PART IV VASRD–ELIMINATING PESKY DCs


Well, pilgrims. We talked about this possibility several years ago when our Overlords of Munificence brought up the idea of giving TDIU a haircut after 65 years of age. I mean What the hell? Dude, you’re getting SSA by then… or can. So what’s the idea of freeloading off the VA system when SSA can supplant that drop in your compensation check? That has now metastasized into an even larger compensation grab if ever I saw one. The most recent proposal to “modernize the Diagnostic Codes” so as to more greatly benefit the Veteran is pure hooey. Read the language and it makes your hair stand up all over without anyone scraping their fingernails across a chalk board. 

I include more pictures of my war as my readers have indicated a desire to see these.

Knowing the author/architect of this was no other than our former Home Depot© Manager and recently demoted/brevet promoted to USB (but never confirmed) Thomas Murphy and you instantly recognize why this is afoot. VA keeps returning to Congress every year with hat in hand begging for a few 10 billions more than last year just to keep their VA Poker Game afloat. Featherbedding is expensive in DC. I’m almost surprised Hunter doesn’t work there but they’re not willing to pay enough for his art work. This newfangled Cerner Electronic Medical records computer changeover from the old VistA system is sucking up oodles of dough and hundreds of VA employees are running for the exits. I don’t think they even have enough extra baksheesh to buy the medical dumoflotchies for the new Denver Medical Palace. The huge influx in claims has really just begun and they need more raters. The war that fired up in 2001 has just ended for Statutory purposes. Just as Vietnam ran officially from 1/9/1961 to 5/7/1975, so too will VA “close the books” on Iraqistan. If this Ukraine insanity turns into a shooting affair and we stick our foot in it, VA will be opening a new chapter of “Ukraine Era Veteran” and announce it in future ratings decisions. As much as things change, so do they stay the same.  SOSDD.

Seriously. Think about it. If I’m filing Vietnam AO exposure claims at a record clip 47 years after we bugged out, what does that say about the future of Iraq/Afstan claims for presumptives? A large number of us who were there are coming down with cancer and Parkinson’s. Well, that or DM II with IHD hors d’oeuvres on a bed of peripheral neuropathies. As I said, that war ended 47 years ago and it’s costing the VA tons of money alone now-in 2022. It lasted fourteen years. This latest one ran for 20 years.

One of the results of the newly resolved conflict are  MUCMIs in VAspeak. Medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness. Ewww. Sounds like something you catch from sitting on a dirty toilet seat. Think doing the 26-shot series for anthrax and its side effects. Think about sucking in all that smoke from the burn pits for 10 months… or 30 months from 3 10-month deployments. Think about racing across deserts in Humvees and weaving in between burning oil wells. Think archaic diseases like Leprosy and tuberculosis that were supposed to be extinct. In my war, it was watching the old $1.23s come lumbering by overhead at about 1,800 feet ASL dumping AO (or AW, AB, AG,  or the two APs). Back then we appreciated it.  Seriously, it was truly amazing shit. It killed the mosquitos and those nasty red ants that bite and sting. And it didn’t even bother us. But it didn’t stop there. It killed monkeys and snakes. I never saw any more wildlife like the occasional tiger ever again flying over those areas. And need I mention what it did to vegetation? Human life 50 years later?  Here’s the list of mucmis:

What Are MUCMIs?

  • Fatigue.
  • Headaches.
  • Joint pain.
  • Indigestion.
  • Insomnia.
  • Dizziness.
  • Respiratory disorders.
  • Memory problems.

Every war is going to have some shit like tear gas, AO or VX. Somebody always figures a better way to snuff you with fewer casualties. It’s been said this Coronabug the Gooks were experimenting with at Wuhan was a new flavor of the flu and and it got away from them before they had it mastered with their own vax for it. Once she’s out of the box, there’s no use crying about Pandora.

So, the takeaway if you’re Tommy the VA bean counter is how to make it harder to get VA comp money out of Monty’s Cookie Jar hidden behind Door Number 3. If Congress passes a law suddenly granting entitlement on a presumptive basis for this MUCMI shit, it’s almost axiomatic that VA is going to make it harder to qualify shortly thereafter. However, this time they are going after several “problem” disorders. Perhaps they want to be ahead of the game before Congress gets munificent.

The pulmonary disorders (of or having to do with breathing) are changing. It will be harder to obtain an OSA rating or something in that vein. If you have tinnitus, and boy howdy was that almost guaranteed, you’re going to get it lumped in with hearing loss. The actual DC 6260 will be a thing of the past. Think of all those defective ear plugs 3M pawned off on DoD. The chickens are coming home to roost and if you don’t have diagnosed hearing loss, you’re gonna be getting the Zeroes for Heroes ™ treatment at your local Fort Fumble. No more of that subjective Tinnitus for 10% from now on.

37th ARRS out of Udorn. BUFF- when you need a lift.

Modernizing the evaluative rating criteria for sleep apnea, using developments in medical knowledge to evaluate it based on its responsiveness to treatment, bringing the rating criteria for sleep apnea more closely in line with the stated purpose of the rating schedule.

Obstructive Sleep apnea? Hooooooooooooooo, doggies. That 50% for a CPAP is  gonna be gone with the wind if the Home Depot© Dude has his say. There’s a medical surgery that can be performed that will rid you of OSA and its detrimental effects. If you refuse the surgery, guess what. Sayonara rating. Of course if you do have the surgery it’s also sayonara so what’s the difference? Please, sir. May I have a medical dispensation granted for that?

But wait. There’s more. That PTSD gravy train that Vietnam Vets walked point on in ’81 for us all? That’s going to get a progressive remodeling:

Evaluating mental health conditions based on a more robust and holistic approach that assesses how impactful the disability is to cognition, interpersonal relationships, task completion, life activities and self-care. Additionally, the proposed evaluation criteria include a 10% minimum evaluation for having one or more service-connected mental health conditions and will no longer require “total occupational and social impairment” to attain a 100% evaluation.

Where do you find people who talk like this? Or better yet, think like this about Veterans? That ‘robust and holistic approach’ must mean the acupuncture and aromatherapy clinics coming soon to a VAMC near you. Any time VA says they want to fix something, rest assured it’s time to move to a corner table and put your wallet in your front pocket.

If you’re concerned, and every Vet should be, call your congressman/woman and let them know what you think of this. What if they say your PTSD got better?  Do you get whacked under the new system in 2027? Psychologists tell us you can ameliorate the symptoms but, like a broken rubber band, you can never tie it back together and get the same guy or gal back. All this is going to produce is more homelessness, more suicides and more grief. The only thing it may cure inadvertently is the desire to ever enlist in the military.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

P.S.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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7 Responses to PART IV VASRD–ELIMINATING PESKY DCs

  1. asknod says:

    I owe Mr. Lore an apology. He is offended with my phrase. I have changed it to say
    “Seriously. Think about it. If I’m filing Vietnam AO exposure claims at a record clip 47 years after we bugged out, what does that say about the future of Iraq/Afstan claims for presumptives? A large number of us who were there are coming down with cancer and Parkinson’s. Well, that or DM II with IHD hors d’oeuvres on a bed of peripheral neuropathies. As I said, that war ended 47 years ago and it’s costing the VA tons of money alone now-in 2022. It lasted fourteen years. This latest one ran for 20 years.”
    However, Mr. Lore, I will say I spend an inordinate time on AO claims for Thailand and Laotian Vets-including AirAm Vets. They are just as entitled as Vietnam Vets. I file all manner of claims that are legitimate. I can safely say if VA was not adversarial and obeyed their regulations, I would be out of a job. VA grants 12% of all claims initially. Some, like me, spent 18 years proving we were actually in Vietnam. That translates, Mr. Lore, into 18 years of deprivation of presumptive entitlement. Please don’t bullshit my readership and tell us VA is a kind, caring Agency who always grants AO presumptives for he who shall have borne the battle, his widow and orphan child. Ask Mr. Procopio how that worked out for him. Or Mr. Haas. No gaslighting permitted here.

    • Stan Lore says:

      It says nothing about any future claims. The VA can only establish service connection for disabilities on a presumptive basis after Congress changes the laws to add new presumptive disabilities to the Rating Schedule and instructions for the VA to follow implementing the change in law. It is not the VA’s fault that it took so many years for Congress to find which diseases were causally linked to exposure to Agent Orange and add them to the Rating Schedule. The VA claims process is not inherently adversarial, despite your claim that it is. It can appear that way to vets and their families who believe they should be receiving benefits, or additional benefits that have been denied them. No doubt when someone comes to you for help they have an unfavorable opinion of thr VA already..
      When vets and their families read and/or hear opinions like yours about the VA, it can color the attitude they have when they make contact with the VA. Nobody responds well to being approached with an unfriendly blaming attitude. I object to making the VA out to be the enemy when it is not.
      I need to say that I do appreciate your work helping vets with their claims. It’s hard for some vets to know to whom to turn for help. There are individual claims that can get stuck if a vet must prove he or she served in a location not supported by reviewing service records. And, your efforts on behalf of classes of Agent Orange vets other than us Vietnam vets is needed. I don’t think anyone except Vietnam vets were covered under the Agent Orange laws when I retired. If you have to develop a case and establish his location or other aspect not in his military records then it certainly entails more work than the Agent Orange cases I handled. Originally, Agent Orange claimants had to identify the location, dates and duration of the exposure. This made it nearly impossible for the VA to verify a location. That eventually led to the VA insisting that any veteran who set foot in country be considered to have been exposed to Agent Orange. Once that was settled then the process of finding which diseases could be linked to Agent Orange exposure became the focus. I represented veterans and their families as a DAV National Service Officer from the mid-1970s to 2000. I was irst assigned to our San Francisco office and then transferred to our Columbia SC office in 1992, and from which I retired. There were, in all my years in San Francisco and Columbia, perhaps 3 or 4 Rating Specialists or other Adjudication personnel out of the hundreds in each office who seemed to work against us. We filed complaints and adjustments were made. I cannot recall the specifics. Such was a rarity..
      Whenever I got a pathology report confirming a client had an Agent Orange presumptive disease, I secured his claims folder and asked that the VA expedite rating it. In every instance the case was fast tracked and finalized that day or the following day. In my experience, almost all VA employees involved in handling disability claims were helpful and competent. I am just ballparking it, but at least 95% of the Rating Board decisions I reviewed were without error. If there was an obvious mistake, we would point it out to the Specialist and he would correct it. Also, in almost every instance of a vet coming to us because the VA was screwing him and wrongly denying his claim, it was not the case. He just didn’t understand the law or didn’t want to accept that the VA was correct. Sorry I ran on. I didn’t see a good place to stop. Competent representation isn’t commonplace in my opinion. The DAV and Paralyzed Veterans of America were the best. Complex cases, such as some of your Agent Orange cases, would not benefit from being represented by most Veterans service organizations. They need someone like you to do the work. Respect!

  2. Stan Lore says:

    You do everyone a disservice by declaring the VA is out to deny your claim unless you go to war with them. Or this one from you: “Seriously. Think about it. I’m filing Vietnam AO exposure claims at a record clip. Everyone who was there is coming down with cancer and Parkinson’s. Well, that or DM II with IHD hors d’oeuvres on a bed of peripheral neuropathies.” Every Vietnam vet is coming down with cancer and Parkinson’s. Really? You know that’s bs and you spread the lie anyway. If a Vietnam vet has one of the presumptive diseases, he/she will get service connected for it. That’s how it works. You are not helping!

  3. Holly says:

    Yoga—yeah that will help my already broken body, break it some more.

  4. Calvin Winchell says:

    They can’t play fair so, they must change the rules so they can further screw veterans!
    “ More homelessness, more suicides, more grief “ .

  5. Those photos, presumably from your collection (?) bring it all back. Much appreciated.

  6. Holly says:

    Yeah, the acupuncture and the other thing always makes me chuckle.

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