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Veterans Affairs Iris Site Much Much More Helpful.


KennyJ

Question

I have been calling 800# on my ongoing Claims That I have on file since March 2005. Never get any help so yesterday I went to VA site and used their Contact us page.

MY POST

Dear Sir/Madam:

This is about the fifth time inquiring about my claim on file. The claim was filed March 2005. I am aware that there is a severe backlog but I am in a very bad financial time right now. I have been told that my appeal is awaiting input from the SSA. If this is the case I would rather that my Appeal case wait until the outcome of my ALJ hearing that I have been told will be in August 2006. My new claims mostly i am just asking that the benefit of the doubt rule be used when deciding to issue C&P exams and awards. I would like to know how much longer my case will be before I get decision

Their Response

Mr. ---------

This responds to your inquiry regarding appeal, claims, benefit of the doubt rule, and how much longer before you receive a decision.

We are in the process of requesting a VA examination for your reopen claim. Social security information is needed for your appeal. You will receive a letter soon regarding your 1151 claim. VA does apply the benefit of the doubt rule. Since we are relying on another agency to provide evidence, we are unable to give you a completion date.

This by far the best response I have ever gotten even through my Service Rep.

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Kenny- I feel that query system is very good too-

I am concerned however- as to their reply-

Benefit of doubt does not come into play for 1151 claims- as far as I know-because

they need absolute proof of VA medical error and medical proof of additional disability due to the error.

Maybe they meant your other issues however.

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In some cases, an appeal can be advanced at the BVA level, such as for terminal illness, over age 75, or extreme financial difficulties...close to bankruptcy, losing your home, etc. But you have to request it.

If I understand your questions to the VA, you have multiple claims, including an 1151, new claims, and a reopened claim. From their response, the 1151 is already decided. But on the other claims, I'm curious why the SSA evidence is only being considered now, on appeal. Was that evidence not considered before?

I don't understand why you asked that the benefit of doubt doctrine be applied to "deciding C&P exams." Do you mean you'd like them to look at existing evidence before deciding whether to order an exam? If that is correct, then don't look for them to decide favorably on reasonable doubt if the evidence is in relative equipoise without an exam. They will order the exam. Duty to assist requires it, and they will want the C&P exam--which is not a treatment or diagnosis exam, but strictly a disability benefits exam--to help decide the 50/50 issue. Hopefully the C&P exam will be a good one and will fall in your favor. Sometimes they do. B)

Good luck.

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Yes Berta I am sure they meant benefit of doubt on all other issues not 1151. The reason I asked it be used was only to make sure that I did get a C&P exam for my claims.. Believe me its very hard in my State just to get the Exam.

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