Meet Miz Kathleen. New Sleuth on the prowl. I asked her if she would be so kind as to “sniff out” the bona fides of a certain outfit in Florida that purports to be run by former VA Personnel with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)-those who perform Compensation and Pension Examinations on Veterans to aid in determining service connection for claims we file.
Several days ago, I put up this report and Kathleen commented on it with numerous links to the outfit in question. I emailed her and asked if she’d be interested in researching such a valuable asset to Veterans-if it were indeed true. And, true to her word, I present her diligent work.
Caveat Emptor …”let the buyer beware.”
As defined, “Caveat Emptor is a Latin term that means “let the buyer beware.” Similar to the phrase “sold as is,” this term means that the buyer assumes the risk that a product may fail to meet expectations or have defects.”
Caveat Emptor…that’s my sentiment about the consulting firm mentioned in VA NEXUS LETTERS–FINALLY A GO-TO SOURCE? . You may or may not feel the same way as I do about this firm and that’s certainly everyone’s prerogative to reach their own conclusions.
In a response to that post, I provided information found by following the digital trail left out on the WWW by those associated with the firm. You see, we all leave digital footprints while we interact with the Web. A digital footprint is defined as… “the information about a particular person that exists on the Internet as result of their online activity.”
In this case, the digital trail that I followed kept bringing me to more twists and turns then “the most crooked street in the world”, Lombard Street in San Francisco, CA.
To start with, the firm seems to be associated with more than one name:
The firm is indeed listed with the Better Business Bureau:
Of note, is a recent customer complaint listed on the website:
Problems with Product/Service
Vet Comp and Pen claims they assisted me in filing a ********** claim with ******* *******. Not only did they not assist me but now are stating that I owe them in upwards of $8399. I filed all claims with ******* ******* on my own and therefore required nor received any assistance from Vet Comp and… Pen.
(Show Less of Complaint)
Stop threatening demands with promises of attorney fees and collection fees, etc.
From: ******* ****** ************ **********************>
Date: Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 4:29 PM
Subject: Re: You have a new message from the BBB of Northeast Florida in regards to your… complaint #********.
To: Better Business Bureau <*****************>
case has been resolved……ID ********
In the BBB profile, these are the additional phone numbers associated with the firm:
(888) 838-3726 **The toll free phone # listed seems to be for an entirely different entity (Veteran Corps of America)
What people are saying about unsolicited marketing texts/calls received from VC&Pen phone # 352-405-0022:
…and also from 352-405-0050 (listed as possibly a “spoof” phone #):
This from the VA’s Official Blog:
a snippet from responses to that blog post:
I agree..the C&P system (compensation and pension) is broken…vets are not receiving what is deserved for their military related disabilities due to various reasons…and they are missing out on MANY secondary conditions due to lack of knowledge and guidance from non medical veteran service officers who do not understand pathophysiology and pharmacology, etc….erroneous claims or missed claims are being filed and bogging down the system. As a previous C&P examiner and trainer as well as a committee member for DEMO (disability exam management office) who recently helped with the development of DBQ (disability benefits questionaires) that are recently instituted throughout the nation, I have seen how inadequate the system is. Thus I have resigned my position with VHA and gone into private medical consulting to assist vets with the preparation and filing of compensation claims in order to maximize the potential of success in winning deserving claims, and decrease denials (less than 20% are ever overturned once denied!)…check out my website for more info http://www.vetcompandpen.com …..
You and non of your associates are accredited by VA assist, prepare, and prosecute veterans claims. Furthermore, it is illegal to charge veterans (whether you’re accredited or not) for such services if they are filing for initial benefits. In order to be able to charge a veteran for such services, you MUST first be accredited by VA, AND the secondly the claim must be on appeal. Then, and only then can a fee be payable! It is organizations such as yours who give advocates a bad reputation.
I will be notifying the VA’s Office of the General Counsel of your organization and so-called services.
Accredited claims agent
Now, Mr. Janey took great umbrage with Ms. Uribe’s post response and for just cause…he is what he says he is:
- Kevin Janey, VA Accredited Claims Agent
On his website, Mr. Janey does a great job explaining what a legitimate, accredited VA claims agent is as well as explaining the process:
As with AskNod, Mr. Janey is easily found in VA’s accreditation database for Attorneys, Claims Agents, or Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) Representatives.
This from Reddit:
The poster, “BiminiFritz”, represents himself as “Jim Hill President & CEO” of Vet Comp & Pen Medical Consulting LLC extolling the virtues of his consulting firm. Perhaps someone already has or will be taking Mr. Hill up on #6 of his response:
“6. If you think we are a scam, or run across anyone taking advantage of veterans, you need to CONTACT the OFFICE of THE INSPECTOR GENERAL for the Dept of Veteran Affairs. Our office address is:
Vet Comp & Pen Medical Consulting,LLC 410 SW 140th Terrace Newberry, FL 32669 888-98-Veteran”
Aren’t you glad she doesn’t work for the FBI or VA’s VAOIG? Wait. Scratch that. She’s light years ahead of both of them and Homeland Security as well.
P.S. As a legal ploy, I/we at asknod.org disavow any agreement with what Kathleen has uncovered. We trust her to be honest and unbiased. As she has no dog in this fight, it cannot be considered slander. We merely offer her a soapbox to theorize and espouse different theories on the bona fides of Vet Comp and Pen Consulting I have personally sent Mr. Hill an invitation to rebut anything she said here and provide him with his own soapbox in turn to defend his business and employees. To date (June 13, 2017), he has not availed himself of the opportunity. Ever since the Wounded Warrior Project debacle, I have learned to offer anything I say as conjecture and not fact (or lies). I continue in this noble tradition and try to help Vets. Part of that mission involves identifying useful tools such as VC&PC LLC and offering them to you for your possible use in your claims. Nothing I offer carries the endorsement of asknod.org but merely a tool worth investigating. If you return with a horror story, you are free to share it. I do not apply my hallmark of respectability to anyone other than NOVA attorneys and VA Nonattorney Practitioners (Agents)
And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
PPS. A fellow VA attorney finally solved the mystery of how VAClaimPros knows you have won a claim. Apparently, from testimonials of former clients, a prospective Vet is required to divulge his or her VA eBenefits password and PIV to Claim Pros as a condition of the contract. This allows them to access your account and determine if you have won anything. If it involves any of their “work” (and I use that term loosely), they mail you a bill. Apparently, when you go in for one of their c&p exams for an IMO, they investigate you from stem to stern and record any and all injuries/diseases and ostensibly prepare IMOs for those as well.
My advice to Veterans is simple. If you terminate your services with these folks, change your ebenefits or va.gov PIV credentials to prevent unauthorized access afterwards. The VA OIG and OGC have declined to prosecute this particular outfit citing no authority or oversight. More Vets’ “help” sites are springing up daily. The only legitimate one I am aware of is Valor4Vet.
Ms. Spangenberg, the owner of the company is an accredited VA agent and in compliance with the regulation 38 CFR Part XIV.