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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bonus System to Clear Backlog of Veterans' Claims Backfires for those most in Need - Obama Reigns as Supreme Commander

Tyrants today don't have the common sense (not needed) like those of yore like Julius Caesar & Brutus for example, who paid the legions with silver denarii to retain their loyalty. Those remedies are too old-fashion now, and no longer needed as silver-as-real-money is no longer understood. Even today's veterans have given up on their own liberty, yielding obedience to any Tyrant-in-Chief waving paper. Even an Obama.
Caesar the dictator
Caesar was the first living Roman to have his own portrait on a coin. Silver denarius of Julius Caesar, 44 BC. The inscription CAESAR DICT QUART refers to his being dictator four times. The curved symbol is a lituus, the staff used by augurs which here signifies his office of pontifex maximus. (VRoma: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Barbara McManus)

The imperium that Caesar assumed, however, gave him the position of sole ruler. The literal translation of imperium is something akin to both “command” and “power”. The word is related to imperator, which came to mean emperor but was originally the title bestowed on a victorious military commander by his troops.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Veteran sleeping in front
of VA campus in Los Angeles
 (photo: Veterans Today)
More than 2.5 million American men and women went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and while most of them returned home, many have struggled with the physical, mental and emotional trauma from warfare with insufficient help from their government.

For serving and defending their country, these veterans are supposed to receive disability payments, job assistance, health care and treatment for what will be lifelong injuries and illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (25%), traumatic brain injuries (7%) and other physical disabilities.

But getting disability compensation has been a nightmare for hundreds of thousands of ex-soldiers. An in-depth look by News21, a Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education at Arizona State University, at the lives of the 2.6 million veterans who fought in the post-9/11 wars found the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) still has a backlog of claims belonging to more than 500,000 veterans who have waited 125 days or longer to be paid.

In an attempt to clear up this backlog, the VA instituted a “credit system” with claims workers to encourage faster processing of paperwork. More than $5.5 million in bonuses were handed out under the system, which inadvertently encouraged VA employees to process less-complex claims first.

Consequently, claims from veterans with more complicated cases languished, creating more delays and problems. This came about because complex claims took more time to make the necessary phone calls and to send follow-up letters to veterans and others—“all of which received zero points on the Veterans Benefits Administration performance evaluation for processors until December 2012, when the system was changed,” News21 reported.

Roger Moore, a local union representative for Boston claims processors, told News21 that employees set aside complicated claims to preserve their jobs. “It’s like, ‘He’s gotta wait, because I have to get my numbers or my job is in jeopardy.’”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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