Title e-mail: "Just a thank you!"
I know it is faster to do e-mail but a hard letter I think gets more response but do both if you can.
The Honorable John Boozman
1519 Longworth Building
Washington DC 20515
Subject: Just a thank you!
Dear Congressman Boozman,
On December 6th, 2005 you came by the VAC meeting room; greeted and shook hands with a few of our Veterans representing many issues that concern the Veterans of our nation and their families. This was greatly appreciated by all concerned.
While you fielded a few questions during your visit it is important to note there is some major concern as to why the Department of Veterans Affairs takes 14 to 18 months to approve "already associated disorders." Obviously the statements you made in comparing the Social Security Claims to the contested VA claims were somewhat appropriate to a point.
However, with regard to an "associated disorder" this complex decision matrix does not exist. Instead there is only the verification of three simple data points.
DD-214 showing service in Nam.
A copy of those medical disorders already approved after 30 years of research.
A copy of the diagnosis
that verifies that medical condition that is already approved.
This is not complicated and there is no excuse for any government agency to take 14 to 18 months to get this done, including the VA when there are no complex medical decisions to be made. The medical decisions were made during 30 years of evaluations and studies.
In fact, I would think some part time employees assigned only to that task of "associated claims" could eliminate the backlog in no time. This of course would now expedite and make more time for those claims that are actually in contention for various other reasons. As expected, a claim in contention would obviously take longer than a claim that only needs verification of three established data points.
In addition, it is extremely disconcerting to find articles such as the following which indicates the VA is not as truthful with you or any of our politicians as to why even these contested claims take decades to resolve.
“The American Legion’s Quality Review Team visited the St. Petersburg VA Regional Office. While there, we were confronted with graphic evidence of premature and erroneous denials of claims, a general lack of compliance with the Veterans’ Claims Assistance Act (VCAA) rules, and other types of inappropriate action. It almost appears as part of an orchestrated policy of manipulation of the station’s production figures as a means of meeting its mandated production quotas. Management, rating board members, decision review officers, and front-line claims processors are under tremendous pressure from VA Central Office to produce the expected monthly quotas. There were cases in which veterans received letters stating that their claims were being denied, because their military records may have been destroyed in the 1972 fire at the National Personnel Records Center. The problem was that these veterans got out of the service years after the fire took place.”
“As disturbing as these
tactics are, what was even more shocking was the intentional neglect of the
backlog of pending appeals and remanded cases from the Board of Veterans
Appeals. Remands are not being worked, because the station receives no work
credit toward their mandated monthly production quota. This is not a local
issue. It is a National Issue.”
“At St. Petersburg, there were over 1,300 remands in which The American Legion holds power of attorney. Some of these cases had been remanded by the Board more than five years ago and were still waiting final regional office action.”
This kind of performance by the VA is unacceptable to our nation's Veterans and their families.
Again our deepest appreciation for showing you do care and stopping by to see these Veterans as they presented our issues.
Thank you so much for your concern and any help you have given our Veterans.
Sincerely and with best regards,
Veteran, wife of a Veteran, widow of a Veteran, son or daughter of a Veteran or whatever applies.
His web link for e-mail is located at: