- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
SGT. SHAFT: Veteran and spouse fight for ailments to be treated
Dear Sgt. Shaft:
We have been in combat with the VA for far too long now, since 1987.
My wife was injured at boot camp in 1980 and did not receive proper care at that time. She was also the victim of Military Sexual Trauma (MST), which should expedite her claims, but has been ignored thus far.
The original rating was 10 percent (or 10 percent of the money the VA will give her) due to an injury to the left ankle, requiring a cloth brace for stability. Since then, she has progressed, first to two braces, then to two metal braces, And later adding two knee braces as well. She uses crutches to get around and occasionally requires a wheelchair or power chair. The VA has provided all of the braces and crutches for all these years, so they do recognize her injuries.
She has developed a list of other symptoms, such as lumbar and cervical problems due to the crutches, fibromyalgia, and developing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) due to non-treatment of the sexual assault in boot camp. After multiple claims and appeals, her rating remains at 10 percent. She was recently fitted for a special walker, because the crutches are causing wrist problems.
After going through all six stages of a Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) appeal (2008-2012), the Appeal was remanded for more information and possibly more examinations. All the additional info requested is in her local VA treatment records, and I have seen the file. It is more than 6 inches thick.
According to the U.S. Code, Title 38, Section 5109B: “The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to provide for the expeditious treatment by the appropriate regional office of the Veterans Benefits Administration of any claim that is remanded to a regional office of the Veterans Benefits Administration by the Board of Veterans‘ Appeals.”
I have written our congressman, various agencies, and even the president, and finally did get a lame response of “we are working as quickly as we can.” I am not buying it.
Via the Internet
As you know, as indicated by your following letter, the Sarge referred your wife’s concerns to the powers that be at the VA.
Dear Sgt. Shaft, Superhero:
I wish to thank you for your help, I am not sure what you were able to do, but after getting nowhere after writing our congressman, the president and some other organizations, I wrote to you, not really expecting an answer. I just had to do something.
Again, I do not know what you did, but two days after I emailed you my wife’s info, she got an urgent call from the Cleveland Regional office, apologizing profusely because, precisely as I thought, they had NOT put her in expedited status, as she should have been in a case from 2006.
She had two compensation-and-pension appointments last week and another today, and hopefully is back on the right track to getting upgraded.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's widow seeks information regarding husband's benefits
- SGT. SHAFT: Divorced veteran seeks help getting full retirement benefits back
- SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's wife seeks help for husband with multiple sclerosis
- SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's spouse will be able to continue on TRICARE Prime until age 65
- SGT. SHAFT: Veteran's medical claim held up at VA
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Depth, distance reduce impact of California quake
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- New faces finding ways to win on the PGA Tour
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Prosecutors: Gray had firsthand knowledge of 'shadow campaign'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again