Friday, July 27, 2012

VA Nonsense-VA is not vet friendly and is an adversarial process

The Veterans Administration likes to claim their process is not adversarial.

First, reject that kind of federal agency logic, about 99% of the time.  I have been dealing with this alleged "vet friendly, non adversarsial" process since 1976.  Decades now and still am. Which suggests to me, veterans should have the right to legal counsel on vet claims.  Which the VA does not want to allow the legal profession to provide representation. Why not? 

The VA scheme is relied and based on having regional offices staff generally deny most vet claims using their legalese to take advantage of eligible veterans claims. 

Take the Agent Orange veteran situation for example.  Most claims  took what-around 30 years or so.  The VA hoped some of these vets harmed by Agent Orange die first, or just give up in dealing with the futility  Really quite sad.  Then, we have these new veterans having honorably served in Iraq and Afghanistan with their PTSD claims, many of which are probably valid, but not from this adversarial scheme controlled by the VA.

There is a model of a system that is not as adversarial and a person has the right to legal counsel in dealing with claims-the Social Security system with some finality-unlike the VA system, a claimant gets about three years on an application for SSA claims, befiore a claimaint has the right to have a court case. This SSA bureaucracy is also stacked against most of the claimants, but is no where near the adversarial bureaucracy of the VA.

From my extensive experience and longevity in dealing with the VA system, I see no end in my lifetime to the VA adversarial process. The cards are stacked with the VA having their staked deck of regulations and statutes to make some vet claims a life-long process. Further, I have seen this VA process take away VA benefits as a vet ages.  Which gets me to the point of this adversarial bureaucracy.

The cost to the American taxpayers and the need/suggestion to allow veterans to obtain professional counsel related to their dealing with an adversarial bureaucracy.  There will be those that will argue otherwise the VA system works, sooner or later.  I do respect the overburdened vet service organizations that try their best to be assistive to veterans.  But they too, have their limitations based on volume and note that most of them are not attorneys and many  work at VA offices. 

On behalf of the taxpayers paying for all this VA nonsense, with due respect, I kindly disagree any illusion the VA is vet friendly and a non-advesarial process paid for by the taxpayers.  Fixing this system would be a plus.

I also think A. Lincoln would probably agree the VA system is one big advesarial bureaucracy far out of control and beyond what he envisioned. Naturally, if you are a vet dealing with this process without benefit of counsel, welcome home and thanks for your dedicated service on behalf of our nation.

Even better than fixing this advesarial bureaucracy, is as a nation, stop going to war so often solely so the military-industrial complex keeps getting fed.  That might fix the VA adjudication backlog.

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