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History, Geography, & Military Discuss VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog at the Political Forums; Originally Posted by saltwn same thing as the fire ; a ploy to not give benefits. and many in congress ...

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Old 02-15-2017, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

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same thing as the fire ; a ploy to not give benefits. and many in congress are prolly aware or suspect these were on purpose
So have him get a full copy of both his medical records (and every-time he sees another person from the VA get that copy to) and his Military history from the Department of Defense.

Some times it is up to the person to take a active hand in their own situation.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:55 AM
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VA Disability Claims Backlog Still Growing...

VA Disability Claims Backlog Grows Despite Paperless Fix
Feb 14, 2017 | The VA's new electronic system for processing disability claims has faced initial problems in reducing backlogs
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Officials from the Veterans Affairs Department were pressed Tuesday to explain how the paperless fix to the disability claims process has initially resulted in growing backlogs. The claims backlog stood at about 76,000 last May before the VA solution called the National Work Queue was fully implemented, but the backlog last week was at 101,000 cases, said Rep. Mike Bost, an Illinois Republican and chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

At a hearing of the panel, Ronald S. Burke Jr., the VA assistant deputy secretary for Field Operations National Work Queue, didn't dispute Bost's numbers but said one of the problems is that "this is a relatively new initiative." 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." The queue was described by Thomas J. Murphy, acting under secretary for benefits at the Veterans Benefits Administration, as an electronic records system "to ensure veterans receive a more timely decision on their disability compensation claims."


Claims piled up at the VA Regional Office in Winston-Salem, N.C.

With the technology, the VA now has the ability to shift overloads in the system from one regional VA office to another. "This new environment allows VA the flexibility to move claims around the country that have the capacity to take the next action on a veteran's claim," Murphy said. "On its face, this is common sense," Bost said. "NWQ allows VA to distribute its workload evenly across the nation to reduce waiting times for veterans who file claims for benefits. However, there are some concerns about whether NWQ is actually performing as it should." The claims backlog was at about 99,000 cases as of Tuesday, Murphy said, and he acknowledged that "we're never going to get to zero. That's not going to happen."

Some claims, particularly those involving radiation disability, simply take more time, and it would "not be the right thing to do" for the veteran to speed up the process, he said. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a Connecticut Democrat and the acting ranking member on the subcommittee, said she is concerned that the electronic system allows too many VA claims processors to become involved, or have "touches," on a particular case. Burke said that a claim in the new system normally involves five or six involvements by processors. "We need to reduce the number," Esty said.

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Bill Would Expand Access to National Parks for Disabled Vets
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Susan Collins have introduced a bill to expand access to national parks for disabled veterans.
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The bill would make all veterans with a service-connected disability eligible for a free, lifetime pass allowing entry to the parks and other recreational lands and waters held by the United States.


Grand Teton National Park

Shaheen, a Democrat, and Collins, a Republican, said under a 2004 law, individuals must be permanently disabled in order to be eligible for a free pass, creating uncertainty on whether all wounded veterans have access to the program. The new bill clarifies the language.

Bill Would Expand Access to National Parks for Disabled Vets | Military.com
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

The Senate just confirmed a new Secretary of the VA two days ago. I hope he can make the proper changes.

But I suspect the Democrats and Bureaucrats will likely slow walk anything put to Congress.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

That National Park item was once in use for disabled vets and I believe regular veterans.
Till the economy went bad back i9n the mid 70's. About time they brought it back..

As most disabled Vets income is limited and any sight seeing is costly. I went into these parks a lot back then while on the road just moving around free as a bird..

When the auto broke down while in the mountains of CO., the National Park was a godsend, as I set up a camp site and lived for 2 years.

I was set up so even the helicopters didn't see my camp fire which I cooked on.

And Boldwer had plenty to offer any one who was homeless, from cloths to food for free back then.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

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The Senate just confirmed a new Secretary of the VA two days ago. I hope he can make the proper changes.

But I suspect the Democrats and Bureaucrats will likely slow walk anything put to Congress.
Of course you do. You do realize the right controlled the congress for 6 years right?
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

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Of course you do. You do realize the right controlled the congress for 6 years right?
Stupid, isn't it? And here I am thinking Obama had to sign all bills into law, or veto them.

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Old 02-16-2017, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

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Of course you do. You do realize the right controlled the congress for 6 years right?
They controlled the HOUSE not Congress.

I believe I have consistently blamed the right and the left although perhaps not equally to your standards. Even with a small majority (which they attained only in the House), the GOP could not move an agenda to which the President and Hairy Reid objected.

However, in a world where facts don't really matter, I'm sure the ability to understand why nothing got done is inexplicable to some.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

The VA continues to be screwed up, since I've experienced problems with it. Here has been my experience so far:

I applied for VA healthcare several months before the insurance I was happy with was scheduled to end, thanks to Obama. I was approved and told my healthcare would be free other than a copay for drugs (which I don't use).

Upon VA approval, I stopped my health insurance plan, then the VA sent me a letter saying that I was NOT approved.

I sent in an appeal, and I was again approved for free healthcare.

Last month I received a letter from the VA saying that the income information I provided them for 2015 (which was my 2015 income tax form) didn't match what the IRS sent them (the exact same 2015 income tax info I had sent the VA), and that they were going to bill me for past services rendered in the amount of almost $700 for care I had been told all along was FREE.

I called the VA and was told I could send documentation of dental expenses I paid during the year in question that would get me below the income threshold required for free care. I sent this documentation and am awaiting a response.

I have no idea what kind of crap the VA will pull with me next; I know that the dental expenses put me well below the threshold, but who knows what that ****ed-up organization will do with the info?

I've received quality care, but the administration is a mess. I'd like to see the VA reduced to merely processing payments for care that vets receive through their own doctors. Eliminate the costly, inefficient bureaucracy, VA hospitals and VA clinics. That would be a win-win for both veterans and taxpayers IMO.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: VA employees actually destroy veteransí records to ease backlog

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They controlled the HOUSE not Congress.

I believe I have consistently blamed the right and the left although perhaps not equally to your standards. Even with a small majority (which they attained only in the House), the GOP could not move an agenda to which the President and Hairy Reid objected.

However, in a world where facts don't really matter, I'm sure the ability to understand why nothing got done is inexplicable to some.
A simple look at the facts would show you the left has done more for vets then the right has. The right gives lip service but the left increases VA benefits. I doubt if you will believe this but it's a fact.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:40 AM
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Waits longer than 30 days for medical care...

Report: VA Inaccurately Tracking Veteran Wait Times in N.C., Va.
7 Mar 2017 | WASHINGTON — Thousands of veterans in the Mid-Atlantic region waited longer than 30 days for medical care at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities last year but were excluded from private-sector treatment due to errors in VA wait-time data, government inspectors have found.
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The VA inspector general's office issued a report Thursday detailing wait times for veterans at 12 facilities in North Carolina and Virginia that stretched beyond the 30-day goal established by the VA. Because of inaccuracies in tracking how long veterans waited for an appointment, inspectors estimated approximately 13,800 veterans attempting to get an appointment at those facilities should've been granted the option of private-sector care but were not. When veterans were referred to the private sector through the Veterans Choice Program, they still faced delays, the report states. Inspectors estimated 82 percent of appointments made through program from April 2016 to January 2017 in those states had wait times longer than 30 days.

The report identified ongoing problems similar to ones discovered in 2014, when the VA was rocked by news of veterans suffering long delays for medical care. "VA data reliability continues to be a high-risk area," Assistant Inspector General Larry Reinkemeyer wrote in the report. "[The Office of Inspector General] has reported that access to health care has been a recurring issue in [the Veterans Health Administration] for over a decade. This audit demonstrates that many of the same access to care conditions reported over the last decade continued to exist… in 2016."

The inspector general's report found 33 percent of primary care appointments had wait times longer than 30 days, but VA records showed only 17 percent faced delays that long. For mental health care, inspectors determined 16 percent waited longer than 30 days, though VA records showed 5 percent did. Inspectors found 39 percent of specialty care appointments had wait times longer than 30 days, but the VA scheduling system showed only 8 percent. Errors were made when staff entered "incorrect" or "unsupported" information that "made it appear as though the wait time was 30 days or less," the report states.

The report gave one example of a veteran requesting a mental health care appointment in July 2015 and not receiving an appointment until Nov. 20 of that year. A scheduler marked Nov. 20 as the veteran's preferred appointment date, so VA records reflect a zero-day wait. VA Secretary David Shulkin was undersecretary for health at the time of the inspector general's review. In a written response to the report, he said the VA had made "tremendous strides" since the review was conducted, including faster access to veterans needing urgent care needs, more overall medical appointments and new rules for schedulers. Shulkin has recently acknowledged issues with access to care, and with the Veterans Choice Program. He will testify before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on Tuesday during a hearing on the future of the program.

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2 Vets Win Agent Orange Exposure Cases from Okinawa
6 Mar 2017 | There have long been rumors that Agent Orange was stored or used on Okinawa, but no one has been able to find proof. Now two servicemembers who served on the Japanese island during the Vietnam War era have won court cases claiming they developed ailments from exposure to the toxic defoliant.
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Judges in the separate lawsuits cited specific diseases that have been linked to Agent Orange and a lack of proof that the chemical compound wasn't on Okinawa, based on a two-year gap in records and other evidence. The judges were careful to limit their rulings to the specific cases, likely to avoid opening the door for hundreds of former servicemembers to seek class-action status for physical problems that may be linked to Agent Orange. Pentagon officials referred requests for comment to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which declined to answer questions or discuss how many similar cases there have been in recent years.

Each case is heard on its own merits, the agency said in a statement to Stars and Stripes. "VA can grant a claim and award disability compensation if there is evidence of a current disability, an in-service exposure, and a medical nexus or link between the in-service exposure and the subsequent development of the illness," the statement said. "VA has no credible evidence of Agent Orange use, storage, testing, or transportation in Okinawa, and thus no evidence to support claims of exposure to Agent Orange during military service in Okinawa."


Former Marine lieutenant colonel Kris Roberts and dozens of men under his command came into contact with more than 100 leaking barrels that were unearthed at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, in 1981.

The U.S. military began using plant-killing chemicals called herbicides in the 1950s to defoliate military facilities. Agent Orange is a blend of "tactical herbicides," according to the VA's website, that was used in Korea to deprive the enemy of cover and in Vietnam to defoliate jungles and kill crops. The toxic mixture has been blamed for a slew of veterans' health problems, from cancers to heart disease, and has been known to cause birth defects in the offspring of those exposed.

The military discontinued use of Agent Orange in 1970, and veterans have battled the VA for benefits regarding exposure ever since. The VA has recognized the claims of some veterans who served in Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, on some ships and in some aircraft, while denying others. Guam and Japan -- most notably Okinawa -- have been left off the list despite claims. In January, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate claims made by U.S. military veterans who served there in the 1960s and '70s that Agent Orange was sprayed on the island. That investigation is ongoing.

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