12 September 2013

VA Saves Huge $$ By Denying and Delaying Veterans' Disability Claims (part 2)

VA Saves Big $$$ By Delaying Veterans’ Claims:

Too often folks think a delayed VA claim is merely that...postponement of compensation which will all catch up eventually. That is a terribly wrong impression. 
The truth is so much worse...the awful truth is that the VA saves immense amounts of their budget by denying claims whenever possible, and by postponing approvals as long as possible. While some veterans’ disabilities are minor, other vets are left, or become, totally disabled with military injuries, without funds, without medical care, and with families left destitute until some day a VA clerk gets around to approving their claim after years waiting. (And, yes, we understand that current discharged troops have an extended period of VA medical care, but none of the other disability benefits essential to life after injury.)
The advantages and savings (to the VA) are obvious when you think about it:

      • No medical care at all (VA estimate: $600 per visit) is provided during the application phase or appeal – a two year wait for a claim to be denied followed by a two-three year wait to reach the BVA means five years of VA savings by not providing any care at all
  • All dental, pharmacy, vision, rehabilitation, wheelchairs, crutches, prosthetics, lab, imaging, social services and every other vital care is refused until a claim is finally approved; denied medical care for such things worsens the impact of the veteran's service-connected injury–an untreated dental or other infection can kill a veteran with heart disease or other illness. Cancers (and despair!) can kill a veteran long before the VA finishes considering even the initial claim
  • No travel pay or special clinics, such as the Spinal Cord Injury Centers 
  • No clothing allowances for prosthetic or medication-damaged clothing
  • No federal or state disabled veteran hiring preference
  • No Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance, nor provision for the one year of free VGLI
  • No family benefits, such as ChampVA and dependents’ educational allowance (the loss or even delay of these two can be devastating to college-age families, where students waiting for a parent's disability claim can't get the vital Dependents Educational Allowance, placing college beyond the means of most disabled veteran parents!)
  • No military commissary privileges, nor space-available flights
  • No adaptive housing or vehicle allowances
  • No interest paid on retroactive claim settlements; no reimbursement for medical bills paid by veteran for military injuries before claim is approved
  • No state benefits, such as free tuition for veterans or their dependents, property taxes, auto allowances; no disabled veteran hiring preference until claim is approved; no fee-free VA Home Loan until veteran rated "service connected disabled"
  • If the veteran dies without eligible survivors, even the retroactive disability payments are “saved”
  • Adaptive housing and other special housing needs denied until claim awarded means veteran usually pays for such modifications rather than wait
  • No clothing or automobile allowances
  • No aid & attendance allowance, nor nursing home
  • No burial allowance if veteran dies before claim awarded
  • If the veteran dies before claim is decided, in the event of a denial the survivors have a much poorer chance of successful appeals without the veteran's personal knowledge and input to the appeal, thus saving the VA years of DIC, CHAMPVA, etc.

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