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Gena

Overseas C&p Exams

Question

Hello Vets,

I'd like to get the opinion of folks here who have experience with or knowledge of he overseas C&P process. Here's what happened to me: I retired in 2007 and armed with the knowledge from my retirement/seperation briefings went to excruciating lengths to make sure that my medical records were accurate and thorough regarding everything that I was claiming disability for. When submitted my disability claim, I clearly asked the VA rep taking my claim if anything would be needed from me as I was moving overseas. The lady looked over my claim and medical records and told me that everything was there and that nothing more would be needed to process my claim. So, I moved overseas (St. Petersburg, Russia) and no sooner did I get there, lease an apartment for a year and start a school when I received a letter from VA stating that I had to report for C&P exams. I called and did not offer to schedule exams locally for me, but instead told me that I had one year to get back to the US (at my own expense) and report for C&P exams or my claim would be pulled. After ten months there, I was basically forced to stop everything and come back to the US. I've now been back for two years specifically to deal with VA and waiting as partial ratings decision trickle out and more C&P exams have been required. I feel that I've waited long enough here and I'm moving back in a few weeks. However, as a couple of items are still in the rating process, I have no doubt that as soon as I get back, another C&P letter will come.

My questions are: Did VA have the right to put my claim on hold for 10 months and force me to return to the US rather than offer to arrange C&P exams overseas? And, should I be afraid to move back overseas knowing that another C&P exam will likely be scheduled and I'm probably going to get the same threats of my claim being pulled?

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For whatever reason, I don't seem to have an edit option anymore. Sorry for some typos in the original post.

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Gena

Unfortunately edit is an earned privilege. In the past we had several malcontents that would intrastate a flame war and than edit out their part. Now after you have been here a while and posted you will be promoted and able to edit.

Of it is something that needs to be removed contact a Moderator

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The VA frown on not showing up for appointments for C&P...they don't care if it is not convenient for you, but it suits them. Missing these or rescheduling could have an impact of them, low balling, no balling your claim. Check with your VSO to see if by chance they could schedule your exam at say a veterans hospital overseas like Germany? or somewhere else. As far as I know these have need only at VAMC per VARO. But one never knows. Remember the VA operates on what is always best for them, not the ease/convenience of the vet.

Edited by halos2

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I thought the VA was equipped to process claims overseas!!

The Disability Claims Process for Veterans Living Abroad Explained

A claim for disability benefits made by a veteran living abroad may also involve other U.S. agencies and departments of VA.

U. S. Department of State --When the military service medical records are not complete, or so old as to require a more current medical evaluation of the condition(s) being claimed for disability benefits, and the medical evaluation is to be made overseas, VA will coordinate requests for overseas medical examinations through the local American embassy or consulate.

Veterans Health Administration Foreign Medical Program (FMP) Office of Financial Aid in Denver, CO --The FMP is responsible for reimbursing veterans for authorized travel for C&P examinations as well as for payment to the examining physician(s) and other medical costs associated with the requested examinations.

VA Services and Benefits for U.S. Veterans Living Abroad http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/foreign/index.htmInformation and assistance is available to U.S. veterans worldwide at American embassies and consulates. Virtually all monetary benefits (compensation, pension, educational assistance, etc.) are payable regardless of place of residence or nationality. Reimbursement for medical care for injuries received while on active duty likewise is available for veterans living outside the United States. The purpose of this web site is to offer U.S. veterans living overseas a place to review VA benefits, offer assistance in obtaining those benefits or follow up services, and to direct you to other services and points of contact.

Filing a Claim for VA Benefits While Living Abroad

http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/foreign/claims.htm

Disability Benefit claims, VA Form 21-526, for U. S. veterans and dependents residing in foreign countries are processed at the following locations:

  • Canada: VA Medical and Regional Office Center, White River Junction, VT
  • South & Central America, the Carribean, and Mexico: VA Regional Office, Houston, TX
  • Republic of the Philippines: VA Regional Office, Manila, PI
  • All Other Foreign Countries: VA Regional Office, Pittsburgh, PA http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/foreign/forinqu.htm#pittsburgh

I would be raising HOLY HELL!!! ~Wings

Edited by Wings

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Pete: ok, I didn't know that about editing and will try to type a little more carefully. It's just that I was able to edit my first post, then the option went away, thus the confusion.

Wings: I'm with you, ready to raise hell and getting more enfuriated the more I read about other veterans being offered exams overseas. Why did they not even offer me something overseas instead of just threatening to pull my claim? Even trips to Germany would have been way preferable. Adding to the frustration has been that the C&P exams that I was forced to return for have been complete jokes. Did veteran show? Did veteran have pulse? They in no way added anything to the information already in my medical records. Any advice on what hell to raise and with whom? I guess I'll contact an attorney.

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