Friday, May 16, 2008

How the VA Cheats Veterans

Here is a look deep into the mindset of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is accurate, despite the disclaimers by Secretary Peake, who, you'll remember, was the officer who brought us the Walter Reed debacle.

Anyway, here is an article from the AP making its rounds on the various news outlets on the Internet.


E-mail from VA worker says to avoid PTSD diagnosis

May 15, 5:31 PM (ET)

By KIMBERLY HEFLING

"WASHINGTON (AP) - An internal e-mail written by a Veterans Affairs Department employee suggested avoiding a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans and instead considering a diagnosis that might result in a lower disability payment.

A copy of the e-mail was distributed Thursday by the groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a congressional watchdog group, and VoteVets.org. The e-mail dated March 20 had been forwarded to VoteVets.org, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans lobbying group opposed to the Bush administration's handling of the war and veterans issues.

The name of the sender and the recipients were blacked out by the groups. The e-mail has the subject title "Suggestion."

"Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that we refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out. Consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder, R/O PTSD," the e-mail said.

It also said, "Additionally, we really don't or have time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD."

VA Secretary James Peake issued a statement calling the e-mail sender's suggestions "inappropriate" and said the employee had been repudiated and was apologetic. The VA did not release the name of the employee.

"We are committed to absolute accuracy in a diagnosis and unwavering in providing any and all earned benefits," Peake said. "PTSD and the mental health arena is no exception."

Just last week, Peake was called to Capitol Hill to answer questions about internal e-mails that surfaced during a trial that seemed to suggest VA officials were hiding the number of veterans trying to kill themselves. One e-mail started with "Shh!" Some lawmakers have said the official who wrote it should be fired, but Peake has said he has no plans to do so. Peake promised to make the agency more open.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic event such as war. Nightmares, flashbacks, and substance abuse can be among the symptoms.

A recent study by the Rand Corp., found that that about one in five troops who found [served?] in Iraq or Afghanistan have symptoms of major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jon Soltz, an Iraq War Veteran who is chairman of VoteVets.org, said some veterans have suspected they received a diagnosis of an adjustment disorder instead of the correct diagnosis of PTSD because the payout to them would be less.

"Many veterans believe that the government just doesn't want to pay out the disability that comes along with a PTSD diagnosis," Soltz said in a statement, "and this revelation will not allay their concerns.""
Indeed, it merely confirms what we have already realized long ago that the DVA sees its purpose solely as denying legally recognized and authorized [by Congress] services to Veterans.

Another way of looking at it is that the DVA is cheating Veterans to save money.

Well, BLAME CONGRESS for not giving th DVA the funds, or the explicitly spelled out mandates to provide services to Veterans.

Perhaps some Global War on Terrorism Veterans should consider returning their medals to Akaka and Filner.

What a despicable, horrendous way to treat our Veterans!

[Special Note: VNVets will be on hiatus for approximately 2 weeks tending to some personal business.

Keep checking daily, however, as we might grab a second to post something if we think you should be aware of it.]
VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield." -- VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." -- President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious." --President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment