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VetsDaughter

What To Do About Our Dic Claim?

Question

My Dad, Louis, did two tours in Vietnam. He was only 17 when he volunteered.

He has recieved numerous medals and even the Purple Heart.

He suffered from severe PTSD and alcoholism

He was on 100% disability through the VA.

January 3rd of this year, he took his own life.

Since my Dad was recieveing his VA and was supporting my mother and himself on that, the benefits stopped when he passed.

We knew that would happen. So, of course my mom filed for the DIC claim at the end of January.

The VA has recieved every single one of his medical records, showing how severe his PTSD was and his numerous suicide attempts,

These medical records had things in them that my Mom and I never even knew about.

Anyway, My Mom's claim has been open since January. Every week she calls the VA, only to hear something different everytime;

Such as, That they were going to expideite her claim, Her claim is still in review, they are awaiting more medical records (records from a state my dad had never even been seen in!), it needed a second opinion, and lately, we have heard, that her claim was in the second stage of rating and it would be 16-27 days before it would be sent to a supervior for him to sign off it, and that would be an additional 10-40 days. My Mom has tried everything to get the right information regarding her claim. She has even been to our Congress Office and he said that he had a great contact at the Milwaukee Office, (that is where our claim is) and it is on our record that he has put in an inquiry. But...nothing. We are at a dead stop. Nothing is happening with our claim.

My mom can no longer afford the mortage payments on her house and has already recieved her forclosure notice.

My mom's claim has been open for almost a year now, and its funny because the VA states that they have like a 95% success rate of awarding claims in less than 240 days...

I saw a VA commercial about how they honor our vets with benefits and taking care of them no matter what. I think my Dad and his family would have a different story about that....11 months and my Mom is still waiting for her benefits.

My question is, is there anything or anyone we can talk to about our claim other than that darn 877 number?

Someone deeper inside that can get us some right information?

Does anyone know how long the typical DIC claim benefits award process takes?

I feel this is an emergency and need some serious opinions on what to do here!

Any type of information would be greatly appreciated.

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What was the effective date of your Dad's 100 % service connection ?

In other words - how long had he been being compensated at 100 % ?

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My dad has been on 100% disablity since march of 2007 but has been on disablity with the VA since the late 80's.

Over the years his disabilty has gone up.

Also I know,

My does not fall into the VA's 10 year rule.

I just need some answers or advice.

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These claims can be very difficult to succeed on.

This BVA decision has the regulations they follow and how they determine the suicide as either willful misconduct or caused by "unsound mind."

http://www4.va.gov/vetapp10/files3/1027928.txt

"11 months and my Mom is still waiting for her benefits."

I am a veteran's widow.My first DIC claim took 3 years for award to come and then I re opened on different basis and that one took 7 years.

Nothing goes too fast with the VA.

Does she have a vet rep?

When she received a VCAA letter it should have cited the "Hupp" decision and then told her exactly what evidence she needed to send to them.

It might even have included the regulations regarding suicidal deaths as appear in the above BVA case.

Has she received the comp check for the last month he died in?

These claims are very difficult. I was surprised to find a DIC award at the BVA so fast this AM.

Was your dad autopsied and if so does she have a copy of the full autopsy? And if so did she send it to the VA?

When my husband died, he was autopsied because he was an organ donor.

His autopsy however was far more detailed than his death certificate.The autopsy helped me prove SC death.

"Her claim is still in review, they are awaiting more medical records (records from a state my dad had never even been seen in!), it needed a second opinion, and lately, we have heard, that her claim was in the second stage of rating and it would be 16-27 days before it would be sent to a supervisor for him to sign off it, and that would be an additional 10-40 days."

I am surprised they gave you this detailed status of a time frame.

I have found after being a VA claimant for many years, that one cannot depend on VA time frames.

If the medical evidence she sent to them or that is in his clinical record complies with the regulations as to how the VA will consider suicide claims, then perhaps they will make a decision in that time frame.

I regret your loss and know this is a difficult situation to be in.

If your mother is 60 or older she might be able to obtain SSA survivors benefits.

Has she contacted SSA about that yet? If not she could possibly apply on line or get more info on these benefits at the SSA web site.

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“it needed a second opinion “

Do you have a copy of the first opinion?

Or does your mother have a Stastement of the Case that refers to this initial opinion?

If so can it be scanned and attached here ? (cover the personal stuff)

Was the first opinion a VA doctor's opinion?

Or did your mother send them an Independent Medical Opinion and it that what they mean?

Under Search Decisions at http://www.bva.va.gov/

you could put the word suicide into the search feature and read BVA decisions as to how they award or why they deny these claims.

http://www.ssa.gov/ww&os2.htm

This link explains SSA survivors benefits

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My Mom has never recieved any letters regarding her claim through the VA.

No, VCAA letter or anything.

Why did we never recieved that?

When they told my Mom that that the claim needed "a second opinion" that is all they said. She never recieved a letter of a first opinion.

Is it possible to call and get that information in writing?

My Dad did have an autopsy. Would it help to give the results to the VA? Although, we know his cause of death, without the Autopsy. The VA knows his cause of death also.

The only reason she knew what to send in, is someone called her requesting all medical records that they did not recieve.

My dad's PTSD was through the VA, actually nurmerous VA's

My Mom did recieve the comp check for the month he died, which was january.

My mom is only 52 so she doesnt qualify for SSA.

Also,

My Mom does have a Vet rep. He has done nothing to help with the claim, whenever my mom contacts him, he never calls back. That is why she contacted Congress, who put an inquiry in on October, 6th but the VA has not responded.

I'm a little baffled at why we have never recieved a letter!

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