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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/20/2014 in Posts

  1. 1 point
    Claim filed (Oakland VARO): Aug 21, 2013 Decision (Phoenix VARO): Jun 10, 2014 Retro to Sep 01, 2013 deposited: Jun 13, 2014 BBE arrived: Jun 14, 2014 PTSD s/c: 70% DM type II s/c (Agent Orange presumptive): 10% Hearing loss (1 ear): denied Total rating: 70% After I had my 3 C&Ps @ McClellan, CA in March, 2014, the process seemed to gain momentum. My VAHC primary doctor prescribed oral medication for the DM type II condition in late May, 2014; therefore I have now filed for an additional 10% rating for DM type II. Should that be approved, my total rating will increase to 80%. I wish to add that I have been in the VAHC system since October, 2008. I was in rather desperate straits at that time (living out of my car) and turned to the VAHC system in Phoenix (yes, THAT one!). When I sat down with the intake counselor, I felt scared and alone. He looked over my DD-214 and his first comment to me was, "Vietnam, eh? We have lots of programs for you." I have never felt so relieved in my life. I was admitted to a vets' shelter for 3 months while I was finding a job. I stayed in the VAHC system when I returned to California and have had experience with it in Oceanside/Escondido, CA (San Diego area); Oakhurst, CA (Fresno area); and Mather, CA (NoCal area) - in addition to Phoenix. While the VAHC system has taken a beating in the media and before Congress (deservedly so), my personal experience with it and those who work for it has been nothing but positive. My claims process took much less time than I expected in the beginning. I do know that it helps to have one's "ducks in a row" before filing. Though I did not use a VSO, a competent one can be very helpful. In summary, I must say that I am so very grateful for what the VA has been able to do for me. I thank every American taxpayer for footing the bill. I view it as a huge "Welcome Home" for military service so long ago. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
  2. 1 point
    Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. In hindsight, I know I should have applied years ago, but that ship has sailed. I am grateful for what I receive now and will endeavor not to look back. My retirement years will be much easier now.
  3. 1 point
    What ever you do, don't mention the award or amount to anyone that might be involved at any level in a possible collection process. You may be able to work with the medical providers to setup a payment plan. Depending on the details, it may be possible to get the VA to pay the bill, or part of it. There is a way to submit such a claim, and naturally, a VA form. First is the bill for treatment of what is now service connected? Did any part occur after you sent in your claim or after the EDD of the award? I'm far far from the expert you would need to consult over such an issue. (Lawyer time?) I certainly wish that I had complete records of major medical treatment and cost for what are now SC'd conditions. If the VA charged you co-pay, etc. for treatment prior to the award or after, you can request "an insurance audit". (Which may be just the tip of the iceberg.)
  4. 1 point
    Hey, Vern, what you're experiencing with eBenefits is absolutely normal! There was a rater who was active on this forum and he described how the process works - basically, there is an electronic checklist within the system that eBenefits feeds off of that says whether or not a requested document has been received. The rater knows that he or she gets the docs, knows that they're in the C-file, so they don't bother to check off the checklist. You've done the absolute right thing: check via IRIS. That's really the only way to get an accurate look into what they hold and don't hold because someone at the RO goes and looks in your file to answer. I've gotten claim decisions that list all kinds of documentation but eBenefits says they were requested and never received. It's one of the major flaws in the system, and it drives you nuts because you don't know whether to trust it or not. eBenefits isn't really even understood within the RO anyway, so they may not even realize the amount of angst a simple handful of clicks might solve. Meanwhile, really sorry to hear your claim is stuck. Really hope it frees up fast. My last one did - they suddenly farmed it out to another RO which closed the claim within literally a few days. Of course, I'm drafting the NOD now...but that's beside the point. Hang in there!
  5. 1 point
    I wonder why VA pulled this out of thier ass. . " VA presumes certain chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for 6 months or more are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause. These "presumptive" illnesses must have appeared during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or by December 31, 2016, and be at least 10 percent disabling. These illnesses include: why are they trying to close the door on december 31 2016? what do they know that we dont? I wonder if the studies that they were caught trying to manipulate have anything to do with it. The only logical and reasonable explaination is that VA know that there are going to be long term health effects suffered by gulf war vets., and they DONT WANT TO TAKE CARE OF US/. They take blood test from me like crazy. I know they are tracking something. They see the writing on the wall for gulf war vets and are trying to close the door. Why set a date " ilness has no respect for time or dates/. its all an attempt to deny us.
  6. 1 point
    This is my copied/pasted IRIS inquiry: I requested an increase in rating for my left shoulder after an MRI revealed damage not previously documented by the VA, but had existed since my active duty days. My claim was inexplicably closed in February 2014 without a rating or decision on my left shoulder claim. After several phone calls and visits to the VA offices at the Federal Building, it was explained to me that the closure of my claim was a clerical/administrative error. My claim has since been re-opened, but shows a new expected closure date of mid-2015, which is entirely unacceptable as it was an internal error on the VA’s part. It has already been one year since the initial opening of the claim; I have already had my C&P exam and submitted all evidence necessary. I would like my case to be forwarded to the examining/deciding official so I may get an answer for my request for increase. I consistently get the same canned response from the VA. Thank you for your service to our country. We apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry. We are currently experiencing a large volume of inquiries and are working as quickly as possible to respond to each in a timely manner. Your claim is currently in the development phase of processing. This phase is where we gather all the evidence we need in order to make a decision on your claim. We will review your claim and inform you of any additional information that is needed. Currently, claims at the regional office (RO) in Los Angeles are taking about 14 months to complete. Please udnerstand that these time frames are only averages, and that your claim may take longer based upon the specifics of your claim and VA's pending workload. We apologize for the length of time it is taking to process your claim; however, we are currently experiencing a backlog of claims and are working to get them decided as quickly as possible. The RO will contact you when a decision has been reached or if any additional information is needed. We appreciate your continue patience. Thank you for contacting us. If you have questions or need additional help with the information in our reply, please resopond to this message or see our other contact information below. Sincerely yours, C. Boyd National IRIS response center Manager jnb I get this same response almost everytime. These guys suck. That is all.
  7. 1 point
    Most companies will make a desperate attempt to satisfy their customer by making immediate corrections to administrative errors. Not that bunch in St Pete. They figure the more they abuse you, the more likely you are to "go-away". I think that some serious firing needs to happen. Especially at the top. Also we need to vote out whomever is in office to show that we do have some power. Unless we march on Washington, the only power we have is the vote.
  8. 1 point
    My suggestion on what to do would be to pay all debt off, get 100% debt free. Put 10-15 grand in an emergency only fund and don't touch it unless it is a real no other option emergency. Learn to live debt free. Pay cash for needs. Be very careful not to classify WANTS as needs. Always refrain from impulse buying for wants. Think about it for 30 days and see if it is still a want. Most of the time you will forget about it. Take a little bit, go enjoy a nice vacation and get that out of your system. When the pressure of credit payments are over your head, it can be a heavy weight. Paying cash for needs can save a whole lot of money and you can end up having much more using your money to pay for things instead of paying interest on things. Just my opinion. I have been buried in debt before and am now debt free and man does it feel a lot better.
  9. 1 point
    I personally don't believe anything eBenefits says when it comes to the projected dates work will be accomplished. In my experience as well as most others here, those dates are completely spurious and based on a system guess when specific gates are hit within their automated system. If you're watching a "claim" within eBenefits, you're likely retired military and had to wait for DFAS to complete the pay audit before the VA will then redo its own pay math then pay you when that calculation is complete and approved. The problem is that the same people who rate and approve claims are the same people who calculate and approve retro payments. As one VSO told me once, their priority is paying the veteran something each month, then they get around to paying retro as the opportunity presents itself. It can be a long wait. Keep an eye on the payment history in eBenefits. That should give you an idea if money has actually been queued up once the claim closes. Mine hit pretty fast once the process finally completed.
  10. 1 point
    And there are md reports that link OSA with diabetes, and cases that had been win, lot of them. Could go any way.If you don't fight you can't survive. Thx

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