it.
    One of his “guests” equated President Trump to “Capt. Quigg” from the movie “The Caine Mutiny”!

    One thing though, I believe President Trump needs to start arresting anyone divulging “classified information!”
    As was the case with “Lt. Gen. Flynn” recently!

    Before anyone asks. He didn’t mention the VA! He did, however, say his administration would be looking into more shit later!(paraphrasing)!

    1. Correction;
      “ABC’s” George Stephanopolis”
      Sorry hands not working, neither is my brain just yet!

      1. That’s okay to destroy that asswipe’s name. When I heard him this Sunday, he was a whining snowflake and everything was anti-Trump this or that and when Stephanopolis asked questions to the quests, he would not even listen their answers, instead made-up more negative snowflakes facts about the question he just asked…it was too painful to even endure and watch to completion because otherwise I risked a boot flying at my TV. 🙂
        I am glad Pres. Trump is calling-out the BS in the press, but these snowflakes have had free reign since 2006, and have all but forgotten their original mission of holding our elected officials accountable…it’s now all about LIKES on social media and if the truth is not good enough, augment it, distort and all out make something up to get those precious LIKES. It’s like Pokémon Go with News now.

      2. Hey, namnibor,
        One thing President Trump said about most of the MSM’s was:
        Quote; “[They] have a lower “rating” than Congress!”
        How’s that for calling their lying asses out for what they’ve done!
        “CNN” is now being called the “COUNTERFEIT NEWS NETWORK!”

        President Trump, again, called them out over “…giving Clinton the questions…” PRIOR to the debates!
        Plus, the way MSM has such vile hatred toward him. All because their “Empress–Hillary Clinton” didn’t win.

        He also told them, again, he’s not going to tell anyone “WHAT” his military intentions are against anyone! Which made them upset, oh, poor babies!

        Try to find the press conference on Utube, namnibor. You’ll love it!

        Lastly, does anyone remember what (website) Seymore Klearly put on here about;
        “VHA healthcare providers having “fake medical degrees” they purchased from “fake middle eastern country universities”?”

        Could it be some of these reprobates are not on “pretending to practice medicine” at VHA’s nationwide? But, they could also be conducting (“fake”) C&P’s for veterans?

    2. @Crazy elf —-Yes, President Trump’s news briefing was something else. I absolutely loved it. Calling them out on their dishonesty. The leaks are serious. President Trump does mean business and he will get who his responsible. As for the VA, we do not know
      what President Trump is up to with this agency. He often speaks that he does not reveal what he will do with certain countries, certain situations, and certain anything. With President Trump, all is always on the table. So I honestly believe this applies to any aspect of his administration and the VA with Secretary David Shulkin as part of the Trump administration. So with this being said, all is on the table with the VA. So if President Trump continues to stand by his promises and commitments to the American people, I believe the VA better get on their toes. President Trump is starting to dig out the spy leakers who are Obama left behinds and he will also probably start to dig out the VA as well with including many of the other agencies. Drain the Swamp. Time will tell. We will see.

      1. Amen, Angela! I loved that long press conference. Pres. Trump does not mince words and when he had to repeat the same damn questions about Russia, he let the ass clowns know they were idiots in so many words.

        It’s a very chronic case of S.A.S. — Snowflake Atrophy Syndrome = The are melting.

  14. I find it difficult to be reading about Reubens, again. How in the hell is the VA supposed to get better with the same thieves running the place? A birthday bonus? Nothing is changing… Senator Isaacson sent my, “choice card” request to the Alabama Senator Shelby. He sent me a release of information form. Not sure this is going to work. Timely? Are you kidding? I wish Trump would follow up on his words. There is nothing timely with the VA. They just change the dates. I’m getting tired.


  16. How do you tell an E from an O employee?
    (1) Outstanding. The achievement levels for all elements are designated as Exceptional.
    (2) Excellent. The achievement levels for all critical elements are designated as Exceptional. Achievement levels for noncritical elements are designated as at least Fully Successful. Some, but not all, noncritical elements may be designated as Exceptional.
    (3) Fully Successful. The achievement level for at least one critical element is designated as Fully
    Successful. Achievement levels for other critical and noncritical elements are designated as at least Fully Successful or higher.
    (4) Minimally Satisfactory. The achievement levels for all critical elements are designated as at least Fully Successful. However, the achievement level(s) for one (or more) noncritical element(s) is (are) designated as Less Than Fully Successful.
    (5) Unsatisfactory. The achievement level(s) for one (or more) critical elements is (are) designated
    as Less Than Fully Successful.]
    Following the assignment of performance ratings, the Rater will forward all appraisal forms to the Approval Official. A list of all Fully Successful and above ratings and recommendations for performance awards should be forwarded at the same time. Ratings and award recommendations will not be communicated to employees prior to final approval by the official with the authority to approve awards. The Approval Official will review all Unsatisfactory, Minimally Satisfactory and, if appropriate, Outstanding ratings, and either concur with those ratings or assign a different rating. He/she may discuss with or request additional justification for the recommended performance rating from the Rater.

    1. I highly doubt any VA employee is rated at less than fully successful, unless they are a good employee being targeted for retaliation and firing.

      I also highly doubt any VA rating official would incur the wrath of the AFGE and Little Cox by rating a dues payer at a rating in which said dues payer would not receive a bonus.

      I suspect if a VA employee can show up and fog a mirror they are rated as fully successful.

      I do find it interesting an approving official has the authority to change a rating if they disagree with how an employee was rated by their supervisor. It smacks of micromanagement and favoritism.

      …and a dictator keeping his little subjects in line.

    2. So by that standard, if I have a bowel movement and all the acheivment levels for critical elements of the crapping are exceptional, but some non critical items are only “Fully Successful” then I have done “Excellent”. The evacuation would be an ‘E’. A proud to moment to be sure, but always room for improvement.

      On the other hand, if I crapped in a manner that every single criteria are considered exception then I have risen to the godlike rank of an ‘O’ defacation specialist.

      Who makes up this shit anyway???.

      1. However, that godlike rank of ‘O’ can be superseded if you can remove all the corn and recycle it in the VA canteen cafeteria. Jimmy cracked corn, and he don’t care….~…

  17. It’s like one big porn flick. Reuben’s is fucking Graves. They’ve both fucked the taxpayer and Veterans. Meanwhile AFGE and the VA are also fucking the taxpayer and the Veterans. But wait…..Reuben’s and Graves are also in bed with AFGE. Meanwhile, that fat fuck J. David “little” Cox hides in the closet watching all the fucking. Whole lotta fucking going on, I’m tired now!!!

    1. Agree with nearly everything except one. They are not “in bed” with AFGE because AFGE “is the bed” upon which all this sticky gooey fun is being played out. Want proof? Go take a deep whiff of the AFGE website and decide for yourself if they smell more like sex partners or rather just smell like the sheets that the whole gangbang takes place upon. Look for stains. All I see when I look at the AFGE website is wet spots, not humans.

      1. Now you’re going to have to have your computer device be placed on antiretroviral therapy or PREP, just-in-case the VA and AFGE developed a form of HIV/AIDS that can be transmitted from ooey gooey sex-stained web pages over at AFGE.

        That website should be called “VA BEDFELLOWS dot com”, with a special interactive VA OIG all glass conference room that will leave you wanting to take a bath in bleach for a week. 🙂

  18. The VA doesn’t make quick and especially don’t make quality decisions. When they receive a claim that Only has medical documentation from drs in the VA to back it up, and they wait 14mo to send a Denial letter stating: “this claim is denied because you have not provided Any medical documentation”….I can’t imagine what stupid shit is going on in those claims offices. I do understand why they’re backlogged with appeals though.

  19. I dunno. Her statistics are like most VA statistics. Designed to make it look like the VA is doing a superhero job, but not provide much meaningful information.

    They are like statistics from a traffic study. 700000 cars passed on Oak street, 95000 crossed over Ted Kennedy Bridge, and 143000 passed through Circle Jerk circle.

    Are you impressed?

    Lots of big numbers designed to sound good, but they don’t tell you out of those 700000 cars on Oak Street, 350000 had to make a u-turn because a traffic cop knew if they met a certain quota of cars passing by, he and his buddies would get mandatory overtime and bonuses.
    Likewise with Ted Kennedy Bridge. 95000 passed over it, but you should ignore that 300000 could have passed over it if the sanitation department had not blocked off 3 lanes knowing their budget would be increased after screaming drivers called officials demanding to know why they couldn’t get to work. The 3500 that fell through the cracks in the bridge are ignored.

    143000 passed through Circle Jerk circle because the streets department was painting lines during rush hour causing at least 65000 to circle twice, 30000 had circled at least 4 times and the remainder had been circling since 1994.

    Interesting to see her highlight the incentive or bonus pay. I seriously doubt they have any kind of checks for accuracy causing a reduction in any incentive or bonus pay. I suspect the bonus is paid well before anyne noticed that claim making a 3rd or 4th trip through the process.

    She mentions labor partners and the national agreement in such a manner to try hide the reality of the AFGE dictating how things will work, completely ignoring management’s right to assign work. But hey! That veteran has only waited 15 years for an accurate claims decision. What’s a few more weeks?

    Finally, any mention of any hiring freeze causing an increase in the backlog is a bullshit lie. The timeline does not work out at all. Even if some rating snowflakes retired immediately after hearing Trump won the election, the normal hiring process would not have allowed hiring replacements fast enough to make a difference. Suggesting any hiring freeze caused an immediate jump in the backlog is just a flat out lie. After seeing the VA list of those they want to exempt from the hiring freeze, it’s clear the VA has no intention of prioritizing who they hire. Their list has made clear a janitor or a VA police officer is just as important as a doctor, nurse or rating officer.

    1. @91Veteran — I very much liked your analogy to traffic studies. Right-on par and created mental imagery very easy to digest and it’s these kinds of things the congress critters need to hear from Veterans actually dealing with the VA’s incompetence, instead of the dictating AFGE or VSO Piggies. (they share DNA)

  20. I too am absolutely delighted that the performance of VA employees rose to either an ‘E’ or an ‘O’, but as a sorely misdiagnosed child genius I naturally have questions regarding the grading curve. First of which, is this grading system based on a curve?

    Clearly this is a greatly expanded grading system. I wonder if an ‘A’ employee is top rated or a ‘Z’ is the best? Hmmm. She doesn’t say. Maybe upon clearance from her labor partner (no reference to her pregnant girlfriend intended) she gets to decide to tell us?

    However doesn’t that just BEG THE QUESTION – of the employees that did not score an ‘E’ or an ‘O’, what letter or group of letters did they score (AFGE acronym can’t be used)? I mean I guess I am o.k. with allowing an ‘E’ or an ‘O’ deciding the fate of American vets, but which vets get the other grades of VA folk? Is it shameful for a vet to even admit that an ‘Q’ or a ‘W’ decided their claim? I woild appeal just based on being judged by anyone in not considered a vowel. Constanents are just too fucking inflexible for me. They ‘Y’ graded folk are in a gray area vowel-wise so that letter is out either way. VA people that use at letter by itself too much or too loud are shown the door pronto by Rubins, right?

    1. @Dennis–
      Between the ‘E’ and ‘O’ rating is the non-disclosed letter for Incompetence, ‘I’, for the theme song on the VA’s Animal Farm goes something like, “E-I, E-I, O”. ~~and on that farm, they had some pigs, E-I-O, some piggies in charge there, some piggies in charge there, E-I-O.

      The pigs have eaten the farmer and now sits and sings Eating, Incompetently, Oink. E-I-O.

  21. I have an additional hypothesis to add to why the VA Claims Backlog *magically increased* last month and it’s elegantly simple: I am betting they sit on many claims through the year, esp. the more complicated claims, and even denied claims then wait until their Performance Bonus Evaluation Period for the Year is up and then flush all those claims to Board of Veterans Appeal, it’s whack a mole with Veteran’s lives on their chessboard. On that chessboard, the Veterans are the expendable pawns and you just move all the way up in strength/power of chess piece to the SES Upper Management types that only see the pawns as a potential first line defense with the VA Sec. being the ‘queen’ and the President the ‘king’.

    There’s great news though amidst this chaotic game of thrones at the VA: just as in a game of chess, the ‘pawn’ can easily be responsible for either a ‘stalemate’ or even a ‘checkmate’. We Veterans being those ‘pawns’ indeed have the power through shining light of accountability and holding Pres. Trump and VA Sec. Shulkin held accountable but no ‘stalemate’ this time around, ‘checkmate’ so we can clear the board and make it all checkers again. An even playing field. These bastards only see we Veterans as I always say, as tickets to place hand in that cookie jar, nothing less.

    By the way, I thought the rats were NOT supposed to be receiving performance bonuses? Last year as well but they received them in 2015 as well and we Veterans received a WHOPPING 0.03% Cost Of Living Adjustment (same for SSA) this year, which with my 100% VA Comp., added a whopping $9. a month to my income, while these rats at the VA receive significant bonuses even if they screw-up. How the f^ck is that an even playing field?

  22. Ray man,

    The next step is the statement of the case gets mailed to you,… like you don’t already know the case… its just another delay tacit before the deny the DE Novo, and then you have to complete the form 9 appeal to BVA.. takes for ever…. but that is what the system is designed to do waste time…..

  23. I have two NOD at the VA which are on appeal. The status is “VA has received your Notice of Disagreement. You will be receiving a communication from VA in the near future describing the next steps of your appeal. Date not available”

    1. I also have two NOD’s sitting at the Philadelphia RO, I was told by a ratings clerk that at the time (5 months ago) the average wait time was 363 days! I cringe at where that timeline is now. I too have the EXACT same wording as Ray Man… wtf! Worse yet, is Congressional “leaders” won’t assist, “we are unable to influence the Regional Offices because it is now under appeal.” So much for draining the God damn swamp! Where’s our veterans hotline in the White House?

  24. to ensure your success and exceptional service to our Veterans.what BULLSHIT. they must love blowing smoke up each others ASSES, its a feel good thing of theirs . I went to a town hall meeting here in ASHEVILLE NORTH CAROLINA VA and the hospital director kept jumping up and down how we where number 2 in the whole system, i wonder who voted. damn sure wasn’t the vets. then some old timer gets up to complain he’s had a head ache for the last 5 years then take his pain med’s away and wont do any thing else about it. I think they need to lay off the crack pipe for awhile ……they sure sound upbeat in their emails must be the birthday parties and the bonus money, lets party like its 1999 LOL

  25. Quote; “…as you should have seen that monetary thank you in last week’s check.”
    A “Bonus” for what? As was said, they gotta spend the money, or lose it on next year’s allocation!
    “Bullshit” is all it is!

  26. These rat bastards are more concerned and all antsy about the very real possibility of tons of Over Time, overtime with of course, no accountability.

    I think what has happened is their sudden onslaught of Trumphobia has made the rat bastards get rather creative, using the Hiring Freeze as an excuse for their incompetence. R-r-r-r-r-ight! The only thing that remained frozen was Diana Ruben’s personality. So glad she had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I wonder if she and her lover’s chocolates were shaped like disabled veterans that they were very careful to first bite their heads off for a moment of satisfaction in their love nest? Did they enjoy these chocolates along with a nice bonfire of Veteran Claims or the oh-so-romantic sounds of an industrial shredder destroying Veteran Claim Files?

    Excellence In Eternal Ignorance = Our VA pig-rats screwing over Veterans for nonperformance bonuses. These pig-rats would use global warming as an excuse for their incompetence if given the chance, begging for a billion for more A/C units so they can be all comfy while stamping DENY on claim files.

    This shit is really getting old.

  27. Ben, “· Average days to complete a Veteran’s claim is 119.4 days – a 228.6-day reduction from 348-day peak in Sept. 2013”

    PAs doing C&P and the same deciding claims with automatic denials. Another bonus scheme? Needs to be investigated.

    My VA claim was at Pittsburg VARO for over 10 years and is now outstanding since 1991 with an added hospitalization claim in 1992, then added TBI claim in 2009. TBI claim was quickly decided at 40% on top of a 30% Organic Brain syndrome rating that had been in effect since 1984. (I thought it was pyramiding but on look at the rating section for TBI understood it wasn’t. Written in a way to deny that a 70% rating exists for one disability for UE of 100%. So the regulation was written to split a rating that would once have been one. Sneaky bastards. That happened at the end of the Bush Administration and beginning of Obama Administration. But I blame the entitlement curtailing in the House.

    1. Sorry, that should be RO Appeal not a claim. The RO at Pittsburg or the “sensitivity 7 officer” removed a lot of documents from my file. May be in that back room in Philly or one like it in Pittsburg.

    2. Lem,

      Two of my exams were done by Actual Doctors.

      But two were also done by the same PA, of which one of the exams was tossed, and the second one will likely get tossed too…

      I claimed a knee injury of torn meniscus secondary to my right knee with sc instability, because my right knee buckled and I fell twisting my left knee tearing the meniscus. Would anyone believe that this stupid PA said not service connected because I was walking on a slope in my backyard without a cane.. Really that is what this PA said. I mean if she didn’t believe my story .. ok I get it .. but to deny service connection because she thinks I should not be walking on a slope… is BS.. besides the fact the VA never issued me a cane for my to use with my knee injury anyway.. Oh, she isn’t actually a PA .. its worse she is a Nurse practitioner. And this is the same bitch that did my first heart exam… Haven’t received denial on knee yet, but have got copy of exam and the NOD is already done just waiting for the denial letter….

      MY point being.. The va is never going to use all MD’s for exams as long as they can get away using the less qualified.

      1. Delay now because all of the PA and NP exams have to be redone. The NP was under orders to deny, I believe. In other words they used a quick bypass of the C&P exams having an unqualified adjudicator do the exam and deny throwing the claim in the appeal process instead of a delayed claim. It was a method, I believe, like the shell game at Phoenix and Cheyenne with appointments, to get VARO Directors and adjudicators bonuses.

        The claim has been processed. Really, why is it still undecided in appeal?

      2. I made the mistake in 2010 of accepting an RO believing I should use every level of appeal. That was a mistake. It languished at the VARO level under VARO control for 5 years before I managed to break it off the ROs desk. The penalty was that he removed a lot of documents which I have to identify what was removed and find a replacement.

  28. @cj – Here is a link about EDTA.


    Let me know what you think.

      1. @cj, @OLDMARINE – I’m familiar with EDTA. At low doses there are benefits. But, higher doses can be dangerous. I’ve been supplementing since 1975. Yes, I should have only added the full context of information about the use of EDTA.

        cj, I didn’t mean to cause you a great concern, but many individuals use EDTA. As OLDMARINE stated, you can purchase this in powder form for a lower price. This is what I do with many of my supplements.

        Also, I forgot to share with you, to lower costs when using supplements, some people use a cap filling machine to make capsules using powdered products. A little time consuming, but is worth it if you seriously do supplementation.

  29. As of 02/14/2017 the new docket date for the Veterans Board of Appeals now stands at January of 2013 (per the VAs website). Last November they were reviewing cases up to September of 2014. I called the VA and asked how these docket dates could move in reverse by 1 and 3/4 years in just a few months and was told that they did an “Inventory” and discovered cases, (nation wide?) that were never added into the system. By my calculations it must be hundreds of thousands. it was 440,000 cases back-logged and it may now really be double that. It looks to me like the new board of appeals case delay must now be at least around 6 to 7 years under the current system. At the Congressional hearing on the 14th of February (same day) on Veterans affairs it was briefly stated that the Delay at the board of appeals is currently standing at several years. This was by the Representative of the VFW. Evidently nobody seems to be aware of what happened over there yet. The bill currently sitting in Congress right now to repair the delays at the board of appeals will have to be re-written when they find out the delays are now twice as bad as was previously reported to congress. Who knows what else the VA will find. I’m expecting the current docket case dates to continue moving in reverse until at least the middle of 2012. It took almost 3 years for the current docket date to move from January of 2013 to September of 2014, and they went right back to January of 2013 in less than 90 days. Sadly, There is such a high level of incompetency and corruption at all levels of the VA that I personally think it can only be modestly improved and never repaired. It really surprises me that congress, the VVA, VFW, and the American Legion are not aware of what happened at the VA board of appeals in the last 90 days. The three people representing the VA didn’t volunteer any info on the appeals process and delays to congress, nor were they asked any questions in regard to it. What a circus!

    1. Just a follow up to my previous post. As of today 02/22/2017 the docket dates for the BVA moved back 2 more months and now sits at November of 2012. That means in the last 3 months it moved backwards by almost 2 years. From September of 2014 to November of 2012. I just read an article this morning where McDonald stated that without an immediate fix there will be a 10 year BVA wait time before cases will be reviewed. by 2027 the wait time will be approximately 25 years. Looks like these docket numbers right now are not going to stop or settle in place until sometime in 2011. How is it that the VA has never been turned down by Congress for any funding they needed to fix a problem and yet this one exists? They recently gathered a few Vets together to get outside opinions on the BVA process and how to improve it. They also wanted to hear grievances on the current BVA system. You mean these guys making hundreds of thousands a year don’t know the problems with the BVA or have any idea how to fix them? Then what good are they? They should be file clerks, not VA executives!

      1. The problem is not with the BVA except they are receiving a huge additional case load because of the “bonus” chase of VARO rating boards by closing claims with hurried denials causing a great increase in appeals.

        I was denied “tinnitus” which had been in effect more than 20 years and ignored the audiology report. The body of the denial didn’t reflect the actual listing of my compensated and 0% SC disabilities. Denied Disc syndrome because it didn’t exist in service. Ignore the fact that it was a secondary claim from an MVA caused by SC seizures.

      2. Posted yesterday VA whistle blower to Trump, The VA is getting ready to destroy over 500,000 veterans Documents. Wonder how they are getting rid of the Back log. How many claims would be denied and the VA can not be held accountable if records are missing or destroyed.

        Veterans can not claim this excuse if you try for a CUE.

        The Holman Rule must pass the Senate or this behavior will continue and veterans will Die. Contact your senator and ask him to pass the Holman Rule.

  30. I recently filed 4 new claims one two are secondary conditions, one is reopen claim, and one was a new issue.

    The New issue was decided within 4 months and resulted in a 40% rating for TBI that happened in 1974.

    The reopen claim concerned my hearing, while it was already service connected at 0%, I attempted to get a 10% rating based on the hearing test. I was required to undergo another hearing test where the examiner increased the db level to 95 & 75 DB during the speech/word discrimination, resulting in a 94% & 96% score. I was rated 0% again. I appealed citing 3 other speech discrimination test that were conducted at thee different db levels. I believe that the test standards for a c/p exam, should be the same standards for any hearing test, that examiners are not consistent and seem to willy nilly pick the db settings. Normal hearing is 25 DB’s. So raising the db level just so someone can understand the word better is really dishonest, and unreasonable. This claim was received and determined within (Jun 2016- Oct 2016) 4 months.

    Heart condition secondary to sc lung disease claimed in Sept 2016 denied Jan 2017 it too is on appeal

    knee condition secondary to other knee claimed in Sept 2016 still waiting decision.

    So it looks like claims are being decided in about 4-4.5 months.. of course two of the received decision are on appeal, and the knee condition will also be appealed based on the examiners statement.

    As far as appeals to the BVA well I have one concerning denial of housebound, that has been in the system since 2011, and just now was notified that it was sent to the BVA.. So it is still taking alot of time to gt an appeal thru the system.

    Lets face it, the system is so screwed up, benefits the employers, and no one in any position of authority is going to rock the boat enough to benefit the veteran. Trump talked a lot of smack, but he hasn’t done anything yet to back up his words, and his new secretary of vet affairs is just another of a long line of DC insiders, that will not accomplish anything for the vet.

  31. If you submit a claim most people will tell you that they always turn down the first claim. The va creates this system and controls it. Now the va states because of efficiency the Veteran submits more claims? No, the va as usual tries again to blame the Veteran for filing more claims because they turn down 90% on first time claims. Why don’t they publish statistics on that? It is the Veterans fault again for trying to get approval on claims that are disapproved. Always the Veterans fault for their incompetence and inefficient process.

    The e-mail to Diana Ruebens is talking about (e) excellent and (o) outstanding performance awards. The monetary benefits should have showed up on the paychecks last week??????? Hiring freeze, backlogs, and failure and they are warranting performance awards for (e) and (o)?????????????????
    Making a difference and birthday awards???? What the hell is wrong with these people they applaud themselves and award themselves???? Oh yeah, i remember you have to spend the money in fund control accounts or loose it for next years budget. Spend the Unspent salary dollars because you will not hire doctors and/or other providers because that could rock the gravy boat.

    1. That is at the heart of the matter more than anything else.

      Unspent salary dollars.

      If they have a problem with positions being vacant now, and unable to hire because of any hiring freeze, that is solely due to VA management allowing that position to stay vacant long before any election was held.

      If I were someone at the White House reviewing whether some VA jobs should be exempt from the hiring freeze, one of the first things I would look at is how long some positions had been vacant.

      If that position had been vacant more than 3 months and the VA could not produce evidence they tried to hire anyone in that 3 months, then clearly VA management decided to leave it vacant intentionally.

      If the VA made no attempt to hire that food services worker when the job became vacant 4 months ago, why is it a priority now?

      Now with a hiring freeze, those same managers are caught with their pants down pointing fingers at others claiming its someone else’s fault.

      1. @ 91Veteran, i know they do not fill doctors positions because they do not want the positions fill. They are so afraid of losing their positions, so they control the whole care line. They do the hiring or not hiring, promotions, movement of personnel. So, pre-selection is allowed and never questioned. The careline chiefs are like “kings” controlling everything. These monsters are created. If they do not want to treat or care a Veterans they don’t have to. It is a sick system.

      2. This reminds me of about two years ago when the VA blamed the increased medical costs at the VA on Vietnam Veterans getting older. Remember that? They said that while at the same time all out ignoring presumptive for Agent Orange for same Veterans they tried to blame cost increases on…while ignoring blatant stupid spending and unchecked contracts and construction projects…Denver?

      3. If I remember right, the VA was claiming that cost of care for Vietnam veterans and many other excuses they were throwing at the wall in an attempt to get their hands on the Choice money.

        In fact, I recall something about Gibson putting out a message that they would be out of money by August or something, and having to close hospitals if they didn’t get more.

        Seems his doom and gloom was just another load of BS.

        Although I see from the VAIG report on Choice that they did get approval to pay whatever was charged for treating Hep C vets.

      4. Yeah, that Hep C Treatment/Cure drug fiasco was and still is quite the rope a dope shell game. All this time it would have been more efficient and cost vastly less if that Hep C ‘Cure’ developed by Dr. Shinazi was NOT sold BACK to the VA, and just directly went to the Vets infected and future Vets not yet knowing they are infected because the VA may be withholding that info for observation purposes for ‘Plan B’ that’s being cooked-up in some VA hack’s garage lab.

        The $$$ changed hands so many times, then Choice gets to charge for the same damn thing and I bet the recordkeeping of all this reads a bit like the Sanskrit instructions on how to use an iPhone.

      5. Once again, I have nothing to add, you men and women have said it all, and quite eloquently. I think a link to Bens site, should be sent to every single news outlet. Even overseas, nothing like being embarassed by the press from another country over the way you treat your veterans…..Just food for thougt.

    2. >@Ex va: Spend the Unspent salary dollars because you will not hire doctors and/or other providers because that could rock the gravy boat.

      i’m gonna step out on a limb here, but part of me, doesn’t care if VA doesn’t hire new doctors. these new hires will be indoctrinated into VAway and forced to attend to veterans like many of the current doctors do…and that is just adding more doctors to do the same VA biz as usual.

      very rare to go to a VA and have a doctor correctly diagnose you for a service connected injury/illness and then to actually help the veteran by documenting it. i thought i read some years ago that Title 38 mentions VA docs to help with claims or SSI claims or something like that? key word there being “help”. yeah right! reality experience shows its a 180 from that.

      this type of VA training on new doctors and constantly reenforced on old employess has been going on for decades. @Ben and others brought to light the recent TBI incident(s) with the nefarious VA way of running that particular program. that TBI incident isn’t an isolated VAway of doing things, it goes on across the country spanning decades. so why hire more doctors whom will only keep doing this same crap?

      i really wish they would publish the stats on the initial claims turn down for first claims, that was a good idea. maybe they should hire more appeals judges, and as non-biased as possible, so they can get those appeals out faster and more accurately.

  32. Compensation
    · Paid nearly $74B to 4.66M beneficiaries in FY16
    Average days to complete a Veteran’s claim is 119.4 days – a 228.6-day reduction from 348-day peak in Sept. 2013
    Meanwhile, at the other end of the bat cave Alfred, with a stroke of his mighty pen. Fedexed pallets of untraceable currencies in access of 150 BILLION fucking dollars to the enemy, to be used against current US military members, where upon arriving back home, will be put through the song and dance listed above.

    1. Hello everyone! Here is the phone number to the White House to contact President Trump and the Trump Administration. This is the comment line with getting a live person. 202-456-1111

      1. No, I have not called it yet. I have not had a block of free time yet where I could but I am going to. The phone number was announced on Fox and Friends the day before yesterday. The person who announced it said that it is the direct line to the White House to contact the Trump administration. A live person is answering this phone line in the White House. Fox and Friends on Fox news did not distinguish it as specifically for Veterans. According to the way it was announced, the phone contact number is for everyone who needs to contact the Trump administration. They also mentioned President Trump’s website, Facebook and Twitter as resources to contact President Trump and the Trump administration. 202 456 1111

      2. thanks I will call it Monday and will report back what they tell me. others should do the same and post it on here, so we can compare notes, as to what is being said about how veterans can contact them.

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