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Everything posted by Berta

  1. As I recall ( have had CHAMPVA for 2 decades) a separate letter came from the VA when they awarded the Chapter 35 educational benefits ( They enclosed 2 Chap 35 apps with the decision) and the separate letter said I had to formally apply for CHAMPVA: https://www.va.gov/health-care/family-caregiver-benefits/champva/ Both CHAMPVA and Chap 35 are wonderful.I finished my degree under Chap 35. Not all tax offices have veteran's exceptions for property taxes. Your County Veterans Service Agency should have the forms you need, or your locale tax office. Long ago 3 vets and me ( widow of vet) went to some town hall meetings to pursue obtaining these exceptions to our Town property taxes. This is a farm community , but also has many veterans in it . Much to my surprise, (the Town voted for the exemption - you can be eligible to have 3 possible but can only get 2 of the three) they also voted in the exceptions for widows of deceased 100% SC veterans, which I get.
  2. Awgv001 is correct. Here is the form: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/va3288.pdf Using FOIA for C file requests ,from the claimant , who the C file belongs to , is not needed and will add more time to the request. But the letter does state that they will continue process your request under the Privacy Act. I would just wait for that result. You inservice SMRs and personnel file must be requested from NARA with a SF 180: https://www.archives.gov/veterans and can be done on line. They will give you a form on line to print out, sign it, copy it for your records, and then send it to where the site directs you too. VA Medical Records: This is one way: https://www.va.gov/health-care/get-medical-records/ or https://www.washingtondc.va.gov/patients/roi.asp or https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/ss20180620-get-your-va-health-record-quickly-and-easily As this VA link states: "You can still request medical record information from your VA facility Release of Information Office." They have a form there that you would have to sign.
  3. I think I saw somewhere today that you are a retiree-meaning you sure might be eligible for CRDP or CRSC. CRDP is supposed to be automatic- meaning VA will send DOD the info.But it does take time. CRSC has to be applied for. Here is the skinny: https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/disability/crdp.html Congrats on your success!!!!! And maybe you already get CRDP or CRSC? I hope your EED ( earliest effective date) is correct. If you applied within one year after your discharge, your EED should be the day after your discharge.
  4. This link might help: https://themilitarywallet.com/join-guard-reserves-va-service-connected-disability-rating/
  5. This could be a DOD problem but it is unusual- The VARO ignored my letters requesting audits many times in the past. I asked the IG to do a recent audit, as well as two VARO directors and the VISN District Counsel. The audit is in process and being done by St. Paul- far from those two ROs where past error were made. I sent to all above a copy of an additional audit ofmy DIC and other issues, that revealed evidence of errors to the tune of more than 98 thousand they had thought they didn't have to pay me, but as this separate audit shows, they finally did pay. Shrekthe tank made a good point- I have been doing research for someone who might join the reserves- I will try to find out the VA comp requirements
  6. There are a few other BVA decision regarding the USS Bausell: This vet was denied for AO in a 2013 BVA decision, but has a chance now , if he is aware of the new BWN AO regulations, to succeed: https://www.va.gov/vetapp13/files4/1331614.txt These are the past type of cases the VA is supposed to have gone through, to see if a BWN vet, denied in the past for AO exposure, could be considered as AO exposed, now, due to the new law. Hopefully this veteran has become aware of HR 299 and Procopio. I do not believe the VA really does a stringent check of past denied, but now potential ,AO claims due to new regulations, such as the AO IHD claims in 2010. There has been little info available from VA to publicize the new BWN AO issue. I hope BWN vets and/or their survivors find out about it. It is slowly making it's way in small on line newspapers and nothing as far as I know on TV since Sec Wilkie mentioned it at FOX news this past summer. When you file your claim, make sure -if you were denied in the past for AO exposure, yet had a denial and rating on an AO presumptive,- that VA knows of that denial so that you can obtain the best and earliest Effective date possible.
  7. I just found, in mere seconds, more info on your ship: https://www.va.gov/vetapp19/files5/19139772.txt This is a recent BVA award of AO comp due to Procopio and HR 299 because: "Here, private treatment records show that the Veteran had a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, status-post left upper lobectomy. Therefore, the first element of service connection is established. Turning to the second element, in-service incurrence of a disease or injury, the Veteran does not report, nor do his service treatment records identify, any complaints, treatment for, or diagnosis of lung cancer or symptoms indicative of lung problems. However, the Veteran’s military personnel records indicate that he served aboard the USS Bausell (DD-845) in May 1966. Furthermore, the March 2017 response from the Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC) reflects a determination that the USS Bausell’s deck logs place the vessel “in the coastal waters of Vietnam” on May 31, 1966. On that day, according to JSRRC, deck logs show that the ship was steaming in the area of Quang Ngai, South Vietnam, and “maneuvered close to the beach to 1,500 yards then commenced small arms fire at two Viet Cong swimmers about 500 yards from the shore.” The Board takes judicial notice that this response from JSRRC places the Veteran within the 12 nautical mile territorial sea of Vietnam during active duty. Monzingo v. Shinseki, 26 Vet. App. 97, 103 (2012) (allowing for taking of judicial notice of facts of universal notoriety that are not subject to reasonable dispute); Smith (Brady) v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 235, 238 (1991) (citing Fed. R. Evid. 201(b)). Thus, the Board finds that the Veteran meets the criteria for having service in the Republic of Vietnam, and he is therefore presumed to have been exposed to herbicide agents during service. Accordingly, as all of the elements for presumptive service connection for adenocarcinoma, status-post left upper lobectomy, as due to exposure to herbicide agent are met, the benefit sought on appeal is granted. 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.307, 3.309." As the BVA has started to state on the bottom of it's decisions: "The Board’s decision in this case is binding only with respect to the instant matter decided. This decision is not precedential, and does not establish VA policies or interpretations of general applicability. 38 C.F.R. § 20.1303." However ,regardless of the VA Ships list date of exposure, obviously your deck logs, and even the 'legal' statement of JSRRC in this case should help you.
  8. Your ship is on the most recent AO ship's list- I updated that above link as soon as I got the newer list -October 2019. USS Bausell DD 845 -Motorized whaleboats ashore Danang Vietnam, Nov. 27, 1968. Page 29 of 40 in the above link. If you were on this ship after the exposure date, and have an AO presumptive disability, you should file a claim ASAP , and hopefully you have your deck logs, to use as evidence.
  9. Dustoff is correct... a bad C & P does not warrant a CUE. If the results are the wrong diagnosis and/or wrong diagnostic code, to your detriment , then that can be a valid CUE. Fortunately there are more ways, nowadays, to fight a lousy C & P exam, which should be done ASAP. You stated: "If they can keep the veterans in the dark long enough, their appeal window will expire and then they can keep the money." That is true- but veterans with PCs are not as 'in the dark" as they used to be. I posted here some time ago the contact info for VES, QTC, and LHI, if you want to complaint about a lousy C & P exam. Many here have gotten better C & P exam results by complaining to the contractors who hired the C & P doctor. A WH Hot line complaint can help as well. ( 855-948-2311) I was able to complain directly to a VA doctor in 1996. But his actual posthumous exam (which he sent to me)was manipulated by the RO in the SOC. At that time I did not realize the benefit of 38 CFR 4.6, as the VA had withheld from him (as well as General Counsel- a 6 page autopsy that totally overruled his exam results.) He was angry at what the RO pulled on him- but there seemed to be no remedy I knew of then. That all worked out OK in time but in 1996 the internet was quite limited and I could have, if I had a copy of M21, cued them in a heartbeat. I didn't know any better in those days. ANY vet getting a lousy C & P exam these days should act fast to get it corrected or get a new exam.I believe if the WH Veterans hot line ,is in any way collecting complaints , specifically due to C & P exams, that in the long run maybe something will be done about this. Of course an IMO/IME can often overrule a bad C & P exam, but that can be so costly . The C & P examiners are also from the same contractors that are replacing VA doctors,nurses, etc etc with "Providers". VA "Providers" have limited liability if they harm or kill a veteran. There are Bills in Congress to hopefully change that. But the VA hates change.
  10. If you have read the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, some changes came with it regarding VA mortgages, that affect all veterans. http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/01152020_va_lending.asp
  11. To add this case at the BVA shows how this veteran, who claimed "The veteran maintains, in substance, that the 10 percent evaluation assigned for her chronic fatigue syndrome from January 25, 1990 to November 28, 1994, does not adequately reflect the severity of that disability for that time period. The veteran also asserts that this period of her disability should be evaluated using the Diagnostic Code for chronic fatigue syndrome, not brucellosis." in part: This case is before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA or Board) on appeal from an April 1992 rating decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office in St. Petersburg, Florida (RO), which assigned a 10 percent evaluation for chronic fatigue syndrome, effective from January 25, 1990. In doing so, the RO evaluated the veteran's chronic fatigue syndrome by analogy to brucellosis, pursuant to 38 C.F.R. Part 4, Diagnostic Code 6316 (1991). In addition, the veteran contends that the current 40 percent evaluation assigned for her chronic fatigue syndrome does not adequately reflect the severity of that disability. She contends that her chronic fatigue syndrome results in symptoms that wax and wane and result in periods of incapacitation of at least six weeks total duration per year. Therefore, a favorable determination has been requested. "ORDER Subject to the provisions governing the award of monetary benefits, a 30 percent schedular evaluation for chronic fatigue syndrome for the period from January 25, 1990 to November 28, 1994, is granted. Subject to the provisions governing the award of monetary benefits, a 60 percent schedular evaluation for chronic fatigue syndrome for the period beginning November 29, 1994, is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp98/files1/9801156.txt The veteran did very well ( and this was not filed as a CUE but could have been) in proving the VA had used the wrong diagnostic code, to her detriment in a past VA decision. A nice retro award!!!! I do agree with the advice above- that you need to get the diagnosis confirmed ( or it could possibly be a different diagnosis) and see if your SMRs will support an inservice nexus.
  12. If you are an incountry Gulf War Veteran, Brucellosis is one of the infectious diseases that can be claimed to GW service: "BrucellosisA bacterial disease with symptoms such as profuse sweating and joint and muscle pain. The illness may be chronic and persist for years. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year from the date of military separation. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/infectious_diseases.asp and as the VA link states the GW regs have been expanded to include those veterans who served " in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001." Do you have anything in your SMRs that could support the claim for brucellosis symptoms wise? There are 242 decisions at BVA for this condition and many, if not most were denied- but not all of them- this one is interesting because his symptoms were re characterized as arthralgias. "ORDER Entitlement to service connection for residuals of brucellosis, diagnosed as longstanding arthralgias, is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp08/files5/0840468.txt When were you diagnosed with this infectious disease?
  13. Yes, there is no reason you cannot CUE a CUE denial but I don't advise doing that- I feel you should request an HLR. Can you scan and attach the Horners criteria from the VA rating schedule used for the 1993 decision? Did you have at that time ( and did VA know it) that this disability caused you time off from work, within performance appraisals or anything of that nature? I feel something ( as evidence)produced the 2006 rating, that was missing ,as evidence, in the 1993 rating. As Vync said: "In your CUE submission, did you just point out an error and let them figure it out? Or did you spell out specific laws in effect at the time that were not followed?" Did you make a solid argument with the rating schedule of 1993 ,compared to the evidence they had, that would warrant the higher rating in the past? Was the correct diagnostic code used in the 1993 rating?
  14. Many BWN vets ( or their survivors) can check the most recent BWN AO ships list,to see if their ship was exposed to AO before they were on it.( in the AO forum-October 2019) Also many BWN vets can prove their exposure with their deck logs. This whole situation ticks me off, as to the lack of real national news on the BWN AO issue. If a BWN vet does not use a PC ( and they would have to search for Blue Water Navy AO) but why would they, if they have not heard of the new regulations, and if they do not learn of this from other vets , and since it really hasn't been on TV or in the nationale newspapers, they do not know what they need - such as their deck logs, unless they have them. If they find out today, for example, how log will it take for them to get their deck logs? VA claims they have gone through past BWN decisions to see if any of them were denied for what is now an AO comp claim, due to the regulations, to contact them.The VA said they did that in 2010 when the new Nehmer came out- but they probably missed many vets and their survivors. I have seen estimates of between 70,000 to 130,000 potential BVN vets ( and maybe that high amount includes their survivors) affected by the new BWN AO regulations.
  15. Thanks a lot! I posted a link to this in the AO forum some time ago but yours might work better!!!! The news of BWN AO is slowly moving around the net news sites-and that VA is working on those claims already.
  16. Grone was with the Undersecretary for Defense. Congressman Lane Evans, deceased, has numerous archived documents , and I have spent many days this past week, seeking what I need.Library of Congress archives etc etc etc But I might have found the 'needle' as I found Alvin Young's old email addy minutes ago, and the email I sent has not been returned, so that is a good thing. Then I also heard from BWN not to go crazy looking for this doc- but my research brought me to many articles that I hope the Guam advocates have found as well. There have been 4 vets so far who proved they were exposed to AO in Guam. The DOD ( Grone) told Representative Lane Evans in 2003 , that there was no AO used or stored etc,etc at Guam. Of course there was AO at Guam. But Grone's letter did seem to be what the VA used for their pdf on AO storage, use, etc, in many areas outside of Vietnam, here: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/docs/agentorange/dod_herbicides_outside_vietnam.pdf Thanks GBArmy- AO was truly a weapon of Mass destruction. Many of us advocates won't let the VA or DOD forget that.
  17. This search link might help provide some good info as well: https://www.google.com/search?q=OSA+due+to+rotating+work+schedules&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS695US695&oq=OSA+due+to+rotating+work+schedules&aqs=chrome..69i57.10617j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  18. I haven't read this whole thread- this might help the original poster: "ORDER Service connection for right ear hearing loss is granted. Service connection for a sleep disorder, diagnosed as shift work sleep disorder, is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp13/Files4/1335205.txt In part the decision states: "The above medical opinions attribute the Veteran's shift work sleep disorder to his in-service shift work, but refrain from relating his sleep apnea to his in-service shift work, or to his shift work sleep disorder. (The Board comprehends the October 2007 opinion as stating that the Veteran's sleep disorder and sleep apnea contribute to his inappropriate sleepiness and fatigue-not that his sleep disorder contributes to his sleep apnea, a reading that has been suggested by the Veteran. See August 2008 Notice of Disagreement.) However, despite this, in construing the claim most favorably to the Veteran and categorizing his claim generally as one for a sleep disorder, the Board finds that such evidence supports an award of service connection, on the basis that his diagnosed shift work sleep disorder has been related to his in-service shift work. Additionally, the finding that the Veteran developed a sleep disorder due to his in-service shift work is supported by the Veteran's service treatment records, which were recorded contemporaneously with the timeframe in question. Such concurrent evidence weighs heavily in favor of the Veteran's claim. In sum, service treatment records document that the Veteran developed a sleep disorder during service. Such sleep disorder, currently diagnosed as shift work sleep disorder, has been attributed to his in-service shift work by private and VA doctors. Accordingly, the Board finds that service connection for shift work sleep disorder is warranted." The VA stated my husband had Miner's syndrome- such as what problems coal miners have had with shift work and sleep issues.But that could only be attributed to post service jobs in a Nuclear Power Plant.It did affect his SC PTSD. https://www.hillandponton.com/sleep-disorders-service-connectable/ Sleep shift disorder is mentioned under the Circadian Rhythm Sleep- There is plenty on the net about shift work sleep disorders.
  19. I am doing research for BWN to support legislation for AO exposed Guam veterans. In 2003 Rep Lane Evans ( as you know- a superb advocate for AO vets) received a letter from : "P. W. Grone, Letter from the Principal Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) to Congressman Lane Evans, 23 September 2003, RE: No records on Guam; Summary of 28 locations on the use of Vietnam-era herbicides, per request. " oaji.net/articles/2017/4108-1509420993.pdf (part of the vast collection of Alvin Young's work) Does anyone here have a copy of that letter? This is a needle in a haystack, but believe me those needles CAN be found.
  20. Forgot to add....if the widow gives to permission to scan and attach the Drug Profile here, cover his name, C file #, etc prior to scanning it.And I would need to know the date of the surgery, as the dates of the meds should be on the profile record. I am most concerned about any type of steroid based treatment or inhaler: https://www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20060307/death-risk-warning-for-asthma-drugs http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2006/06/common-asthma-inhaler-causing-deaths-researchers-assert https://www.healthline.com/health/asthma/asthma-attack-death There is plenty on the internet as to the risks of using certain inhalers for asthma, as well as many lawsuits. If you cannot scan the drug profile could you tell me exactly what treatment he was getting for the asthma and the name of any med or inhaler he was using, that I assume was prescribed by the VA? This widow succeeded in getting DIC for her husband's SC asthma was found to have contributed to his death: "Thus, as the Board does not find that the opinion of the VA examiner is any more persuasive and probative than the opinion of Dr. Newhall, the Board concludes that the evidence is at least in equipoise as to whether the Veteran's service-connected asthma contributed to the cause of the Veteran's death, and that service connection for the cause of the Veteran's death is therefore warranted. ORDER Service connection for the cause of the Veteran's death is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp10/files6/1047146.txt She had a very strong IMO. The case however is far different from the veteran in your situation.
  21. I cannot understand why a VSO would not file a ITF. If there is no ITF filed, she has no way to file for accrued. I assume the medical records contain a Drug Profile of all of the meds he was on. The wife would probably know exactly what he was being prescribed. She might still have the pill bottles. My husband had a medication error that I only discovered when the coroner asked me what meds he was on. I still have those med bottles. They could have killed another very elderly veteran because for 3 weeks they said he had already received his meds by mail-His meds, were in the meds by mail my husband got.Due to his 1151 stroke, his vision was impaired and all I did was check the meds with the PDR, to make sure they were what they were supposed to be.I never checked the bottle they came in nor the fact that the dosage had changed....because they were for a different veteran. Can you get permission from the wife to scan and attach here his Drug Profile record? "Berta, will the statement the Dr. made to the widow have any bearing on proving an event happened? he said it to two people so I would assume there should be some documentation. " It could have a bearing but it seems the records you have are missing a lot of info-as this was a surgical procedure that should be documented in the record. Medical Records- I knew something important was missing from my dead husband's medical records. It had no nexus to my original FTCA/1151 claim. But the director of my RO called me twice to get me to believe a false medical statement she made on one of my more recent 1151 issues. At that point I know I had to try to get what records they held back. After a few weeks I got them. Something is still missing and I contacted the neuro who wrote them, with no response yet. My point is the medical records might not be a complete copy. If you can scan and attach the Drug Profile or at least tell me what asthma meds or treatment (such as inhaler) he was on, I could research that as it could be a key to his demise. You stated his asthma was service connected. When my daughter was in the military she started to ask me to re open my claim.I didnt want to deal with them again. He position was that dad had exhibited symptoms of DMII and he was exposed to AO in Vietnam. She was so insistent that finally I got out the stack of his medical records again and looked at them with DMII in mind. I had overlooked one word in the autopsy heart slides thinking I knew what it meant- I was wrong, it was suggestive of DMII affect to his heart.Then one crossed out entry, that I had overlooked before- I managed to blow it up and finally could read what they crossed out.That whole day came back to me, as one neuro had want to do a full work up for DMII-but the rest of the treatment team was busy trying to cover up the malpractice that another VAMC had done and they crossed out his diabetes entry.I knew my daughter was right and I filed the claim.But it also took a lot of work - and I won. I had to learn what every single acronym meant in the med recs, and studied the Drug profile carefully and one med had contributed to his death. I also had to study Endocrinology. No diagnosis of DMII ( except for the crossed out entry) and no treatment- the award was for Direct SC death which brought many ancillary benefits and was a death I could accept,because a wrongful death is hard to accept. My point is I proved malpractice myself but I did miss that crossed out entry-8 years prior to the FTCA case. I am not a doctor so I guess an IMO doctor would have found that entry long ago- but in those days I could not get an IMO doctor. I am willing to look over the drug profile to see if I notice anything unusual, but then again this is what an IMO doctor should do.
  22. This is the form, as widow, that she needs to file: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21P-534EZ-ARE.pdf A form for accrued comes with it- But she could file an Intent to file first: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=21-0966 That would give her time to get his medical records etc. I had to file a different accrued form but I think that is because I already have DIC ( I fied 2 CUEs on the 21P 534 EZ) and have already been substituted as the claimant long ago I will check tomorrow however if widows/widowers still have to file for substitution. She needs to read the forms over very carefully. The form states: "In order to support your claim for DIC under 38 U.S.C. 1151, the evidence must show: • The deceased veteran died as a result of undergoing VA hospitalization, medical or surgical treatment, examination, or training; AND • The death was: • the direct result of VA fault such as carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, or error in judgment; OR • the direct result of an event that was not a reasonably expected result or complication of the VA care or treatment; OR • the direct result of participation in a VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment or compensated work therapy program" You stated: "He has an intent to file still open but my understanding is that is a "no go" because the spouse can only continue that, if he had submitted the actual claim." Who told you it is a "no go" ? I am not sure if it is a "no go" but will try to find that answer tomorrow. "Is this how the process should be documented?" When she gets his VA medical records and gets an IMO from a cardiologist or maybe an asthma specialist would be better, the malpractice- if it occurred, will be documented in the medical record, She might need opinions from both types of doctors. There is a possible adverse event report as to the heart stopping during surgery-that will be in his medical records or C file. But his death could have been caused or contributed to due the service connected asthma disability-in my opinion- I am not a doctor. She can raise any theory of 1151 death as possible. I am not even sure, with the limited info here, how the DIC cause of death under 1151 should be worded on the application She can get copies of his medical records with this form: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA3288.pdf As the form states: "The death was: • the direct result of VA fault such as carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, or error in judgment; OR • the direct result of an event that was not a reasonably expected result or complication of the VA care or treatment." I proved both and even found a motive ( which she does not need) but I had to develop a medical background to do that. In those days neither IMO/IME doctors or malpractice attorneys could advertise on the internet- which was very limited in 1995. I do not suggest any survivor should try to prove death by VA, without an IMO.And I never suggest FTCA without an IMO/IME and a malpractice lawyer. When I re opened my claim for a direct SC death, I got 3 IMOs and even ordered a 4th one I didn't need. My FTCA case was the easiest claim I had. That is because the VA OGC can read. But by then I had my husband's medical records and immediately discovered he had heart disease but the VA never followed up on it.I proved he was malpracticed on for IHD, stroke, and HBP, and subsequently for undiagnosed /untreated diabetes mellitus.( For that claim I spent over 5 thousand for IMOs) That claim was not under FTCA and my VARO still had not learned how to read. It is difficult to determine if a claimant should get a costly IMO because they do not always support the claim. But in this case, there could have been many other factors that led up to his death, to include his asthma treatment, and other situations, as well as the surgical procedure. Maybe the anesthesia was the problem,if they used anesthesia instead of topical injections for pain. Maybe they used Propanol and that contributed to his death, due to his asthma. Maybe they gave him meds after the surgery that were contra- indicated by the meds he was already on. Vync asked: "The question here is was the veteran already SC for the heart?" A great question-mine too- And also my question would be did he get regular EKGs and did they do an ECHO prior to the surgery? The day my husband collapse at the VA ( where he worked) they rushed him to the ER and did a EKG. Then they diagnosed him with sinus infection and sent him home. As soon as I read that ER certificate, and then found the EKG results about 3-4 pages later- I knew the VA had caused his death. But there was much more to my FTCA/1151 malpractice claim then that. For over 6 years the VA, many times, could have altered the course of his problems but they didn't. My point there is that this veteran's medical records might reveal a lot more than anyone could imagine. But that takes a real doctor to discover that. I will find out tomorrow if she can become the claimant for an Intent to file. How soon prior to his death did the veteran file a ITF?
  23. VA has traditionally allowed anyone to represent a veteran, on a one time basis. https://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/docs/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/M21-1MRI_3_secA.docx Although this is from 2009,I do not believe it has changed. In part it states: " The execution by a claimant of a power of attorney (POA) under State law has no effect for the purposes of prosecuting a VA claim. In order to be recognized by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a claimant’s representative must be appointed according to the procedures in this chapter." and it has the criteria for appointment: "Type of Representation Requirements Accredited representative of a service organization, agent, or attorney Must obtain recognition from VA’s Office of General Counsel in order to represent claimants. Refer any person or group to the Office of General Counsel for accreditation. References: For more information on • requirements for accredited representatives of a service organization, agents, and attorneys to obtain recognition, see 38 CFR 14.629, and • a list of accredited representatives of service organizations, agents, and attorneys maintained by the Office of General Counsel, see the Office of the General Counsel’s accreditation search page. Non-licensed individual May represent a claimant on a one-time, one claim basis per the provisions of 38 CFR 14.630. The individual may only represent one VA claimant unless a request is made to the VA’s Office of General Counsel. Note: If a person purporting to be a representative does not fit into one of the categories above, write to the individual (and provide a copy to the claimant) explaining that • he/she does not appear to fit into one of the categories of permitted representatives per 38 CFR 14.629 and 38 CFR 14.630, and • VA will not recognize the representation unless he/she shows VA that he/she does fit into one of the categories of permitted representatives." Here is 38 CFR 14.630: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/14.630: "§ 14.630 Authorization for a particular claim. (a) Any person may be authorized to prepare, present, and prosecute one claim. A power of attorney executed on VA Form 21-22a, “Appointment of Attorney or Agent as Claimant'sRepresentative,” and a statement signed by the person and the claimant that no compensation will be charged or paid for the services, shall be filed with the agency of original jurisdiction where the claim is presented. The power of attorney identifies to VA theclaimant's appointment of representation and authorizes VA's disclosure of information to the person representing the claimant. (b) Representation may be provided by an individual pursuant to this section one time only. An exception to this limitation may be granted by the General Counsel in unusual circumstances. Among the factors which may be considered in determining whether an exception will be granted are: (1) The number of accredited representatives, agents, and attorneys operating in theclaimant's geographic region; (2) Whether the claimant has unsuccessfully sought representation from other sources; (3) The nature and status of the claim; and (4) Whether there exists unique circumstances which would render alternative representation inadequate. (c) Persons providing representation under this section must comply with the laws administered by VA and with the regulations governing practice before VA including the rules of conduct in § 14.632 of this part. (d) Persons providing representation under this section are subject to suspension and or exclusion from representation of claimants before VA on the same grounds as apply to representatives, agents, and attorneys in § 14.633 of this part. (e) With respect to the limitation in paragraph (b) of this section, a person who had been authorized under paragraph (a) of this section to represent a claimant who later dies and is replaced by a substitute pursuant to 38 CFR 3.1010 for purposes of processing the claim to completion will be permitted to represent the substitute if the procedures of § 14.631(g) are followed." (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 5121A, 5903) [68 FR 8546, Feb. 24, 2003, as amended at 73 FR 29872, May 22, 2008; 79 FR 52983, Sept. 5, 2014]
  24. ROMAD, when I thought I replied to a similar claim here, actually it was to your other post: https://community.hadit.com/topic/77497-veteran-dies-10-days-after-prostate-surgery/ You had given more info there and I was able to reply with a little more detail. Can the widow join us here?
  25. That is how I read this as well. In around 1998=-1999 I was talking to a lawyer at NVLSP and he said that ( we had discussed my 1151 DIC issue) if I ever proved my husband also had direct SC issues ,that contributed to his death ,they would have to award ALL of the DIC for each. I had no idea what he meant- but one day I found OGC Pres Op 08-97 and that seems to mean what he meant. I believe the initial grant for 1151 100% P & T ,in my Nehmer award was due to this Prec Op.
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