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To Dav Or Not To Dav?

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Little background.

Had a local program with a VSO that is not longer available to me (she left). I have taken over my case and learned a lot (thanks to Hadit and the folks). I was in contact with the local DAV office last Monday. I was told to call back today as they were at a travel board. Called back today and found out I was assigned to someone there, but he was not in on Mondays, and Tuesdays he is doing something else. I can call him Wed-Fri.

So just to get initial contact I am looking at 10 days. Frustrating! Bringing me the the question, is there anything that the DAV rep can do that I can not? Can he look into the VA system? Get status? Walk to the raters desk?

I guess what I am asking is should I put another hurdle in the way? Would it be to my benefit?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by cvsp
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  • HadIt.com Elder

You can use other than the DAV. Your VA Hospital probably has a suite of offices full of VSO's that will see you after a short wait just don't show up at lunchtime.

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Thanks Pete.

I seriously need to learn the difference between a DAV and a VSO. I assume that the DAV rep is working for the DAV. A VSO rep could be anything State, VFW, American Legion etc... Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Showing up is not going to work. I am 70 miles from the DAV and VAMC. :lol:

Of course even if I did show up today, would of been told that the DAV rep was not there on Mondays. B)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Why not hire a lawyer? They are available to us now. The fees come out of your retro if you win something. However, if you feel you can do it on your own then you don't need a VSO except as someone to present your claim at a hearing.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Might as well be 7000 as they never see you. Go see one next time you have an appointment.

John makes a good point.

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Not to bore you with lengthy details. This is my second claim. My first claim was denied because they could not find my SMRs (I had sent them copies). Claim was denied. I called a lawyer and he was very excited to take the case as it seemed easy to win. Long story short he did nothing. Handed me lines of BS and went past my appeal date.

I feel that myself as an advocate can do better.

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The line between DAV and VSO can get murky. For example, my VSO is an employee of the county government. The VSO operates with the VFW or DAV. There are also VSO's who represent, and are paid for by the DAV National, for example.

If you are in doubt, ASK your VSO.

IMHO, the issue of whether a DAV representative will help you or not would depend on your level of knowledge. If you had never filed a Veterans claim, and had little/no experience, my vote would be you should get a DAV or other VSO, pronto.

However, if you have been reading hadit for 3 years, and you are an expert, say, like Berta, then the DAV would probably be of little use to you, and may even slow or hinder your efforts.

The "grey area" is in the middle somewhere. For me, even tho I have read hadit for a good year or so, and can maneuver around USC 38 a little, I still have a VSO because there is no guarntee that he may know something I dont. However, just because my VSO says "jump" that does not mean I will respond with "how high".

Recently, I have been feeling that a VSO is unnecessary, however, he has saved and resubmitted some forms that the RO lost, with little effort and no cost on my part. If you are in one of the

"shreddergate" RO's...(Cleveland, New York, Detroit, or St. Pete), then you will probably have to submit each document multiple times to get it to "stick" before they quit shredding it. If you are in one of these "Terrible 4" RO's, then having a VSO to send your documents sometimes 7 or 8 times, could save you some money on postage and envelopes. Bottom Line: You decide.

I would like to add that some VSO's are actually counter productive. They sometimes tell a Vet to forget it, that he cant win this or that. I say that is bull. Only you and your doctor are qualified to determine your level of disability, and not a VSO. This or that VSO should not be "screening" you out, at least not until he has read every single one of your doctors reports. JMHO

Edited by broncovet
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