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"secret Denials" By Regional Office

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Heads up for Hadit Members! I have sent this letter to Congressman Bob Filner, hopefully to be included in the Congressional Record of the hearing on March 3. Has anyone else had "Secretly Denied" claims or appeals?

House Committee on Veterans Affairs

Attention: Mr. Bob Filner: Veterans testimony for record for March 3 “Shredder” hearing

I am a disabled U.S. Navy Veteran who served in the Vietnam Era from 1970 until I was honorably discharged in June 1974. During my military career, I was promoted multiple times and was awarded the Good Conduct and National Defense medals.

In 2002, I applied for Veterans benefits in Cleveland Ohio. The Attorney General has some things to say about the Cleveland RO, and not very much of it is good. According to the VA, as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio, is in the “bottom 2” of the lowest compensation of any state, http://blog.cleveland.com/openers/2008/04/...k_vasil_of.html

If that is not enough, the “October Incident” put Cleveland in the “bottom 3” of the worst offenders with 55 shredded documents. In spite of being near the bottom in both these categories, the Cleveland RO manager was recently promoted to the Central Office.

There is a big “brain drain” at Cleveland due to the fact that the “Tiger Team” siphons off top Rating Specialist talent leaving Ohio Veterans holding the bag with the lowest skill level of all Regional Office Rating Specialists. .

However, the Cleveland Regional Office has responded with some of the most creative ways of denying claims in the entire VA. During the past 7 years, the VARO has selectively shredded evidence faked claim dates, and spoilated my claim Here are some of the examples of how they did just that:.

    1. Secretly” denied Claims. In 2002, I applied for hearing loss, depression, tinnitus, and TDIU. In November 2002, Cleveland denied the hearing loss claim, and “forgot” about the other claims. (They “forgot” about the other claims by shredding key evidence) Even tho I successfully appealed with the BVA in 2004, and was awarded a “complete grant of benefit sought”, the RO insists the other claims were secretly denied because they contend that in 2002, I applied for “merely hearing loss”. According to an IRIS email, Cleveland AGAIN secretly denied my TDIU claim by “closing” my TDIU claim in 2007 without any decision rendered until the following year. .
    2. Secretly” denied appeals. On March 10, 2004 I filed a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) to a disputed zero percent “award” of benefits. (A zero percent “award” of benefits nets the Veteran the same compensation as a denial) Rather than process this NOD, the RO denied the appeal by “interpreting” my NOD as a “claim for benefits”, thereby completely circumventing the Veterans appeal rights.
    3. Secret Denial through Delay.” The RO can, and has, effectively denied Veterans benefits with an endless stream of red tape delays until the Veteran dies. In spite of being awarded a “complete grant of benefit sought” by the BVA in 2004, the RO continues by contending the Veteran filed for “merely hearing loss” in 2002, contrary to the medical and factual evidence.

I have lost all trust and confidence in the Cleveland VA. On Dec. 18, 2008 I filed a request for “Special Claims Handling” because of shredded documents. It seems that they shredded my request, as they have no record of it, even though I have a Post Office Certified letter receipt for it.

In 2004, I lost my home to foreclosure because the RO shredded my hardship request and delayed my claim still longer. I would just like the benefits to which I am entitled. My Veterans claim has been unreasonably delayed more than 5 years AFTER being awarded a” complete grant of the benefit sought” by the BVA.

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Keep on, keepin on...

I thought my situation with the VA was pretty messed up, but looking at this... Wow.. It's unbelievable that the VA is allowed to treat us veterans this way. Five years to get something that is owed you is unacceptable.

I wish I had advice for you, but me being the FNG, I don't. Except Keep on, keepin on..

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I have had nothing but issues with the Cleveland RO, and it is typically the BVA that has made things right for me in the end. You may also want to contact Senator Sherrod Brown's office in Cleveland.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

This is one of the reasons I am glad I have an attorney now I don't think she will let them jerk her around

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give them hell,i know how they are at cleveland ro as my claim went through there!

my claim was farmed out to them and they are scumbags.i went on to amc and got 30%. the clowns were blaming my parents on my disabilities. any way they could deny they would do it.

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You said your claim was "farmed out" to Cleveland. Did Cleveland make your decision or just develop your claim? The reason I asked is that when my claim was "farmed out" to Roanoke, they didnt let Roanoke render a decision..just develop my claim and then back to Cleveland where Cleveland denied it.

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