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Another Odd Response From Varo



The VA still has not acknowledged my two IMOs-

and they said that my c file was "temporarily" transferred to Washington-

But the 800 vet rep had no idea why-

there is no new docket but an old one popped up-

The VA, in a past letter from the RO manager, suggested they would attempt to re-open an old CUE claim I had-at the BVA, never pursued it-

I responded that I did not see how that would resolve my issues-

It was a CUE on a service connected death decision-I think I raised the Agent Orange issue-

My IMOs (still ignored ?) support that Rod had DMII from AO and it caused his death.

When they awarded the 1151 DIC I did not pursue it-

could this be why it is there temporarily?

I sent them an Inquery but who knows if I will get a straight answer on that-

I have to dig out that old BVA case- (1998?)or look for it at the BVA web site-

My vet rep and I discussed the letter on the CUE re-open- he agreed with me that this would

stave off the Agent Orange issue and the Nehmer retro-

an interesting VA ploy to save mega bucks-

I think this is what they are attempting to do- re-open my old CUE?

OR- just send it there for another stall tactic-

men and women - although I have succeeded on many personal VA claims- it has ALWAYS been a rigamorale-

Also they apparently denied a recent CUE because they said I was not eligible for SMC accrued under 1151 as the veteran had never filed a Section 1151 in his lifetime.

HE DID! He called at 10 AM of the morning he died to get the status of his PTSD claim and his 1151 claim-

I have his 1151 claim right here and re-opened it for my DIC claim.They were both at the rating board.

I got the same vet rep 4 hours later when I reported to the VA that he had died.

The 800 vet rep was very upset because she knew he had been upset to hear that the PTSD claim had not moved at all in months.

How dare they say he never filed it- he filed it on March 25th, 1994.

And he predicted his own death in it.

It was dramatic and I typed it as he stated it.

I never dreamed that he would die within months after filing it.

My DIC 21-534 completely supports his own 1151 claim.

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Guest jangrin

Berta, I know I'm really new to all this, but help me out here.

If you re-opened your 1151 claim in order to recieved DIC and you were awarded DIC then how can they come back now and say that your husband never opened an 1151 claim?

Also, if you filed a CUE and raised the issue of Agent Orange and DMII with I am assuming heart condition as secondary. And you currently have IMO's that support AO and DMII. Wouldn't it be a good thing to let them bring up the CUE again because you have documentation to prove the connection and wasn't the CUE date before the 1151 award date, wouldn't it be more retro with the CUE?

I'm probably missing the big picture, but ya gotta jump in some time and try to understand this stuff.

Thanks for being the teacher today.

Jangrin :(

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Jangrin- I posted in another section what I am now dealing with-

Yes there is a big picture to this all and lots of retro under the Nehmer Order-

I have 2 medical opinions that fully support my husband had DMII from AO in Nam.They refuse to consider these opinions.

And you are correct -how can they say he never filed a Sec 1151 claim- when I re-opened it and even attached a copy of it to my DIC claim in 1995-it was pending when he died-

How can they do this stuff do me? I dont know- they are fully aware that I am a veteran's advocate and have helped other Buffalo RO claimants. They know I will fight back.

But there is always the chance that if they stall long enough I will die-no retro to pay.

It almost worked with Rod. When he died with a Section 1151 claim and a PTSD claim for higher rating pending-if I had not studied cardiology for 3 months-

they would have succeeded in not only denying those claims-they would have also successfully continued their cover up of the "substandard" medical care that caused his death.

There is a case I need to find today-

A VARO discriminated against a claimant because of a Sec 1151 issue.discriminated is not the exact wording- forget what it said-

the VA had used a Section 1151 situation against the claimant in a detrimental way and the court found for the claimant- Look V Derwinski-

I feel that the VA is using the fact that I won a wrongful death settlement to try to subvert their proper decision on this AO issue.

These ara two separate issues.

They killed the veteran by failing to diagnose and treat heart disease.(resolved with documented FTCA award 1997)

He got the heart disease because they failed to diagnose and treat DMII from exposure (confirmed by AO Commission 1991) to AO.

My IMO from Dr. Bash states the same thing.

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Terry-if I have to go to Washington I would rather give testimony to the House or Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs.

I certainly am considering this however- meantime- I wrote to the VARO director and listed each violation of my basic rights as a claimant that has occurred-over the past three and a half years-

I received no VCAA letter as required by the VCAA, no de novo review (I got a replica sameo sameo review word for word of the initial denial), violation of M21-1 MR ,Part 1, Chapter 5, Duties of DROs (I got one who could not read my IMOs so she ignored them and I have two witnesses that this is what she said), violation of basic tenents of 38 CFR 3.303- all of my medical evidence was ignored, I had much more in addition to the 2 IMOs.

I am also sending Chairman Craig, Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs- re: recent Backlog hearings-

a copy of my letter to the Buffalo director as I am now a part of a backlog that is due to a growing practice of ROs failing to send the proper VCAA notification-so the BVA has to remand the claim-

also, with considerable medical evidence not considered the BVA would remand-

The ROs can take on their weekly reports -credit for working a claim when it goes to the BVA- when the reality is that they have stalled a decision and if any of them have a clue at all on VA case laws and regs in 38 CFR, M21-1 they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is an excellent way to appear to have 'worked' the claim and not fully developed it- and- if the veteran never gets the VCAA letter

they might not consider what I did- to get the IMOs anyhow-

I saw a remand that specifically mentions that the VARO did not advise the widow to obtain a IMO, thus did not fulfill the VCAA requirements at all and of course she got a remand.

I am actually quite delighted that again the VA has put a foot in their mouth over this "temporary" transfer of my claim to the BVA, It gives me a chance to play their war game-

and I have lots of past experience in how that goes.

I did not know what a VCAA letter actually was until I searched here at hadit-just think how many claimants do not know what they are and never get them,

and the remand situation has already been set up by the RO-staving off a proper decision for years-in total violation of the veteran's DTA and VCAA rights.

I found an interesting report and incorporated into my letter to Buffalo and Chairman Craig-

It is testimony from Peter Gaytan, Director Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division , American Legion, regarding the IG report that caused the PTSD broohaha.

Gayton states that an IG survey of raters and DROs in 2005 found that

"Sixty five percent of raters and DROs admitted that they did not have enough time to provide timely and quality decisions. In fact 57 percent indicated that they had difficult in meeting production standards if they took time to adequately develop claims and thoroughly review the evidence before making a decision."

These are the federal employees paid over GS 12 levels who control us?

Since the VAROs have turned into production lines with an end product standard that they must meet,

and the stress on RO employees must be considerable-

still it is the VA claimants themselves who suffer from the results of a system ,who by it's own admission to the IG, cannot do the work right and generate "quality decisions."

I dont care how much stress they are under.

They are trying to get as many claims off their desks and sent to the BVA as they can.

Many S0s help them do that by gladly helping a vet to file a 1-9-and I wonder how many SOs take the time to see if a valid claim has generated a VCAA letter advising the vet as to how to succeed at the VARO level.Or even taken the time to see if the veteran's evidence has been properly addressed.

I will hear from my vet rep tomorrow. He already has twice been at meetings there over my evidence-which he feels should havbe produced an award last year-

and at a meeting to clarify my other issues which they had all messed up.

Funny thing- the last meeting produced a letter promising me VCAA letters on my two CUE claims-

this is in direct violation of VA regs- CUES do NOT get VCAA letters.

I was very happy to sit on this documented VA error for months and then I put this into my recent letter to the director too.

Terry- as you well know- with all you have been through- the worm does turn-

and it usually bites someone in the ass-

Unfortunately some of us claimants have to take extreme and usual steps to obtain our most basic VA rights of Due process.I intend to get mine.

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Guest anfrnkie

breta, i have been reading your post but am lost as to what the real problem is can you give me a idea? this way i can be in tuned with you pros thank franf

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The real problem involves many many claimants whose claims become part of the BVA backlog due to the inability of VAROs to acknowledge their evidence and fail to provide the claimants (if claims were filed since 2000) any VCAA Notification as described in 38 CFR and

38 USC 5103 (a) as amended by the Veterans Claims Assistance Act, Public Law 106-475 2000.

If the claim depends on more evidence , then the VCAA -or lack thereof -is so critical that the BVA remands the claim- back to the entity that should have worked on it in the first place.

A search of the BVA shows what I mean.

This is why there are hearings at the Senate- the backlog this has helped create is unconscionable.

In my case I went through the same problem with VARO as I have now- only to succeed many years ago so I am taking the steps I took then to get it all resolved.Plus a few new ones I am using.

I did not have the benefit of the VCAA then.

It isn't really a problem-it is another war game-and I am sure up to playing war games with the VA.

I am not looking for assistance at hadit- Frank-but thank you for your interest-

I do feel however that -if any vet filed a claim since the enactment of the VCAA and did NOT receive an appropriate VCAA letter (a VARO vet rep told me they are far behind on issuing these)

as I posted here before- this constitutes error on VA's part, they cannot deny before the claimant gets one- but they are denying claims before this notice is sent.

A veteran with any denial should certainly raise the issue that their DTA rights have been violated if they do not get a proper VCAA notice-

which states what the veteran needs to supply to VA in order to succeed.

a simple blah blah rendition of evidence needed in a SOC or decision is NOT a VCAA Notification letter.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If a very simple and straight forward AO DMII claim can take 18 months and another year to include obvious secondary conditions is it any wonder that more complicated claims take years and years. What kills most of us is the time involved in doing even simple claims. Years and years go by and the same idiotic mistakes are made at the VARO only to be remanded back to the same VARO by the BVA. Even though I had much evidence and documentation I am feeling really lucky that I even won my claim for IU. It could have gone either way. The system needs a complete over haul and I would like to see us able to hire lawyers for initial claims or have the option to go with the VSO's. Perhaps the Senate should ask the veterans what they want and abide by that exercise in democracy. Afterall, Bush & Co. want to bring democracy to the world so why not to us vets.

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