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highoctane

Third Class Petty Officers
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highoctane last won the day on October 8 2015

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About highoctane

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    E-3 Seaman

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  • Branch of Service
    Marines
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    RC FLYING

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  1. Thanks for the response iceturkee. I am familiar with the severance recoupment, I retired (no severance)so it's not that.
  2. Oh and if this is the case this just continues to prove what I've said before, one of the biggest problems the VA has is how it communicates, or doesn't with vets. A simple note on the ebennies recent payments page that said "this is a partial retro payment pending a DFAS audit" would have made it a non-question. I mean should we all really have to read through the laws and countless posts to figure out why something was done the way it was when a few simple sentences from the VA would tell us and we would just patiently wait for the outcome? Sure there are people here who have done so much research and know so much that they might say "well duh everyone knows that" but we don't all know. I didn't and I have probably done as much research or likely more than we should HAVE to. We all have other things we should be doing to live our lives and be productive members of society for our families and fellow Americans but here we are training ourselves in VA law over something a simple few sentences on a VA website would have explained. Rant over..
  3. Ah...maybe it is a CDRP thing, even though that's basically no in effect any longer apparently they still have to go through the DFAS audit and withhold part until that's complete? I think that's what I'm getting from a few threads I've read(posted before the full phase out). That's what's wrong with the system..too much BS twists and turns in the laws, I think tax laws might be the only laws that out BS the VA compensation laws. My initial retro wasn't even partially paid until that was completed..that's what confused me. Anyone out there that can shed some light please feel free. Now that there is full concurrent receipt I bet situations like mine will come up often.
  4. So I recently was awarded a previously denied claim and that increased my total rating. I received retro but it was short of what I calculated based on the increase so I made some calls. My contact says the system shows that $180 a month was withheld, but he couldn't explain why so he put in an inquiry to the proper department. Being the effective date was 12/1/14 it shouldn't be a CDRP issue right? That's been phased out and hasn't effected me with any of my other payments. Oh and it's not an issue of not getting paid for December I already about that BS :) This is listed in the "system" and $180 each moth for 10 months as "withheld". Any idea why they would have withheld part of my retro? I'm just curious and with the long weekend and the normal process it might take me a while to find out what they claim is the reason and be ready for anything lol. Like I said I have a pretty good contact inside the VA and he was at a loss to explain it, but he doesn't work in the department responsible for retro so maybe we are both missing something. I know there are caveats and loopholes all over. I did a search and didn't find a similar situation. Found people getting all withheld for competency but nothing else. Also my recently granted contention wasn't mental health related. Thank for any ideas.
  5. E-Mail to Allison Hickey pays off

    Thank you eagle1012004. Everyone one from the VBA who I actually got to speak to after Ms. Hickey got the ball rolling was extremely helpful, and I do not think it was entirely because they were scrambling to appease the Under Secretary...they seemed truly concerned. The problem to me seems to be with how we can communicate with the VA, there is a major disconnect with communication. Here is my personal opinion, the VA is over run right now, and has been over run for years...the Federal Govt focused all it's effort on sending troops to war and supporting operations abroad but failed to plan for the aftermath and has repeated this process since at least Vietnam...the VA leadership is expected to just make it work with what they are given, when what they are given isn't enough(to vets this should sound familiar). They are drowning and we are paying for it, as are the VA employees who try to make the best of what they have to work with and know they are fighting a loosing battle. Maybe one of these years we will elect some leadership who will actually fix the problem at the root...but I am not going to hold my breath. In the mean time, it is on us to fight for what we are entitled to by law...
  6. E-Mail to Allison Hickey pays off

    Thanks Broncovet
  7. E-Mail to Allison Hickey pays off

    Thanks Buck. If anyone needs any help with getting in touch with people that can make things happen at the Winston-Salem RO let me know. There are people there that really want to help with those cases where the "system" has failed to work as it should. It's just a matter of getting to talk to those people.
  8. E-Mail to Allison Hickey pays off

    Claim was completed and the rating commensurate with my C&P exam was granted! This now qualifies as a success story lol. That might be a record for moving from gathering evidence to complete...less than 24 hours?
  9. Long story short the 10% rating was a deferment because of wrong box being checked by the doctor on my exam,but the paperwork explaining that was missing from the decision package. An e-mail to Ms. Hickey led me to learning that was the hold up, and that got the ball rolling. It all sorted out quickly and my claim went from gathering evidence to complete in about 10 hours, approved at the appropriate rating! I must say once I was able to actually speak to VA employees inside the system it made all the difference in the world...they were fantastic.
  10. E-Mail to Allison Hickey pays off

    What I would say is if you e-mail her put something compelling in the subject line and carefully think out your e-mail. Again, I am sure she does not have time to respond to all the emails she gets. I had actually emailed her months ago and didn't get any response. But that email was not well thought and composed..it was borne of frustration. I'm sure it read like many other rant e-mails she probably gets everyday, I was very frustrated. I was not belligerent, but I also wasn't articulate in that first e-mail. Be smart. Only contact Ms. Hickey when you feel that there is really an issue that you feel she should be aware of with how your claim was handled. Be able to articulate details with respect to how the claim was or is being mishandled. She and the upper level VBA management do really seem to care. Often though hands are tied by legalease and the federal government. Most if not ALL of the "roadblocks" that we as veterans face are put in place by powers higher than the VBA..the VBA employees are often just following orders and following procedures. As we all know S rolls down hill..nothing is different here..the VBA employees are taking the brunt of our frustrations but they are just doing so under orders, to shield real culprits..the politicians in our federal government. They do not like it any more than we do.
  11. I'm not sure if this is the best place for this...my claim isn't complete just yet, so I don't really know if I was successful. BUT I thought I needed to share this, regardless of what the decision is, I got some relief from the frustration of dealing with the "system". I e-mailed Allison Hickey a couple of weeks ago about a claim that was denied for "no clinical diagnosis" when it was well documented in my military service treatment records. It was my main contention, and I was dumbfounded as to how it could be denied. She returned my E-mail and CC'd the RO (Winston Salem) director, Ms. Rawls. She said she would have the claim reviewed. Shortly thereafter Ms. Rawls e-mailed me and said one of here team members would be contacting me soon. That happened today, a Mr. Heliman from Winston-Salem RO contacted me and we spend a good amount of time going over my claim. He was very professional and patient and poured over all of the details, and let's just say things are now quickly moving in the right direction. My reconsideration claim went from gathering evidence to prep for notification in one day! It's a long story and I won't bore with those details, but let's just say that I have been very impressed with the attitudes of all the personnel at the upper levels of the VBA that I've recently dealt with. It was a breath of fresh air. I'm imagine I just got lucky and Allison read my e-mail, i'm sure she gets far too many to actually read them all. If anyone has a real issue with a claim being dealt with by Winston-Salem that is frustrating them send me a message, Ms. Rawls has given me here blessing to share her contact info. Like Ms. Hickey, Ms. Rawls truly wants to help vets.
  12. That's terrible USAF-Vet, I hope you find a resolution soon. In my case the records were there an just never reviewed apparently. The day I got the decision I called my VSO and she accessed my records via the same database the VA has access too and the evidence to support my claim was all there. To quote the VSO "I'd like to find the rater and ask him or her if they are blind, but that's not how it works".
  13. Back from the dead...but this sounds about right. On my initial claim it flew through the process as my claim got close to the 90 day mark (BDD) and was complete in 89 days. Wow awesome right? Not so much, my main contention (CAD) was denied for no clinical evidence, although it was thoroughly diagnosed and documented. They just denied what they weren't finished reviewing and completed the claim. I filed a reconsideration, four months later I had a VA C&P exam in which the VA doctor reported my current condition as warranting a 60% rating...decision in the mail 2 weeks later...10%,rater apparently used some old test results to rate me lower than the current VA exam. Getting a second opinion or follow up testing would have taken too long and hurt their stats. But in those cases where they need to rush a claim through,they don't give the benefit of doubt to the vet, they go with whatever allows them to rate the lowest. Unbelievable.
  14. I got the letter today, all it says is rated at 10% for continuous meds. Doesn't explain why they chose not to follow the VA doctors assessment. They didn't have me get an echo or a stress test and they totally disregarded my current VA C&P exam and apparently they used a echo from 2013(which they had when they initially denied the claim and failed to look at), I guess now it's good enough to use even though it is over 2 years old. Even if there was a questionable disparity between the VA C&P and a 2 year old test shouldn't they request a current test? A lot can happen in 2 years when you have heart disease like I do and nothing controls your seriously high LDL. 2 years ago right after I got my stents I could jog, now I get pressure in my chest rolling up a water hose. What is strange though is the claim is still showing as open in e-benefits and is at gathering evidence with an outstanding request to a "VA medical facility". My ASSumption was this will be for an echo or stress test, but if that is the case why did they issue decision?? Nothing in the paperwork indicates that anything pertaining to the claim is pending, the paperwork looks like a closed claim. Thanks, R
  15. Oh and since they issued a decision does this reset the NOD clock? I'm concerned it may not, and maybe they are just trying to drag this out and let my time to appeal expire. I mean I reopened a CAD claim shouldn't they have requested an Echo or stress test the first time instead of me waiting 4 months to go to a VA doc and do a records review and questionnaire? This is getting ridiculous. Winston-Salem is the RO BTW.
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