100K chart
This week, VA reduced the disability claims backlog to 98,535. This is the lowest it has ever been in VA’s history, and it represents an 84-percent reduction from its peak of 611,000 claims in March 2013.

But this milestone is also personal. I am a Veteran, my husband is a Veteran, and I have countless friends and family members who are Veterans. I came to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) four years ago knowing there was no more noble mission than to care for Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and Survivors.

On day one, I knew that demand for compensation and other VA benefits was exploding. The backlog of claims older than 125 days was over half a million and climbing, and the claims inventory was nearly 800,000 and rising. You were waiting too long for your disability claim decisions, and that wasn’t right.

In 2009, VA set a goal to process claims in an average of 125 days. Shortly after my arrival at VBA in 2011, we set in motion the Transformation Plan – a series of people, process, and technology initiatives that, when integrated, would bring the backlog down. Today’s numbers are a reflection of the success of this plan.

It hasn’t only been personal to me. It’s been personal to all VBA employees – 53 percent of whom are Veterans themselves and many more are family members of Veterans—and to Veterans Health Administration physicians and staff and IT colleagues who have gone above and beyond to provide you with the medical examinations needed to support your claims.

It was through the efforts of these employees, our team members and partners that we were able to achieve such a dramatic reduction in the backlog, without sacrificing quality: claims-based quality has risen from 83 percent at the start of transformation to 91 percent today – and holding strong – and on the eight separate quality categories measured within a claim, employees are making the correct decision more than 98% of the time. With the help of the Congress, our partners in Veterans Service Organizations state and county Veterans service departments, and the support of our Labor partners:

  • We are on track to complete nearly 1.4 million claims this fiscal year – exceeding 1 million claims for the fifth year in a row, and setting a new historical record.
  • We’re expediting your claims – thanks to you and our VSO partners, nearly half of the claims we receive are Fully Developed Claims – and today, Veterans with a pending claim have been waiting, on average, 105 days for a claim decision, 177 days less than the March 2013 peak of 282 days.
  • We’ve completed nearly 75 percent more non-rating work than before transformation – and we’ve already completed more non-rating work this year than we did in all of last year. Most non-rating claims are filed after receiving a rating claim decision that opened access to other VA benefits and services, such as adding dependents.
  • Our appeals rate has remained in the historical average range of 10 to 12 percent amidst our increased production – volume went up, because we decided more claims. When you work a record-setting number of claims, volume goes up. There are only two ways to best tackle appeals – legislative reform or more full-time employees authorized by Congress.

As you can see, many people had a hand in personally helping VA reach this backlog milestone. But I know it’s most personal to each and every one of you.

We (VA) changed for you.

We streamlined our processes; we moved out of antiquated systems; we got away from thousands of tons of paper; we met you online so that you could access us wherever and whenever you needed; and many of you changed right along with us. You’ve embraced new things like filing Fully Developed Claims and using standardized forms. Your teamwork with us as we implemented these changes was significant, and we thank you for doing your part in making VA better for every Veteran.

For the fastest processing, your evidence should be submitted as early as possible in the claims process, but we will always consider additional evidence or new medical conditions you add—no matter how late in the claims process you add that material. We take seriously our legal duty to assist you in fully developing your claim, but there are some instances where your personal circumstances – and our legal duty to assist you – may cause it to take more than 125 days to process your claim:

  •  If you add a new disability to a claim you already submitted to us or submit new, additional evidence for an already submitted claim
  • If you are unable to make scheduled medical exams for personal reasons, such as travel, living overseas, medical issues, etc.
  • If VA identifies additional disabilities while we are processing your claim that are related to your service-connected disabilities that you did not claim
  • If VA identifies additional entitlements, such as adapted housing benefits or additional monetary benefits if you are unable to achieve employment as a result of severe service-connected disabilities, we will still complete your claim but these entitlements may take longer than 125 days.

We anticipate that these categories will only account for approximately 10 percent of all claims we receive – the vast majority of your claims will be decided in 125 days. These situations do not mean we will stop striving to give you the best possible service, or that we no longer need your support.

Far from it!

As we mark this important milestone in our history, we commit to you that we will continue our efforts to improve; we will never waiver in our dedication to providing the best possible service to you, your families, and your Survivors. With our success in reducing the backlog through transformation, we have called on our VSO partners and the Congress to support us in ensuring we continue to receive the resources and legislative authorities we need to build upon our improvements – especially for non-rating and appeals work. I need you to echo that call.
We are not done. We will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf. Above all, I thank you for your service to our country – for you are our inspiration every day.

AHAllison Hickey serves as VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs leading more than 20,000 employees in the Veterans Benefits Administration delivering of a wide range of integrated programs of non-medical benefits and service to more than 12 million Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and Survivors. Under Secretary Hickey served 27 years in the United States Air Force on Active Duty, in the Air National Guard, and in the Air Force Reserve, retiring with the rank of Brigadier General as the Director of the Air Force’s Future Total Force office at the Pentagon. She is also a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the first class to include women.

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Published on Aug. 24, 2015

Estimated reading time is 5.8 min.

Views to date: 614


  1. Dian D. Hughes September 14, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I found this VA email insulting!
    I have had a claim submitted for my father a veteran of WWII since June 2014 with no results I have visited the local VA office several times, I have called the 800 number & have even been told I would receive a phone call or email within 7-10 days… that was in May 2015. I have emailed my Senator & congressman… to no avail. I am glad some of the claims have been handled but, I do not think I am alone in my experience.

  2. Daniel "Joe" Roach September 13, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I served in the USAF from 1965 to 1991. I worked with heavy metal plating; chrome, copper, nickel, cadmium plating, machined beryllium copper, steam heated 1,1,1-trichloroethane, along with many other chemicals as a machinist and training instructor. Also, I was stationed in places that are known to cause lung issues.

    My first C & P shortly after I retired was a joke. Because I showed no active health issues everything was denied. I refiled in 2008 and I’m still fighting with the VA over my respiratory problems. I am rated service connected for Chronic sinusitis and depression issues. My other medical issues are: Chronic asthma, Bronchiectasis lung disease, Interstitial lung disease, Type II diabetes, High Blood pressure, Calcifications in the lungs ,Compromised immune deficiency system, and hypothyroidism.

    In 2008, had the PA at C & P looked at my records they would have realized the difficulty of treating pneumonia and other issues was documented from the early 70’s. I had Veteran’s Court in March and I feel like the Judge listened to me. My attorney submitted the last of the medical statements in August. I suspect I’m 9-12 months from a decision.

    I’m of the opinion that most of the doctors at the VA could not support themselves in a private practice. My first VA general practitioner told me that if I went to church I would have an epiphany and would not have an more depression issues. I won’t say what the second doctor did other than I should have filed charges. I’m told my current doctor is well rated; however, all of about 2 minutes of an appointment he is answering the myriad of questions on the computer. He does not even make eye contact until that’s done. I complained about the first doctor and was assigned the second doctor. It was close to 2 years, at the insistence of other VA employees, before I complained about the second doctor. The clinic director did not have the courtesy to call me to tell me I had a new doctor. My first VA Psychiatrist told me it was better that my son died. When I went for the C & P interview for PTSD I was made to feel like a second class citizen. Two months later I went to the local clinic for help. The Psychiatrist asked me what kind of medicine did I want today and then answered the phone. I terminated the session and went to talk to the nurse. She told me that this job just sucks the life out of you and she cannot wait until she can get out of there. Christ, she is a retired USAF full Colonel. That was over two years ago and she is still there. Oh yes, the doctor falsified her entry in my medical records saying I terminated the session when she asked me what she could do for me.

    There is more but I’ll leave it at that.

    The head of the Gulf Coast VA system from Biloxi was here at the local clinic last week and I repeated these things to him. His comment about I was doing what was required for my appeal process irritated me since if the PA had read my records I would not have needed to appeal my case. He asked if I wanted to file a complaint about the other issues and I said yes. When I commented about the doctor asking me what kind of medicine I wanted a Psychiatrist who was listening to the information knew and told me the name of the doctor. DUH, there must be a problem if I didn’t say who the doctor’s name and she knew who it was.

    The other thing I told the Biloxi director was: The VA is waiting on my generation to die, then they don’t have to deal with us anymore. If you want a veteran for the poster of what is wrong with the VA, I’m your guy.

    Several years ago my daughter commented; if it were not for 9/11/01 the military, and the first responders, would not be getting the respect they are getting now. I firmly believe that is true.

  3. Randall Pard September 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

    How long is the wait time for moderation 10 yrs.

  4. Randall Pard September 13, 2015 at 11:30 am

    The VA is nothing but B.S. They are so brazen they don’t even obey a federal judge’s order, (the phila. regional office), they cancell your appts. without telling you, then supervisors & representatives don’t call you back with a correct explanation. This has been going on since 2008..

  5. Barry Brown September 12, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    What does”awaiting moderation” mean?

    • Gary Hicks September 14, 2015 at 6:56 am

      It means, that someone on the staff has to read your comment and then approve it to be posted.

  6. Barry Brown September 12, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    I have an ongoing issue that my local VA reps and no will even listen. Hopefully, this is the venue to take my issues seriously.

    I have a very intense medical history. I live with HIV for 30 years. I suffer with severe peripheral neuropathy, chronic pancreatitis and diabetes.

    More than 10 years ago, when I was in massive pain, I was prescribed Fentanyl Patches 50mg. After trying other options, Fentanyl worked best for me.

    Now my ongoing issue: Seven or eight times a year I am put through periods of intense withdrawal and pain, because the VA Pharmacy chooses not to mail me the Fentanyl Patches. Realize that if the refill date falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday the patches aren’t mailed until Monday. I am left without my medicine for three, four or five days. On and on, I ask for help from my primary doctor, from the VA Pharmacy and the Patient Representatives, to no avail. My doctor suggested that I cut the patches in order to stretch my days without the Fentanyl. All the literature says not to ever cut the Fentanyl Patches.

  7. LTC(ret) Kim D. Zimmerman September 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    The VA has provided the worst health care possible since I retired 2.5 years ago. And it’s free! Can’t beat that! Except I am getting what I pay for…Not what I paid for! I have had nothing but difficulties…It is sad…

  8. Anthony Woodson September 10, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    What date in September will Ebenifits be up and running.

    Thank you
    Anthony Woodson

    • SJ September 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      They don’t specify a specific date in September. They don’t want anything you can hold them to. I and all other Veterans a waiting for them to fix their website as well. I’ve never seen such a worse website developed in my life and I use to do technology.

  9. Pam N September 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    OK, here it is, I have been fighting VA for several years. The last appeal, I sent a letter from my doctor (not a VA doctor) who has been treating me for 18 years. stating that my depression was more then 50% due to an injury I received in the military. And again they denied it. now I have to wait more years for this, because now waiting on BVA. Here are my thoughts on the numbers for claims the VA is saying they have finished. I believe they went down the list of claims and appeals and denied most of them so their numbers look good. With that being said, I wonder what all the numbers are for appeals now? Screw the veterans as long as their numbers look good. Wonder how long it will take this time to get in front on the board?

  10. Robert Pike September 6, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I wonder if this is part of the disability claims that the Los Angeles office has been shredding?? I send all my needed paperwork there and now have to wonder if it ended up in the shredder and not in the large pile on someones desk??

    If this IS part of that “miraculous” reduction, then, it really doesn’t count for anything and the VA is just trying to improve it’s image in the eyes of the public, never mind the eyes of the veteran!!!

  11. Michael Shill Sr September 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    M Gill, Send a letter to your Local Veterans Affairs Regional Office that handles your VA claim. Send address to the ATTN:Office for the Release of Information. place the following line in your letter “Request a Complete copy of my VBMS record, from (1st claim filed) to present”, including any hand written, typed, scanned, and received correspondence from the date exited from the military. I recommend to send it “Return Receipt” at the bottom of your letter add the address you wish the record to be mailed, and insure you sign and date. Do not forget to add your social #. All veterans are authorized ONE copy of the record the VBA uses to rate, and make decisions.
    I did it, and found out the Seattle VBA intentionally altered medical evidence in 2 decisions to forgo a rating, however the VAOIG feels that “It is not a matter of the office of the Inspector General for the VA” . Not surprised, Dave Engelen in the VAOIG office did try to help with the provisional decision. However, communication has come to a halt.

  12. Delisa Allen September 5, 2015 at 1:25 am

    I just found out many veterans, that are patients, at the ENDO clinic, did not receive care, from
    December 2014 until August 16, 2015. Most did not receive their medication, during this time
    frame. Plus, for me my disability has been reduced, starting October first. This is the money,
    that pays my rent. I will be homeless around Christmas time, thanks to the thoughtful people.
    I will see a doctor finally, in the next couple of weeks. But October first, no travel pay, no
    medication and no money for rent. I’am service connected. If I do not have my medication,
    I will get sick again. Last time, I had seizures, lost my hair, lost sixty pounds in three months.
    I felt like, I was waisting away. I was also told, when first coming to the VA Hospital, if I wouldnt
    of came, when I did, I might have lost my eye sight. So please, do not reduce my disability.
    Please help, the Veterans seek their medical needs and prayers.
    Very concerned.

  13. Dean Terrell September 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm
  14. shaWn M Gill September 4, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Where can I get my VA disability file?

    • VA VERITAS September 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      google “how to get your c file” go to hadit.com and search there as well. File a VA FORM 3288 and mail to your claims intake center (google that as well) and in the comments section…

      I hereby request a copy of all documents contained in YOUR NAME claims folder, including, but not limited to, all documents in the right flap, left flap, and center flap, and the reverse side of any documents with writing on both sides, including all handwritten notes, post-its and all decision forms or blue sheets as they are sometimes known.

      Please note that this request for documents is being made pursuant to the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552a, as well as 38 C.F.R.§1.550 and 38 C.F.R. § 1.577. Your agency has a duty to respond to this request within TWENTY (20) DAYS of the date of this request pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(6)(A)(2)(i).
      Additionally, although an extension of time to respond may be requested, it may only be granted for “unusual circumstances.” “Predictable agency workload” is not typically considered an unusual circumstance as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(C)(ii). Moreover, even to the extent that unusual circumstances could be demonstrated in this instance, the time limit for the extension is limited to “10 working days” pursuant to 38 C.F.R.§ 1.553(d).

      Please also be aware that your agency’s failure to respond to this request within twenty (20) days may result in the filing of an administrative appeal with the office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to 38 C.F.R.§ 1.557 and 5 U.S.C. §552(a)(6)(A)(2)(ii), and potentially, the filing of a federal lawsuit to compel the production of the information.
      This may subject your agency to contempt of court and a fine, including attorney fees and litigation expenses in compelling the production of this information pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 552a(g)(l) of the Privacy Act, and 38 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B) of FOIA.

  15. Donald Wilmore September 4, 2015 at 9:56 am

    What is a disabled veteran to do to receive his earn disability. After services we are no longer a part of this country we are just old news no longer needed. VA please pick up the pace and start approve these claims. Sign In So Much Pain

  16. Donald Wilmore September 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for this opportunity to explain my circumstance. I filed for disability back in 2010 and I was denied so I have been appealing since my last response was ruled unfavorably so I wrote another appeal and have not heard back yet. I was told that it may take as long as 2 or 3 years. What is a veteran to do about these LONG delays . please help me by telling me what am I to do now. I also need a hip replacement and I am on a waiting list for that. Sign In So Much Pain. . . .

  17. DP0214 September 4, 2015 at 12:28 am

    You tell me to file an FDC claim so that I can get a quick decision, then you deny my claim based on a C&P examiners opinion that bipolar disorder is never able to be service connected because it’s genetic, which is in complete conflict with VA compensation law and policy, but because the deadline to issue a decision on my FDC was looming, you just deny it and throw me into a 2 year wait. It didn’t matter to the VA that the doctor they sent me to never even mentioned me or my medical and military history in his opinion on bipolar disorder. It didn’t matter that this exam was obviously and grotesquely inadequate. All that mattered was meeting that FDC deadline,so they tossed me in the denial bucket and cost me 2+ years of waiting, just to get the fair adjudication of my claim that I should have afforded to begin with. How many veterans have you done this to in order to get your official backlog numbers down?

    • SJ September 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      They did the same thing to me too. You need to get an attorney; the V.A.’s excuses to deny you are ridiculous. Is diabetes genetic, is hypertension genetic no? Everyone knows that either it’s the kind of lifestyle you live (diet, exercise, smoking, etc…) or a trigger in your life.

      Like something traumatizing that can create your problems (i.e. PTSD); so don’t listen to their lies and hire an attorney even someone from New York.

  18. Lonika September 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    These stats have been fudged. I am 30% disabled due to a hip injury and arthritis in my knee. The VA approved me to use Veteran’s Choice program for physical therapy. I called and they said 5-6 days and they would get back to me. It has been 3 months and every time I call Veterans choice program they tell me longer. The backlog is down because it has been passed on. I don’t believe veterans are getting any better or quicker care!

    • Lonika September 3, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      It took the VA 12 years to approve my appeal for the arthritis in my knee even though it was in my Army medical records.

  19. Michael Crisman September 3, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I’m a decorated, disabled Vet. I get it. I know what you guys are talking about. But I have a few things to say:
    (Read to the bottom. This isn’t all sweet).
    1). Imagine that the VA didn’t exist and the help you seek wasn’t available… period. Your blessed that the VA is there.
    2). I personally want to thank the VA hospital staffs for showing an extraordinary level of respect for who we all are.
    I can feel it every time I go into a VA hospital. It’s not that there aren’t an immense number of damned issues.
    But if you think anything about the government was going to be fast and effecient… then perhaps you learned nothing
    while serving your country. What part of hurry up and wait don’t you get?
    3).There is a new program that if you can’t get an appointmnet within 30 days of the request you can go to a public hospital and get help there and charge it back to the VA. Talk to your provider about this. Call the emergency line if needed.
    4). Hello: It takes two to three years to get any claim approved. It’s insane. It’s horrid. It’s the military…. it won’t change.
    Get your mind and planning set to this time clock.
    5). Finally: Here’s my best advise to get your claim approved. When you get therapy, take tests for PTSD, etc. Don’t hold
    your feelings inside. Let it all out. Barf it all out all over the floor. We’re taught to be gentlemen, to be in control, to hold
    our feelings inside. WRONG. Get in very close touch with exactly whats happening to you and let it all out. No sceaming. no swearing and do not be threatening. Be real… be honest and describe, in detail, the living hell your life has become.

    One interesting thing to keep in mind is to build up evidence to support your claims. Just saying that your life is hell isn’t enough. Present what evidence you can with your claim.
    And if your bothered to deal with the VA in the first place… seek out the Vet run groups that help Vets in your area. Their everywhere. They are there because they hate the government too…

    Don’t stop until you win. NO MATTER WHAT! You are not alone: Reach out to Vets groups for help. They will always have your back. Always.
    And here is what drives me to keep up the fight. I hate the government with a passion that can not be described with words. Winning my cases and taking money from the government is the only way I know of to get back at them.
    I’m at 50% and will fight until I’m at 100% and then I’ll start to work on campaigns to help other Vets. You in?

    • Adam Gravseth September 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      I’m in… I have two separate claims in now. My first is awaiting a video conference hearing later this month. My claim was denied because my witness statements said shoulder, not “right” shoulder. Instead of a two minute call to ask for clarity I added months! I should be thankful it is not years like many others however, I am not – I am disappointed, disgusted and ready to make it change.

      Semper Fi

    • VA VERITAS September 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      1) The VA is part of the contract they signed with us when we said we would go wherever they wanted and do what they wanted and get killed it need be. so “something is better than nothing” is a non starter.

      2) Its hit and miss, some are great yes, some are shitty, but they dont police their own. It takes over a year to fire a guy who oversaw a hospital responsible for dolling out pain meds like candy and killing vets.

      We are no longer in the military, this is a civilian organization, and if it was the military theres no hurry up and wait when medical attention is required? whats next picking up cig butts while waiting for an exam? its what happened in the military so thats ok right?

      3) yes the choice program that they just raided, because they spent the money building new hospitals to hire more employees for the union and then couldnt pay for life saving treatment for hep c vets, so they raided it.

      4) It would change if it was in their interest to do so. its not so your right it wont. the idea that “its the military” so ‘duh’ just deal with it.

      5) your absolutely correct.

  20. Richard Nimchuk September 3, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    I served 6 years in the Marine Corps from 1983 to 1989 and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and when I needed help from the VA, I was told I am not a veteran and I do not qualify for any type of assistance from the VA. Why is this? I have had two back surgeries (not military related) but any type of help from the VA would of been welcomed. I do not understand how a person who can serve 6 honorable years in the United States Marine Corps not be a veteran?

  21. Rob miller September 3, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    More smoke and mirrors.

    Roanoke Regional just told me to keep being patient – they are over four years behind in processing appeals. Further, they are receiving more appeals than ever.

    VA simply denies (‘processes’) millions of claims very rapidly – “Wonderful news America, claims processed in record time”

    Unfortunately, this caused appeals to be increased substantially. Going through the NOD and appeals process still is taking decades, as has happened in my claim. It’s just getting much worse, looking much better.

    Still, typically, no one held accountable.

  22. Franklin J Miller September 3, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    I’m writing in reference to the Veteran Choice Program I had an appointment that was 45 days out for an MRI all this took place the first week in August 2015 and my appointment was originally for Sept 2015, to make a long story short the programs does not work. To this date Sept3, 2015 I have not even heard from the program about an outside appointment, I myself think this a waste of GOVERNMENT FUNDS being wasted to a company that has no in sight on how to work with GOVERNMENT AGENCY something needs to be done to correct the problem. Good thing I didn’t cancel my appointment for Sept 15,2015 or I would have wait another 45 days. The system is broken and needs to be fixed ASAP or some other poor VETERAN DIE from incompetent people who don’t know what they are doing. Disabled

  23. golfinwi September 3, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    My claim, fully processed with help from my Veterans Service officer who I had just met, was approved in less than 60 days. That was back in 2010. I thank my VSO and VA for your prompt response, and although I empathize with those who posted here….I wonder why mine was processed so quickly. I will take credit for gathering literally every medical record I had, both from military care and cilivian care, and I did provide the supporting materials requested by my VSO and the VA. I am confident that my accurate and succinct claim submission had much to do with my quick and positive outcome.
    I thank Ms. Hickey for her efforts recently.

  24. Anthony Lyons, LTC, FA, US Army (Retired) September 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    This is great news…..unless you are one of the 98,535 still waiting or one of the hundreds of thousands still fighting the red tape of appeals and appointments to receive the care that was promised by a Nation.

  25. Art Berk September 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    I was medically discharged from the VA in July 1947. My 100% was dropped to 60%. I finally received my 100% total and permanent rating in Sept 2013 at age 90.

  26. don peters September 3, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc. provides recreational and therapeutic activities for Military Families in Northern New Mexico to over 4,000 participants since 2013. NFO has seen & heard of the effectiveness of the VA reducing the backlog times for Veterans claims. Way to go VA, it’s a great start!!!!!

  27. Barry R Brown September 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Being service- connected when l ETS, being told not to shave because of psudofolliculitis barbae. I sent out for my personnel folder which contained all Military info and told them not to send none of my info to anyone but myself, please. I never recieved my folder from the St. Louis Office. Then I recieved a letter from the Wichita Regional office saying, we recieved my letter saying I authorized them to send for my records with a false signature. Then they sent them to me with all files being altered and most records removed. So everything I deserved was totally stolen out of my folder.These convics should be put behind bars that work in the Regional Office.

  28. Harry Lawrence September 3, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I was stationed at Eglin AFB and exposed to Agent Orange and exposed to a solvent used to clean radio parts. I have early onset Parkinsons. Was diagnosed since the age of 48 and I am 65 now. I have filed two claims and have been denied twice. I worked on the radios in the planes that carried the agent orange. I really don’t see what the VA can or will do for me. I don’t know why some get disability and some do. We were made to go into a small room and spray the solvent so that the fumes did not escape into the room. They were vented out. But we had to inhale these fumes. My hopes and dreams ended when I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. I can no longer do the things that I once enjoyed doing. I can no longer drive. I have become dependent on other people for many things. So you tell me what can the VA do for me now.

  29. Thomas Knopf September 3, 2015 at 10:23 am

    My hat’s off to Allison Hickey. She helped me when other VA employees were not sure what to do. After I e-mailed her, I got results with-in 24 hours. Only took 3 years to get done…but with-in 24 hours from a single e-mail, I got results….Good Job and WELL DONE to Allison Hickey.

  30. Emma Lester September 3, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I saw this and decided to leave a message as well. Most of us here have been moved around this system for years. It’s a frustrating process and we are missing out on the benefits we duly deserve. I retired from the Air Force in 2001 and have been going through some type of VA process to get my original 20% rightly upgraded. A few years ago I was upgraded to 30% but appealed it over 18 months ago and have heard nothing. Last time I checked I was told it was not in the system, that they have not received it. My guess is it’s sitting in a pile unprocessed. I need some help in locating my appeal and moving it forward. My site is Bay Pines, Florida. I have a situation that qualifies for a 50% ,since retirement I have had surgery extenuating from my problem at James Haley in Tampa. While these claims are mishandled and lost our families are missing out in vital benefits they deserve as well. Please contact me directly at my email address that I signed up with. I feel for all the Veterans here, I understand their frustration. I appreciate that the numbers are down, but unfortunately most of us here weren’t in those numbers..Thank You! I need some help.

  31. Emory Whitty September 1, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I submitted a claim due to error in the effective date for my Hepatitis C on May 2014. I also have an Appeal for Sleep Apnea that was submitted on April 2005. I was told it is at the Philadelphia Regional Office awaiting Remand since 2014.

    The claim for change of effective date should have been completed September 2014,and my Appeal should have been completed by April 2009 by VA policy. E-benefits is useless, as it is never updated. My DAV is just as useless, as they say the same thing as the VA telephone unit, “your claim and Appeal is being worked and you will receive a letter upon completion”.

    You know what is so funny? I worked over 19 years at a VA Regional Office.

  32. Stephen e Mitchell September 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I was just searching for some sanity on this site ! They are actually asking veterans to sign up for benefits they deserve. COMMON YOUR NOT HANDLING THE ONES YOU HAVE NOW ,and its painfully obvious to this veteran the VA has a difficult time doing the right thing ! INSANITY REIGNS

  33. Stephen e Mitchell September 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I just spent hours reading all most every one of these posts !You know what I find most disturbing ? Where are any positive comments from all these people who have been help with the claims process ? This blog is as depressing as the reality of dealing with the system . You would think since they published this crap almost a week ago someone would have stood up and said yes they helped me settle and in a respectable time ! Well its not happening, no one got positive help. The worst kind of propaganda WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THAT JASON D ? I’m sure your extremely sick of defending these outrageous, outlandish claims IT IS NOT HAPPENING

    • jjfritschie@msn.com September 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      I would hope that Jason D is well compensated for his diplomacy and b.s. in finding every possible explanation for
      the reasons for denial, and delay for claims since at least the Viet-nam era. Many of the medical records have been
      either lost or destroyed and are impossible to find. How does one go about getting records from service hospitals which are no longer in existence, or were destroyed in St. Louis fire some years back?

  34. David J Forde September 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I am seeking Financial assistance for my son Shawn k Forde who is a Marine Veteran facing some very serious financial difficulties in Portland Oregon. He is also in need of housing help, Transportation & Medical, he was very depress when last spoke to him, so i am reaching out to you for any help you can give to save my son, who have served his Country in four tour deployments, and now cannot received his benefits claims to support himself. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for you consideration & support with very urgent matter.

    Respectfully Yours,
    David Forde Shawn K Forde Father,

  35. Arthur Massey September 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Wow !!! I am new to the VA and i am scared to death reading all the negatives . I recently filed a claim 6/25/15 for service-connected traumatic events along with other issues . Maybe the new system will help us out . The day i received eligibility i had my first VA exam two weeks later . One month later i had my Med Eval with QTC in Columbus,Ga . Shortly after that while checking ebenefits my claim had moved up to Pending Decision Approval . I was also given an estimated date between 9/14/15 – 10/6/15 for completion . My Eval experience was a good one , the staff was friendly and the Dr. who did my evaluation was great , he even gave me his email and phone number and told me to keep in touch . It is possible my claim will be denied , if so i will appeal . My wife and i were able to complete everything online , we scanned mountains of documents and all required info the VA asked for . We did not use an outside source to help us . Fellow vets and families please keep the faith , i will pray for everyone who has had bad experiences with the VA and the ones who are filing new claims, I also pray for the VA employees . God Bless

  36. Chris H. September 1, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    The only reason claims are down is because they are denying benefits out of hand and only investigating those who go through the long stupid process of appealing your denied claim. I have been fighting the VA for 3 years concerning my back, eye and wrist injuries from Iraq and they continue to tell me over and over the daily pain and trouble seeing and moving I have isn’t a real I jury and I’m making it up… anyone who tells you the VA has your best interest at heart obviously has never tried to get disability for an injury

  37. Edward Mayfield September 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Just one question, How can a service connected injury not be service connected. the V.A. says that my bilateral hearing loss meets V.A. standards and admits that I did in fact have the bilateral hearing loss while serving in the Navy but it is not service connected???????????. It turns out that it is a numbers game for the V.B.A. and no lawyer will take on my appeals. In my opinon the V.B.A is not out to help the vets.

  38. j sprague August 31, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    So, with 333k appeals, statistics show that around 75% of them are given benefits.

    How many of them are due to faulty C&P exams?

    I read a lot about bogus C&P exams.

    Why do the let it go on?

  39. DENNIS LEE BROWN August 31, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    “…………..we commit to you that we will continue our efforts to improve;”

  40. Rickey August 31, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I wonder why I have so much trouble with getting my travel pay when I go to doctors appointments ? I go to the doctors and I put in travel form. And week later I checked on it and they tell me they lost the form. So I have to either fax it or download the form and mail it in. This had happened 7 times in the past year. And after I fax it they even lost that so I had to fax it another time every. It needs to stop or I’m going to stop going to the appointment I can’t travel 80 miles one way 3 days a week and not get paid. I’m on disability and don’t get much money. I shouldn’t have to wait 2 months to get travel pay.

  41. Robert A. McCombs August 31, 2015 at 12:02 am

    I can see the headlines real soon, “VA reduces the number of appeals to under xx,xxx from xxx,xxx.” And how will they do this? The same way they did to my appeal; just cancel it.

    I like many others check ebenefits about once a month. When ebenefits started saying the appeals portion was being changed and you couldn’t get any information until September I called the 1-800 number to only be told there was nothing new. So, I wrote my Senator, who is still being stonewalled by the VA. Last wee I called the 1-800 number again to see what was going on with my appeal and was told my appeal was cancelled in June. Huh?!!! So, I ask the obvious question, “Who cancelled it?” The representative I was talking to said he dug through all my file, but there was nothing in it stating why it was cancelled. He said someone from the NC office where my appeal was filed will call me within 10 days. Not holding my breath.

  42. jody August 30, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Several years ago, I asked for VA support for my husband who was in the AF for 29 years. I was told he had no help coming since he never served in a declared war. Since then, I have come to understand my naïvete and will ask again. My husband has suffered a brain injury and resultant dementia rendering him unable to care for himself. I am his sole caregiver and would sincerely appreciate some relief.

    Thank you,

    Jody Payne

  43. James Edward Gallaway August 30, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Bull S. Going on 2.5 years on knee claim 13 months on appeal. VA doctor said knee problem was from past injury the only injury came from falling from a F100 in January in 1959. The VA said I did not inform within 1 year from discharge .

  44. Stephen J Everett August 30, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    August 26,2015

    Dear Sir,

    Congress approved the Choice program. It is NOT working!!! My name is Stephen J Everett and I am subjected to this program. Although it is supposed to HELP the veterans when they are forced to go outside the VA it is a disaster to deal with and fails badly.
    Let me explain what has happened to me. I originally saw Dr baker from Florida orthopedic, which I didn’t get an address for; all I was told was that his office was by the Dade City hospital. After many phone calls I finally found his office strictly by accident. I could barley walk. After I got to his office at the appropriate time I was supposed to get there I was told that the Dr. couldn’t see me because the VA had not approved the consult. I was mad as I looked like an ass just being there. They finally called and got it approved. I got a shot of cortisone and was told to come back when I needed to. By the way, the Dr had none of the x-rays or notes on me.
    When I visited him in his telecom office in about 2 months I was given an 8:00am appointment. When I got there the same thing happened. I called fee basis and raised hell in their, the Drs., office. They got it approved in about 15 min. he still had not received the x-rays taken by the VA in December. I again got a shot in the rt. knee this time and was refereed to Dr Brian t Palumbo, his assistant.
    I had a total left knee replaced June 18, 2015 by Dr, palumbo
    Of Florida orthopedic. The surgery went fine and I was discharged June 20th and sent home. While in the hospital someone changed my primary billing from the VA to Humana without my knowledge or consent. Also before I went into the hospital some girl called me and advised me that if the VA did not cover the cost of an ice chest with a pump that it would be billed to me. This unit was to keep the swelling down after the surgery. The cost was $150.00 if I bought it now or $250.00 if the VA turned it down. What a shock to me. At home therapy was ok and I got through that. The Dr felt I needed outside therapy so I went to select physical therapy and they started to do what they were supposed to do. I called Dr palumbo
    And told him I was in severe pain and it was on the right side of my body as far as my leg and hip were concerned. He faxed an order over to select therapy giving them permission to work on my rt. side. That was Aug 10.2015
    I then called choice to let them know what he said and they told me that the office girl sue needed to go to their website and download a form and fill it out. I told sue what the girl on the phone had said and she said ok.
    She filled out the form and faxed it to them along with the Dr Palumbo order for additional therapy, she either faxed it Monday or Tuesday.
    When I got there on Wednesday they still hadn’t received the form. She called them and got a verbal ok to treat me assuring her that the form was going to be faxed to her. She said ok, that was sue that they talked to. My next appointment was on Friday at 11:00 am and I said ok.
    When I got there the office girl Sharon said that they couldn’t treat me on my rt. side because they had NOT received the package form from healthnet. She said she called them and they said it would be faxed to them. We waited about 10 min and I called Healthnet to see what the holdup was. The girl at the other end seemed like she didn’t know what she was doing or didn’t care so I asked to speak to her supervisor to which she gave me a hard time. I DEMANDED then that she give me a supervisor and she put me on hold for 30 min. I was in excoriating pain at that time and they didn’t help! I hung up and called them back and finally got a supervisor I think his name was Jeramy. We went through all the info again and at this time it was after 12:00pm so I MISSED another appointment. I was mad because I was in excruciating pain and he ASSURED me that they wold have the fax by the end of the day. Select did not have any openings for the rest of the day, so I left in pain and thought that this had been rectified. I went home to try to get some relief from my pain, to witch there was none. I called some friends and they took me to the ER at James a Haley on Saturday am. By the time I got there I could barley walk and again I was in severe pain. I was taken in the ER in a wheelchair.

    I got registered and was waiting to be called. I told them after a while of waiting that I HAD to lie down but I was told that all the beds were full and they couldn’t help me. It was then I proceeded to lie on the bare floor to get some relief for my pain. They called some other patient’s and they saw me there and didn’t even give me the time of day. I felt like I was just a piece of shit that no one wanted or that they didn’t care about. When they did call me and four or five others to come back we were instructed to come to a unit that they had not been using. Wow empty beds!!! May I say at no time did they offer to help me at all to get up.

    They put me in a room and proceeded to take my vitals. I told them I was in excruciating pain and they said the Dr would be right in. after about a ½ hr the Dr came in and I told him what was wrong with me that I was in a LOT of pain. He left and after about another ½ hour the nurse came in and gave me a pain shot and left.

    After about 15 min the Dr came in and said that I needed a MRI but the department was closed until Monday. He asked if the shot had helped and I told him no it did nothing for me. He then proceeded to discharge me as normal.
    He did NOTHING for me!!! What the hell were they doing??? I was STILL IN PAIN! I went home and waited till Monday.
    Monday am I called the MRI department and was told that they didn’t have any openings until Tuesday at 1:00 PM. I went to my physical appointment at 11:00 that I had expecting to be seen as Jeramy had said and promised. Well when I got there at 10:45 the girls at the front office told me they had called 2 times and that they had not received my paperwork from healthnet (choice) and they called again to which they were told that the fax was on its way. I was fuming mad. I was in pain and they were not doing anything to help it, healthnet. I waited till 11:00am and then called them. I told them I wanted to speak to a supervisor and again they gave nme a hard time. After a while I got a supervisor and told them I wanted to speak to their supervisor and again I was given a hard time but was eventually passed on. I told the lady at the other end what happened and she said their was no record of Jeremy’s and mine conversation on Friday or Monday but she PROMISED that the fax would be there in 10 min and she would call select and me back. To this day as you read this we are still waiting for her call. Nothing. I called health about 15 times to try to get a fax from them and gave my phone to the office manager three or four times and she gave them their id, my s/s number and told them what she needed. This went on for four hours giving her the phone 3 tines and her repeating her information. We finally received a fax from them at 4:00pm. She said she finally got it. Again I was not seen, as they had no appointments open. I called Melissa at the VA in Zephyrhills and talked to her and asked if there was anything she or they could do. When she said it was out of her hands I almost cried and at that time I was in so much pain that I threatened to end it all because I couldn’t take and more pain. She then transferred me to Dr; Newsbaum at witch time we talked and she got me calmed down. I went to the MRI apt on Tuesday as I was supposed to. The Dr told me that they could put me in the machine backwards because I was extremely clostrophic.
    The tech told me that they couldn’t do that and asked me to try going in the regular way. I tried but it didn’t work as I freaked out. They told me I had to get an outside MRI as they didn’t have an open one and it would take about 2 weeks. They said that I had to go through the choice program. I was horrified at the thought. Today is the 26th and I still haven’t heard from them. Wednesday I went to my 11:00am appointment and I saw Ronny and he had to do another evaluation on me. Again no treatment to ease the pain. It was Friday before I got any treatment on the right side. I again called the VA in Zephyrhills and talked to Melissa and she put me though to the nurse and she got my tramadol and my muscle relaxer increased. I needed a new tens unit as well as the VA did not issue me one and she got it for me right away. Her name was Sasha.

    No wonder the suicide rate is up among veterans. If they have to wait this long and it is this hard for them to get in, I understand the reason why they do what they do. If they have to wait this long and have this much trouble it isn’t right. My father gave 30 years of service to this nation. We were going to give up our lives for this country and flag and all that it stands for and this is how we are treated. What a slap in the face that we have. It’s sad to see this happen to this great nation. This is NOT what our for-fathers wanted or thought.

    Stephen J Everett
    Mary Hart Fee Basis
    Dr. Zarinczuk Chief of Service for My Healthy Vet
    Dr. Cutolo Chief of Staff
    Gus Bilirakis Representative from Florida’s 12th District
    Bill Nelson Senator
    Marco Rubio Senator
    Sandra L Tate Patient Advocate
    Randy Wiener Vice President of Select Physical Therapy

  45. Willie Weldon Busby August 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    (You Apply,They Denied,Wait Untill,You Die)

  46. Kenny Cellilo August 30, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I put in a new claim for my B-40 rocket injuries in ’69. QTC set me up with all my Dr. appts.
    How long will I have to wait to hear from the VA? Is there a way that I can track my claim?

    • Harry Lawrence September 3, 2015 at 11:29 am

      You are right They lie!

  47. terry roberts August 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    All the Vets say Lies, I agree. took my claim past it in one week, denied, Docs said close, you lie !,, VA. lies. lies lies lies.

  48. Charles Raymond Anderson August 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    The VA has lied to me, disrespected me, doubted me, insulted me, misquoted me, denied me benefits I believe I have earned and deserve.

    The VA (Vet Reps) have lied to me. The say, “YES”, you should get benefits. I can help. But, their help never gets anything done. I followed the advice of the first VA (Vet Rep) on filing my initial claim. Everything I claimed (based
    on his advice) was denied. I have been told, “Now, go home and be a good boy”. I’m 64 years old. I am certainly not
    a boy. I was awarded The following: Combat Crew Badge, Air medal (with 3/olc) for flying over a 100 combat missions, NDSM, RCVM, AFGCM, VSM, SAEMR). The VA “mental staff” doubt what I have told them even though my
    DD214 shows what I was awarded. Further, Most everything I have told them is supported by the documentation
    I have submitted to the VA in my file. I have submitted over a 1,000 pages of documentation it seems as though
    the haven’t looked at my file. In fact, the VA’s mental health examiner for my PTSD claim wrote the following:

    1 ) The “expert” examiner stated as the 1st thing in his Clincal Findings was:
    “Was the Veteran’s VA claims file review ?
    []Yes [X]No”

    2) “The veteran therefore cannot be definitively diagnosed with PTSD even if one accepts his reported
    traumatic experiences. It is hard to verify his military history and the could not be certain that the
    events occurred like the veteran reported. A more likely explanation for the veterans presentation is a
    bipolar disorder which is more consistent with his history of contact with mental health providers.”.

    OF COURSE, he couldn’t verify my military history if he didn’t review it !!!

    I have been told (by a VA Rep) that veterans that complain to their congressmen will never get benefits
    because their file gets lost.

    At a VA Rep run PTSD meeting, I was told: “You talk too much and interrupt too much”. Also, the same
    Rep told me , “I don’t want to hear any “war stories”, I just want to hear how things are today”.
    Everyone else talks about their kids, their Christmas, etc. How are they suppose to know what bothers
    me if I can’t talk about what bothers me ?

    I have many more complaints of this nature. I have been fighting the VA for about 6 years for benefits
    I (and others including friends and VSO’s) believe I qualify to receive.

    Why does it seem like everything I try to get done with the VA is an uphill battle? It seems as they
    “doubt” everything I show or say to them. It seems to me they are more determined not to provide VA
    benefits than they are to provide benefits.

    This type of attitude is prevalent in both the L.A. Calif and the Phoenix/Prescott facilities.

    I have many more complaints that concern both my claim(s) for VA benefits, and my treatment at the VA.

    The VA staff keeps congratulating and patting themselves on their backs for doing such a great job
    they are doing helping the Vets.

    The VA (Vet Reps) have lied to me. The say, “YES”, you should get benefits. I can help. But, their help never gets anything done. I followed the advice of the first VA (Vet Rep) on filing my initial claim. Everything I claimed (based
    on his advice) was denied. I have been told, “Now, go home and be a good boy”. I’m 64 years old. I am certainly not
    a boy. I was awarded The following: Combat Crew Badge, Air medal (with 3/olc) for flying over a 100 combat missions, NDSM, RCVM, AFGCM, VSM, SAEMR). The VA “mental staff” doubt what I have told them even though my
    DD214 shows what I was awarded. Further, Most everything I have told them is supported by the documentation
    I have submitted to the VA in my file. I have submitted over a 1,000 pages of documentation it seems as though
    the haven’t looked at my file. In fact, the VA’s mental health examiner for my PTSD claim wrote the following:

    1 ) The “expert” examiner stated as the 1st thing in his Clincal Findings was:
    “Was the Veteran’s VA claims file review ?
    []Yes [X]No”

    2) “The veteran therefore cannot be definitively diagnosed with PTSD even if one accepts his reported
    traumatic experiences. It is hard to verify his military history and the could not be certain that the
    events occurred like the veteran reported. A more likely explanation for the veterans presentation is a
    bipolar disorder which is more consistent with his history of contact with mental health providers.”.

    OF COURSE, he couldn’t verify my military history if he didn’t review it !!!

    I have been told (by a VA Rep) that veterans that complain to their congressmen will never get benefits
    because their file gets lost.

    At a VA Rep run PTSD meeting, I was told: “You talk too much and interupt too much”. Also, the same
    Rep told me , “I don’t want to hear any “war stories”, I just want to hear how things are today”.
    Everyone else talks about their kids, their Christmas, etc. How are they suppose to know what bothers
    me if I can’t talk about what bothers me ?

    I have many more complaints of this nature. I have been fighting the VA for about 6 years for benefits
    I (and others including friends and VSO’s) believe I qualify to receive.

    We, Combat Veterans, volunteered to risk our lives and in some cases died for our country. For those of
    us that lived through the war were told that were entitled to VA benefits. Yes, we are entitled to them.
    But, actually getting them is another story. It seems that the VA does not help the Vets as they say they do.
    Instead, they seem to block the Vets from getting the benefits we have earned. I believe the VA staff
    believes “We the Veterans are there to provide them a job instead of “the VA is there to care for the Vets”

    I can’t understand how the VA staff can live with themselves. Do they really think they are doing a good job?

    I am now nearly 66 years old and have been waiting for 6 years for the VA give me my earned benefits.
    At the rate they are going, I’ll be DEAD before they give them to me. I believe the VA is so inept that
    should be completely dismantled. That is to say, eliminate the pencil pushers (benefits staff, etc.).
    Then, leave only the medical staff to care for the Vets. The Vets should be given the choice of
    using the VA or the non VA to satisfy their medical needs.

    The only thing to qualify for VA benefits, should be proof of U.S. military service (DD214)


    Charles R. Anderson
    only thing left requirement

  49. Barbara Howard August 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Above caption date should be 2015,not 2005

  50. Kenneth Darby August 30, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I have asbestos disease and four years ago I reapplied for more benefits because my lungs showed from new testing they were getting worse. The VA then said my lungs are normal now and cut may benefits by 2/3. New testing from outside doctors say they are not better and may be worse. I reapplied and it’s been two years and I haven’t heard from the VA yet.
    Kenneth Darby

    • joseph comerro August 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      also have asbestosis both lungs with a 60% rating. mine also got worse so went to see the DVA rep when he was in the area and he said the only way they raise it to 100% is if you go on oxygen. There is no 70-90 either 60% or 100%

  51. Barbara Howard August 30, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I would very much like to add my voice about the VA service to this blog. In Jan.2005, upon filing for a burial allowance did we discover that my late husband was granted a disability from the Korean War,in 1956/early 1957.We never received notice of this .Who knows why. We were given phone numbers to call and fill out papers but first,they can’t find him in their records,after several months they claim his file has burned in a fire in St.Louis,so the buck is passed around once more.Would so appreciate any info.On getting a solution that anyone has to offer.My theory is,he served, and deserves to know what the disability was.

  52. Paul Horgen August 29, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I have sent in paperwork a number of times…no acknowledgement. Recently I sent in a question? 5 Day turnaround it is now about 3 weeks…no acknowledgement. Also called in and rec’d info from a Rep online on what forms to fill out and where to send:
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Eligibility Center
    P.O. Box 20729
    Winston-Salem, NC 27120
    Sent in via UPS on June 2ndof 2015…sent back 6 weeks later via USPS:not deliverable as addressed. I’m at a loss..every time I’m asked to do this…do that…nothing! I’ve done everything that I’ve been asked. I’m at the end of my rope. Very disappointed in the way this has been handled.

  53. Dean Terrell August 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Thomas Preuss
    You can file a Tort claim for the death. You have the right to. That’s how you sue the V.A. You don’t need a lawyer.
    I help Veterans with the claims process. The V.A. is forcing everyone to file their claims through the Ebenefits website now. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage
    Email me at help-a-veteran.org and I will try to help anyone. I have made up some questions which will help you with a claim. I am also disabled, so it might take me a little while to reply, but I will reply ASAP, That is as soon as my pains allow me to. You can see my website here… http://www.help-a-veteran.org
    I can’t work miracles, but I will help in any way that I can.I use my own money from my V.A. check to run my Organization and I don’t get outside help. I am in Georgia, but I can still hedlp and give advice. I have been doing this for 20 years. I worked my own claim since then, and I am still fighting for everything that I deserve.
    Dean Terrell
    C.E.O. Help A Veteran Inc.
    Please text me your number, before you call. That way I can put your number into my phone and know who you are, when you call or text. I also need to know where you live. I.E. State….. It really doesn’t matter if you live in Georgia (That’s where I live.) or not. As long as you can sign up for the healthyvet website and get a Premium account, I will be able to see your medical records so I can go over them for your claim. If you do live in Georgia and you don’t have a healthyvet account, you can call the Gorgia Dublin V.A.M.C. @ 1-800-595-5229 or your local one and ask for the healthyvet coordinator. Just tell him that you are working with me on your V.A. claim and he will help you get a Premium account set up. After you get a healthyvet Premium account, you will need to get an Ebenefits account set up. This will enable me to see your claims that have been submitted, and the stage that they are in. I can then add more information to your claim, or start a new claim. That will go directly to the V.A. regional office in your area.

    My Veterans Facebook page with links to information is listed on my website in my forums.

  54. Willaim M Smith August 29, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I have a VSO that was working well with me until lately. Needed backup for a previously filed claim. Got it and forwarded on to my VSO Oct. 9, 2013. Then had some new claims faxed to VSO Aug. 14, 2014. When I did follow up regarding both, VSO claims he never received. So sent everything Certified Mail/RRR. Receipt showed his office received May 11, 2015 but his office still claims they never received. I submitted all the information directly to the VA July 2, 2015 to their requested address since I was having a problem completing it on line. My problem now is that nothing has updated online and I have not been able to reach the VA by phone when I have tried various times throughout the day on several occasions over the past 2-3 weeks to see if they got it. It’s pretty bad when your VSO and the VA are difficult to reach. My original claim was filed in May 2007.

  55. Stephen e Mitchell August 29, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I talked with my veterans service rep about a month ago . he was excited ,just left a conference where the VA blew smoke so far up his ass it blinded him I Quote “2016 will be the year of the appeal resolution” What the hell were they passing out at that meeting? I said well they said that crap before! He denied it So i done some research The goals for the claims process From the director since 2003 same # 1 goal reduce the backlog 16 years in a row Reduce the back log .Now i guess after spending 10 years fighting for my benefits and getting ,denied ,denied ,remand, denied remand What a game these assholes play with our lives . That’s what you get when you have a job where no matter how useless you are you can’t be fired from it
    I had surgery in may 2015 service connected,applied for temporary 100% some sweetheart threw it back to a claim I filed in December of 2014, With an expected resolution date Feb of 16 – to may of 16 that will be 14-18 months for a simple temporary claim. I am from Indiana now my claim is in Hartford Connecticut Can not get any answers at all . I have never had a claim settled in 125 days or less I have been denied that quickly, never approved B.S B.S. B.S. (edited) To all of you that are frustrated Burn this blog up with your comments Don’t let them get away with these Lies

  56. Jose L Suarez Jr August 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I added my wife and step-son to my claim in January 2011. The V.A. denied my marriage and addition of dependents. Not to mention, every time I appeal, they change the submittal date. Now the V.A. claim they are at a record low wait times for a decisions, Well sure if the first response is to deny all claims. Does that constitute as making things better for the Veteran?

  57. Robert C. Hill August 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    my name is Robert C. Hill (SSN redacted) I appealed my case in August 2013 and I am still waiting for an answer. I was told when I file my appeal that it would take 18 months. I do not see any improvement in he process.

  58. Elpidio Osteria August 29, 2015 at 11:06 am

    the problem with the VBA is that they are not working to help veterans. They are working just to support the decision of the DRO. I filed a case with the VBA and apply for advancement in the docket on account of the severity of my illness and they just immediately deny my claim without going over the merit of my case which severely missed by the rater. I filed for reconsideration on account of new development on my illnesses which is the recent findings of Hypoxia and cardiomegaly. After a period of 30 days ,they immediately denied my request for reconsideration claiming my case does not satisfies the criteria for cases for reconsideration. I do not know if it is because they are lawyers and have no medical knowledge because the Hypoxia and Cardiomegaly are new findings which should satisfy their criteria. This is the sad state of the VBA which every veteran should know that there is nobody who will help you except yourself and do not believe the VA when they say that they are here to help you.

  59. Alan Murray McDonald August 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Looking Good VA, Thank for Your Recent Support at The 2105 Annual Air Force Sergeants Association, Team Meeting, Grand Hyatt Hotel San Antonio, TX. The Honorable Sloan D. Gibson, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, was “Front and Center.”

    Alan Murray McDonald, CMSgt, USAF, Ret. Vietnam.

  60. o. jackson August 28, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Hello, VA..
    I have read quite a few of the comments that my fellow vets have written. I am in the same boat and it is a shame, I hope that it is true that they are trying to get rid of the backlog of claims. I have had my claim in since 2012. I first put in the claim in 2011 but some how it got lost in the mail (lol) so I had to put in an appeal in 2012, I have not head anything to this point. I even called the Dav for help and still no answer. I have checked the E-benefits website and again (lol) there is no information on my case, I thought you would be able to check the status of a claim or appeal but they do not update the website nor do they allow you to see the claim that I put in.
    I hope they get to my claim soon.
    I know if I put in for an increase in one of my existing rating it will severely delay my claim that I put in 2012.. so in the interim I have to suffer with my current condition.
    I have given my time in service like everyone else and I have heard from other vets that I know who put a claim in and get a rating in a few months to a year. so why is it that of all of us who put in claims in 3 to 4 years ago are still waiting ..
    do not get me started on trying to call the infamous (800-827-1000) phone center that just put you in a loop and tells you to call back another time and you can call all day and every day and still not reach anyone LOL that is what we have to deal with. .. not all of us can get to; the office to see someone in person.
    well all I can say is I hope that all of us who have been waiting years for some kind of word on our case will receive a reply.. soon..
    take care my fellow vets..

  61. Steve L Butts, CWO, USA, Retired August 28, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Although the backlog may be down and while the VA has always made a sincere effort to assist those in need; it is somewhat disheartening to wait over a year for a response. On a personal note, I became unemployable in August 2014 and applied for a change in my disability status. After a series of follow up letters, I was instructed to report to Atlanta (2 1/2 hours from my home) for a physical and disability evaluation. This was done in February 2015; and to date have heard nothing further. My latest letter of July 2015 requesting a status has remained unanswered.

    It is significant to note that I have a spinal cord stimulator (implanted); wear a clam shell brace when traveling; and use arm crutches; as such, prolonged travel of any type is painful to say the least.

    One would think that it would not take a year to issue a determination; especially when such has been documented by Proper Medical Authorities as well as the VA’s own Doctors who performed the physical and disability evaluation.

    My financial posture is worst than it was when I first entered the Army. My savings are depleted and I survive on my pension; which has to pay for the mortgage; taxes, insurance; utilities; food; and yes medical…

    Sure could use an expedited approval of my pending application.


  62. mark a smith August 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Dear Undersecretary Hickey,

    I am asking for any assistance you can provide in getting my compensation claim , originally filed in year 2009, adjudicated. I received a denial letter in 2010, and I then filed a request for reconsideration in 2011. I finally received correspondence from the regional office, in Atlanta, GA, denying every Issue in my compensation claim. The issues that I am claiming negligence and gross injustice are: 1. Before rendering a decision on my request for reconsideration, I received no new WCT’s/C&P exams. 2. The rater used only the original information I supplied in 2009, when my claim was first filed. The rater did not consider any of the new information, relevant to my compensation claim, found in my VA records since 2010. The VA filing form specifically states that any new information contained in my VA records need not be submitted since the rater has access to, and will automatically review my files for related material. After receiving the second denial and consulting my congressional liaison, I submitted a request for a hearing with the BVA. I ask for relief resulting in a proper review of all pertinent documentation and to receive any/all C&P exams consistent with my claim. Your consideration in this matter is greatly appreciated.

    Mark A Smith
    US Navy Veteran
    186 Hunnicutt St. NW
    Atlanta, GA 30313

  63. Ricky Scott sr. August 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    the va just lie,lie,lie I fill back in 2007 for and increased and keep getting denied even after you appeal

  64. Katrina love August 28, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    They say the numbers have gone down. But how many of these claims have been sent into appeals status? Once a case is sent into appeals status its out of their hands. This makes the numbers look good on their end. A revent claims clinic advised many veterans that attended to do a nod or get a doctor to do a dbq or nexxus statement. Well the problem with that is va doctors do not want to do thr dbq’s because the VBA does not pay them for those. So why are va raters telling veterans to do something their doctors will not do?

  65. Jodi Morano August 28, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I know my issue is not as bad as others on here, but my status has been in the same place for over a year. When I first
    applied for benefits in Nov 2011, I put my husband as a dependent which I have been married to since Jan 2004, and he was denied, additional info was requested on ex-husbands. I provided the info in the time requested, the VA kept asking for more info instead of asking for it all at the same time. I don’t understand why it is taking so long to add my spouse who I’ve been married to for 13 1/2 years. When I call the 800 number they give me the same info I get off of eBenefits, and when I submit a question, that says you will be responded to in 5 days, there is no response. I have done that twice. I guess when we are married for another 13 1/2 years or the VA learns to look in DEERS the mystery of is he or is he not my spouse be solved.

  66. patricia marcotte August 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    You reduced the time in claims are you just denying more claims. I know the VA has a policy to deny the first claim to see if the veteran is persistent and they pay the VA claims workers by per claim the more they deny the more money they receive. So are you really helping the veteran or is this just a mouth piece article to make it look like you care about the veterans. I had to wait 2.5 years for my back pay and it took a Congressional to get it done and my husband has been waiting 5 years and the VA conveniently looses his appeal every two years so he will not be eligible for back pay. We contacted the Congresswoman to see what is going on, our next step is get a lawyer and see how fast the VA moves then.

  67. Danny Sample August 28, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    The VA made a major error in not advising when my seperation pay had been recouped in 2005 and VA in now holding my back pay for claims. I am communocating with DFAS and they acknowledge the lack of communication with the VA.
    I cannot get VA to talk with me however DFAZS is very cooperative.
    Now waiting since 2005 to get settlement that shows in the “bogus” ebenefits the the claim is complete!!!

  68. LARRY W DAVIDSON August 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm


    • LARRY W DAVIDSON August 28, 2015 at 9:26 pm


  69. Michael Octon August 28, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I have been waiting for my back pay for an additional dependent claim since August 20 2012, (effective pay/marriage date). How much longer must I wait?

  70. william galloway August 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I hate the VA. The us army messed up my leg then said it was a pre-existing condition. Furthermore sent me home without any second opinion, no legal representation, no VA help and then took my VA identification card. Stating that I didn’t qualify for benefits. some of you are complaining about 5 to 10 years. What if I told you that I have be trying to get my benefits since 1986 that is more than 25 years. Yes I hate the VA because they ruin my life and now I am completely disable and they will not take responsibility of their actions. Damn right I’m furious. I even worked for the VA medical Center before joining the Army. Now I see how this country treats its vet and I see why some of the younger generation have decided to side with the other haters of this Country. If the damn civilians cant get the job done then give the jobs to the Veterans they can do a better job and they know how the system functions. This backlog is a bunch of bull and the VRO reps are slacking as well. Damn the benefits just give me a job at the VA and that will be compensation enough for me. Because plainly they are hoping I die before a approval decision is made on my case. I have written 2 Congressmen and still haven’t heard any thing from the VA and you are right about those who answer the phone calls. Always an excuse which has no validity to them. Just pay me what I am owed. That is all I ask. And pay my other brothers what you owe them as well. I am 60 now I might have another 20 years left to fight with the VA.

  71. Bill Gilcrist August 28, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I agree taking care of the back log.
    That is great.
    However what is the hold up on HR 303 CRDP, Concurrent Receipt of Disability Payment?
    Those that have 50% or Less disabilities and retired have been paying their own Disability Payment to themselves.
    This Bill has been on the floor since 2004 and still NO end in site.
    If Congress cant pass a law in 11 year for veterans, why are they first to accuse VA of a Back Log.
    Veterans are passing away waiting on their pay.
    I have wrote Congress and Senate for the state of OHIO.
    Their answer is, I will keep you in mind when it comes to the floor. It is on the floor and pushed back.
    Also President Bush and Obama. both leaving office and no answer.
    Same Printed Letter with a copy of their signature.
    Unless we force their hand nothing will be done for another 10 years.

  72. Kevin D. Foy August 28, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I have had a claim in since 2010 & preexisting injuries that are documented as service connected, I also remarried sent the VA my paper work and still have not received my compensation after calling in repeatedly to rectify the matter, I’ve gone to training to become a VA peer support specialist passed the exam applied to the VA only to be turned away or to really describe it best. I was blown off by a gentleman who repeatedly keeps asking me if I’m 30 or more percent disabled. It’s gut wrenching just thinking about how many times I’ve emailed him, not to mention how many calls I’ve made to him. I would love to be a part of the solution to what my fellow Vets are going through. I realize I’m not the only one but this system is broken & it needs to be fixed.

  73. Robert Walsh August 28, 2015 at 8:23 am

    I have been waiting 13 years on an appeal. They say 5 years but a backlog is a backlog. I do not understand that the VA is claiming they are catching up yet they actually are not.

  74. robert J rubalcaba August 28, 2015 at 5:18 am

    robert J rubalcaba file number: (redacted) E mail address is rubalcaba 60 @yahoo.com I wish to reopen my claim to show that have been examine by the VA hospital for herbicide exposure and do have diabetes II you can check my hospital records if you need too

  75. Martin August 28, 2015 at 4:13 am

    If this wasn’t so sad it would actually be funny. They are denying the initial veterans claims in record numbers. That’s how they caught up. This in turn is causing the backlog of appeal cases that they claim they can’t catch up on. Could someone explain to me how the VA can take in billions of more dollars in funding from the feds and yet never, ever increase the staffing required to handle all the appealed claims? This is either dishonesty or incompetence, both of which are on a criminal level.

    DELAY,……………… DENY, ………….. WAIT TILL THEY DIE

    • Stephen e Mitchell August 29, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      Get the Attorney The people you expect to help you all WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT the Calvary is not coming

  76. Steve Gamble August 28, 2015 at 2:26 am

    This statistic is nothing more than lipstick on a pig. At the end of the day, it’s still a pig.

    I am currently entering my 13th year of my initial, and only, VA claim which listed the things I was treated for while on active duty. If I hadn’t have gotten a VA accredited lawyer, there is a very good possibility that I would be homeless right now. After I got with my lawyer, they were forced to include all of the test results that the VA themselves had conducted that supported my claim, greatly changing the outcome of my 4th appeal for the same initial claim. Three times, I had to appeal through the Court of Veterans Appeal process, which isn’t a fast process by any means. After winning each appeal, all it did was send my claim back through the same prehistoric system for review. That’s like having a criminal be his own judge and jury, nothing more.

    This statistic is nothing more than a juggling of numbers, like the current unemployment numbers. Sure, there’s been a drop in them because the ones that aren’t counted anymore aren’t drawing unemployment anymore, so it looks better. As many others have already said, this is a result of them denying the majority of initial claims, then forcing the veterans to go through a long, drawn out appeals process.

    What’s that saying that many like to use, describing the VA’s unofficial motto? “Delay, deny and hope they die.” If at all possible, have your claim reviewed by a lawyer that handles veterans claims, before you end up becoming a statistic of the aforementioned motto.

    • Shawn James August 28, 2015 at 7:51 am

      That’s Right! That’s what I did (Lawyer) and I got better results (behavior) from the V.A.. Now it’s just a waiting game, shorter I expect.

      • David Tomko August 28, 2015 at 10:23 am

        It’s completely ridiculous that veterans need to hire a lawyer for this process. Having to give up sometimes tens of thousands of dollars in owed benefits just to get the VA to follow through with their “Duty to Assist”. I have thus far not hired an attorney myself. However if the emails to the congressional senate, and VA leadership get me know where, that’s exactly what I will have to do. 20-33% less of what I am owed is better than 0% in the long run.

  77. Clyde Kopp August 28, 2015 at 1:05 am

    You say things are moving faster,if that’s the case why do I receive Medical bills that are over a year old,and I don’t remember if I made the bills.I tried to have a waver and was told there are no exceptions,I Live on a limited income and don’t have money to pay the total bill and what ever I can pay toward the bill is not good enough because they charge me intrest on the remainder of the bill until I get It paid this is not right I have a mortgage to pay and utilities insurance home repairs and car repairs so which do I pay first?

  78. Michael F Kvintus August 27, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I’m a Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran who has been exposed to Agent Orange thru the drinking water , air and direct contact with helicopters from the carrier USS Coral Sea serving on the USS Buchanan DDG 14 doing several tours 1964 thru 1967 providing Naval Gunfire Support for the US Military within eye sight on the land , searching vessels for contraband . I have several medical conditions directly related to exposure to agent orange. The VA has turned done all my claims because of their policy boots on the grounds which is bogus . When will the VA do what is right and allow those claims ? It should not be about money but what is best and right for us veterans who has served our country proudly . Thanks Mike

  79. Mrs.Keith Moriarity August 27, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Been waiting for 18 years for information on agent orange causing esophagus cancer still no answers.

  80. Michael F Kvintus August 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I’m a Blue Water Navy Veteran serving aboard the USS Buchanan DDG 14 with two tours a duty 1964 thru 1967 . We provided naval gunfire support for the US Military within eye sight of the land also on the USS Coral Sea . I have many medical conditions contributed to exposure to agent Orange . The VA had turned down all my compensation claims because of their boots on the ground polcey even though evidence shows other wise . When is the VA going to changed their policy and approve these claims . Thanks Mike

  81. David Janecek August 27, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I served in the USN from 1969 – 1973. At this time I won’t go into my service related issues. I’ve taken care of myself since, but in the 2000’s I realized my service related problems. I’ve filed with the VA 5 times to get an appointment for assessment. In the 5 times that I’ve filed not one single time did the VA contact me. Nothing. So you’re saying I should believe the VA is getting better? I think you’re spinning. Make an effort to contact me and maybe I’ll consider otherwise.

  82. Cris M. Hamilton August 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    That should have been “automatic denial” not “auto EVERYTHING”. EVERYTHING should have started another sentence.

  83. Cris M. Hamilton August 27, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Never use words like “sometimes”, “intermittent”, “part of the time” or any synonyms to them in a Doctor’s/PA’s earshot in a C&P or regular appointment. It’s an auto EVERYTHING is “constant or chronic” with VA Disability when they read medical records. That’s how the very poorly written CFR-38 that governs disabilities implies and how I believe the Ajudicaters are trained. The CFR-38 also says to “give the Veteran the benefit of doubt” but as a certified Veteran Service Officer (volunteer not paid) I’ve very rarely seen that happen.

  84. Cris M. Hamilton August 27, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    That all sounds good. As a certified VSO helping Veterans with their claims I can see that denying claims (often times with out reading or looking at the information sent) makes it easy to decrease the backlog. I spent 16 months in Vietnam 4 different times TDY. My DD-214 shows I have all the VN medals/ribbons plus the Republic of Vietnam Palm decoration given by South Vietnam. I have Ischemic Heart Disease (with 4 stents) that was diagnosed before I retired so I am get disability for that, the broken back injury I had in service and bilateral tinnitus for 70%. I get nothing for Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma and never have received any disability for it when going through 7 years of 2 Chemos and a bone marrow transplant, that is on the Agent Orange exposure presumptive list. Non-Hodgekins is an incurable cancer and every Oncologist in the world knows that. VA disability says there is no evidence I was ever in VN. Unfortunately I have lost any copies of TDY orders during all my moves and divorces so I have no paper evidence – just the decorations that I was awarded and didn’t just purchase at the local Military Surplus. I also spent a year in Ubon Thailand that is also on the list of bases and was denied because I wasn’t in Base Security. Some of our FOD barrels on the flightline had to orange strip – hmmm, 2+2=3 with VA disability. Agent Orange is sprayed and filtrates to groundwater and impregnated dirt and spray blows in the wind. But, no evidence. At least I only have 2 thins on the presumptive list. I know several other Veterans that have more and have been denied their disability benefits. PTSD is another goat rope fiasco with disability. The Code Of Federal Regulations 38 (CFR-38) that governs disability benefits needs TOTALLY rewritten to give our Veterans what they deserve and earned by signing the dotted line. Stop giving money to all the Countries that do not even like us would probably pay for it plus the outrageous retirement plan and benefits for politicians and their wives when they pass away. Veterans disability payments stop when they pass away!!

    On the VA Medical side I’ve had great care. Just about everyone I’ve had dealings or contact with on the Medical side have been pleasant and professional.

  85. Terry Baxter August 27, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I applied for PTSD compensation clear back in the nineties. This has been denied and appealed so many times, I’ve lost track. The VA absolutely has lied in their decisions, time after time. Once, they denied it because they said there is no diagnosis of PTSD in my medical files. I took this to my VA Psychiatrist, he looked at it and said “I’ll be right back”. He returned with the notes (from my medical file) for the seven visits we had had together. Every single one of them had Axis one listed as PTSD. I of course sent them in and haven’t heard that lie again. But the latest denial (January) was the best. In that appeal, were my VA Psych’s reports and a new report from my outside Psychiatrist. The reason for my denial was “The reporting doctors are not Board Certified”. I showed this to my VA Psych, and he stomped out of the room ( I assume to cool off). He returned and told me that he and the other doctor are both board certified. He since has been writing an appeal for me, been working on it for months. He said they will pay for this! I filed my intent to appeal. and can’t wait to see what is going in my appeal this time. Also, I will be demanding a sit down with BVA at the Regional Office, along with a well known PTSD Attorney in Los Angeles. Let’s see them lie their way out of this one.

  86. Paul Pomykala August 27, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I filed a claim last year in Sept (2014), the VA website lists it as “Claim Received ” My expected day of an answer is Oct 5, 2016-Sep 2017. That is two to three years, or 740-1100 days. That is a few more than the 125 day average. It took me three tries and a 2+ hour drive to Chicago just to get the claim filed. For some reason the local attempts I made, were either never received or never processed, I’m guessing from recent news reports that they were filed in the round file.

    Apparently all 98,000+ of us are posting replies.

  87. judith l almer August 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    you are full of it i was raped while at ft mclellan;when i tried to tell my commander he sluffed it off

    • Leon Modrowski August 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      HI Judy, Gosh! Whenever I think my issues are burdensome, I read something like what you wrote. As a former VA manager, I apologize most contritely for what happened to you.

  88. Calvin Brinson August 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    If you all have cleared a good part of the back log how many of themwere approved for VA benefits and how many disapproved.and how far do they go back for the approval rate or disapproval rate from what year and how much longer will we have to wait for our checks.

  89. Leon Modrowski August 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    What federal agency negligently failed to follow up medically with veterans who died due to its failure to perform follow up exams timely; shred veteran claims and/or supplemental evidence; and, lacked proper hygiene practices at certain medical centers which ultimately spread the AIDS virus?
    Now this is the same agency that expects us to give them credibility.
    I am a retired VA employee. With 27 years of service, I blew the proverbial whistle on statistical misrepresentations which only served to allow senior managers to receive awards and promotions.
    I assume these same managers felt threatened by my coming forward to the Regional Office Director. Why not? Their finances and security was threatened.
    After a few months of bringing this revelation to the director, I received a “proposed removal notice” and approximately one month later, I was terminated for cause. The cause: participating in the sales of acquired properties (repo’s) to my son-in-law while I was a supervisor of such properties. And if this was the rule, I whole heartedly deserved some form of discipline.
    But was it the rule? Neither the technical manual nor the real estate purchase contract defined an in-law as a close family member and thereby requiring agency approval prior to sale to an in-law. When agency disciplining authority provided the evidence to this author, it was a technical manual published after the in-law purchases, and therefore was not inoperative.
    Unfortunately, the Administrative Law Judge was simply incapable of understanding the complexity of the matter and ruled for the agency; after nearly three decades and a dozen or so performance awards, the writer, a service connected disabled veteran himself was terminated.
    Fortunately, five years after termination, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit saw the foolishness of a termination, and ruled that the agency had deprived me of my civil rights, viz., the right to legal representation when threatened with a potentially criminal matter.
    With the Grace of our Lord, I avoided bankruptcy. And, the lesson learned was never challenge the false statistics provided by VA.
    So my fellow veterans, the agency is once again blowing smoke or, if you prefer, using mirrors to place itself in a positive light.
    After my termination, I filed a few compensation claims for my service in Vietnam in 1997 and 1998. Each claim was denied for some basis which was inconsistent with fact or law. My 27 years with VA gave me considerable insight and knowledge of what issues are compensable and which factors are consistent with 38 USC. If you have not appealed a denial, do so immediately. Appeals of a claim are subject to timeliness limitations.

  90. Count R. Buckingham August 27, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I’ve been waiting over 5 years on an appeal hearing, nothing, Two tours in Vietnam, USMC, agent orange related, nothing

  91. Jerry Galloway August 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I want to know how it is that the V.A. can’t find my Medical Records? I got out of the Army in 1996 and have been told that my records burned up in a fire that happened before I joined the service. I injuried both knees and shoulders while on active duty. I don’t need to file a claim as I have rehabed on my own. That said, I still want them for later reference.

  92. CR Colon August 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    I truly don’t know where they get such results. It’s truly boggling. I have been appealing FL’s RO decisions since 1964 and my friend since 1968 and we are still waiting; that’s only 51 and 47 years, respectively.

  93. bruce blount August 27, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    My claim has already been processed. Now I am waiting for the retroactive disability compensation. I’ve been waiting since January 2015. DFAS processed their audit in March 2015. Why does it take the VA so long to issue payment? Calling the VA toll free number is a joke. Requesting a response on the VA website is a joke.

  94. james b bost sr August 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Every time i leave a comment it says error.

    • David Tomko August 28, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Above the section you type your comment in is a 4 character “CAPTCHA Code” You have to type that code exactly in the little box next to it.

  95. walter l. thompson August 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I filed a claim for compensations which was offered to me when I got out of service in 1965. I made the mistake of turning it down then because I was healthy I thought and did not need it. Forty years later I am now having serious long term problems and need the money promised. I first filed for it in 2009 and have not heard anything except that my claim is being processed and a decision is pending, I have since filed for my Military records so I can challenge the claim on all points if necessary this was about a month ago. My Veteran adviser said it will take approximately 6 months to receive my records so I am waiting to see. I am currently trying to survive off of Social Security retirement which puts me in the low poverty class.
    I do have VA health coverage which is very helpful.

  96. Loyd Tolle August 27, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I’m Viet-Nam vet I have pending appeals from 6 years ago. I have one appeal With Evidence from VA file and VA Doctors and Privet Doctors Showing I should be 100% due to Unemployability because Of PTSD. I had to get an attorney and had my Ohio Congressmen look into the status because they would not respond to me or my attorney. Its sad when it is clear evidence according the VA requirements and still they take their good old time about it. Many of us are in financial crises because unable to work and no help of compensation that is due to us form the VA department. The VA has a long way to go yet.

  97. David Molchany August 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I filed increase claim back in 2012 was denied.The VA DR I saw told me one thing but wrote entirely different in my notes.Asked VA to see same DR but was told not possible. My only option was to appeal they said. I did but forgot to tell me appeal process is 4 to 5 yr wait. Iam still waiting. The game the VA plays is to deny claims and hope you die before the appeal process is over. Lets face it most Vietnam Era Vets are in their late 60’s. Time is on the VA side. FL is one of the worst if not the worst state to appeal to VA because of the number of appeals. Yet if I filesd a appeal in another state my wait time time would be 4 or 5 months. I thought we had 1 VA?Forget about contacting elected officials from FL. ITS A JOKE

  98. joseph j nitecki August 27, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    This is as much BS as your so-called Veteran’s Choice Card!

  99. j sprague August 27, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    How many people contracted HCV in basic using the old style injection/needle guns? Have hey notified all the people that were in basic at those locations that they should be checked?

    Shouldn’t every single one of them be checked and automatically given coverage for this issue, rated for liver problems, DMII, etc?

  100. Harry McNally August 27, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I filed a claim in January of 2014. That claim was over 300 days old when the VA summarily denied it without so much as an exam or a request for more information from me and you want to boast that you’ve lowered the backlog? This is so monumentally infuriating that I can only conclude that you’re so divorced from reality that next you’ll be telling me that the best way for the VA to lower the rate of veteran homelessness will be to actively murder them (which is similar to the VA’s approach to veteran suicide).

  101. j sprague August 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    What baffles me is when you have VA doctors treating and caring for a Vet and they say this and that is a problem and it is more likely than not service connected, then they send the Vet out to a stranger, a different doctor or sometimes just a PA, who says just the opposite.

    Forming a consensus based on common sense, unless you are advocating an adversarial atmosphere to deny the Vets application for disability, why send the Vet to a stranger at all? Maybe just working with current medical files would suffice to eliminate any C&P at all in these type of cases.

  102. GI JOE August 27, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Yea…right…more (redacted)…..Everyone knows most claims were shredded and (redacted)canned….of course claims are at the lowest level…..You lowlife mother(redacted) are throwing them away!

  103. Miguel De Jesus August 27, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    The above web page states the lowest backlog under 100,000 in department history. And yet I have applied since initially Sept 2011 been denied in Oct 2013 and appealed with the American Legion as my representative in Nov 2013. Now still waiting presently in Aug 2015. I guess I should wait till they find more pressing disabilities and / or drop dead so they don’t have to give me an answer.

  104. Richard Bartzer August 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    My mother has had an Aid and Attendance application in for 8 months and still hasn’t gotten a decision, so she’s not feeling like there is any improvement.

  105. Lonnie Evans August 27, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    My “Fully Developed Claim” (FDC) submitted with the assistance of a VSO has been outstanding for 328 days and has an expected completion of between 394 and 509 days. On the same day the VA emailed a link to this story publicly praising themselves for having the lowest number of outstanding claims ever (“only” 98,535 claims that are more than 125 days old), I got a letter from the VA saying they don’t have the supporting paperwork I submitted last year and I have 30 days to resubmit or the “VA may deny your claim”. Is this how they’ve been able been able to “process” the “disability claims backlog”?

  106. Joel D. Prickett August 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I have an NOD that I filed August 2013 I’d like to know how it’s going??

  107. kristina mereness August 27, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I was diagnosed with hiv while I was in and as of 2011 I have finally been given 100%. What I don’t understand is, why haven’t they paid 100% since I was medically discharged with a disability? I strongly believe I contacted it from a needle I’m basically training while blood was drawn and the guy used a dirty needle.

    • kristina mereness August 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      And I was discharged May of 2000.

    • Elva Hutchinson August 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      I am sad for your long wait, I have tried so many avenues, but everyone says the same thing,” it takes time”, “we are back logged”. Every-time someone is up for election, they make so many promises, however I have never seen any changes. It’s a smoke and mirrors trick!

  108. Herbert Eugene Belt August 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I have a claim in appeal since 2009. I have been waiting for a traveling review board for over a year now. I checked and the review board came to Los Angeles in March of this year and they only dealt with the oldest claims. Because their budget was reduced they only can come to town only once a year. They will be back in March 2016 and there is no guarantee that they will deal with my claim. I since have changed from a traveling review board to a video conference board because it could take another year or two to get them to look at this claim. Although you have adjudicated a large number of claims I am still stuck in limbo as many others are also. I still have not heard from the video conference board regarding a date to process my claim.

    I am in that number of under 100,000 and I feel like it’s 1,000,000. I don’t know if this reply will help to expedite matters any at all but it helps to vent if nothing else.

  109. Troquita Moore August 27, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Can you please tell me what’s the purpose of the 3rd Party company better known as QTC. I had to see two of their physician for problems that I’m already being treated for by the VA and both are service connected in which I’m waiting for my decision to come back from the VA hopefully any day. The first doctor I seen, he was me for approximately 20 minutes to exam me for 5 service connected injuries, the other seen me for 45 minutes for PTSD. If, the VA is currently treated a VET for illness/injuries; then why do you have the VETs going to this 3rd Party for a one time visit in order to determine the service members rating for disability. This was a waste of my times, I have asthma and take rescue inhalers daily multiple times a day, especial when I wake up because the air quality is so bad where I live. So why do QTC need to evaluate this condition when it’s already been determined that this is a service connected matter, that gets worse due to bad air quality? If I’m not going to be seen on a reoccurring basic, then don’t waist my time by sending me to other doctors just to look at me; especially when I’m seeing my VA PHC on a regular basic for the same condition. This seems to prolong the process for making a determination on a claim because for what I called a BS appointment that just add to the frustration of this untimely wait for veterans who served their country.

  110. Robert George Fitton August 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    While in Florida at the VA I was diagnosed with two cataracts that should be removed ASAP. The VA doctor told me that there was such a long wait most veterans go to their family doctor for the surgery. I returned to Philadelphia and the VA told me it would be sometime in 2016 before I could get an appointment. I am a 100% disabled veteran form the Korean War and the surgery cost me $2044.38 is there any way I can be reimbursed from the VA?

  111. Richard Hale August 27, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Status of my claim

  112. Alfred E Blanchard August 27, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I submitted.an application for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on line. I received an email informing the application was being returned. I was informed additional information was required. I am required to provide a copy of my DD214.
    If a copy of the DD214 is required. Why wasn’t that indicated online? What purpose is served by my completing the application online, if I must mail or present the document.
    It seem to be more of the same old, run around. The VA seems to be riddled with idiocy.

  113. Ronald M Spate August 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I am still waiting for my retro pay from the claim settled on Feb 27, 2014. I have called but keep getting a response of, I don’t know when they will be finalized. They have to be audited. I have had prior claims that were settled within three months of receiving my completed paperwork. Can anyone shed some light on this problem with VA?

  114. Tom Bobb August 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I had 8 items I appealed in 2010 that I felt were service connected. I have been in front of a law judge in January. She made a decision in favor of 7 of the 8 items and indicated they are service related. How long does the VBA take to make a decision on such an decision by a judge.

  115. frank Richard Green August 27, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I just wish I could get someone from the V.A to call me so much has happen to me over the last year. Michigan VA doctor have a hold on helping vets and helping Florida doctor don’t care or under stand what I have I’m 60% & 100% can’t work and what they are doing to me is a bad dream my phone number is 734 250-0482 frank green any help is needed thanks

  116. pat m gray August 27, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Good day,filed my claim 6-10-14 heard back 6-17 15 c&p exam doctor in Atlanta va had a terriable attitude my dia