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Morning Muster: 2/25/2015 Disability claims processed incorrectly, VA secretary apologizes, #keepthepromise

Boston VA processes 23% of disability claims incorrectly; IT budget goes toward vet care improvements; Routh guilty of murder; VA secretary apologizes; VA secretary apologizes again; and then he apologizes again; DAV storms Capitol Hill this week, focuses on women’s issues; war reporter Kathy Gannon to receive medal; vet who lost two limbs in Iraq set to dance with the stars

CBS News talked to five whistleblowers about claims that were stashed in a filing cabinet in the Oakland, California, VA regional office and ignored. The office has long had problems, and Bergmann & Moore testified before Congress about delays in claims there.

A new VA Inspector General report out of Boston shows the office did not properly process 21 of 90 disability claims they reviewed. Staff did not always remind people of their appointments, traumatic brain injury claims were incorrect and six of 30 compensation claims were inaccurate because of “insufficient refresher training.” The IG notes that this is an improvement from the last inspection in 2011.

VA plans to use half its 2016 IT budget to help give vets better access to their health records, develop telehealth methods and create better scheduling systems, reports Fedscoop’s Dan Verton.

A jury found Eddie Ray Routh, the man who admitted killing sniper Chris Kyle, guilty of murder last night, reports the Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe.

After VA Secretary Bob McDonald apologized for saying he served in the special operations forces, some vets responded with outrage, and others accepted the apology, reports Stars & Stripes’  Travis J. Tritten.

Not only did McDonald apologize, he called veterans’ groups and lawmakers to apologize personally, reports the Washington Post’s Emily Wax-Thibodeaux.

And then he apologized again on VA’s blog.

Disabled American Veterans is in Washington, D.C., this week, and spent Tuesday canvasing Capitol Hill for #operationkeepthepromise. The veterans’ service organization is homing in on female veterans and caregivers this year. They released a report recently laying out just what needs to be done for women to feel comfortable in VA’s medical system—including ensuring that the two-thirds of VA facilities that don’t employ full-time obstetricians or gynecologists do some hiring.

The Associated Press reporter Kathy Gannon will receive a McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage after colleague Anja Niedringhaus was killed and Gannon was shot in the arm, hand and shoulder while reporting in Afghanistan in April, reports the Poynter Institute’s Benjamin Mullin. Gannon said she plans to return to Afghanistan.

Retired Army Sgt. Noah Galloway, who lost an arm and a leg in an explosion in Iraq, will compete on “Dancing with the Stars,” reports Military Times’ Jon R. Anderson.

Bergmann & Moore, LLC, is a national law firm dedicated to serving the needs of veterans in compensation claims before and against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The firm’s partners are former VA attorneys who are very familiar with the VA system. Bergmann & Moore handles all kinds of cases, but has a concentration in claims involving PTSD, military sexual trauma, Gulf War illness and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, to submit news or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at kkennedy@vetlawyers.com.

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