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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    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 ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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

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    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

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Berta

My Iris Response-

Question

(My August 4 th 2010 IHD claim per 800 # did go to Togus in late August but they are checking that one per this Iris.

The claim they are mentioning here that is in Philadelphia on appeal is my SMC accrued CUE claim. That has been pending since 2004 .The VA is right in that the IHD CUE claim must be resolved before the new IHD claim and as I stated in the Togus IHD claim- a proper award on the CE will render the newer claim moot.)

Has anyone else been told their AO claim is being handled in Phila or Togus?

"This is in response to your inquiry to the Department of Veterans Affairs dated November 6, 2010, regarding your appeal.

Our records indicate your claims file was transferred to the regional office in Philadelphia. Since your appeal involves accrued benefits for a heart related condition, it may be affected by a court decision made in Nehmer vs. The Department of Veterans Affairs. Nehmer refers to a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by Vietnam Veterans and their survivors (referred to as Nehmer class-members) who alleged that VA had improperly denied their claims for service connection for disability or death benefits caused by exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange in service. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in the Nehmer case that a VA regulation, issued in 1985, was invalid and voided all prior VA decisions that denied benefits under that regulation.

VA is currently reviewing cases in which Veterans previously filed claims for any of the new presumptive conditions (ischemic heart disease, Parkinson's Disease, hairy cell leukemia), and were denied benefits. The review is taking place to determine if retroactive benefits should be paid based on the new regulations. VA has proactively identified cases involving these conditions, and set them aside for review. Your case appears to be one of the cases that could potentially be affected, and is awaiting such a review.

Both the regional office in Philadelphia and Togus are cities handling Nehmer cases. Since your file is currently located in Philadelphia, we recommend you submit any additional evidence you may have to support your appeal to this office. We have provided the address below, for your information. At this time, we are not able to provide you with the name or contact information of a specific person handling your appeal, or Nehmer review, as security protocol does not permit us to do so. We apologize.

We have forwarded your inquiry to the regional office in Philadelphia, as we were not able to locate a claim dated August 4, 2010. We have requested your claims file be reviewed, to determine if your claim was received. It is important to note, typically, if there is an appeal pending and a claim is filed for the same condition, the claim will not be able to be processed until the appeal is completed. We have requested the regional office provide you with specific information regarding this matter. Please look for a response from the regional office soon.

Thank you for contacting us. If you have questions or need additional help with the information in our reply, please respond to this message or see our other contact information below.

Sincerely Yours, "

As soon as I get the additional response I will know if I have to send my medical evidence to Phila as it all went to Togus with the new IHD claim.

I am quite thrilled that Buffalo RO ( the AOJ)-is not handling these claims.They have read none of my legal evidence for my CUE since 2004.

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I am quite thrilled that Buffalo RO ( the AOJ)-is not handling these claims. They have read none of my legal evidence for my CUE since 2004.

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Berta, Hope you have better luck with Philly or Togus!! Hope you are well. ~Wings

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I flled my claim with Detroit VA in August 2009, but Detroit transferred development to Togus in October 2009. I initially had a lot of correspondence from Togus and I sent them large volumes of evidence. However, in July of this year, I received on one day two letters from Detroit VA, both letters written a day apart, which read as though they had totally forgotten they had asked Togus for assistance. The VCAA form enclosed with each of the two letters contained a date of filing that was much later than my actual filing date of August 2009. I immediately send letters to both Detroit and Togus asking which of them was doing development on my claim so I'd know where to send additional evidence. I never received a response from either and my phone call to the VA 800# was unproductive. When i called the 800# last week, all the rep could tell me is that Detroit send me two letters in July, but that the computer record said nothing about Togus ever being involved even though I had mailed over 30 priority envelopes to Togus since they took over development from Detroit in October 2009. Togus initially seemed to be on top of everything, but I now don't even know which of the two VA offices has my claim which has been pending exactly 15 months. I finally decided to ask my U.S. Senator for assistance because his Detroit office is in the same Federal Building as the Detroit VA. I know that Detroit has a huge volume of claims, but I'd just like to know that my claim did not fall through the cracks. My medical history includes post-prostate cancer treatment residual side effects and an active case of hairy cell leukemia, among other problems such as a total hip replacement 6 weeks ago. For better or worse, I still do not require chemothreapy despite the leukemia, an incurable disease, still being active. I will now have to wait for a response from my Senator. I have been extremely patient up until this time and thought Togus was doing a good job with their develpment, but I have had no contact with them for many months so am totally in the dark as to what's going on and the 800# rep was of no help. However, despite being in the dark on my own claim, I am glad to see others are getting decisions on their claims. My turn may yet come, but I'm not holding my breath. I've been very patient up until now.

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"Berta, Hope you have better luck with Philly or Togus!! Hope you are well. ~Wings"

Thanks Wings Yes I am in excellent health- and stay that way for SPITE to continue my claims!!!!!

Mozartplayer- I found in my last claim- that went from Buffalo, to AMC, then to Seattle RO, back to AMC then back to RO then to the BVA- that the only entity in that list who could read - was the BVA!

In this AO situation I am not taking any chances and am sending what VA said was in Togus regarding my new claim ---to the Phila. VARO as well.

It still bothers me when I gave testimony to the H VAC (over Sheddergate) with copies of 53 USPS tracking slips to indicate evidence I had sent to the RO that was NEVER considered in all the years they sat on my claim.

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I'd agree it's wise to request confirmation of delivery from USPS when sending anything to the VA, if even a one page letter. I have sent about 43 flat rate envelopes to Togus VA and several to Detroit VA and have printouts of USPS tracking confirming delivery for all of them. Costs me $5.60 each time I mail them something in a flat rate priority envelope, but if push comes to shove, I have proof that it was delivered. Whether they filed it or read it is another issue. I have only a vague idea of what's in my file by now what with 15 months having passed and the file should have grown to about a depth of 6 inches by now and weigh about 10 pounds. Having spent 35 years working for SSA in the past,, I know how claims can fall through the crack although that's rarely the case today with all SSA claims being electronic, including medical evidence. I have a relative who got approved for VA comp a few months ago after 2 and a half years, but his claim for SSA disability took less than 30 days because he submitted medical evidence the VA used and submitted a copy of his VA decision. I will be patient and wait for a response from my Senator's staff after they talk with VA staff who are in the same building as the Senator's office. I know that some VA Regional Offices are overloaded with claims, but if I don't look out for myself, no one else is going to.

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