This is a side rant from my usual musings. but being a vet makes me want to learn about various things, one of them is the Veteran’s Administration . Well recently the United States Cort of Appeals for Veteran Claims started a Youtube channel and putting up cases. I must say if you like this kind of stuff it is fascinating. But Each time I have watched I get an urge to stab a mother fucker. Why you may ask?
Here is a ling for reference, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVqkuWIPPnw, if you can’t sit through it all then jump to about min 30. It basically states that if a government agency, in this case the National Academy of Sciences, generates a report and gives it to the VA stating something to the lines of “exposure to X causes condition Y” that it doesn’t have to use that report for a claim.
This doesn’t mean that they can ignore it, what it means is that if some says, I was exposed to X and have Y and they do not reference the report, that the VA can deny their claim even if they KNOW the vet was exposed. This puts the burden of proof on the veteran when the VA knows damn well of the connection. To be clear though, this only applies to something that is not considered predetermined, basically when to qualify for benefits the vet just has to prove they were at a certain place at a certain time because the cause is acknowledged.
Personally I think this puts a large responsibility on the veteran. The current system the VA uses is intentionally convoluted and complicated for the purpose of intimidating those they are supposedly there to help. If you miss one line, forget to dot one i or cross one t you are denied. That is why there are lawyers that specialize in VA cases, because they know that the VA purpose is to Deny until you Die.
I myself have been on again off again with them for almost a decade and know how complex the system is. It is cheaper to pay bureaucrats to rubber stamp and mail denials that it would be to actually take of the people that have served this country. Look at the inadequate mental health services, even after the outcry of the fact that 20+ vets commit suicide a day. That number is still the same after years of “attempts” to improve services. Or the secret lists at VA hospitals used to wait for vets to die.
All of these are attempts to “thin” the herd. When a person is no longer able to act as fodder in the service of the corporate run government, then they become an expenditure with little return. In the corporate world people like that get fired, in the VA they look for ways to deny and stall until you are dead.
As in the case of one of my step-sisters, her father passed away while they were fighting with the VA (for years). Once he passed away they “closed” the case. I use quotation marks because there was a way to keep the case going for his estate, but it was some obscure and rarely used form. This information was not even mention in the letter that closed the case.
They make the process as complicated as possible for the sheer reason of saving money and stalling. A lot of people I know just say to hell with it, because they are tired of fighting this huge uncaring monster. So if you or someone you know is thinking of signing up to serve, think long and hard. I would recommend a two year contract, get your GI Bill and get out, because out of all the VA departments the educational one seems to be the best, but then again they don’t measure their accomplish with a body count.