Use full array of qualified, certified VSOs to process claims...not just VA employees
There is no reason to have all the county and state VSOs twidling their thumbs while many VA employees are complacent, unqualified, or overworked.
It is so true! I have experienced these unqualified VA employees and one manager who treats Soldiers, like me by-the-number. I have over 29 years of military service who have been placed in the DoD and VA's 2009 mandated Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) that was created to speed the VA Rating and subsequently within 2 days in receipt of VA Rating a disability separation can be achieved. I am the prime example of this IDES system failure to execute its purpose. I have been in the IDES process for over 16 months. For the last two weeks, I called the VA (800-827-1000) and made three written inquiries' through their VA IRIS Online Inquiries. These employees are rude and unqualified based on their responses and actions. They even go as far as hanging the phone because I was on the phone for over 25minutes - she said 'Thank you for calling, I have other Soldier's that need my service. I am only allowed 30minutes per call.' Then the VA IRIS manager who answered two of my written inquiries were all lies and unprofessional. I also include my two VA Military Support Coordinator (MSC) who was assigned at my initial interview during the IDES process. My first assigned was remove and my second just got removed this month May 2013. I am still awaiting my third MSC, his supervisor was to select and inform me. It has been two weeks passed and she has not contacted me yet. These VA staff are all located at Los Angeles area. I also have two PEBLO officers whom the first was a dinosaur of informations and just distracted from his purpose on the job that he just come to work at FT Irwin to collect his paycheck. I am discussed of their inappropriate action and inaction that if these are happening to a senior Noncommissioned Officer, I am sure it is happening to younger Soldier's who have combat and/or service connected injuries.
James K. commented
I totally agree with your statement. Why have a registry if you're not going to use that information as a base to help the veterans. There's too many health providers who just don't know the laws and regulations of the VA. PVA is one of the many VSO's that understand the needs of the veterans because of their specialty. I can't say that for some of the others. It's just a numbers game and a political game to them. James K.
James K. commented
I would like to add that not all CVSO's, State and or National CVSO's twiddle their thumbs. We do pretty good in the State of California, Especially Southern California. I was a Senior Veterans Benefits Advocate before I retired in San Diego and spent almost 17 years combined services with the VFW, PVA and the County. Yes, there are some complacent and unlearned VSR's and RVSR's, but I'll blame their Coaches and their Directors and their Veterans Services Managers. They are the ones that need to buckle up or ship out. Too many veterans are being denied for benefits because of their lack of knowledge and especially experience. How can you tell me that a RVSR with less than 5 years know what they are doing. It took me almost 10 years of continuous training from all levels, federal, state and local laws and regulations. On top of that I'm constantly learning everyday by reading and investigating the problem and trying to find solutions to help the veterans who need it the most. This Back Log has been around since Anthony Principi was in charge and it's not going to go away by putting in more man hours at each of the 58 RO's.
What the VA really need is to get their former RVSR's who are retired and offer them their job back for the time being to teach these new RVSR's and VSR's on the block. start by breaking down the problem and solving each issue. Look folks do you really think that the veterans are going to get better treatment. Just ask the veterans of the past wars and they will tell you. In the VBA and the VHA, their are way to many I don't, and I don't care folks. Plus a lot of mismanagement and training. You want to know the real problem, just ask your local VSO's, they will either tell you that I'm right or will tell you that I'm nuts and the VBA is right on track. If you believe that, then ask why the VBA don't inform the veterans that they can seek assistance by telling them to see their local CVSO or NSO at the RO's. Have of the veterans don't know what a VA Form 21 is in the first place. Any questions, I'd sure like to have feedback from the VBA & VHA on this delicate matters. Thanks for listening Veterans. James K.
5 years ago, when my body finally up and quit on me, I signed up for the PGW registry. After the exam, and after seeing several specialists, I went to the County VSO (Paid by the state) in York, PA. The VSO looked at all my stuff, and then told me since I was a National Guard soldier, I was not eligible for VA benefits, and that I should expect to get a bill from the VA for the services they provided to me. I then called the VFW, and they did not have any VSO's, the gentleman told me that if that's what the county VSO told me, then it has to be true.
I proceeded to file online. The first C&P done a the Lebanon VAMC, the PA doing the C&P Looked at my records, and said there was more then enough information, and he was going to cut and paste the report. I was out in less then 5 mins. When I got a copy of the report, I was stunned. He contradicted everything the VA specialists wrote up on me. He even made remarks concerning my hearing, even though that was another C&P. He then summed everything up by saying he felt all my symptoms were due to depression (Nothing in my records anywhere even hinted at that).
I wrote the RO a letter, pointing out everywhere he was wrong, and where they could verify my side. The RO deferred everything but the hearing, and gave me new C&P's, After one DRO review, I was awarded 100% back to the original date.
VSO's need to be much better trained.
Do not use PA's, for C&P exams.
The Gulf War general protocol C&P exam, should be mandatory for all first time claim exams.
The Gulf War Registry exam should suffice for most portions of a C&P exam.