Is the Disability Claims Process Broken?

January 25, 2012 | Terry Howell

The House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs latest hearing was held to determine if the current disability rating systems at the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are best serving America’s veterans. For most veterans the answer is easy – they are not.

Veterans have complained for years about the VA’s disability claims backlog and confusing rating system. In fact, most veterans wait a year or more to get a low-ball rating which requires additional paperwork and time to process, essentially postponing their benefits even longer. One veteran recently told me that he was surprised to find that after waiting a year for a determination, he would not get his benefits retroactively to his date of separation or even the original claim date.

Note: There are currently more than 886,000 claims in backlog with 66 percent of them taking more than 120 days to process.

Another issue veterans complain about is that the disparity in final determinations or disability ratings between VA regional offices. Some offices are known for granting high ratings, while others have a well-earned reputation for low ratings or denied claims.

So the question isn’t whether or not there’s a problem. The question is what is Congress really going to do about it?

Last year Congress passed legislation that would move to a paperless claim submission process and retrain claims specialists in hopes of reforming the system. However, as Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Chairman of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee put it, “The fact of the matter is veterans still don’t have a seamless transition. Veterans are getting stuck in the system between the bureaucracy of DoD and VA.”

According to Runyan, “the [VA disability claims] system has not been comprehensively revised since the conclusion of World War II.”

While paperless claims and retrained claim processors will help, these fixes will hardly make a difference when it comes to the issue of fairness and doing right by our disabled veterans.

According to a House press release the Committee will continue look at the recommendations of the 2007 Dole Shalala Commission and numerous other reports and studies from the past three decades to determine if the transition from DoD to VA is being conducted in a way that will ensure greater access for our veterans to the care and benefits with the least red tape and greatest efficiency.

Well, at least it’s a start…

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. I retired in 1988 after 24 years with the army, and I find the comments to be true. What rating a VET get depend on where he/she places their claim. It seems to be better west of Oklahoma. I wonder can VA be fair?

    • I know the system is broken in my opinion, i knew a man, like i said i knew a man who waited years for his claims to be resolved.so the va could help him because of his income he had no insurance, when he finally got it, all it was used for was his funeral,no one who served deserve this from people who have no idea what is to serve.

  2. Damn right its broken, bad. I filed claim for ptsd in '09, was denied in two months, went to counseling for a year, appealed claim, nothing for eighteen months, I started calling to check on it, weekly, seems claim was pulled denied and mailed to me in three days, damn what service on a denial. thru the Huntington WV VA office

    • Eddie, get with your local DAV or VFW office. Rules changed on PTSD in Dec. 2011. Go to DAV or VFW and they will help you – for FREE – and they know how to do the paperwork. You will get a minimum of 50% if you have served since 2003 – and you will get all your backpay from your original filing. Hurry – don't waste time with this. Thank you for your service – you are appreciated Eddie!

  3. As some one that has benn involved in all facets or VA benefits for 20 years I can tell you that there is plenty blaim to go around. Many vets file claims and then move around and VA spends lots of time "looking" for them and rescheduling exams. Managers force people to do things that are wrong based on "local" policy and there is no way to get them to stop. The courts have made the system very complicated, and on, and on. But how come we don't hear about the almost 1/4 billion dollars paid to veterans with herbicide related conditions in the last 12 months?

    There are many changes coming to the VA, but I'm not sure you are going to like them all. In the mean time find a good representative and read the correspondence. You'll be surprised how many people make their claims take longer that necessary. If you don't understand something call 1-800-827-1000 from anywhere in the USA.

    • don quick says:

      yea right you try calling that number and see how far you get….the same old run around……

      • You are right about the number,, no good and the people on the other end is very ruled. I had w one Lady actually told me what you want me to do and my claim was not the only claim they was working on.

      • clarence bynes says:
    • Yes go ahead and call the phone number. You might get lucky enough to actually talk to a real person if you try calling every day, in 2 or 3 months. This is coming from the voice of experience.

    • Jamem moore says:

      I called the 1-800-827-1000 number, got a call back as promised, but found out they were missing a form that has kept my claim from Jan 2010 from being finalized for my 100%.sually they send you a notice for more infor. But since I callen Congerssman Larmar Smith, the form went missing from my files. They have it now, so I just wonder how much longer I have to wait.

    • I applied for an increase after having surgury for spinal stenosis. I was hospitalized for almost a month w/ lost mobilty in left side of body. I was restricted to return to work since 10/22/2010…it is now 01/26/2012. I cannot go to VRA program, nor have the VA approved my request. What/why is there so much discourse in the claim process. This is depressing and emotionally hurtful. I served faithfully for 20yrs…I would have stayed longer if my health hadn't changed. I am stun by the lack of support.

    • Joel,I called the # (***)***-**** in September of 2011. I’m still on hold and have paid $38,785.77 in minutes so far.

    • Joel,I called the # (***)***-**** in September of 2011. I’m still on hold and have paid $38,785.77 in minutes so far.

    • Yes well for the most part what you say is true…. we do move around alot due to lack of funds to stay in one place! I have been waiting almost 10 months since I filed my claim for increase. I have been un-employable according to my VA doctor for over two years yet the VA wants to send me to another VA doctor to i guess verify what the previous VA doctor said before they give me a new rating. However, in the time frame this has taken my family and I have burned thru our life savings to just pay the bills and now that has run out, we will be moving…and to where I have no idea I'm unable to work and one of our vehicles was repossessed; so I guess we will become another homeless veteran family "MOVING AROUND" waiting 18, 20, 24 months for the VA to give me a crap rating I'll have to appeal and wait another 18 to 24 months and maybe by that time the State will incarcerate me for not paying child support thus it will all be dropped anyway for I would be an inmate! But wait there is a silver lining the VA would know where I was at!!!!

    • Most of the blame should go to the V.A. the system is broken, and needs to be fixed, they drag there feets in processing claims and use in experienced people to do so. The V.A. is horrible and is hurting the Vets who serve this country.

    • I have been denied for disabilities that are in my medical records over and over again that should have been granted.I have used V.A. reps filing my paperwork and they could not believe I was denied. The V.A. keeps telling me they meed more info when they have it all. this system is designed to wear you down so that you give up filing your claims to save the V.A. money. The more people they deny the less the V.A. has to pay out. This system was desigened for veterans so why are we being treated so badly.

    • I would love to read the correspondence they send me, if it ever really got sent to me. I love driving an hour from home for a VA appointment only to be told "You did not get your letter? Your appointment was cancelled." I would also love to read the letter that was sent out two months ago officially detailing my disability, so i can decide if i want to appeal. That letter is MIA, and the one that was mailed 10 days ago looks like it is as well. So for a system that was set up to serve Vets, you guys are great at blaming Vets for your short comings.

  4. Henry Martin says:

    yes, its broken bad and needs to be fix asp. i injury my arm serving in operation Iraq Freedom. file claim when got back to states in 2006. was denied for 5yrs. kept filing appeal. finally claim went to D.C. claim was approved in 2011. got back pay for 5yrs. file claim for PTSD in 2010. being going to counseling and on medication nearly 2yrs. have not heard nothing from the VA. “Yes it needs fixing bad.

    • Good news for you on the PTSD claim – in Dec. 2011 – because they have been having so many suicides and homeless vets – they revised. MINIMUM PTSD for vets serving 2003 forward in now 50%. Keep pursuing this because you will get backpay from date you filed. If you need help get with your local VFW or DAV – these guys know the system and will help you for FREE! These guys know how to file these claims, gets the stress off you. Thank you for your service – you are appreciated!

    • T. Martin in Tacoma says:

      Same, I had a QTC Dr tell me that I do not have PTSD, on top of that he messed his report up to say that I killed my mom. Really, if I didn't have PTSD I do now, It's been 3 years for me in the appeals process and I haven't heard anything yet. GOOD LUCK on your PTSD claim.

  5. It's FUBAR for sure. Every few yr's. they say they're gonna' fix it,but I've not seen it get much better since I first began dealing with V.A. in 1975.
    Good luck this time. Maybe results will be better,but I ain't placing any bet!

  6. It's FUBAR for sure. Every few yr's. they say they're gonna' fix it,but I've not seen it get much better since I first began dealing with V.A. in 1975.

  7. No human organization can ever be perfect, including the VA. However, I've found that solid documentation is key to speed of decision. I've been treated fairly by both the disability and medical sides of the VA, and my life has improved immeasurably.

    Perhaps the VA should establish some sort of triage system for determining which claims need what level of immediacy. All claims are not equally urgent and some are fraudulent, exaggerated or incomplete. I also think it would be helpful for the VA Inspector General to maintain statistics on how many claims are denied or overturned due to veteran error and/or VA error and report annually to Congress and VA leadership.

    • I have to say best thing i did was to find a great VSO from vietnam Veterans of america he really cared about my claim and ptsd and put many hours into seeing i got my claim done asap

  8. George Battle says:

    I was a victim of kipnap and robbery VA say they don't have records I was denied benifits could someone help me please

    • Richard Kath says:

      George, Look for civilian records,check CID, you can request different locations yourself to send all records. Ask where the base or hospital sends stored records.

      • Richard,

        If the records are from an inpatient stay, they are kept at NPRC. If they are outpatient records, good luck with that, if they're not already in your file. Those bases, from back in the day time frames, do not, by my personal experience, send those type of records anywhere, but they are destroyed after the allotted time which is bs!!

  9. I don't understand. I was medically retired from the military in 2010. And now they say i can't collect both my retirement and VA Disability, cause of some paper the CONGRESS has passed now. So I had to apply for Social Security Disability.

    • Richard, get with your local VFW or DAV group – these guys are knowledgable – they are FREE and they are only concerned with getting you what you deserve. Thank you for your service and I hope this helps.

  10. I am a VIETNAM Vet.The VA has done me right.It took a while,but now they do everything for me.If you have all your paper work in order and show up for you doctors.appointment's.Claims moves in a timely manner.The VA always has been there when I needed them.I am one who says I am proud to be treated at the VA. They have treated me fair.Been there for what I ever needed.Even save my life twice.Just a old Marine giving his two cents worth.

    • Richard Kath says:

      I too have been treated well by the VA. Everybody I have contact with is more than helpful. State of the art clinics (Gaylord,Mi anyway),they just opened a new one in Mackanaw. Everytime I fill out a review I give them all Outstandings.

    • Rich K. says:

      I,too, have been treated with respect at most of the VA clinics. The new clinics they build for each area are state of the art equipment and with smart people operating them. The Drs and nurses are highly intelligent people. The Claims process is old and outdated but they are working hard to make it faster and they now have a large influx of Vets from 10 + years of war. If you read any of my sarcastic comments they are written negatively because that's all I hear and read. Actually I am very appreciative of all they have done for me.You will see my name Rich,Rick,Richard on my comments that are putting down some aspect of the system that are actually meant to be funny. The VA has done a lot for me and continue to do so. I see an awful lot of satisfied Vets at the VA Clinics and Hospitals I attend! But reading the Blogs and comments all I read about is a Vet that is complaining and then some more that are complaining. It's a wonder they have gotten this far with the claims coming in that have some complaints that are completely new and trying to even understand what the Vet is saying.

  11. I have a claim in for P T S D from Vietnam, I was denied the first time said it was filed wrong, redone with help, still waiting ,long wait for answer, even with letters from V.A. doctors, yes system is broken bad, needs alot of help

  12. This new system of a paperless claims filing is going to lead to a lot of problems in the future if allowed to be used. What evidence would you have if a piece of important is missing? No "paper trails" have been the problem with a lot of claims from the Vietnam era IMO. A lot of the troops were located in areas where medical reports were kept very well in at all leading to big problems down the road.
    This is just my opinion but I feel the VA system is ripe for corruption in the fiduciary field. This is an area where a vet that is judged to be incompetent must have a VA appointed fiduciary to handle his/her financial affairs. When a vet are "turned over" to a fiduciary large amounts of money are turned over to a total stranger that sometimes doesn't have the vets best interest in mind. Fiduciaries are entitled to 4% of all monies deposited in the vets account set up by the fiduciary. The VA doesn't have enough people in the field to monitor this system and there are many claims of corruption. Monies can easily be stolen from the vet without worry of being prosecuted due to lack of personal. We are not talking about nickels and dimes here. If a vet has a case dating back 10+ years rated at 100% that could mean an amount of close to $300,000.00 of which the VA appointed fiduciary would be entitled to a payday of $12,000.00 just for cashing a check.

    On April 26, 2011 there was a very important court decision that was made in favor of the vet facing the hells of the Fiduciary System where as the vet has the right to have a trusted family to act as his fiduciary. Though this new ruling might not be perfect it does help to eliminate corruption in the VA system where regional managers might be persuaded to assign certain cases to certain fiduciary's in hopes of a "kickback" which could amount to thousands of dollars.

    So the answer to the question is quite clear. The system is not only broken but prone to corruption as well. If you know of a vet that is facing being declared incompetent please steer him or her away from that choice if at all possible.

  13. USA_Cares_Inc says:

    I work at a USA Cares, a nonprofit organization that helps post-9/ll military service members and veterans get financial assistance. We see evidence of the broken system every day! If you are waiting for a claim, you may be eligible for financial assistance for things like rent, utility bills, food, etc. Please check us out. We are here to support the service members who have given so much to us. http://www.usacares.org

  14. When you are overworked, short on staff, and pressured everyday to get an certain amount of claims done this leads to huge mistakes, don't care attitude and in the end the veterans are the ones suffering. There is no end in sight as I can see no matter what happens! Also the big one they know already is that these rating specialist some of them are bringing in their personal feelings to come into play in which I said above is a don't care attitude. If this don't get under control more and more veterans will suffer.

  15. It is broken. Vet's are having to go homeless, loss homes because the system is SO D*$# slow. I had a 5 minute exam in 1984 and got a measly 10%. Should have been close to 50% if you look at the rules that they go by. My claim has been in the works for over 9 months and there has been NO movement at all out of the St. Petersburg Regional office. Get it fixed and help the old and new vets!!!!!!

    • John, sorry to hear you are going through this. I hope you find a Vets group such as DAV or VFW to help you with your claim. These guys are good and they are FREE – they know the way to handle these claims and it takes a lot of pressure off you. Thank you for your service.

  16. My claim process was problem free, except it took 20 months. What pisses me and other soldiers off is these phony PTSD types that invent problems just to get money. That costs us all.

    • Maybe you should talk with a person who has PTSD. Its no fun believe me. I was operated on for colon cancer and the Dr from U of Mich or I should say resident Dr's, operated on me, while they where trying out not only new Dr's but new procedures. They perforated my colon, which put me in a coma with ceptic (blood) poison. I dam near died, my family was planning my funeral. I am one of the luck few who made it thru, but the cost was extreme. I can't go into a hospital for fear of all the sounds from the monitors. I have not been able to sleep in a normal bed because of lying in a hospital bed for 9 months. My stomach, with a 14 inch cut was left open like a piece of steak, you could see my intestines thru it. PART 1

      • forgot to mention in my earlier post. were you able t o sue the dr or hospital? if not look into it. god bless. cindy

    • Why you ask because the Dr's wanted it to heal from the inside out. Not to mention the colostomy bag I had which would plug up and or rip off my stomach and spill all over me and my bed. I had a drain in my side because I still had leaks in my intestines and fecal matter was accumulating in my side. I was suicidal, I asked several times to put me out of my misery. Now I have loose bowel problems all the time. When ever I go some where I find the restrooms first. It is embarrassing when you shit your pants or you just make it to the bathroom and then shit all over the stool. Not to mention all the pain I now have with all these problems. I can't live a normal life anymore and sometimes I wish they would have left me to die.
      PART2 OF 2

      • lovingwife says:

        Praying for you….I know it's not easy because my husband suffers from some of the symptons of PTSD and TBI and I don't think people really understand what it does to the Vet or the families. Folks should not pass judgement until they have walked a mile in those shoes.

      • I am so sorry for the medical problems you have gone through. My sister had the same surgery for a bowell obstruction that caused her bowells to break because the stupid er had a nurse give her(force) an enema on her when she had not had a bm in three weeks. she was also in a coma,had a colostomy and a long recovery time. know that some people do understand your feeling & how that would definately cause ptsd.god bless you and hang in there.

    • Really?! Phonies?! It is so annoying to constantly hear those that babble this crap just like you are doing!! Are you a doctor…doubt it!! What if somebody said the same thing about you…just faking your problems "just to get money." So, because yours may be a physical (therefore viewable) claim, what if you're exaggerating symptoms to "just to get money." See where I'm going with this? Just because you can't "see" what another vet is struggling through, just to barely keep it together, sometimes, does not mean you are any more deserving than that other vet to be rated for a service connection!!

    • Thank God you don't havePTSD

    • Hi Jack, PTSD isn't funny and can be very real. Are there fake cases? Yes. It is also under rated by the VA. My husband got a 10% VA rating for it. 18 months in Vietnam (special forces- Army) then finished out with the Navy to 21 years. To this day, a loud bang has him hiding under the bed and 8 years ago I got a red cross message when at sea as i wasn't able to be home on 4 July fireworks to steady him and he freaked out our daughter who called 911 because he was 'back in Nam', hiding under the coffee table and explaining to her how to build a bunker.

      He's not at all dangerous unlike the hype about it all, but it takes care and understanding at times to work with it. His '10%' is a joke and it's a good thing I make a good income because at his level, it's a severe limiter at getting and holding a job and prevents driving.

      He's a great guy though and we look forward to many more years together. We had our 26th wedding anniverary a few months ago. No you can't have him! He's all mine!

  17. Atlanta VARO is a cluster F&^K! it is amazing how slow and easy it is for your c-file to be lost. I just dont get it. you see all these commericals about helping vets and the place where we are suppose to get help(VA) is a complete wreck. well atleast it is better than nothing.

    • I agree

      • I know the feeling. I ask the same question. My file has been convientenly lost/misplaced too after being in line for review three years. GO FIGURE!!!!!!!!! The ATL VRO is just awful. Where is Sanford Bishop when you need him? Oh, in DC.

  18. JOSEPH DIGGS says:

    BEING A RETIRED VETERAN WITH "DISABILITIES" MULTERPULE TYPES I TRY WHEN I APPROACH MY "DOCTOR" THE FIRST THING I TRY NOT TO DO IS MENTION "MONEY" I USE THE TERM BENIFITS IT SOUNDS BETTER AND IT TELLS THE DOCTOR YOU ARE TRYING TO GET SOMETHING YOU "EARNED' BY YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. I AM MORE THAN CONVINCED THAT MOST "VA. RATERS" ARE NOT VETERANS SO IT GET'S MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT. THE ANSWER THEN IN MY OPINION IS GET SOMEONE IN PLACE WHO ARE MILITARILY INCLINED OR IS ON ACTIVE DUTY,THAT WAY ALL IS DONE IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER TO GET THE CLAIMS PROCESSED EXPERDITIOUSLY AND ON TIME.

  19. Robert W. Pavlich says:

    I am a Nam Vet and have been fighting for approx. 43 years and in the last 6 years have gotten more done than all the years before. Every time I moved I had to refile, get turned down and than do it a over again. Some VA's I have been to are for the pits others are good. Hire all the vets that are about to lose thier jobs with the cutting of the brigades. Lets get it done!!!!!

  20. I too think VA is playing a game with Veterans benefits, I have CLL (Cancer) and the 9th court of Appeals in Calif. has already awarded veterans money to be paid from the time we were discharged. I've had CLL (Cancer) since 1984 and no one told me about it. I 've been to several VA hospitals and clinics, taken so many blood test and no one told me, when it was on all my medical tests when they returned to the doctors. I have been turned down from asking for back payment and I have appeal each time. I served in the USMC and did a 13 month tour of duty in VietNam. Va takes its sweet time and always deny your 1st claims.

  21. It almost always comes down to lack of access to, incomplete, inaccurate, unfindable or otherwise not complete copies of Military Personnel and Medical records, including Unit and In patient records in the hands of the veteran claiment. The burden of proof should be shifted (back) to the VA, away from the individual veteran. This would save money and lives.

  22. It's a shame that Dems and even Republicans talk a good game when it comes to Vets—but it's the first place they cut–even when they are looking to give "free" medical to free-loaders.
    Shame on Them!

  23. Richard Kath says:

    I filed my claim in early 1978 and it was recently remanded back to the board. Could be a record and I might contact CNN.

  24. If a claim takes over six months, a vet should be able to sue the VA and hold them accountable. (Six months means counting the weekends also, not just working days). Hire veterans to help with the backloged claims. OK, train them just like anyone else! I enlisted into the service of my country – I hope all these volenteers don't see all these comments, knowing what they are going to have to go through to get a pension or compensation. Take part of your military pension in order to get VA compensation. Talk about a rip off…Do they take part of a veterans Social Security Pension if they didn't retire from the service? Talk about an unjust, corrupt and broken down system! Things are going to change, but not for the better, bet your pension on that.

  25. preacherman says:

    It is mind boggling to me as to why it takes so long to process a claim oh I know they have trouble keeping up with veterans claims file, mind got lost and it got mixed up with another veteran that had been incarcerated and now when I call to check on the status I have to speak with a supervisor because I am a sensitive 7. I am considering writing my congressman to see what can be done because I deseve something for there negleigence and incompetence.

  26. RVN-FMF-DOC says:

    There are several problems;
    !. It's political. This is an election year. Don't expect much compassion. The ole boys n' gals gotta git reelected. So tighten up the belt a couple more notches.
    2. The employees doing the work are unionized, "Don't get too much done today cause we don't want to run out of work"……"or you'll get taken to the woodshed"
    3. Ever been to Washington, D.C.? Nothing moves beyoud a "slugs" pace any how.
    4. Nobody in charge thinks anything is wrong, so what is your problem?
    5. Sticky fingers, slow the award cash flow and get a raise. Stop the cash flow and get promoted beyond your ability to perform.
    and
    6. It's political!

  27. I separated from the Navy in 1986. I had a head injury while serving but took it in stride and went on with my life. I started work with the Air Force and was advised by other veterans to file a claim because I was never advised of this when I separated. I did and recieved a 10% compensation rating. This took over a year to complete. My letter states the effective date is Dec 1st, 2011. As I stated it took over a year and I have been advised by others that I should at least get compensation from when the claim was started and others have said back to my seporation date. Can someone advise me which is true.

    • You only get compensation from the date the claim is started.

    • A year? good for you!! I applied in 2005 and the Board for Veteran's Appeals (BVA) just gave it to me in April 2012. NOW I have to wait until the Indianapolis VA decides how much. So it's retroactive to day one–so what?
      Now this is NO SLAM against non-retired veterans with a legit claim; but, why do retirees not get the back pay? What they tell you is to file an amended return with "a letter to the IRS" saying you shouldn't have paid tax on that money. What is wrong with this picture?

    • First of all, you can only amend a return for so many years. Secondly, it re-starts the IRS audit window!! DFAS REFUSES to amend your W-2 and does the "send a letter to IRS" routine.
      But, a non-retiree gets ALL of the back money to the day of first claim.
      The biggest problem is the VA dance. A CMP exam; denial; appeal at the RO; no medical opinion in the exam so another CMP; doctor says he cannot give an opinion to cause of the current condition to me; denial report gives his "opinion;" denial; the BVA–TWO YEAR THREE MONTHS LATER says awarded.

    • NOW the American Legion rep says it could take 3 or more months for the Indianapolis office to give a rating !?!?! It is because the ruling "sits on a desk for a week before it is sorted…" into awarded and denied. Then, goes to someone (who has a pile already) to go through the file and decide the rating. I'm still waiting for that. Then, if they low-ball it (Indianapolis is known for that!!), it's back to the BVA.
      Where's the efficiency? Hire more people!!
      I worked for Shinseki in Bosnia and like the guy. HE is efficient. It's the bureaucratic BS that is not.

      In my opinion, the VA–at minimum–should be required to at minimum reimburse retired veterans for the difference (taxes paid) on the retroctive disability.

  28. Bill Craddock says:

    What can we ask for in life? I applied for disability, was told it would take six months and it did. I was told I would get back pay to the application date, and I did get that pay.

    I guess I am just lucky….. outside of the disability

  29. Richard Kath says:

    Bill C.,Your the only one though.

  30. Dwight D. Cox says:

    I first applied for my benifits went to the contract doctors as requested and received only 20%. Not knowing what or where to turn I learned talking to other vets and learned somen things. So I reapplied to up my benifits. Again I was sent to the contract doctors and still have been waiting for 10 months for my money. Tried calling and/or e-mail to find out the status. no answer from anyone. I can not work due to the illness I have and was just notified I am going to have to move as the bank is taking my home. I thought we are to get help we need, not just do the old hurry up and wait game.

    • Richard Kath says:

      Dwight, go to your local VA rep and they can give you a grant for your house… Tell them your case is pending.

    • linebb956 says:

      Get hold of you local news.. have them do a story on this. It worked for husband. Election year they do not want to look bad. It could also stop you from losing your home as the banks do not want to look bad..

      • I was awarded 70% award back in 2010 in Dec. I have not received dime yet, because of 9,350, separation pay. Which the VA put in 90,000. They have received the paperwork from DFAS with the correct amount and they still have not change. Contacted my Congressman and the only thing he did was contact DFAS for the same paperwork I had showing the same amount I was paid separation pay. Can’t get no help or answer for the last two years, but everybody want a vote. VA in Georgia is very pityfful.

  31. Dan Boyer says:

    I filed with the VA over two years ago, and my case is still ongoing. I was turned down and then asked to submit proof of which I did because I had copied my medical records before retiring in 1991. The records clearly state my case, but every time I call my representative he tells me its in a basket with many others and it may take them from one to two years before they get to it again. I'm 61 soon to be 62 and not in the greatest of health. I had six heart by-passes in 2004, nerve problems in both arms and my back has been a problem since 1974, and my records prove it all. So what can a person do to help get the ball moving on something like this, call their Senator?

    • Dan, get with a local Veterans group such as DAV or VFW. These guys are trained how to handle the paperwork. Also, it might not hurt to get a senator involved. Also, don't give up, but also don't stress too much (I know that's hard). Hope you begin having some success. Maybe (if you're up to it) a local news station might consider doing a story about this – lots of people are talking about this issue and you would get a lot of support. Thank you for your service and good luck to you.

    • Good luck to you. Mine took five years (see my other posts) to get approved through the "system." I am 68 now. I am still waiting for a rating.

  32. My claim went through Winston-Salem. Still trying to claim dependents and I retired in Oct 2010. The VA that works claims have a new facility and enough office space to hire 300 people. Unfortunately, they do not have the money to hire 300 employees. This is why there is a backlog. Combine that with all the Vets that are coming back from two wars and the backlog will only get longer. These guys need help now! I started the Benefits Before Discharge prgram and it was almost a year before I received first benefits. The VA folks work very hard. I am most impressed with the medical care that I have received since I retired. I am convinced that the VA is doing the best they can, with the the resources they have available and fiscal restraints. I do get frustrated when I can't talk to anyone or put on hold for 20 mins, but patience is a virtue that has elluded me, most of my life. BZ to the VA Reps that provide service to our Veterans!

  33. linebb956 says:

    It took years to get my husbands and he passed before it came in. They do all they can to slow it down. It is not broken.. it is sabotaged! They go on the attitude that if they are slow the vet will give up. Many do.

  34. Terry, I filed a claim for an increase at the NYC VARO in March 2010 , Two years next month and they say they are working on it to stop calling. Almost 700 days now and counting. I have more and would like to share my story if you are interested? Thank you -Brandon M

  35. i was denied a disability claim and my personnal back doctor will not write a statement on if my injurys being military induced.. help! don,t know which way to turn.

    • Hello David, you need to get with a local Veterans group such as the DAV, or VFW and they can help you (for free). My husband has a group helping him in Oklahoma and they have been a life saver – very well trained guys and they usually have doctors they can send you too. Also, you may want to get letters from guys you served with to prove your back injury happened in the military.

  36. David Morales says:

    I am a Vietnam veteran who served inland Vietnam for a year I am entitled to disablility because of agent orange Last year I found out that I have prostate cancer can some one out there tell me what the disablity rate for prostate cander is ?

  37. A REAL SHAME FOR OUR COUNTRY & MILITARY!LKWB

  38. I was in artillery in Vietnam and was denied tinnitus but the guys with me it Vietnam were granted 10%. I got 0% for hearing loss after a four years of appeals.

  39. Willard.W Hunter says:

    Yes it is broken. I like thousands of other military retirees have to pay for our own service connected disabilities out of our retirement pay. You tell me how that is a fair. I call it discrimination. Its time that Congress fix that. I served two tours in Vietnam. I really feel sorry for our troops serving in a war zone today that are getting the same if not worse treatment.

  40. Dave Davis says:

    The system isn't broken it is CORRUPTED by the President and Congress. The disability claims process has been designed to delay and deny veterans a fair adjudication of claims. When a government such as ours allows veterans to have to wait for years on end due process then we need to wake up to the fact that Henry Kissinger said that soldiers are dumb and stupid. We need to unite for a common cause it is called JUSTICE. When you serve your country and watch your fellow veterans with cancer from AO, radiation poisoning, exposure to improper vaccines, contaminated water, and yes many other cover-ups to hide the fact that our own Congress knew about the dangers that we would be exposed to and also knew that if they kept denying benefits through their antiquated laws and procedures that the VA has used for years that veterans would eventually either give up on claims or DIE. Let us open our eyes to this corruption and send a message to this congress that we will not stand for it any longer.

  41. Broken is an understatement! My AO claim was originally filed in Feb 2007..Nothing yet…

    • billy underwood says:

      ill bet kerry mciane and hagg got there ao settlement

    • Emelia Ford says:

      I can be of help for you to get your AO claim approved.

    • My husband wrote his congressman asking why its taking so long, he retired in Feb 2012. He got a letter back stating that the VA told the congressman they are just starting claims from 2010 this year (2014) and hope to get to my husband between 2016 and 2018. His initial claim was denied. Why? Apparently the doc at the VA told him without any testing or any examination that one can't have apnea unless they have fallen asleep at the wheel. Next, yes, while the finger is paralyzed, its not paralyzed "enough." He just got a letter about his spine compression from the 20 plus years in the bradley's, they'll contact him sometime between Jan and Dec for an appointment. He was told our local VA ALWAYS denies the first claim, regardless of documented medical history. They like to make you wait. I guess that goes hand in hand with the VA medical center doesn't it?

  42. Since we fought for 40 years, I'd say our Vets are not getting taken care of.

    • David - AWACS says:

      Definitely Broken!! I still haven't heard on my filing on 2009, which was the 8th time i'd submitted my paperwork which according to the news here was being thrown away in Oklahoma. I finally manage to get some benefits for the secondary problems I was having but not the primary. Still no word after appeal of the primary, and now the secondary is worse, no help from VA there either. And they won't even talk about the problems of the Bombing in OKC when the lost all my paperwork.

  43. This system is broke and the definition of a disability needs to be redefined. There is a problem when no one ever gets better with todays medical advancements, why do veterans never get better? they just get worse so they can get more money. This is what I see on a daily basis…and when every other veteran suffers from PTSD? veterans who were never near combat, there is a problem. It ALL COMES DOWN TO $$$$ and it is disgusting, when veterans who never were near combat file disability claims for every ache and pain and age related problems that ever occurred in service or parlay a minor problem, an ankle sprain into being to disabled to work, it is a slap in the face to the veterans this country really owes. AND please do not say veterans serve their country, ALL Americans who hold a job serve their country. The intent of the VA disability compensation problem was lost some time ago. AND please don't say veterans are heros, YES there are veterans who are heros and we as Americans owe these people, however there are many veterans who are not heros and many who are actually bad people i,e, Timothy McVeigh comes to mind . I see claims daily filed by veterans who are in prison for horrendous crimes but their rights to file VA disability claims and get compensated aren't taken away. The VA "disability" compensation is not based on real medicine and evaluation are based on an outdated rating schedule.

    • Don't say v
      eterans have to have been in combat in order to get disabiolity paymemnts when all of my claims were caused by INJURIES I recieved while I served my country on active duty.

    • Believe it. Jen is spot on. DVA compensation percentages are like tattoos, you just want one more ( or 10% more), then repeat thought process over and over and over. Its addictive, all comes down to money and how much can "I" get. It really brings out the worse in people. The DVA is a much different place than it was during Vietnam. Franky you all proabably did get hosed at that time. But you cant say that anymore. If you do, then you are blinded by your own misguided thoughts.

    • Jen Vet says:

      Wow, now we know why the system is broke, with people like Jen working for our VA… we know why it takes so long to get the ratings back.. yes there may be a few bad apples putting in claims but there are many deserving veterans.. unless you have walked a mile in our shoes, dealt with our pains.. lived the lives we lived it is easy for you to judge.. The system is broke but not for the reasons you stated.. ALL veterans served their country, what they may have done later doesn't negate the fact that they once served their country. As for PTSD… really do your research on what PTSD is… it is not post traumatic "combat" disorder.. you don't have to be in the military to get PTSD… and ALOT of vets AREN'T being treated for it and are falling through the cracks.. and disability isn't just for COMBAT related injuries… so maybe you need to find a new job so you do an injustice to anymore veterans that you may have already done so too… If your that disgruntled get a new job… better yet.. join the military and walk a mile in our shoes..

      • Jen Jen Jen, You sound burned out, What i see here is an agency trying to make up for all the areas where they turned their head the other way especially during the 40,s 50 , 60 70,s where they did not even listen to us ,i am a viet vet 71-72 i remember asking for some help in the 70,s could not sleep, anxious,etc and they said i was nervous to calm down!! Well for the last 40yrs i bit the bullet. Then i finally woke up and started asking for what i deserved!! Jen please take a chill pill your too nervous.

        • JHA Vietnam was winding down by ’71-’72. Alot of the soldiers tried getting Valium by claiming sleep problems(which all of us get at one time or another). This drug and all in this ‘family’ of drugs was very popular in the 70s’. A lot of folks still want this drug or have advanced to wanting Xanax. They have spent many days chilled!

    • jasper mcmillan says:

      I DID serve in Vietnam. I was NOT in the rear but at the FRONT and DID endure combat. I DID have repeated surgeries on BOTH knee's due to the military. I WAS directly exposed to Agent Orange. I AM NOT "Faking it" as you avidly imply.
      Maybe YOU and your attitude as well as others who think like YOU are the main problem with the system!

    • As for the prison dwellers, after 60 days of incarceration, their benefits stop. If you work for the VA you would know this.

      • Unless on work release….I missed that. But if their crimes are that horrendous, they wouldn't be on work release….

  44. Richard Kath says:

    Jen,True,So true.The system was intended to compensate those with blown off limbs in the Civil War. Now everybody and their aunt files a claim for each scratch they get and then appeals denials(’til the cows come home).

    • Grow up, when was the last time you went to a VA center an volunteered. Look around, these guys and girls are not being taken care of. If you've got someone in prison then like anything else their rights should be revoked. When I was in our 1SGT always said instead of complaining, have a solution.

  45. The system isn’t broken. The sense of entitlement over ingrown toe nails/scars and law suits have truly stonewalled the process. Coming from a veteran… blame yourselves. For a time we couldn’t even throw away gum wrapper without multiple signatures, all because some Shiite bag filed a law suit against the VA for a laptop being stolen. Its truly sad to see people throw their vets cards out every time they don’t get what they feel like they are entitlement to. A lot of crappy characters hide behind their barley veteran status.

    • Some of what you say is very true, but as far as being in combat, what about a person like me who worked as Battalion Supply person and a had a track crush their foot. I was never in combat, but you're telling me I don't deserve something, because my number wasn't called during Desert Shield Desert Storm. Or if a woman was raped, you don't think that's PTSD. I get what you're saying about convicts and people who are trying to suck the system, but don't put Vets in a box. People in general will try to get over and scam a system if they can. Please don't belittle my 13.5 years because my number didn't come up or anyone elses who served just as hard and as proud as anyone else. Accidents happen in the military, war or non-war, just ask the guy who played football and was killed by friendly fire.

    • Ignorance is bliss then. Alot of Honorable Veterans are suffering due to your way of "lump" thinking and corpral punishment ideals. I'm getting the impression you are our valued, yet irresponsable, representative who lost that computer containing SS# of Vets. Try to remember that sea service -vs- ground pounding will result in different types of claims. I sure hope you are not a Vet Rep. Think before you speak, dont abuse the liberty we as Veterans have earned!
      “Experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
      -Thomas Jefferson

    • I'm a Vet, service connected from shelll fragments in Viet Nam 43 years ago.
      The VA has been a constant problem since then.. Don't tell me its because of hang nails.. and I have the scars to show for it.. Damn proud of my country not so proud of the way they treat vets

    • You have problems!!! Thats about all I need to say about that!

    • Rudene Stinson says:

      This got to be a VA Represented and one that have never worn a pair of boots. Because right now he sounding very crazy.

  46. John Mayfied says:

    Been trying since Oct 2009 to get disability beifits. I have a friend who is 40% disabeled spent three years in servive and gets a check each month for $610.00. I spent 22 years in service one in Vietnam and get also $610.00. Now her comes the problem . He gets a check each month but they deduct my $610.00 from my retirement. I actually receive nothing other than the $610.00 is tax deductible.What the hell is going on here. Are there any programs so us vets with less than 50% get both payments?????

    • juan sainz says:

      John, try to apply for CRSC thru the internet. good luck from one vet to another vet.

    • I was told in Transition training that they are working on this fix. As of last October, all folks receiving 40% or more were getting 2 checks…..

  47. Terry Grant says:

    I retired in July 2006 after 26 years in the service. Claim process is rediculous, I have an appeal that was submitted in Oct 2009 that is still open and I cannot get anyone to give me an explanation of why it is taking so long. I received a 10% increase in Jan 2012 and still have not received the associated back pay. I submitted a change to dependant status adding my wife in Jan 2012 and the status in ebenefits states under review. Each time I have submitted claims I provide copies of medical records supporting my claim. Several times I have received denials stating that there was no supporting documents.
    I have yet to talk to anyone who is able to tell me anything other than what ebenefits states. I have yet to talk to anyone that could actually make something happen.

  48. Janet Darling says:

    Broken, for sure. My husband waited a year and a half to get his rating. We had to call a Senators office to get his MEB/PEB process moving, Then AR635-40 Section II/III B-18 stated cancer with mastasis etc was automatic 100% disability rating, so Dr's, VA rep, Peblo, everyone said dont worry about writing down alot of your problems, the cancer is an automatice 100%. ( He had to fight to get them to write down things because of this regulation. ) Now as of March 20, 2012 this regulation was deleted. He got 40 % from the Army, and 70 % VA. Had the process worked, he would have 100% now. We lost 60% of his pay. Are we balancing the budget on the backs of the severly disabled, really, he is at a high risk on dying, with service connected cancer, and almost 19 years in service ( 25 or more with reserve years) We waited 1 1/2 years for this, a slap in the face, and no recourse to start over even. He has gone to JAG but I am not encouraged. In constant tears, and by the way , I moved to WA for job as I thought he would be here a year ago, he is still in TX. Does anyone care? This is just wrong.

    • I guess you need to ask the Republicans for they control the House. If you live in the DC area, I would be camping out on the steps of our State Capital.

      • Really? Do you think it was any different when Democrats controlled the house? It's been this way for decades. Don't turn this into a party issue, because it isn't.

        • lambda5555m says:

          It is a money issue. It's all about the $$$ and the politicians that control how much the VA gets and what ridiculous legislation they put in place to control how much we get. It doesn't matter what you actually are disabled for and what disability rating you should have, it just doesn't matter, because it is all about the MONEY!!! That's it. All about the $$$ and nothing else. Incredible, but I think more money is spent every year on pets than our Disabled Veterans and this is shameful, just shameful.

    • wesley white says:

      my name is wesley white and i feel your pain.i had a stroke on xmas eve,was released from hosp.1/10/2013.have yet to recieve treatment.and my condition is getting worse and there seems to be a dead end,they also refuse to pay hosp. bill.again i feel your pain and good luck!

    • Jim Worcester says:

      I am sorry, I don't think anyone cares enough, except those that are affected. And that is a clear sign that our country is coming apart.

  49. I was in a bad car wreck while stationed in Germany, I injured my back, neck and right knee. My buddy sitting next to me broke his back and had to be medivaced back to the US. I did not seek treatment and have had problems with those injuries ever since, lately more severe due to arthritis. I have buddy statements of the wreck but no records, can I file for compensation on my current Xrays and buddy statements. Thanks

    • Jay,Yes you can file for compensation.Be prepared to wait 25 to 30 years for final decision.

    • I believe that the only way you will get treatment for this is if you can prove it was service related. As long as the injury was caused in the line of duty, and you have solid proof, you're golden.

  50. I have received 40% VA disability since getting out of the service in 1982. Since that time, I had non hogkins lymphoma, stage IV which almost killed me in 2009. While looking, I discovered that the base that I was stationed at, Andrews AFB in Maryland was on the Superfund List and I was not told while there for my duty station but found out that I was exposed to alot of different chemicals to include agent orange and asbestos. It had been 2 years since I first filled out to increase my disability rating. I just got the ratings last week and they said that there were "no such chemicals" but yet I have all the proof. I even went so far in contacting Senator Nelson's office but that went no-where. My service rep was the American Legion but they did nothing for me. My time to go get an attorney to fight them.

    • Is your Congressman a Republican? If so, I rest my case. They are the majority and the cards are stacked in their favor. Sorry, I use to be a die hard Republican, but they are lose cannons when it comes to our soldiers and disabled veterans, but they love WAR……….

    • lambda5555m says:

      I know exactly what you mean. I have two diseases I think were caused by my miltiary service at Fort Polk, Louisiana. I believe the lousy water quality caused them and also caused an unusually high number of miscarriages and when I wrote the Army and the EPA, they both blew me off. I spoke with a lady at the Centers for War Related Illnesses and when I told her what I thought and it was probably the water, she said "I wouldn't be surprised". Probably not going to win this unless there are many Veterans like us and we have to be able to prove it and maybe get lawyers and the media involved? Take a look at what Congress did for The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. Maybe that will help get the ball rolling??? Good luck1

  51. I was injured in Peacetime and worked in the civilian world from 1981-2007. I was making $60,000.00 per year and gave it up due to pain etc. all related to my original military injury. I had a QTC appointment in 2009 where the Doctor stated I could not work anymore. Of course the VA does not read anything and leave it up to the Veteran. I contacted my state Senator and local Congressman and every time I call the VA I am told since I am a "congressional Interest" case, my files have been put on hold. I even had a VA Doctor fill out a 3 page form for Social Security Disability and have been receiving disability payments for 2 years now based on the same information the VA has.
    This is a game the VA likes to play. The longer they can put you off, the more interest they earn on what you would of gotten plus they want you to go back to work, no matter what is wrong with you.
    Thank you to the VA & Congress & The President for the lack of dealing with the backwards VA.

  52. Waiting too long says:

    I filled in 2002, and have gone back and forth with the VA for over 10 years now. Still not resolved. I have not worked since 2001, I'm on SS disability, and have been since 2002. Tha VA has doled out 10% here, and 20% there. It all helps, but I should be on unemployability. I go through the Houston office, and they have been so slow, I've had to be reexamined because it had been "to long" since last exam. ( almost 5 years) This whole thing has been a nightmare. I wish I had not been hurt, and discharged because of my injuries, maybe I could have retired, and be working in the private sector now!!!

  53. In '96 a rapelling accident out of a helicopter tore up my shoulder. I had surgery in '98 that took most of the good stuff out of my shoulder. It took the Army so long to fix me, the ligaments had eaten into the bones and the muscle had atrophied.
    The VA gave me service connection with 0% on my shoulder. They did this because of the scar and only the scar. They had no consideration for the actual surgery, or what I had lost from it. The did not take into consideration the pain I experience, or the weakness I have in my dominant arm. I appealed the decision and they kept it at , "scar 0%." They were just worried about the friggin scar and not what was done to me, or how it affected me.
    This is the VA system and it is broken beyond repair.

    • Appeal Appeal Appeal. Dig into your paper trail and send copies to the VA & your representative organization, if you have one. If you can't work due to your disablement, file for IU-Individual Unemployability. This is separate from schedule rating, which your original claim was.
      The VA should eventually send you to a QTC Doctor. The VA will send you a Disability Benefits Questionnaire to fill out for the QTC Doctor. Keep the appointment & eventually you should gain what is owed.

  54. I have been reading alot of these posts here & I can say I feel for each one of you fighting the system and feel lost.
    What I have done is stayed on top of the VA & the DAV via phone to assure they both have my papers, doctor notes etc get to them. The DAV will send you a confirmation letter on what you sent, so keep a paper trail always.
    Never give up and eventually you will get what you are asking for. I filed a claim in 2007, because I could no longer work. In 2008 I got denied, so filed for IU-Individual Unemployment. The VA in either case sends you to QTC appointments, so make sure you go. And make sure the Doctors there know what you are dealing with.
    Keep on calling your representative organization, DAV etc. & the VA 800-827-1000. I even went up to a Senator & Congressman, which can push your claim up.
    Never give up & eventually you will win. Just like Social Security, the VA likes to stall your claim , hoping you will give up. Never give up!

  55. What crap!! The va system is like the political system Fubar'd .. you help me and I'll help you ,,we both get rich and to hell with the veterans.there is no way any veteran should wait on a claim for as long as I have, 17 months.
    my claim laid somewhere for 8 months before they even claimed they got it.
    I've heard all the excuses that I care to hear. Somebody needs to held accountable for the terrible inefficient way the VA works. If it took 17 months for me to finish a project for an emplpoyer,, I'd be fired and so would my BOSS.
    Come on people get it together

    • Donald Holmes says:

      To the guy who has been waiting for 17 months. It took two years to get my 100% rating after I had filed twice. The first time was in 1978. Impatience, anger, and throwing tantrums will not get it done. Nor will spreading sugar on it. What makes it happen is all those who do not have true injuries, those who conspire to get something for nothing, and those who have no desire to improve themselves, to act like men and accept they have no problems. Theay are the ones that are clogging up the system. And even when you get the benefits realize you will have to live in the bottom 20% of the nations income. But you do get free healthcare for your problems and for those like me that is important. No matter how you feel realize that this is the best country to live in the world and I would defend it with my life anytime it asks me too. America owes me nothing But I owe it everything. Donald Holmes

  56. john c.fisher says:

    I just retired on 2012/04/26…from the US.ARMY OHIO NATIONAL GUARD,and my first claim was file back in 2005. However,since then i refile my claim for 2009-2010…in regards to my PTSD, back injury in the line duty! They always say leave no one behind. Well when the DOD send you orders to go 9000 mile's away to fight in a war an come back ***** up can you help me show me the money. S.SGT.JOHN CLAYTON FISHER,RETIRED.

  57. juan jimenez says:

    Hi
    I was rated 90% but here are my issues. I applied for unemployabilityt was denied. I have been unemployed and on ssdi since 08. Applied for TBI due to memory issues and was told its due to caffeine addiction not the 2 bombs I hit. Lastly, I wassn for sleep apnea and was told I have seizures while I was sleeping. SSI test andtstatedave seizures. Va pue on meds but stated that I do not have seizurees put me on seizure medication which I am still taken.

    • juan jimenez says:

      I am 70% PTSD, 50% sleep apnea, 50% Gerds,20% shrapnel wounds, 10% tinnitus.

    • Donna White says:

      Sounds familiar. They said my husband had tendinitis in his hip and two weeks later, he had total hip replacement. Trust me VA Hospital didn't do the surgery for he would have waited ten years to get something done there. It seems as though our veterans are always getting the short end of the stick.

  58. juan jimenez says:

    I was rated 90%. Placed on ssdi and unable to manage finances but was denied tdui. SSI stated I have seizures after a va sleep apnea test but was denied compensation but giving medication monthly ( that’s like giving a person with a bad heart red bull and viagra shots twice a day)If I do not have seizures why keep me on meds. Also they stated that my memory problems were due to caffeine addiction. I was blown up twice and received 2 purple hearts. It’s not about the money in my case bcuz I am well off trust me and the last time I checked you don’t get rich collecting disability. Do what’s right and stop the bull*@$# ratings.

  59. ROY C.LINDER says:

    What ever happened to the 25 percent increase for fixing the percentage system with today's cost of living I know it was approved then a senator put a hold on it.

    WHAT HAPPEN TO IT. ROY C.LINDER
    23332787

    • Donna White says:

      The Conservatives are to blame for this mess. They are in control. They get their money as soon as they are out. They should have to pay into SS, but no they think they are above our soldiers and disabled vets. This is the reason I am now a Democrat and not a Republican. Stop and think about which party has been in charge of our country in the last 20 years or so.

  60. I am a 100% TDIU veteran. I received my rating on December 25th of last year (2011). I am very grateful that after a 26 month wait I was granted my rating. However, the retroactive date that I was paid was one year and eight months short of the claim date.

    At this point my representative states that it will be another 24 months (from January 2012) until my NOD is reviewed and evaluated for the retroactive pay that was originally due.

    I know this sounds trivial since I am already receiving benefits at 100% but the rules and what happened don't jive. Anyone else in the same boat?

  61. philip kent says:

    what needs to happen at the VA is they need to fire a few dozen of there incompetent people and then start kicking some but. im almost into my 6th year of fighting my claims and even though i am at 70 percent because of the VA math its only about 40 percent of what 100 percent pays. its sad that veterans are put through this. they keep saying most claims are resolved in 125 days, yeah right.

  62. Charles Taylor says:

    Yes, I just got my first C & P exam this july 5 and my claim was submitted in 1998, had been waiting for 14 years because they lost my medical records and when I sent my addition support material (event of a plane collition) that put me in the hostipal for 14 days. they told me they couldn't wait to see it ( 1 day) so they jude me with out the proof of the accidited, Charles good luck to you all

  63. andyb1949 says:

    BTW, I filed a Compensation caim 02/24/2012 and they tell me that estimated completion date is, "08/23/2012 to 01/27/2013." Why would i even think this would happen if it taken a year to put in system that I am married? Makes me fell helpless and depressed.

    • airborne00 says:

      Andy they give u a time frame so that you can keep checking ebenefits and lose your mind in the process. Then they will say that you are able to work since you can sit behind a computer forhours checking you benefits. I do not know where the heck they find these raters but i believe they are on more meds then your average disabled vet.

    • Well be thankful for the early dates!!! However don't count on them. I filled a claim for increase on 1/11/12 and after submitting all the paperwork multiple times with signature conformation of delivery I finally have an exam date of 12/22/12 after filing the request for expedition in June due to the fact I've been unemployable (according to my VA doctor since July 2011) and have dates of completion of 11/11/12- 4/11/13. I've gone thru our life savings and am now facing insolvency and /or imprisonment by the State of Texas for back Child Support! We serve and fight for this GREAT NATION and in return we become yet another statistic that no one wants to talk about; Yet we are faced to live with it day in, and day out!!! Semper Fi

    • it took then 8 months to decide I was married

      • You lucky devil. It's be eight months for me and they are tell me that expect something in January 2013. Been marry all my adult life.

    • Donna White says:

      My husband claim hasn't been looked at and he filed it two years ago. I guess they are waiting on all disabled vets to kick the bucket.

  64. andyb1949 says:

    Had big problem with the system from day one. Finally got a rating and they approved it at the single Vet rate. My approval was last day of Feb.,2012. I took my Marriage license to them on 03/01/2012. Mind you I been married forever and all of my paperwork reflects that. The estimated completion date of 05/06/2012 was given me. Sept 27th I recieved this notice, " The estimated completion date of 05/06/2012 is past due we are still working your claim." Hmmm, that was a waste of time. I knew that. Why not tell me when it will be completed. This is kind of late to tell me that they are late. Been like this forever!!!! What are we to do??

  65. Can someone tell me is this right, you it goes. I received a rating back in Dec 2011, the claim was dated for May 2010, so ok, you get your retro pay. Well just received something from the VA on18 Oct 2012. Now i know I had to pay back my separation pay that I received back in June 1992. Va took all of the money back be before taxes was taking out. I was under the impression that VA was going to take back what I actually received after taxes. I need to know if VA did the right thing or not. How can VA take back something that I never received, that just like the IRS, making you pay taxes twice on the same money. Please help.

    • You might try calling the VA for an explanation & while you are at it ask for a copy of your C file, so you have all your VA papers. I asked and received 600 pages.
      Also if you get nowhere with the VA, contact and attorney or state Senator or Congress representative.
      Good luck there!

    • They are taking back the right amount. Your VA benefits are considered nontaxable therefore when they pay back your separation pay they pay the full amount before taxes. As for the taxes that were held for IRS, you have to request a refund. If your separation check was given during the current tax season then all you need to do is contact DFAS and send in the required documents to get your taxes back. If the tax year has already passed then you need to contact the IRS to get your refund. Keep in mind there is a time limit for this. The IRS is only required to issue a refund for issues within the 3 years of the tax payment. After the 3 year limit it is at their discretion whether they pay you back or not.

      • Eric, thanks for the information, I got out of the military back in 1992. So I am thinking IRS, is not going to give it back to me. I just don't know.

  66. Philip V. Bulone says:

    I'm a Vietnam Veteran receiving VA service connected disability. It took several years to get approved and now the condition has gotten worse I filed for an increase in percentage in July 2011. I was sent for 2 new C&P evaluations and received copies both of which stated my condition has worsened. I was told six months for a decision. It's nearly 1 year since the C&P and the 800 number tells me my cliam hasn't moved. It's frustrating to know that someone applying for welfare, medicade and other government entitlements get them much faster than a veteran's claim. So how long do we have to wait? Or, is the VA waiting for Vietnam Vets to die so they can close the case.

    • I feel for you, as the V.A. is doing the same thing to many veterans,it's a shame, because we did not ask to serve, I lkmow i was part of the last military draft and was told that I had to either serve or go to jail. Now the V.A. is not taking care of me as a veteran and giving me the benefits that I derserve, the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

      Get fighting brother, keep fighting

    • Donna White says:

      Their waiting for them to die. My husband is in the same situation. He has Gad five shoulder sugeries, two knee replacements, one hip replacement and needs to have the other one done ASAP, but they could careless. He is in chronic pain, on strong meds and nothing seems to help .he says if he was an old dog they would put him down. I think we need to put together a million man march and then see what happens. We need to vote these old farts out of office and put in fresh and energetic people to run our House.

    • bill ricketts says:

      I'm a Vietnam Vet. Have a claim for diabetes ll for over a year. I went to the website "iris" I believe and got a letter back saying they are working on it. Claim is to decided by March 28, 2013. We'll see. For diabetes my VA doctor told "boots on ground is all that;s needed".

    • Boy that sounds familar, I too am a Vietnam Vet with Parkinsons and PTSD. I filed a Notice of Disagreement for increase back in April 2011 (for TDIU) and went to my QTC required exams in June 2011 and here it is 23 months and my claim is being processed as a "new claim" with a decision date out to 4-2014! I have 2 more QTC exams I have gone per VARO San Diego's request and they havent used my reports from 6-2011 which were clearly in my favor (I have the copies) I asked them to go forward three times with my claim and they didnt. Yep, they want you to give up or die – VERY pathetic and criminal how veterans are treated.

    • billy underwood says:

      thats what they are wating on

  67. RichardK06 says:

    Anyone interested in a Class Acton Law Suit to get the VA to make decisions on disablity claims? I have a claim from 2010, with still not decision? Honestly, I did not know what I was doing and my first claim I put in was in 2004. Must vets die before anyone is willing to help? If is very frustrating and depressing to get up the nerve to ask for help, just to be put on hold for years!!! I served 20 years in the Army, serving my country, spent a year in Iraq. I have many "Undiagnosed Illnesses of Gulf War Vets", listed on VA.Gov own web site, yet NO action from the VA. We serve our country, but our govement lets us down.

    • Donna White says:

      My husband is in the same position you are in. It seems as though every time e turns around they want this or that. I wanted him to file a Congressional complaint, but he's afraid that would go against him. I told him to do it a two months before the election, but no he wouldn't listen. I urge you to get your Congressman involved. I think they would get on your claim right away and approve it. Try it and let me know

      • Donna,
        Can you tell me what state you live in?
        My problem is that I frist filed in 2004, no knowing what I was doing, I returned from IRAQ in April 2004 and was sent straight home. No post deployment physical, no support, no medical care by the VA as they now have 5 years. Glad you made it back, bye!
        I am a full time service officer and my POA is my boss…my date of claim is June 2010 (inintal claim) and still not done, yet I have provided all the documentation needed for a positive outcome. I have also sought the help of a US Senator, what a joke, no help there either. I work in the VARO, no sense of urgency to get the back log done. To much focus on getting Fully Developed Claims done, They sprinkel in one or two backloag claims with a bunch of FDC so their stats look good, yet vets suffer? The only way I see to get the VA to move is a class action law sutie at the Federal Level.

    • jim worcester says:

      Yes, I am interested in a Class Action law suit. Need to get a pro bono lawyer.

      • lambda5555m says:

        I am interested as well. Probably the only way we are going to make them do the right thing. I know if I want to do anything besides get some media help, a class action lawsuit is the way to go. I got screwed by the Army and the VA and no one cares. I talked to Veteran's Organizations, wrote my Senators, wrote the President and the VA Director. The only one that did anything was the VA Director, but there is still so much wrong. I worked for the Fed Govt and if I was this lousy at my job, I would have been fired, and yes, you can fire a government employee, just need to do the paperwork and the counseling. It can be done just like chaptering someone out of the military. Takes time, but also sets the mark for others to see and what might also happen to them. Writing Congress is a waste of time as they just take whatever bureaucratic response and send it to me and doesn't have the decency to push for me. They are not leaders. Leaders would have fixed things. General Shinseki has done a lot of great things, but those that work for him are the problem, not the Director. It cannot be fixed unless drastic action is taken and the media spotlight is put on them. Maybe having a rally with signs outside the VA Regional Offices might work? I am at my wit's end and doubt that it will get any better, but hey, we are only Disabled Veterans, right? Maybe, maybe, maybe……

    • Jo davis says:

      I would like to have a class action suit to . I have been trying for15 years. Also the V.a dr. Sent them a letter last year. No word from them .

  68. I hear the easiest state to file your claim in with a quick response is Alabama. It only took two months for a friend of ours from the time he filed until the time he got his approval.

  69. wesley white says:

    i had a stroke on xmas,was unconcious.i was taken to a none va hosp,so the va wont help pay the bill.the va seems to care more for pets than vets!!!! nor have i recieved any more treatment for my condition.

  70. Looking for anyone who filed a claim with the VA for CLL that served on a nuclear submarine

  71. i submitted a claim on 2 september 2011, still no response. when i submitted my claim i told them they the majority of them were not qualified to rate us cuz they have never been in the military and have no clue about anything. all they do is go by a list and if you don't fall within one of their subjects on that list you are not qualified for any disability. i literally told them that they could do whatever they wanted and for all i care they can shove it where the sun doesnt' shine. i am sure it will be disapproved.

  72. I have been gong back and forth with my VA claim since June 2010 and everytime I call that 1-800-827-1000, the VA rep can only tell me that my paperwork is pending. I have the DAV representing me and they basically tell me the samething as the 1-800-827-1000 number. What can I do? It has been 2 1/2 years and I provided all requested documents initially and I'm still waiting. REALLY….The government does not care about the Veterans.

  73. carmelo says:

    I was in the marine corp. While in boot camp i injured my back. I finished boot camp with my injury. At my next duty station, i had back surgery. I remianed in the service to complete my 4 year obligation. I searved overseas including Vietnam for a year. While i was still in i always had back pain even after surgery. I applied for disabity when i got out. they awarded me 10% disability.
    After being out for 8 years I decided to join the seabee reserves. I searved a total of 25 years between active and researve. My disability has increased to 40%. I was told that I cannot collect Disability and pension at the same time. What does one have to do with the other. I searved my country proudly and in pain at times. I feel they are screwing me out of my pension. If someone can help or advize me I would greatly appreaciate it. Maybe its time for me to see an attorney and fight this thing

    • Emelia Ford says:

      you van contact me so I can be of help and have your claims get approved.

    • You can see an excellent attorney and fight this this thing but by the time you get the compensation your seeking to your satisfaction or an explanation in lay mans terms that you understand you will be long dead.

    • mmyers1331 says:

      AS far as I know. To receive both Disability and retirement pay your rating must be 50% or higher. the VA is in the process of slowly giving everyone both but it could take you 10 years to get both. 10% of your 40% yearly until you get both 40% disability and 100% retirement.

  74. James Knopp says:

    The VA in not only broken, they have a bunch of incompetent doctors reviewing the C&P medical records. When I went in for an exam to have my benefits, he took every bit of 10 minutes with me and asked me only two questions. After waiting a year and a half I finally got a determination stating they could not prove my worsening back condition was the result of my service connected disability, although the VA wanted to fuse my entire lumbar spine and I had several other doctors examination reports. And please, don't waste your time with the DAV. they're useless also, tying up my claim for most of a year. They also never answer their phone also. I think the VA is thinking all of us Viet Nam era vets will be gone soon if they drag their feet.

    • living in pain says:

      Same happen to me with VA C&P doctor. DAV are a bunch of inexperienced clowns that constantly argue how to submit my claim. The NSO office never answers the phone. Also the C&P doctor said he couldn't find anything wrong with me. The next day I had a appointment with my VA pain management doctor and he said "I would require pain management and a sternum binder due to sternal non-union that hasn't healed since April 2008. I submitted that information as a reconsideration with the VA two years ago and found out from our VA state rep they failed to act on it. Over two years and still waiting on a decision.

  75. matthew williams says:

    I filed my claim with the VA in 2010,the doctor that checked me out ,I must say was some what aged.he ask me three questions,not one of which was about my cancer.Being my first time doing this,I was very confused about the entire process.and more confused about why it's taken so long to be process.

    • I filed a claim in 2010 and I still have not seen a doctor. I have multiple issues and they are all documented in my Military records and they finally responded saying they need more information. I am still waiting for another incompetent to deny my appeal even though my Military records show all these issues occurred while I was on active duty. The VA clinic I attend over looks all my exams that show these issues, then I have to listen to the hospital doctors tell me how efficient they are. I really believe many are delusional with the worst interpersonal communication skills I have seen. On Fridays they have half a day off, I had an appointment one Friday morning but they Doctor could not take time to see me while I watched him and two other Doctors shooting the bull. They don't see a problem.

  76. I am a Nam combat vet. Contacted malaria which led to kidney disease that led to kidney failure. 1 1/2 years on dialysis. Kidney transplant failed after 5 years. Another transplant which is still functional. Now have prostate cancer(terminal). All of this cost me 2 kidneys, my brother a kidney(donated one for transplant which failed) ! prostate and loss , any semblance of a man(hormone therapy) Also cost me my profession as fiirefighter..I started the va claim process in 1975. Finally awarded 100% in 2002. Was a long and overly hard fight. I would pay back all money I have received 10 fold if I could have my kidneys and prostate back along with my career. Yes, va is broken.

  77. lambda5555m says:

    You know it doesn't matter how fast they get the claims processed or how many are digital, if they still give the wrong disability determinations. They deny, deny, deny and then deny again. That seems to be the case in the Atlanta Regional Office. Maybe the money went for all the bonuses for the Executives of the VA and VA Regional Offices. It appears that there is plenty of money available for $100 million dollars for conferences for a year, but not enough to give us the correct disability ratings we unfortunately earned. It is incredible that they just don't care. The incompetence of the records examiners missing serious diseases in your medical records that the Army as well as the VA didn't bother to tell me about or even treat me! How can they get away with it? They say it isn't "service-connected" when I know it is, but say it isn't, then they at least could have told me and treated me, right? Wrong. I find out over a decade later that I have it and could have died from it, but they both refuse to do anything about it. Well, I am sick and tired of the crappy determinations they make. The examiner could be someone who has a high-school education, has no disability, was never in the military, never served in a combat zone and has absolutely no professional medical training. This is one of the big reasons that our determinations suck so bad. I asked for the statistics of the examiners as far as training, education, experience, veteran's status, etc., just the numbers, but the VA flat out said NO!!! Imagine that. I tried a FOIA, but even that didn't work, so I am figuring if they don't want to give it to me, then there must be a problem otherwise, why can't I have the info??? Guess I am going to have to take all my medical records and put them in a wagon and go down to CNN and see if someone will do a story on what is going on. I wonder if even that would work. I am sick and tired, sick and tired, sick and tired of the VA just denying claims because they want to and can. They have no regard for the Veteran and are not interested in helping us get the right ratings and grudgingly after years, give you a small percentage. They act like it is their money, and want to continually deny us and keep the money expenditures down. When are we going to get some relief? When are we going to get some people with a spine in the VA that will fix these problems? It is painfully obvious that the VA isn't going to do it, the Veteran Service Organizations aren't going to do it, our politicians aren't going to do it, so what's left? I guess it will just have to be public humiliation that might just do the trick. Anyone agree or disagree. What is the SOLUTION????

    • Emelia Ford says:

      Where are you, right now? If you are in the Philippines I know someone who can hepl you expedite your cllaim and have a 100% approved VA disability claims.

    • I have to disagree that public humiliation will do the trick to the VA, that is called 'Fame' to them.The regulations and laws that protect the federal employee make it almost impossible to terminate federal employees.They know this and it gets the employee to just make sure they are able to be at work for the 8 hrs/day. They just watch the clock and figure out the things that have to be done at home, on weekends,calculate what to do with the money they get on pay day.. They can do this 40 hours a week and still look like they are working on something that is work related. They know when the coffee is ready and the timing to make certain moves and open certain cabinets to look busy. They realize they have to commit murder and related offenses to get written up. They know their job is so well protected if they are not late or miss work beyond the allotted time and use the 40 hrs at work to figure this out almost automatically. The job ends up being at work physically and to do the movements that are needed to look like they are busy with something work related and they will keep the job indefinitely. It is very hard to get fired. They are well aware of this. But sometimes they end up with too much thought time. When this happens they just have to do some actual work on claims or whatever their job is to fill in this excessive thought time. This is one reason a claim,let's say, takes 2 to 6 months to finish when it truly can be accomplished in a little under 2 days. It could be done in 13 to 14 hours if it doesn't interfere with the 'Home life Thought Time'.

  78. Yes its broken and need a major Over haul ASAP.

    It may be here but I got tired of looking.

    Please tell me why Does the VA treat Reserve Military as though they do not exist when it comes to disability? Their Regs refer only to Active duty. Reservist complete IDT, AIT, ADSW, ANNUAL TRANING. Almost All conducted on orders. They have accidents and get hurt during these training days. those that know better get LOD's to cover them, and most of the time are told to file it as a claim with VA. Only to be Denied disability by the VA because they claim it did not happen on active duty. Every time a Military Member puts on a Uniform and report for duty they should be covered. Military members get Disability from the DOD and VA denies it all. How can this be when the Army says the issues did not exist prior to service and was aggravated by service? How can a Line of Duty not be Service connected when it happened while on duty? Please make me understand this or tell me where to post it.

    • charles grainger says:

      5 yrs active 12 yrs reerves and but my reserve years don't count. iwas pissed when I found out and denied any help.

  79. Richard Kath says:

    The VA is a fairly new administration -what 8-9 decades. As any organization , you learn more as time and experience take place. The VA just recently figured out the correct spelling of denied. Have patients these new devises that do some auto spelling should help.(in our lifetime !!!)

  80. No, It's in perfectly working order#1

    • I got my appt I asked for 13 months ago. The VA will see me on March 21, 2016.They will send a reminder card if they don't forget. This card should arrive via USPS in or around December of 2015. Finally!!

  81. SGT.E5 CROSS says:

    I AM VIETNAM VET WITH PURPLE HEART.I DIDNT KNOW A THING ABOUT PTSD UNTIL 2000 I THEN WENT TO DUBLIN VA.THE FIRST DAY I WAS THERE I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PTSD AND AWARDED 30% I HAVE TRIED NOW FOR THE LAST 14 YEARS TO GET THE RATEING CHANGED I HAVE SEEN MULTIPLE DIFFERENT DRS.FROM DUBLIN AND AUGUSTA AND ATLANTA AND IM STILL BATTLING NOW ITS A NEVER ENDING FIGHT I DONT KNOW WHERE TO TURN NEXT IT SEEMS THAT A FEW PEOPLE INSIDE THE VA WANT TO HELP BUT WE ARE WAY WAY OUTNUMBERED THANKS FOR LISTENING

  82. flanders says:

    benfits for vet is far from broken, It is a mess the right hand and left hand are lost,they send your claim to other offices in another state you get benfits then it goes back to state you went to and they have no clue you are getting anything.do the paper work all over again.

    • mmyers1331 says:

      It is happening to me to. I use Cleveland VA Hospital. My claim for
      a re-evaluation has been sent to Detroit Mi. Va Hospital, Due to extremely long process time I had to resubmit to the VA and my doctors a release of information authorizations. Now everything is back on hold until who knows when.