Wednesday, June 25, 2014

VA Hospital Appointment Scandal and RFC Forms Pattern of Abuse

At this time in history, the Veterans Administration Hospital System is undergoing investigation due to deaths caused by appointment fraud. In order to make the VA Hospitals in question seem to be comply with Federal Law, there were secret lists of appointments, and other methods of falsifying records, and/or abuse that caused the deaths of many of our Veterans.

I would like to point out another area that the VA Hospital personal are willfully ignoring federal law when dealing with patients at VA Hospitals. The doctors at VA medical facilities are refusing to fill out Functional Capacity Reports needed by veterans who are applying for Social Security Disability. What the reason for this practice is, I can only guess. Given the VA Hospital record, I would imagine it has to do with bonuses for someone in that system.

I have personal experience with this phenomenon. In the years 2010-2011 I was undergoing treatment at the Albuquerque Veterans Hospital for hepatitis C. I was effected so severely by this disease, and the treatment side effects, I could no longer work. Because of that, I applied for Social Security Disability Benefits. I was turned down twice, so I sought the help of an attorney. He helped me to get ready to bring my case before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). One of the forms I needed to make my case before the ALJ was a Residual Functional Capacity Report (RFC).

My lawyer gave me a Functional Capacity Report form to be filled out by my doctor. When I presented the form to my doctor at the VA hospital, he informed me that he was not allowed to fill out the form, and offered no explanation as to why. I got the same response from all VA staff when pursuing this matter. So I did some research. I found VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-071 to be very clear on this matter. I took my RFC form to the Patient advocate, and explained that I needed this form filled out so I can present it to Social Security. He responded with the typical response I had got used to. That they are not allowed to fill out such forms. Then I told him of VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-071 and that I had a copy of it on the thumb drive in my pocket. Boy did his attitude change with that. He got on the ball, and soon I was scheduled for a RFC assessment.

This is an ongoing problem with the VA that severely affects our Veterans. Some Veterans do not know of VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-071 , and haven't the will or resources to find this important information. Furthermore, the Veterans trust that the advocate is on their side, so they believe them when told they can not fill out those types of forms. A lot of the time, by the time the Veterans has got to this stage, they are on the verge of homelessness, or are homeless because of no income, no job, and to sick to work. The entire process seems to work against them.

This situation is an out rage, and shows further abuse by the staff of the Veterans Administration Hospital System. That along with the current appointments scandal, and the scandals of wild parties at tax payer expense show a pattern of abuse by the staff of the Veterans Administration Hospital System. This must end.

Our veterans risk all when they take the oath. They have pledged their very lives in defense of our liberties and freedom. It is a shameful and despicable situation. It flies in the face of all we as a nation believe in. Having a disabling illness is bad enough without the very organization the vets depend on to be on their side, betraying that trust in such a fashion. There is no reason under the sun why the veterans of our armed forces should be subjected to delays, and artificial road blocks in getting the help they need. That is exactly what happens when the doctors and other staff at the VA Hospitals wrongfully refuse to fill out these forms as required by law.

I believe this calls for further investigation of the VA Medical System. This is an ongoing problem, that has not been brought to the forefront of the American people's attention, nor has it been adequately addressed by our nation's government.

Please help our Veterans get the benefits they are entitled to, such as SSDI, by passing this along. I hope the national news programs take note. I hope congressmen and senators take note. I hope that the President of the United States of America takes note. When our Vets are denied the help they are lawfully entitled to, they are a service member left behind. That is shame to the extreme, and we people of the United States of America shall not tolerate it.

VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-071

 (2) All medical forms completed on behalf of the veteran require that the individual sign VA
Form 10-5345a, Individuals Request for a Copy of Their Own Health Information, and local
procedures must be followed for obtaining this authorization. Examples of these non-VA forms
include, but are not limited to:

 (a) Family Medical Leave Act forms.

 (b) Life insurance application forms.

 (c) Non-VA disability retirement forms.

 (d) State workers’ compensation forms.

 (e) State driver’s license or handicap parking forms.

 (f) Social Security Administration (SSA) examination forms.