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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
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    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

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Guest Berta

Odd Info From My Varo Vet Rep

Question

Guest Berta

The DRO process is explained in M21-1 and there are certain steps to be taken by the DRO.

I was a little surprised that my vet rep at the VARO level- so extremely supportive of my claims- did not contact me about the SSOC I got-so I just emailed him-

The 800# said my POA had signed off on the SSOC last week.My vet rep is the chief POA I have there- he did not sign off on it and didnt even know I got it-or what it said---

looks like another violation of M21-1 DRO job descriptions and de novo review procedures.

This is NOT how a DRO review works at all-

He agreed- I am still in Relative Equipoise and should succeed under that specific criteria- and he is baffled because he saw the two IMOS in my c file and the DRO and the VSM said to him that they would definitely be given to the VA IMO doc and they weren't.

I just knew they wouldn't be given to the IMO doctor-they support my claim- her statements in my SSOC are medically ludicrous.

Then again I am used to that-

I wonder who signed off as my POA on this?

Bizarre. By the way I have an excellent vet rep at the VARO. It pays to be represented by someone who has office right in or near the VARO you deal with.

Bu then again it becomes apparently one more person they can lie to.

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Guest Jim S.

Berta: I would suggest that you get your POA to file for a criminal investigation into who or whom may have signed off, representing themself as your POA. This a a criminal matter, not a administrative one conplaining how your claim was handled. These types of violation are probably a matter for the F.B.I. since the VA is an office of the Federal Government.

Since you are a principle in this matter and the offence ultamitely effects you, you may be able to to submit your own criminal complaint, to find and prosecute the offending person and/or persons.

Unless it is found that someone in the POA's office signed off in his stead, it most likely was done by someone in the VARO/DRO and besides criminal charges being issued, you may have a tort claim in which you can show injury in the way of mental harm or anguish and sue the person involved and a conspericy can be shown if others are implicated as a result of the criminal investigation.

The VA or any of its empoyee's are not protected from criminal actions, especially if it is shown that a POA signature had been forged.

Think hard and serious on this and if you have a lawyer friend, ask for his/her opinion. You may also look into who may have handled the form that shows that the POA signed off on the SSOC, fingerprints can tell a lot.

Jim S. :D

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Guest Berta

Thanks Jim- I will request a copy of it-

I believe that one of the assistants my vet rep has might have signed it-

I am not concerned with that as much as the fact that- if you read the DRO job description (which I had to send to my DRO in Sept due to that screw up) the entire point of the DRO program is to deal with the main vet rep with POA AND the claimant directly in order to decide the claim-

My Sept complaint to the RO Manager resulted in an immediate conference with my vet rep-

the DRO said she did not consider my IMOs because she doesn't understand medical information.She was on the DRO job for 3 weeks -makes you wonder what she position she held prior to that-

My vet rep- fully aware of the IMOs -felt I had the weight of evidence entirely in my favor-

yet in order to come to an agreement as to what the VA could do about the lousy SOC, my vet rep suggested a VA opinion.

I balked at this and wanted him to push for Relative Equipoise but the VA IMO had been requested immediately-and he assured me that the DRO said the IMOs and additional medical evidence would be given to the VA "expert" doctor-

that didnt occur- the SSOC clearly states that this was not a decision- yet the claims remeains denied based on the absolutely medically deficient VA "expert's" statements- not based on the veterans medical records-

based on a few chem reports that this doctor misinterpreted.

I am used to this- I have had experience in knocking down these crappy medical reports from so called VA experts-

The VA determined in 1997 that my husband's medical care at VA was so substandard that it would have been indefensible (in court) and that the VA's continuous misdiagnosis and lack of diagnosis caused his untimely death-

WHat bothers me the most is that this DRO is afraid to pick up the phone and call me-I think she hides when she sees my vet rep-she definitely hide those IMOs from the VA expert doc.I have had prior experience with those VA tactics too.

I am working on my response to them- and will end it with the FACT that not only did the VA admit that the veteran's medical care from VA was "substandard", even 11 years after the veteran's death, his medical records continue to be given attention and VA expert medical input that still is highly "substandard."

Like John said somewhere else today-

you have to GET in their face-

I attend a military university and have learned a technical type of writing that is unlike the posts I make here and is highly effective in gaining attention and making my points to VA or whatever entity I write to-

I also have a legal background as a pro se lawyer-

A claimant can successfully get in their face on paper-

that can be more affective than in person sometimes-

I have BVA hearing tape from one of our former hadit members-

She won her claim but the tape revealled how limited these hearings can be when it comes to actually assessing the claim-

Emotions can run high and I was startled by the lack of follow up not only by the BVA people but even the vet and her represenative-to points that had to be highlighting in the hearing-

Then again one of my local vets had a hearing years ago and the VARO still denied his claim but fell all over him in appreciation that he took the steps to face them one to one.

They pointed out to him the exact things his claim still needed-which I tried to explain to him when he got his SOC-

He related well to the HO and seemed to comprehend better from this man, a Nam vet too, exactly what they needed-

Unfortunately his GSW to leg claim was at 40% already and his medical evidence did not warrant a higher rating -he was unwilling to see if an IMO would help-

He also would not put tender painful scar into the claim as he felt it wasn't ratable-and know one saw it most of the year. Also he had 2 PHs but didnt want to mention the other GSW.

The vet is one of my best friends yet continually would state that he was too stupid to understand the claims process-the fact is he is extremely intelligent and another example of how PTSD (which he also has SC for) alters ones thinking patterns so much.

It took me years to get him to call the 800#. He was afraid of them.

One day he actually did call, talked to a vet rep there for 15 minutes, and felt so much better about his claim-I was elated that he did this.

But when I asked him what the claim's status was- the whole point of his call- he said Berta I feel so stupid-

he talked to me for 15 minutes and now I dont know what he said.

He is Not stupid- at all- PTSD from the Vietnam War has significantly altered this intelligent man's abilities to assess information and to be able to clearly think about it-

sorry about that -I forget the topic - I am still poed that some wannabee is out there assessing PTSD like it depends on an intelligence factor.Most of you Nam vets were quite smart enough to know that the war was being run by civilians in Washington- half a world away from the fire lines-

who didnt have a clue what was going on and they were controlling Command.

(how many of you got denied like that before- how can this DRO properly award any claim based on medical evidence?)

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Guest Jim S.

Berta: I wrote a question and then found myself writing a book. Has it come to this, our disatisfaction with the VA and the Claims process leading to volumes of complaints, wrongdoings, and any multitude of greif they can hand out.

I've had limited experience in the medical profession, from my days as Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, to an orderly on a stroke unite in a major hospital, on to an EMT II for a short while, then as a mental health care aid on a psychiatric clinic ward. I've looked into all the aches and pains I have suffered from over the years to find answers to cause and effect. So, I can state with some modicome of expertise, when I say that if a Veteran has been shown to have been injured, however slight and transiet it may have seemrd at the time. Any Dr, Surgeon, Expert in his field, Physical theripist, worth his salt, will tell you that, if the injury is not properly diagnosed, treated and followed up on, with any number of supporting disappline helping to mitgate the symptoms, it will more likely than not lead to a problem later on in life. Nor can they say with a certainty, that having done all that could be done at the time, the problem will not have a lasting effect and lead to a disability in the distant future. The are no absolutes in medicine, except death, and sometimes even then the Dr could be wrong. LoL

I look on, as the VA treating us like chickens, even after they have chopped off our heads, they know that eventually we will stop running and flopping about and die. They play this game to the hilt, knowing they have nothing to worry about, since they can not be prosecuted for their wrong doings.

Delay, Deny, Delaly is their motto cry. Delay and Deny long enough and the VA hopes the Veteran either gives up in frustration, or dies with no more blood to spill towards the fight. The few that manage to win unscathed, dispite this game they play, cannot compare to those who were damaged further during the process.

I think it is time, that when you get a rubber stamp reply to your claim, then it is time to take names, place a picture to it and send out Wanteed Posters, Identifying these VA employees and asking the questions of there Veterans, these questions:

1. Do you inow this VA Employee and how much he is paid to do his job?

A. Wouldn't you like to make his wages, if you were employable?

2. Do you know if he knows what his job discription is and if he does it well?

A, I doubt his VA boss can tell you how well he is doing his job, compared to some logicaly set

guidelines. Numbers of claims adjudicated is, not by itself, an indicator of a job well done.

3. Do you know what his educational background is that makes him eminately qualified for the job?

A. Is he required to seek higher levels of education as a condition of advancement, like most

professional employees that service the Social, industrial, and Medical professions?

4. Do you know how much time this VA empoyee may have spent, analizing all the information on an

average Claims file? That is, if their is such a claim that can be called average.

A. Does he know and can truthfully say how much time was spent reading and how much was spent

trying to understand what it was he was reading?

5. Can this Emplyee as a Rater, tell with some accuracy, how may claims he has rated that received a

remand or failed to adjudicat any number of the items brought to light in the claim, especially if it is

pointed out in the statement in support of the claiim?

Given the space on a single sheet of paper, I must limit the questions asked, but since I already own an adequate camera, computor wordprocessor and photo shop program, it wouldn't take much time to run off a considerable number of copies to distribute around the area, such as the VA Regional Office parking lot, The VAMC parking lot, any number of clinics in the area, if a willing person can be found to deliver them.

Maybe this type of exposure may peek the interest of some newspaper or TV news channel. Their is nothing more the VA hates and that is when attention is focused on them and their employees.

But I wouldn't even have to publish their picture or name for people to understand the questions

The Number one question is why is the VA changing things the Veterans and their Service Orginzation find as positive in nature and not changing those things that Veterans and SO find negative in nature.

I started writing a book, then tried to correct it, but I still ended up with a long winded, illrational, run on post.

See, even this can be blamed on the VA, and how it brings out the writer in all Veterans. I imagine we could all write a book on the dealing we have had with the VA at one time or another.

Got to go, not only is my bladder full, but it is time I suffered the indignaties of a bath, in my case, a sit down shower. Their are even times I offend my own sensibilities, not to mention my nose. LoL

Maybe you can come up with some question to add to subsequent flyers Am I just getting sinical in my old age or is it just plane meaness as an aquired malody from dealing with the VA and its elustrious VARO claims officers. He, He, Ha, Ha, Ho, Ho, To the funny farm we shall all go. Maybe not Berta, she's got to be outside, so that when we break out, she can lead us to victory. He, He, Ha, Ha, Ho, Ho.

Jim S.

Maybe I should nick name myself the space cadet. Oh Boy!

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The way to take on the VA is the Judo approach. You cannot just butt heads with them because they will out last you. You take what is in your SOC or denial and bend with it until you present them the evidence that directly answers their denial. You can argue with these monkies until you have a long white beard but evidence will prevail in the end. If the VA says you have a personality disorder you find a doc who says you don't.

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Guest Jim S.

No worry, I remembered the whole verse: LoL

Remember when you ran away,

And I got on my knees and begged

you not to go because I'd go BERSERK!!

Well you left me anyhow and then the days got worse and worse,

And now you see I've gone completely out of my mind!

And...

They're coming to take me away, Ha Ha!

They're coming to take me away, Ho Ho, He He, Ha Ha!

To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time,

And I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats.

And they're coming to take me away, Ha Ha!!!

I cooked your food, I cleaned your bed,

And this is how you pay me back for all my kind unselfish loving deeds?

HUH!!

Well, you just wait, they'll find you yet,

And when they do they'll put you in the A.S.P.C.A., you MANGEY MUTT!!!

And, They're coming to take me away Ha Ha!

They're coming to take me away, Ho Ho, He He, Ha Ha!

To the happy home, with trees and flowers and chirping birds,

And basket weavers who sit and twiddle their thumbs and toes,

And they're coming to take me away, Ha Ha!

To the funny farm,

And I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats.

And they're coming to take me away, Ha Ha!!

Without my mangey Mutt or my narley Cat, I would deffinently go Berserk, Ha Ha.

How about you?

Sorry wrong subject

Jim S. :D

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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

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      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
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