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Ok let me try this one.

Filed my claim in August 2010. C&P's completed in Jan, Feb and May 11. Claim went to raters 6 July 2011. Log into E-benefits today and notice that claim is back in development. Call Peggy...I'm told VARO Atlanta doesnt have Sevice Treatment Records. I say i was told on 2 Nov 2010 that my records had been recieved by VARO and they would schedule whatever C&P's were needed after reviewing records. Well, I got the C&P's, spent 11 months in Development total and 2 months at raters and I'm now told they "never recieved" my SMR's. Does this smell fishy?

Peggy said they requested records from National Repository and recieved a "negative response" whatever that means. I asked if they followed up and she said no. I asked should they have followed up? She said we sent you a letter in November, I said you sure did but that was to schedule my C&P's and no mention of SMR's. She said we sent you another in May...I said yes you did but that was for another C&P and no mention about missing SMR's. She said, well we mailed you one today.

I said'am I check my e-benefits everyday and there has never been anything on there stating anything was missing. I call the 1-800 every week and ask if there is anything the VA needs for my claim and over 50 times now i've been told "no" My claim is 13 months old and nobody has ever mentioned they didnt have my SMR's....I have two copies of them in my office. I could have overnighted them a year ago.

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bakerkd -

If you're new to the ATL VARO, welcome. ;-} I'm with you: I can't believe they missed this, but they've missed stuff in my claims as well. My best suggestion would be to take a copy of what you have IN PERSON to the VARO, get them stamped "Received", and ask to see one of the VSOs there. I say this not because you need a VSO - if you're on this site, you can do most things yourself - but, you need an eye on the inside. The VSOs in the building have access to two of the systems the VA uses to process your claims. Even if you don't use them often, a sit-down with a VSO while they're looking at the systems can give you a great deal of info on the status of your claims, records on hand, etc. Calling the #800 has varying results in reliability. Sending an IRIS request, routed to the VARO, is better. Ask the question if they do or do not have your records. If not, did you exit from Robins?? I've had records problems there as well. Your records would have been forwarded to the VA upon your exit, your personnel records and (from my experience) some of your medical records would be available at the National Archives. You can make an on-line request to see what they have. I did it, and forwarded a copy of everything to ATL VARO. I sent them records they should have already had. Best of luck! Time-wise, you're doing better than most out of that office...

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The C & Ps could be challenged if they are negative because the C & P doc didn't have them (if this regards a claim needing an inservice nexus).

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Berta- This is my initial claim filed when I retired. Every item claimed is in my SMR's. I have copies of my treatment records at home which I could have sent a year ago if I had known they were waiting on them. I am going to send them in. Basically I'm going to develop my own claim. I'm going to submit the records tabbed under each contention with evidence highlighted.

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The C & Ps could be challenged if they are negative because the C & P doc didn't have them (if this regards a claim needing an inservice nexus).

Whats weird is that all of my C&P were favorable. One for ENT almost states verbatim a statement in my SMR's even though they "supposedly" didn't have them. What really torques me is that I was called by the VA to schedule my C&P exams in Nov 10 and the scheduler told me then that they had requested my records and I said I was told by Peggy that on 2 Nov 10 that they "VARO" had my records, she put me on hold came back and said i'm showing we have recieved them. Now suddenly they never had them to begin with. I call Peggy every week to verify that they have everything they need, thats over 50 times in the last year, and nobody EVER mentioned they didnt have my smr's

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Hello Baker and Justr,,,,,, Well.... I don't want to blow smoke but trying to get phone calls and ebenefits and the 1800 line is just that . The VA regional office will tell you just about anything you want to hear and most of it will be false. Every once in a while you may get a straight truthfull answer but their job is not to decide your claim quickly . If they did that then the 1.2 million backlogged claims would be gone.

Everything must be sent Certified mail and signed for. Your timelines on each issue and NODs, or Appeals must be in order on those timelines. The Evidence is what will win and it almost NEVER gets decided PROPERLY at the Regional Office without REMANDS from the BVA or the CAVA. It is their job to deny you and to keep you in the dark. The Veterans Benefits Administration and the Compensation and Pension Examiners (C&P) are one of the same. They work on the BONUS system. They get paid for not moving your claim PROPERLY or LEGALLY. That is why the courts must take charge. It would be shocking to see the small number of claims that the VA Regional Offices have gotten right the first time around. It is just not going to happen.

Most of us here have had to go thru the fire with the VARO's and just to let you know of some of my fight. I have been at this for nearly 5 years and have not been service connected for anything. I can tell you that most of the battles with the VAROS take anywhere from 6-8 years and sometimes 10 to 15 years. Ask some of our Vets here and Moderators and Elders and see if they agree with me.

Berta is right on your C and P. It was an illegal C and P. They cannot make a decision without your COMPLETE SMR's and Private Medical Records. It must be NOD, or and Appeal. It the case is closed then you can reopen it on a CUE for that but that is a long drawn out event also.

Realizing that the VARO is not a friend to you and that they will lie, shred, leave it in a parking lot or dumpster, or just not read ALL of the evidence is what makes their Bonuses each year. If you want to believe that they are going to decide it right and leave you alone then I have some seawater floor that I want to sell you.

I would also think about trying to represent yourself until you know the 38 CFRs and the M21s inside and out. I still don't know it all and would suggest that eventually you may want to get a lawyer because of the playing field will not be even until that happens.

This site is a wealth of knowledge and there are some folks here that can help you get your claim going in the right direction. The reason this site is here is because we all have HADIT with the nonsense of the VA and their LIES. Knowing your enemy and how to fight Goliath is about what your up against. I would look for 5 smooth stones like David did and aim for the soft spot between the eyes. Thats where your sling(38 CFRs) and the stones(M21s) come in. As for the help here..... it is exceptional. But remember that alot of us who try and help are also battling the VA and some of us have chosen the Lawyers route as it keeps the timelines correct and no "after 13 months they still don't have it nonsense" . Plus , I have tried it the way you did it and could not get the truth from them. I am getting sicker not better or even keeping an even keel and the lawyer route was the best for me.

It makes me so angry that the VAROs continue to do this to you and to ALL Vets and that you have to go thru this nonsense.

Yes I know its unfair and they lied to you and Peggy....... God Bless her little pea picking heart was untruthful to you and the folks at the 1 800 line have never received your information. And its been 13 months......... Like I said .....get ready for a battle and I would run to the nearest lawyer you can find in VA Claims and get them to deal with it. Over 50 times is not only without excuse from the VARO but your time is more valuable than that and so is your health. I hope you can get what you deserve and continue to fight with the enemy, but with resolve. Above all NEVER GIVE UP........ Welcome aboard to Hadit and God Bless, C.C.

Edited by Capt.Contaminate
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CC believe me I don't trust them. I follow up every week, thats how I have managed to call over 50 times and check e-bennies daily. Not happy with "we have everything we need and a rater will review your record and make a decision or request more information", I assumed they were blowing smoke, so I followed up with an IRIS and was told "we have everything we need and a rater wil...... I'm not a happy camper. They aren't trying to be inefficient its just their culture.

Let me give a few examples; In Jan Atlanta VARO schedules me for multiple C&P exams at Dublin VAMC, I attend them all except ENT and Audiology. Why not those two? Because the examiner at Dublin pointed out that they are done at the Augusta VAMC. I call Atlanta VARO back and say Dublin couldn't do the ENT/Hearing because those are done at Augusta could you please schedule me through Augusta? Response from VARO- We will review your SMR's to determine if exams are even needed. I say they must be needed because you just sent me for them but to the wrong VAMC. Their response- we will need Dublin to confirmn they could not complete them. I say cool when will that be. They say either 60 or 90 days depending on what suspense they put on it. I say are you kidding me, don't you know what exams are at what VAMC? I'm telling you now you screwed up but you want me to wait 60 -90 days to reschedule. Their response....Yes. Hearing/ENT exam requested by VARO in Jan finally scheduled in May.

I also mentioned that I didn't get exams for everything I claimed when will those be scheduled? VARO response, a rater reviews your records and determines what exams are required if they didn't request an exam its because they feel they have everything they need in your SMR's to make a decision. I wasnt sure that was the right answer so I sent an IRIS with same question and low and behold got the same answer. That was in February now in Sep they are telling me they never had my SMR's to begin with. What may I ask were they reviewing to determine what C&P's to send me to? Humm wonder how many C&P's i will get when they actually get them?

Here is another; booked a day off work to go to two C&P exams at Dublin VAMC. Day prior I get home from work and there is a message on my answering machine " this is a reminder of your appt at 1400 tomorrow" the message doesn't say who its from or what or even where the appt is. Guess what...Its a CT scan that the VA never notified me about....lucky for me I already booked day off AND it was at the same VAMC but different building as my other two C&P's. Kinda weird I got a half assed reminder for an appt I didnt get a letter for but no reminder for the two I did get letters on. Just luck huh

Edited by bakerkd
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