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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
      • 0 replies
    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
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    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
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      Fund HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran LLC


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marathonjon

Advice On How To Handle Lack Of Response From Ro

Question

I'm in a Catch-22 situation and wonder if anyone has advice on the next step I should take. I filed an appeal to the VA's decision on my disability claim, choosing to go the DRO route. As a veteran living overseas, my case is handled by the Pittsburgh RO. After almost 2 years, I finally got a letter from them stating I needed to get another C&P exam. I made arrangements to get the exam at the air base where I receive my medical treatment, but the catch is that they will do the exam only if they receive the request directly from the VARO. I've sent 5 requests to the RO either by fax or through the IRIS system. They always respond that they'll give my request to the appeal team. Yesterday I got a copy of the original letter stating I needed another C&P exam, but the air base hospital still hasn't received it.

I've searched on this forum for what to do when the RO does not respond to requests and found one post where someone emailed someone in Washington DC and another where someone wrote their Congressional rep, but after 20 years in the military, I have to believe there's a chain of command I can follow. I've searched the VA website, and of course there's nothing about what to do when you have a complaint. Their IG works mostly fraud, waste, and abuse issues. It appears that each RO falls under an area office. Would it do any good to write to them? Or should I write directly to the VBA office in DC? Would appreciate any tips that have worked for others on this issue.

BTW, I don't currently have a VSO rep. I used one back in Texas but he wasn't very helpful. I've lived here in Japan only a short while and haven't found another rep yet.

Thanks!

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I agree there SHOULD be a chain of command at the RO, but, if there is, it is a carefully gaurded secret. You see, the VA doesnt just let you call a supervisor and "fix things" like in the real world, but that would be nice. If there were such a chain of command easily available, then hadit may not be necessary..you just go up the chain of command, like we did in the military.

Instead, first try an IRIS email. If unsuccessful there, send in a 21-4138. Then, if still no success, file an "Intent to file a writ of mandamus" with your RO. If still nothing then file a Writ of Mandamus with the CAVC. Some suggest this should be done if your claim has not moved in about 18 months.

The manager at your RO will likely have to respond to the Writ of mandamus. This does seem to get things going. I have filed a writ, and, tho the writ was denied by the CAVC (they regurarly are denied), it helped move the RO off their duff to get the claim going. They will sit on your claim for decades if you let them. Dont let them.

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I think the biggest thing a Writ accomplishes is that it hits the VA where it hurts the most...in the media, since CAVC cases are public knowledge. If you could get 60 minutes to do a blurb on it, it would likely accomplish the same thing. The VA manages by "putting out fires". So you have to build a fire to get them to put it out. Smoke wont work.

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You can file a complaint on IRIS.

When it asks "Inquiry Type" the pull down box will have "service complaint" you can click on.

Service complaints are documented and they are handled differently then status questions.

This approach worked for me regarding a few issues over the years.

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Thanks Berta, I never noticed the "Complaint" option before. It's worth a try!

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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
      • 0 replies
    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
      • 7 replies
    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
      • 0 replies
    • A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment...
      A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment go to https://www.hadit.com I'd like to see how the server handles a lot of traffic. So if you have a moment click the link and i can see how things are going on the back end.
      • 11 replies
    • It's time to ask for help from the community. If you can help with a gift it would be very appreciated.

      Fund HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran LLC


      Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt.com. HadIt.com is NOT a non profit. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. 
      • 11 replies
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