Never Take No For an
Answer From the VA!!!
Too many of our vets have heard NO from the VA and then flipped out never to return!
This is a huge mistake and so many thousands of vets are not getting the help that they need.
Here is how big organizations work. This happened to me and I learned a big lesson about why we don’t give up.
My progression with the VA was a huge learning curve which took me way too long because I didn’t understand the system.
One of the big lessons, I will talk about below, was actually after I was 80%. I was then given 100% due to unemployability.
Getting this 100% took a total of around 40 years. They started me at 30% a few years after Vietnam, and I kept reapplying over the years. My wife was a firm believer in not taking NO for an answer and kept kicking my backside out the door and sending me back to the VA.
The reason it took a total of 40 years is because there were no books on this and we older vets learned the hard way. If I had understood what I now know I could have done it in just a few years total.
Now this is where I learned to play the game with large institutions such as the VA and Social Security.
The VA said I couldn’t work so I went to Social Security to apply for Disability. I still wasn’t old enough for my regular Social Security to kick in.
They turned me down and said “Get a Job”!!! Talk about a Catch 22. The VA says “Don’t Work”! SSI say’s “Get Busy”!
I got upset and pissed and moaned for a couple more wasted years.
I finally went to a couple of lawyers who turned me away without saying why. Ginger heard about a good lawyer that was really helping Vets. I went to him and he told me why the others had turned me down. He said any good lawyer won’t take that type of a Social Security Case until I had been turned down at least twice. He said go apply again and then once I was turned down again he would take my case which he then did and won for me.
Am I saying these orgs turn us down as part of the process? I won’t quite go there and I will let you make up your own mind.
The other lawyers who turned me away wasted a bunch of my time by not explaining this conundrum.
The lesson I learned, and don’t let anyone tell you differently, is that if you want to prevail with these large orgs you need to “Never Take No For An Answer”!!!
Listening to a bunch of NO’s and then laying down stretched my process to 40 years. That was a lot of time they didn’t have to pay me for what war had done to me.
In other words the VA, Social Security and the others won’t take you seriously until you are willing to stand up and let them know that you are serious!!!
Now here is what is really important about this process that helped me.
Is it all about money?
Here is something interesting I learned along the way.
To show that I was serious I needed to have a paper trail of my struggle with PTSD and issues due to getting some Purple Hearts.
I had to go to the VA and learn from other vets about what I needed to do. I needed to go to Group PTSD and Substance Abuse meetings and Private Appointments with doctors.
In other words I actually got a lot of help in understanding that I wasn’t alone and I needed to get ProActive in my recovery.
I learned Grounding Techniques and so much more.
Thank God for the most important people I learned from:
Vets Helping Vets
I have recently heard people talking about Privatising the VA. This would be a mistake on so many levels. The largest being the loss of one of the VA’s most important tools.
We are talking about the Giant Pool of Knowledge we vets have garnered over years of struggle that we pass on One on One!
That type of knowledge just doesn’t get passed around near enough at your local VFW. Closing VA hospitals would put a stranglehold on this benefit we all need.
A lot of this information is in my book “The Warzone PTSD Survivors Guide”.
It is in its 2nd Edition Printing and I am actually getting ready to do a 3rd with stuff like this above in it. I keep learning thanks to all you other vets out there.