ANOTHER PILOT’S TALE

download (1)From the humor capitol of the world (Atlanta), comes this winner. Thank you Bruce Almighty for the contribution.

A young Navy pilot just out of training, goes to his first squadron party. Guest of honor is the Wing Commander who is accompanied by his to die for drop dead gorgeous daughter.  Our young stud has spent the entire evening agog staring at her, until fortified by numerous adult beverages and the urging of his squadron mates, finally gets the courage to talk to her.

To his great surprise, he finds she is witty, warm, knowledgeable about airplanes, sports, and guns, and appears to be interested in getting to know the new pilot.

He asks for her name, and she says “Carmen”.

“Lovely name that. We don’t often hear such these days” says the pilot.  “Is it a family name?”

No, she said.  “My given name was Gertrude, but I never liked it.  When I hit 21, I legally changed it to ‘Carmen’.  I named myself after the two things I love most.  Cars, and men. But do tell. What is your name?”

“Beertits” replied the pilot.

MailAttachment

Posted in Humor, KP Veterans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MILESTONES–JAY MOORE

Jay Moore -HCVets

Some of you may know of Kelly and Jay Moore. They came to me what seems like eons ago looking for the magic password to VA comp. We finally prevailed with  “Hurricane Katrina” Eagle’s help and Jay looked like he was off to the races. Unfortunately, VA dawdled too long as they are renowned to do and it cost Jay his life. He might have been able to avoid a transplant if they had been willing to give him Harvoni far sooner but that is a ‘could of, would of and should of’ eventuality we’ll never know. Kelly is now a widow at 46 and for no good earthly reason.

To add heartbreak to loss, she has four children and a now- abbreviated income on DIC. I wish to thank all of those who have contributed quietly to her “get the kids to school” fund for this fall. It’s going to be a lonely road for her and I apologize for not starting up asknod.org sooner so I could have reached her and many others before this happens. For any of you I have ever helped “get there”, here’s a wonderful chance to pay it forward for a worthy cause. Unlike certain VA-inspired charities, we do not deduct dealer prep and destination fees from any contributions. Kelly and all of you we help always get 100% of the ordnance on target for maximum effect. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Posted in Inspirational Veterans, Milestones, Sofosbuvir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CAVC–#16-2098–POSTSCRIPT-ARE YOU OKAY WITH THAT, ST. MARGARET?

VetCourtAppealsPromoNever being one to leave an errant sweater thread alone or a VA scab unpicked, I felt compelled to at least answer in my defence and protect my honor. Having hornswoggled sweet ol’ Saint Margaret into believing that maybe I was disremembering all those repeated consultations with that dear Mr. Boyd since 2011, I felt it was my duty to let her know what the Katzenjammer Kids have been up to in their far-flung VR&E empire. Remember, each VR&E Region is a fiefdom-a castle unto itself. No other arm of VBA has this far-reaching authority. None. What the VR&E Officer says is tantamount (ostensibly) to what the VA Secretary McDonald says and thinks. Ruh-oh, Rorge…

So, VA campers,  when you build your Extraordinary Writ, you address each shortcoming of the VA as an egregious error by the “Call me Bob” guy. Mr. Boyd, in his efforts to bully me, was actually acting in the stead of McDonald himself. We are coming to find Secretary Bob wasn’t quite on board with what Mr. Boyd advocated. Mr. Boyd may have potentially tread infirmly on perjurious turf when he characterized anything I said during my five year denial as “repeated consultations”. VA misconstrues virtually everything we say or claim such that it all becomes confusing to all but those trained to decypher it. Basing the “consultations” on five years of flawed logic and denial will hardly yield a productive IILP in 2016- no matter how you look at it. Saint Margaret said as much in no uncertain terms.

But when a VA employee in the same office gladly offers an explanation to this enigma and cuts the Gordian Knot, all of us get to honestly see what VA defined as “repeated consultations.”  I feel it only fair that St. Margaret is allowed to view it more clearly and reconsider her decision to deny my/our Writ. Remember, this ILP’s for all of you.

bel airThis is about riding lawnmowers and metal detectors. It’s about whatever you need to float your boat mentally. Certainly there are boundaries. You aren’t going to get a ’56 Chevy Bel Air to be in parades but you’re entitled to a TempurPedic® bed with tilt and heat/vibration for your bad back. You might not get that 19′ Bass fishing boat with all the bells and whistles and the 90′ omni Bassfinder™ but you shouldn’t miss out on the Binford© Golddigger 5000 metal detector that can spot a diamond ring 3 feet down. This is the ILP that was originally planned for you. A greenhouse is certainly a larger-than-life ILP but it shows what is possible. Remember old Luke Skywalker trying to raise his X-wing fighter out of the swamp on Dagobah? Think big but do not concentrate on the size. Ignore the normal. There is no normal or boundaries to ILP. There is also no limit other than the unattainable 2,700 slots authorized by Congress every year. Don’t get me wrong. Grab bars and walk -in tubs are often a welcome addition as can be a complete redo of a bathroom. The ILP is a catchall of funding to prevent anyone from falling through the safety net. It was never designed to be applied as it currently is. The funds are there. Don’t ever allow VA to tell you otherwise. Once you reach the “severely disabled” stage, they are required to pull out the stops. No if’s, and’s or buttheads.

Ex Writ Solze 8-29-16 Reconsideration

download (1)

The decider of my/our ILP claim- CAVC Judge Meg Bartley

downloadI guess I don’t need to invoke the NOVA connection here but I do this for everyone who follows in my path. Some of you out there think the NOVA is a toothless tiger who doesn’t do enough for it’s own members. Remember, you do not attain power and greatness overnight. VA, after 9 years, is still uneasy with the presence of attorneys in their midst. One day soon, we will be an integral part of this process and many more of our persuasion will come aboard on both sides.

Judge Bartley might have put the kibosh on this for citing as a precedent, but it is an excellent road map for those of you who elect to fight for your ILP rights. Remember, this isn’t about can grabbers, grab bars and cordless phones. I have yet to see those even offered to me. I cut to the greenhouse and computer chase early on. My recent inquiry about the $331.00 for the 2015 Veterans Benefits Manual fell flat like a souffle at a daycare center. Some of you might even say I’ve plum wore out my welcome. Shoo doggies. After eight years, I’m just catching my second wind. This is beginning to get downright interesting now that I’ve been allowed into the hen house.

Anyway, I decided to send in the wasted rejoinder above to make sure our Patron Saint of the NVLSP knows she is appreciated. I doubt I’ll get a reprieve, but she will know the perfidy of the VA is alive and well-documented by their own employees. You don’t always win at VA poker but it’s nice to know they ain’t fixin’ to disremember your name anytime soon.  As for the possibility of perjury, who’s bailiwick is that one in?  The VAOIG’s? (insert canned laughter here).

Asknod's VA Logo

Capture

 

Posted in All about Veterans, CAVC Knowledge, CAVC ruling, Extraordinary Writs of Mandamus, Independent Living Program, KP Veterans, Tips and Tricks, VA Attorneys, Veterans Law, VR&E | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

MITRE and RAND corporations on veterans’ health care

This gallery contains 1 photo.

The VA sponsors outside research conducted at the MITRE Corporation (LINK and overview, LINK). They, in turn, subcontract with other researchers like the RAND corporation.  RAND has a webpage (LINK) dedicated to opinion pieces, report downloads, and other information.  They were subcontracted … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

BVA–JETGUNS OR NOSE CANDY?

635646931319099161-veterans-administration-logoWe often go down this drug road trying to prove our HCV was caused by the jetguns. VA is often just as adamant that it is drug-related. The decision here at least puts both risk factors on an equal footing and encourages benefit of the doubt-as it should. If everyone who lost their HCV claim used drugs/alcohol to the extent VA claims, we’d have had a grossly impaired fighting force-something I certainly never witnessed.

http://www.va.gov/vetapp16/Files3/1623406.txt

 

Posted in BvA HCV decisions, HCV Health, HCV Risks (documented), IMOs/IMEs, Jetgun BvA Decisions, Jetgun Claims evidence, KP Veterans, Medical News, Nexus Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

CAVC #16-0298–THE RISE AND FALL OF ANOTHER EX. WRIT

I love the Cvetcourtappealspromoourt of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) method for Extraordinary Writs of Mandamus. Just like those fabled Chinese dry cleaners’ claims of ‘In by ten, you come get when little hand on three.’, my Ex. Writ was ‘in’ June 13th and out August 25th. In 73 days I have accomplished more behind-the- scenes fact finding than I ever hoped to. In the process, the Writ precipitated  the need for a quick Office of General Counsel (OGC 027) answer with virtually no time or opportunity to stage the crime scene.

EX WRIT 16-2098 finale

As we all know, helter skelter adjudications at VAROs across our amber-waves-of -grain Nation are frighteningly similar, devoid of logic and all denials seem to be eerily similar. With the introduction of the Fully Developed Claim (FDC) and the Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQ), everything sped up at the VAROs. What never changed was the 85% denial rate. Instead of the duty to assist you, your claim submission, replete with all your legwork, relieved the VA of the responsibility. They oblige us by cranking out denials in half the time.

Having the ‘foreknowledge’ of what is coming, and the new electronic world of blogs on the subject, far more Veterans are now involved in pursuing their claims pro se. Ex Writ folks like me who know about it, have discovered you can go even further and ‘buy’ instant justice. For $50.00 and mass quantities of USPS postage stamps, you-Joe Average Vet- can wreak havoc on the VA and usually, in the process, get your claims promptly adjudicated or sped up dramatically.

downloadMy filing for the Extraordinary Writ was designed to bushwhack the VR&E Poohbahs before they finally got around to dealing with me. It was axiomatic that they were going to try the bait-and-switch and offer a Visqueen® igloo with two doors and an electric space heater. Often times in the judicial arena, much like a chess game, it pays to pre-position your weapons (knights, rooks etc.).  In my case, it was a careful ballet to make sure Judge Bartley would get to see VA’s true colors in real time. In that respect, the VR&E pukes more than complied by lying -on the record, no less.

The decision is well written and Saint Meg admirably summarized the VA’s shortcomings. She gave them what few of her fellow Judges would. That is, a gentle summary of all their faux pas’ and a wise piece of advice in hoping this did not grace the Court’s dockets ever again in the future.

Our legally challenged VR&E bosses in Seattle also inadvertently revealed that all the denials, NODs, Form 9s, SOCs and SSOCs were the substitute for “repeated consultations with Mr. Graham”. No meetings, no conference calls, nada, nothing. This, too, is vintage VA chutzpah.

Here’s a recent abstract of emails on this “repeated consultations” subject.

… My desire for the Veterans Benefits Manual is the same as the need for my computer-to help other Veterans attain their rightful benefits. This has always been the focus of my Veterans advocacy along with my website asknod.org. It is a volunteer effort and fits in nicely with my original request for an ILP computer program which you closed out in 2014.

If the VBM request is not feasible under the current plan or incompatible with a new IL Program request, please go ahead and transmit it to Mr. Boyd so he can perform the appropriate “administrative review”. According to VR&E Services, if you are indeed the case manager as it declares on my file, then you have to transmit it to him for his “review”. If Mr. Boyd finds it is not required to achieve “independence”, please instruct Mr. Boyd to write it up as a denial and forward it to VR&E Services for their Administrative Review.

As Mr. Boyd does not answer my emails, this task appears to fall to you as my case manager of record.

Regards Gordon A. Graham

———————————————

HOLLAWAY, KRIS, VBASEAT <kris.hollaway@va.gov>

To gaegraham@yahoo.com

Aug 12 at 8:42 AM

Yes, case manager, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) is the same terminology. I am assigned to your case as the case manager. In your reference below, at that particular time and event, I did not have access to your file but I was still your case manager.  As an example:  If your file went to CO headquarters for 3 months or at the Board of Appeal for 6 months, I would not have access to your file but I would still be assigned as your case manager. A decision could be made in your case and I may not know of the decision but I would still be assigned as your case manager. I hope that helps. Have a great weekend!

G.Alexander Graham <gaegraham@yahoo.com>

To HOLLAWAY, KRIS, VBASEAT

Aug 12 at 11:15 AM

Dear Kris,

I guess my next question would be inevitable. If you were and are currently my case manager, would it not seem odd that we have yet to meet and sit down and formulate an IILP as stipulated in 38 USC 3107(a) and 38 CFR 21.92(a,b,c,d). You are familiar with the requirement that you, as the Counseling psychologist and/or the VRC, are primarily responsible for creating an ILP jointly with the Veteran (me)? When, exactly, did that occur since the BVA decision September 4th, 2015- or should I ask, when is it slated to occur, if ever? 

38 U.S. Code § 3107 – Individualized vocational rehabilitation plan

(a) The Secretary shall formulate an individualized written plan of vocational rehabilitation for a veteran described in section 3106(b) of this title. Such plan shall be developed with such veteran and shall include, but not be limited to (1) a statement of long-range rehabilitation goals for such veteran and intermediate rehabilitation objectives related to achieving such goals,

(2) a statement of the specific services  (which shall include counseling in all cases) and assistance to be provided under this chapter, (3) the projected date for the initiation and the anticipated duration of each such service, and (4) objective criteria and an evaluation procedure and schedule for determining whether such objectives and goals are being achieved.

  • 21.92 Preparation of the plan.

(a) General. The plan will be jointly developed by Department of Veterans Affairs staff and the veteran.

(b) Approval of the plan. The terms and conditions of the plan must be approved and agreed to by the Counseling Psychologist (CP) or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC), the vocational rehabilitation specialist, and the veteran.

(c) Implementation of the plan. The vocational rehabilitation specialist or CP or VRC designated as case manager has the primary role in carrying out Department of Veterans Affairs responsibility for implementation of the plan.

(d) Responsible staff. The CP or VRC has the primary responsibility for the preparation of plans.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3107(a)) [49 FR 40814, Oct. 18, 1984, as amended at 81 FR 26131, May 2, 2016]

Please also supply me with the dates of the alleged “repeated consultations” Mr. Boyd referred to in Item II.#6 of his July 7th, 2016 Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury regarding the joint formulation of my IILP as I seem to have misplaced my records of their occurrence. As my Case manager and VRC, I presume you should be able to supply me those records. If not, please be so kind as to ask Mr. Boyd for a copy of them. 

respectfully,/s/Gordon A. Graham

———

HOLLAWAY, KRIS, VBASEAT <kris.hollaway@va.gov>

To gaegraham@yahoo.com

Aug 16 at 3:13 PM

pinocchio_4The IILP was derived from the Statement of the Case, your appeal documents, VBA recommendations, Rehabilitation goals and identified needs as it relates to being able to perform; as in your case, “access” a greenhouse activity, heated and ADA standards.  You had made proposals such as Hydro-phonics [sic], computer monitoring, minimal door way access requirements, ADA accommodations, and year-round access; thus an IILP was developed. The IILP was sent to you ahead of our appointment, as you requested to review.  I agree that all the requests that you proposed for development of the IILP was not what you wanted but it was developed upon the above standards and guidance, and what your needs are from a justifiable and rehabilitation manner.  In the IILP goals and objectives that was presented, it would accomplished the I.L. needs and goals of rehabilitation, which is to be independent from others in performing an activity of daily living.

Technically, what you are disagreeing with( not to put words in your mouth and with all due respect),  is that the services that were derived, from a I.L. rehabilitation practicality is not practical or in agreement according to your standards, wants or what you wanted to accomplish in meeting your needs; whereby you are submitting a Notice of Disagreement.

Mr. Boyd, VR&E Officer; Don LaFord, contractor and myself met with you and we did discuss the IILP and we did say that we wanted to come to some agreement. We did work hard with the PWS and IILP rehabilitation needs but we were not able to agree. Thus, you prepared a Notice of Disagreement.

Mr. Boyed[sic] now has your CER folder and is preparing a statement to you regarding my Case manager’s decision; which is the next step in the NOD. Even though he has the case, I am still your case manager, just to clarify.

——

G.Alexander Graham <gaegraham@yahoo.com>

To HOLLAWAY, KRIS, VBASEAT

Aug 16 at 5:15 PM

Thank you for the explanation. I guess we will have to differ on what Miriam Webster defines as “jointly develop”.

Please note for your records, I am not filing a Notice Of Disagreement (NOD) with anything so far. I have asked only for a review under 38 USC 3107(c)(1,2). A Veteran cannot file a NOD after he has “won”. I provided Mr. Boyd a signed copy asking for a review of the IILP as required by statute and regulation during his visit on July 13th, 2016. That is far different than filing a Form 21-0958 Notice of Disagreement. In any case, a NOD is not a judicial tool available to me. VA has already granted me a greenhouse. Judge Bartley will make a decision on whether to grant my request for Mandamus and for VA to comply with the BVA decision. Mr. Boyd should just be addressing what will go inside the structure as contemplated in 38 USC 3107(a),(2) concerning a statement of specific services. If you remember, that was lacking in the April 12th IILP that I ask for a two year ILP on. If certain requests were ignored or not included, it behooved the Case manager to define the parameters early on rather than present it as a done deal ready for signing on the 13th of July. I stated as much in my email of July 7th, 2016 before you and Mr. Boyd came over This is the whole concept of a stakeholder enterprise.

Merriam Webster, the preferred dictionary of the VA, defines stakeholder thusly:

Full Definition of stakeholder

1: a person entrusted with the stakes of bettors

2: one that has a stake in an enterprise

3: one who is involved in or affected by a course of action
Please be kind enough  to inform me of the progress of the Veterans Benefits Manual denial and the Administrative Review after VR&E Services have weighed in with their Administrative Review. Since Mr. Boyd doesn’t answer my emails, I rely on you, as always, to be the eventual messenger.

I am told my file is now sitting on Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas Murphy’s desk currently. He may be the one who decides this. I don’t have any way of knowing what the ultimate decision will be with regards to hydroponics or lighting. From Mr. Boyd’s declaration provided to the Court on penalty of perjury. the IILP was developed by February 24th, 2016. Your and Mr. Boyd’s emails to me indicate you were still in the final stages of hammering out a PWS in May 2016. In fact, if you recall, you told me at our April 12th meeting that you still did not have any specifics on size. This all seems to contradict what Mr. Boyd has sworn to as fact. The March 25th, 2016 Form 28-8872 had no specifics on what was being awarded as required by 38 USC 3107(a)(2). It seems almost an impossibility for you to write up a IILP with no access to my case file or any idea of what was proposed as you claimed at the April 12th 2016 meeting. 

Hopefully, we’ll get this ironed out to everyone’s satisfaction.

Regards,

Gordon A. Graham

——————————

To date, Mr. Boyd and Mr. Holloway have not answered my email.

Surprise, surprise surprise Sgt. Carter.

Nodster



 


 

Posted in CAVC Knowledge, CAVC ruling, Extraordinary Writs of Mandamus, Independent Living Program, KP Veterans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The VA and long term care

Bye bye estates? Bye bye kids’ inheritances?  Long term care is another complicated VA benefit topic worth looking into because many of us were not able to purchase long term care insurance policies during the years we were raising children and paying for higher education. We dread the possibility that we could end up in a nursing home, our spouses left in abject poverty after a lifetime of hard work, paid or unpaid. Screenshot 2016-08-22 at 1.29.35 AM

 

The VA makes grants (matching funds) for new construction and renovation projects (LINK) each year.  This post provides some links to information about veterans’ state homes.  Some states are building attractive modern facilities, such as the one in Silver Bay, MN above (LINK). Vermont’s long term veterans’ home boasts a five star rating, a trout pond and deer park. Veterans who are 70% disabled do not have to pay for services, a situation that may apply in all state homes.

The”… Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-461),…currently provides “No Cost” Nursing Home Care at any State Veterans Home to veterans who are 70% or more service connected disabled. (Source LINK)

State homes also take private payments, Medicare and Medicaid.  In some cases,  spouses can receive care.  Every state has different residency requirements and beds available.  Some offer dementia care, adult day care, respite care and many other services.  (VT LINK).  A list of veterans’ state homes can be found here: (LINK) or (LINK).Fawn in herd 1 (800x397)

Long term care provided at VHA facilities may have very different requirements as VHA-10-10EC form indicates.  Congress has provided resource protections for spouses who are living in the community when their mates are in long term care (for Medicare and VA). We’ll take a look at them in a different post and try to compare them with Medicaid which kicks in when Medicare benefits are exhausted.

Please note that these provisions are constantly changing.  It’s best to call local social workers and administrations for up-to-date information.  Learning about state veterans’ homes are a good starting place especially if they employ an on-site PCP, as in Ohio (LINK). And they are inspected by state health agencies and the VA.  State pride in care giving for vets will vary.

Screenshot 2016-08-26 at 4.50.18 PM

We need more modern facilities in every state–closer to where vets’ families live.

 

Posted in All about Veterans, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, Uncategorized, VA Health Care | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment