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I have been attempting to get service connected for depression secondary to chronic pain from service connected disabilities. I have been waiting a DRO review for over a year (way too long!!). Out of desperation I called a VSO located in the federal building where my claim is being processed. He helped me until he realized that I have been representing myself. Do you think the VSO at the regional office could help with my claim? If so, which one should I choose? Thanks.

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Honestly, I pray about it. Some may not want to hear that but I do. When I first started I was told I couldn't get disability. Then I met a VSO who reviewed my C-File and asked me why was I not 100%. I got sick and when I went back he was gone. I then went to a local VSO and got to 30%. Then I got a copy of my C-File and I started reading the regulation and praying and God has been my help, prayer does work. You have to shop around for a good VSO. You need to talk to them and feel them out, some are great like the one I found but he was gone and some are worthless and do nothing but use up good air. You can also ask your questions to Hadit and read some of the post. There is a lot of good information here and good experience also. Have you tried to contact your congressman to have them put in a request for status of your claim? Have you called or sent in an IRIS requesting the status of your claim? If it has been over a year you need to find out (fast) status to see if you still have an open claim. VA likes to forget then close your claim. Never Never allow a claim to go over a year without finding out the status.


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That is like going to Vegas and payine roulette. You may get a good roll or you may lose your nose.

VSO's make good copy folks and do have the ability to turn in info at the regional offices and they will sit by you in a hearing.

Other than that I would not trust anyone else with my claim. It is your livlihood that the Va has in its hands.

If you chose one, The AL or the DAV are convenient. I dont hear a lot about the PVA here at Hadit but I have heard good things about them from time to time.


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Hello Bern, You have gotten some good advice so far. I too , like Pete would pray about it as there are so many VSO's out there. It is going to take some patience and meeting with different groups such as AL, DAV, VVA, VFW, and some more. I started with the DAV then went to VVA and finally to a lawyer which I qualified under the new law. If you did not receive an initial decision on a claim until after June 21 , 2007 then you are eligible for retaining a lawyer to represent you in your appeal/nod. I was not happy with the DAV and their overhaul handling of my case. I did get a good VVN rep later , but he grew weary with all the VA delays and their inability to read the evidence or medical reports. I was his last client before he retired. Try to remember that the folks here at Hadit ....our family...... have been thru the VA minefield. Some may have some ideas on who to help you. There is a wealth of information here and I would try and gather as much information here as possible. However noone takes better care of your claim than you and noone will be as familiar with the details of your claim than you. Just try and bring the details of your claim here (if your comfortable with that) and ask help on what or how to do the next steps. Please do not let any claim die. Always keep it alive and moving to the next step. Make extra copies of all correspondence, send everything by registered certified mail/signature required. And make all deadlines. And above all. NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, C.C.

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You might want to check with your state Veterans affairs. A lot of them have representatives to help you. That is who we went through when we appealed. Between him and the work I did, my hubby was finally rated correctly.

My website describes what I did and we just turned it into a state rep.

He is working for the state to get money coming into the state so it might be a better bet for getting them to work for you.

good luck



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While the state might provide one, I would caution and combine that with the previous advice of shopping around. I am sure there are good state reps but just like all of them shop around. They can make or break you.

I have access to a state VSO if I want. I mentioned that I had a "Pension and Compensation exam" and he had absolutely no clue as to what it was.

Edited by cvsp
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State vet reps have the most consistently lowest rate of success with cases at the BVA.

In Chairman Terry's annual report from the BVA to Congress he always has a run down -vet org by vet org as to their ability to get claims awarded through the BVA.

This past of the annual report is almost very interesting to me as unrepresented vets at the BVA actually do better on awards then state vet reps do.

I had a major problem with a state rep division and filed a big complaint against them-

I got recently a bizarre letter from the OGC that I have questioned on this-

it appears that the OGC was practically sanctioning some of the stuff they did wrong.

The good part is that -of 5 individuals I named-all but 2 (maybe one) are now gone from their positions and -as far as I know from State service and they cannot mess up vet's claims anymore.

Still my evidence to the OGC revealed what appeared to be a collusion between a rep and a DRO.

An aggreement that my evidence would never see that light of day.(Buffalo VARO)

At the same time this was going on-I ended up making a charge against the OGC itself- due to another matter and about a week later Shreddergate news broke at VA WAtchdog-

The OGC sent me an unusual letter in responses to that-

and then sent me a second and unusual legal response to a FTCA case I had filed-


"Property Destruction" -which they had already denied- but I think they knew of the OCtober Incident before it hit the press-this new letter gave me more time to file suit in Federal District Court.

My long point here is-

a state Vet rep did not heed my concerns over an illegal VCAA letter-in 2003-

that letter and the lack of the response form mandated by the VCAA is clearly evident in the NYS files on my claims.

Other state reps consistently upheld the ROs denial of my basic VCAA rights.Practically said on paper I was crazy yet the VCAA letter clearly (as well as my BVA remand)shows I was far from crazy.

There are many good reps from NYS as well as in other states-I am sure-

but it pays to check out a rep as best as you can-and the BVA stat report shows the consistently best vet orgs regarding claims at the BVA.

Those main vet orgs however also employ some dopes as NSOs and reps.

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