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Va Disability Claim


SSGMike.Ivy

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Seems within this forum there are a large number of Veterans who have hit the magic 100%, even those with less. Spefically those with 100% who worked their claim through an organization like the DAV, American Leagion, VVA etc and received a nice little back check.

Was wondering how many of you after receipt of a back check, which in some cases can be thousands of dollars, made a substantial donation as a thanks. Or did you let them work your claim and once you received your back check forgot about the hard work that these organizaitons did.

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Mike,

When I first filed my claim and was a novice in the claims process, I received an unsolicited letter from the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) asking to represent me. I thought that very nice and accepted, since I didn't know anything about the assorted vetorgs and which were more-effective/less-effective (track records), good, bad or indifferent...although it really depends upon WHO you get -- the individual assigned to yor case -- in any given vetorg rather than the vetorg itself.

Unfortunately, I NEVER EVER heard from my local TVC rep again, probably due to being too busy or whatever, so for me the TVC was useless so I wrote them off and handled my own case. They may have been good with other vets' cases but not in my case. [EDIT: And if the local rep was overwhelmed with work, the TVC shouldn't have asked to take my case because that would add MORE work, but since they DID take my case, I expected more from them.]

Yes, I won, and got a nice retro, but I did not make any donation to the TVC because I creditied myself for the win, not them.

-- John D.

Seems within this forum there are a large number of Veterans who have hit the magic 100%, even those with less. Spefically those with 100% who worked their claim through an organization like the DAV, American Leagion, VVA etc and received a nice little back check.

Was wondering how many of you after receipt of a back check, which in some cases can be thousands of dollars, made a substantial donation as a thanks. Or did you let them work your claim and once you received your back check forgot about the hard work that these organizaitons did.

Edited by cloudcroft
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I worked my claim with the help of a Service Officer who became a County Paid Veterans Rep. The DAV was not much help than or later. I have donated money to Hadit to help TBird keep the Board running. Frankly when I got my back pay most of the money went to catch up pay bills and it came in stages over 5 and 1/2 years.

Tbird is very sensitive to Veterans who are struggling with their claims but I think that when someone gets a nice check if Hadit helped them they should donate.

Like Cloudcrof said there is really no reason to donate to a State or Government Agency.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

It is OK to use an organization like the DAV but you have to work and fight your claim for yourself. If you don't you won't ever see that 100% check.

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wow, ssg mike, you touched a nerve with me. i do not believe it is necessary to use a service rep at all, and it can sometimes do more harm than good. i know this will not be a popular opinion on this thread, but it is what i strongly believe. most vso's are earnest enough, and want to be of help. but they will lead a vet to believe they have more knowledge than they do, and a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. unless your service rep used to be a rater, you are rolling the dice with your claim. i know of specific instances where overconfident service reps cost their vets dearly.

examples? a vso files, without the veteran's knowledge or permission, for a cue, alleging that the vet should have gotten not only a 20 percent for osteomyelitis, but also additional compensable for limitation of motion of a major joint. the result? the vet got his 10 percent for limitation of motion and lost his 20 percent for osteomyelitis. another? a vet gets 40 percent for ankylosing spondylitis straight out of service, and later files for increase and gets 100 percent. his vso encourages him to file a cue alleging that the original 40 percent was erroneous and the vet should get 100 percent back to release from service (because his condition hadn't changed!). the result? turned out the 100 percent was erroneous. vet got dropped back to 40 percent and lost chapter 35.

and those are just two cases in as many months, going through a single rater (me).

the service organizations get accomodations in the regional office that they do not pay a cent for. they review ratings before they are released so they can send the vet a letter telling him how much the organization did for him. they have access to the rating floor, where they get into pissing contests with the raters. who do you think wins? not the vet.

if you want to donate to the service organizations, do it because they do other good work for vets. not because they "represent" a vet with his claim.

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Here's my two cents:

I agree w/ Pete that there's no need to donate to a gov't agency - I donated to them every day of my working life via taxes and now I join the "voluntarily taxed" and play the state lottery occasionally! ;-)

As far as donating to a non-profit like DAV, well, I had every intention of becoming a life member of the DAV when I got my first check but that happened to be during the time the DAV was lobbying against letting vets use lawyers and since I believe we should be able to have legal representation, I didn't think the DAV as an organization was representing my best interests but their own and elected not to become a life member (or give a donation to them in any form).

Did the DAV help me w/ my claim - yes and no. Three year story short, I never talked to my first DAV rep, despite several unreturned phone calls, they just kept passing me off to whoever was handy, he was too busy getting promoted out of the office. The next guy I get tells me "sorry for ya" when my initial claim was denied and didn't even mention that I should put in an NOD because the VA completely ignored the letters from the shrinks who treated me while I was on active duty. A later phone call, when Mr. Sorry For Ya was out, clued me in that I had a valid NOD claim. I work with Mr. Sorry until he gets promoted and then get a really nice guy - who can't keep me straight from another vet. No, I am NOT the PTSD combat vet, I am the peace time bipolar vet. Never had a lot of confidence in him, though he was nice, seemed to sincerely care, and did email some memos that I found helpful. He's gone now and I'm back in the whoever gets the call pool but I do have a vet rep there I like, but can't get assigned to him. So, has the DAV helped me? Yes and no. Will I ever donate to them if I win my current appeal to increase my rating? I doubt it. In their defense, I've heard some horror stories about lawyers as well so who knows. It could be six of one and half a dozen of the other but I want to have my options open and the DAV was against that.

Now, as for donating to T-bird, the jury (composed of myself and spouse) has decided that it would be appropriate if I do win the IU NOD to make a donation to hadit since so much of what I put into the IU NOD I learned from hadit. I didn't get involved w/ hadit until after the first NOD for service connection went in. I have learned a GREAT deal at hadit, probably the most important bit of info was about the VBM and The Advocate. I spent a lot of years in military admin so I understand that the best way to fight to win this paper battle is with evidence presented in accordance w/ the regulations, laws, M21-1MR, and court cases and then remind the VA, ad nauseum, of their own regulations in the hopes that they will actually read and apply them to my claim.

Ultimately, decisions to donate are up to the individual veteran (and spouse if married). I appreciate that the DAV hasn't hounded me about it and I appreciate that Tbird has never solicited donations.

Hey, if 6 cents will put in his 2 cents, combined with mine that would be what, 10 cents? Years ago that would get you a candy bar. :-)

Thanks,

TS

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Entropent - ok, now you're scaring me. The DAV can put in paperwork without running it past you first? I realize that when you give your spouse a POA that they can buy a car (or whatever) while you're deployed or hospitalized (important when you're a psych patient) without your consent but somehow I never made the possible connection between giving the DAV POA and your spouse POA as being the same thing ie, that the POA could act on your behalf without your knowledge or express consent.

Please confirm if I understood you correctly that the DAV can take action with the VA without first running it past you.

Thanks,

TS

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when you sign a 21-22 appointing a service organization to represent your interests before va, you are giving them permission to act on your behalf. they can submit claims on your behalf and va must formally address the issues they raise. just had a case this am where the vet wanted increase for his prostate cancer and put in a 4138 to that effect. the dav slapped a coversheet on the 4138 asking for service connection for diabetes mellitus, which the veteran did not ask for and did not have. i had to kick the claim out of the rating board, when it was ready to rate, because we did not vcaa the issue of diabetes mellitus. it will cost the vet another 60 days on his claim.

yes, the service organization can file claims on your behalf. but not without your permission. you gave them permission when you signed the 21-22.

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I USED THE DAV TO PUSH MY PAPER. I DID GIVE THEM A DONATION. BUT I BELIEVE ITS YOUR CLAIM AND ONLY YOU CAN WIN IT. VETERAN SERVICE OFFICERS ARE A TOOL TO USE TO WIN. BUT IN MY DEALING MOST ARE GARBAGE.

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AND I FORGOT THE VFW IS THE WORST I USED THE DAV. AFTER THE VFW SUPPOTED NONVETERANS OVER VETERANS IN THE LAST ELECTION THEY CAN GO TO HELL.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I started with American Legion rep, nice guy meant well, ancient too, nada re disability. Years later went to DAV to start again, worked hard, submitted claims and learned alot from Hadit. I still use my DAV, work hard and continue to learn alot here at Hadit and simply "channel" my paperwork through DAV rep.....for now. (personality and professionalism counts!) Again, my personal choice to use a VSO as a "medium!" smile! cg

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When I filed my claim the the State VSO where I live...I was told that all he can do for me is file the papers I bring in, that he did not have time to work a claim so I was on my own. Needless to say I made some mistakes along the way...then a wonderful VSO officer I met by pure luck gave me this web site and told me to go in and ask questions...with the help of this site and two great guys Sixthsence and Vike17 with there advice and encouragement I didn't give up.

I believe sites like this are meant not only for information but also encouragement just knowing that there are those who are compassionate enough to spend time giving advice and precious knowledge can make the journey seem less lonely.

I am not saying that there are not some really good VSO officers are there...for I know there are...but not everyone is so fortunate to be near offices like the DVA, or AMVETs...to the Men and Women these organization help...they are unsung hero's esp those who go beyond what is expected...as far as donating money...well I know some of the organizations you have to be a memeber and you pay dues...and I know that State VSO officers would not be able to accept money for there service...I think that if a Vet wants to donate something it should be there time...there experiance...to these offices helping others that is the greatest payback of all.

MT

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I gotta ask, Is there away to withdraw POA?? I wasn't concerned that my vso was not as smart as Gomer Pyle, but now I am!!!!!

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I gotta ask, Is there away to withdraw POA?? I wasn't concerned that my vso was not as smart as Gomer Pyle, but now I am!!!!!

Ronn:

Just find another VSO and that fires them automatically. Don't settle for less, the deserve the "best" representation there is. Good luck.

jmack

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Ok beat up on us VSO's. But let me tell you I worked for the Marine Corps League first and they ran out of money so now I am with VFW. This works both ways veterans!! Had a veteran irritated that his claim was not properly addressed and wanted me to talk with his attorney. Not having been born yesterday I talked to his attorney and found out that he was a "student" at a law school and I then told the veteran to his face to take a hike. I revoked POA. I work FOR the vet and I make sure that he recieves every benefit he is entitled to. Keep in mind that the most you can recieve is 100%. You do not know how many vets sit at the bar and LEARN from other vets they can get this and that. I do not care if you are a week from death, and SC you are not getting more than 100% (with exceptions for K awards etc.) but 100% is 100%!! How many of you have gone to the DR and volunteered information? Answering questions does not mean spilling your guts. Veteran goes and tells the Dr he was PTSD prior to military. So you get zero what did you expect. Yeah blame the Veteran Service Officer. Just like other things in life we all have bad days, but the VSO offices do not exist because we have been worthless all these years. I filed and did my own claim before I was a VSO because I did not know there were advocates out there and got total SC. But then I have my originally orders and a lot of paper from my years in the military. How many of you have them? Do you know where to get them if RMC does not have them? Do you know the VBA Manual and the requirements for claims? Do you know how to research stressor's? There is a hell of a lot of work on doing claims and I am proud to say I am a Veteran Service Officer and that I work for the Veteran and no one else. I just got PTSD for a WWII vet with an award to 1950, chew on that for awhile. Could he do it, no, and that is why we are now dancing a jig. Don't be so hard on us, we do serve a purpose and we rely on you to provide assistance and if you are so educated that you can do your own knock your self out. :unsure: Email me if you have questions. Richard

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Richard I am glad you are an outstanding SO but you know that there are many who are NOT good, they are just filling a seat and talking the talk and then let the ROs chit on the vets. I had a DAV rep tell me I should be happy with 50% for PTSD back in 2004, I am glad I didn't listen to him and kept the appeal active it was awarded and as soon as I got the award the national had the nerve to solicit me for a "life membership" BS, then instead of pressing the claim for SC for my heart disease he wanted to drop it and refile for a 10% claim for hyperstension despite the fact I have had a stroke and 7 heart attacks and I am in a power chair and have aheart ejection fraction of 25% oh and the issue that I was exposed to 77 toxic substances at Edgewood Arsenal thru environmental contact drinking water and soil, and who knows what thru the actual human experiments they did there from 1955 thru 1975 before they stopped, I was told flat out by the SOs that the VA would never ever address the exposures from those experiments, and I might as well forget that issue. I haven't and the appeal is still active. Like all jobs some are good and some are bad, and the bad ones give the good ones a bad rap

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Richard I am glad you are an outstanding SO but you know that there are many who are NOT good, they are just filling a seat and talking the talk and then let the ROs chit on the vets. I had a DAV rep tell me I should be happy with 50% for PTSD back in 2004, I am glad I didn't listen to him and kept the appeal active it was awarded and as soon as I got the award the national had the nerve to solicit me for a "life membership" BS, then instead of pressing the claim for SC for my heart disease he wanted to drop it and refile for a 10% claim for hyperstension despite the fact I have had a stroke and 7 heart attacks and I am in a power chair and have aheart ejection fraction of 25% oh and the issue that I was exposed to 77 toxic substances at Edgewood Arsenal thru environmental contact drinking water and soil, and who knows what thru the actual human experiments they did there from 1955 thru 1975 before they stopped, I was told flat out by the SOs that the VA would never ever address the exposures from those experiments, and I might as well forget that issue. I haven't and the appeal is still active. Like all jobs some are good and some are bad, and the bad ones give the good ones a bad rap

Hey I agree, Just had DAV reopen a claim for a vet who is ONE HUNDRED% The VET is some kind of PO'd. Why would you reopen a 100% claim? Don't blame the vet. I quit DAV when I went to one for some assistance and he told me "we" make to much money already. That was here in Phoenix, AZ a few years back.

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BobbyQ – WAY TO GO!! “I just got PTSD for a WWII vet with an award to 1950,” thanks for hanging in there with vets

Mountain Thyme – I concur: “just knowing that there are those who are compassionate enough to spend time giving advice and precious knowledge can make the journey seem less lonely.”

Testvet - Let us know when you prevail and we'll get BobbyQ to teach us that jig. :-)

Entroper - OUCH! Thanks for the clarification on how the POA works.

TS

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Bobby:

Thank you for helping Veterans. Sorry that all VSO's get flak for what some do but thats sort of the way it goes. I respect any VSO who posts or helps on Hadit and I lump them in with the good guys.

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bobbyq... while I agree with some of what you are saying, I think too many of us have seen the other side of the VSO process. I handled my own claim, not a VSO and yes I know probably just as much or more than you about filing claims, stressors etc. I would bet that a great many people here know a great deal about claims... and how to process them. I also have has my share of veterans who go in and spill their life story to the doc and end up with PTSD but no service connection. It's really frustrating, and I too understand that. I have had vets who came to me with no claim, but "the government should pay me for"..... and no documentation whatsoever. Sure thats part of it, but....

I have also seen VSO's who didn't have your knowlege, who didn't actively pursue "hard" claims, but instead pushed easy ratings. I have seen "lifetime" VSO's who seem to be put into placed based solely on their popularity, and they are there holding down a chair and nothing more.

I am... jaded I guess is the term. I think the national organizations do good things at the congressional level, but when it hits the road, by and large my experience has been... less than ideal. I salute you for your efforts, but I can say YOU were not the first VSO I met... nor even what I would call the average. Maybe its burnout - I seem to experience that - or maybe the VSO is incompetent. Personally if a veteran CANNOT file a claim, then SOME help with a claim is better than none and VSO's do help file claims....

I just wish that there were more VSOs' that I had met who seem competent and concerned with veteran claims. However, before Hadit, before the internet and before veterans could band together and share knowlege, there were only VSOs'. So yes they did and do serve a purpose. As to how well they serve it... thats an opinion.

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