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I'm beginning to understand the complaints.

This is a discussion on I'm beginning to understand the complaints. within the Veterans Affairs forums, part of the Armed Services category; Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to share some of my frustration. When I was processing out of the Army, I was ...


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Old May 16th, 2017, 07:38 AM   #1
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I'm beginning to understand the complaints.

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to share some of my frustration.

When I was processing out of the Army, I was told by the personnel clerks that I could get a disability for my hearing loss. The catch was that I would have to stay on active duty for a couple of extra weeks waiting for them to process the paperwork. I had 2 days left until my ETS and didn't want anything to delay going home. And, besides, my hearing wasn't all that bad; just turn the 8-track up a little louder and it all was good!

Fast forward to December 2016 when it seemed like my favorite word was, "What?" I could hear things, but I couldn't understand the words. I had some expen$ive hearing aids, but they didn't really help. They just made the jumble of noise that reached my ears louder, not clearer. I talked to someone who had gotten some kind of 'super' hearing aids, that actually helped, thru the VA, and they convinced me that I should apply for the disability. OK, so I went to my local county Veterans Affairs office and the fine folks there helped make sure everything in my application was done correctly. They told me I should hear back from the VA and would, probably, be given an hearing exam, but it looked like a slam-dunk with the Army separation papers I submitted.

Forward to April, 2017 and I haven't heard a word from the VA. I went back to my local Veterans Affairs office and learned that my claim wasn't even on the computer yet. Supposedly, we got that corrected while I was in their office.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my local Veterans Affairs office, telling me that I had mail that had been sent to their office address. I went to their office and got the mail, which was just a written notice that The Department of Veterans Affairs had received my claim. The people in my local office checked the computer system and told me that everything on their system had my correct address and they couldn't understand why my letter had gone to them.

When I got back home, I decided to go to the VA web page where I was supposed to be able to track my claim. I set up the login account and they said they would e-mail me a secret code to confirm my e-mail address. They didn't. I saw a line on the page that said if I didn't get the secret code, to 'click here.' I clicked on that and then I got the secret code e-mail a couple of minutes later. Enter the secret code and try to go to the area to check on my claim. Even though I have logged in with my e-mail and password they redirected me to a page that says:

Verify your Identity with ID.me

You need to verify your identity to access this part of Vets.gov.

To access Vets.gov services, you'll need to verify your identity through ID.me, a third party service that provides strong identity verification. We have added this protection to increase security for your information. Here's what you'll need:

Your passport or driver's license
A phone that can receive texts or calls

Don't have a supported ID? You can provide personal information and answer questions about your credit history instead.


At the bottom is a button that says, "Get Started."

Clicking on it results in exactly nothing. SNAFU is a term that I haven't used in a long time, but I may have to dust it off and bring it back into service.

The VA info page says " 114.7 days Average number of days to complete disability-related claims in March 2017." I am at 139 days and can't even check the status of my claim. As the title of my thread says, I'm beginning to understand.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 07:47 AM   #2
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Welcome to the machine!!!
My initial claim took 90 days and I was part of the "benefits at discharge" program. My follow up claim took 13 months.

Just a heads up if you haven't already been told, NEVER miss a VA appointment especially if it has to do with your disability. They can consider a missed appointment means your condition has improved and decrease/stop disability payments.

Good luck brother!

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Last edited by ArmyPilot; May 16th, 2017 at 08:42 AM.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 11:27 AM   #3
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I would not send my dog to the VA. Endless bureaucracy at a minimum and I have heard too many horror stories about sub-standard medical care.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 11:33 AM   #4
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the va is a joke... period.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 01:46 PM   #5
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check with vet's, to find which VA Hospital is best.
I went to Phila. VA they would not give me hearing aids;;; other vets say to go to the VA hospital in Lancaster, PA. They give you everything you want.....

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Old May 16th, 2017, 01:50 PM   #6
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I said "Excuse me?" once when my doc was giving me a check up, she scheduled me for hearing test, and I got the aids. The Billings VA is has given me good care. No real complaints from me.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 03:40 PM   #7
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I don't think it is fair to make negative comments about the VA if you have never set foot in the door. Repeating the negative things that others say while having no first hand experience does not contribute anything to the conversation. I go to the Dallas VA and I cannot complain about the treatment or the services I have received. Clearly, the quality of care can vary from one facility to another, just as it can in any civilian facility, but it is unfair to paint the VA as totally worthless or say you wouldn't send your dog there. That's just irresponsible.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 04:26 PM   #8
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I don't think it is irresponsible if I am speaking from experience. I was commenting on the medical treatment I received (or actually, didn't receive) at the two closest VA hospitals to me.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 05:08 PM   #9
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I received a great deal of help on my claims through the Viet Nam Era mediator in the Federal Building in downtown Seattle. They can access your service records, and they know the right people to get things rolling. Kudos to this department of the VA. By the way, I now wear a set of those high priced hearing aids, and not the Costco brand. There is a difference.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripcord View Post
I don't think it is irresponsible if I am speaking from experience. I was commenting on the medical treatment I received (or actually, didn't receive) at the two closest VA hospitals to me.
VA health care system in Florida must suck just like the one in AZ were vets actually died because they could not get an appointment.

I use the Lakewood VA and Seattle VA, the only complaint I have is the appointments, oh they suck. If I call for an appointment, it's 28 or 29 days away, you want it sooner then you go to sick call or the emergency room if it is bad enough.

Yup, the VA claims section is the worst, mine took 3 years to complete.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 08:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenValley View Post
I don't think it is fair to make negative comments about the VA if you have never set foot in the door. Repeating the negative things that others say while having no first hand experience does not contribute anything to the conversation. I go to the Dallas VA and I cannot complain about the treatment or the services I have received. Clearly, the quality of care can vary from one facility to another, just as it can in any civilian facility, but it is unfair to paint the VA as totally worthless or say you wouldn't send your dog there. That's just irresponsible.
You make a valid point that some VA facilities treat the veteran fairly. What concerns veterans like me are the reports in the last few years like:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...h-care-va.html

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Old May 16th, 2017, 11:52 PM   #12
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I made an appointment with the local VA Clinic in Yuma, AZ, and had my ears checked there. About 3 months later I was issued two Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids and a unit to attach to my TV that broadcasts to the hearing aids. Of course, this is once I was already in the system.

00F4B, I would suggest getting either your congresscritter or a vet service officer from the DAV, VFW or American Legion involved in your claim. The VSOs know how to work the system, and a call from a congresscritter's office normally instills fear in government employees.

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Old May 17th, 2017, 05:34 AM   #13
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Talk about night and day differences of medical care between different VA facilities. My transition from Active duty to VA was the best I could have ever expected. My team of care providers in our local VA Clinic is better than anything I have ever known for the past 17 years. Even my Regional VA hospital in Houston has been great. Sure there are miscommunications from time to time, but they get resolved with making the effort.

I'm not dead yet so it's all good.

I wish all of you could use this VA facility Charles Wilson VA Clinic in Lufkin, Texas.

Thanks from ArmyPilot and Rich D
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Old May 17th, 2017, 07:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholst55 View Post

00F4B, I would suggest getting either your congresscritter or a vet service officer from the DAV, VFW or American Legion involved in your claim. The VSOs know how to work the system, and a call from a congresscritter's office normally instills fear in government employees.
I would only do a Congressional as a last resort. Yes, Congressional's get people moving but they get your file moving too. They would pull your file out of its current place to review and answer the Congress persons questions. When that is completed it goes back in the stack, not on top nor in its original place but at the bottom. Their justification? An action was taken on your file, just like if you added more information about your case, therefore it's proper place is now at the bottom.

Use your VSO, that's what they are there for. They can see a little more info than you can, when "eBenefits" page is working.

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Old May 17th, 2017, 07:53 AM   #15
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I figured out that AdBlockPlus in my browser was preventing me from getting in on IDme.

OK, so I got in. What a thrill!! Here is what I got:

Claim status is unavailable
We couldn't check your claim status. Please try again later.


I'll keep trying. I believe I am a lot more hard-headed than most people and I never give up.

Fishjager and Nicholst55, I am encouraged by your positive comments about the hearing aids. That matches the good stories I have heard from other people who got them thru the VA. That is the entire purpose of my claim. I don't care a lot about getting any disability money, but I DO want to be able to hear.

ArmyPilot, I suspect you are correct about using political influence and going to the bottom of the pile.

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