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The Right News, Right Now for Our Troops, Veterans and Dependents » Podcasts » Scams Targeting Vets and Soc. Sec. Benefits on Front&Center: Military Talk Radio

Scams Targeting Vets and Soc. Sec. Benefits on Front&Center: Military Talk Radio

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Front & Center: Military Talk Radio

Show No. 48, Feb. 10, 2012

Listen to the show by clicking here.

Guests: Scott Langhoff, San Diego VFW services officer on scams aimed at veterans and their families.

Yolanda York, Social Security Administration, spokeswoman on benefits wounded service members can apply for.

If you want to get in on the conversation, call me at 760.931.1604 or drop me an email at rick.rogers@defensetracker.com. Always good to hear from you.

SEGMENT I:

Hello everybody and welcome to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio.

On today’s show, we’ll catch up on stories you might have missed this week, including news the  Afghanistan War might not be going as well as the brass paints it.

In the first half hour, Scott Langhoff, a San Diego VFW service officer will be back on the show talk about scams targeting our veterans in San Diego County and Southern California.

Is there really anyone much lower than someone who preys upon veterans or their spouses? We should have a special stoning law for them.

Scott also co-hosts “Veterans Benefits Talk Radio” and tracks those making a fast buck off our veterans, particularly elderly vets.

Then, just after the bottom of the hour, Yolanda York from the Social Security Administration will explain benefits wounded warriors are entitled to, but aren’t taking advantage of.

So, a stellar show lined up for our veterans, service members and everyone who cares about them.

MUSIC BREAK

I hope you stay tuned to military talk that matters, but if you can’t, Front & Center podcasts are available anytime at defensetracker.com.

No ads. No videos. No pop ups. No junk. No spam. No viruses. This site is clean as they come.

Today’s episode is No. 48 if you want to find this show later.

The podcast will be up this afternoon.


This past Monday I spoke to the Woman’s Club of Escondido, and I just want to thank those ladies of having me and for their hospitality.

I really enjoyed myself. If other organizations would like to hear my take on what’s happening in our armed forces, especially here in San Diego County and Southern California, give me a call at 760.445.3882 or email me at rick.rogers@defensetracker.com.

If you’re interested, my Escondido speech and other military related items at up at: www.DefenseTracker.com.

One visit and you’ll bookmark it. It’s just that good.

Music break

Before we get to my guest, let’s peruse stories making headlines this week on the Morning Report.

The morning report is brought to you by our good friends at the American Combat Veterans of War with new offices at the La Jolla VA and Oceanside.

And by National Veterans Transition Services Inc., which runs the very popular REBOOT workshops.

There’s a waiting list for the workshops because they are an excellent and free, and are a great way to climb back to into the civilian work place. I strongly encourage any vet out there to sign up for them.

* Let’s start with items close to home.

Opposition is mounting to the VA’s proposed 40-bed care center for honorably discharged veterans in Old Town San Diego.

This facility – which sits opposite a charter school on San Diego Ave — is urgently needed here in San Diego County for those piecing their lives back together after serving their country.

But it is being fought every step of the way by the not-in-my-backyard faction of school officials and concerned citizens.

I’ve asked these concerned citizens to come on the show and spell out their concerns. They have declined.

I’ve been to two meeting with these people and here’s my take on them: They are kind of people who take their kids to Veterans Day parades to wave the flag and then tell them how disappointed they’d be if they ever joined the military.

I try not to label anyone on this show. But if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck, then it’s a duck.

But this group appears nothing but bigots, hate mongers and elitists more than willing to enjoy the fruits of liberty, but never in their entire shallow, craven lives for a second have they felt the slightest motivation to actually do anything to preserve it.

Their only interest is self-interest. They’re acting on principle all right: their bank principle

In that regard they are emblematic of the me-first Americans who by their actions believe that anyone who does anything for altruistic or patriotic reasons are fools.

Do you know what these people are insinuating? They are insinuating that the veterans would be a danger to the children. They worry that they’ll sexually assault them. Unbelievable.

Said it before and I’ll say it again: The children at Old Town Academy have much more to fear from their own teachers then the do from these veterans.

Just look at Los Angeles and the Miramonte Elementary School. I rest my case.

If you feel as strongly as I do, then send letters of support to the San Diego City Council, which make a decision on this project in the coming months. Here’s a telephone number you can call to learn more: (619) 704-0180.

* From Mark Walker at NCT offers us further proof that history isn’t being taught enough in our schools.

A Camp Pendleton Marine unit posed for photographs with a flag resembling the notorious Nazi SS symbol.

The photograph, taken in late 2010 in  Afghanistan, shows members of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion with an American flag above a blue flag with the lightning bolt “SS”-style logo.

Using that symbol was not acceptable, according to a statement issued from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton.

The photograph is being explained away as a naive mistake made by young Marines who believed the lightning boltlike SS symbol was meant to represent “sniper scouts.”

Not everyone is buying the explanation.

The story has gone national and Jewish leaders are asking for an investigation.

* This from the Seattle Times: Two doctors at Madigan Army Medical Center who screen soldiers for PTS have been removed from duties.

Why?

Well, the two are being investigated for remarks they allegedly made regarding patients and the financial costs of disability benefits.

About a dozen soldiers believe their PTS diagnoses were wrongly dismissed at the Washington base.

A PTS diagnosis can be worth big benefits — such as lifelong health insurance and a lifetime check. The diagnosis can also help qualify them for VA benefits.

One of the doctors allegedly commented about being a financial gatekeeper in the Army retirement process.

Folks, I am glad that this story finally came out because it’s been swimming under the radar for years and years.

The practice of the military low-balling combat vets on disability ratings and denying them medical retirements has been whispered about for years and years.

You can’t have the same organization making a call that is going to cost it money. There is just an inherit conflict of interest.

I would love to see the differences between the VA rates combat vets compared to what the military rates them. I understand that a single rating system is supposed to be in place some day.

* Get your pencil out for this next item. A free webinar is coming up entitled: Applying Military Special Operations Concepts to Grow Your Business and Career

WEBINAR DATE: Thursday, March 1, 2012 | 12:30 – 1:30pm

WEBINAR SIGNUP: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/566382320

WEBINAR is described as teaching military principles and techniques used by special forces to build a robust business and a successful career. Presented by Chad Storlie.

* Holy, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

A University of Montreal research team has found a drug called metyrapone that appears to make people forget bad memories.

It’s application for PTS is obvious.

When 33 volunteers were told a disturbing story while viewing a slide show and later took metyrapone, the ones given the drug had trouble remembering their negative emotions.

But the fear is that metyrapone might also erase good memories as well.

Doctors now treat PTS patients with exposure therapy, where they ask patients to relive their memories to lessen their impact. Often they also prescribe anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications.

What’s with the drugging of troops as a solution?

Every week there seems to be a new drug that will fix everything: morphine, the epidural drug bupivacaine, seroquel and many, many others.

* A Camp Pendleton Marine killed by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy this week had two of his daughters, 9 and 14, in the vehicle with him.

Sgt. Manuel Levi Loggins Jr., 31, was shot and killed in the parking lot of San Clemente High School last Tuesday after crashing his SUV through a gate in the school’s parking lot.

An Orange County deputy pulled up behind Loggins and ordered him out of the SUV. Loggins complied, but started walking toward the school’s football field, ignoring the deputy’s commands.

The deputy shot Loggins when he turned around to walk back toward the SUV — and presumably the officer.

Troops killing and being killed is a trend that I wrote about a few weeks ago. It’s happening all across the country. The last story I saw on this came from a paper in the Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

* Here’s a story that will be fascinating to watch play out. Army Lt. Col. Dan Davis has asked the Department of Defense to investigate senior military leaders for allegedly deceiving Congress and the American people about progress being made in Afghanistan.

Davis spent a year in Afghanistan and talked, according to his estimate, more than 250 troops.

He said in an Armed Forces Journal story entitled: “Truth, lies and Afghanistan” that he saw little to no evidence the local governments were able to provide for the basic needs of the people.

In fact, he claims that he observed Afghan Security forces colluding with the insurgency.

He writes, “What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.”

Davis writes:

“How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding and behind an array of more than seven years of optimistic statements by U.S. senior leaders in Afghanistan? No one expects our leaders to always have a successful plan. But we do expect — and the men who do the living, fighting and dying deserve — to have our leaders tell us the truth about what’s going on.”

Ah, men.

* The Padres announced a season pass program for junior enlisted military personnel (pay grades E1-E3). The $99 pass includes one upper reserved seat for every home game except Opening Day.

The pass can be bought at local military bases, and at the Petco Park box office beginning this weekend. A military ID is needed to buy and use of the pass. Other restrictions apply, but it seems like great deal.

Time to take a quick break, but stay tuned. In a few minutes, a segment on scams targeting veterans and their families.

You are listening to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio with Rick Rogers heard every week on AM 1000 KCEO and AM 1320 KKSM Palomar College.

1st Commercial Break:

Welcome back to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio.

Coming up in a little bit, Yolanda York from the Social Security Administration to talk about benefits veterans are often missing out on.

But joining me now is Scott Langhoff, a San Diego VFW service officer to talk about scams aimed at our veterans and especially our older vets.

Scott Langhoff is a long-time veterans’ advocate in San Diego County and along with Jimmy Valentine hosts “Armed Forces Talk Radio” on WS Internet Radio, Thursdays at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

Scott Langhoff, welcome back to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio.

* We share the same concerns when it comes to veterans being charged for signing up for their benefits. What are some of the cases you’re found?

* Do more veterans seem to be taken advantage of in recent years? Is there anything law enforcement doing anything about this?

* A trick I’ve heard of is where people posing as advocates talk to people about the aid and attendance benefit, which many don’t qualify for because of too much net worth.

But these so-called advocates will promise the $1,611/Mo. benefit if you pay them to rearrange your finances to make them eligible. It’s the old bait and switch. Are you seeing the same thing?

* What are some signs that they are being taken advantage of?

* What are some of the options available for veterans and their families who want to gain their benefits, but don’t want to pay to have it done?

* Are there classes that someone can take to help someone?

* If someone isn’t sure whether they qualify or not, where can they go for answers?

* There are roughly 230,000 veterans living in San Diego County. Any idea of how many are not taking full advantage of their benefits?

* What’s a good place to get answers to questions vets and their families might have?

Scott Langhoff, San Diego VFW service officer and co-host of “Armed Forces Talk Radio” on WS Internet Radio, Thursdays, 10 a.m., Pacific Time, thanks you for your time and thank you for your service.

Time for a break. But joining me momentarily will be Yolanda York from the San Diego Social Security Administration office to dish on benefits wounded veterans are leaving on the table.

You are listening to Front & Center: Military Talk Radio. Be back shortly.

2nd Commercial Break.

Welcome back to Front & Center: Military Talk radio heard Fridays 11 to noon and Mondays 6 to 7 on AM 1000 KCEO. Also heard Mondays 5 to 6 pm on Palomar College’s KKSM 1320.

Podcasts available at DefenseTracker.com

Joining me now is Yolanda York from the San Diego Social Security Administration office.

* Tell us a little about the kinds of Social Security benefits that active duty troops or veterans might be entitled to. What are they, how much are they and who is eligible?

* What are the criteria if something is wondering whether or not they qualify? What percentage of disability is necessary? Is there a time or amount limit?

* Give me a scenario that you regularly see where a service member is eligible for benefits but fails to sign up for them?

* We all have heard horror stories about the endless government paperwork required. Is it that onerous? Where can these troops, many of whom are going through treatment, turn to get help?

* Earlier on the show, Scott Langhoff spoke about scams aimed at veterans. Are there people acting just inside the law who are targeting service members as well? Can these people be charged a fee for helping them acquire their just benefits?

* How long does it take for these benefits to kick in and are they retroactive?

* What do you mean by, ”Finally they are medically retired and then apply, losing protective filing?” It sounds like if troops don’t act then a benefit is lost forever.

* Do troops have to wait until they are disability rated by the military/VA before they apply for SSA benefits?

* Any idea of the number or percentage of people who potentially rate SSA benefits who are not applying for them?

* What pot of money do these benefits come out of? Who decides who gets paid and who does not? Who does the rating to determine SSA benefits?

* Again, where can these people get FREE help? Is there any outreach going on? If so, where? What area some good resources/POCs for these folks?

Three things to know:

  • File online
  • File today if you meet the criteria
  • Bring us your medical records to expedite the claim

Well, that about does it this edition of Front & Center: Military Talk Radio. Like to thank my guests, Scott Langhoff and Yolanda York.

Podcasts of this show will be up later today at DefenseTracker.com.

Join me next Friday as we talk about more military and veterans’ issues that matter right here, right now.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget Valentines Day next Tuesday.

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