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Failure to Communicate

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Re: Failure to Communicate

Post by pinger on Mon 11 Aug 2014, 19:57

Binrat,

I agree with a lot of what you say. But not the cm's rats ass part. Some are shyte but not all. How do they figure us out? How do we figure them out? goc? Individual sits? agenda's?
I never even heard of a cm circa 1985. Did they even exist dva...I don't recall . Can't remember...
Only had 2 cm's over 5 years past. The last was really great for me albeit short time.

What I'm trying to say Binrat is don't paint them all with the same brush. Takes all kinds. Shyte... RR wants Bigrex's cm and you could use mine.
Play the cards your dealt... with smarts. pinger.
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Re: Failure to Communicate

Post by Guest on Mon 11 Aug 2014, 19:08

{ Receiving correspondence from VAC can be very annoying and even traumatic. There is a real possibility that the information will be disappointing or just negative. It can also be another example of how the department does not honour its commitment to treat Veterans with dignity and respect }


[ So yeah, sucks living off just over $638 or whatever a month, but saves getting stressed out dealing with vac and my cm..
Heck I could wager that vac won't call me to see how I am within next 5 years, and know they won't, vac doesn't call me unless I call them 1st, but they just stress me out way to much.}



What amazes me the most in the fight to get approved benefits is the fact that members of the forces who are medically released,
were released for the most part in not being able to be employable in most, if not all trades in the forces.
At least in my time that is the way you were medically released.
My medical released was found that I could not be employed in any trade.
Even with all the medical evidence that I have provided to DVA , hundreds of med docs,
it took years, and much fighting to finally get what I deserved,
that made my conditions worse.
So when someone is expressing their anger with the system that is suppose to help you
get the benefits, that is and anger I can relate to.
Sure medical conditions vary from one to the next, but you would think that if and individual
gets medically released, they have went through the process of being evaluated by forces doctors.
That in itself in my mind should be and acceptance by DVA to at least get your foot in the door.

I could be wrong here, but it's almost as if unless you are on your last, meaning you don't have long to live,
we are put through a long and stressful process to get our benefits.
One could speculate as to why this seems to be the case,
but the fact of the matter is that by reading the ordeals that Veterans are going through to fight
for years to finally end up what is deserved to them, brings one thing to mind,
is it really necessary, why not be more helpful, if and individual has the proper medical docs
to support what their applying for, why not just award it, I realize that DVA has guidelines that
they have to follow, I don't believe that these guidelines are so strict that it fails to award so many benefits
when the Veteran has supplied all of the proper medical info, that was asked for by the DVA.
One could also speculate that if all of the deserving benefits were awarded in a timely fashion,
would that put some out of work.
Perhaps they are being told by the higher ups to only allow a certain amount of funding per quarter.
At the end of the day regardless of the speculation, the Veteran gets to become a full time fighter
in the fight for his or her's deserved benefits.
So for me that's the way it played out, I had to fight for years to get what I deserved.
It is of no surprise to here the anger of so many who are now going through this ordeal.

That being said, I must also acknowledge that during my long fight, in my time at least
I did get some excellent support from a good number of members working for DVA,
they not only helped me, they showed me the utmost respect, I speak about members of the board
who decide yes or no in what I am applying for.
Perhaps I was lucky at times, but I must show gratitude where gratitude is warranted.

As far as CM'S are concerned, again I was lucky to have one that was sharp as a whip.
This individual was outstanding, and showed great respect towards me,
and was not afraid to lay out all of the benefits related to my conditions.
So in short I guess you can say we have good CM'S, and not so good CM'S.
The only advice I can give to those who feel that their CM is not doing all they can for you,
is get rid of them, even if it means you have to acquirer one outside your area.
In my mind a bad CM can do you more harm than good, if you continue with them.

As far as the Pension Advocates are concerned same goes for them,
if your not happy with them, ask to have another assigned to you,
this is what action I took, a couple of times.
In my time for me, what worked for me, is when I had and appeal,
I made my own case, with all the info available to me,
it was time consuming, and I always ran it through my lawyer
before the appeal date, I seem to have had success with that method.

In closing,

it's unfortunate that we are put in this situation, however if one was to let the denials of benefits get to them in such a way that it ends up having the Veteran get so angry with the system, that they give up the fight, well in that case  DVA/SYSTEM wins, and  the Veteran looses.
I also am aware that many Veterans who are in the process of applying for benefits are extremely ill, and are highly medicated, and do not have the strength to
constantly be fighting DVA for benefits, in that case you can reach out for help, and have someone and or and organization do the fighting for you.
The fact of the matter is if you feel you deserve the benefit, you must continue to fight for it, be prepared for a long and perhaps exhausting fight,
just don't give up your fight, and don't let the system beat you at you own fight.

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Re: Failure to Communicate

Post by pinger on Mon 11 Aug 2014, 18:58

Tx for the post Vvice. It rhymes with me. I have always known how to dot my i's and cross my tee's... but vac has become a one way street for the goc's benefit lately in my opinion.
Communication 101? I sent Charlottetown central a registered letter almost 2 month's ago with all my i.d. for their "urgent" crap they need to know about. It's important stuff.
Have not heard squat...why can't they be proper or professionial? My cm coulda fast tracked it but I wanted to avoid the personnal touch in that regard. Think I'll rattle that 866 number and say "wakey, wakey" .

Vvice wrote...

It really does not take much to piss off VAC bureaucrats.In October 2003, I was meeting with a lawyer of the Bureau of Pension Advocates and a nosey bureaucrat joined the conversation (so much for having a confidential discussion with a lawyer). I am not sure to this day what I did to upset him, but he decided that I was a threat to him and announced that he was calling the police.

BPA as an aside, given 2003 and a nosey bureacrat? No matter the time, my privacy would've been frackin damn paramount. pinger.


Last edited by pinger on Mon 11 Aug 2014, 19:01; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : cool hand luke was a good movie...)
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Re: Failure to Communicate

Post by BinRat on Mon 11 Aug 2014, 16:10

I have, my cm instead of helping come out more as in being more sociable, our phones calls turned me off fall ng to him voice, but instead I used emails to let him know what was going on..

At one point he didn't answer my email I sent for a month and a half. But when I was having internet problems and wasn't able to answer/reply for 10 days, he went off the handle and said I was in compliance.. He also speewd other crap and at the end didn't respond to my last email, then a month later, notice letter I no longer had ELB.

On appeal, part of that they said I wasn't communicating with cm, and I included the 10 emails or so in my appeal, but nope, plus they said because I ”dont have a permanent residential address" that my appeal was denied and ELB would not be reinstated..
2nd appeal, they also used same be reason not to allow me back on ELB as well, again using the part I don't have a permanent residential address.

So yeah, sucks living off just over $638 or whatever a month, but saves getting stressed out dealing with vac and my cm..
Heck I could wager that vac won't call me to see how I am within next 5 years, and know they won't, vac doesn't call me unless I call them 1st, but they just stress me out way to much..

So I guess now I see I ain't the only one getting screwed, not that I would want to see others going through same crap, but to know others getting treated the same, yeah these cm suck and don't give a rats ass about us...

And yes I sent the OVO a copy of my appeal, but like normal they can't do anything to help.. Not surprised... Anyhow, OP your not alone

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Re: Failure to Communicate

Post by Teentitan on Sun 10 Aug 2014, 16:57

How many of us have faced this kind of treatment???

A vet that doesn't do paperwork should be a HUGE signal to VAC to get the clients CM to call to make sure said vet is OK.

Instead complete immunity for NOT DOING THEIR JOB.

At the end of January when the Union flew vets into Ottawa to protest the DO closings did the President of the Union not say "We care for our veterans"???

Well if this is the kind of care they are giving to veterans maybe more VAC employees need to be FIRED and veterans should be hired to take care of our own. Because they sure as hell are not "Caring how we veterans are."

Excellent article Chief Editor...excellent article.
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Failure to Communicate

Post by VVice on Sun 10 Aug 2014, 14:30


What we've got here is failure to communicate. (From the movie “Cool Hand Luke” and it is one of the most quoted movie lines in American cinema)

Receiving correspondence from VAC can be very annoying and even traumatic. There is a real possibility that the information will be disappointing or just negative. It can also be another example of how the department does not honour its commitment to treat Veterans with dignity and respect. I was reminded of this by the most recent correspondence. It was a letter stating that I had failed to communicate as required and as a consequence, VAC was suspending my VIP benefits. No, we are concerned that you have not been in touch with us and were wondering if you were okay. No just another cold and impersonal letter, which was not signed. It was dated 17 July, but benefits were suspended on 4 July, so much for some advanced notice!

I did have the option to have the decision reviewed by another section of VAC (National 1st Level Appeals), which is located in Dartmouth, NS. I live in Ottawa so it is very logical to have a different office handle the review.

God forbid that I have serious health conditions, which is why I am a client of VAC and entitled to VIP. I am not even sure if VAC knows or cares if I am still alive. Considering the only time that I meet with VAC officials is when I am advocating on Parliament Hill, I do not know if the Ottawa District staff know that I am one of their clients.

It would be nice to receive services and benefits because I am entitled to them for my military service to Canada. This is after all part of the social contract which the Minister of Veterans Affairs confirmed exists between Canada and its Veterans. It would also be nice to treated with dignity and respect rather than made to feel as if I am greedy and demanding.

This is not the first time that VAC has “punished” me for a failure to communicate. My case manager sent me a letter last year and stated that I would have to complete another ream of forms to maintain my status as a client. Again she was not really worried about me just that I failed to comply with her timetable. It was the last time that she communicated with me to my knowledge.

I did call the district director once to express my concerns. She told me that she does not speak with Veterans. I thought that this was odd, but then VAC really is not interested in communicating with Veterans except when the department needs something. The director was probably kept busy striving for her next promotion. VAC gets plenty of information about its services from the few clients who complete its surveys. If you have anything negative to report, then do not bother as no one is really interested. I do not know anyone who has actually done a survey so the statistics could be developed in Charlottetown as pure bullshit. If you want to feel good, then compliment yourself.

It is not like I make a habit of trying to piss off VAC, it is just easy to do if you fail to dot the “i” and cross the “t”. There must be a lot of happy people pushing paper in VAC because it certainly demands a lot of it. Again I am confused because the department has a very bad file management system. It is forever losing important data and misfiling documents. This may explain the long delays when a Veteran does complete all the correct forms. It is all right for VAC to make excuses when it can not meet deadlines, but it is not good for a Veteran. No a Veteran must provide satisfactory information in a timely manner or risk the consequences as stated above. Just another example of bureaucratic hypocrisy.

Ironically, VAC seems very able to retrieve personal information when it wants to defame a Veteran. No bureaucrat is going to be seriously punished for accessing our information in this regard contrary to Canadian law. So why is it just about anyone in VAC can find my personal information in such situations, but I have to keep submitting documents repeating what is already on file every time that I want service?

I have even been punished because of my medical conditions. In 2004, I was admitted to the VAC hospital for a three week assessment. Four days later I was expelled for failing to be cooperative. Again no consideration was given to the fact that the staff changed my medication, which basically turned me into a zombie. The normal procedure is do an assessment first and then prescribe medications. I guess the staff knew better, but I still do not know how I managed to drive to Ottawa from Montreal without crashing my car.

It really does not take much to piss off VAC bureaucrats. In October 2003, I was meeting with a lawyer of the Bureau of Pension Advocates and a nosey bureaucrat joined the conversation (so much for having a confidential discussion with a lawyer). I am not sure to this day what I did to upset him, but he decided that I was a threat to him and announced that he was calling the police. I quickly left the district office in confusion. Later he sent me a letter informing me that I needed permission to enter the office. Since then, I have avoided the district office as much as possible. Given that it is a very cold and impersonal environment like some of the people who work there, I prefer to visit only if necessary. The place holds too many bad memories, which cause me a lot of stress.

You are not expected to take my word for this information. The letters are attached so that you can make your own assessment.

VAC is responsible for providing services and information, but seems to have a knack for always failing to do a satisfactory job. This does not prevent it from harassing Veterans when we fail to perform in an exemplary manner. For the Veteran the consequences can be severe financial hardship, lack of medical care and abandonment. I am not sure if there are any consequences when VAC fails the Veterans Community.

So why do we merit punishment like the prisoners in “Cool Hand Luke”, when we fail to communicate, but nothing is done to VAC?

(The letters will be part of the next periodical.)

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