31 March 2015

VA Web Sites Reference C-123 Vets, But Still ORDERS ALL Our Claims Denied

VA has over the years begun mentioning C-123 veterans on their web pages. Initially, the single page with C-123 information was a solitary note dedicated to explaining VA's opposition, As time passed VA then added information from the flawed USAF 2012 C-123 Consultative Letter.

Although the authoritative Institute of Medicine C-123 report on 9 January 2015 identified fatal scientific flaws and erroneous conclusions in the USAF C-123 Consultative Letter, it remains on-line, unamended, without note as to any corrections, and cited by VA in its "Scientific Review of Agent Orange in C-123 Aircraft."

That was the sole Internet VA document for quite some time, but as more and more proofs of C-123 veterans' Agent Orange exposure evolved, VA used more Internet pages to dismiss the proofs

Today, VBA Compensation and Pension Agent Orange Desk continues to order claims denied, although the current VBA approach is often to order claims "postponed" indefinitely without decision. That step even blocks the veteran's appeal of a denied claim because the Board of Veterans Appeals only accepts denials: preventing denials by stamping "postponed" on them sends claims into a wilderness of wasted years.

• Scientific Review of Agent Orange in C-123 Aircraft 

• Agent Orange Residue on Post-Vietnam War Airplanes

• Institute of Medicine Reports on Agent Orange (VA summation page)

• Exposure to Agent Orange by Location  – Public Health

The other official document addressing C-123 exposures is Fact Sheet for the Honorable Richard M. Burr Regarding Processing of Disability Claims Based on Agent Orange (AO) Exposure Aboard C-123 Aircraft Outside the Republic of Vietnam, authored by the VBA Compensation and Pension Agent Orange Desk for Secretary Shinseki's signature. The Fact Sheet is now two years old with more current VA and IOM investigations clarifying its numerous fatal flaws, but has not been updated.

While error-laden and carefully deceptive of the senators to whom it was addressed, it remains VA's position and vehicle by which all claims continue to be denied...or "postponed." The C-123 veterans authored a response to the Fact Sheet which was submitted, with source documents but without VA response, to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

While cited in its own VAM21-1M1 manual for claims adjudication, the March 2014 Joint Services Records Research Center affirmation of C-123 veterans' Agent Orange exposure and harm has been ignored by VA. In the manual, and in previous denials of C-123 claims, a negative JSRRC response to a VA inquiry is cited as authority to deny a claim. Currently, all positive JSRRC responses are ignored by VA to avoid any impact on these claims and to better reflect the preferences of Compensation and Pension Service that the claims be obstructed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? Nothing commercial or off-topic, please.