Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Dec 23, 2011.
Why make changes when you can just print more money.....
Why not kick the can down the road just like everyone else.
Becasue we (military) are supposed to better.
The reality is if the DoD does not change the retirment system, it will just keep growing until it bankrupts the DoD. Very simple, the retirement cost is growing while the DoD budget will shrink. So, less money for current members.
Perhaps they should consider not granting 50% disability to anyone with sleep apnea.
Your post got me to thinking...
Now that you are retired you have time to fret over and perhaps sometimes tinker with the investments in your 401k style retirement plans. Could you imagine experiencing the same worries and management headaches if you were deployed - can you imagine where our troops minds would have been if their 401k was imploding while they were in some remote outpost, unable to log into their accounts to stem the bleeding?
Quite frankly, if we are going to ask our troops to assume a high degree of risk to their lives, we owe them a high degree of certainty of reward for those who stay the course and not shove more risk on their shoulders.
Somebody needs to look at the larger life question here before exercising the bean-counting muscle.
I'm guessing every person who has been promised retirement and a generous package by their organization has the same sentiments as everyone else "these is waste, but this was promised to me, I earned it, and it will be a cold day in hell before you go back on that promise".
I also allow for the fact that not only do I not get retirement, but I have spent the last decade paying into a system I will never benefit from (I'm talking about Social Security).
My comment regarding sleep apnea? Have we not all had at least one Navy nurse pull us aside and say "you should get sleep tested..."
I separated from the Coast Guard on June 30, 2011. I completed a Quick form (or whatever it's called) before I got out. I was told that would speed up the process. I'm approaching 200 days since I took my physical, submitted my paper work.... etc.
"But LITS, you weren't injured in the line of duty, why did you submit anything to the VA?"
You are correct SAF thread reader, LITS was not injured in battle, but had a few things happen while on active duty. My goal is not to get 100% disability, though 10 points would help when applying to federal jobs. My goal is to have the work that was done on me documented so 30 years down the road when my left arm falls off, I can go to the VA and say "um, my shoulder was operated on at the direction of the federal government, and by George, they need to make sure their job never fails."
Unfortunately for LITS, my VA package hasn't moved an inch in nearly 200 days, and it still has three other steps to go through.
I appreciate the VA's GI Bill. I have been far from impressed with any medical paperwork they do.
I cannot fault anyone who was promised certain support by their employer from getting angry when something may happen to that support. Can't fault them for a second. But employers have been writing promise checks that the future generations won't be able to cash. That's true in the private sector, that true on the local level, true on the state level, and it's true on the federal level, including the U.S. military.
Something has to be done.... because my dollar is buying me less than it did a decade ago.
Exactly and I believe that is what Gen Dempsey is saying has prevailed here- that the question is much larger and fraught with some serious implications for retention and enlistment of a high quality professional force to just willy-nilly adopt a civilian retirement model that encourages everything but retention and loyalty in its workforce.
That's VA, not DOD. A whole other can of worms with its own budgetary issues.
Also, you only get 50% if you require CPAP for sleep apnea. It is a bit much, I agree. I think there is a big disparity in disability ratings across the spectrum. For one, while it is technically possible, it is very difficult under current rating criteria to get greater than 40% for a lumbar spine disability. I have to believe a painful back is a lot more agonizing than an OSA patient using a CPAP. Every CPAP user I've met has said that the mask makes them feel great in the morning.
I work in veterans law, and can tell you that you did the right thing in filing early. With the advent of case law generated since the establishment of the US Court of Veterans Appeals, this is less important than it once was; however, if you file early, it really helps your claim. Thus, if you get service connection established for your shoulder now, in 30 years when the arthritis has set in and has more severely limited your motion, you need simply only apply for an increase in rating. The higher the disability rating, the greater the amount of the monthly benefit. With regard to healthcare, it doesn't matter if the service-connected condition is zero percent or 100 percent, you are eligible for treatment at a VA facility for it.
Each regional office has its problems with regard to how long it takes to process a claim for compensation. Your profile says you live in Virginia, so it goes to Roanoke to be adjudicated. Six months to a year is about average, but keep in mind that the effective date of an initial award will be set retroactively to the date your claim was received. The federal budget crisis has prevented new hires in a lot of VA, which means that when an employee is lost, there isn't someone brought in to replace them. Workload goes up, time to wait for a rating decision increases.
If you disagree with anything, I encourage you to file an appeal. It costs nothing, and the people who review your claim at the Board of Veterans' Appeals are attorneys. They are much more well-versed in veterans law (especially the relevant case law) than the regional office people, and will ensure that the proper development on your claim is done (if it can't be granted outright). It does take an additional year or so, but it's worth it.
If hypocrites could fly, this thread would be an airport.
Scoutpilot: I'm not into nuance.
Not sure if you are referring to me, but I suppose it could seem that way with my stating that 50% might be too much for sleep apnea while on the other hand encouraging LITS to file to ensure he maximizes his benefits.
I do think there is a lot of disparity in the rating schedule. The way the current rating schedule is set out is based on 1940s assessments of the impact disabilities would have on work. The criteria only get updated on a disorder by disorder basis (when Congress or VA decides they want to re-visit certain parts of the statutes/regs). Some things have been unchanged for years, and I don't think it always reflects the current working environment. For what it's worth, I think the rating criteria with regards to back disorders and hearing loss are pretty stingy.
For me, while I may not personally agree with all the disability evalautions established in 38 CFR on a medical basis (I lack an MD degree, so am no expert), I think veterans should take full advantage of what the law allows them to achieve. I hope that's not hypocritical...
I feel like a bit of a doltz. It used to be called The US Court of Veterans Appeals, now it is the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. I think it makes them feel like a real (Art. III) Federal Court as opposed to the Art. I hacks they are...just kidding!
This has been helpful.
If they (the VA) want to manage expectations, they could start by changing the estimated time on their website from 90-120 days to something more realistic.
My claim goes through NC's VA office.
That's in Winston-Salem, if you care.
Have to ask why NC, you live in VA, and if I am correct your last assignment was at the Pentagon.
On the topic of the delay, a few weeks ago I was listening Tom Sullivan on the radio and this was his topic. He was discussing how the current rate is 180-210 days and with the return of soldiers from Iraq, where will that rate land up, maybe 240-300 days, which should not be acceptable.
I understand your issue with disability %'s, and why it is important to you to have it claimed now. Bullet has 10% disability due to hearing loss (20 yrs of flying), but he lives with Tinnitus daily and his premise was just like yours when applying...in 30 yrs from now if he did not have it placed on his records, he could be fighting for medical coverage.
I think for him as a retiree, it was about 6 months before he was officially cleared with the VA. Won't swear by it, but I do remember it was months.
Right now, there is a priority for processing the claims of recently-separated GWOT vets (I think it really pisses off the older vets (e.g. Vietnam guys), but they have had 40 years to work on their claims). It still might take longer than what is advertised. VA does try to move the cases, but they have limited resources. There is backlog, no two ways about it.
Also, keep in mind that it's not really "processing" so much as it is adjudication. Semantics, maybe, but it can be fairly involved, and that is another reason it might take a while. For example, it could be that medical evidence needs to be requested, or it could be that exams need to be scheduled. Each case has its own unique set of circumstances and facts.
Don't know if the new DBB system would be beneficial to recuriting and retention, but you have to show me how the current system is beneficial to recuriting and retention. Different thread, but a great retirement plan didn't make the list why kids applied to West Point. The great retriement plan didn't stop more than 50% of my classmates from leaving after 5 years or myself at 7 years.
The DoD should consider the current Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) with some changes (from my reading which is very similar to the proposal made by DBB).
I completed the Quick Start program, the month before I separated in June. I'm 200 days for the first phase, which I believe is just the collection phase. If I logged onto the VA's website and saw the typical period quoted as 300 days, then I would feel great about it. And there are.... two or three phases after this? Sadly my expectation was 90 days, per the website, so 200 days doesn't feel so hot.
Separate names with a comma.