Right. Once again I get the honor of the Golden Microphone from Jerrell and John. Mark your calendars and note the new telephone number. I’d like to discuss the new improved standard of rudeness from VA ratings adjudication personnel. The service was always chilly and the conversations full of pregnant pauses and note taking. However, with the advent of the new AMA, VA has descended even further into the Maelstrom of adversarial incompetence.
I got this glacial treatment at a DRO hearing in Jackson Mississippi in July 2018 where the “booth bitch” threatened to have my skinny no-account ass removed and escorted out of doors if I didn’t go sit in the back of the bus. I almost felt like I hadn’t earned my lunch money for that gig. It’s not that I was ill-prepared. I wasn’t. It was because the DRO refused to talk about SMC L for Loss of use of the lower extremities. They know this leads to R1 so it’s forbidden discussion. Next? Now, mind you, this behaviour was before the AMA when I was still writing jokes about it.
The Houston Two-Step
Houston folks are rating reducer specialists. They use silky smooth sleight of hand and mirrors. First they increase your rating for a knee from 20% to 30% and toss in 10% for pain in your ankle. Surreptitiously, with the other hand, they are reducing your 26-year protected rating for a painful harvested tendon scar from 20% to zilch. The argument is it isn’t a reduction unless you end up with a net loss of rating. But they did just that. Watch below in the .pdf of the Code Rating sheet. The 20% up to 30% increase and the new 10% for the hip started on September 9,2017. At that point, he was 90%. On 2/24/2019, they took away the protected scar to knock him back down to 80% and deny TDIU. This was also where they denied TDIU. The inference is that you can’t get TDIU with 80%. You need 90%. This also shows some behind the scenes card shuffling to get just the right amount of reduction to reduce it to 80%. Too bad they chose the protected rating. Worse. They had to fix it when someone noticed they’d accidentally given him 90% combined. This takes ratings to a whole new low.
I don’t want to spoil the show. Say a prayer for Chase and Kate. He entered hospice on Sunday PM in Nashville and they’ve taken him off insulin, heart meds and anti-rejection meds for his liver transplant. It won’t be long. I wish I could be there with Kate. As usual, VA is being a hard ass and jacking her around. I made sure I let the Fort Little Brains poohbahs know he’s on hospice. That way they can’t do the “We’re soooooo sorry. We had no idea or we would have done this sooner.”
Anyway, here’s the Bat Signal we all know…
Which means two days hence, at 1600 Hrs on the Left Coast and 1900 Hrs on the (L)east cost, we will begin transmission.
Now make sure you note the new number.
As usual, if you wish to ask a question, press the numero uno (#1) on you telecommunication device to let us know you wish to speak.