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Dav, Keep'em Or Fire'em?


Domepeace

Question

All,

I have a claim pending in D.C. (BVA). This claim has been ongoing since 2004. I call D.C. to ask what the hold-up is and they tell me that my file is with DAV in D.C. and BVA is waiting on DAV to review it and send it back to them for a rating decision.

I call DAV in D.C. and they tell me they are back-logged and it will take about nine months for them to get to my file. I'm wondering should I fire DAV and have my case decide ASAP? Mind you, when I looked at my c-file, DAV pretty much regurgitated what I had researched and written in my statement. It appears that DAV is not really adding to my case.

I'm not sure if I can even fire DAV and get them to send my file back to the BVA. This whole situation was brought on because I also have two cases at my RO; in which they said via letter that they do not have access to my file because it is stuck in D.C. They also said I would have to wait until my claim in D.C. is finished before they can proceed on my RO cases. Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Domepeace

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If what you say is true I would fire the DAV Monday morning, and request in strongest terms for them to send your file to the BVA to be rated ASAP. Your claim is already almost 5 years old. If you get denied hire a lawyer. I take it you are not having a personal hearing at the BVA. This would be better if you did have a hearing instead of them just rating a pile of paperwork. You probably should have at least had a personal hearing with a traveling board.

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john999,

Thanks for the reply. My DAV rep never advised me of a personal hearing (I'm not sure if they are supposed to). Just all the reason to get rid of DAV. I'm going to do some research on a personal hearing since I don't know the pro's or con's about it.

Thanks again,

Domepeace

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For your new issues have you tried to file for financial hardship? In my situation I was in the same boat. I had five issues on appeal and opened four in 2006 and filed for financial hardship. In 2007 I was denied one new issue and the rest were deferred. I then filed reconsideration in 2007 and was partially awarded in 2008. I was then awarded my final increase to 100% in 2009. VA is now working on my appeal issues and added an issue for me so now I have six issues on appeal. In the mean time I did receive retro in 2006 and 2008 which helped a little but 2009 was a lot better. So I would try to ask for a financial hardship, of course VA can do what they want to do but it finally worked out for me. Good luck and best wishes. I did not fire my service rep. I just started doing the research and submitting my claims on my own and making sure I mailed it return signature to have proof the VA received it.

Edited by pacmanx1 (see edit history)
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Domepeace,

I believe there's a reg at the BVA level where we can't change representation

in any way once our claim at BVA has been assigned a docket number.

Also, I don't think discharging representation (if you could) would be much help in

getting your claim at the BVA level decided any faster.

Have you requested a hearing with a BVA judge yet ?

If not that would be about another 2 or so,years out to get that.

It was almost 3 years from when I requested an in-person hearing with a

BVA Law Judge, until the actual Hearing took place.

If I am incorrect in this information - someone will chime in, I hope.

carlie

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  • In Memoriam

I went to my NSO, about three years ago, and I asked the NSO about how long it would take for my claims to be finished. We looked at the pile of files that were almost stacked to the roof, in his tiny office above the court house. He told me my claims would take at lease 10 years from that point. My claims were going to the BVA at that time.

I had already been in the system for 5 years at that point (2006). I decided to go with Hadit, and actual reports from the VAMC.

Working my own claims took only 2 year from that point of brief contact with the NSO. I had fired the DAV in April 2005.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

All Veterans soerrvice orgs have good intentions to help Veterans,

On that note, the individuals these folks employ to do this job are not always up to par as they do not ghet wualified folks in there. The Buddy system is rampid here and the only ones that suffer are the vets.

I am not an advocate of firing the ORG but I will can the individual in a heart beat.

Especially if they cost you money by giving bad advice. I didnt mention that they are liable and must back up their advice.

J

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For your new issues have you tried to file for financial hardship? In my situation I was in the same boat. I had five issues on appeal and opened four in 2006 and filed for financial hardship. In 2007 I was denied one new issue and the rest were deferred. I then filed reconsideration in 2007 and was partially awarded in 2008. I was then awarded my final increase to 100% in 2009. VA is now working on my appeal issues and added an issue for me so now I have six issues on appeal. In the mean time I did receive retro in 2006 and 2008 which helped a little but 2009 was a lot better. So I would try to ask for a financial hardship, of course VA can do what they want to do but it finally worked out for me. Good luck and best wishes. I did not fire my service rep. I just started doing the research and submitting my claims on my own and making sure I mailed it return signature to have proof the VA received it.

I have not thought of this as an option; because I don't believe I fit the criteria. I'm not sure if you are hinting at filing a financial hardship to speed up the process. Nevertheless, that is a good tip.

Thanks so much,

Domepeace

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Domepeace,

I believe there's a reg at the BVA level where we can't change representation

in any way once our claim at BVA has been assigned a docket number.

Also, I don't think discharging representation (if you could) would be much help in

getting your claim at the BVA level decided any faster.

Have you requested a hearing with a BVA judge yet ?

If not that would be about another 2 or so,years out to get that.

It was almost 3 years from when I requested an in-person hearing with a

BVA Law Judge, until the actual Hearing took place.

If I am incorrect in this information - someone will chime in, I hope.

carlie

Good point. I'm going to ask the BVA if my claim has been assigned a docket number. If it has not, I will ask them about rescinding my representation (I think I'm going to fire DVA regardless). As it stands, DVA in D.C. will not be able to review my file until nine months from now. I'm going to be looking into having an in-person hearing. I think the DVA has done a poor job in assisting me with my claim. Maybe I expected too much from them; like probing me for questions that would help me win my claim; as opposed to just looking at my file and writing a blanket statement.

Thanks,

Domepeace

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  • In Memoriam

Yep, I was in appeals. One thing you might think of is that if you rescind your POA before your claims go to the BVA you will not be able to get a VSO to sit in the BVA hearing with you. A VSO wouldn't pick up my POA because I was in appeal at the time my claims were in the process.

It didn't matter to me, because the DAV was my VSO for over 30+ years with 0 results. Pee Wee Herman could have done a better job than most of my reps in Los Angeles.

My first Los Angeles DAV Rep. was a good rep who had gotten my SMR and gave me a start. The receipt below was from this good man, a DAV representative, who seemed to just disappear after a few months. The rest of the DAV reps seem to have had their own agendas.

Don't rely on a VSO, VSR, or VA employee to get any of your evidence for you. They have to use 1st., 2nd., and RD. request, each lasting 30 days, before they can tell you that they couldn't get your evidence.

If you want to use your VSO for a filing clerk, a good idea, make sure you ask for a written receipt for each piece of evidence submitted to the VA by them. They are beneficial in this way.

Example below.

post-167-1245053964_thumb.jpg

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Was going to fire DAV in Waco a month ago when I called them rep said he was meeting with VA that day if I wanted to settle. Reason being he was leaving end of week to go to work for VA, God help Vets with a claim.

I called my Congressman when I had been told by DAV their would be No award letter, and would I take 3-08 as start date. Neither do I understand, thought it was only a Wco problem. Called County Vet Assitance for Award date referced DAV said said +++if u can't say nothing nice don't say anything---- she said u would be amazed complaints. Call someone else and ask about firing.

ausgmblr

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I'm seriously thinking about it. I've used them once before when I was rated 10% which was increase to 40%; I don't think they did anything special. Currently I have a claim pending and when I call to ask questions they are never and I mean never available. I've left my name and phone number on multiple occasions still waiting for a call back. I've learned more here about how to handle my case than a service officer has ever told me. Can you tell I'm frustrated :)

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  • HadIt.com Elder
john999,

Thanks for the reply. My DAV rep never advised me of a personal hearing (I'm not sure if they are supposed to). Just all the reason to get rid of DAV. I'm going to do some research on a personal hearing since I don't know the pro's or con's about it.

Thanks again,

Domepeace

How do you request a hearing with a traveling board?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Since the AMC denied me, and the reasons were beyond stupid. DAV waived my 30 day waiting period. Now I am gathering additional items and would like to know if I can request a hearing with the board before they read what was written by the AMC and deny me. I am assuming this unless the BVA would think based on the evidence that the AMC were a bunch of incompetents (many).

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  • HadIt.com Elder

When you file your Form 9 you can ask for a traveling board. I think if you claim is at the BVA you could ask for a traveling board, but it might add time to your claim and I mean years from what some have said. When your VSO does not give you good advice to begin with it gets harder to correct these mistakes later. I think that almost all of the time it is better to get a personal hearing with the VA. The impression you make on the board member or DRO matters. It can mean more than a pile of paperwork, not to say written evidence is not crucial.

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  • HadIt.com Elder
When you file your Form 9 you can ask for a traveling board. I think if you claim is at the BVA you could ask for a traveling board, but it might add time to your claim and I mean years from what some have said. When your VSO does not give you good advice to begin with it gets harder to correct these mistakes later. I think that almost all of the time it is better to get a personal hearing with the VA. The impression you make on the board member or DRO matters. It can mean more than a pile of paperwork, not to say written evidence is not crucial.

Ok, I think you are correct. I need to find out how to reach them to file the form.

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  • In Memoriam

MikeR

The AMC (Appeals Management Center) is not there to deny. Claims go to the BVA, the BVA remands to the AMC for development, and then the AMC sends it back to the VARO for C&P exams and rating.

The AMC manages appeals it doesn't approve or deny them. The AMC can make an instant grant in rare cases.

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  • HadIt.com Elder
MikeR

The AMC (Appeals Management Center) is not there to deny. Claims go to the BVA, the BVA remands to the AMC for development, and then the AMC sends it back to the VARO for C&P exams and rating.

The AMC manages appeals it doesn't approve or deny them. The AMC can make an instant grant in rare cases.

Stretch, You may be right, however I have a SSOC from the AMC in my possession that states that they deny my claims. It is now going to the BVA. I am not making this up.

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