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How To Follow Up On Claim


NamVetJ

Question

If my forthcoming comments and questions have been addressed elsewhere, please forgive me.

On August 4, 2011 I submitted a claim for PTSD and other things related to Agent Orange exposure since I had a presumptive condition (Ischemic Heart Disease). It has now been 5 months and 15 days, and I still haven't received a decision from the VA on either claim. I know from some of the reading I've done on this forum that long delays are not unusual, but I am wondering if there is anything I can do to move things along without irritating anyone.

I was told by the VRO yesterday that claims in that office took nine months before a decision is made. Is this the norm? Also how do I get in touch with representative from the various organizations that act on behalf of veterans in these cases. (DAV, American Legion,.etc)

I am currently in the VA system as a patient and have my first appointment with the PTSD clinic in a few weeks. Should I have waited on getting into the VA system? I sure would hate to be kicked out once I have started their treatment if my claim is denied.

I had PTSD long before I knew it as such. Since I wasn't having flashbacks, I attributed my mood swings, anger, depression, etc., all to a personality disorder. I had been treated for depression for years until my counselor recently put me through the PTSD screening and found out I had it. I then started the process of applying for help and treatment.

I am currently on Social Security disability -- totally disabled. Is that relevant to my case with the VA?

Thanks in advance.

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You can join ebenefits via the 1-800-827-1000 VA number for a status on your claim.

I personally think maybe using IRIS is better.

IRIS is found at the main VA web site

http://www.va.gov/

Go to the Contact Us area, click on it and follow the instructions.

You can request a phone call response but I always ask for email response to print off.

"Also how do I get in touch with representative from the various organizations that act on behalf of veterans in these cases. (DAV, American Legion,.etc)"

The VA web site has a section listing the various Vet claims orgs but it is down for some reason.

This AM it took me quite some time to find a listing for the vet orgs who handle Phila. VARO claims for a vet who somehow contacted me through a different site.

If you tell us the RO you deal with maybe I can find a list.

The VA directs anyone trying to access the Service rep page they always had -to a OGC page but there is no info there.

'I was told by the VRO yesterday that claims in that office took nine months before a decision is made. Is this the norm? '

I wouldnt depend on any time estimates by the VA.

Did you receive a VCAA letter yet and did you send them what they requested in it?

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Berta:

Thank you for the prompt response. I neglected to mention I'm registered on the ebenefits and fast track websites. On the "Fast Track" website it shows that my Agent Orange claim is in the Development Phase where it has been for months now. Below it is a hyperlink to the VCAA Letter dated 11/02/11. Then there is the following list of what they received:

VA Form 21-4142 09/30/2011 VA Form 21-4142 09/30/2011 VA Form 21-4142 09/30/2011 Ischemic Heart Disease DBQ 09/30/2011 VA Form 21-526 09/30/2011 DD Form 214 09/30/2011 Other Document or Notation 09/30/2011 VA Form 21-526EZ 11/02/2011 VCAA Certification 11/02/2011 VA Form 21-4142 11/28/2011 Ischemic Heart Disease DBQ 11/28/2011 Other Document or Notation 11/28/2011 VA Form 21-4142 11/29/2011 Ischemic Heart Disease DBQ 11/29/2011 Other Document or Notation 11/29/2011

Since this looks like all the stuff requested in the VCAA letter, I called to get it confirmed that it was all they needed, and the person said my file was complete.

On the "ebenefits site" my claim for PTSD is in the "Preparation for Decision" phase, where it has been for months. They say they don't need anything from me anymore.

"I personally think maybe using IRIS is better."

I'll try this too at your suggestion..............I'll ask for an email response too so I can print it off.

"If you tell us the RO you deal with maybe I can find a list."

The RO is New Orleans.

I don't know if I received a hard copy of the VCAA letter, but again when I checked with them they said everything is in that they need. In the IRIS inquiry do I outlined everything for them on where I see the status or just inquire about specific things that might be missing that they may need?

My main concern is that I don't want to get someone irritated at me for following up on my claim. I'd like some sense, if I could get it at why it is taking so long (have to ask *that* in the right way.)

By the way I've learned so much from this forum. Thanks for taking your time to contribute to it and clear things up.

NamVetJ

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