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Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:03 PM

VFW argues abrupt VA change will 'erode veterans right to competent representation' in benefits figh

Source: Stars and Stripes

Home News Veterans

VFW argues abrupt VA change will 'erode veterans right to competent representation' in benefits fights

By NIKKI WENTLING Stars and Stripes Published: April 1, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs is ending a decades-old practice of allowing veterans service representatives to review benefits decisions for accuracy before those decisions are finalized and sent to veterans.

Veterans of Foreign Wars, which employs about 300 representatives across the country, argues the change will lead to more problems -- and paperwork -- for veterans. Paul Lawrence, the VA undersecretary of benefits, announced the change at a meeting with veterans groups last week, said Ryan Gallucci, a director at the VFW's office in Washington. It will take effect at the end of April.

"This is a last-chance quality review," Gallucci said. "We raised our concerns and said we'd really appreciate the ability to demonstrate why it's so important, but he basically said his mind was made up. This was happening, whether we agreed or not."

As outlined in a VA manual, representatives accredited by the VA have 48 hours to review new rating decisions on behalf of their veteran clients. The decisions determine the level of compensation for service-connected injuries and illnesses.

{snip}

The representatives check for inadvertent errors that could save veterans from having to file appeals or to request VA reviews. VFW representatives find errors in 5% to 7% of claims, Gallucci said.

Read more: https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/vfw-argues-abrupt-va-change-will-erode-veterans-right-to-competent-representation-in-benefits-fights-1.624505

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Reply VFW argues abrupt VA change will 'erode veterans right to competent representation' in benefits figh (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 1 OP
Lulu KC Apr 1 #1
exboyfil Apr 1 #2
Lulu KC Apr 1 #3
Haggis for Breakfast Apr 1 #8
Lulu KC Apr 1 #9
Bernardo de La Paz Apr 1 #4
Traildogbob Apr 1 #5
mountain grammy Apr 2 #10
TomSlick Apr 1 #6
NotHardly Apr 1 #7
MissMillie Apr 2 #11
soryang Apr 2 #12

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:07 PM

1. I am so out of this loop

Does VFW actually wield power?
Does this mean that veterans will be pushing back against current administration?

That is what I am assuming, and I'm taking that as good news. Bad news: They won't listen right now. Still, imagining veterans in MAGA hats being mobilized to push back is a beautiful sight.

Thanks for any background in advance.

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Response to Lulu KC (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:15 PM

2. The VFW basically allowed Trump

to have a campaign rally at their national meeting. So f--k them.

https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/trump-s-vfw-remarks-go-from-praise-to-politics-1.539203

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:16 PM

3. Groaning

Sorry, VFW! You lie down with dogs, fleas you get.

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Response to Lulu KC (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 10:22 PM

8. You bet the VFW wields power.

The Big Six VSOs (veteran service organizations) are some of the most powerful groups in the country. And that's a good thing, especially in this administration. BTW, the "Big Six" are: The American Legion, The VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Disabled American Veterans (DVA) and AmVets. Not included among this group is the Concerned Veterans of America (CVA), which is NOT a veterans service organization, but a lobbying group (and yes, they are registered as just that) financed entirely by the far-right wing Koch Brothers. They have ONE agenda and that is to privatize the VA. Until trumpie came into office, the CVA was never invited to the table.

If you want to know the best chronicle of this debacle, read Dr. David Shulkin's recent (2019) book, "It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country," published by the Hachette Group. The ninth Secretary of the VA, Dr. Shulkin reveals in detail the interference, subterfuge and undermining he faced in trying to bring the best possible care to veterans. He never knew what he was up against, which was trumpie's shadow VA "experts" -- Ike Perlmutter (CEO of Marvel Comics), Bruce Moskowitz (a West Palm Beach MD with a small private practice) and a lawyer. They, too, were set on privatizing the VA.

After 18 months, Dr. Shulkin was fired by trumpie in a tweet because he refused all efforts to put the VA in the hands of trump cronies and privatize the system.

The VA is NOT just another hospital or HMO. The patients they see have an entirely different set of circumstances and underlying needs. Hospitals do not train their staff in the delicate sensitivity of dealing with traumatized minds, shattered souls and broken people.

Thank god for the "Big Six."

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Response to Haggis for Breakfast (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 11:39 PM

9. A whole new thing to learn about

during this shut down aka learning experience. Thanks for info.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:20 PM

4. Love the troops & the fetus; hate the child and the vet: that is the Republicon-Trump Party. . nt

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:33 PM

5. Never forget

Trump appointed 3 Mar-A-Logo lifers, non vets, no experience in such a large organization, to lead the Veterans Affairs. His biggest lap dog, Mark Meadows, co sponsored a bill to close/privatize the Hospital in his own district. Actually one of the top rated in the country. I know, I go there and love everything about it. Exceptional care. But when I go, you would not believe the trump bumper stickers in the huge parking lot and the MAGA garb worn by so many inside. They will bow to trump until they lose EVERTHING, probably even then. This is not from TBI in war, it is TBI from Fox, right/white wing bullshit, guns and Jesus. Brain washed cultists. I love my fellow veterans, but damn, they are so far gone, they will cut their own life line and die for this GOP shit how.

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Response to Traildogbob (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 2, 2020, 12:11 AM

10. It's really disheartening to see vets supporting this fool..

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:56 PM

6. I am not a fan of the VFW but Trump pisses off the VFW at his peril.

The VFW isn't the NRA but the VFW can turn a good chunk of Trump's base against him.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 08:04 PM

7. Republicans never let any opportunity to screw people over go to waste...

not even in the middle of a pandemic

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Apr 2, 2020, 07:08 AM

11. If everybody had health care

No one would have to fight for "coverage"

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