Report: #663289

Complaint Review: Department of Veterans Affairs & Disabled American Veterans

  • Submitted: Wed, November 17, 2010
  • Updated: Wed, January 12, 2011
  • Reported By: Louis of butler — Butler Pennsylvania U.S.A.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs & Disabled American Veterans
    1000 Liberty Ave. - BOTH Organizations
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    United States of America

Department of Veterans Affairs & Disabled American Veterans Violating the Code of Federal Regulations Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: From one vet to another...

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Let it be known that there is a Federal Law that is supposed to compensate the veteran that had gotten injuries in the service, The Code of Federal Regulations is as follows :


For disability resulting from personal injury suffered or disease contracted in the line of duty, or for aggravation of a preexisting injury suffered or disease contracted in line of duty, in the active military, naval, or air service,during a period of war, the

United States will pay to any veteran thus disabled and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable from the period of service in which said injury or disease was incurred, or preexisting injury or disease was aggravated,

compensation as provided in this subchapter, but no compensation shall be paid if the disability is a result of the veteran`s own willful misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs.

VA admitted that my cold injuries were service connected as I had absence of hair on my lower extremities, including the feet, compliments of the Battle of the Bulge. For over 7 years now I have been trying to get my cold injuries pushed to an earlier date. I informed both the VA and the DAV that I would settle for 5 years, after all, I didn`t get them frozen on Jan. 29,2001, it happened in Jan., 1945.

I sent the VA and the DAV a copy of this Code of Federal Regulations, the officer at DAV stated that he knew about it.

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#1 Consumer Comment

From one vet to another...

AUTHOR: spc3rd - (USA)

Good eveningLouis,

As a 58 year old Vietnam vet (& a life member of AMVETS), currently in receipt of 60% service-connected disability comp, I can certainly understand your situation (and frustration) with the VA all too well. Although, this posting is a little lengthy...I'm hoping it might be a little helpful. (Please pardon me if some of what I mention is stuff you are already aware of).

I would be interested in hearing a little more description of your situation regarding the original date you applied for disability benefits, results of any C&P exams (i.e. Compensation & Pension) you underwent at the VA (though not anything really of a personal nature), what veterans organization(s) who represented you (other than the DAV), the response(s) given in writing to you by the VA, and if at any time during the process...did you allow a "lapse" to occur (in continuing the appeals process). As long as a vet keeps their claim active (i.e. not allowing the case to be closed & then having to reopen it)...once you are awarded financial compensation, the VA is supposed to remit retroactive compensation back to the date you initially filed for disability; theamount isbased on your disability rating.

As I'm sure you also probably know, when a vet first files for disability comp, the VA almost always categorically denies a claim. The next step...filing for a re-consideration of your claim, nearly always results in the same denial as the original filing. The next step is, of course,appealing your claimto the BVA (Board of Veterans Appeals), which, unfortunately, takes the BVA approx. 2 years from the time it's placed on their docket for your case to be heard...before they will render a decision (or, as in my own case...remanding it back to the regional office for final adjudication). (By the took 5 years before my disability claim was finally approved!).

The lastoption is to file the case before the Court of Veterans Appeals (if the BVA disapproves it). Needless to say, the most important factors in any disability claimare being able to present as much medical evidence as possible (right from the beginning when you first file) in support of a disability claim (including your service medical records), as well as, having either a veterans service organization officer (or even an attorney), representing you along the way. Medical evidence from either any VA physicians who have treated you or doctors outside the VA system can be used.

(One thing I can say from my own experience is...when you report for a C&P exam [if the VA requires one...which they usually do], sure to "act the part", so-to-speak. Present yourself as if you are in extreme distress or dire straits and really suffering considerably...even if you happen to be feeling just fine that particular day. Leave the dress shirt, coat and tie at home too.). The VA examiner will evaluate you solely on what he or she sees (as well as any test/exam results obtained). To be blunt...if you appear to the examiner to be looking/feeling great...then THAT is what they will record in their evaluation notes!

Generally, when a vet applies for disability comp...the regional office will automatically request your past year's medical records from any VA facility where you have received any kind of treatment. (Be sure to have that info). They'll also want treatment records from any facility in the private sector you've been treated at. They will only be considering/evaluating those records which specifically relate to the service-connected condition for which you are filing for disability compensation on, unless the primary disability condition can be shown to also be directly responsible for an additional disablinginfirmity.

In the event you are filing for service-connected comp for more than 1 condition, any medical documentation should support those claims as well.

The VA utilizes what is called a Combined Rating Table. For example, let's say (hypothetically),the VA determines youhave 3 compensable, service-connected, disabilities:COPD, degenerative joint disease (DJD), and a traumatic brain injury (say from an IED). Let's furthersay the conditions (hypothetically, of course) carry the following disability ratings:lung disease= 30%; DJD = 20%; and the brain injury = 50%.

Although,if added together, the total disability rating percentage would equal100%, the VA's combined rating table will only rate youat the condition or disability which has the highest rating. In this hypothetical example, the traumatic brain injury rated at the 50% level would be the actual rating/compensation which you would be awarded. They don't add up each separate disability to arrive at a vet's disability rating.

Once you have been given a disability rating for a condition (10% at least), you can receive free medical care at any VAMedical Center for that service-connected condition. If you are rated at 50% or higher, you are also eligible to receive free care not only for the condition for which you are rated at 50% or higher, but also for any other non service-connected conditions you may have or develop, such as, hypertension, diabetes, injuries, etc.

The only exclusion is dental services, unless you acquired dental problems during your active duty service, were a POW,have a service-connected disability rated at the 100% level, are involved in a program such as attending college under the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation entitlement program (Title 31, I believe it is called), or require dental treatment while an inpatient in a VA hospital.

If your disability rating is less than 50%, and you want to be treated at the VA for a non service-connected problem, there is usually a charge for such treatment, as well as, a co-payment for any medications prescribed by a VA physician for the treatment of the non service-connected condition. (The co-payment [per prescription] was $7.00, last time I checked). Considering I have to take 15 different medications daily for a gamut of medical issues I have (including complications from adrenal cancer surgeries), being able to obtain them from the VA is certainly awelcome financial blessing...given that I must now subsist upon a very limited, fixed, monthlydisability income!

(If you have any type of health insurance, the VAcan bill your insurance company for your treatment costs, and according to the info I have...the VA will accept whatever the insurance companyremits as payment in full; you would not have to pay anything else).

Medications prescribed bya VA physician for your service-connected condition(s) may be obtained free at the VA pharmacy (no co-payment required). (VA prescriptions can only be filled at a VA pharmacy).

In closing, I sincerely hope everything will work out for you. Like my own father, a Navy veteran,(who served aboard the USS Toledo during WWII), you and all other veterans who selflessly & honorablyserved our country with distinction, courage, andbravery will most certainly always be remembered with the highest honor and the heartfelt gratitude of this nation whichshall alwaysremain the "land of the free, and the home of the brave!"

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you and yours always!

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