VA’s newest plan to fix the backlog

This new editorial explains a little about how Shinseki is going to reduce the backlog by 2015, amidst a growing number of doubters.

Once again, the VA promises to reduce the backlog.

Among the skeptics is this 94 year old man, still trying to get VA benefits.   Apparently 7 years was just too fast for the VA to complete his claim, and he waits, just like the other million or so Veterans in the “hopium” that Shinseki will fix the backlog.

So, the VA has a plan to reduce the backlog.  First,

Please observe “the old” plan which was only partially effective at reducing the backlog:

Veterans were unhappy with the old plan, so something had to be done.  There were congressional investigations into shreddergate, and the VA promised not to get caught at it anymore.  Interestingly, Belinda’ Flynns congressional testimony “forgot” that Cleveland RO was also on the list of Regional Offices caught shredding Vets evidence.

Chairman Munyan and Belinda Finn had a conversation about shredding documents in 2011,  in a congressional hearing about poorly performing Regional Offices.  This is a portion of their conversation:

Mr. RUNYAN. And there is, Ms. Finn, regarding misplacing loss claim folders, you said in your written statement this is happening in the VA’s COVER system….

 (Authors Note:  Notice the present tense “is happening” as opposed to it “has happened” in the past but fixed.   Isn’t that an admission by the VAOIG that Veterans evidence is still coming up missing far too often?   The author wants to know why the VAOIG is apparently no longer performing inspections  checking the shredder bin for these lost documents, since this statement would indicate that Shreddergate 2 is on its way. )

 (continuing with Mr. Munford’s quote) They are tracked by bar code. How are we losing files like this all the time?

Ms. FINN. What we found was the location in the system doesn’t correspond to where the folder is. So when you go to where the folder was last recorded, it is not there.

Mr. RUNYAN. Isn’t that the purpose of the bar code?

Ms. FINN. The purpose the bar code, yes, is to provide a system for tracking it. But it requires compliance that people use the scanner to COVER it in every place it goes. And if somebody misses doing that step, and then the folder gets put into a file room, perhaps it gets misfiled and then you can’t find it.  

There you have it.   Scroll to the bottom to see the VA’s newest backlog reduction program.

This entry was posted in Guest authors, SHREDDERGATE, VA BACKLOG and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to VA’s newest plan to fix the backlog

  1. Randy says:

    I am in the process of getting a loan modification and I must tell you that the parallels are scary. No return phone calls, “lost” paperwork, missing information that was faxed just the day prior and here is the kicker; I sent in the requested information via return receipt USPS and also sent it via fax on the same day. One and one half week later and they still cannot find the paperwork. Two days later I get a phone call stating oh yes that was received on …..
    Same ole BS and perhaps run by VA, who knows for sure?

  2. Squidly
    We need a plan where it takes 525 days or longer to approve VA executive bonuses, ESPECIALLY when it takes that long to help a Vet.
    The new “hush hush” plan for shredding Veterans evidence is unacceptable. While the VARO’s plan of “not doing shredder bin inspections” any more does keep the heat off the VA, it does nothing to help Vets like you who have had evidence shredded.
    My suggestion: You see, Dr. Peake, the former secretary, put a “time limit” that has long since passed on Veterans getting “Special handling” when the RO shredded evidence. I suggest you continue your appeal as if it were still within the time limit:
    My personal opinion, tho it is mere speculation, is that the VA WONT be able to “hold” Vets to a deadline for the submission of “evidence” that had been mishandled by the RO, for at least two reasons.
    1. How would the Vet know if his evidence was shredded? Did the VA send out letters, “We shredded your evidence”….I dont think so.
    2. Shredding Vets evidence was/is illegal. There is no time limit on that. It was illegal then, as it is now. I think the courts will “stike down” the time limits for Veterans to claim shredded evidence when their evidence mysteriously disappears, especially when the Vet has evidence to show he sent it, such as certified mail, return receipt requested.
    The VA can “hold” Veterans to a deadline of a year for filing an appeal, but they cant, IMHO, “hold” Vets to a deadline on shredded evidence. The delay in the Veteran finding out his evidence was shredded is because of the VA backlog, not because the Vet did anything wrong.

    • SquidlyOne says:

      Peake was a putz! almost rhymes.. 🙂

      I have been rebuilding my c-file with my SMRs that I have been getting piecemeal from NRPC with creative inquiries. That just goes to show and is proof in and of itself that the VARO hasn’t really bothered to try and assemble my missing SMRs. All Peake did was to allow vets to re-file their claims within a certain timeframe. My c-file and SMRs probably got shredded 25 years ago when I didn’t appeal my rating decision back then. The VARO just doesn’t care and is willing to just throw my claim over the appeal wall if I let them. When does blatant gross incompetence actually become plausible culpability to the extent of being criminal?

      Anyway, I know that the examiners have not looked at my SMRs so in my statements and rebuttals I am mentioning that my SMRs contained XYZ and since you don’t have those to review, you will just have to take my word for it. That has worked to a certain degree for me at this VARO. I am giving them just enough rope to hang themselves on paper. Because lay testimony by the vet is supposed to hold more weight if the VA can’t find any SMRs. This tactic I don’t think a VSO would dare to attempt. I’ve pretty much assembled enough evidence for my BVA appeal that it should be a slam dunk. The VARO knows I am holding a good hole card, they just don’t know what it is and they won’t find out until I present it to the VLJ either.

      With my other claims I am on track and waiting for a VARO decision now. I sent them a letter last month stating that I have no further evidence to submit so just get on with the show. Lady luck smiled on me big time when the NRPC sent me exactly what I needed to win my new claim a week after I filed it. 🙂

  3. SquidlyOne says:

    Notice that the national average to certify an appeal to the BVA by a VARO is around 525 days…The counter doesn’t start and the appeal is not in the BVA queue until the VARO enters the claim number into VACOLS. Then it is supposed to be the date of the F-9 but will a Veteran jump to the head of the line after a year and a half of waiting for the certification? I have a claim stuck in that appeal limbo….for how long is anybody’s guess!

    I was active duty for 10 years and had a MEB. My c-file from 1986 and all of those 10 years of SMRs are lost in space. The VARO wants to blame it on Dr. Smith. They “rebuilt” my c-file with nothing in it. That was the extent of this VARO’s “duty to assist”. Of course with nothing in the c-file, there is no evidence and no evidence was grounds to grant me a lightening quick denial. The ROs know that the probability that a Veteran will make it to the end of the appeal marathon is one out of 10.

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