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Foia - Freedom Of Information Act


How many vets have used the FOIA to use in their claim process? What is the normal cost for this information? When using this information did you win or lose your claim?

Thanks for any reply

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5 answers to this question

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What information do you want to get and from who?

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Getting a copy of your "C" file from the VA is generally without charge. They can charge for additional copies.

Cost is extremely variable, although there are limits.

FOIA time limits are generally ignored by the VA. The VA likes to say that the FOIA time limit is satisfied or suspended by sending you

correspondence, or something other than what you asked for. It's extremely important to obtain a copy of your military records (including medical)

and your "C" file (if it exists) before you submit anything other than a simple and relatively low level claim.

When RO's start "messing" with a veterans file, the chances of losing records (especially those favorable to a claim) seem to increase greatly.

My personal experience with this involves the mysterious disappearance of a "CUE" able denial made in the late 1960's, and a military hospital doctor's statement stating "duty related".

The disappearance occurred between 2006 and 2008, and involved records that had quietly resided in the "C" file for many decades. The "CUE" able denial was repeated in the same time frame

as that of the records disappearance. (Strange, that!)

FOIA does force the VA to acknowledge the request, and blatant disregard can cause the VA some administrative trouble. In a serious situation, it can be used by a lawyer to help a claim.

(Again, too many gory details.)

How many vets have used the FOIA to use in their claim process? What is the normal cost for this information? When using this information did you win or lose your claim?

Thanks for any reply

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I have a copy of my "C" File but on an earlier post I asked a question. In 1964~67 the old style Cotton mattress (2"~4" thick) I remember when you were issued your mattress I remember it had some oder. What chemicals were used on the mattress? Was it sprayed for bed bugs? In the process one vet suggested that I look into FOIA. Thanks for any reply.

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I have used FOIA a lot over the years.

These requests have to go to the exact FOIA department stating where the info could possibly be found.If known.

For example I FOIAed our local town office ,and could tell them exactly what file cabinet the info would be found in.

But some FOIAs take a lot of time for little results.It took me over 2 years to get a disk under FOIA from the Dept of HHS regarding deaths attributed to a few meds the VA had dispensed to my husband.

I won the VA claim before I even got the HHS disk.

However-you asked about chemicals in a bug spray on mattresses in 1965. DOD and not VA would be the best place to start but why would you need this info?

If you have a residual documented and ratable disablity you feel is directly due to inservice bug spray 40 to 50 years later

you would need a very strong independent medical opinion to support that conclusion.

They probably used DDT in those days.

Kurt Priessman was relentless in using FOIA with the Defense Department in order to prove they used AO there on the perimeter of his base in Thailand.

His results were published on the net and also VA developed a special Directive on Thailand claims due to his work.

He has helped numerous Thailand vets since prove they were exposed to AO.But FOIAS - as I sure have experienced- can become a lot of work-

another Dept of Labor FOIA I sent got me info that was so great, I almost did a cartwheel.

Although VA awarded that specific claim I needed the info for -acknowledging but without even considering the DOL evidence, I still have it because it was so good.And one never knows what they might need to produce in the future to the VA.

You would be FOIAing for info as to DOD aquisitions of bug sprays in the 1960s for the purposes of disinfecting military mattresses.

However, if you dont have any ratable residual disability that could be attributed to this spray I dont see the point in FOIAing for the info.

During those years incountry Vietnam vets surely had residuals of AO on their beds- when they even had beds.

Maybe the AO killed any mattress insects.

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Searching for information that could support my claims of reoccurring prostate cancer and Peripheral neuropathy when no one in my family (Both sides) has ever had these problems. Yes it could have been DDT or Cholordane.just wanting to line up as many ducks as possible.

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