Showing posts with label veterans claims. Show all posts
Showing posts with label veterans claims. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

90 BVA judges decide cases, with an “inventory” of over 425,000 cases pending

When the VA misrepresents performance, veterans suffer

The Hill
Veterans suffer from this misrepresentation. The volume of veterans’ appeals is huge. The vast majority are related to disability compensation claims. Some 90 BVA judges decide cases, with an “inventory” of over 425,000 cases pending. A veteran must wait seven years for the BVA to decide his or her case. If the decision is incorrect, the veteran must hire a lawyer, appeal yet again, and spend years to get the error fixed. Veterans are caught in this “churn” of appeals, creating extreme cynicism among some veterans groups. In one veteran’s assessment, VA’s error-prone case handling consists of “delay, deny, hope they die.”

Administrative judges appear to be performing better than ever, in spite of huge increases in performance quotas. The Trump Justice Department implemented an annual “production quota” of 700 cases for immigration judges. The Social Security Administration requested its disability judges to increase their output by almost 20 percent over the past few years. And the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) increased its output by a whopping 62 percent in one year, deciding 52,661 cases in 2017 and 85,288 cases in 2018.

The Constitution demands that agencies decide cases accurately. And in spite of the production increase, the BVA reported an “accuracy rate” of 94 percent for 2018. According to this reported rate, only 6 percent of BVA decisions contain legal mistakes. If true, these statistics would mean that agencies deciding hundreds of thousands of cases each year — more than all federal courts combined — can provide high quality justice for immigrants, veterans and the disabled at unprecedented rates.

Has the BVA finally cracked the constitutional code of mass adjudication? Nothing could be further from the truth. Our research teams at Stanford and UCLA unearthed data on nearly 600,000 cases never before studied by outside researchers, as well as hundreds of pages of agency documents. Drawing on this information and in-depth interviews with agency officials, our research shows that the BVA is seriously misrepresenting its performance.
A typical case for veterans benefits involves thousands of pages of exhibits and numerous complicated legal issues. A veterans law judge must decide 25-30 of these cases each week. Commenting on the impact of rushed decision-making on the quality of his work, one veterans law judge confided that he found himself forced to sign decisions he never would have signed in earlier years: “I could have integrity here or I could stay employed.”
read more here

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vietnam Veteran Committed Suicide After Clinics Failed Him

Report Finds VA Clinics ‘Missed Opportunities’ To Prevent Vietnam Vet’s Suicide
Daily Caller
Tristyn Bloom

A newly released government investigation has found that three Veterans Affairs health clinics “missed opportunities” to prevent a Vietnam veteran’s suicide, with failures ranging from “communication breakdowns” to completely ignoring his “multiple suicide risk factors.”

The unnamed sixty-something patient, who had previously attempted suicide in 1989, shot himself in the head in 2013. He’d been receiving treatment for chronic shoulder, neck and back pain; osteoarthritis, degenerative discs in his lower back, low bone density and a variety of nerve conditions exacerbating pain and weakness in his neck and back, and had had cervical spine surgery in the fall of 2012.

The patient bounced around from clinic to clinic beginning in 2011, when the VA reassigned him from his usual primary care clinic to one nearer his home. A year later he requested another transfer, and another six months after that.
read more here

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tea Party elected put military pay and veterans programs in line for cuts

Is this what the people who voted for these Tea Party folks really wanted? Did they even pay attention to what they were up to before they voted for them? It has been clear from the start that anything to do with the government was not worth anything and now they just proved it.

Under debt deal, military pay, veterans programs in play for cuts
By Bob
August 3, 2011
Military pay raises, funding for veterans health care and the Post-9/11 GI Bill could be sacrificed to new fiscal realities as the result of the deal signed by President Obama on Tuesday to raise the federal debt ceiling, according to the Military Officers Association and veterans groups. The law requires the federal budget be cut $2.1 trillion over 10 years.

The White House said it plans to cut $350 billion from the Defense Department budget (excluding war funding) over the next decade. Retired Air Force Col. Michael Hayden, the association's deputy director for government relations, said this means "everything is on the table," including military pay.

While Congress historically has been reluctant to freeze military pay, the 2011 Budget Control Act signed by Obama on Tuesday makes it clear upfront that military pay is no longer off-limits in budget discussions. If the administration and Congress fail to make the required reductions then across-the-board cuts in discretionary funding will be triggered through a procedure known as sequestration. The law gives the president "authority to exempt any [military] personnel account from sequestration" but only if "savings are achieved through across-the-board reductions in the remainder of the Department of Defense budget," states a House Rules Committee analysis of the bill.
read more here
Under debt deal, military pay, veterans programs in play for cuts

Wasn't it bad enough with all the fighting over protecting tax cuts for the wealthy ended up making them worried about being deployed and not getting paid? What happened to the jobs these people said they wanted to create? Any bills done on getting people back to work? What happened to honoring the men and women serving this country? Any idea who the hell is supposed to process claims and take care of the wounded if employees get cut? There are not enough of them now!

Friday, March 12, 2010

VA to Automate Claims Payments for Agent Orange

VCS Advocacy in the News: VA to Automate Claims Payments for Agent Orange
Written by Tim Jones and Jason Grotto
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 21:36
VCS Endorses VA's Bold Action to Reduce Claim Backlog

March 9, 2010, Chicago, Illinois (Chicago Tribune) - Faced with a crushing influx of disability claims from Vietnam War veterans exposed to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday it would automate part of the cumbersome system that has left many thousands of veterans waiting many months and sometimes years for payments.

The announcement from the VA is a tacit admission that the 80-year-old department is close to being overwhelmed by the volume of claims not only from Vietnam veterans but from those of more recent wars in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq. The backlog of unresolved disability claims has exceeded 1 million, and the department last year cleared the way for at least 200,000 more when it said it would consider claims of Vietnam veterans suffering from Parkinson's disease, hairy cell leukemia and ischemic heart disease, all of which the have been linked to Agent Orange.

The VA has reached a breaking point in terms of its ability to handle the claims of more than 3 million veterans and this plan would be, at best, an initial step aimed at the most time-consuming claims, according to the department.
read more here
VA to Automate Claims Payments for Agent Orange

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Veterans Care, all states are not the same

There is confusion between what the states are responsible for and what the federal government is responsible for. This confusion comes from some states cutting back on VA budgets at the same time the federal government is pumping in a lot of money into the VA. This is what the Federal VA is responsible for followed by what the State of Florida is responsible for.

Federal Benefits

Federal Benefits Guide (English) (Spanish)
Cold War Certificate
Combat-Related Special Compensation
Houses for Sale-U.S. Dept. of Veterans' Affairs
Interactive link to Veterans' resources
Requesting Military Records Online
Veteran Benefits Timetable
VA Cemeteries and Military Funeral Honors
Who's Eligible-documentation, filing claims, obtaining forms
The Center for Women Veterans
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Benefits

State of Florida

State Benefits
Certification of Discharge or Separation
Disabled Veteran Identification Card
Veterans' Preference (HTML version)
Download a
copy of "Veterans' Preference"

Adobe Acrobat
High School Diploma- Korean War Veterans
High School Diploma- WWII Veterans
License Tags
DV License Tag
Homestead Exemption (Permanent &Totally Disabled)
Homestead Exemption (10% to 100% BUT not Permanent in nature)
Permits/Fees (parking, tolls, building improvements)
Homeless Veterans

When it comes to the issue of claims, there was already a problem in 2001. A task force was formed to see how bad the problem was and what could be done about it.

Task force issues report on VA claims processing
By Kellie Lunney October 3, 2001
Poor planning and an overall lack of accountability by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) are partly to blame for the agency's dismal claims processing record, according to a VA task force created to study the problem.

The task force, which was launched last spring and included representatives of the VA, industry and veterans organizations, submitted its final report to VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi on Wednesday.

Despite VBA's efforts in recent years to improve the timeliness and accuracy of claims, the agency has failed to provide its 57 regional offices with the proper leadership, guidance and training in handling claims processing, the 14-member task force concluded.

Its report included 34 recommendations for improving VA's claims process, ranging from providing better training to VBA employees to creating specialized regional offices focusing on one part of the overall claims process.

Principi pledged to "study and act" on the task force's recommendations "with urgency." "This report will not sit on a shelf gathering dust," he said.

The agency task force, led by Ret. Navy Vice Adm. Daniel L. Cooper, criticized VBA for failing to provide clear and uniform guidance to regional offices and keep them abreast of changes in VA policy. The confusion has resulted in an inconsistent claims process that varies widely throughout the agency.

"There may be a system, but it is improperly coordinated and less effective than it must be to ensure both fairness to the veteran and efficiency in processing claims," the report said.

On average, it takes VBA 194 days to process a claim, which includes requests by veterans for disability compensation, pensions, and survivors' benefits. There are more than 500,000 cases, excluding appeals, still pending in VBA's backlog. The agency hopes to eventually reduce those figures to 74 days and 250,000 cases, respectively.

The VBA's claims processing system has been repeatedly criticized in recent years as slow and inefficient. The agency has tried to improve its claims processing accuracy by using case management techniques and by reorganizing its field offices into clusters meant to collaborate with one another.

Despite its attempts at reform, VBA still reported errors in 41 percent of the claims it processed in fiscal 2000. The task force called on the VA to hold VBA officials at headquarters and the regional offices accountable for performance, rewarding those offices that reach their goals and cracking down on those that fail.

read more here

As you can see, the problems we see today with the claims is as huge as it is because problems found in 2001 were not corrected. The report last week on Houston Texas, should give you an idea of what we're heading into and it's not good.
Houston, We've got a problem! This time with veterans claims

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