Back when VAntage Point was just an idea, the concept of open communication was our foundation. We wanted to communicate with Veterans, not just to them. The best way to have that dialogue, we concluded, was a comment policy that allowed anyone to continue the discussion on the page, with as little hassle as possible. A measure of success for us has been both the number of comments on our posts, as well as the dialogue between Veterans and VA, as well as Veteran to Veteran.

Our comment system is more open than any government blog, and more so than most blogs in general. Unfortunately, that has produced unintended consequences. The ease of commenting has translated into an ease for spammers to leave harmful links. Though we have spam filters in place, dozens land on the blog every day. This spam has become a distraction from normal dialogue, and we spend too much time sorting through spam comments to ensure legitimate responses remain.

As we work with our IT folks to find a solution, we’ll temporarily moderate comments posted on VAntage Point. So if you post something and it doesn’t immediately appear, that’s why. We want to be clear, though: We’re only moderating for spam—not for content. So keep the comments coming—we expect this policy to be short-lived and get back to normal soon.

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Published on Oct. 18, 2011

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  1. John Rogers October 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Alex: I am glad that you stayed in DC and are continuing to work for VA. We need you, Kate, Brandon, Jessica and the rest of the very talented and very dedicated VA Comms staff to keep the dialog going. I do share your posts with current service personnel and Vets.

    BZ and thank you all, again!

  2. Paul Bove October 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Alex and VA Folks, I think it’s a wise move to moderate the comments to reduce spam. I’ve managed government blogs in the past and dealt with an influx of unnecessary material that bogged down the message and led to potentially damaging consequences (i.e., if somebody clicked a link on a spam post, they might get a virus). I wish my agency would allow us to moderate and block spam, but alas, no dice :)

    So to the readers, be patient!

  3. Nlck October 19, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Seems the problem is updating info or getting the notice from VA in a timely matter. Really? Back in 1992 after I had applied for SC on a number of items it was by coincidence that I rec’d my last notice for the exam. Everything issue denied ie, High Blood Pressure, Diabetic, back pain was denied but got 10% for a/c seperation. Went 10 yrs beforeseeking assistance/ 2003. Allowed cat 8 coverage and or 10%SC, now doors open but their slow admin way. Still have my insurance carrier Aetna, D/C’D in 2006. I believe it will only get worse as budget constraints and demands on system/VA increase. My understanding from my private days it is not so much your disabled but that you have the card. Than 15 yrs later found out no is no unnless you appeal, but after 1 yr than No became a written in stone No. Now it seems nothing is what it seems until one applies. Just can’t get rid past the red tape .

  4. Dan October 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Have you checked “peggy” @ 1-800-327-1000 or write an IRIS to your Regional Office? If you have a VSO, have him/her check.

    If the amount is over $25,000 it has to have special approval. However, that usually only takes 3 – 6 weeks. The amount of time you are waiting is excessive. Do you have any other claims pending or in appeal?

    The reality is sometimes these things get lost in the paper shuffle.

    • Jerry Heyer October 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      I contacted 1-800 they have the audit, thats all they know. IRIS doesnt respond and the amount is way less than 25k.

  5. Martin T. Davis October 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    To All Concerned,

    Be certain they (ie, VA ) has the correct payment address.Try getting paid overseas!


  6. Jerry Heyer October 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Why does it take so long for the VA to pay retired servicemen and women the retro pay from a disability s/c backdated. I understand the wait for a decision because of the backlog caused by two wars, new presumptives, but I am having a hard time understanding why I have to wait another 4-6 months after the decision to receive the retro pay. In my case the decision was made in middle of July, audit done by dfas and sent to VA middle of August, thats two months ago and four months from decision date and still not retro pay? I cant even get a reply from the IRIS system.

    • Alex Horton October 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Jerry, did you make sure your address or account/routing number was current? My retroactive payment check was sent out pretty quick after the decision, but I had the wrong address with the benefits folks. Could be the reason.

    • Tonya C December 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      We are having the same issues. My husband retired in April we finally heard the decision phase in Nov and are waiting on the retro pay. My husband has called the Va and all they can say is they got the paper work back dfas and that is all they can tell us and told us they was no reason to keep calling because they would not know when we were going to get the retro pay. This is crazy.

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