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pawmbi

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About pawmbi

  • Birthday July 8

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  • Service Connected Disability
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    Air Force

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  1. Thank you Broncovet I am following your suggestions. Yep I think its down this tunnel so I am working with my doctor to come up with some evidence within the time frame I submitted the claim
  2. Hello fellow Vets Sorry in advance for the long read. But I am at my wits end. Any advice on some next steps BESIDES filing an appeal? One thought I am flirting with is getting a doctor to write a letter saying my symptoms existed since "blank" date directly refuting the decision the rating official made February 2021. This would be considered new evidence and I could just do a supplemental? Anyway here is my story: I don’t think it’s fair that I would have to get in the back of the line, again, when the error rested with the VA and how they adjudicated this claim… On August 11, 2021, I filed a HLR for a decision on my claim for GERD made February 26, 2021. The HLR was for one thing: Early Effective Date (EED). Why my claim was granted, the date was for January 2021, I felt the date should've been earlier for August 2020. That is all I filed the HLR for. When you file a HLR online as I did, it does not give you an option to “check” your reason for the HLR as a paper copy does. With that concern, I called on or about August 16, 2021, and spoke to a VA Representative and explained what I was doing. She filled out a form “0820 Service Request” articulating I was seeking a EED with my HLR and the circumstances of my claim. Of course, in the original filing I requested to speak to a HLR Officer to discuss my claim. Fast forward to September 29, 2021. In addition to my HLR claim, I had a separate claim for another condition pending. I called and spoke to a supervisor on September 21, 2021 and was informed earlier that an escalation ticket was put in because the claim was, as she put, just sitting there. She gave me a reference number for this second claim (210921000442) and said I should receive a call in 5 days regarding the second claim. So, on September 29, 2021, I called to just get an update on the second pending claim and to see if someone was going to call me. During routine conversation, the VA representative informed me that I missed my call for the HLR and wanted to be sure I wasn’t referencing that. I said “wait, I never got a call on the HLR” …He stated the HLR call was made 9/28/2021. I immediately looked at my phone and there on my phone is a “Restricted” notation at 08:30 am on 9/28/2021 (See Attachment 9.28). First, my phone does not even ring if it’s a restricted number, so I never received a call. Second, why on earth is the HLR representative calling me from a “restricted” number?? I have had plenty of calls from the VA and all have come up with the VA 800 number. This past July I had a HLR call and she came through fine and we discussed my claim. In fact, During the call on September 29, 2021 the VA Representative thought he hung up on me and was nice enough to call me back and the call came through fine! Why did the HLR representative reach out in a way that made it impossible for me to take his/her call? All the reps I spoke to said that should not have happened, but it did. Now, as I understand it, A failure of a “Duty to Assist” has been initiated by the HLR based on the fact that my condition GERD did not have a proper medical review and may need to be rated higher…..NONE OF WHICH IS WHAT I REQUESTED!!! Here is how the VA lack of customer service not only impacts me, but other veterans, and VA workers as well by clogging up the VA pipeline with an unnecessary claim. Even if this Duty to Assist continues the HLR representative put through, this backlog creates more cases because now the HLR has dived down a rabbit hole with my claim that not only puts my original request, EED, out the door, but more veterans behind me will be waiting in the “que” for this process that was NEVER even asked for by me. Veterans are now waiting longer for their claim because a claim that was not even initiated is in the pipeline! The HLR representative called from a restricted number that I know from experience does not normally happen, did not leave me any voicemail, and did not try and follow up so that I could take the call. Further, anticipating the bad faith the VA might try to do, I called shortly after filing the HLR to provide clarity for my claim. I was told this was submitted and SHOULD'VE been viewed by the HLR representative but apparently was not! The form was a 0820 Service Request that detailed my concerns about the EED and was submitted on or about August 16, 2021. How else does this create more problems for the VA workers? If this Duty to Assist process initiated by the HLR representative runs its course my original request for the HLR, EED, is never answered, and guess what? I file another claim, and not only do I go to the back of the line waiting several months for another call, but I have just put another claim on the VA books that is helping create a backlog!!! Mind you, I can't be the only one that this has happened to nor have complained about it. But if nothing is done, this will continue to happen, the trust veterans have that the VA is helping them continues to dwindle, and the backlog, court cases, overturned cases will continue to grow if the VA is not held accountable for the little things like making calls so veterans can take the call and reading the entire file to adjudicate on the proper grounds! I have attached not only the picture on my phone showing the restricted call at 8:30am on 9/28 but also screenshots showing calls from the VA on 9/29 that came in fine as I discussed this with various VA representatives that called me back fine. Anybody have any recommendations on what I could do? So far I have emailed about 7 leaders here at my local VA Regional Office explaining the situation. One person did reply and said she was reaching out to the Seattle Office since they had "jurisdiction" over my HLR. I also reached out to my Congressman's office not sure if that will do any good. Any other suggestion or theories or am I just stuck like chuck and need to appeal or try a supplemental claim with new evidence if I can get it? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  3. Ok the facility is Department of Veteran Affairs, VA Benefits. Here is how it looks on the VA website Oklahoma City Outbased Public Contact 301 NW 6th St Suite 113 Oklahoma City, OK 73102 That address is just a main Federal Building that houses many govt. agencies (USDA, FDA, etc...) So I don't know hopefully you have something like this that could help you.
  4. I'm just jumping on this thread so forgive me if I respond to something you have done... Just reading what you submitted from the VA...my response (keeping it simple and not 90 pages) would be: 1. Continued delay causes an undue hardship on the veteran (put in terms of your claim and getting the medical attention you need if you can) 2. The VA is holder of information. The Secretary seems to be trying to put the delay off on another mode of the VA but you just need to remind the court that they are all one big VA, and if the office cannot compel another to respond in a timely manner to not delay a case, then such is not the fault of the Veteran. Undue delays at the behest of the Agency in control of the information puts the Veteran in a position to remain and continue to be under the dominion and control of the responding agency....something like that. If that makes sense..
  5. OH wow I didn't know that. I thought this service would be available at any Veteran Affairs' office. I'm going to find out exactly what they are. I know its the Veteran Affairs department because its in the federal building with other federal agencies. But when I'm there getting my documents, they ask me if I want them to file a HLR or appeal. So they are some arm of the VA that are advocates is my sense but I'm find out as much as I can and I'll give that info because, this is not something that should be region specific. I agree that the VA has that 10 day rule but I'm not sure how that impacts when a Veteran goes down to pick his information up from these Veteran Affairs offices. This is interesting.
  6. Just curious... In your geographical location do you have a VA Office? Here in Oklahoma City we have a VA office in the Federal building and when I get a decision I can go there the same day and they download the decision and any C&P exams done. I've never had a problem with getting this and it is a walk-in basis. I wonder if you have an office like that might you get your information faster?
  7. It is secondary. It is what doctors refer to as "bidirectional". Meaning the GERD can aggravate the OSA and OSA can aggravate the GERD. I have a IMO that states exactly that. I am SC for GERD and got my OSA SC through GERD. I got my GERD SC via the above mentioned medications the VA prescribed to me for pain for another SC condition. If you want to read a copy of the IMO...let me know I can redact and post.
  8. This is exactly what I want....to learn how to do it! Thank you sir for your answer I appreciate it
  9. First, I want to say thank you to every single person who has contributed to this forum. I have read or received great advice, success stories, encouragement and because of that I was able to pursue my claim. August 2, 2021 I was granted 100% !!!!!!!!!! I am beyond excited! But of course I have questions. So the rating official says in my rating decision..."An evaluation is assigned from August 19, 2020, the date of your supplemental claim since you have pursued the claim continuously since that time..." On page two of the packet it has 3 boxes Monthly etitlement Amount, Payment Start Date and Reason. In the Payment Start Date box it has Feb 1, 2021. So am I getting back pay to August 2020 like the rating official says or does the 100% rating start in February?? So confused. Also where do I find that it is 100% P&T I didn't see that language anywhere.....
  10. Hello can anyone here read an audio test and possibly tell me where, or if, the Veteran's test should've' resulted in some type of hearing increase? Veteran is currently SC for Tinnitus (10%) and Bilateral Hearing Loss (0%). I had him do the VA approved test, and sent it in as a supplemental Claim. Claim was denied (still waiting on letter) and just wondered based on the test results if anyone could read them and give me a clue. I tried reading them but I simply couldn't understand it. Strangely, the VA did not have him come in and do a test through them, which I thought they would they just took these results and denied. Which leads me to believe the results do not meet any kind of threshold for an increase. Anyway, if someone can help I'd appreciate it and helping this Veteran make a decision on his next steps. Audiological Evaluation 6.3.2021_Redacted.pdf
  11. Well I attached the 2017 memo for you in case you need it. I used it as supplemental evidence when they tried that weight gain crap...and it ended their argument claim granted. You actually want them to go ahead and make the weight gain argument so once you present the memo they can't make something else up....unfortunately its a game to them VAOPGCPREC1-2017.pdf
  12. Just remember that weight gain is not a ratable condition (generally but could be under certain circumstances). The VA often will use the argument that..."Well you gained weight so this new condition is a result of the weight gain and not your SC condition. This is false. weight can can be a "bridge" by the VA's own internal memo. So your argument will be something like this...Because of my SC condition i gained weight and that weight aggravates or caused the sleep apnea. Just be prepared for that especially if you bring up your weight gain...
  13. Hi I don't know where you live but for me in Oklahoma we have a VA Office in the Federal building downtown...soon as I get a decision I go there and ask for a copy of the decision and C&P exam. Takes me 5 minutes and I have both normally on the same day I get notice of a decision if its during business hours. If not, I go get it the next day.
  14. I haven't seen your letter but the VA does have certain "phrases" if you will that NEED to be in a Nexus for them to even consider it. Also some BVA cases demonstrate what a VA Examiner is suppose to do when considering "secondary" conditions (is it caused by or "aggravated" by the SC condition) and these things HAVE to be in the letter. I do not know your situation or read the IMO but be sure it captures these elements or its just going to further frustrate you down the road. If you capable, I'd try and get a professional like Dr. Finnerty to write mine so it captures all those elements and puts you in a stronger position for success. Other things to consider: If you have OSA do you have a CPAP? if so, did VA issue CPAP? Sleep Study? make sure you include these things in your claim as well. If I am coming across as condescending like you don't know what you are doing, I apologize that is not my intent, I just want you to be successful the first shot out!
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