Sunday, March 1, 2009

How many more years will congress & Vet Orgs take being ignored by VA

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How many more years will congress & Vet Orgs take being ignored by VA

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Bandzul []
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 2:04 PM
To: 'Robert P. Walsh'; 'Colonel Dan'
Subject: RE: Dan Cedusky has submitted a comment on and would
like you to know about it


You're comments are spot on. If you tried to devise a scheme with the
intent of denying claims, hiding the truth, discouraging applications,
covering up facts used to help promote the truth and flat out lied to the
public, this would be an accurate depiction of the VA today. Yet this is
not a system because even the worst designed structure for benefits
adjudication has a balance of rules. Old adage has something to do with "if
it's not in balance, it will fall". Some may argue the VA has rules but I
would offer, they are not being followed.

The VA is a failure in meeting the needs of veterans. If allowed to
continue on the present course, the failure will be a catastrophe. In the
last eight years the damage done by the VA to the American public, city
governments, and state agencies, as well as veterans, is horrific and in
many instance, criminal. Why local governments haven't voice their
collective, angry opposition defies explanation. The same question needs to
be asked of the 45 charter VSO's and the 22 non-charter with congressional
recognition. The largest of the VSO's are more worried about their dues
paying population than the people they are charter to help, which is much
the way the VA is structured.

Had it not been for the small and underfunded efforts of groups like VCS,
Veterans and Military Families for Progress, NOVA, NVLSP, IAVA, One Freedom,
VVA and is some small measure, the DAV, the appalling nature of the
treatment veterans would be worse. Some may think it couldn't get much
shoddier but I believe it could and might, if a constant vigil isn't
maintained over this congress. The pledges of the past administration never
came to fruition and the promises of this administration, while magnanimous,
have yet to be delivered on.


Thomas E. Bandzul
General Counsel, Empowering Veterans
6316 Blackburn Ford Drive
Fairfax Station, VA. 22039

Office - 703-503-7969
Cell - 703-474-4264
Fax - 703-825-1157

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert P. Walsh []
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 1:33 PM
To: Colonel Dan
Cc: Bandzul, Thomas
Subject: FW: Dan Cedusky has submitted a comment on and would
like you to know about it


What we encounter with "Project Salute" as we travel the country and
interact with veterans and their families is just what you would expect.
Homeless vets and others who have "dropped out". Their efforts to obtain VA
compensation benefits and health care were wrongfully denied on the first
few attempts, and they are unable or unwilling to navigate the horrific VA
system. Or they accepted as correct the VA decision denying them benefits.

Why can an attorney win a VA benefits case in 6 months for a WW II combat
vet who has been denied repeatedly for 60 years? Because the VSO's have
failed miserably to meet their obligations to these families. And they have
tolerated the delay and incompetence by the VBA. We are all to blame, as we
tolerate this insult to our veterans.

The old VA benefits system was designed so that the initial medical
examination for vets applying for benefits was the same as the exam given
when they were accepted into service. The conditions identified by the VA
doctor were then rated. How far we have strayed from this honest approach.

The modern system, in place since Vietnam, is to play "hide the ball" and
place the burden upon the back of the disabled veteran to make a claim for
each condition. What garbage. It is this practice that has resulted in
most of the wrongfully denied claims, or the long delay in getting all of
the service related conditions claimed and rated. What Ken Carpenter calls
the "gotcha" claims processing system of the VA.

The general medical examination protocol in the VA C & P system is never
used. At least I have never found an example of it being used in any of the
files I have reviewed. Only the narrow and specific exams are ever ordered
to be given by the VARO.

Of course, any veteran who does offer specific medical information about his
condition is admonished and told that he or she is a lay person. A
professional medical opinion is required, that he or she is not competent to
comment on this medical matter.

The opinion of the treating physician of the veteran is also given no
deference, unlike the Social Security Administration, which has a treating
physician rule. Why does the VA refuse to adopt this evidentiary standard?
Because they have a system in which registered nurses and general
practitioners with minimal contact with the patient are allowed to provide
opinions to overrule those of board certified specialists provided by

It is truly a shameful and incompetent system, if it can be called a system.
Maybe "scheme" is a better word, as the obvious intent of the VBA process is
to deny veterans and their families their benefits.

Robert P. Walsh
Two West Michigan Avenue
Suite 301
Battle Creek, Michigan 49017

Telephone (269) 962-9693
Telecopier (269) 962-9592

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 12:18 PM
Subject: Dan Cedusky has submitted a comment on and would like
you to know about it

The following comment was submitted on It may take up to 1
business day for the comment to be reviewed and posted. To view the related
article go to:

Why even 100 days? You have the patient in front of you. Too many people in
the decision process?

Far too many veterans with PTSD in Jail today, that fell thru the cracks,
general discharges, personality disorders, etc.. almost criminal they way
many have been treated..or NOT treated. How many claims does the VA have
that are 10 years+ old...absolutely criminal. How many homeless veterans
have claims pending? for how long?

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