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Iris And Congressional Inquiries


free_spirit_etc
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Question

I am still in the process of trying to get my month of death payment for my husband's Feb 2007 death. The funds were taken out of my bank account August 2007 - though when I received a copy of the C-file I found a Finance Operations transmittal sheet in my file, dated June 28, 2007 that states, "Surviving Spouse entitled to one time payment of amt of comp or pen received by veteran at time of death. Remove overpayment (08E Transaction) if payment is not returned. 38 CFR 3.20©"

Of course, I followed up on that in May 2008, when I found it. And of course, the VA said they had forwarded my request and I would get a response by letter.

I went to the VA site and did what they said to do for the widow benefit through the Special Outreach they are having -- which is to submit the info through the IRIS system - through the Month of Death Payment link.

I submitted the initial one January 19, 2009. I got the auto response that says I should expect to hear from them in 5 business days.

I didn't get any other response - so I submitted a follow up on February 3, 2009. Again, I only got the auto response.

It does say the request is routed to the 'VBA NASHMOD' group.

My question is - I also asked my Congressman to look into the matter.

Does that also slow down the IRIS responses? Or make them not respond to you at all?

I am not sure how important an IRIS response is -- since all the responses they have given me over the last two years have not resulted in a month of death check yet. But for some reason, I still like them to respond to my requests for information on my claim.

Does anyone have any experience using IRIS if a Congressman is involved? Does the VA not respond directly to you any more?

I realize this is about a widow benefit - but I hope it doesn't get bumped down to the widow and orphan section yet.

It gets pretty lonely down there.

Free

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This is just unconscionable Free spirit- you should have received that payment by now.

Maybe getting in touch with your COngressman/woman is a good idea here-

they will send you an authorization form to sign so they can look into your claim.

It is always good to tell them in writing exactly what you want them to do-

they should look into all that you posted here.

I suggest that you send them copies of the Irises and anything else they would need-such as the VA's own Press release on this matter.

VA claims the checks were in the mail by years end but who knows if ANY widow,affected by their press release,actually got their check?

I just remembered-VA told me months ago they would send me back my check for med recs copies and they never did- I withdew the med rec copy request so it would not hold up my decision at the AMC.

I just got my AMC decision-the AMC defied my BVA remand and destroyed my evidence.

or if they lost it they have until Wednesday to find it-

that is what I just Irised to them-

I have actually been blocked from even reading some Iris responses I got early last year.

They sent me the email access thing and then they denied my access to their response.

I have noticed that since the October incident, their responses to vets here have seemed to be more efficient.

Have you used the Complaint box Section of Iris. I have found that this often gets a faster and better response then the 'question about claim status' area.

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Thanks Berta!

Great idea about using the Complaint section. For some reason, that hadn't occured to me.

I did notice a difference in the IRIS responses recently. I sent an IRIS when I sent my NOD. (I ALWAYS send an IRIS on time sensitive info - telling them I sent it, the certified mail receipt number, and a summary of what was sent). I got a NICE response from someone who was routing my info to the RO. So I wondered if they have changed the IRIS system - because I got the prety professional response - and then, of couse, it got routed to the same RO who usually answer my IRIS and often respond to something different than I asked.

But the month of death claim seems to be routed directly to a different place to begin with.

I didn't send the Congressman ALL of the IRIS - but I sent a brief summary of my attempts to get the month of death payment, what the VA has told me to do (and I have done) - and I sent the MAY 2008 IRIS where I informed them that the money was wrongfully taken from my bank account in August 2007 AFTER the VA had already determined in JUNE 2007 that I was entitled to the payment - and sent a transmittal to finance to STOP the reclaimation. I also sent a copy of the Finance Transmittal Sheet - AND a copy of my bank statement showing they had taken the money. I also sent the VA IRIS response in MAY 2008 telling me that my request had been forwarded to Finance and I would be hearing from them by letter.

This "computer glitch" theory of "we didn't know some of the veteran's had widows and didn't notify the widow does not begin to explain the depth of the problem the VA has with widow payments.

I read about them destroying / losing your evidence again. They seem to play the game as long as they can play the game. Such a waste of time, energy, and money on all fronts.

I also had IRIS's blocked. It is odd because when I submitted my additional evidence within the one-year time frame - I sent an IRIS and let them know what was sent, and the certified mail receipt number. (I had already been asking for an extension because they had never sent me a copy of the VA medical opinion to get an IMO)

Their response just a few days later asked what claim I was talking about and told me I didn't have any claim open.

We had MANY IRIS back and forth over the matter - where I kept asking about having my claim readjudicated because I had sent the additional evidence within the time frame.

And get this - NEVER - not even in the response I received a few days after my "I sent he following evidence by certified mail receipt number ___" IRIS - NEVER did they MENTION they didn't get the evidence! They just kept acting like they didn't know what in the world I was talking about.

I finally had to ask them POINT BLANK - "Is the evidence I sent on June 6, 2008 IN MY FILE!!!'

Of course, they responded there is no such thing in my file.

Now oddly enough - ALL the previous IRIS disappeared - all the ones we talked about the evidence I sent. Or rather all the ones where *I* talked about the evidence I sent and they talked all around the subject without mentioning they didn't receive it. ( I DO have a SIGNED receipt for it though). And their responses to me became a cut and paste of the worst parts of their previous replies (with no evidence of what question I had asked).

I sent an IRIS telling them I couldn't access the IRIS's. They said there was something wrong with the system - and that it was working - but it still didn't work.

But they DID send me a PRINT OUT of the IRIS by mail. These are even better than the online ones - because they include some notations they put in the system that don't usually show up on the IRIS screen. Like when they lost my burial claim (one of the times they lost it) they had a notation in the IRIS system that they had called me.

So you might be able to get print outs of all the IRIS from them.

By the way, I am still trying to get paid part of the burial claim. They said there was no evidence there were any internment expenses. Wellllllllllll - they lost my claim twice - and I guess they lost the evidence of those expenses three times - because they say there is no evidence that I buried my husband - so they just paid for the funeral claim.

Free

This is just unconscionable Free spirit- you should have received that payment by now.

Maybe getting in touch with your COngressman/woman is a good idea here-

they will send you an authorization form to sign so they can look into your claim.

It is always good to tell them in writing exactly what you want them to do-

they should look into all that you posted here.

I suggest that you send them copies of the Irises and anything else they would need-such as the VA's own Press release on this matter.

VA claims the checks were in the mail by years end but who knows if ANY widow,affected by their press release,actually got their check?

I just remembered-VA told me months ago they would send me back my check for med recs copies and they never did- I withdew the med rec copy request so it would not hold up my decision at the AMC.

I just got my AMC decision-the AMC defied my BVA remand and destroyed my evidence.

or if they lost it they have until Wednesday to find it-

that is what I just Irised to them-

I have actually been blocked from even reading some Iris responses I got early last year.

They sent me the email access thing and then they denied my access to their response.

I have noticed that since the October incident, their responses to vets here have seemed to be more efficient.

Have you used the Complaint box Section of Iris. I have found that this often gets a faster and better response then the 'question about claim status' area.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Every piece of paper I send to my VARO gets lost. That means I have to drive 30 miles and get a date stamped copy of the document to be sure that I have proof the VA got the paper. This is a royal pain in the ass, but it is the only way that I have found to be sure you can prove they got your evidence. I wonder if an Iris request would do better since I think the stuff gets to the VA but then is never put into the computer.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Hi Free,

Good to hear from you.

I always used the Complaint clicker when I wanted something to be brought to the attention of the Regional Office.

It seems to work better.

I don't think they liked D. C reading what I had to say.

Always to best to you.

Betty

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The IRIS has not been working for me - since I sent them an IRIS telling them I sent the evidence by certified mail - and the number, and a few days later they responded by asking what claim I was talking about - and then eventually denied receiving the evidence.

BUT - I still think having the IRIS - and the Tracking - and the Signed Receipt should show I DID send the evidence.

Now I will ALWAYS send an IRIS to CONFIRM they got what I sent.

Free

Every piece of paper I send to my VARO gets lost. That means I have to drive 30 miles and get a date stamped copy of the document to be sure that I have proof the VA got the paper. This is a royal pain in the ass, but it is the only way that I have found to be sure you can prove they got your evidence. I wonder if an Iris request would do better since I think the stuff gets to the VA but then is never put into the computer.
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LOL! I think it is about time I start using the Complaint Clicker myself!!!!

Free

Hi Free,

Good to hear from you.

I always used the Complaint clicker when I wanted something to be brought to the attention of the Regional Office.

It seems to work better.

I don't think they liked D. C reading what I had to say.

Always to best to you.

Betty

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