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Past Ro Mistakes




Big, multipart, generalized question.

I'm curious about the RO and BVA not siting the evidence and, of course, not discussing the evidence.

When that happens, is the decision incomplete and of no weight or force?

Does the decision count?

Is the decision appeallable?

Upon winning the award at a later date, will the effective date of the compensation be the date of the original claim filing, (after the claim is later, finally won)?

Does [not appealling an incomplete decision within one year] nullify the original effective date on a later winning appeal?

When nothing is explained in the decision, does that lack of information constitute a CUE?

Bear in mind that the RO has never informed the claimant of the claimant's appeal rights -- in this case.


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Sledge, I have been doing allot of research myself at the CVAC website. It seems the Judges really have a pet peeve for RO and BVA personel who do not properly notify veterans of pertainent information and in most cases they slam the responsible parties pretty hard. I have even seen several reversals demanding that the claim be sent to the BVA and readjudicated in favor of the Veteran. The VA does have a Duty to assist under the VCAA of 2000. They also have a duty to notify the Veterans of their rights and responsibilities. So in my opinion, A Cue has occurred because no information was sent to the Vet.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If he was not notified of the right to appeal how does he know the claim was denied. They throw the info into the same envelop. The appeal time can be extended in some cases the instructions for requesting extensions are on the form. When a decision is sent and returned by the post office it is supposed to be put back in the file unopened. A problem occur in that even though you do not recieve the decision, the VA is of the opinion that a diligent applicant will contact them to see what happened with the decision. If years go by and the veteran suddenly walks in and says they did not get the decision the VA will not be receptive to any request for an extension. This information was passed on to me by my SO. My SO was a rating specialist for the VA for 20 years before being hired by a service organization. The VA mailed one of my decisions to the wrong address. I did not find out about the decision because the computer showed that my file was at the BVA for another appeal. Thus, the guys at the RO did not walk back to the file room to see that a supplimental folder had been placed in the file with the returned decision. Even though I went in every 3 months, the decision letter sat there for a year before they found it. I was not talking to my service organization because they threw me out of their office for no good reason. The guy at the RO gave me some bad advice, telling me that I needed to submitt new evidence, actually I should have immediately submitted the form 9 explaining that I had just recieved it a year after it was mailed. With an explanation that I had been coming in to follow the progress on my claim and the letter was sitting on a shelf in their records room. I changed service organizations and found out what a mess this had become. I would SUE the first Service organization except that I was recieving a non service connected pension the entire time. Thus, when the award was made my I had no losses.

My case was closed because I did not submit a form 9 within the alloted time period. When the award was made they went by the date of the re-opened claim. Thus, they used the date it was re-opened. You can find all kinds of reasons for an earlier claim date. However, they usually will not get you the claim date of the closed claim.

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In this case,

It's a given that the RO has never informed the veteran of appeallant rights.

The paperwork that is sent to one or several vets that includes the appeal stuff is not the same as the vet in this illistration.

An outside example,

I was not informed of my appellant rights up to at least 1996.

The RO said so.

Now the RO sends me a copy of our rights everytime they send an SSOC.

I'm trying to get something on tolling.


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  • HadIt.com Elder


I filed my first claim in 1980. It was denied. I file an appeal and won 10% for a knee injury from the BVA in 1982. I could not remember if or when they started putting the appeal inof. in the envelop. I just know that it has been done in recent years. My question would be that if they were not required by law to include the appeal info prior to 1996 then the made no error or ommission. I guess they figured the veteran had to figure some things out for themselves.

If they did not cite evidence or refer to it in the discussion, it could be argued that the decision was based on incomplete information that was available at that time. It is my recollection that the big case law on this was for a case the veteran specifically told them to review some evidence and they did not review it. It resulted in a CUE. It becomes a question of what evidence they were supposed to review at the time the decision was made. Were they supposed to ask the veteran to identify all source of evidence at the time the decision was made. Were they supposed to review the SMR and if not, were they supposed to notify the veteran that the SMR was not available to them and give the veteran a chance to see if he could find it. All this and more comes into play. The paper trail should support their decision. If not go after them.

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I believe the law is behind us when the RO ries to blow us off with a stupid denial.

They don't read the file, they really don't have enough time before the boss jumps them.

They get the IMO's confused and they don't understand them to start with.

Rather than read the reports and review everything in the proper context, they just ignore our rights and deny, because they can and they have and they will again.

I told them the right way to get rid of me was to do it right ONE time.

They ignored me.

When my current lawyer feels his work is done I will embark on my next quest, sue.


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If you have ever read the Charter for the enactment of the VA, you will find a lot of things that the VA doesn't ever do. From presumption of sound condition, benefit of the doubt, reading everything sympthetically towards the Veteran, etc. they were supposed to do whatever they could to SC a Veteran. that is why they will rate on more likely than not, when the evidence is equal, for and against, they will find in favor of the Veteran. etc. etc. etc.

Some how, things have gotten twisted around, Now the VA acts like the government is the enjured party and the Veteran is looked upon as a drain on the tax payors dollar. If their was to be an error, it was supposed to side more with the Veteran and now, the VA will fight tooth and nail to find cause or not and find against SC.

Without things like VACAA, and making the VA clarify its reason and basis for denials. Their would probably be more Veterans ending up on the Streets as seen after the VN erra.

No, You would never see it, but I would like to see a VARO completely run by 100% Veterans, some with physical disabilities, some with diseases, and others with mental disorders that would at least allow them to work while medicated. Of course this is only a dream of mine and that is all that it will ever be. I'm not saying that their isn't disabled Veterans doing good work at the VARO and else where in the VA system. It's just that their are more likely more none Veterans in management levels, with their fingers on the purse strings.

The purse strings is what it is down to. Keeping the numbers down by their continual delay, deny, delay method of processing, added with the number of error ridden claims that take a Court Judge to straighten out.

Jim S. :lol:

Edited by Jim S. (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder


I couldn't sleep so I thought that I would make a few comments on this thread.

I have been in the VA system since the early 70s because I had 20% via a MEB at discharge and then later starting going to the VA for just a few visits.

I started out in the VAMC in small town and most of the docs there were outside contract docs with a few VA ER & misc. docs on staff. Veterans were really treated as second class citizens back then.

The basic system was worse back then in my opinion ... the VA & private contract docs at the VAMC stabbed you in the back .. but the VARO folks were pretty good people. .... The opposite is true for me today.

I started going back into the VA system in bigger city in mid 1998 and in mid 1999 filed for increase in my original physical disability and filed for PTSD also.

First of all ... I really lucked out in the bigger city and got into a super primary group and also got a super MD shrink.

The bigger city VAMC & VARO was super slow and took 2 years to get all my records .. but when they did .. my claims went through very fast. The VARO was also very good at "Duty To Assist In The Claims Process"

But things starting changing big time in about 2001 and have been going downhill ever since.

My VAMC is still good, but getting very understaffed and very overloaded and employee moral is getting bad too.

And the VARO will do just about everything NOT to grant a claim today.

Many have said that the .. VA DOES NOT HAVE A MAXIMUM BUDGET FOR CLAIMS .. and all valid claims are rated and paid .. no matter what the VA main budget amount is.

Well, I just do NOT believe that anymore ... I really do believe that the VARO has a .. UNOFFICIAL BUDGET FOR CLAIMS .. and that budget is getting tighter by the day.

Now, this all depends on (1) what doc you get and how he medically evaluates your disability and where you are located and what VARO has your file. I do believe that the VAROs are really tightening up.

The new Iraq & Afghan & etc. veterans will get good treatment at first (while Iraq War 2 is still in the spotlight) ... then a few years down the road, they will get screwed worse than us.



Contrary to most popular beliefs .. we do not have the best "overall general medical system" in the world and ours cost up to 5 times more than others that are on par with ours.

1 out of ever 6 dollars in US is spent on healthcare .. and making it "AGAINST THE LAW" to negotiate with drug companies for medicare drugs just continued to raise the cost.

Then ... giving the seniors a zillion different .. "insurance co. middleman" .. drug plans to pay for the exact same drug that Canadians can buy for 50% ... is criminal, in my opinion. We used to call that "price fixing".

This country and our medical system has been "sold out" and "spend broke" and we will pay for it and the troops & seniors behind us will suffer even more than we will.

Medicare, medicaid and Sec. Sec. cuts were in last budget cut proposal last week.

So much for my mindless babling .... meds are kicking in now .... time for bed.

...Magoo .. aka .. Bill ... :lol:


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