‘Tortured logic’: Biden admin looks to declare more black veterans mentally disabled because… ‘equity’

More black veterans need to file for — and receive — mental health disability checks, because, according to President Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), being black and declared mentally disabled is a more “equitable” way to treat our nation’s warriors.

According to the VA’s Equity Assessment and Action Steps for Mental Health Compensation Benefits, released on Wednesday, “while Black Veterans receive VA benefits at higher rates than other Veterans – their grant rates for disability compensation are lower for mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder.”

“A higher percentage of Black Veterans currently receive disability compensation benefits than white Veterans for mental health conditions (21.7% vs. 12.7%). On average, Black Veterans also apply for disability compensation at higher rates and receive slightly higher disability ratings from VA than white Veterans,” the VA explained. “However, Black Veterans have lower grant rates than white Veterans for mental health conditions (70.3% vs. 76.0%).”

“In response to these new findings, VA will taking immediate and aggressive action to eliminate this gap and ensure that Black Veterans get the benefits they deserve,” the department vowed.

It’s “tortured logic,” according to the Daily Wire.

“The justification uses a tortured logic in which, although there is a large discrepancy in blacks’ favor when it comes to actually being granted government disability checks, the Biden administration sliced the numbers until they found a secondary metric in which blacks were slightly behind: The percentage who apply for disability but are deemed ineligible,” the outlet reports.

For those unfamiliar, the “grant rate” indicates the percentage of people who applied for a disability rating and were deemed by the VA to be medically worthy of receiving it. However, not everyone who applies has the evidence to back up a disability claim, and the VA denies them the checks.

“The Biden administration contends that the ‘grant rate’ needs to be equal by race — even though that would make the percentage of each race actually receiving checks even more unequal,” reporter Luke Rosiak writes for the Daily Wire.

It’s an invitation to “rubber-stamp” rampant fraud, according to Rosiak.

“The move appears to put pressure on evaluators to either look the other way at fraud and rubber-stamp unjustified disability ratings for blacks, or deny benefits to potentially suicidal whites,” he states. “It also puts the Biden administration in conflict with science, with the result of ostensibly objective medical evaluations being swayed for political reasons.”

In an administration drowning in irony, the VA is using a six-point grant rate spread to demand more “equity,” when it was likely the department’s existing “equity” policy that created the gap in the first place.

The VA admitted to encouraging “in recent years” black veterans to apply for the benefits, but as Rosiak notes, “People who have to be persuaded that they are disabled are likely to have borderline cases more prone to be rejected, causing the ‘grant rate’ to go down for their group.”

Math, it would seem, is not the VA’s strong suit.

Their solution is to apply harder.

“Throughout 2024,” it said, “VA will work to continue this trend by working with directly with Black Veterans and organizations to spread the word about this study and encourage Veterans to apply.”

The response becomes even more absurd when the VA admits in its paper that the racial “gap” only applies to those veterans — about 50% — who wait longer than a year after leaving service to seek disability.

“There has not been a grant rate gap by race since 2011 for Veterans who filed within one year of discharge,” the VA says, though it has found “the gap remains for Veterans who filed more than a year after discharge.”

Among those vets who apply within the first year, blacks fare better than whites in multiple categories.

“This review found that, for Veterans who separated in 2017 or 2018, Black Veterans had higher grant rates than white Veterans on Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) (95.8% to 93.9%), Integrated Disability Evaluation System or IDES (93.1% to 88.4%), and all other claims (85.2% to 83.4%) when they filed within one year of separation,” according to VA.

“Across all races, Veterans who file after one year had significantly lower grant rates,” it admits.

But, among “later filers,” the VA laments, “white Veterans have higher grant rates than Black Veterans (68.4% to 65%).”

Naturally, the Biden administration is ignoring the whites who are disproportionately denied benefits when they apply within a year of leaving the military, and is instead focusing on the roughly 1.5% of black procrastinators who were rejected.

“Rather than try to ameliorate the disparity in which blacks are more likely than whites to get disability if they apply within a year of leaving the service, [VA] will lean into it,” Rosiak writes.

And the federally-approved racism doesn’t end there.

Rosiak reports:

The argument that VA assessors reject certain blacks’ applications out of racism, while readily granting other blacks’ applications, is a more convoluted one than the simple explanation that assessors make decisions based on whether the evidence supports it.

Black people are overrepresented among VA employees by double their portion of the population. They make up a quarter of the VA’s workforce, giving the VA the fourth-highest rate of black employees out of 19 Cabinet agencies, a Daily Wire review of Office of Personnel Management data showed. Nonetheless, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) released a Benefits Equity Assurance Plan in conjunction with the study that said it will seek to hire more blacks by recruiting employees at HBCUs.

“The VBA also said it will ‘mandate unconscious bias and implicit bias training for all VBA employees,'” Rosiak adds. “Implicit bias training has been derided by scholars as junk science.”

 

Melissa Fine

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