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Veteran Interview In West Virginia PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 14 August 2012 11:24

In addition to being blind from Vietnam, Huffman’s service connected 10 percent for a brain injury from the same explosion.  One wouldn’t know it by reading the interview summaries of the Veterans’ he interviewed.  It appears by reading the summary that Huffman has fabulous memory.  Actually, he doesn’t.  His short-term memory isn’t good; and his ability to multi-task: walk and chew gum is impaired as well.  His concentration and memory is impaired except when his memory is triggered; then he can be focused on the Veteran.  During an interview, Huffman asks a Veteran his name, address, SSN, date of birth, complete military history, any injuries, and about any military and post military medical records etc.  A case manager takes notes.  Huffman then dictates the summary and other tasks to the case manager and the case manager fills in the blanks…such and such, SSN such and such was born on such and such a date.  He was in the Marines or other branch from such to such.  He went to basic training, then to…Chronologically, Huffman asks about physical, psychological injuries or medical conditions for each location.  Then he covers any presumptive diseases, secondary and/or 1151 injuries since the Veteran was discharged.  The case manager organizes the information into a summary, and then has follow-up tasks to begin the process.  Then when the Veteran calls about a status on his claim and/or there is a duty to assist or a decision, the summary is pulled up out of the computer and reviewed with Huffman, along with the scanned military, medical and claims history.  After the interview Huffman really doesn’t even remember the Veteran’s name.  However, when his memory is triggered by the review of the summary and claims history, one would never know it. 
There’s always more than one way to skin a cat.  His computer skills aren’t that great for a blind professional.  However, with the assistance of the employees reading all the scanned material, he’s able to provide sound advice, prepare for hearings or otherwise further develop the Veterans’ claims after review.  It’s Huffman’s philosophy if you can’t do something about whatever situation you’re in, enjoy it and work around it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 11:43