Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Update on Disability Ratings Taking Too Long

One of my first posts was about disability ratings taking too long, and it has been by far the most popular post I have written so far.  I have had a lot of people writing to me telling me of their stories of the VA delaying their cases and their disability ratings taking two years or more.  To me, the fact that people have to wait for any more than a few months disgusts me, and we need to do something to change the system.  If you are reading this, whether or not you have had to wait a long time for a disability rating, please take the time to write a letter to your congressman or senator asking them to be proactive to try to change the way disability ratings are going through the system.  This small action can go a long way toward helping those who put their lives on the line to protect you and your family.

Below are a couple of the stories I have received about disability ratings taking too long.  Please read them, print them out and including them in your letter to your congressman or senator.

         My husband has been out of the military since February, 2008. He was medically discharged due to an injury sustained during his deployed to Iraq. During his out processing a claim was filled with the V.A. Of course the shuffling of paperwork took its time which was expected. What happened from that point on was not.

He has been waiting for a rating for 27 months. The V.A. has confirmed that all paperwork from all the doctors has been on file for approx. 24 months. Each and every time we call we get the same answer. "Your claim is at the rating stage". Recently we contacted the Texas Veterans Commission. They too have been getting the same answer. Now whats really ironic is the T.V.C. is supposed to be an advocate for the veteran. Until last week, we felt abandoned by them as well. My veteran puts a call into the T.V.C. at the beginning of April, and we finally heard the words we had been waiting for so long to hear. "Your claim has been closed and has been awarded a rating and we will be more than pleased with the V.A.'s decision. Right now it is with the review board who is making sure that all the dollar amounts are correct." That sounded reasonable to us. That process will be completed between 30 to 45 days. Soooo, here we are in the middle of May and we are starting to worry. A lot. He puts yet another call into the Texas Veterans Commission, only to find out they had not yet made a decision on his back claim. He was crushed. More than crushed. I don't know what to say to him to help him recover from this blow. As all of you did, he served his country and now they have put his mind in greater jeopardy than the PTSD he was diagnosed with. By the way that claim was settled in 8 months.

We had decided to be proactive. We will be writing our Senators and Congressmen. Every week if we have too. I guess I am suggesting to everyone, if it is possible, you may want to try the same thing.

All veterans are important, but he is my most important veteran and I just cant bear to see him or any of you suffer by the hands of those that are supposed to be helping us.

            Many veterans have written to me about their troubles attaining a rating for PTSD.  The VA writes to the veterans company to try to confirm the incident that causes the PTSD, but for many veterans that incident is not something that the company would admit or something that they can confirm.  One of the veterans that I have been in touch with had a traumatic incident where his chain of command had him do something that he should not have been asked to do, and because the VA could not confirm this his claim for PTSD was denied.  Another veteran I talked to said that she was abused, and because her company would not admit to it, she has been denied as well.  I am going through the same process right now for PTSD caused by abuse, and it has been over a year now since I filed my claim, and they are currently trying to confirm the story.  The law says that the VA has to prove that the incident did not happen in order to deny a claim, but they are doing the opposite.  This needs to change.

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