Thursday, April 23, 2009

The 'Service Connection' Scam

So I bet you didn't know this.

If you serve in the armed forces and develop an illness while serving
you will be granted, according to how loud you scream and who is on
the committee, a percent of 'service connection'. I did this ex-post
facto as it was the only way I could find to get medical coverage for
an orthopedic injury that got worse during my time in, but was hardly
caused by it.

Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for my service connection, but I did
not know it came with a monetary reward. Ten percent? How's $120 a
month sound? Huh? Uh, fine... Really? No shit? Okay.

Evidently my honor has a price and it's $120 a month in perpetuity.
And we wonder why the VA is hamstrung.

Bet you didn't know you can also get a hefty service connection for
Sleep Apnea and for diabetes! Huh? Would you not have developed those
in civilian life? OSA? 50% and I have that too... Do I go fishing?

Figured I should ask because you will pay for it. That extra $500 a
month would sure be nice.

PTSD? 100%. I'm working on it.

Hysterectomy in service? Service connection. Malingering? Service connection.

Bet you also didn't know that the average hospital spends 60% of its budget on... Drum roll... Administrative costs. Ever wonder why, in a money crunch, the nurses are the first to suffer? It's because they aren't as important as the paper pushers. Ever see a hospital fire the
administrators, cut the paperwork, and hire MORE nurses? Me neither.

Have a cheerful day, and remember, unintended consequences are the
rule, not the exception, to government's attempt to run a business.

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free.
PJ O'Rourke


  1. I'm an RN and I never even realized until I heard an MD say it: people are admitted to the hospital for NURSING care! Of course, it makes sense. Doctors are in and out, not spending copius amounts of time at bedside, so patients aren't really there for access to the MD. You can even have surgery as an outpatient. But if you need monitoring or extended care, you need to be where the nurses the hospital!

    So, of course it makes sense to hire fewer nurses...for the hospital....???????????

    I don't work in the hospital any more, I'm a visiting nurse now.

  2. People fired/laid off/asked to resign since December:
    (1) My boss. (2) My boss' boss (3) Director of nursing (4) My previous boss (5) Hospital president

    In addition, hundreds of nurses were laid off.

    Volumes are down, so it would be retarded to hire more nurses.

  3. Hey, and when you get sick you can go to the VA!!!


  4. I think the best plan is just to stop giving the troops any of these terrible socialized medical benefits! Private medicine is so much better that they should go out and get some of that on their own.

  5. Umm, it is actually... and havin a Service Connected Disability just does wonders for your Job Prospects..OK 9-11 does OK, but try bein a 20 year old Scout Sniper with a torn ACL and PTSD... probably won't get that job at the Post Office..


  6. Anonymous,

    No one is denying that our troops deserve care for the “wounds borne of battle”. That is the mission of the Veterans Administration. What 911 is pointing out is how this system has morphed into another taxpayer supported entitlement boondoggle.

    When a service member separates or retires they attend a special class. In the Navy it’s called TAPS (Transition Assistance Program). A part of the class is an in-depth review of their military health record by a special counselor. That counselor’s sole job is to try to find as many service related conditions as possible so the service member can apply for a VA disability. A 10% disability is the minimum that can be awarded and nets the service member around 100 bucks per month. Ratings can go all the up to 100% and net the service member a pretty nice chunk of tax free change. You would be shocked at the list of conditions that qualify as “service related”.

    I am 50 years old. I am getting ready to retire from the Navy after 23 years. I could very easily secure myself a 30-40% disability rating, if not more. A bum knee, DJD, a little hearing loss, a couple hernia repairs, ingrown toenails (yes, 3 or more ingrown toenails qualifies as a chronic condition); all of these add up. Given my lifestyle and age I would have developed most of these anyway. So…do I put in for a disability check? The Taxpayer Angel in me says; “No. Thou were not injured in or preparing thyself battle.” The Entitlement Devil says; “Oh Hell yes! You served the Man for 23 years! You gots it comin’! ”

  7. P.S.

    Frank has a point. There are times when a service related disability can be a hindrance depending on what the job and the disability are. I have some colleagues who practice quite well with a 50% disability....

  8. Anna - No not that one.2:06 PM, April 24, 2009

    Frank's point is obviously for humor (Hahahahahaha - oh you rascally teen) but is not applicable.

    Unless a job applicant puts down on their resume that they have a disability no employer will ask for it unless it directly prohibits the employee from performing the duties of the position. And if it's in the form of PTSD, it's not visible to the naked eye and so the prospective employee is not even passively discriminated against.

    However, it IS in the Vet's best interest to put down their disability when applying for Federal positions (which is the USPS) as it affords them what is called a 10-point status that puts them on the top of the heap for hiring purposes. So, uh, not so much of a hindrance.

  9. DocV,

    First, thank you for your service. Second, take the money and run...this gov't is certainly not going to give you anything unless your a slacker, which I highly doubt you are. Its only going to pad your retirement, which cant hurt and is well deserved considering your service to our country. I'd personally pay more taxes to make sure you recieved it.

    ~Mother of a Navy Aircrewman.

  10. My classmate gets a check every mouth for folliculitis from having to shave every day he was in the service...

  11. Just reminding ya'all that my lesbian sister's partner is in the guards. She just came back from a two year stint in Kosovo. But, obviously, her sexuality means that she is nothing to be like you guys. :)

  12. Ok Hannah. Last I heard there was a breast cancer scare in the family. Hope things are looking up.

  13. oh Hannah, one more thing, your sister and I are very much alike in one respect.

  14. I'm a Lesbian trapped in a Males Body too...

  15. Should not Hannah join the military? It appears she has many issues that need to be taken care of.

  16. Is that why my 74 year old father can't get antibiotics (or even be seen) unless he "calls well in advance" and then travels over 50 miles from home for basic care? My father served in Korea and Vietnam. He can't walk very well due to an actual injury from combat. He doesn't complain. He's a Marine. His "service connection" money isn't much better than yours. Why don't you start a blog offering your "service connection" money to the veterans with REAL combat injuries? Better yet, why don't you start a wave to provoke change in your profession so that my Daddy receives basic medical care.

  17. dear anonymous,
    daddy that Marine who obviously deserves everything he gets by way of the VA deserves a son or daughter who can FUCKING READ. please work on this or quit posting here because guess what... I'M ON YOUR FUCKING SIDE!
    have a super day

  18. If you happen to die from your SC condition, then your spouse gets survivor benefits. If you are 100% SC, but die from something other than the SC condition there are no survivor benefits. How do I know this? I had a pt who was 100% SC for PTSD. He knew that his likely cause of death would be his CAD. He asked for a letter stating that his longterm PTSD caused his CAD - wants his wife to get his money when he dies. I declined to write a letter supporting his request.
    Had another pt who had an AVR; he wanted a letter stating that his POSSIBLE seizure in the 1960s led to high BP which stressed his aortic valve and subsequently led to him needing an AVR in the 1990s! He'd remarried a much younger woman and had young kids; he too knew that cardiac issues would likely cause his death, so wanted to have his heart condition SC so "Mamma" would get money when he died. I declined to write him a letter too.

    A friend is 10% SC for a pterygium (yes, you read that right) even though it was successfully removed. His daughter is now a veteran after having served in the military for 6 years. She's using her GI bill to go to school to become an RN. Apparently there are funds in our state that give children of SC veterans money for education. So his 10% bull*hit SC for a damn pterygium is netting his daughter extra money for college.
    Way to milk the system.