How The VA Cheats Veterans
By Louis J. Sansevero
July 5, 2018
The United States government and the Veterans Administration (VA) must stop cheating veterans. We served honorably and faithfully in peace and war and deserve better treatment than we are receiving, we deserve better than being cheated by our government.
The present methodology for rating service connected disabilities uses a chart to assign service connected disabilities, and subsequently compensation, which is expressly and purposely designed and intended to cheat veterans out of just and fair compensation for their disabilities by using what it calls a “combined” rating system. It is the “fuzzy” math behind this chart that creates a system which reduces the contribution of each subsequent condition after the initial service connected disability(ies) to the total percentage of disability as the actual total percentage of disability approaches or exceeds 100 percent. Such a perverse manipulation of the mathematics serves only to reduce a veteran’s fair, just and rightful compensation for service connected conditions and, in my opinion, is totally and ethically indefensible.
The question arises “How does the “fuzzy” mathematical manipulation behind this chart work to cheat veterans?”
As demonstration of this corrupt manipulation let’s take a veteran who is already rated at 60 percent disabled and receives compensation at a 60 percent level. The VA, and this is where the cheating begins, now considers that he/she is 40 percent from being fully disabled.
Now, in this real world example, if the veteran applies for and receives an additional 20% rating for another service connected condition logic, and simple math, would dictate that the veteran is now 80 percent disabled (60% + 20% = 80%); not so, the VA calculates, using its chart, the subsequent disability rating based not on 100 percent, a whole person, but on a 40 percent basis so that the resulting “combined” disability rating is 70 percent (60% + [20% of 40% = 8%] = 68% and 68 percent is rounded UP to 70 percent), the closest unit of 10. This veteran is now considered to have a maximum potential 30 percent disability remaining.
Continuing this example, let’s say this veteran applies for and receives another disability rating for a service connected condition of 10 percent. The VA again applies its “fuzzy” math and calculates this veteran’s disability not as 80 percent (70% + 10%) but as 70 percent (70% + [10% of 30%] = 73% and 73 percent is rounded DOWN to 70 percent), the closest unit of 10.
Any subsequent calculations of additional conditions would then be based on the remaining difference between the then current rating and 100 percent, the result being rounded up or down to the next higher or lower unit of 10.
The President, the VA, and the federal legislature pay a lot of lip service to people who serve or have served in the military; they consistently spew empty platitudes of “debts owed to veterans that cannot be repaid”, how much they “respect” those who have served, or how veterans are their “heroes” but when it comes to actually doing something they choose to ignore situations such as described. I have personally written to the President, the Acting-Secretary of the Veterans Administration, the Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs, Senator Hatch, Senator Lee, and Congressman Curtis asking that they take action, pushing for a Veterans Fair Compensation Act which would address this situation by calculating disabilities based on simple math, limiting total compensation to not more than 100 percent, to no avail.