PTSD–TEACHING TO THE TEST


vietnamI received an interesting email yesterday (Monday) from a fellow (Hank R.) who feels we (Veterans advocates) are in some way “coaching” our brethren  on how to best answer the DBQs (Disability Benefits Questionnaires)and VA psychiatrists/Doctors. The implicit suggestion was that we also game the C&P exams.

We at asknod do not subscribe to the practice nor would we ever. I suppose that someone has already come out with a Cliff Notes pamphlet on how to ace the bent brain tests by now, or any and all the other ailments. In this day and age with the Internet, it would almost be expected.

20A  w  9mm Swedish K  July 70 AirAmI wrote my book on VA claims to help Vets out but I never ever advocated dishonesty or shading the truth in spite of the hell VA puts us through. Our moral compass must always be far more sterling than theirs.

Getting back to Mr. Hank, the tenor of his email was very clear. He holds that the VA compensation and pension plans are far too lenient and almost beg to be abused. Hank also feels that those among us injured in the service of our country knew full well of the risks before we signed on the line. Ergo any injuries sustained in the military profession are just part of a remuneration scheme and should be covered by VA medical personnel. In a nutshell, free medical for the ailment for life should be compensation enough.

While I strongly hew to the idea that each and every one of us Americans is entitled to his or her opinion, I expect it may be difficult for Hank to understand the sacrifices we endure when we give up McDonald’s for MREs or c-rations left over from an earlier war. I felt it was a sacrifice to have to give up many creature comforts when the draft gong rang out #39 in 1969. I felt it was a sacrifice to trade in a sure college education for an M-79. Admittedly, I did have a killer tan after two years in country but that didn’t improve the bottom line on a resume.

For those who have never heard the siren call of war, military service might be perceived like an extended Boy Scout Jamboree. Experience changes any perception. I don’t expect Mr. Hank to change his conception of our 3 or 4 -year paid vacations to far-flung countries around the world. I doubt he will ever feel that Pucker Factor of being shot at. I’m glad he’ll never have to experience it. It’s not something one wishes on any other.

But by the same token, Mr. Hank, remember when we signed up that Uncle Sam made some very explicit promises. One was if we ended up missing any of those 2000 body parts we were born with that we would be remunerated. A bent brain certainly falls into that category. Not quite seven percent of us hold the unique distinction of having served our country. Of that number slightly less than 3 percent are paid compensation for missing/damaged parts. That’s an infinitesimal number when expressed in the context of 500 million Americans safe at home posting on Facebook. Few of us ask for more than what is due yet we have to fight to get any of it. My personal fight has taken twenty two years and I now find myself back at the Board of Veterans Appeals because VA still thinks I’m asking for too much.

In my opinion, America opens up its heart to Veterans. Perhaps not as much as they give to the ASPCA  but what the hey. We receive what most consider a pittance in compensation even when completely disabled. We’re far below the poverty line in most cases and the irony is most of us are too proud to ask for our due. To add insult to injury, we aren’t even allowed legal representation in our pursuit of these entitlements until we lose the first time.  With $3K a month at stake, it makes a fellow want to plumb run out and enlist immediately, huh?

P.S. I emailed this back to Hank in the off-chance he might not come back to read about how we swindle Americans out of their taxpayer dollars.

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14 Responses to PTSD–TEACHING TO THE TEST

  1. woodguy11 says:

    we still love ya hank but do some research

  2. John King says:

    I have fought with the VA for 45 years to get decent compensation and decent medical care from the DAV. Being P&T and getting Housebound I get just over $40 grand a year. This is much less than I earned in 2001 when I became completely disabled. It took 33 years to go from initial 10% rating by the VA to a 70%/TDIU rating. My VA medical care is a bad joke. The reason I did not get an increase in my original rating for almost 20 years is because the VA just refused to consider my private doctor’s evidence. They got away with this because of their own rules that allowed them to do this and get away with it. I wish I had had someone to coach me and explain to me how corrupt the C&P system was for decades after Vietnam. I would say that many tens of thousands of vets have been low balled or denied in their attempts to get compensation. It was and is SOP for the VA to lowball mental health claims. During Vietnam and for years after you had to be stark, raving mad to get a rating above 30% for PTSD or any other MH disorder. Just within the last few years the VA has added two more potentially fatal diseases to the AO presumptive list. They could continue to add presumptives until the last Vietnam vet is dead, but they are done with us. Hank has the scammer situation completely in reverse. It is the US government in the guise of the VA that is the main scammer. Misconduct and incompetence by C&P exam doctors has been my experience and not the other way round.

    • SquidlyOne says:

      “It is the US government in the guise of the VA that is the main scammer. Misconduct and incompetence by C&P exam doctors has been my experience and not the other way round.”

      Bulls eye Brutha!

  3. WGM says:

    Sir Nod has written many times of the importance of being honest when filling a claim. Sir Nod has also written many times that Veterans should look in the mirror and ask yourself if you have been honest before filing a claim; because vA will look for and find the lie, and your claim will die.
    Hank is just another troll that that shows up here from time to time.

  4. Slowlane says:

    If veterans are getting so much from the VA, why does the Wounded Warrior Project exist?

  5. hepper74 says:

    Now ya did it Hank, you got the hornets stirred up. There is clearly opportunity for scamming the system but beware if you are caught impersonating a Vet. Low lives come in all shapes, sizes and ethnicities but I would hazard a guess that the percentage is less than 2% which could be scamming. Bottom line should be to provide the compensation until/unless it can be proven that we are not deserving not the other way around.

  6. Karen S. says:

    As the wife and mother of vets with PTSD, I just want to tell Hank to come to my home anytime.

  7. Vicki Foley says:

    Mr. Hank is a parasite, enjoying the benefits of freedom while spitting in the face of those who made that possible. Wish you’d have printed his email address, as well, He needs to hear from the people for which he’s cultivated a significant level of disdain.

  8. woodguy11 says:

    is hank a vet?….just want to share this with hank……I never would have been able to navigate my way around the VA requirements and paper work if it weren’t for the book and Nod has advocated the no lying principal because you could end up in jail…..I think he mentions it twice in the book….you should read it before slamming him…..he is a vet from Vietnam era and has been practically destroyed from being around some of the things that are required of us to do in war. if you read the book some of the things the va has done to him are unconchinable (sp)? I got hep-c as he has from being there and have had to get a transplant at my cost ….I would never let the VA do this surgery….. the hep-c came from ???? Im not sure and am still researching the causes and risks …….so Hank ….do some reading Sand research before slamming us vets for fraud …You should be looking at our congress for that. And they waste way more money than the VA. trillions I would say. So leave us alone and take a hike

  9. “Mr. Hank” is expressing his freedom of speech. Contrary to what “Mr. Hank” may say, this freedom of speech came at a price, since I dont recall any Global Directives mentioning that all humans are entitled to “Freedom of Speech” in all parts of the world for free. Instead, this is one of our freedoms that came “at great price”, where many troops shed their blood for our freedoms beginning with USA’s hotly protested freedom from England’s rule, with the Declaration of Independence. We continue to have to defend the US Constitution which guarntees citizens certain unalianable rights. The real suprising part is that, by attacking Veterans, “Mr. Hank” is literally “biting the hand” that fed him his free speech, as our freedoms were not given to us by crafty politicians, but rather paid for with the blood of many troops who gave their everything so that all may enjoy our freedoms. “Mr. Hank’s” attitutde is not unlike many VA employees. They want to have a “job” where they “serve” Veterans and receive compensation for their labors in a span of no more than 3-4 weeks. Some of the Veterans do not get their just compensation, for as long as 20 years, using just ASK nod as an example. No one has ever offered a good explanation as to why VA employees receive their just compensation in about 3 weeks or less, while it takes about 3 years or more for Veterans to get their just compensation, when, VA employees purpose is, indeed, to serve Veterans. To solve the backlog problem, we should likely “switch” the VA employee payroll employees with the Veterans compensation employees, and pay Veterans their due in 3 weeks, while making VA employees wait sometimes 20 years to get their due.

  10. markworthen says:

    I don’t know about non-psych claims (not my area of expertise), but in the mental health realm a minority of vets exaggerate and/or feign PTSD or other mental disorder symptoms, just like in any other disability program. “There are bad apples in every bunch.”

    But that does *not* mean that ALL veterans are scamming the system–that’s ridiculous.

    I’ve read ashnod’s book and dozens of his posts and I have *never* seen him advocating lying or otherwise scamming the system. In fact, I’ve read posts where he discusses how such practices dishonor legitimately disabled veterans.

    The current system would certainly benefit from reforms, but providing only medical care would not help veterans whose ability to earn a living has been reduced or eliminated by their service-connected disabilities.

    Mark

  11. Frank says:

    Veterans “game” the C & P exams?

    VA “doctors” often don’t have a clue about the exams they’re conducting, at least that’s been my experience. One of my VA examiners missed “bony-hard, deep fibrotic scarring,” secondary to radiation therapy, got pissed at me for mentioning it, and didn’t record it. That cost me %, and it took me a year+ to NOD it, and get it back. Another VA C & P examiner I got saddled with didn’t know the difference between “linear” scars & deep scars, or how to measure them. To add insult to injury, VA ignored my radiation oncologist’s reports (one in DBQ format), which were at odds with VA’s C & P exams. Now, to settle the matter, they want me to undergo more C & P exams.

    Just who, Hank, is gaming the system?

  12. cdneh says:

    Mr Hank is clearly a toe rag.

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