Remember USB Allison “in Wonderland” Hickey’s famous rejoinder to Congress back in 2013? Paraphrased, it could be summed up thusly: “As simple as filing taxes online and a way to whittle down the claims backlog“. Whew, doggies. Considering the claims backlog just hit two million and 2015 is right around the corner, they may have to refurbish that statement. More importantly, with our last fearless leader down the tubes, are the assurances of 98% accuracy and a 125-day guaranteed turnaround still “operational”?
Lawbob Squarepants just sent me this link with some rather disheartening news for all you e-filers. Keep in mind I warned everyone that the only system remotely capable of being trusted was the CAVC’s e-filing system. Seems I may have been on to something. For any of you who might have done so, you may wish to check the status of your e-filing to prevent loss of the filing date.
In lieu of all the failings we have seen of late, this should come as no surprise. Maybe it’s
Allison’s way of ridding the VBA of thousands of claims “accidentally” a la Louis Lerner’s IRS emails which
evaporated were lost to a computer crash. Nothing would surprise us anymore at Asknod. Unlike the mass-hysteria media, we tend to expect the VA to lose, shred, destroy, feign memory loss or just ignore 38 CFR in their dogged pursuit of denials. Likewise, 140,000 misplaced VA scheduling mishaps, with more growing by the day is to be taken as par for the course. Remember back in April/May when that number was 30,000 and the VAOIG was confident all the Lost Boys of Neverhappenedland had been accounted for?
Hundreds of thousands of claims is a short ton of Veterans. One might think that someone would choke, blink or blow coffee through their noses up at 810 Vermin Ave. NW in the Central Office at the mere thought of this travesty. In this day and age of no bonuses and the impending Night of the Long Knives, quite the opposite is ensuing.
Lutz said if vets try to submit electronically hundreds of documents, such as PDFs of medical records, “that volume of documents makes electronic submission very difficult, and we always recommend that they work with a Veterans Service Organization, as the VSOs have the expertise to ensure that the right information is gathered and submitted.”
(This is the first we’ve heard that “multiple submissions of .PDFs etc conflusticate the VBMS wundercomputer”. And why is it that a Service Officer is going to have any more luck than you uploading docs into VBMS? )
Well, duh. No doubt they’d like to see this in the able hands of fellow collaborators like VSOs. Vets, in VA’s convoluted mind, simply should not be allowed to do this without a minder. The fact is that Vets are the primary cause of the backlog in the tortured grey matter of Miz Allison. The very same VSOs she is advocating to intercede are the ones encouraging separating Vets of the post-2001 Iraqistan to file for everything that ever occurred to them medically-both before and during service. Thus we are greeted by 65-item, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink claims that take years to investigate and further constipate the system.
How about this little “glitch”? Remember now, we are encouraged to use VSOs as they have the ability to view our claims in “real time” and fix the VA’s inevitable screwups promptly:
VSOs have little visibility into the claims filed to date through the eBenefits portal because of design problems with the information technology system set up, the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal. That portal only allows for broad searches for claims at the state and the VBA regional office level, and limits any search to 1,000 claims. If the search results in more than 1,000 records, SEP returns a message that the system is not available, rather than the search went over the 1,000 file limit.
Ruh-oh, Rorge. This new glorified VBMS can’t even see BVA appeals awaiting transmittal to DC (i.e. those awaiting a Form 8 and certification)? This reminds me of the old, original Pong game with two paddles by Atari. VA is marketing it as an Xbox product akin to Grand Theft Auto 5 yet there’s no sound and the video quality is 1930s Mighty Mouse black and white. It imparts a completely new meaning to the “BM” in VBMS. Perhaps a rebranding to VBSM? You Vets also realize, I hope, that this means your service officer can see little more than you can on ebenefits. In addition, I called the 800 Dial a prayer line several weeks ago and asked why two claims, filed separately on successive months have the same date of filing. Answer? “Well, sir, the ebenefits portal doesn’t give me that information but I can file a query for you.” Yep. Guess who can’t even view the VACOLS computer now?
We are coming into a rough, uncharted course where every effort will be made soon to downplay the VA’s VHA and VBA shortcomings. Shinseki’s abrupt departure will be pointed to as the monkey wrench as will the dearth of doctors. Inadequate funding will be dragged out again in spite of Congress’ perennial willingness to write a check for any amount VA says it needs. VA is flush with apologists. I’m sure they take up a whole floor at 810 Vermin Ave. NW and enjoy corner window offices as a reward for their loyal service.
And now we have Vets dying in hospitals waiting for an ambulance to cart them 500 yards to an emergency room. Perhaps it is time we employed Vets to do this. There is no 911 on a battlefield. When you get clobbered by ordnance, your buddies don’t all gather ’round singing Kumbaya and hold your hand saying “Relax. We called for a dustoff. They’ll be here in 30 minutes depending on hostile fire. Try breathing more slowly so you don’t bleed out.” You get proactive or you lose them. What set of rules, dreamed up by VHA, would permit everyone to sit around and wait 30 minutes for a meat wagon when they could throw him on a stretcher and have him in capable hands in less than five? This is what we are up against. The media has no idea of the depth of perfidy we have suffered for aeons and which continues to infest this system. Only at a VAMC could a Vet die waiting to be seen due to personnel following the book. I rest my case.
Happy 4th of July, campers.