Thursday, December 27, 2012

Congress- You're Fired!

The 99% will fire you at the next election; unless you start serving the American people as we hired you to and not yourselves or the 1%.

We go over the Fiscal Cliff - so do you at the next election!

You do not fix the absurdity in which you treat our 21,000,000 veterans in general and our disabled, retired veterans in particular, the next election will show you looking for a job.

  • Stop this insanity you call paying us (retired and disabled) veterans disability when in fact you pay ZERO and the retired, disabled veteran pays himself 100% of his disability. My disability payment is taken directly out of my retirement pay every month. Stop making the tax free advantage more than attractive than it is. My monthly tax advantage is $7/month. Stop hoodwinking the American public. 
  • Stop the insanity of Congressional Math where 30+20=40. You have decided to shave our benefits even more by using a specially devised formula for figuring out a combined disability percent instead of the sensible way of just adding each percentage together. It is just another way to reduce our rated disability. My approved ratings are 30%  and 20% which they have combined to equal 40% (probably so I do not get the 50% rating that would make them pay my disability payment each month instead of taking it out of my retirement check).
  • Cut waste not payments and benefits! My current disability claim has wasted at least many thousands of taxpayers' dollars and that was just one case - multiply that by 100,000+ cases! 
We make them the "Untouchables" if we do not stand up and speak with one voice at the polls and let Congress and VA know now that we will hold them accountable for the treatment of our veterans and all Americans at the polls.  Don't believe this insanity? Ask any Vet with two or more ratings or any retired disabled vet about having to pay ourselves. You won't get any lip service from the veterans; only the sad and unbelievable truth. My records will prove everything I have said here that you probably don't believe.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

When does 20+30=40? Or 100 = Zero?

When does 20 and 30 equal 40? When the government computes your total disability!
When does 100 = 0? When you are retired and are also disabled less than 100% (now supposedly lowered to 50%)!

Most of us remember when our kids came home from school with the new math. Math that made it extremely more difficult to help them with their math homework. Well, this time the new math is Government style and they don't arrive at the same answer as you, I, and our kids (and their teachers) would.

When does 20 + 30 = 40? When you have two or more ratings for service connected disabilities. I have had migraines since 1973 and rated at 30% since 1988 when I retired.  Just last week they rated me 20% for diabetes connected to Agent Orange. I am not addressing the 20% at all. What I am addressing is that they do not add the percentages together to get 50% total but have devised another formula for combining two or more percentages to arrive at a total percentage. They state this in the rating decision awarding me a total disability rating of 40% (one click under from the 50% that requires them to actually pay me my disability if they have already reduced the cutoff to 50% from 100%).

Yes that is correct! Since my 30% disability rating in 1988, they have taken the disability out of my retirement check as every disabled veteran rated less than 100% knows as a fact. It is time the American public knows it too. It is time that Congress stop conning the voters.

When does 100 = 0? When you are retired and are also disabled less than 100%; they award you a disability monthly stipend. Only thing is they take it out of your retirement check. It is like the states who brag about how much of your lottery spending goes to state education but forget to tell you that they have deducted the same amount from their annual budgets since they are contributing an equal sum to the same budget.

I am sure the majority of the American public is unaware that we are required to pay our own disability while Congress brags how they award disability payments to our Veterans (retired less than 100% disabled veterans that is) just as they are unaware of the government's mathematics prowess. It really does not matter whether that cutoff disability percentage is (50 or 100%); some of our retired and disabled veterans will still get gypped out of their disability.

Nothing will change for our disabled or other Veterans unless the American people stand up and let them know they (Congress) will be held accountable at the polls. I have added another poll asking whether you were aware of these schemes to cut fiscal benefits of our veterans who put their life and health on the line doing the job of defending our freedom and lifestyle. Please at least fill that one in. There are 2.9 million disabled veterans as of 2009 growing every day. We feel the love when you say you appreciate our service/sacrifice and we would deeply appreciate it of you showed Congress just how much you appreciate it at the polls.

Here is a composite of some of my VA records to show what I say is the absolute truth. I am amazed why we, veterans, including me have not stood up before and demand fair treatment when it comes to disability. Now, I am and need all of your help to correct this outrageous abuse of our veteran's disability compensation. Let your Congressman now how you feel and will vote at the polls. My Congress person has told me personally that it is ridiculous now and that he will try to reverse it but he is outnumbered. I know how my Congress representative feels; do you?

And as for the 100% = Zero?

The Entry VA Waiver is the exact amount of my Disability payment supposedly paid by the government. It is  taken directly out of my retirement pay. It is not added back in to my total retired pay but paid in a separate VA payment. Not one penny is paid for by the government. Believe it! It is true! Our disabled vets who elected to remain in the service and serve our country for over 20 years have to pay their own disability. No matter how Congress justifies this, WE STILL PAY OUR OWN DISABILITY!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Five Senses of Freedom

I served in the US Navy from 1965 through 1969; eighteen months in the Republic of South Vietnam as a member of Naval Advisory Team 143 and the Coastal Surveillance Center. I wrote this poem to express my feelings while in combat support operations on the rivers of I Corps. The first was to express my feelings of Freedom before I returned from Vietnam. This prose is copyrighted and may not be used in any form without my written permission.

                    The Five Senses of Freedom              
Copyright 1990 - Jack Feeman

See the dove, how free she flies.
   Just within, reach of human eyes.
See the way, she rides the skies;
   Free to fly, 'till the day she dies.

Feel the wind, cool in the air,
   As it blows, gently through your hair.
Feel the breeze, for all is fair;
  Unaware, of war's ghastly stare.

Hear Robbins, singing it clear.
  The songs of love, for all to hear.
Hear the song, a sound so dear,
  As Robbins, sing it every year.

Smell the Rose, in early spring,
  As it blooms, and Canaries sing.
Smell the dew, on everything,
  As buzzing, bees on petals cling.

Taste berries, wild on the vine,
  Ripe and sweet, as the perfect wine.
Taste the juice, so clean and fine,
  Growing wild, as the Cat O' Nine.

Weigh just these, Friend, add their sum;
  These the Five, Senses of Freedom.
Then go tell, the World so dumb,
  That this is, the "WHY" for Vietnam!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Matters that need to addressed now:

Claim processing Times (which also affects the bottom line)

  • My simple dependency claim took 11.5 months to process
  • My Agent Orange vs Larynx Cancer/diabetes/tinnitus /ED is taking over 16 months

  • Find alternative ways of verifying information; use available automated government systems such as DEERS, IRS, and other military personnel and medical records. They are already up and running but not utilized to anywhere close to their capacity. 
    • This realignment in itself will shave months if not years off current processing times and costs very little if anything to implement
    • It will also provide VA with more current and verifiable information
    • The interface with DEERS would have reduced my dependency claim from 11.5 months to merely days since all the required information was already in the system and already verified from original documents.
    • It will considerably reduce the backlog of cases VA currently having a tremendous affect on all other claims and processes throughout VA.
    • Do not contract thousands of civilian physicians at exorbitant costs to verify the current status of an illness or condition if the veteran is currently being seen by VA or Military physicians. Instead verify through the above mentions medical records automated systems. Much faster and extremely cheaper.
  • Realign current processes
    • It does not take money to save money; just the right ideas to improve current processes (hopefully without the bureaucracy and red tape)
    • Checks and Balances are not removed only realigned for accuracy and effectiveness
    • Under the current procedure my claim will take will over 2 years to finalize more than half in the final stage of rating. Rating should be the shortest of them all; verifying it is complete (not verifying documents or history). That should be done at the beginning of the process. 
    • Re-examine all current processes for necessity and appropriate placing in the time line of a claim. Requesting all my medical records from two branches of the service and for 23 years of service ending over 25 years ago and 14 years before my illness/condition existed. This is ludicrous. 
  • Remove duplicity of tasks
    • During my current claim for Agent Orange many tasks were duplicated over and over again
    • Similar tasks are repeated for each illness/condition claimed 
  • Unify Resources instead of alienating them
    • I was sent to five different contract physicians to verify illnesses/conditions previously treated successfully and only have  to treat the side-effects of them. I currently am being treated on base by active duty and contract physicians already funded. This is an absurd waste of fiscal resources.
    • They also requested my completed Naval Medical Records from 1965-1970 and my entire Army medical records from 1970-1988 to support of my claim for cancer that occurred in 2002. This will delay m,y claim which is has been in the final strep of the process (rating) for the past six months already for another three months. 
In short you do not have to invest more money to make things better; just invest some time in realigning and improvising what you already have. In addition to the cost savings; you will reduce if not eliminate life changing stress our veterans and their families are currently experiencing under the current system.  

This Page...

The purpose of this main page besides describing the purpose of this blog is to list the important things to our Veterans that are appreciated as well as not. I will post those that I am told by the reader base then all of you can comment on each one as it is posted here. Our intent is to inform Congress and VA of those areas that are intolerable and need reform not to rant uncontrollably. Whenever possible suggesting ways we can see to improve or reverse the issue. To be fair we will also post those areas that we appreciate and value deeply. It will become the unified voice of all our honorable veterans. When addressing multiple areas, please address them in separate comments and begin each comment with the area you are addressing to keep them straight. Thank you for your service and I feel your pain.