The Repat Racket
An Insider’s Report on Veterans’ Affairs
DEDICATIONTo my former colleagues at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs – a great bunch of folks.
No-one’s privacy has been breached. The court decisions discussed in the text are in the public domain, and form an integral part of every veterans’ law course. Indeed, many of the cases described in chapter 7 are also in the public domain, and can be accessed on the internet. However, I have chosen to disguise them with letters.
If you recognize yourself in any of the cases, it is most likely because so many stories are alike. If you think you recognize your neighbour or your friend, you are probably mistaken. My experience is that people have a very incorrect knowledge of their acquaintances’ history.
But before continuing, may I suggest you check the button at the top marked, "Why This Book?"
- Repat Will Provide. This is the introduction.
- The System as it is Supposed to Work. This explains the various types of pension, the eligibility requirements, and the appeal system ie the essential background to the system.
- How the System Went Up in Smoke. This explains how a badly worded law, and an over-generous interpretation of it by the courts, resulted in pensions being handed out to anybody who could claim to have started smoking on eligible service. Although most of the applicants are probably sincere in their claims, I show how the rationale behind it is essentially bogus. Yet this is the basis of approximately two thirds of pensions.
- More Horses Bolt. This describes how the courts now sought to grant pensions for every condition under the sun, and Parliament's valiant rearguard action to maintain some semblance of sanity.
- The Myth of Agent Orange. These are the facts, and this is the science. After you read this chapter, I hope you never again fall for the line that Vietnam veterans have been adversely affected by this sinister chemical.
- Sundry Rorts by Honest People. How the effects of old age are regularly treated as the effects of war.
- The PTSD Epidemic. Anybody who works in the Compensation section will tell you that psychiatric claims are the one major area overwhelmed by lies, rorting, and dubious practices. Yes, there are a lot of men genuinely traumatized by their combat experiences. But there are an equal number of people who never faced the enemy, and never had anything serious happen to them, yet are claiming the same status, and being supported by doctors and - what is worse - the law. You will be shocked at the case histories you read here. This long chapter has been divided into three parts: 7A (part 1), 7B (part 2), and 7C (part 3).
- Paid to be Sick. One of the saddest aspects of it all is the way the process inhibits rehabilitation. People genuinely sick or traumatized by war are being sucked into a system which makes them worse.
- The War Widow Racket. Forget the relatively young diggers being killed in action in Afghanistan. According to Veterans' Affairs, most of the people giving their lives for their country today are over 80 years of age.
- Through the Looking Glass. This is essentially a supplement to chapter 2. It allows you to follow a claim through all the levels of decision making, and all the deficiencies in the process.
- What is to be Done? Twenty-six suggestions for fixing the problem.