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Iris Inquire

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When a Veteran sends an Iris Inquire,Does the VARO add it to the file for the Veteran?

:mellow: Macool

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Good question- maybe someone here who has gotten copy of their C file and made Iris inquiries can answer that one-

In the last responses I got (I got 2 responses in 2 days from one of the A VSCMs because I told him I was using his first response to support my letter to the OIG )

he told me that the inquiry went to Finance-it has nothing to do with my claim.

My C file is in DC.

Somehow a complaint via Iris goes to the VACO somewhere and then gets to the VARO- I think this establishes a paper trail for complaints- not sure-

I am curious myself as to your question because one Iris I sent last year -they said they had already answered my question-

indicating maybe the older Iris was in my C file-but they had "access denied" when I tried to read the other Iris response.

I sent the question as a Iris complaint and got a better answer.

I dont trust Iris at all-

i is the same crap as when they answer 800 - they can say anything and we dont know if it is fact or not-

as Larry Scott said the other day at Watchdog-it is easy to manipulate the Appeals screen and the Covers screen.

I got 3 authorizations on my claim in Jan 2006.Bernard (you probably know who he is) at 800 acted like I had won the NYS lottery.

Behind the scenes this was a agreed determination by the VSCM and my POA to again ignore my evidence (they had their second meeting on my claim)

and the three signatures were possibly to support a transfer to the BVA.? -Then my POA played dumb and strung me along-to think they were working on my claim----It then took the POA 6 more months to sign the 646-and I found out a month later that the claim had been set for BVA and the POA had know this for over 6 months.But 2 reps at 800 (who I have known for years) told me that those 3 signatures had nothing to do with any BVA transfer-and appear on the covers screen usually when an award has been made.

Yet suddenly by Feb 2006 the three signatures and dated entries of 3 employees vanished completely from the covers screen.

I raised numerous documented incidents to the OIG to show how Buffalo picks and chooses whose evidence they actually read (and how I believe they have outside help on those decisions.)

Both GG and JR up there in Buffalo were named in my OGC complaint-with documented evidence- of how they caused my claim to be mishandled. I told the OIG too-

this troubles me- years ago I had no problem getting a complete copy of the POA file they (my POAS) had on me- Veterans and widows are most surely doing the same thing- either by copy requests or appointments to see what evidence the POA has that the VA might have destroyed. In light of the recent shredding fiasco-as the POAS file and the 21-4138s in it-might be only way to reconstruct what the VA should have considered as evidence-

I asked the General Counsel lawyer if I could ask again under FOIA for a copy of my POA file-they said sure-

NYSDVA denied me copies of it yesterday by mail.

I didnt ask for copies of their dealings with the OGC over my complaint (they did say awful things about me)

just the POA file with my evidence in it-they could have easily withheld anything they felt I should not see.

But I was denied under FOIA even the stuff that I had sent to them to support my claims.

I hope this isnt a sudden new practice for any vet org-those POA files are the only paper trail -with a witness-the POA themselves- of what the VA might have destroyed in regards to your claim.

Edited by Berta
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I make Copies of copies of Everything Iris -- Everything .

The problem I am having is getting them to follow any of

the ways I filed example for my -- Now Appeals .... I asked

for a Request for Reconsideration ....of the facts ... .. Because as I

read it all, that was a better way to go. Less waiting then the

Appeal's. They put it in appeals now it can take years... They did not go the way I filed.... they through it in a pile with the rest of the "To Do List" they think that thats the answer and it just screws the Veterans

If they Shredded anything of Mine I have got 20 others- just like it..

Think I need another Hearing at the VARO


Edited by macool
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I don't think they are automatically added to the C-file - because when I got a copy of my C-file it didn't include my IRIS questions and responses.

BUT -- it SHOULD count as written communication with the VA - because it is contacting them IN WRITING in the manner they have specified.

I think I have important evidence WITHIN the IRIS communication.

For instance, I asked what to do to file separately for my son. They told me two times I should NOT file a separate claim for him, but process him on MY claim.

To me, if they later deny him because he should have filed separately - I would think that the IRIS would be an informal claim - and his claim would still be pending, as they had not sent him an application, but advised me to add him to mine.

Anyway - when I was unable to access any of the IRIS - I sent another IRIS - and they said they opened the access. But I still could not access them.

So they sent me a print out of ALL the IRIS within a couple of days.

The nice thing about the print-outs is that they included some information I had not previously been able to see - their notes. For instance, they had called me on the phone when they had lost my burial claim. That was noted on the print outs.

Since they sent me a hard copy of the IRIS communications - they MIGHT be included in my claim file now (if they haven't been misplaced yet). But I am not sure.

My assumption is that if I want any of the IRIS info included in my claim file - it will be best to send a hard copy to the VA and ask to have it included.

So that would be my best advice:

1. Contact the VA and ask for a print out of the IRIS from them (it might just include info that you don't currently have access to - i.e. their notations on the follow-ups)

2. Send a copy of the hard copy of the IRIS to the VA along with any other evidence for specific issues - to make sure it is included in that body of evidence.

For instance - when I file the NOD for my NOD being timely filed - I will send a copy of the IRIS I sent informing them that my NOD had been mailed and the certified mail number.

When I re-submit my evidence for special consideration - I will send a copy of the IRIS I sent informing them I had sent the evidence, what evidence I had sent, and the certified mail number.

In fact, I will send the whole string of that issue - to show that:

1. I sent them an IRIS telling them the evidence had been sent.

2. I kept sending IRIS following up on evidence - and they never bothered to mention they hadn't received it - until I finally asked point blank "DID YOU RECEIVE IT???"

How ridiculous -- in all that string of communication - they never once indicated they had not received the evidence - they just kept talking in circles and beating around the bush.

I couldn't understand what they were talking about because I kept referring to the evidence I had sent - and they kept ignoring the whole notion I had sent any evidence. But since it is not uncommon for them to ignore whatever your issue is - I never thought to bother to ask if they had received it - because the IRIS told them I had sent it - they never mentioned they hadn't received it - they just kept talking in circles around the whole issue. And I know they had received it because I have a signed receipt saying they did.

When the whole purpose of my original IRIS was to tell them that I sent the evidence (including the certified receipt number) - it would seem like if they had NOT received it - they would have included that in their response.

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Seems like they are doing the IRIS a bit different now. My last one was answered by the National IRIS Response Center. After my response - they have now forwarded it to my RO.

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I am sure not expert But ,I think adding your son to your claim is not the right thing to do, I think thats the worst advice you could have got...never have I read anything like that,Hopefully One of our elders Here will clarify this ...This adding him to your claim seems absolutly nutts...

Edited by macool
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I didn't think it was the right thing to do either. Actually on MY DIC / Pension application, I indicated that I did not include my son's income, as I would be filing a separate claim for him.

However, here is my IRIS request: (My husband died February 5, 2007)

Veteran/Inquirer 06/11/2007 12:18 AM

I recieved a letter telling me what evidence I need to send in to establish DIC benefits.

My husband had a pending claim for lung cancer when he died.Lung cancer is listed as the cause of death on his death certificate. My husband sent in a significant amount of information regarding his lung cancer for HIS claim.

Do I need to re-submit all the information my husband already submitted with his claim? Or can I just submit any additional information I have beyond what he has already submitted - and refer to his claim for the information already submitted to the VA.

Additionally, as my son is over 21,and disabled, the guidlines say that I will need to submit a separate DIC claim for him. When I submit HIS claim, will I need to submit all the medical evidence regarding my husband's lung cancer (that you would already have on record from my husband's claim and my claim?) Or can I just refer to my husband's previous claim and my claim in regard to the medical evidence for service connection?

Thank you very much for your time,XXXX

Response (Department of Veterans Affairs) 06/13/2007 10:09 AM

Dear Mrs. XXX:

It isn't necessary to resubmit evidence that was previously submitted. That evidence was made part of the claim file and we will review all evidence of record when we make our deicision.

It is also unnecessary to file and additional claim for your son, XXXX. We are trying to establish him as your dependent on your claim, but we need the information we requested in our recent letter. We need to establish that he became disabled, incapable of self support, prior to his eighteenth birthday. If you have any additional information that you feel would be helpful to your claim, please submit that evidence. We hope this information is helpful. Thank you for visiting our website.

Sincerely yours,XXXXX Veterans Service Center Manager163

His age is listed on my application. And they know his age, as they specifically asked for evidence that he was disabled prior to the age of 18. And I specifically asked about filing a separate claim for him because of him being over 21.

But they:

1. Specifically told me not to file the separate claim - as they were adding him to MY claim.

2. Continued to request information about him related to my claim, rather than as a claim of his own.

In the event that they would later decide that he needs to file his own claim - wouldn't my Iris request be considered an informal claim for benefits? And wouldn't that claim still be pending - as they did not send an application for him to fill out, and in fact, specifically informed me he did not have to file a formal claim on his own behalf?

Should I try to clarify this with them AGAIN? And if they say he needs his OWN claim - should I request that they send an application in respect to the INFORMAL claim filed in June 2007?




I am sure not expert But ,I think adding your son to your claim is not the right thing to do, I think thats the worst advice you could have got...never have I read anything like that,Hopefully One of our elders Here will clarify this ...This adding him to your claim seems absolutly nutts...

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