Denied By The Veterans Affair (VA)
I got denied! Recently I was turned down by the Veterans Administration (VA) for disability in my right foot. I was actually surprised that they turned it down, but it looks like that if it is not in your separation/exit physical then, you are going to have to fight for it.
So I hurt both of my feet in boot camp, the Navy docs said it was a light stress fracture, gave me Motrin, and told me to stay off of it for two days (well no marching or PT) and it should be fine. I did as I was instructed and returned to training two days later and though it hurt, I toughed it out, as I heard stories of recruits being kicked out for medical reasons and I did not want that. Therefore, I sucked it up and moved forward.
When I got to my “A” school, (back in the 80’s you did not go straight to MCT like Marines do now), I went to medical for my foot, they did an exam, an x-ray, and said it looked fine. It bothered me all through my career and still does today as a civilian. I submitted for VA disability on it and they denied me. First, we have to play the game.
In this case, the game was to send me for an exam by one of the VA-contracted medical providers. This visit was different from my initial claim (which was approved, but on my separation physical). I arrived at the doctor’s location some 30 miles from home. I entered the office and the two women behind the bulletproof glass (yeah, that took me by surprise) were more interested in their phones than they were in me, I guess they were playing Candy Crush or maybe Angry Birds, who knows. After 3-4 minutes, they finally took care of me, which was to get my name and take me back to an office.
In the back, I am sitting in a small office just large enough for an exam table and a computer table. I was not in the office for more than 30 seconds before the doctor arrived. He introduced himself, sat down, and asked me a question about my foot, which was what happened and what treatment did you receive. I told him and he typed it in and told me that I was good to go. In fact, I tried to tell him how it was hurting today and he didn’t care to hear what I said and ushered me out. I got to my vehicle and left. The total time from the time I left my truck to the time I got back into my truck was 7 minutes.
I was very interested to see how this claim went as it was the first time with a new VA-contracted medical practice (for my initial claim, the doctor at a different practice actually touched me) and it was the first claim that was not included in my separation physical. Sure enough, it was denied.
Now it is time to file follow-up claims. Let the fun begin.