Open complaint to anyone who owns a website. If you move a page, update ALL of the links!
For the past couple of days I have been trying to assist my father with a task that has become a project. This is more than a little challenging as his computer literacy is minimal and we live across the great wide open from each other. The task is to submit information to receive disability compensation from the VA. Shocking that they are finally admitting that they may have some responsibility for the health issues he has had since the ’50’s. I don’t know something to do with being forced to stand up and allow the shock wave of an atomic bomb blast to hit his chest just may have a little impact on a person’s health.
He has been dutifully gathering documentation and submitting it, as requested when requested. The latest request came for him to complete some DBQs (Disability Benefits Questionnaire) for some of the symptoms he has and work with his physicians to complete their portions of these forms. For a couple of days he kept telling me he was clicking on the links but was having difficulties finding the forms. I told him to send me the information, I would locate the forms and send them back to him. Not overly efficient, but effective. Low and behold, today he finally sent me the link the VA had sent to him – it resulted in a 404 error. He was absolutely correct, he couldn’t find the forms using the information that had been provided. His limited computer literacy prevented him from being able to navigate around the ‘Page Not Found‘ error.
This is where I got to look like a hero. 404 errors don’t stop me. Now that I knew what we were looking for, I was able to find the correct link he needed, heck, I found a couple of them. I downloaded a couple of the forms, because I know some of the symptoms that are directly correlated to the atomic bomb blast, but I don’t know all of them. I sent him the 2 forms and links to the remaining forms so he can peruse through the overwhelming list and figure out which ones he needs to submit. The list is long, so he will be busy for at least a couple of days. There are the forms for the multiple cancers he suffered, but I laughed at how sexist the VA site was as breast lumps are indexed under gynecological. I realize most men don’t get cancer, but men have breasts.
We ended our adventure with him reviewing the emails I had sent and making a list of questions for him to take back to the VA processor. I figure he will be filling out forms for at least a week before he can get to the next step in the processing but at least they are evaluating his case, that is a huge improvement over the outright denial of the last 50 plus years and he learned an internet usage lesson for the day, just because the site says the page isn’t found, doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t exist.