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Denver Post Interviews Joe Moore

“VA problems extend beyond delayed care, Colorado vets say.”

Reporter David Olinger at the Denver Post nails it: the tragic healthcare scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where Veterans died waiting for medical appointments, is inextricably intertwined with agency’s inability to process disability benefit claims in a timely and accurate manner.

The damage inflicted by VA on Veterans is significant.  Every year, the agency’s widely publicized delays and denials are severely harming hundreds of thousands Veterans seeking assistance from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the VA agency providing healthcare, and the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the VA agency responsible for processing disability benefit claims.

Olinger Interviews Moore

In a story published Sunday, June 8, Olinger interviews Bergmann & Moore partner Joe Moore and reveals how Veterans in Colorado face unconscionable and outrageous delays and denials when seeking VHA health care and VBA disability benefits.

“The unreported scandal at the VA … is a [disability claim] appeals system that leaves thousands of Veterans dying before they ever get approval to wait for medical care at a hospital.”

In December 2012, Reporter Aaron Glantz at the Center for Investigative Reporting broke the original story about Veterans dying while waiting for VBA claim decisions.  What needs additional news coverage is how VBA’s claim appeal crisis continues deteriorating: As of June 9, 2014, VA reported an all-time record high 276,445 disability benefit claim appeals pending, usually for four to five years.  That’s unacceptable.

VHA and VBA

When combined, the chronic VBA and VHA delays cause enormous frustration for Veterans and their families who go without urgently needed medical treatment and without disability benefits to pay their rent and feed their families.

Many of our Veterans lack free VHA medical care for their conditions while their VBA claim appeal is pending. That’s because VHA’s healthcare eligibility rules are complicated: most Veterans must have an approved (“granted” or “service-connected”) disability claim from the VBA before receiving free VHA medical care.

VHA’s web site makes it clear: “The number of Veterans who can be enrolled in the [VHA] health care program is determined by the amount of money Congress gives VA each year. Since funds are limited, VA set up Priority Groups to make sure that certain groups of Veterans are able to be enrolled before others.”

Whistleblower Code Word: “Tender Vittles”

VA’s most recently publicized woes began several months ago when an unprecedented number of brave whistleblowers who shared key VA documents with CNN’s clandestine investigation.  In one example more apt for a spy novel, a VA employee insisted on using the code phrase “Tender Vittles” before handing CNN information about VA’s secret waiting lists for medical care.

In addition to CNN’s exemplary news coverage, plus several contentious Congressional hearings, Bergmann & Moore’s blog consistently provides regular updates about VA.  In dozens of media interviews in the past few years, partners Glenn Bergmann and Joe Moore have thoroughly and accurately described VBA’s challenges and offered practical solutions so Veterans receive prompt and accurate disability benefits.

Sunday’s Denver Post article follows fresh on the heels of reports by USA Today, the Austin American-Statesman, CNN, and Army Timesquoting Bergmann & Moore and confirming that VA’s serious delays and denials for both medical treatment and disability claims have been the tragic norm at VHA and VBA for many years.

Managed by former VA attorneys, Bergmann & Moore is a national law firm that has helped thousands of Veterans and families obtain the VA disability benefits they earned.  Call us if you are unemployed due to your military service or have lost a loved one due to a service-related disease or injury.

0 Response

  1. Rossy Singer via Facebook

    The VA is so far behind insurance companies, hospitals, and doctor’s offices; these entities have access to personal medical information via an electronic/health medical record data base. Why doesn’t the VA have access to the same instantaneous technology? Why does a veteran or the VA have to collect medical records via paper form in 2014?

    If the IRS can pinpoint where an individual has worked in the last (however many years) by entering a social security number, why can’t the VA do the same thing; especially-if the VA is trying to determine a veteran’s work instability? Why is there so much delay when it comes to important matters?

    Why does it take the VA so long to show that evidence and information has been received when it is uploaded via http://www.ebenefits.com or faxed in over (10) days ago?

    Why does the VA take so long to release a veteran’s C&P examination after a signed request has been submitted more than (15) days ago and the signed request is also uploaded real-time via http://www.ebenefits.com?

    Can someone explain how the VA gets away with all-things-bad; it is an entity that is down-right manipulative. It uses delay tactics to discourage and anger veterans in the worst kind of way.

    In the last two days, I have seen the closed date of one or my historical claims changed from 8/22/2007 to 2011; As a matter of fact, I’ve even seen the same historical claim disappear from my http://www.ebenefits.com account from an hour ago. It’s a good thing I am technically savvy and I know how to copy and paste information in the event I need to prove my case.

  2. Rossy Singer via Facebook

    As a veteran who has been denied VA Healthcare for over sixteen years, I have to speak up. With letters of healthcare eligibility in hand, I was told that my letters were mistakes. These letters came in the mail almost yearly since my discharge; but my local VA denied me the much needed care over and over again.

    Currently, I have an open case for compensation submitted over a year ago. Yes, the one year anniversary of my application for benefits has come and gone. My application is in the “Gathering of Evidence.” In the “What We Still Need from Others” category it says that as of this morning (6/18/2014); the VA sent Form 21-4192 to my former employers on June 3, 2014.

    In reference to my 1st employer: based upon my conversation with this employers’ human resources office the form was completed timely and faxed directly to the VA on June 5, 2014 with a confirmation receipt number; but, to date the VA has still not acknowledged receipt of the form. The VA has given each employer until July 3, 2014 to return Form 21-4192; which at this point is a notorious delay tactic by the VA because what they’re showing me is they’re just buying more time to frustrate the situation even more.

    In reference to my 2nd employer: what a difference a few hours make from this morning to this afternoon. Here is what I mean: the VA just updated this employers’ negative response to Form 21-4192. It is dated 6/16/2014. Mind you –the date field was blank as of this morning (6/18/2014). Why did the VA receive a negative response? It’s probably because I haven’t worked for this employer since 2005 and my employee file has been purged.

    Initially the VA wanted the last three of my employers to complete Form 21-4192; but-later the VA decided it wanted the last four of my employers to complete the form. Although I am female; the VA has referred to me as a male. When it really counts I hope minor mistakes by the VA don’t have a major negative impact on my case for benefits.

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