WHERE HAVE ALL THE VA AGENTS GONE?


countImagine Mary Kaye® or Nike™ Shoes offering you a dealership in a State or locality with absolutely little or no competition for nothing? Not a penny out of pocket. All you had to do was be semi-smart enough to pass a test on morals with a long multiple choice list of ‘what if”s looking for quasi-legal support from a set of regulations. Sounds like a building code book of regulations and knowing how to build a house correctly. That’s how I approach these things.

Add to the above equation that it costs absolutely nothing out of pocket to do this as virtually everything you need to know is on the internet. No textbooks required to purchase. You don’t have to go to college for 4 years and then law school for 3 more for the Juris Doctorate. You get to cut line educationally if you can pass this test and are treated as an equal. Pretty cool beans, huh? Did I mention it’s free?

I have just described the requirements to become a VA Agent-aka a nonattorney practitioner in legal DickandJanespeak. You get to go online and look at your client’s c-file instead of waiting a year or two for it on a Check 1: [  ] CD     [  ] paper. You are given the VA Regional Office Director’s telephone number as well as four to nine support staff at the VA to take your call or return it (complete with email address). You call up and ask who’s in charge of _____________ and they give you the number of the person. In other words, the real world. None of this 1-800-827 Dial-a-prayer shuck-and-jive and a 50 minute hold or a promise of a return call on the very next Thursday ending in an even year at 0900. No 1-800- Iha-vePTSD calls to the HELPline and getting an answering service after 1800 Hrs.

Now, cowpokes. How many VA Armchair Generals do you think who offer waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much advice on Yuku’s VBN (Peggy’s Pink Site) that wouldn’t jump in with both feet and sign up before they stiffened the rules or started charging admission? How many you figure would be in any given state with a shingle hanging a block or so within a rural VARO?VAMC? A short ton, right? This is low-hanging fruit free for the picking and you don’t have that $225,000 student loan eating a hole in your financial future until you die. This morning I was asked how many thousands there were of us who have found this little loophole and squirmed through. The results are interesting and far from what I expected to see.

CaptureI belong to NOVA so I figure we reproduce like rabbits. Apparently, only attorneys do. I was prepared for a large concentration in the states with the highest aggregate populations of people including Veterans. Wrong again. Okay, a high number in areas with a large Veteran population uniformly dispersed at the very least in every state and US possession including former ones like Manila and the Canal Zone. Saigon? Udon Thani? Wiesbaden? (Yes-one). Here’s the list. What I guess I found disconcerting was there is no rep. for Alaska where I think a good independent agent could cut a swath and a reputation as the only honest Agent near the Arctic Circle.

Alaska –0                             North Carolina–17

Alabama–3                              North Dakota–1

Arkansas–8                             Nebraska–7

Arizona–9                               New Hampshire–2

California–23                         New Jersey–9

Colorado–3                             New Mexico–1

Connecticut–8                        Nevada–4

Canal Zone–0                    New York–6

DC–3                                        Ohio–10

Europe –1                               Oklahoma–4

Florida –47                             Oregon–1

Georgia–20                             Pennsylvania–13

Guam–0                               Philippines–2

Hawaii–0                            Puerto Rico–0  

Iowa–1                                    Quebec–0

Idaho–0                              Rhode Island–5

Illinois–10                             South Carolina–5

Indiana–7                              South Dakota–0    

Kansas–8                               Tennessee–7

Kentucky–4                           Texas–23

Louisiana–6                          Utah–7

Massachusetts–9                 Virginia–8

Maryland–5                          Virgin Islands–0    

Maine–1                                 Vermont-1

Michigan–17                         Washington–9

Minnesota–3                        Wisconsin–1

Missouri–3                           West Virginia–3

Mississippi–1                       Wyoming–0

Montana-0                       Kabul–0

Mexico–0                         Baghdad–0  

———————————————   Total– 346 VA Agents in the world. Spooky, huh?

The way I look at this is a mega-business venture as though they just legalized pot and you have to throw down quick with your own Pot Shop before the neighborhood has one on every corner. Lord know I get about 3 calls a day of Vets looking for legal help. If we’re so skinny on representatives for this, the sky’s the limit. The last thing you want is to be a small town clown and the tail end Charlie.

I figured there would be one in American Samoa because I’ve met a lot of South Sea Islanders from there. It isn’t even listed as ever having one. Hawaii was another disappointment. I’m giving both some serious thought if no one else wants them.

P.S. I was going to count the attorneys. There are 19 in Alaska. Alabama has 222. Arkansas has 132 and that’s where I gave up counting due to Writer’s eyeball cramp.

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Nodster

 

 

 

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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5 Responses to WHERE HAVE ALL THE VA AGENTS GONE?

  1. You ought to take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the
    net. I am going to recommend this website!

  2. john king says:

    AskNod

    Every time I go to the VAMC and chat to some really disabled vet I found out that either they are not getting proper compensation, or they are getting no compensation and have no understanding of their situation. They take the VA at their word. I just don’t have time or resources to rescue them from their ignorance. They don’t do research or file appeals. They just suffer and let VA do brain surgery on them or some major operation and eventually kill them. How many Vietnam vets are left anyway? VA is really turning into an old folks home in my area of Florida.

  3. Kiedove says:

    This job takes a special skill set and preparation. If there isn’t a vocational aspect, I’m sure the burn out would/will be great. But even teachers have a high attrition rate and school districts and leadership, awful as they may be, are still sane compared to the VA regulations and unprofessional work flow and methods. (Can we forget Winston Salem?) Veterans’ need for competent assistance is overwhelming so hopefully some paralegals or other advocate-minded people will step up like you have. People who already know that there are tricks and traps at every step of the way. Maybe combat experience is perfect training for this profession.

    • asknod says:

      I think Kiedove may have something here. After dealing with people bent on trying to kill you and vice versa, dealing with the VA doesn’t seem such a personalized affront to your senses. Being lied to and having statute and regulation misquoted and misconstrued seems risible in comparison. Having a major in passive aggressiveness is a prerequisite and helps, too. The more VA insults my intelligence, the more entrenched I become. As far as John’s point of being remiss in timely pay for our work, I agree. Fortunately Cupcake and I are blessed in that regard or it might be a dealbreaker. Perhaps this is what spawns the attorney phenomenon of schooling in bands of 40 plus for financial survival.

  4. john king says:

    I think the word has been passed that you will be waiting a long time to get your money even if you win for your client. I do find it odd that many advocates did not rush in to try and make an easy buck since about 90% of vets have no idea what their rights are or how to file a claim. After an 8 year fight with the VA while being represented by a lawyer and still losing I wonder how useful even the trained people are for most vets. It can be so easy if you just have evidence and a good IMO, and at the same time it can be like lifting the weight of the earth off of Atlas’ shoulders to take a case that has been all shot to pieces over the years.

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