SameOldSong replied to SameOldSong's question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVCThanks Pete. I imagine that they'll just deep six the request like they've done for the medical records and buddy statements sent in support of the claim. One doctor sent the records 5 times, and the VA 'did not receive them'. The hospital sent the records twice. Nope, VA didn't get them. The buddy statement which is crucial to the case was sent once from Qatar and once from England into the VA on the right form with signatures and through the internal communications system for DoD. Nope. VA doesn't have it. They ignored the data that was pointed out in the military medical records. Hell, the Army lost half the medical records and the file had to be submitted from copied records in possession. (always copy your records and keep them. I know they do this stuff electronically now, but there must be a way to get a paper copy out of them) I've contacted a reporter from the Washington Post and the NY Times that are covering the Congressional hearings on the VA. And I'm putting together a message for the Senators on the Senate VA Affairs committee to see if we can't get some pressure to fix this ASAP. I'm sure the VA won't listen to a thing that a vet says.
Brought to my attention this week. The VA appeals form, VA form 21-0958, isn't available online so it's blocking veterans from filing appeals of their healthcare ruling. If you're on a Windows, Mac, or Android platform no matter whether you have the newest Adobe Reader software or not, you can't download this form. This is the VA form that all veterans who disagree with a VA decision on disability rating must fill out to start their appeal process. Instead of a form, it's feeding everyone an error message in the form of a pdf download, whether your Adobe is up-to-date or not, that looks like this when you open up the pdf: "To view the full contents of this document, you need a later version of the PDF viewer. You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader from www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html For further support, go to www.adobe.com/support/products/acrreader.html" (I know, links in email. Google the following words: "VA form 21-0958" and try it yourself from the VA website) How serious is this? Well, the VA won't consider the appeal filed until you use this form to start the formal disagreement process. And according to the GSA website, only 144,000 forms were filed so far (none electronically) since the form debuted May 2013. There were a couple million vets who had their long overdue decisions handed down in May/June 2013 via the use of 3rd party agencies in other states that made the decisions really fast, but it looks like only 144,000 of them were unhappy with the decision? That doesn't sound correct at all. The GSA site that shows the form response rate: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=201206-2900-001&icID=202598 (Google the words: GSA 21-0958 reginfo.gov ) It's time to hit the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs with this information. Vets unfairly affected should get a time extension on their filing date. The VA should have a website capable of serving you a form that is readable by your version of Adobe Reader. They can't figure out how to set up a simple check of the Reader and pass the correct file version? Older Reader version files may not be 'fillable' but they should at least be downloadable. I found the vet the form via Scribd (and a couple of Russian sites that looked pretty dodgy for free), but that required me to pay a fee to get it for him. This is absolutely criminal obstruction. --- Attached to your decision letter, there is a copy of this Notice of Disagreement form and instructions. The VA usually fills in your "case number" (SSN) on the form when they send. But if the form is damaged or lost, getting a new copy off the web is almost impossible.