Dr. Suzy Melkonian, who is paid $48 an hour as a blood cancer specialist at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles, was convicted 21 years ago in Switzerland of extorting money for a group that staged terrorist bombings and assassinations.
That certainly seems to support the claim of the VA hoping or even helping veterans “fade away”.
But the VA’s record on disability benefits must be better right?
VAOIG semi-annual report to Congress Oct. 1, 1999 to March 2000
VAIG finds VA attorney concealing veteran’s records
Investigation disclosed the individual knowingly allowed …(1300 veterans claims)… to accumulate in and around his office and he falsified weekly reports in order to conceal the existence of these unprocessed materials including 500 items containing evidence related to veterans' appeals including some of the aforementioned urgent, time sensitive items, as well as Congressional materials.
ABC - 20/20 (7/2/2000)
Fighting For Justice
VA attorneys destroyed records to deny veterans claims and earn cash bonus.
The attorneys …worked for the Board of Veterans Appeals, and each drew prison time for separately committing outright fraud in 1994 and ’95. Destroying records that were sent to them for review then rejecting the veterans’ cases on the grounds that the records were missing.
The attorneys said they believed the quick denials would make them appear more productive and eligible for bigger bonuses. A belief some say has encouraged denials in the past. Whatever the cause, the VA insists that in most cases the records aren’t technically missing, because they exist somewhere in the system.
Knight Ridder Newspapers (3/6/2005)
Discharged and dishonored: Shortchanging America's veterans
After 47-year wait, veteran faces new delays in getting compensation
A Board of Veterans Appeals judge ruled Sept. 20 that Fong was entitled to disability payments for his blindness for the period July 1950 to August 1997 - the 47 years the VA had wrongly denied his claim.
Veterans face lengthy delays if they appeal the VA's decisions. The average wait is nearly three years, and many veterans wait 10 years for a final ruling. In the past decade, several thousand veterans died before their cases were resolved, according to an analysis of VA data.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
Joel Waldman, President AFGE VA Regional Office, Cleveland, 2005
AFGE President tells Congress - VA Denies Veterans Due Process