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Top Sheeting Decisions?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

What is top sheeting?

I've been informed that my shoulder claim that was awarded in 2009 by the BVA will be delayed 3 yrs due to the NOD I sent in on March 2010.

Never heard of "TOP SHEETING" before. But SO says that it looks like thats how the rater has been deciding my claim.

The first VARO rating was Feb 2010. They rated 10% for arthritis, but omited rating for loss of range of motion and chronic pain.

Now the NSO is saying the VARO rater has interpreted my NOD to be for the 10% arthritis. Nothing in my NOD mentioned the 10% for arthritis they already rated.

When I sent in the NOD, I was specific in using diagnostic codes and CFR's to make shure there was no error on what I was filing the NOD for.

What happened to reading all the evidence of record, processing a claim in a timely manner and addressing all claimed issues?

Thanks for any replies. Others may be going through this as well.


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While Im no expert, based on what I have read it would appear "top sheeting" would imply that the rater did not "dig down" and read your entire evidence, but just glanced at what was on the top sheet and made a decision, probably less favorable to you than if he had read the whole thing.

It sounds like its the "new shredding". Rather than shred the evidence, just dont bother to read it, which would accomplish the same thing. Then, the Veteran can take another four years and "fix" it at the BVA level..and, in the mean time the rating specialist gets bonuses and promotions for "production".

With the VA policy of "Zero accountablility", this means this scenario would produce favorable results for the rating specialist at the expense of the Veteran.

This has been going on for decades...just ask Berta how good they are at reading her evidence.

I think this must be what Obama/Shinseki meant by "reducing the backlog" by 2012..or was it 2011...or 2015? Oh, yea..it depends on which year they said it.

Edited by broncovet
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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

I agree with Bronco on this. It really stinks when you get the short end of the stick because someone decided to take a shortcut.

"If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid."
- From Murphy's Laws of Combat

Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert, so use at own risk and/or consult a qualified professional representative. Please refer to existing VA laws, regulations, and policies for the most up to date information.


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"What happened to reading all the evidence of record, processing a claim in a timely manner and addressing all claimed issues?

Thanks for any replies. Others may be going through this as well."

Broncovet said "This has been going on for decades...just ask Berta how good they are at reading her evidence."

My evidence for my AO death claim took almost 6 years to be read by the VA.At the BVA level. Nothing was considered at the RO level.Same for my 2004 CUE claim still pending under Nehmer.

The request for the offset cash for the AO award took my almost a year to get VA to read it.I had to pressure the OGC on that.

When they (OGC) sent the VARO a strong letter and the very same regs I had been sending to the VARO-that warranted the pay out---

that brought the check in the mail.

My original evidence for my FTCA case was read by the Regional counsel in 4 months after he got my SF 95.A Peer Review report had concurred with my malpractice charges.The RC called me up to tell me that and he wanted to settle with me.FTCA has nothing to do with the VARO but I also had a Sec 1151 pending and he personally took the Peer Review to the VARO to use as evidence for the 1151.

Then a series of unusual events occurred and the critical Peer report (I was told by VA) had never been done and had never even existed.

It took more time for my malpractice evidence to be considered but this took a lot of pressure from me on the General COunsel's office and that only took 2 more years.In all this time I managed to expand considerably on my malpractice documented medical evidence.I studied cardiology and neurology to deal with the VA Central Cardio Team as well as be able to continuously provide an overwhelming case.

The Missing Peer report still never showed up so I had to almost start from day one on the evidence.

Both the doctor who prepared and the RC retired within months of it's preparation.Not even a FOIA would produce it.

By then my husband's autopsy ( the most critical document for the case had been sent to the RO 12 times yet was never considered.(for the 1151 claim)They (Buffalo VARO) removed it from the C file when the case went to OGC and VA Central Strategic Health Team for FTCA review. Only by being aggressive and finding out who was doing the review in DC ( a top VA cardio doc)and by calling them did I discover (and they were stunned to learn ) that this critical document was missing from my C file.

I immediately faxed the autopsy to the Cardio VA doc and days later the General COunsel lawyer called me to start negotiations for a settlement.

This stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum.It is not by coincidence that this type of violation of our rights occurs and that significant evidence is continuously ignored or removed from the c file or destroyed.

My cases and claims have cost the VA big bucks so I feel this was the motivation to impede the claim in every way they can.

BTW- I obtained the so called non existent Peer Review report in 2003.

It is dynamite and I used it for my pending Nehmer claim.Before I re opened my AO claim in 2003 I decided to see what else was in my c file since 1998 and asked for a new C file copy and it was right on the bottom of the stack.

So was the original Section 1151 claim my husband filed that they also said never existed.

To encompass a 17 year period of numerous violations of my evidentary rights means that many handled my claims at the Regional level and yet no one ever read my evidence. That tells me a decision was made long ago by someone higher then the raters to impede my claims in every single way they could.

They even lost my Aug 2010 AO claim, then found it and sent to to the wrong RO.

And of course they didnt advise NVLSP that I was a Nehmer widow.

I was thrilled that my AO claim is at Phila RO.My 2004 unresolved CUE is there too.

I am not on any Phila RO Sh-- list yet.

That I know of.

Edited by Berta

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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