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How Do I Prevent Unnecessary Delays In My Disability Claim?


georgiapapa

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Based on comments I have seen on some posts by other members it appears I have unknowingly put some obstacles in my way prior to submitting my latest disability claim. I am concerned that my new disability claim will be delayed or put on hold until the VARO resolves two pending issues I have with the VARO including an appointment request to review my c-file and a request to correct my birthdate in my VA records. . I submitted these requests to the Atlanta VARO in July 2011 but they have not been resolved as of this date. I am concerned that my new disability claim will now be delayed or on hold until the VARO resolves my two previous issues (appointment for c-file review & birthdate correction). I could withdraw my request to review my c-file if this will keep my latest claim from being delayed but the birthdate correction issue has created problems with me accessing myhealthevet and ebenefits.

I submitted an informal claim for disability compensation to the Atlanta VARO in October 2011 followed by a formal claim in November 2011 via certified mail. My formal claim package included military records showing service on the ground in Vietnam in 1967 & 1968, letters from two different oncologists verifying my diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma and medical lab reports supporting the doctor's diagnosis. Since Multiple Myeloma is one of the diseases listed on the VA's presumptive list, I do not anticipate problems with service connection of my disease.

So far, I received my green card back from the VARO proving receipt of my formal claim package but I have not received any other documentation from the VARO at this time. During my last completed disability claim in 2010, I received a letter from the VA acknowledging they had received my claim about a month after I submitted my formal claim and about two months later I received the "duty to assist" letter from the VA. I have not received either of these with my latest claim.

QUESTION: Should I ask the VARO to cancel my request to review my c-file?

QUESTION: Should I ask the VARO to cancel my request to correct my birthdate at this time and make a new request after my latest disability claim has been decided?

QUESTION: Is there a quick way to get the VA to make a simple correction to a veteran's birthdate?

NOTE: The VARO already has my military records with my correct birthdate and I have provided the VAMC and VARO with copies of my DD-214 and drivers license with proof of my correct birthdate.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks...Georgiapapa

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Georgiapapa,

I wouldn't withdraw your claim. If you have the green cards for what you have submitted you should be good.

No there is no easy way to get the VA to do anything.

I wouldn't cancel anything because when you say cancel to the VA who knows what they will cancel.

Oct-Nov 2011 really isn't that long take about 18 months for anything to happen here in Michigan.

Best regards,

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I agree with 71M10, Don't withdraw anything. What you can do is periodically check with the VA to make sure they are not waiting for some document you can provide. They held my claim up because they said they did not have a copy of my DD214. This was bull but I got a certified copy and provided them with it.

John

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Hi GaPapa,

Reviewing your c-file is a great idea and should be done before claim is completed (I would have done it before filing, in hindsight).

A review should only take your file out of circulation for a minimal time, so don't sweat that.

Doesn't seem like a birthdate correction should be such an ordeal but....I agree. Don't withdraw anything.

Try submitting an IRIS inquiry asking the status of those 2 items. https://iris.custhelp.com/ Click on Ask a Question.

Good luck!

Edited by Notorious Kelly
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Georgiapapa, from my own personal experience I strongly disagree with the other postings. The VAROs may have begun treating requests for info from your c file as an FOIA request and a "claim". . That could delay any action on your real claim or appeal for months, if not more. Get a decision on your claim or appeal before asking for something from your c file. Use Ebenefits to make sure. It is my belief that defining a request for info from your c file as a "claim" has begin to be used as a delay strategy for a decision....

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Getting Atlanta to do anything seems to take more time than it should. I'd guess that six months or so after October, you might see something other than the greem card.

There is a concern that what you sent in might have been lost. Supposedly, you can ask the VA to confirm that they received something from you. I've had very mixed results doing this. It also seems that Atlanta's updating of the electronic records leaves a great deal to be desired.

It's interesting that it can take seemingly months for an RO to get hands on a veteran's file, and the VARO's in house lawyers can (if they so choose) get hands on in a matter of minutes, while a veteran or legal representative (lawyer) is waiting on a phone.

Edited by Chuck75
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Georgiapapa, from my own personal experience I strongly disagree with the other postings. The VAROs may have begun treating requests for info from your c file as an FOIA request and a "claim". . That could delay any action on your real claim or appeal for months, if not more. Get a decision on your claim or appeal before asking for something from your c file. Use Ebenefits to make sure. It is my belief that defining a request for info from your c file as a "claim" has begin to be used as a delay strategy for a decision....

Deanbrt,

Georgiapapa clearly indicates it is a request for an appointment to review his C-file. I don't know how you have interjected FOIA and this being considered another claim in the conversation. As stated before asking the VA to cancel anything could result in some vary interesting results. I know from experience, because I asked to cancel a DRO Hearing once. Took 4 months and about 3 letters for the VA to understand I was not cancelling my appeal but just the hearing.

Best regards,

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