I am having extreme problems in dealing with the VA system in California, the billing department. I have some papers and documents that will show that this office inflated my cost by back-charges and medication that I never received. They also charge me for out-patient services and preparing to take all of my compensation award that I recently received for agent orange. What they are doing can not be legal!!! I know it is morally wrong. I need to know where I can go to find or have some one to help me to correct the problem. some one I can send my information to who can get positive results to and for me.
This system here has been extremely slow in my agent orange treatment and identifications.
Prior to the year of 2005, my visits to the va medical centers were normal and consisting of co-pays. beginning in February of 2005, on the 4th to be exact, I was charged $50.00 for outpatient care...$15.00 on the 16th and $15.00 for the 15th of February. The next month, I was charged on 03/15/2005 for outpatient; visit date 02/19/2004-$15.00....again outpatient care; visit date 05/18/2004-$50.00...and again outpatient care; visit date 07/13/2004-$15.00....and another outpatient care; visit date 01/11/2005-$15.00.
In short, the VA Palo Alto system(billing dept.) continued this practice also with some suspect drug charges too numerous to mention; compile over $1800.00 in additional charges which was added to my bill. After discussing these charges with them and expressing my opinions over the matter during that time, I was told that I could not continue to receive services there.
I left the system. In 2009, being out of work like most people in the country; my health took a turn for the worst. A vet. rep. had me seen at the hospital where my blood sugar was in access of 500.
I had a compensation hearing and was awarded 20% dis-able, and now the VA Palo Alto wants to off-set that award to gain those charges. Understand, I have no concerns or problems with paying what I owe. I am asking is it legal to back-charge any one from 9 months to a year after service was provided?
Why not go back another year and charge $1000.00? And another!!! Is this the right thing to do to Vietnam or any veteran? Do we have any one who can police and control this activity? Who are they? Where can I find and have a talk with them?? Why is this activity not considered to be fraud???
There is no compensation for agent orange. Millions were exposed, nobody gets compensation for it. There is no "agent orange treatment".
If you would like some help, you must at least try to be accurate when you write to me. If you are being treated for an AO related condition, it will help us for you to name the condition.
The situation you describe is routine. You had charges that were not paid. That debt did not magically disappear in a year or even in ten years. A debt is a debt. You owe the money.
Now that you have VA income it is routine to collect the debt from your current payments.
When VA decided to do the recoupment (taking money from your benefit) you were notified that if you disagreed with it you could appeal. Instructions were provided to you about how to appeal.
You were also notified that if you felt that taking the money would create a hardship that you could ask The Committee On Waivers and Compromises to reduce the debt or forgive it entirely.
That is easy to do.You read the instructions and you write a letter to them. You tell them that you are in a bad way and they will often forgive the debt.
If you didn't follow those instructions just as they said to do, then VA has no choice under the law but to begin taking that money back.
You must play the game by their rules. If you don't do exactly as that paperwork tells you to, you will lose.
You can still try to appeal the debt and ask that it be waived by writing to your Regional Office and asking for The Committee to waive the debt.