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VA (Department of Veterans Affairs)

The United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for veterans of any nation in the world. This benefits system traces its roots back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law which stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to "consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans." (Source: www4.va.gov/about_va/vahistory.asp)

This forum also includes the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Perhaps you are working for the VA or interested in working for the VA. Here is a forum to share your experience with the VA.

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scottymotech  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 10:46:10 PM(UTC)
scottymotech

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Just wondering what you folks at the VA regional offices are going going to high conferences all year?

Pretty bad when 60 minutes does a report titled: Delay, Deny, and Hope that i die.

&lt; Trolls Please.<br /><br />73% of the 2012 Federal workforce is not a veteran
mrgregory29  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:24:33 PM(UTC)
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My wife filed her claim back in November of 2010. Still hasn't come back. I do know that the VA put all regular claims on hold due to being ordered to address all Agent Orange Cases and get them taken care of. They just finished those claims up a few months ago and starting back on regular claims.

They've also now been ordered to address all claims that are over a year old.

But the manning does not meet the demand basicly.
Knight  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:54:20 PM(UTC)
Knight

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My VA buddies say they did nearly 1 mil claims last year and that the DOD created 1.2 mil Vets. Many people say that the VA hates Vets but something like 60% of the VA are Vets. Vets helping other Vets. If DOD keeps cutting personnel I might be trying to go VA before the axe drops.
 
Congress wants everyone to do more with less.
frankgonzalez  
#4 Posted : Thursday, February 09, 2012 12:09:04 AM(UTC)
frankgonzalez

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Filed my claim in 2008 (on the day I retired from the AF), got my initial decision back about 14 months later.  Immediately appealed it (the claims that were denied made no sense...basic outline "member had no issue with this at entry physical, saw a doctor about it 4 years prior to retirement and was diagnosed with X...not service related.").  Was sent to do another medical exam 9 months ago...still waiting for the results.  Just grateful that everything will be backdated to my orginal claim when it finally gets finished.
 
The claims part of the VA needs major fixes.  The rest of the VA has been great, IME.
YaFace  
#5 Posted : Thursday, February 09, 2012 6:55:21 AM(UTC)
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Perfect storm of horrible stuff happening. 875,000 pending claims. Agent Orange Vietnam claims. WW2 guys passing away by the thousands every week. Thousands of returning Iraq and Afghanistan Vets. Slight coaching from service orgs and their buddies on what is easily service connectable (tinnitus anyone?) and new things claimed by Vets that have to be investigated by law (eye floaters? **)Seemingly every other Vet appealing a denial. All this combined with inept management and a workforce that is half incompetent and half overworked/apathetic, and you get claims that are going to take over a year. Doesn't help that a new pilot project comes down the pipe every two months that does nothing but delay 80% of the other claims. There is no easy fix, but don't tell management that.
Go government!
Auroras  
#6 Posted : Thursday, February 09, 2012 12:19:56 PM(UTC)
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Biggest problem I have seen with the VA is all of the incompetent and apathetic nonveterans working there that openly discriminate against Veterans.  The VA would do itself a favor if it would just fire all the nonveterans working there and hire all Veterans to replace them.  Veterans taking care of Veterans is how it should be to begin with.  Problem solved.   

oktoots  
#7 Posted : Thursday, February 09, 2012 12:33:13 PM(UTC)
oktoots

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Auroras wrote:
Biggest problem I have seen with the VA is all of the incompetent and apathetic nonveterans working there that openly discriminate against Veterans.  The VA would do itself a favor if it would just fire all the nonveterans working there and hire all Veterans to replace them.  Veterans taking care of Veterans is how it should be to begin with.  Problem solved.   

 
How would you know that the employees at the VA discriminate against veterans? And in what way? You don't work for them or anyone else, Auroras/Vettor. What do you do with yourself all day except invent multiple/same personalities and post drivel on here? If you had a stake in the issue, you would be doing something constructive about it. All you want to do is troll and stir up a pot of garbage.
multiple identities to 0%
Knight  
#8 Posted : Thursday, February 09, 2012 9:55:00 PM(UTC)
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Actually my Veteran friends in the VA say they are tougher on some applicants then the non-vet. Why? Because they can see the BS that the person is claiming and are not afraid to call them on it.
Many of the non-vets are more sympathetic and are giving out bigger bucks to a claiment.
oktoots  
#9 Posted : Friday, February 10, 2012 1:20:17 AM(UTC)
oktoots

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Knight, you just nullified the Auroras argument. He thinks a veteran can do no wrong, or at the very least, would never turn down another vet regardless of his lack of veracity.
multiple identities to 0%
oldnavysalt  
#10 Posted : Monday, February 13, 2012 8:59:11 AM(UTC)
oldnavysalt

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I guess I was pretty lucky with my VA claim. I filed mine under the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program before I retired last summer, and my claim was adjudicated in mid November. No complaints about the system from me. I do have buddies that filed theirs months before and are still waiting.
Health Systems Specialist<br />Veterans Health Administration<br />U.S. Navy/Senior Chief/Retired
Cianhydle  
#11 Posted : Monday, February 13, 2012 12:10:19 PM(UTC)
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YaFace wrote:
Perfect storm of horrible stuff happening. 875,000 pending claims. Agent Orange Vietnam claims. WW2 guys passing away by the thousands every week. Thousands of returning Iraq and Afghanistan Vets. Slight coaching from service orgs and their buddies on what is easily service connectable (tinnitus anyone?) and new things claimed by Vets that have to be investigated by law (eye floaters? **)Seemingly every other Vet appealing a denial. All this combined with inept management and a workforce that is half incompetent and half overworked/apathetic, and you get claims that are going to take over a year. Doesn't help that a new pilot project comes down the pipe every two months that does nothing but delay 80% of the other claims. There is no easy fix, but don't tell management that.
 
Spot on about the perfect storm.  No easy fix??  In addition to these two buckets, let's put a broom and a dust pan.  Next to the two bars, let's draw a triangle and an oval...
YoungFed  
#12 Posted : Monday, February 13, 2012 5:07:48 PM(UTC)
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Mine took 4 years...
seminolefan72  
#13 Posted : Monday, February 13, 2012 9:09:49 PM(UTC)
seminolefan72

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I submitted mine in February and got the results back 3 months later. I was happy.
common sense
DHS HR  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:38:46 AM(UTC)
DHS HR

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I filed an initial claim when I left the military and it was approved in about 8 months.  I filed a follow up claim for new conditions in October of 2006, after the denials and appeals it was finally approved in January of 2012, a little over 5 years! 

Kathi52  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1:50:44 AM(UTC)
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My SO filed in February of last year (Agent Orange) and was approved in December. It took awhile but I am happy for him.
CombatBevo  
#16 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2012 9:30:38 PM(UTC)
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I went through the BDD (Benefits Delivery at Discharge) Physical back in July 2011 for my retirement in November.  I just got a letter 2 weeks ago stating that my claim was being delayed because of a heavy workload and was ready for an assignment of a percentage and compensation. I check online with that e-benefits site, which imo is worthless, but I can’t get a straight answer.  I need that % amount for filling out job applications, knowing if I’m going to be able to hold down a job, etc.  My battle buddy just had to leave his job due to being rated 100% unable to work due to PTSD/TBI, loss of 3 fingers, though he was able to work and wanted to…..Now he’s pulling in less money with his Disability/Retirement vs. civilian pay/Retirement.
  The thing I can claim on the SF-15 is the 10pts. for being awarded the PH, but I can’t honesty say if I am a 30% disabled Vet or not, which several HR managers have told me does make you more competitive.  

The P/C system is totally broken……Does anyone have any insight/updates on dual compensation yet?  Have they moved forward with it? 
Knight  
#17 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:11:45 PM(UTC)
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If you are rated over 50% you can get your full military retirement without the offset. Under 50% they still do the retirement pay reduction. And if you are rated under 50% you will not see any disability backpay as a retired military person. They will send you a letter of what should have been declared tax free and you can amend your taxes but you do not get a big check.
 
(personal opinion) Your friend did not have to quit because of the VA. I know many people rated at 100% and still work. I have a coworker trying to get 110%. He is maxed out but thinks if he keeps adding in more items he can get more then 100%.
 
If he really wants to work then go see the doctors, get better, and get the unemployability removed. yes he loses some disability pay but he can then work. If the career field he is in is not a good one for his disabilities then go see the Voc Rehab folk, he qualifies, and get a new job that he can do.
Cianhydle  
#18 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:44:45 PM(UTC)
Cianhydle

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There are two concurrent receipt programs.

 
1). CRDP (Concurrent Receipt of Disability Payments) is the 50% or greater program described above by Knight.  If the VA grants 50% or greater, DFAS will be notified and you will receive both.
 
2). CRSC (Combat Related Special Compensation) is a little different.  If the VA rates you at any disability precentage, let's say 30%, and this disability is combat related, you can apply through the military to get dual receipt.  The definition of combat related is broad, so if you were preparing for deployment and twist your ankle, it's combat related.
 
The important part to remember is the VA pay is a constant in this equation.  What changes is your retirement pay.  You will see a dollar for dollar reduction in your retired pay for each dollar you get from the VA.  The CRDP and CRSC programs then restore (most of) your retired pay.  Most concurrent receipt questions should be directed toward DFAS/military.
 
Also, if you need the Civil Service Pref. for applying for a federal job, but do not have the official notification letter, call 1-800-827-1000 (wait times are long, so be patient) and tell the VA person you want a "memo rating" done because you are applying for a federal job.  What will happen is the file will be pulled, and any disabilities that are easily decided (missing body parts, etc.) will be used to issue a letter before the final rating is made.  This will generally take 2-4 weeks to get done.
 
I wish you the best CombatBevo and thank you for your service.
Big Sarge  
#19 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 5:23:27 AM(UTC)
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Knight wrote:
Actually my Veteran friends in the VA say they are tougher on some applicants then the non-vet. Why? Because they can see the BS that the person is claiming and are not afraid to call them on it.
 
Who cares?  What an employee working at the VA considers to be BS about a claimant is irrelevant.  VSRs and rating specialists have all been warned NOT to allow their personal feelings to affect the outcome of decisions.  They have to go by the regulations and evidence NOT their opinions.  This applies to both vets and nonvets processing VA disability claims.

Big Sarge2012-02-15 13:31:08
MFTECFH (Members for the Elimination of Corruption in Federal Hiring)
Knight  
#20 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:46:25 PM(UTC)
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I agree with you 100%, evidence and the law.

All the examples he pointed out ended up as fraud cases with the IG. Doctored DD214, lying about in theater activites that don't match orders, even a fake purple heart.

When I used the words BS I was thinking about the PH. The guy had a gunshot wound but it was not proven to be a combat, or even service related, wound but he claimed it was and that the PH was denied for political reasons. The non-vet gave him the credit. Years later my Vet friend was doing a new claim for the person and reviewed the old gunshot claim and called BS and gave it to the IG.

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