Been a while since I posted on here, but I've been lurking and reading. After receiving my SOC on several conditions, and being informed by the Houston VARO that they will be sending an SSOC within the week, I think it's time that I hire somebody a good bit smarter than I am, and who can navigate the BVA system.
I ran the gambit myself for the most part, obtaining all of my military medical and personnel records from NPRC when the VA said they couldn't find anything, getting an IME/IMO from Dr. Ellis in Oklahoma, an IMO from Dr David Anaise in Arizona, an IMO from my oncologist of the past 18 years, and a bundle and a half of my civilian treatment records.
I fought with the help of Ted Ebert of the VA to get 95 pages of medical records that belonged to other veterans out of my C-File. (First denial and first SOC contained a ton of citations of these records, some of which were before I was even born.). I still have one record from some poor Airman whose name is nowhere close to mine, who has a rough condition that they still cannot seem to remove, but at least it's only one page now....I hope.
I requested and received three copies of my C-File, gettting a different number of pages each time, and always something new from my military records that they couldn't find before when they did their first rating.
I went through three C&P's, with an affirmative one in 2012, and two adverse ones in 2015 (after introducing Dr. Ellis' IME/IMO) and another in 2016 (after introducing Dr. Anaise's IMO).
I started all this in June, 2010, and have to say that it has been a ride, bumpy, but educational.
I've filed NOD's, Form 9 Appeals and all kinds of other junk, and have learned that eBenefits has a long way to go before being truly veteran friendly. (But it is better than the old VONAPP system that I used when I first started this mess.)
When I receive my SSOC in the next few days, (It should have already arrived by now, but hey...it's the VA, right?), I'll do whatever needs to be done to keep the ball moving, but old Mark is ready to let somebody else navigate. I don't mind working, submitting to more exams, blood work, x-rays, etc, but I think I need an attorney to move on.
My American Legion guys, who have been friendly, etc. through it all have only really served to help me eliminate the long waits on the 1-800 number, and that's about it. And of course, the VA finally has fixed that a bit and the waits are pretty small now.
So, question is, who do you folks recommend to help me from here as I enter BVA land?
Thanks again for the wealth of information so far, and I have to say that I would not have gotten the much-needed 20% that I received without your advice early on in this march. Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing from everyone who has had experience with good law firms, and warnings from those who have bad experiences from others.
..between Jan and May 1967. We hand-sprayed in isolated training areas, pond locations etc.-- pre-testing
the grounds before the overhead Air sprays which started in July 1967.
As holdovers waiting for orders after or between Radio and Radio-teletype (05C20) School we were subjected to these
dangerous toxins. Metastized Prostate Cancer, Neuropahy, varuious skin cancers including melanoma.
My case is headed toward Appeal now and I could use some Buddy corroberation of the spraying.
VACOLS tells where your claim is in it's development or appeals stage. It stands for Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System. CWINRS ( Corporate Waco, Indianapolis, Newark, Roanoke, and Seattle) is the VR&Es pet computer but will often contain a lot of useful info-especially about disability and work capability for TDIU based on national statistics.
Information is where you find it. Lots of us are doing the extensive background check and signing up for remote VBMS access to Vets' c-files from home.