Monday, May 23, 2011

More Red Tape

It's extremely frustrating that my husband just drove nearly 2 hours away to the VA hospital only to be treated like a benefits seeker. I guess he's not in their system so they show no injury or rating. Had he not thought to bring some of his paperwork with him, including his Purple Heart, they probably would've sent him a bill. This happened before in TX and it was supposed to be fixed months ago. Now I can't help but wonder if his first disability check will hit our account on time. We've already gone almost a month and a half without any income so we're draining through our savings at a rapid pace.

Since his initial appointment at our local VA, he's been scheduled for stuff left and right to keep him busy all summer long. I went with him and the doctor asked me to "fill in the holes" and give my perspective of things. Because I've always felt that both the military and the VA in TX glazed over anything to do with TBI and his documented concussion, that was the first thing that I mentioned. He's done plenty of their stupid questionnaires where his answers should've raised enough red flags but still to this day no one has ever bothered to order an MRI. This doctor was surprised to hear that so he put in a referral for an MRI with the TBI clinic at the VA up north. He also was ready to diagnose him with sleep apnea on the spot, even though his sleep tests in TX came back inconclusive. He ordered a new sleep test that's scheduled for next month.

Today was the appointment at the TBI clinic. Around the VA, TBI seems to be the new scarlet letter. It's like they hear that and get suspicious that you're trying to get money from the VA that you don't deserve. At this point, I don't even care if my husband were to be compensated for it. I just want him to have his quality of life back and if there's stuff that can be treated then let's get it taken care of.

So whoever he saw at the TBI clinic decided that since he's not in the system and they don't show any injuries or ratings, they can't prove that he was wounded overseas. Yet somehow they found some of his records from TX and based on that they decided that he doesn't need an MRI and that he's fine. I guess I just figured that since he just saw his doctor here in TN that his doctor would have put his recommendations and referrals into the computer (since we watched him taking notes and then putting them into the computer), that those records would show up at the TBI clinic. Common sense is apparently not something the VA is familiar with.

We live almost an hour from both VA clinics where he has appointments, and almost two hours from the VA hospital, yet because he's not in their system, he can't even submit a claim for travel pay. It's not much but we've also recently discovered that either the VA rep or his PEBLO completely miscalculated his VA rating. It's such a mess that we can't even make heads or tails of it. In all honestly, it looks like someone added a zero to the end of an amount that he was owed and calculated everything off of that incorrect amount. He was promoted right at the end of his career so it's definitely based off of the wrong rank, but either way it's almost half of what it should be. It's enough to make me feel uneasy and wonder how we're going to get by. I'm praying that the interview that I went on last week went well enough that they offer me a job. In the meantime, he's in the process of getting his pay issues fixed but here we sit wondering what's going to happen.

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