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firemoth

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About firemoth

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  1. Just another update, after a year requesting my C-File, I finally received it in Jan. Not surprisingly, it was actually missing files that I had already received from the VA on a previous records request. My 1 year deadline to file my NOD is aproaching fast, and I'm trying to locate the "act" or ruling that Bush passed to afford Vets the benefit of the doubt in rulings during the time periods of 2005-2009, AKA "Shreddergate". As previously mentioned, I filed 5 claims from my exit in 2007 to Nov. 2009, yet the VA only has evidence of an incomplete claim filed Jan. 2012. They gave me an Effective Date of July 2014. Does anyone know/remember what that Bush Era form was? I've been waiting this whole year trying to dredge up more documentation, but now I feel like I'm further behind from where I started.
  2. UPDATE: So, amazingly enough, my Claim for Compensation has been completed and approved. 80% Combined, 11 out of 22 conditions claimed, ironically, 5 of them for stuff that I didn't think were really service connected but was instructed to file anyway, and the ones that got denied were some that I actually had PROOF were service connected in my claim, but were completely ignored. Also the language the C&P Doc used were pretty much outright lies. "Is pain present? No." Um, yeah dude, pain is constant. TMJ due to injury caused by USAF Dentist, constantly locks, and he said no movement issues present. (I have no teeth due to 1 part cancer and 2 parts them failing to treat it effectively, so he couldn't do the measure test). .... But I digress, I will take what I have, my primary issue is that in Jan, when this threat was started, I submitted a FOIA request for my entire C-File. This is what ebennies says (yes I know, don't look at it, but the VA Rep pretty much just echo'd what it says): Submitted: 01/13/2016 (Freedom of Information Act / Privacy Act Request) Estimated Completion: 10/14/2017 - 12/20/2018 The only reason I want them, is to bolster my claim that I DID File multiple claims 8 YEARS prior to this "first" one. So I have two issues. Hope my records come sometime in the next year and file a NOD, or file a Request for Reconsideration now, but with only 3 documents that will "help" my case. Also, the VARO told me my FOIA request of my c-file will only be the electronic copy, which I have already seen, and doesn't really help. When I filed the FOIA my attorney indicated that I should have put "paper C-File".... Further more, I actually spoke to some "director" at the St Louis Facility and he even VERIFIED that I still have a Paper file, saying he actually shows it received last Sept. So why, when doing a request for "ALL RECORDS" will they not include the paper-file? Finally: The VA shows that the very first record in my file is Dated: November 19, 2007, and is a Request for STRs. My attorney AND the VA Rep said that a Request for STR will ONLY be initiated when a Claim is received. If that's the case, then how can they say I "never" filed a claim? Unfortunately I'm in a waiting game, as my attorney pretty much said there's no point in filing any sort of NOD or Appeal until I have my FULL Records in hand. She also suggested I file ANOTHER FOIA explicitly requesting my "Paper Claims File located at the St. Louis Facility." or some such..But run the risk of the 1yr expiring.. I'm pretty mentally exhausted from this whole ordeal, and have contemplated just taking what I have now (received 21mo Retro, paid off 85% of all the medical bills I accrued while waiting for the VA to do their job. With $1000 left over. ) EDIT: I forgot to ask: If I filed another FOIA Request for a "Paper Cfile" while my previous one is still in the "GoE" stage, will that delay it or cancel it outright? Is there some way I can submit a letter to the FOIA request already in progress that explicitly requests the PAPER file? And, would it even be worth if to send a letter to my congressman asking him to put some pressure somewhere?
  3. Greetings all, I started a new thread because I felt this topic was a separate issue from my last post, but was a factor regardless. I will try to keep it brief. I was PEB/MEB'd from the USAF in Minot, ND on Nov. 2007 for DDD and Osteoarthritis (four herniated/bulging discs). The week prior to separation, I was mandated to attend a TAP Briefing (Transition Assistant Program), where a Veteran Affairs Rep briefed us on the importance of filing a claim, and had us fill out from 21-526. They indicated that we should receive a phone-call regarding our C&P Exam in approx 30 days. And sure enough, on December 22, 2007, I received such a call from the Fargo VAMC calling to schedule me for my CP&E. However, I had already returned to my Home of Record (Dallas), and they informed me that my claim/records would be transferred to the Dallas VAMC, and that I should call the Dallas VAMC in 30-45 days if I do not receive a call. 47 days pass, and I call the Dallas VAMC. No record of me, at all. So I call the Fargo VARO and VAMC. Also no record. The Waco VARO had no idea where my C-File was, and I was instructed to file another claim. So on March 26, 2008, I filed a claim with Hood County VA Rep in Granbury, Tx. Did the mandatory wait, checked back, NOTHING. This continued a few more times until I gave up and just used my Private Insurance for all future MRI/Treatment of my conditions. I made so many mistakes in the beginning, got apathetic towards the middle, and now I'm down right pissed when I should have been years earlier. Complacency is Deadly. So my question is, would it be possible, or even worthwhile, to request Special Handling as my issues fell squarely in the timeline of Shreddergate? The VA has ZERO record of me from 2007-2012. No claims, calls, or STRs prior to Jan. 3rd, 2012.
  4. Update: I received a Phone call on Friday (Jan 15, 2016) from Joseph, Supervising Director/Manager of the VA Records Mgmt Office Call Center. I communicated to him my issue, and he said they will proceed with a re-scan of my paperfile in the event that something was missed, AND he would check with his "Chief" on the legality/possibility of having my Paper C-File sent BACK to the Waco VARO to permit me the opportunity to view it in person. He said both issues would take some time, but that he would get back to me with an answer. I won't hold my breath, but it was refreshing to actually receive a callback with some what good news. And another update. The VA finally updated the status of my Claim, and have now estimated that it will be completed between March 26 and August 19th. (A bit of a far cry from the 3-6 weeks they quoted me last week. I also spoke to a VA Phone Rep today (Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016), to check as to ANY call logs that I made to the VA from Nov. 2007 to Jan. 2012. Rocquell informed me that their new system does not go back before 2012 unless the VA Phone Agent at the time actually left a note. And since that's the case, she was unable to find ANY call log prior to 2012 of me calling in. I was hoping that there would be at least some sort of a phone record that I could use to validate my case when I file my NOD, and head to the BVA. The VA Rep at the VARO was adamant that, "Don't you think there would be SOMETHING that would indicate you filed? I find it odd that there is ZERO proof.".... I was like "Thanks for essentially calling me a delusional liar." And to answer his question, I said, "Not if who-ever digitized my file dropped it, or miss-filed it, or any number of human errors that are rampant throughout the VA." He didn't like that much. So now I'm pretty much stuck until they finalize my claim. This entire ordeal makes me want to become a VSO, or join the VA Call Center so I can help other vets avoid this. Maybe become a Lobbyist for Veteran's Rights.
  5. Regarding the FOIA request and in-process claims. I asked this exact question three times while at the VARO yesterday. Since my C-File is now accessible online for all organizations, there is no requirement for the claim to be pulled out. Even more so since I filed a Fully Developed Claim via their online submission process, they already have all the documents they need (ignoring my obviously missing claims), to process the claim. So any FOIA request that comes through now will be processed CONCURRENTLY to any Benefits Claims in process. Now, if you only had a Paper C-File, then yes. The FOIA request would interrupt the claims process because they would have to physically locate, and ship-off the C-File to St. Louis, or one of their other Records Management facilities to scan and ship you your request. At least that's how it was explained to me.
  6. UPDATE: Good lord, I don't know where to begin. Today, I spent 6 hours at the Waco VARO today, demanding to see my claims file after the VA CALL Center Rep informed me that my Physical/Paper C-File WAS at the Waco VARO last night.... After speaking to 13 people, (the first 12 had no CLUE where my paper file was), the 13th, amazingly enough located it...at one of the St. Louis, MO Records offices. But here's the rub. I have to file a FOIA request now to get my copy (which I did today), but they said they will only copy what is in the Paperless System onto a Disc, and NOT copy from my Paper File. No one is willing to send my physical paper C-File back to the Waco VARO so I can review it either. Stating that "everything that is in your file is now on line." When I was able to demonstrate to the VARO Rep today that obviously it wasn't. (I already have a copy of my digital c-file, but I also have every ORIGINAL Personnel File and Medical Record to compare it to, except my first 4 claims files that were kept by the VA Rep without a providing a receipt.) ... So, now I have to wait for them to complete my NEW FOIA request, then I have to file an Appeal/Dispute with the FOIA Request, then who knows what else.... My VARO Had my Paper C-File from 2009 until July 2015 (when I completed and submitted my FDC). Even though they repeatedly told me either, 1) We no longer have it, 2)We've NEVER had it, or 3)We do not allow for people to view it since moving to the paperless system. Then when I try to tell them, "Look, you're missing 5 years of documentation, but you constantly insist your version is the true and accurate representation of what exists. Refusing to accept the fact that your "vendor" or whoever agent in the VA could have actually screwed up and failed to correctly file/scan my documents." I mean seriously, if I was REALLY trying to screw the system by creating an elaborate hoax, would I spend literally Days worth of time on the phone, hundreds of dollars driving all over Texas, providing USAF Stamped/Signed documents, USPS Receipts, FAX Receipts, and countless other articles of proof to the contrary of your reality? How do you think it makes me feel to KNOW the truth, but to constantly be told I'm wrong, or imaging things. Simply stating "well it's not on my computer screen, therefore it MUST NOT EXIST" is not enough.... There has to be a legal way where the burden of proof should not have to solely rest on the shoulders of the Vet who does things correctly, but is sabotaged by the agency. I find it also had to believe that my digital C-File is actually accurate. For the simple fact that when viewing the PDFs and you open what should be a volume purely dedicated to my Cancer treatment records from 1988, you find random, unrelated pages dated 01NOV2007, 20DEC2004, etc etc. When you look at every file "in order" and compare it to the "identical" original documents that I have, it looks like someone dropped my 1000+ page C-File then just threw it back into the scanner. Seriously, this is so screwed up too. I'm not even covering every other inane thing that happened. So much incompetency has been perpetrated I'm really going crazy trying to keep everyone's conflicting information in check. My TVC VSO's has been almost useless in giving me straight or correct answers. Like insisting that I MUST file a Notice of Disagreement just to have a "Reconsideration of Entitlements" performed, rather than the correct, and faster method of filing a 21-4138 (Per the VA Rep at least). I FIRMLY BELIEVE that if none of my missing files from 01NOV2007 to 03JAN2012 can be found, that they're either in someone else's folder, or they were shredded during Shreddergate. There's only one shining light, my FDC claim is nearing completion, and is under review by the medical doctor for deciphering my medical charts into laymen's terms for the RO at the VARO. Anticipating 3-5 weeks for my rating. At which point I can finally hire an attorney. Sorry everyone for the length, I just wanted to get some things off my chest and vent. And to provide a thorough update. I would like to give a shout out to Terry Boles at the Waco VARO, for having the patience to deal with someone on the verge of losing his mind. He was fantastic, unlike his colleagues before him, who felt cold and apathetic before even talking to me.
  7. Thank you everyone for your input. It confirms my suspicion that they were further giving me the run-around. Is there a specific ordinance or law I can cite to the WACO VARO staff that guarantees me access to my C-File? My VSO is on-site at the VARO, so I think it would be possible to sit with one of them and go through my record together. Berta: I normally wouldn't consider it, for the same reason you cite, but I'm at the point now where a few more hours is nothing compared to the 8+ years it has taken me to get to this point. And as it was previously mentioned, it could take months to actually receive my entire C-File, with no guarantee that it would contain everything. broncovet: That doesn't surprise me. Every time I call them I get a different answer too. I like the turn of phrase. I have 3 kids and they all do the same thing. Lol. I have letters from the VA denying me enrollment (10-10ez) for lack of paperwork, that I hand delivered to the VAMC. Like missing DD214 that was ripped from the packet leaving a little paper tab where it once was. That happened 3 times before they actuall enrolled me for care. After speaking to several P&C Reps, and VA Phone reps, and seeing what Berta reported, makes me feel like my only choice IS To have a sit-down with my VSO and my C-File in person. They've already changed my ITF date 3 times in the last year, not to mention said that paperwork that WAS submitted and available in December, is magically no-longer present in my digital C-File in January. lotzaspotz and wacamawwild: If I can't get my VSO at the VARO to sit with me and my C-File, I'm going to do this. My VSO keeps trying to push me to just get my current FDC through without focusing on trying to find my past applications. Insisting that if it's not in my Digital C-File then I must have surely never filed an actual claim, but instead just filed an ITF without following up. (Pretty insulting on the part of the VSO and VA Reps to deny my reality, insisting that *I* clearly made an error, or misunderstood what I submitted.) They insist that if I try to push for my first application, that it will delay my claim even further. But my rationale is that it could take YEARS longer to get my backpay if I proceed and accept the 06/2015 File Date. I even have Certified Receipts of some documents they claim don't exist, which pretty much makes it impossible to verify any/all claims on their part, because the only time I could use the Certified Receipts would be during my BVA. Never in my entire life have I encountered so much incompetence in one place. I feel like I need a shrink to cope with the VA's Reality Distortion Field. Again, thank you all for your input. I wish I had discovered HadIt.com years ago. :*( I also apologize if my responses aren't entirely concise/clear, my mind is a jumble lying in bed recuperating from reconstruction surgery on on face Wednesday. This is the only thing I can do to stop the feeling of being helpless.
  8. Hello All, Not entirely sure where to begin, but I'll try to summarize it as best I can. MEB Discharged from USAF (Minot,ND ) Dec. 2007 for Degenerative Disc Disease - Rated 20% (They did not evaluate my hearing loss, or broken wrist and ankle as part of the MEB Discharge, or my broken/missing dentures). Filed my VA Claim with the Fargo VA Rep during my TAMP Briefing on Nov. 19th 2007. (The big packet of paperwork). Received call from Fargo VAMC for my C&PE in Jan 2008, I indicated that had returned to my HOR of Dallas, Tx, they informed me to check with the Dallas VAMC in 45 days to ensure my claim/information was transferred. Called 47 days later, no evidence that I had any claim in progress at Dallas OR Fargo. I then filed another claim with the Hood County VA Rep, and total of 6 more claims from 2008 to 2015. As of 6/30/2015, my FDC started in 2014 has finally been acknowledged, but has been waiting for information FROM The DVAMC since August, even though I've never received any treatment from the DVAMC. (The drama for the other claims is for another story.) My VSO is the Texas Veterans Commission. I spoke to them in December, and Today, about my claim and they said it was weird, and that they were sending an email to the DVAMC for clarification. (Also, in Nov 2015 I received a letter stating that my claim was kicked out of the FDC program for said missing information, but after speaking to my VSO, it's now back in FDC.) During my December phone calls to the 1-800 #, the WACO VARO and TVC office, I asked to make an appointment to see my paper c-file in person, these are their answers: 1)The TVC VSO said she had never heard of a vet being able to look at their actual c-file in person, but she checked and confirmed that I DO have a paper file at the Waco VARO, and that it is 2-3 volumes thick) (My medical records are 736 pages alone.) 2)The WACO VARO Records Department Rep stated that they do not make appointments for vets to view their c-file, and that they do not allow viewings. They just indicated that I would have to file a FOIA request. 3)The 1-800 Rep stated I could view it by just going to the WACO VARO and going to the Records Dept, and wait in line. The only real reason I WANT to see my C-File is because of that initial 2007 claim. On Nov. 29, 2007 (10 days after my claim), my digital C-File states that a Service Treatment Request was submitted by the Fargo VAMC, as well as a "VA Memo" that was appended to the STR, but the contents of the Memo were not available. I'm very concerned that if I DID a FOIA request, they would only send me the incomplete C-File everyone is looking at, as I find it hard to believe that my 3 Volume C-File does not contain any evidence of my previous claims. I'm also concerned that all my claims were also lost during the "Shreddergate" scandal of 2008-2009. My question is then: Is it actually possible to view my original c-file, in person, at the VARO? And if so, HOW do I word it to someone so that they understand. I will gladly drive the 3 hours to Waco just to get confirmation, but I also don't want to waste my time and gas if it's a lost cause. Thank you for reading this far, I omitted a lot of details, but I hope it was enough information. Sincerely, Christopher
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