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How Long For Bva Action



Just trying to gain info from the experience of others - once you filed your VA 9 how long was it before your file was transfered to BVA? Also did you have your hearing, if you requested one, with BVA before the file was transfered?

I submitted my form 9 to RO in Jan 06 (this was from a Jan 05 claim). The RO is now telling me that it could be 48 months before the BVA request the file. He also told me that they would hold the hearing before they request the file. Is this true? If so it is kinda strange - how the he$$ do they know what is going on if a hearing is conducted before they have the file for review? No wonder the system is so bum *&^*! In Jan 08 I will hit the 36 month level with this particular claim and it is just getting kinda old. Sometimes my wife begs me to just give up for she is afraid that the stress is going to kill me.

Since the NOD in Aug 06 there has been much medical evidence submitted, and a DRO hearing. However, no word from the RO on anything. The DRO even stated that she would issue a new decision - however, you know, it is the standard forked speech spoken by the RO along with the old outta sight, outta mind symdrome - another one bites the dust! Today I kinda agree with the wife and do not believe this stuff is work it - a few bucks a month at the expense of the little sanity that I have left, nope ain't worth it. Don't know how much time I have left on this earth but I would really, really, like to spend it with my family without being so wraped around the axle about some idiot at the RO!. Thanks for letting me rant about nothing, just in one of those moods today.

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The VARO here transferred the C-file immediately upon receiving the request for BVA appeal. That was in June 2004. The Board heard the appeal in October 2005, we received the decision in December 2005.

We didn't request a hearing locally.

My husband went through a lot and I didn't want him to relive it by getting overwhelmed by the VA disability process, plus I've been working with bureaucracies for years, and have enough patience and motivation to do this for both of us. I've learned a lot from mistakes we made, and I try to help other veterans get paid for their disabilities. That's where my anger goes, trying to overcome government obstacles to veterans getting their disability benefits. It has to go somewhere, and that's how I choose to vent mine.

It was a conscious decision for me not to become bitter over this, because it's real easy to give into the anger. You're the only one who can decide how you want to deal with it. My husband was initially rated at 50% schedular, and now he's 100% schedular, and we're still fighting for earlier effective dates -- we have claims in at the VARO that haven't been heard because the C-file's not been there since 2004, we have remands at the AMC and we have remands at the Board. He got there from 14 years of my filing claims, filing NOD's, fighting unfavorable DRO decisions, overcoming Board denials, a negotiated Court remand (with the help of an attorney who sought us out), ground gained in inches at a time, waiting for years. But, it was worth it and I don't regret it. When something needs to be filed, I just put it together, get his signature, and send it in, then move on. We don't constantly dwell on it, that would make day-to-day life difficult.

Fighting the VA takes a strong stomach and a real motivation to seek justice for the veteran. But moreso than anything, it takes the ability to pace yourself and limit the amount of time you want to focus on how brutal the process really is. If you can balance all that out, you should fight for what is due you. It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. This is just my opinion from personal experience. Letting the VA walk away from this without having to compensate my husband would have been a personal violation of every principle I believe in, and totally against my nature. I didn't even have to think twice about taking them on, so that's where I stand on the subject.

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Ricky, I know how you feel. My claim has been bounced around since Jan 2000. It took about 2 years for my claim to go from the RO to the BVA. It was remanded to the AMC and has been there since. For some reason the AMC keeps asking for info the've had for years. I don't know what kind of games they play but I Know It makes you feel like giving up. But don't do it. I been going through the same feelings. Call your rep and if you get a chance to talk to them they tell you what is suppose to be the status of your claim when they don't really know. My appeal has been going before the board for the last three years and a few weeks later you get a letter asking for info they said they already had. We don't have the representation we need and I think its set up that way. One of their games is to frustrate you to the point you give up. You lose your benifits and they have one less claim to worry about.

I can't tell you how to feel but please don't let this cause you to have other health problems. I had been seeing a physic until i realized thar the VA is my problem. Now i deal with it by praying and leaving it all in his hands. I'm not depressed anymore. If you're able to do any of the things you used to do them. anything to take your mind off this VA . It's going to come. Also stick with HADIT. Not a better group of people around!!!!!!!!!!!

Hang in there,

We'll make it through together

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My appeal to the BVA took about a year to be heard and then another 2-3 months before the whole thing was over (I won my claim, took me 4 years total, start to finish). But I keep telling people, when you file a claim for VA Disability Benefits, be prepared for the long-haul: 3 to 5 years. This is if things go against you.

[This advice should be a Sticky...except no one reads them!!]

I'm talking about preparing yourself emotionally/psychologically for a 3-5 year process. If you get the decision at VARO that you want right up front, then figure a year to be on the safe side...and my comments here do not apply.

But I'm saying the REALITY of a VA claim is that it takes LOTS longer because it includes (not necessarially in order here and some of these overlap): Filing the original claim, waiting for a C&P, you possibly sending in more evidence, more waiting, going to a C&P, more waiting, a VARO decison, you don't agree and file a NOD, more waiting, possibly getting an IMO/IME, sending that and any other evidence in, more waiting, getting another VARO decision, you don't like it, filing another NOD, asking for a de novo DRO hearing, asking for a Reconsideration, more waiting for those results (or you do these things after the first VARO decision -- as well as a second time here -- and that means even more waitng), final VARO level decision not to your liking, file a VA Form 9 and appeal to the BVA, more waiting, getting a BVA decision -- which often includes at least one remand back to VARO (good possibility that ALL items are remanded), more waiting because remands add more time to the process, get decision from VARO after they consider BVA remand, you don't like it and you send it back to the BVA for a 2nd hearing, more waiting, BVA decides, you don't like it, you then appeal BVA decsion to the CVA, LOTS MORE waiting...do you see the trend here?

Is there a battle-ribbon for "Waiting for the VA?" There should be.

All the above assumes you will be denied all along the process, so that will take the longest, hence the 3-5 year time estimate. If you get what you want sooner, then of course the time estimate will be much less. Still, you have to be prepared for the WORST scenario, not the best one.

Someone should have told you to be prepared for the 3-5 years right up front. I was and was grateful because I KNEW it might be a long time (years) and so did not give up because I had a marathon to run and paced my expectations. Also, I had a Plan B, Plan C, and so on for each step of the process, so I was never unprepared for a decision against me as I could IMMEDIATELY invoke a backup plan and continue the process without any delay on MY part.

If you do this mental preparation from the get-go, you will have enough "gas" to go that long whereas other vets give up...and they do. Lots of them. I even gave up 20+ years ago when I was denied and thought it was all over. Now, I know better.

Remember, the VA Claims process is a Marathon, not a Sprint. Run slow but keep running. Pace yourself.

Tell your wife NOW that's just how it is!

BUT, also tell her the bright side: If you WIN your case -- NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES -- it's kind of like winning the lottery in that (1) you will get a lump-sum check auto-deposited into your bank account and then (2) you will start receiving more monthly compensation. So all that time waiting is like money in the bank each month -- if you WIN. That helped me get through my 4 years, knowing I wasn't losing any $$ each month I waited and there was no VA letter in my mailbox (all those many hundreds of disappointing walks to the mailbox...those were the days), because it was adding up in my virtual bank account each month.

You're 80% now, but even if it's not much $$-wise NOW if you win, if your disabilities get worse later on or new ones come up, then it will be. And if you ever get 100% sechedular or TDIU later on, the difference will be huge $$-wise.

Now if you LOSE -- I'm talking about going all the way to the CVA and losing -- then those were years wasted, so a vet needs to know he/she has a winnable case and then it doesn't matter how long it takes...unless you're in poor health and can't afford the time. But I'm talking about most cases here, not those. A vet who waits until he/she is 60-70 may not have that much time; younger vets SHOULD have time unless they have a serious medical problem...but these cases can be "expeditied" to some degree, and since we never REALLY know how long we are going to live, if you have a good case, FILE ANYWAY. Just be prepared for the marathon.

And more importantly, as the time goes by during the claims process, don't put your life -- or your relationship -- on hold doing OTHER things you need to do.

Good luck explaining all this to your wife. :huh:

-- John D.

P.S. In the time it took to write/edit this, vaf posted a reply!

Edited by cloudcroft
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  • HadIt.com Elder

What was overwhelming to me was dealing with faceless VA people who seemed incompetent and self serving

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I have to agree with Pete. Faceless and nameless worthless idiots. For me things would be much better if the idiot raters and DRO's had to sign the decisions they issue and not use the ole Service Center Manager signature on all decisions. Just to know the name of the person who is working your claim would be worth a million bucks even if you could not contact them!!! I think that if a personal signature was required and then the VSCM along with it you would see an increase in valid well thought out decisions. My RO at this time, and for many prior months, has on any given day 12,000 claims. Of those 8000 are appeals. Since that stays constant it provides in a generic way a good feel of what is going on. If you do a simple work of the numbers 66 percent of their decisions are appealed!!!!!!!! The idiot raters cause a very large blackhole type situation in that due to their inability to understand their job and follow a very simple and plain english set of regulations they just throw anything they can/want to into a decision. These get pushed to the DRO's who become over whelmed and end up rubber stamping the decision so the claim can be shipped off for the board to resolve. The board then looks at it and says we ain't do the RO's job so here it is back. This goes on and on. All as Pete said with out a face or a name.

When I began this process I knew, and so did the wife, that it would be a drawn out process. However, when claims meet the requirements of CFR 38, the appropriate medical information is on hand and it is all spelled out in a way that an eight year old will have no problem understanding it one sets their sites on around 3 years. Then reality sets in when after 3 years you find out that no one in the damn system has any ideal as to what is going on. When you get this well it could, but maybe not, sometimes it does, sometimes it don't; anywhere from 15 months to 5 years, could be 7 years etc........ along with the inability to really just hear the name of some idiot who is actually working your issue you tend to get down sometimes.

The wife fully understands the process and the wait time it is just sometimes I get too carried away with this stuff. I really think that if just for once someone at the RO would say to me "your claim has been given to Mrs. Smith who will be making a decision on it when your claim is actively worked" I could at least close my eyes at night and go to sleep.


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I am moving to Perfect as soon as I find it...right after I understand how you REALLY feel about the VA...you were not clear about that! :huh:


-- John D.

Edited by cloudcroft
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  • HadIt.com Elder

My biggest problem with the VA is never knowing if someone is telling me something to pacify me for the moment.

I would have never guessed that my last claim filing of December 2001 would in 2007 be at the Appeals Management Center , remanded by the BVA and that I have somehow managed to have some sanity about me.

Did I dream that it would ever take this long?? No, not in a million years.

The days turned into months, which turned into years.

It seems impossible to me.



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Hey John, I will move with you. Maybe we could start our own VA in Perfect hahahahahahaha. Josephine - know how you feel. Our only hope will be that years don't turn into eternities :(

PS - sorry if I brought anyone down with me! I just wanted to rant and did not really mean to remind everyone of the suffering all of us vets and spouses face daily when dealing with the VA. I only hope that if I ever succeed that I don't have to be committed due to the withdrawl symptoms. :huh:

VAF - I think I will move to lou easy ana with you guys :(

Edited by Ricky
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Ricky; (and everyone else here who made me laugh - Thanks!)

Just a thought, sure would be great if some software guru programmer would create a management program that we could purchase to install on our home computers to use for our veterans disability requests. My dream it would contain all the possible scenarios, forms, regulations, tracking, equations, calendaring, SMR, Cfile copy management for us veterans considering all the effort we apply ourselves trying to keep it organized. Say a Quicken, Excel and Word program made just for Veterans Disability Compensation claim management. G'nite yall! cg :huh:

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The VA uses delay as a planned way to manage awards. I used to think that it was 4% was the limit for awards but it may be even worse. The main thing is for a Vet to get on the Gravy Train other Vets have to get off.

There is no other logical explanation to this.

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Glad I could assist in giving you guys a chuckle! At least I know that I am still worth something when I can make my Hadit family laugh. It tends to ease my mind and give me something to think about other than the idiots I have to deal with at the VA. :huh:

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