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Hardship Letter Letter Slowed Process?


88 mike
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Question

I called the 1 800# today and was told that they (authorization) are reviewing my hardship letter and that my claim will be done soon. When I visited the RO my claim already had been decided. The case worker I saw had me submit the letter due to overdue bills. Do you guys think that letter slowed things down or did it help?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think you will never know!

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I have never known a hardship letter to actually "help", but it shouldn't hurt you. If they did help, my guess would be that a Veteran would have posted it on here.

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Hey funny you should have brought this up. I had a guy tell me if a veteran had a utility bill or repossesion or foreclousure it would in effect be proof of the hardship. I submited all above except for utilitiy and my claim is still hovering somewhere at VARO. Me I wish I was lucky as the other veteran was to get his claim done and over with. I hope this helps it is about all I can offer. My phone was turned off I am still waiting on the letter from the Phone company to submit it. Adios and have a good day..

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The VA's handling of claims has got to be the best example of fraud, waste and abuse that I've ever run across.

That said, please consider this - -

A "broken system" such as the VA's seldom if ever works in any logical fashion, and becomes a massive time and money sink. Who benefits?

It's not (obviously) the veteran or the veteran's dependents. It's not the government in general, because the cost of administering veteran's benefits is significantly increased.

It's certainly not the taxpayers, or the politicians, because money is wasted that might be put to better use elsewhere.

Who Benefits? The VA's bureaucracy, that's who! How? Justification for unending increases in the size of the administrative work force.

This means more money for those in management, more management positions, more management bonuses, more employees under management, and do to sheer size,

more opportunity to take advantage of the loopholes in such a system.

To answer your question, a "hardship" status supposedly decreases the time to get a claim through the system. But, (and it's a biggie)

The VA bureaucratic system has a large number of conflicting goals and priorities. Some are such things as multiple groups that by law, regulation, or VA internal practice, are given "priority".

If you were to try and form a logical idea of how a particular claim should be prioritized-- you would need to consider such things as - -

Hardship

Member of group given priority besides hardship (Certain "combat" veterans)

Member of group given priority by court order (Nehmer as an example)

Political involvement. Political inquiry with response dates required, etc.

Size of potential award. (Seems to be an internal VA thing involving extra steps in process)

Percentage assigned by compensation schedule - - Besides higher compensation, higher percentages can require the VA to do such things as eliminate "co-pay", and provide additional compensation beyond the basic schedular amount.

Amount of time the claim has been in the system.

Obviously, the VA has it's own unique ways of setting priority.

One "proven" big one is that a "simple" uncomplicated claim involving 10-20% may make it "out the door" in a few weeks or months, regardless of any other considerations.

This is why many VSO's advocate filing a simple claim to get a veteran "in the system" as quickly as possible.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I just helped a veteran who was claiming hardship. The veteran was told to file the hardship forms in conjuction with a TDIU application. According to his service officer the VA puts a color coded tag on the outside of the file indicating expeditied processing due to hardship. In this case the veteran was recently service connected at 50% and it had been documented by clinicians for the previous ten years that he was homeless living in a van with his dog. Things went really quick as far as I am concerned. I was told they are supposed to process these claims in 90 days.. The ninety days went by and his service officer told us she was going to talk to the "rating coach". Two days later the veteran got a call from the service officer telling him his TDIU was awarded and he would have a retro check within 5 days. The retro check was in his bank account three days later.

The RO had really botched this claim. They got bogus medical reports which made me get IMO's that made the VA doctors look like idiots. The reports I got were cited as the basis for service connection in an earlier decision. It would have been embarasing if a veteran had been homless for ten years for a condition he should have been service connected at 30% in 1977 continued to get the run around. I told the SO to let the DRO know that I was still helping this veteran and that I got the IMO's chastizing the military and the VA for not treating the veteran 30 years ago and I would go public.with local news if they did not do something quick. It could have been a combination of the application for expediting the claim and the potential for embarrasment that resulted in his getting his retro so fast. Maybe threats work. I am not sure.

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"Maybe threats work. I am not sure"

That is how I finally got my offset money.Not exactly a threat at all- I just reminded some VA lawyers of what I know

about their secret FTCA dirty underwear which I am holding onto documentation of and still investigating.

The regs clearly supported my FTCA offset refund.But the RO and even the regional counsel tried to tell me I was wrong.

After months of arguing with illiterates - I spent 3-4 days calling the OGC in DC to get this squared away and then a top honcho OGC sent the RO the very same regs I sent VA and told them to pay me.

Thank you for helping this vet Hoppy.

These really aren't threats to VA- they are the strong steps some of us have to take to get what is ours by law.

Hardship Waivers are only as good as the claim is.Have vet friend who filed for hardship but it will only produce a faster denialin his case . He hasn't done the leg work.

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