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Getting Dea Started... Should Be Simple, Right?

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hedgey

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When I got my decision papers for my 100%, they said that my college student kid was eligible for DEA going back to the date I was given as my retro date, which was back in 2009. Yay, this will help her pay off her student loans!!

So my kid fills out the DEA application, sends it in. Gets back a letter from DEA saying she must fill out a very short form, choosing the date from which to begin receiving DEA benefits. The letter clearly states that the choices are between the 2009 date and the date I was notified of my 100% rating (December 2010). Naturally, she chooses the 2009 date to get the retro. She also has taken the letter to her college VA representative, to have them fill out & send in the VA form 1999 (certification of attendance or whatever).

So far so good, right?

Yesterday she gets a letter from the VA saying (italics mine):

"By law, VA can't pay for training you received before you became eligible for benefits. Since you became eligible for benefits on November 22, 2010 (where did this date come from???) we can pay you starting on that date. However, we can pay for the remainder of your training if you return the election sent February 28, 2011. Based on the VA Form 1999 you submitted, we recommend that you choose August 30, 2010 as your begin dated since this was the date you began training."

WTH? Okay, I can see that maybe the college didn't fill out the 1999 right, that they left out her previous year of attendance (she started at this college in fall 2008). So I'm going to call or have her visit the VA rep this week and clarify that. But what the heck is the deal with saying she became eligible on November 2010???

The really funny thing is that the letter she got stating her eligibility began in 2009 and this letter saying Nov 2010 is "signed" by the same person....

Along with this new letter was the VA Form 4107, telling her about her right to appeal. Why the heck should she have to go through the appeal process when this is such a clear bungle?

I'm so mad I could spit nails. I really feel like this is almost intentional, because her first reaction was "Rats, that stinks... oh well..." She doesn't know any better, and would just let it drop.

Let us be kind, one to another, for we are each of us together in our pain.

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Hedgey

The VA is up to the same tricks again. They did a similar thing to my son. When they asked him to specify a date, he went to the school and they faxed it in. Then he got a letter saying since he did not specify the date, they had picked the effective date for him. We went back to the school.

The school counselor had a copy of the electronic submission in compliance with the letter, that specified an earlier date for retro. The VA had lost it. (yea right...lost it on purpose).

The counselor sent them a letter explaining and documenting that we had sent the date, on time. Bottom LIne:

He never got the Retro. I am convinced there is still shredding going on at the VA. Even worse, even when you save a copy, they ignore it.

I hope you have better luck...I dont know whether or not this is appealable, but I definately know there is something fishy going on at the VA on a fairly wide scale. This is just my humble opinion. I really dont have a good answer what to do about it.

Even tho the VA "got their way" (dont they always), it did not work out that bad for my son, because he is going to be able to go on for his masters, which he would not have been able to do, if they paid his retro as he would have ran out of DEA. I think you only get about 45 months of DEA...not enough for a masters.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

My daughter's having the same problem. I won a CUE back to '89, so she had a choice of any date between "89 and 2010 the date of the CUE award. She chose between something like '94 - 2002, so she could get a retro payment, for when she'd attended school before. They denied it. I haven't seen the letter yet but will, when I get home next week. BTW, I don't give up!!!!!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

pr

When I got my decision papers for my 100%, they said that my college student kid was eligible for DEA going back to the date I was given as my retro date, which was back in 2009. Yay, this will help her pay off her student loans!!

So my kid fills out the DEA application, sends it in. Gets back a letter from DEA saying she must fill out a very short form, choosing the date from which to begin receiving DEA benefits. The letter clearly states that the choices are between the 2009 date and the date I was notified of my 100% rating (December 2010). Naturally, she chooses the 2009 date to get the retro. She also has taken the letter to her college VA representative, to have them fill out & send in the VA form 1999 (certification of attendance or whatever).

So far so good, right?

Yesterday she gets a letter from the VA saying (italics mine):

"By law, VA can't pay for training you received before you became eligible for benefits. Since you became eligible for benefits on November 22, 2010 (where did this date come from???) we can pay you starting on that date. However, we can pay for the remainder of your training if you return the election sent February 28, 2011. Based on the VA Form 1999 you submitted, we recommend that you choose August 30, 2010 as your begin dated since this was the date you began training."

WTH? Okay, I can see that maybe the college didn't fill out the 1999 right, that they left out her previous year of attendance (she started at this college in fall 2008). So I'm going to call or have her visit the VA rep this week and clarify that. But what the heck is the deal with saying she became eligible on November 2010???

The really funny thing is that the letter she got stating her eligibility began in 2009 and this letter saying Nov 2010 is "signed" by the same person....

Along with this new letter was the VA Form 4107, telling her about her right to appeal. Why the heck should she have to go through the appeal process when this is such a clear bungle?

I'm so mad I could spit nails. I really feel like this is almost intentional, because her first reaction was "Rats, that stinks... oh well..." She doesn't know any better, and would just let it drop.

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Hedgey ...

There is an obvious mistake someplace. DEA is started either 1.) the date you became eligible to receive it or 2.) the date you choose, so long as it's completed within 10 years from the date you were notified.

Your daughter has a choice which date to use. Was she full or part time student ? FT = a higher rate of assistance, in our state, 12 credits = FT @ $936.00 a month. Rates for 3/4 and 1/2 time are options as well,

perhaps all states are different BUT your DEA date is the date you choose as it was outlined in your award letter.

VetsLady and, Proud to Be

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Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I'm sorry to see that my daughter isn't the only one going through this.

Yep, we know she has the choice of my retro date or the date of notification; I have the letter in front of me as I type.

My VSO said to send them a letter saying essentially "hey, pay attention! Eligibility date is 2009. That date was chosen. School verified enrollment" and that would settle it.

The VA rep from the regular VARO said that the only way to clear it up is to go to the Education office. Lucky for us, it's only 600 miles round trip... It could be a lot farther, because there are only 4 offices that handle DEA in the whole country. And there isn't even a phone number to call to make an appointment.

What a great way to discourage vets from trying to get their due benefits....

Let us be kind, one to another, for we are each of us together in our pain.

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Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I'm sorry to see that my daughter isn't the only one going through this.

Yep, we know she has the choice of my retro date or the date of notification; I have the letter in front of me as I type.

My VSO said to send them a letter saying essentially "hey, pay attention! Eligibility date is 2009. That date was chosen. School verified enrollment" and that would settle it.

The VA rep from the regular VARO said that the only way to clear it up is to go to the Education office. Lucky for us, it's only 600 miles round trip... It could be a lot farther, because there are only 4 offices that handle DEA in the whole country. And there isn't even a phone number to call to make an appointment.

What a great way to discourage vets from trying to get their due benefits....

Hedgey,

Before you spend the $ for gasoline, try sending in an IRIS about this issue and also call the 1-800 line, I know, I know .... you don't always get the same answer at the 1-800 BUT all you want is a phone number. I bet most of this can be taken

care of (if needed) by FAX. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen overnight. I just went through the DEA enrollment process and today is actually Day 1 of the quarter, I started the DEA claim as soon after we received my husbands new rating and

a trip to to local community college and speaking with the VA Rep there helped out alot. She gave me a list of things to do, file the claim through VONAPP, etc. Did you daughter go to school locally ? You might start with the VA Svcs office

at the school first.

I'd tell ya not to give up but it sounds like you have no plans to.

VetsLady and, Proud to Be

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