Jump to content
  • Latest Donations

  • Advertisemnt

  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

    questions-001@3x.png

    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
    Continue Reading
     
  • Ads

  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

    tinnitus-005.pngptsd-005.pnglumbosacral-005.pngscars-005.pnglimitation-flexion-knee-005.pngdiabetes-005.pnglimitation-motion-ankle-005.pngparalysis-005.pngdegenerative-arthitis-spine-005.pngtbi-traumatic-brain-injury-005.png

  • Advertisemnt

  • Advertisemnt

  • Ads

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

Sponsored Ads

  • Searches Community Forums, Blog and more

  • Donation Box

    Please donate to support the community.
    We appreciate all donations!
  • Available Subscriptions

  • 0
Lorraine

Ao/ihd Claim

Question

Back in Feb. 2010, after my husband had filed his claim for IHD/AO, he received what appeared to be a standard packet from the RO telling him that they had rec'd his claim and general information about what would be done with his claim, etc. However, included in the packet, was information about a new "New Pilot Program! Invitation to Join." This new program is known as Expedited Claims Adjudication(ECA)Initiative. The Seattle VA RO is one of four RO's that was selected nationwide to participate in this two-year pilot program. The VA included about 6 and a half pages of information about the project, including an Agreement and Waiver of Rights to sign.

Our Vietnam Veterans of America Service Officer told us at the time of our initial interview and filing of a claim that if my husband should receive an offer for an expedited claim, to be sure to accept the offer. After reading the 6+ pages of info, we were confused and so I called a couple of the other Vet's service organizations and they were familiar with ECA pilot program and were adamant about NOT recommending that vets sign this waiver! I called our VSO and discussed ECA with him, told him that I'd contacted other service organizations and that they weren't recommending vets sign the waiver. He allowed as how that the Viet Nam Vets and only one other organization were recommending to sign.

We didn't think that sounded like a huge recommendation. So,we got scared off and he didn't sign the waiver. Anybody else out there who has been offered this "INVITATION"????? or anybody familiar with this new program?

Lorraine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

i got one and vso in morristown tn advised not to file it put all the burden of proof on vet and also made unrealistac time frames. still have it but didn't sign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ad

Tinkerer...thanks for the input. Hadn't read anything about the ECA "offer" on hadit and was curious. I didn't see how it could help us anyway when the final word hasn't come out yet.

Lorraine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With proof of AO exposure and a documented disability on the AO presumptive list-the VA could expedite these new AO claims in a heartbeat.

The proposed regs are quite clear but they will surely screw up any retro under Nehmer.

There is still time to file comments on the new proposed regs at the Fed Register site.

I didnt see any commenters from hadit except me but I know some here use different board names.Then again I havent checked in a few days-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The RO could expedite these claims but t hey are bound by the recipt date to work the claims. If it takes a waiver to bypass this then I am all for it, however, I am not for signing any rights away. That sounds like a trap.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Back in Feb. 2010, after my husband had filed his claim for IHD/AO, he received what appeared to be a standard packet from the RO telling him that they had rec'd his claim and general information about what would be done with his claim, etc. However, included in the packet, was information about a new "New Pilot Program! Invitation to Join." This new program is known as Expedited Claims Adjudication(ECA)Initiative. The Seattle VA RO is one of four RO's that was selected nationwide to participate in this two-year pilot program. The VA included about 6 and a half pages of information about the project, including an Agreement and Waiver of Rights to sign.

Our Vietnam Veterans of America Service Officer told us at the time of our initial interview and filing of a claim that if my husband should receive an offer for an expedited claim, to be sure to accept the offer. After reading the 6+ pages of info, we were confused and so I called a couple of the other Vet's service organizations and they were familiar with ECA pilot program and were adamant about NOT recommending that vets sign this waiver! I called our VSO and discussed ECA with him, told him that I'd contacted other service organizations and that they weren't recommending vets sign the waiver. He allowed as how that the Viet Nam Vets and only one other organization were recommending to sign.

We didn't think that sounded like a huge recommendation. So,we got scared off and he didn't sign the waiver. Anybody else out there who has been offered this "INVITATION"????? or anybody familiar with this new program?

Lorraine

Katrina is also Vice President of NOVA (National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates), one of only three organizations which did submit written objections to the VA’s ECA pilot program. http://www.vetadvocates.com/

When I asked Katrina her thoughts, she replied:

"In a very basic sense, the premise of the VA’s ECA pilot program is that, in exchange for the veteran giving up (waiving) their procedural due process rights at the beginning of the claims process, the VA will attempt to make a speedier decision on their claim for VA benefits. As VA claimants already know, the VA claims process includes many, many deadlines by which the veteran has to submit evidence, or respond to a VA letter or decision. BUT, the VA has no deadlines – and this ECA pilot program does nothing to change this. The ECA simply shortens, or eliminates altogether, the veteran’s time periods by which to respond to the VA’s requests or decision.

There are several specific aspects of the ECA pilot program which concern me. First, that the veteran (or claimant) has to elect the ECA program at the beginning of the claims process is disconcerting because this means the veteran has to fully comprehend right from the get-go what he or she is getting into regarding the VA’s claims process. In other words, the VA is asking a first-time claimant (because the ECA will only be utilized for new claims) to be clairvoyant and choose up front, with little or no first-hand knowledge, to waive due process rights that they can’t possibly know whether they will want or need down the road.

Another concern is the misleading language of the ECA rule which states that a veteran will only be eligible for the ECA program if 'represented by a recognized VSO or an accredited agent or attorney at the time of electing to participate in the Initiative.' Thus, on its face, the ECA language leads one to believe the veteran will be properly counseled before giving up important due process rights. However, as the current law makes clear, a veteran cannot hire an attorney to represent him or her until after the initial Notice of Disagreement has been filed by the veteran. This is NOT at the beginning of the claims process! Thus, the veteran is left to rely on the advice of a VSO, very few (if any) of whom practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and understand the binding effect of waiving due process rights. Yes, the language of the ECA pilot program states that the veteran can elect to 'un-waive' these rights, but I have serious doubts the VA will be diligent in reminding the veteran about this.

My final concern mirrors many of my clients’ primary complaint with the VA claims and appeals process, which is that the VA seems bent on finding ways to avoid seriously dealing with its HUGE backlog problem. The ECA is just another example of that. Expedited means faster, but it does not equate to a better, or more thorough decision. The ECA does not include an effort on the VA’s behalf to provide a more detailed or personalized decision wherein the VA explains why the evidence submitted by the veteran does or does not satisfy the criteria necessary to grant the claim for benefits. Thus, in the end, the ECA will not improve the quality of the decision rendered by the VA, it will only speed up the time by which the veteran is denied his or her VA benefits. The unfortunate irony here is that this will only lead to a bigger backlog in the VA claims and appeals process because veterans today are smart and tenacious, and know to appeal when they have a meritorious claim."

It appears we have another VBA sideshow concocted for no real purpose other that to distract the attention of an already dazed and confused Congress. This allows the antics in the DVA 3-ring circus to continue without any interference.

Veterans across the nation will continue to be rewarded for their dedicated and meritorious service to our country with the usual VBA center ring clowns pouring out of small cars gleefully shouting, "Delay, deny, until you die!"

My advice: If you're a veteran in one of the following four VA regional offices: Nashville, Tennessee; Lincoln, Nebraska; Seattle, Washington; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and beginning December 5th 2008 you're offered an opportunity to participate in this experiment, decline. There is no advantage to you personally and any risk you may take is unlikely to benefit other veterans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Ads

  • Ad

  • Latest News
  • Our picks

    • SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: Ad Free Subscriptions to the Forum available
      Ad free subscriptions are available for the forum. Subscriptions give you the forums ad free and help support the forum and site. Monthly $5 Annually $50 https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/

      Every bit helps - Thank you.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask
      Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask. Chris Attig - Veterans Law Blog 

      <br style="color:#000000; text-align:start">How to Hire an Attorney For Your VA Claim or Appeal Free Guidebook available on the Veterans Law Blog

      I got an email the other day from a Veteran.  It had 2 or 3 sentences about his claim, and then closed at the end: “Please call me. So-and-so told me you were the best and I want your help.”

      While I appreciate the compliments, I shudder a little at emails like this.  For 2 reasons.

      First, I get a lot of emails like this.  And while I diligently represent my clients – I often tell them we will pursue their claim until we have no more appeals or until we win – I am most assuredly not the best.

      There are a LOT of damn good VA Disability attorneys out there.  (Most, if not all, of the best are members of the National Organization of Veterans Advocates…read about one of them, here)

      Second, I don’t want Veterans to choose their attorney based on who their friend thought was the best.  I want Veterans to choose the VA Disability attorney who is BEST for their case.

      In some situations, that may be the Attig Law Firm.

      But it may also be be Hill and Ponton, or Chisholm-Kilpatrick, or Bergman Moore.  Or any one of the dozens of other attorneys who have made the representation of Veterans their professional life’s work.

      There are hundreds of attorneys that are out there representing Veterans, and I’m here to tell you that who is best for your friend’s case may not be the best for your case.

      How do you Find the Best VA Disability Attorney for your Claim?

      First, you have to answer the question: do you NEED an attorney?

      Some of you don’t...
      • 1 reply
    • VA Emergency Medical Care
      VA Emergency Medical Care
      • 3 replies
    • Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      • 0 replies
    • Thanks Berta for your help. I did receive my 100% today for my IU claim on 6/20/2018. It only took 64 days to complete and it is p&t. Thanks for your words of wisdom. 
×

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines