Veterans-For-Change Demands Veterans Processing to Stop being Swept Under the Rug

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Legislators Put on Notice!

Written by Jim Davis
Edited by Barbie Perkins-Cooper 

Veterans-For-Change, a group for Veterans rights, benefits, and treatment, would like to bring to your attention the immeasurably serious problems affecting veterans and their families every day. Many of these problems escalate for veterans, and continue to be ignored, swept under the rug, or misrepresented by our legislators.

The membership of Veterans-for-Change continues to grow and as an advocate for Veterans and the benefits they deserve, we would like to address the following problems/issues:

     

Claims Processing in Order of Receipt:

Countless veterans and widows of the almost one million claims dating back to WWII are being placed on hold so that Afghanistan and Iraq veteran’s claims can be processed more quickly. While Veterans-for-Change relates to the difficulties, physical complaints and difficulties endured by the War on Terror Veterans, we believe it is crucial that VA Benefits claims should be processed in order of receipt regardless of when the actual service occurred, but this is far from the case.

WWII Veteran’s claims are taking 28-60 months, Korean War Veteran’s claims are taking 26-52 months, Viet Nam Veteran’s claims are taking 24-48 months, Persian Gulf Veteran’s claims are taking 24-36 months, Iraq Veteran’s claims are taking 6-7 months and Afghanistan Veteran’s are taking 3-4 months.

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With a fully computerized claim system that communicates with other computer systems in regard to military and medical records systems, the backlog would not exist and the processing of claims would be in order of receipt.

Veterans-For-Change is actively involved in requesting that members of Congress take a long, hard and serious look at the escalating flaws in the system, and draft and submit corrective legislation.

Claims Paperwork Reduction:

Veterans-for-Change believes it is time for the VA to bring their documents, medical records and service records into the Twenty-first Century so processing of claims are completed in an expedient manner . Currently, Veterans are required to “prove” their claims, providing medical and service records when the VA could have easily implemented a computerized claim system which communicated with both the DoD and VA medical systems many years ago, thus bringing the claims processing system into the 21st century.

Because of the amount of paperwork and documentation needed to “prove” a claim, and the amount of human intervention involved, the chances are greatly increased for human error, loss of documentation, eventually ending in denials or remands of claims thus also increasing costs involved with handling and processing of claims.

Veterans-for-Change requests that members of Congress take a hard and serious look at this flaw in practice, draft and submit corrective legislation to mandate an integrated computer system for claims processing so as to prevent such flaws and errors in practice in the future.

Better Protection for VA Medical Records:

In the past veterans have had loss of personal information via stolen computers, hard drives and using sub-contractors who didn’t take the needed precautions to protect highly confidential information.

In addition, when claims are filed with a Veteran Service Officer and/or the VA direct, files lay around for anyone to walk up and access confidential information. Couldn’t this be considered as ‘invasion of privacy?’ This is just another excellent reason why the VA Claims process, Military and Medical records should all be computerized with a line of communications between the VA Claims system, DoD Military Records, and VA Hospital Records.

We must do all we can to protect the privacy and confidentiality of veterans records, and if we cannot rely on the VA I-T department to program a fully functioning system, then maybe the private sector should be considered.

President Obama has said: “We have a sacred trust with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America, a commitment that begins with enlistment and must never end.”

You, as Americans, and politicians of a free society, do have a moral, ethical, and Patriotic obligation to provide benefits and care, regardless of the costs involved and in a reasonable timely manner! You do have a moral, ethical, and Patriotic obligation to care for those who did the job the average American Citizen didn’t want to do.

Our veterans cannot escape the effects, physical ailments, illnesses, and emotional wounds of war, or the effects of working in an environment on base where chemicals and other ‘confidential’ and dangerous materials reside. Freedom is not free; it comes with a price tag. Veterans paid a gigantic price, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Only a veteran can comprehend how that price was paid for in full by our military and veterans, along with their spouses and children! The price they paid for their devotion to their freedom does not have a monetary amount and it could be considered priceless since the effects of war leave so many emotional and physical scars that cannot be repaired, or erased. The price our veterans paid was distributed in full with blood, sweat and many tears!

If our nation rescinds its promises and ignores its obligation to those who have fought to preserve freedom throughout the world, we compromise the right to ask our men and women to serve and defend our national principals.

Take a stand with us today and do what is right to keep America strong. The choice is yours. You must decide.

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