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VA Whistlebolower Exposes Claims Problem

August 20, 2018

USVCP Staff Writers

      

Tens of thousands of veterans remain in the pipeline still waiting to learn if they will receive health care benefits, disability compensation or VA pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but the agency is refusing to answer Congress's questions about the enormous backlog of claims that continue to grow daily.

      

For example, the waiting list includes nearly 3,000 applications that are sitting at just one VA Reginal Office in Atlanta, Georgia.  But, according to a VA whistleblower, VA staff refuses to acknowledge any of the claims as actual applications for benefits.  VA staff would rather rationalize and justify reasons for not working on the claims, so that VA staff can attend to “more important matters,” according to the whistleblower.  

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Scott Davis, a program specialist at the Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, said, “The VA is attempting to downplay the number of veterans claims waiting to be worked on by ignoring the fact that those 1,833 veterans already applied.”  In other words, because some veterans have sent in duplicate applications, they get no attention whatsoever.

    

Instead, Mr. Davis reported the VA plans to send out letters asking them to apply for benefits once again in what he calls “a poorly-timed outreach campaign.”

    

"VA should have processed these applications, and this is how the backlog gets started," Davis told the Washington Examiner.  "The applications sit and sit and sit.  No one works on them, and no one directs staff to work on the applications.  So, they just collect dust"

    

According to Mr. Davis, "If you're not enrolled in the VA healthcare system, you cannot get an appointment," he added. "They're acting as if it's the veterans' burden to correct this issue."

    

Mr. Davis noted the VA has refused to change the way it handles applications from combat veterans, even after a waiting list of 44,000 applications was exposed in July.

     

"The significance is that VA still is not paying attention to veteran applications because of a misunderstood stipulation that is easily misinterpreted to keep people from working.  Veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam suffer the most" he said. "You would think that the recent exposure from the media would have made them more aware and eager to do the right thing, but the exposure seems to have strengthened their position to keep things as they are."

   

Subsequently, that simply means more and more veterans will continue to wait as the backlog grows.

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Add A Comment

Andy Padgett, 8/31/18

The VA should STOP hiring relatives and friends. It should be mandatory that they hire VETS only, and within 5 to 10 years all of the slackers and deadbeats and waiting lists would be gone.

    

Manuel Matos, 8/29/18

I retired in February 1997. In January 1997, I went to the VA Hospital In Nashville, Tn to get my retirement Physical. I was put on High Blood Pressure Medication which I still take Daily. I gave them my Medical File to Make a copy of and was told to come back in an hour. I came back in an Hour and they could not find my Medical File. To get to the point, They keep telling me that my Blood Pressure was not Service Connected. They cannot answer me if I went to the VA in January and they started me on Blood Pressure Meds and I retired in February why it's not considered Service Related. I was still in the service when I went there. I finally had to get a VSO and she helped tremendously. What clinched it was I wrote an email to the Secretary of the VA at the time and told him I was hiring a lawyer. My claim got settle except my Blood Pressure which they now call Hypertension. Well, I just wrote another email to the VA Secretary and Asked him the same question. I'm getting shuffled from one office to another. We are Second Class Citizens to the VA after we gave our livelihood to the service.

     

Harry Althen, 8/27/18

I submitted my Claim in 2011 and I am still waiting so in 2016 I went to a lawyer and I have turn everything over to him.

   

Donald Hardwick, 8/27/18

What I find strange is I have had several claims at the BVA. Some over two years. If I go to vets.gov it says 65000 claims ahead of me. My lawyer and I departed company in June and BVA approved it. I filed for my records in June so now my records are in front of a Judge in ebenifits and vets.gov. Plowed through 65000 records just like that.

   

James Wilks, 8/26/18

This is just tip of iceberg. These folks have cushy job but no politician does anything to correct and vets pay the price of delayed or denied benefits. I sent in a FDC but VA said couldn't do FDC because I had a claim on appeal???? the claim sit for months before VA made decision. This is bad VA public opinion but who seems to care.

     

Rev. Rose Redmond, 8/20/18

I've had absolutely NO trouble getting care at the VAMC-Durham in Durham, NC.  Does Congress know this is going on in Atlanta??? If so, name every single Congressional member that you KNOW knows it to the public.

    

Kevin Foster, 8/20/18

I am a veteran every time you ask for status of claim they pen the same answer.The Atlanta regional Office keeps changing the expected date of completion.If they had to wait 3 years for a pay check they would get claims completed!!

   

Jaime lleras, 8/20/18

Enough is enough! g It's time for the VA to start working on the thousands of claims that are backlogged because they won't work on them. Mine has be in the process going on over 3-years. Others veterans has been waiting for over 8-years. Something seriously needs to be done about this or the backlog will continue to grow.

    

Michael Travis, 8/20/18

As an 19 year VA Healthcare Provider, presciently retired and as a Veteran I feel qualified to say the following> The VA Healthcare System, be it hands on care or the compensation system is nothing more than Socialized Medicine. Probably the best Social Medicine system in the world , but still SM. Until the system has a "eat what you kill" reimbursement policy every department will do only what is expected of them and very seldom more. There are always rare exceptions, but for the most part its ,see your 10-12 people, do your paperwork, go home at 1630.

    

Walter Quigley, 8/20/18

I have had an MST (military sexual trauma) appeal in for two years, not to mention the length of time since the original claim. I was place into the RAMP fast track program and received notice that they have withdrawn my appeal and discontinued appeals processing and that it can no longer be reinstatedunder the current process. I'm led to believe that I can't even send in new evidence concerning my claim. What the hell?

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

      

Frank Height, 8/20/18

I have been waiting since 2011 I have two presumptive conditions related to exposure camp Lejeune my claim has been sent from one place to another BVA to Regional office Atlanta call center said that my claim at BVA and they said that my claim is at Regional office I have documents that my file is Flagged reason is because I wrote the white house and complaining about Atlanta Regional Office in 2015 I will be going to news &Media hope that it will help I am totally Disable I have express that to them but they don't care.

      

Walter Duda, 8/20/18

Are the VA employees vets themselves or are they the flag waving hypocrites who profess to care and don't give a damn as long as the paychecks keep coming. Purge the system of these people or get rid of the armed services so there is no need for the VA.If they think the VA is expensive, let them see what life would be like without the armed services. Just ask Putin and Kim.

    

Bob Bambury, 8/20/18

WTF According to Mr. Davis, "If you're not enrolled in the VA healthcare system, you cannot get an appointment," he added. "They're acting as if it's the veterans' burden to correct this issue."SO JUST GET ENROLLED LIKE EVERYONE ELSE"

         

John Doti, 8/20/18

Pay every "Boots on the Ground" Vietnam veteran $2,495 a month until they die and be done with it. No more claims backlog and fire all the dead weight government employees who aren't accomplishing anything anyway! We'd all be money ahead. Severely wounded Vets would get SMC, as they should.

         

Joaquin Santos, Jr., 8/20/18

What evidentiary documents does VA require to examine a Veteran who may have falsified his DD- 214 by claiming that he is a PH Recipient in Vietnam and is now receiving 100% C&P? And what is the address/name to submit the complaint?