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Can Va Verbally Tell You Their Decision?


john49
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I talked with a VA rep today on the 800 number about a matter other than my request for reconsideration. During our conversation the matter of my reconsideration came up. He entered my info into his system and he told me that a decision had been reached on Dec 15 and that my request was now in the hands of the people that put together the letters and send out notifications, etc. He said he could not tell me what the decision was. Is that because he did not have it on the computer screen he was looking at or because of VA policy not to disclose that info verbally?

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There is a regulation that requires the VA give written notice of a decision, along with reasons and bases for it. However, the VA ignores their own regulation, with the courts blessing, and "deemed denies" Veterans. That is, Vets decisions are denied, "sub silento". In other words they are a silent or secret denial. Its a horrible injustice to Veterans.

Often we think the VA does things the same way at all 57 ROs. They dont. So we cant really answer if a particular RO managers policy is to not give out verbal decisions, because many of them "go their own way" anyway.

That being said, I agree with the ones who do not "give out" verbal decisions, and I will say why. Its not in a Vets best interest. Altho I know Vets are in a hurry to find out, they are best to read the decision in the mail. Why? Well, first of all their wont be a misunderstanding what was said if its in black and white. The Veteran can read it over, 10 times if he so desires, and have his wife read it, and take it to his VSO, if he likes, to explain it. This would not be very likely to happen if the decision was given verbally. If the Vet has the decision in his hand, he is less likely to either think its better, or worse, than it really is.

And he really needs the paper RO decision anyway, if he plans to appeal it. I do think they could be forwarded in IRIS (secure emails) so that Vets could print them if they like, and that would be faster. Because I am hard of hearing I just know I would get some of it wrong if they told me about it verbally.

Still another problem with a Verbal decision is that it would not be enforceable. "But ...you said I got 100 percent"....wouldnt cut it, while saying "The RO decision dated 11/23/2008 awarded 100% SC for PTSD." would be great evidence.

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The VA has told me over the phone about a decision at least twice in the past. They obey their own rules sometimes.

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A truer statement was never made. Each regional office seems to be a little different in how they interpret the rules and how helpful they are to the individual veteran.

That is one of the things that makes it so difficult to help veterans who come here and ask us what the regional office should or should not tell them we know what the law says, but what individual regional offices do we only know from hearing from veterans around the country.

I personally find this particularly frustrating. But perhaps with so many of us spread across the country we can start to figure out how one regional office answers a question as opposed to another and what the laws supposed to be.

Now that would be interesting don't you think?

There is a regulation that requires the VA give written notice of a decision, along with reasons and bases for it. However, the VA ignores their own regulation, with the courts blessing, and "deemed denies" Veterans. That is, Vets decisions are denied, "sub silento". In other words they are a silent or secret denial. Its a horrible injustice to Veterans.

Often we think the VA does things the same way at all 57 ROs. They dont. So we cant really answer if a particular RO managers policy is to not give out verbal decisions, because many of them "go their own way" anyway.

That being said, I agree with the ones who do not "give out" verbal decisions, and I will say why. Its not in a Vets best interest. Altho I know Vets are in a hurry to find out, they are best to read the decision in the mail. Why? Well, first of all their wont be a misunderstanding what was said if its in black and white. The Veteran can read it over, 10 times if he so desires, and have his wife read it, and take it to his VSO, if he likes, to explain it. This would not be very likely to happen if the decision was given verbally. If the Vet has the decision in his hand, he is less likely to either think its better, or worse, than it really is.

And he really needs the paper RO decision anyway, if he plans to appeal it. I do think they could be forwarded in IRIS (secure emails) so that Vets could print them if they like, and that would be faster. Because I am hard of hearing I just know I would get some of it wrong if they told me about it verbally.

Still another problem with a Verbal decision is that it would not be enforceable. "But ...you said I got 100 percent"....wouldnt cut it, while saying "The RO decision dated 11/23/2008 awarded 100% SC for PTSD." would be great evidence.

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A truer statement was never made. Each regional office seems to be a little different in how they interpret the rules and how helpful they are to the individual veteran.

That is one of the things that makes it so difficult to help veterans who come here and ask us what the regional office should or should not tell them we know what the law says, but what individual regional offices do we only know from hearing from veterans around the country.

I personally find this particularly frustrating. But perhaps with so many of us spread across the country we can start to figure out how one regional office answers a question as opposed to another and what the laws supposed to be.

Now that would be interesting don't you think?

It's like the NCAA, we enforce the rules we like, when we want to.

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This is where the VSO comes in - a Veterans Service Officer or their staff can look up that info for you in the system & tell you over the phone (if you've given them a Power of Attorney to represent you.)

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