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Colonel Dan More On The


Berta

Question

(Email from COl. Dan Cedusky)

Just when you think you have heard and seen it all.. delay...deny..appeal..deny..delay.. die waiting

where is the outrage from the major VSO's? and our congress

The article at this web site refers to info below

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_rl...new_way_to_.htm

http://www.vawatchdog.org/07/nf07/nfOCT07/nf101307-1.htm

NEW VA POLICY COULD CHANGE LARGE, RETROACTIVE

AWARDS -- "...New procedures...to follow in cases involving awards with an effective date retroactive eight or more years

or that result in a lump-sum payment of $250,000 or more..."

The VA has a new policy..."...New procedures...to follow in cases involving awards with an effective date retroactive eight or more years or that result in a lump-sum payment of $250,000 or more..."

I was sent a VA Fast Letter explaining this change and asked a veterans' benefits attorney to comment. Attorneys thoughts are in italics.

"In essence now the VA Central Office C&P service in Washington will make the decision with regard to the effective date and the amount of the award. While I'm not sure there is a legal problem with this procedure (this procedure is similar to that by which an extraschedular rating is granted or denied), the new procedure will obviously result in a delay of payment to a veteran or surviving spouse or children. It also appears somewhat smelly."

I asked the attorney: Does this mean that VACO could actually change the date/amount awarded to a veteran? If so...explain, please?

"In short, yes. The Fast Letter states '[w]henever a rating decision grants service connection with an effective date retroactive eight or more years, the claims folder must be flashed to alert the authorization activity of the extraordinary award. This instruction also applies whenever an earlier effective date of eight or more years is granted for a previously service-connected disability.' Thus, the provisions of the Fast Letter apply to both claims for service connection (S/C) and claims for an earlier effective date (EED) where S/C was previously granted. As usual, the wording of the Fast Letter leaves much to be desired. For example, the Fast Letter does not discuss from what date the 'eight or more years' is to be calculated. Without going into all the possible scenarios, suffice it to say there are several different ways an ED for a grant of S/C or an EED for a previously granted claim can be assigned, and each of these ways present different possibilities for the determination of a starting date from which to calculate the 'eight or more years.'

The Fast Letter actually proscribes three levels of review for these EEDs and awards over $250,000. First, the rating officer makes a decision. If the decision involves a grant of an effective date 'retroactive eight or more years"'or results in a lump-sum payment of $250,000 or more, then it will be reviewed by the 'Post-Determination team' at the RO. Then it will be reviewed by the RO's Veterans Service Center Manager and finally by the C&P Service in Washington. At any stage of the review process the original decision could be changed.

In case you are wondering, the ultimate decision issued by the RO after the three reviews can still be appealed to the Board and the CAVC. A Fast Letter cannot change this procedure.

Fast letter at: http://www.vawatchdog.org/07/nf07/nfOCT07/...sFastLetter.pdf

Fast Letter printed below:

-------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Veterans Benefits Administration

Washington, D.C. 20420

August 27, 2007

Director (00/21) In Reply Refer To: 211B

All VA Regional Offices Fast Letter 07-19

SUBJ: Procedures for Handling Extraordinary Awards

Background

The Compensation and Pension (C&P) Service Bulletin dated June 2007 discussed new

procedures for regional offices (ROs) to follow in cases involving awards with an

effective date retroactive eight or more years or that result in a lump-sum payment of

$250,000 or more. These awards require a review by the C&P Service prior to award

authorization. This fast letter (FL) provides more detailed guidance for handling these

types of cases.

Responsibility for Identifying These Cases

The Rating, Appeals, and Post-Determination Teams are responsible for identifying cases

that meet these criteria.

Procedures for Appeals and Rating Teams

Whenever a rating decision grants service connection with an effective date retroactive

eight or more years, the claims folder must be flashed to alert the authorization activity of

the extraordinary award. This instruction also applies whenever an earlier effective date

of eight or more years is granted for a previously service-connected disability. After

flashing the folder, forward the case to the Post-Determination Team. Do not offer these

rating decisions to any veteran’s representative for review until the C&P Service makes a

final determination regarding the propriety of the decision.

Procedures for Post-Determination Teams

Rating Veterans Service Representatives (RVSRs) and Decision Review Officers (DROs)

should be the first to identify a case involving an effective date retroactive eight or more

years. However, Veterans Service Representatives (VSRs) and Senior Veterans Service

Representatives (SVSRs) on the Post-Determination team are ultimately responsible for

Page 2.

Director (00/21)

identifying these cases, as well as any awards involving a lump-sum payment of

$250,000 or more. If using VETSNET Awards, the application will automatically

calculate the retroactive amount.

The VSR or SVSR who identifies a rating decision meeting the established criteria will

prepare the referral memorandum for the Veterans Service Center Manager (VSCM) to

request an administrative review by the C&P Service (see enclosed). The VSCM will

then review the decision and sign the memorandum if he or she agrees with the decision.

Signature responsibility may only be delegated to an individual serving as VSCM in an

acting capacity. For additional information on requesting an administrative review,

please refer to M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart vi, Chapter 1, Section A, Topic 3.

Please note: Do not leave any of these awards in GAP’d status or authorize them until

the C&P Service concurs with the Veterans Service Center (VSC) decision.

Procedures for Transferring the Claims Folder to C&P Service

After completing the memorandum and attaching it to the file, the VSC will send the

claims folder via Federal Express to:

C&P Service (211B, Advisory Review)

810 Vermont Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20420

Reflect a temporary transfer of the claims folder in COVERS and update the suspense

accordingly. In addition, before the claims folder leaves the RO, add the claimant flash

“250K Retro Review” via the VETSNET Participant Profile application. The C&P

Service will review these cases and return them to the VSC by Federal Express within

five days of receipt.

Procedures Upon Return of the Claims Folder From C&P Service

If the C&P Service concurs with the VSC decision, the veteran’s representative (if

applicable) will then be allowed to review the decision prior to its promulgation.

These new procedures do not replace the three-signature requirement for awards

exceeding $25,000 (whether processed through BDN or VETSNET). The VSC must still

follow the three-signature award procedures as outlined in M21-1, Part V, 9.01(:rolleyes:.

If the C&P Service determines the decision is improper, it will provide specific corrective

action.

Page 3.

Director (00/21)

Cases Involving BVA or CAVC Decisions

Ratings based on decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) or the U.S. Court

of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) will be excluded from the C&P Service review

only when BVA or CAVC assigns the effective date and/or the retroactive increased

evaluation. Otherwise, when processing decisions by BVA or CAVC, follow the

procedures outlined in this FL whenever the rating decision involves an effective date

retroactive eight or more years or the award results in a lump-sum payment of $250,000

or more.

Cases Processed Under the Nehmer Court Order

Cases processed under the Nehmer v. U.S. Veterans’ Administration court order are

exempt from the provisions of this FL because these cases are already being reviewed by

the C&P Service.

Questions

Questions concerning this fast letter should be submitted to VAVBAWAS/CO/21Q&A.

/s/

Bradley G. Mayes

Director

Compensation and Pension Service

Enclosure: Sample Memorandum

Department of

Veterans Affairs

Memorandum

Date:

From: Veterans Service Center Manager, _________ Regional Office

Subj: Administrative Review-Retroactive Effective Date/Lump-Sum Payment

File number: _________________

To: Director, Compensation and Pension Service

Issue(s)

At issue in this case is whether the effective date and/or amount of payment are

appropriate.

Background

Please see rating decision in claims folder dated ________.

Conclusion

We propose to .... (Propose a recommendation for each issue cited in the

first paragraph. Example: “We propose to pay $275,000.00 retroactive

benefits for the period 07/01/97 to 08/01/07.”) Your concurrence is

requested.

___________________________

Signature

( ) CONCUR

( ) DO NOT CONCUR: See attached.

________________________________________ ___________

Director, Compensation and Pension Service Date

__._,_.___

Messages in this topic (1) Reply (via web post) | Start a new topic

Messages

"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:

http://www.angelfire.com/il2/VeteranIssues/

Change your email address when needed by signing in at

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VeteranIssues/

Forward to other veterans, tell them to Sign up at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VeteranIssues/join

Edited by Berta
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Well I guess they can quit telling Vets that they will get all their back pay

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