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Does this sound familiar?
"VA facilities are at risk for
inappropriately denying such claims. For example, agency oversight
activities do not focus on compliance with all applicable requirements
but rather on the timeliness of claims processing. "
In the rush
to close all claims, mistakes are being made at an unprecedented level. Incompetence reigns supreme at your VA.
It's almost like they were proud of their inability to do anything right on behalf of the veterans they serve.
Once again, VA shows it doesn't care
about accuracy or the quality of the decisions it makes about veterans
benefits. VA only wants to clear all that paper off their desks with no regard to the outcomes to veterans.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today that
servicemembers, veterans, and their families who complained to the
Bureau about financial products or services have recovered more than $1
The relief was reported in the CFPB’s second snapshot of
complaints from military consumers, which also highlighted how some
military families are not receiving the added consumer protections they
How To Appeal
You probably don't have to go as far as the poor fellow pictured above even though you may think that's your only hope. There are better ways.
VAWatchdog predicts that by 2015 the enormity of how many appeals are being backlogged will finally become startlingly evident.
These appeals are created by the incompetence exhibited by VA decision makers in the early stages of the claims adjudication process.
We do not believe the numbers of appeals as reported today by VA are accurate. We assume that there are currently twice the number of appeals in the pipeline as there are reported. This is due to the chronic inaccuracies in any VA reports.
The fact is that nobody knows how many appeals exist today nor where they are in the system.
VAWatchdog predicts that to appeal your claim will become just another accepted step in the cumbersome claims process. We no longer have hopes that initial adjudications of claims will be accurate.
We are confident that as the system becomes ever more adversarial, veterans will rely on accredited veterans law attorneys. VA has created a growth industry for advocates by its increasingly flawed denials of the simplest of claims. There are lawyers today who now have a decade or more experience in battling the VA.
VAWatchdog is sure that if you are a veteran and you file a claim for disability benefits, your regional office will FUBAR your claim. You will have to appeal sooner or later.
In recent years a number of veterans
associations and regulatory groups have drawn attention to
substandard care and conditions at many VA hospitals.
If you believe that you or someone you love may have a
VA hospital medical malpractice claim, the lawyers at Hodes
Milman Liebeck Mosier can help. VA malpractice is medical malpractice, and victims
are entitled to appropriate compensation for their hardship and
You've filed your claim. Now you're waiting, maybe a year, probably much more. Then one day, you check your mail and there it is, that big manila envelope you've been waiting for.
When you open it, you're shocked and awed by what you find. Your claim has been denied. As you read through the dozens of pages that were in the envelope, you experience the same feeling that Alice did when she fell through the looking glass. The VA is a sort of mad tea party.
You know you submitted evidence that wasn't looked at. Statements in the letter don't seem to match your own and it appears that you may have another veterans decision...or at least some of it.
The whole denial letter thing is a farce. You know you must appeal.
Your decision becomes; 'Who do I choose to manage my appeal? A lawyer or a guy I met at a veterans club bar?' VA employs about 400 lawyers to fight your appeal.
First, thank you for your service to our veterans.
question has to do with the VA health care system testing for tobacco
use, and what negative impact it may have on my VAMC benefits.
At the present time, does the VA medical system test for Cotinine or Nicotine during routine blood tests?
live in the eastern US. During the warm weather (above 60 degrees F) I
like to have a cigar once a week with a dram of single malt Scotch out
on my balcony.
Given that I only have a cigar about once a week
or once every couple of weeks, depending on weather and what we're
doing, I don't consider myself a "smoker."
But, the private
sector disagrees; ANY use of tobacco, regardless of frequency, labels
the person a "smoker." This allows the private health insurance
companies to charge extra to such participants.
There is no individual case by case evaluation.
Do you know if the VAMC plans to do the same as the private health insurance companies?
Thank you for your time.
don't know of any plans that VA has to routinely test anyone for tobacco other than for purposes of health care. I can
envision that like their civilian counterparts, VA health care providers
will increase testing for tobacco. That won't have any effect on
disability compensation benefits. Disability compensation benefits are
only linked to the occurrences that caused the disabling condition.
for tobacco has become routine in civilian circles, mostly for
insurance purposes. Many (most?) employers are hiring only non-smokers
There is a trend in health care of not
performing joint replacement surgery on smokers. The facts are pretty
clear that tobacco smokers have much poorer outcomes when having knees
and hips replaced. Since the surgery is elective, traumatic with
significant risks and very costly, many surgeons won't waste resources
on people who abuse tobacco. This is now more often the case with
transplants (kidneys, bone marrow, etc.) too.
You make me think back
many years ago. I'm a former cigarette smoker. I quit a long time ago.
But in a transition to a new job, I was
gifted with some cigars. I didn't give it much thought as I relocated
and started the usual human resources processing. I signed up for some
life insurance and was given a perfunctory insurance physical. My
application for life insurance was denied. I had tobacco in my urine...I
had smoked a couple of those cigars. I was branded both a smoker and a
liar because I'd said I was a non-smoker.
Once denied, that can
potentially affect future insurance policies and even a credit score.
Life and health insurance underwriters take that stuff very seriously.
appealed that decision and with further drug testing and months later I
was given my insurance policy. I haven't touched tobacco since then.