Monday, January 27, 2014

Adventures in bureaucracy: the Veterans Administration

The S.O. appears to be trapped in bureaucratic limbo with the V.A. He has a disability claim based on hearing loss wending its way at an arthritic snail's pace through the system. About every 90 days he receives a letter saying "Do not despair, pitiful claimant, we haven't forgotten you." Okay, so maybe they don't actually call him a pitiful claimant (or poor schmuck, an equally appropriate term), but that's the gist of it. Until it's resolved, we're stuck staying close to home. We know from past experience that the claim will go from absolutely nothing apparently happening to a demand being made that he report for a physical to verify the hearing loss ASAP, as close to yesterday as possible, because if you don't make it to that physical, the claim is denied and you get to start the whole sorry process all over again. And if you call to try to reschedule the appointment for the physical, you'll get trapped in the voice mail tree and you're just fucked.

Upside: I should have plenty of time to finish the quilt I'm working on before we go anywhere in the RV.

Downside: We have to cancel the campground hosting gig because it would unfair to wait any longer without letting the park know we can't do it.

Even bigger downside: We could end up stuck here for the entire Mud Season.

As to why he has to go in for an audiology exam to verify partial deafness when it was the VA's medical system that decided he needed hearing aids to begin with? That's just one of life's little mysteries.

5 comments:

  1. Nan,
    I had to wait forever for my VA hearing aids. The Veterans Administration is fucked up and dealing with the assholes is frustrating. Hang in there...

    Thank God for TriCare for Life!

    Sarge

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  2. My disability claim with the VA took 8 years and 7 months. I was declared 100% permanent and total.
    The hearing test is to measure the degree of loss so the appropriate rating can be given Stone deaf pays more than ringing in the ears for example. Sorry your experience with them has been frustrating.

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  3. Rat, the degree of his hearing loss should be part of the medical record (they had to know what it was to adjust the hearing aids), which is why it strikes me as odd that he needs to get re-tested.

    Want to hear another weird one? He's already considered disabled from when he broke his leg falling off an airplane, but the disability is rated at 0%. How can anyone be simultaneously disabled and not disabled? It's a mystery.

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  4. Sarge, I got my hearing aids a month after I had my hearing test. Never had a problem with the medical services at the VA. The problem is when trying to get a claim through for disability.

    My brother had to fight a long time to get disability for a bad back even tho they flew him from Alaska to Walter Reed to operate on it when he was in. Finally he got 30%. Then it was a long struggle when he couldn't work anymore to get full disability. This was back in the 70s. So I guess not much has changed on that front.

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  5. Well I have had pretty good service from the VA in Togus Maine, but I was declared 30% when I retired. I know with the influx of vets from the two recent wars things have slowed down to a snails pace. It is a matter of priorities - Politicians celebrate us when we go to war and then the politicians demand a corresponding cut to other programs in order to increase VA funding...because to just give money to vets would negatively impact the job creators.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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