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Administrative Silence,



Administrative Silence,

Good Afternoon Hadit Members,

I have not posted messages to this board in a considerable amount of time BUT needed to come back here to get “you all’s” advise.

My claim goes back years but it seems the VARO in Texas has not forwarded my claim to the BVA for review as per a message from IRIS. They keep on overlooking the obvious errors that were made in diagnosis, which forced me to literally fly to Colombia, South America to get treatment and survive. The ORIGINAL MRI Films, which I submitted, have seemingly been mislaid, and even my contact at the VFW which is my POA does not answer my emails anymore. I have been filing appeals all the way along and still they do not look at what I send nor acknowledge t hey have received it. I have a copy of all that was submitted which is a 3- ring binder of information, PLUS the MRI’s in digital form and a receipt notification. How can I “bop” somebody and get their attention?

Does the VA have a process which moves a claim out of a seeming “Administrative Silence Zone “and gets it back in the path to finish. I have posted the claim several times here including the MRI Copy for others to see. Berta has been helpful in the past with her input but if there are others…..Carlie (Hi Carlie) or more who may be able to get me their secret to getting their stuck or frozen claim moving, please tell me what it is.

It seems there was the name of a process that can be initiated but the name escapes me at this point. If anybody knows the name please post it!

Also what to do about the “mislaid Evidence?”

Thanks all, Respectfully… Joseph (josh)

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Hi Josh,

Good to see you around.

I think what you are looking for is a "Writ of Mandus",

Berta will probably chime on this, if not you have the term now,

to research.

Concerning the “mislaid Evidence”, the new term being associated with it

these days is "spoliation".

Are you saying that your VARO in Texas was supposed to certify your claim

to the BVA five years ago and has yet to do so ?

Have you ever recieved a docket number from BVA ?

I thought your claim had been at BVA a few years.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

You might also contact your US Senator's Boulder, CO, office and ask for the Congressional VA Laison person that works out of the Senator's office.

Then contact them, and let them know what you've been going through. You'll have to sign a form that allows them to delve into your file and act as your rep, kinda like if you have a veteran's service officer. They'll mail or fax the form to you.

I've seen that type action work very well for a "stuck" claim.

They'll actually call and talk to the VA (they have all the "secret" numbers to call :) ).

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  • HadIt.com Elder

“They keep on overlooking the obvious errors that were made in diagnosis, which forced me to literally fly to Colombia, South America to get treatment and survive. The ORIGINAL MRI Films, which I submitted, have seemingly been mislaid,”

I am in a fog. Hopefully if you explain your situation, a little more progress can be made.

Have you had a C&P or was it denied without a C&P?

If it were my claim I would look into the mandamus option. Also, I would do more to get a doctor to back up your claim. Medical evidence wins claims and moves claims through the process. . My claim involved a problem where doctors used different diagnostic terminology for the in-service condition and the post service condition. I wrote letters for years telling the RO about the problem. They did nothing until I got a letter from a doctor stating that my in-service condition was the same as my post service condition.

Who said that there were errors in the diagnosis? If it was not a doctor who backed up the diagnostic errors I do not see how they can even consider that there was an error. If you make unsubstantial claims of misdiagnosis and send them evidence they do not request and ignore something they do request then they might put your claim into limbo until you or your service officer figure out that they asked for something and you did not provide what they asked for.

I am rather suspicious of your submitting original MRI films. Who did you give original MRI films to? Did they request them? The RO would not know what to do with them. MRI’s are read and the interpretation is turned into a report. The reports would tell the RO more than the original films.

The big problem I see is that the VA asks for the name of the doctor who treated you they do not ask for the films. If you submitted films and forgot to fill out a standard form notifying them of the doctors who treated you or this information was not included with the films they might be waiting for you to provide this information.

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I think you need to file a "Special Claims Handling" request before November of this year. It sounds like you are another victim of shredded documents. Yes, your VA Regional Office can shred this request as well, so send it certiifed mail, return receipt requested.

You are not alone on the VA shredding your evidence..it is very common. You can read about it here:


For more information on what to do about the VA shredding your evidence, see this article:


I would also file a complaint with your VAOIG, because Regional Offices just tend to ignore these requests, whenever possible.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Writ of Mandamus as per Carlie. The VA has to do something as it gets the Court to look at them.

Good Luck

I guess that you are dealing with Houston VARO

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Josh-if you tell me what VARO you deal with-I might have their internal phone numbers for their VSCM and Director.

There is definitely something wrong-if they have not transferred your claim to the BVA yet.

You also might try Iris as a service Complaint, instead of regular inquiry.

This certainly helped me get an immediate VARO reaction when they prepared my recent award letter all wrong.I called the VSCM at his desk too- he didnt return my calls but responded to my Iris complaint right away.

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Greetings Berts.

It is the VARO in Houston Texas. My VFW SO is "supposed to be there" but who knows. He never answers anylonger and that is for no reason.

If ou have a contact, I sure would appreciate it.

Joseph Hertrich (Josh)

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Berta This is what IRIS Replied with


Your appeal is still with your local VARO. Until you receive notification that they have transferred your file to the BVA in Washington, DC, your local VARO remains the best place to obtain information.

I suggest you visit the web site at www.va.gov and double click on the link for Veterans Benefits Administration (Compensation and Pension) and e-mail directly to the regional office.

You can also dial the toll-free number (1-800-827-1000), and be connected to a Veterans Benefits Administration counselor at the local VA regional office who is better able to assist you in your request and answer any questions.


From: giojoshcol [mailto:GIOJOSHCOL@telecom.com.co]

Sent: Monday, June 08, 2009 6:55 PM

To: BVA Ombudsman

Subject: BVA Claim Status Request

Importance: High

Dear BVA Omsbudsman,

My name is Joseph A. Hertrich and I have been waiting for years to get closure regarding the sequesnce of events which finally led to an 1151 Claim.

That claim is currently still "being processed" within the VA offices AND HAS YET to reply OR acknowledge key evidence submitted for the Claim’s Review Process. That evidence was an SERIES of MRI images dated 10/13/1995 (see attached sigle image) from the Denver Veterans Administration Hospital and acknowledged as having been received by your offices.

Where is the claim at this stage and what is being done?

In addition I have the increased need of motorized transport and have determined a John Deere Gator Utility Vehicle would best suit my needs as we live in the outback in Colombia, South America. How can the VA assist me in acquiring this needed Utility vehicle as transportation. Can the VA provide this in place of the motorized wheelchair I currently own? The price new is around $20,000 and clearly more economical than a full car, What do you say?

Needing your assistance,

Joseph A. Hertrich

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Houston Varo

Ursula Henderson Director 1-713-383-1720

Fax 1-713-383-1715 all subject to change-they are moving their fax machines around at many VAROS

Valerie MArtinez AVSCM 1-713-794-3655

Shannon Kelly " 1=713-383-2652

Diane Bernrich " 1-713-383-2652 -this is also desk phone number for their main VSCM but whoever that person is will be replaced -they are gone

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Oh yes Berta,

Also is a good idea about the IRIS Complaint direction. I am not the complaining "kind-of-guy" but am willing to learn how do do it without being aggresive.

Thanks I'll keep the board here updated. ..... Josh

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Sheeesh I was away Berta and missed your reply Off to read it now Thanks ever so much.

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Carlie, Hoppy, Berta and others,

Please read and check out the attachments. They will, in brief, fill you in on some of the evidence submitted and what I was dealing with.

And thank you all for advise you have offered

Time to review the options and plan the calls and conversational content.

All clues and comments welcome.... Also, Tell me does it sound like a good Story/Novel?







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


Like I said I was in a fog. I was not even aware this was an 1151 claim. I was suspicious that you were playing doctor. All I knew was that you had some films and you thought that you had been mis-diagnosed. I thought you were intrepreting the films yourself. It really does not matter how huch medical training you have if you are not an MD I really do not think the VA will give weight to your interpretation of films.

Now that I have seen Dr. Reynolds letter from 2000 I understand your situation. I am not familiar at all with 1151 claims. At this point I agree that you might need an attorney. I will read some 1151 claims and if I find anything of interest I will pass it along.

My big question is if the VA is required to develop an 1151 claim or if the burden is entirely on the veteran. Under civil law I was taught that an insurance company was not required to advance a claim against itself.

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I understand your suspician. No, I was not playing doctor. I went way out of the way to get medical help and to have to be flown by a then strtanger to another country is outrageous. Thank goodness that the angels were with me then. Hopefully still with me.

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I get real suspicious too when someone plays doctor.


I understand your suspician. No, I was not playing doctor. I went way out of the way to get medical help and to have to be flown by a then strtanger to another country is outrageous. Thank goodness that the angels were with me then. Hopefully still with me.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


I have done some research and find your claim interesting. I have some suggestions that may be of interest. However, I also have more questions.

Has a decision been made and was it denied without any C&P exams?

The letter you got from the doctor does in my opinion raise significant issues that need further development. I do not see how they can make a final decision if the doctor’s letter you posted was the only evidence in the file.

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