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A Joke...and Not A Funny One Either


nbll01

Question

I just recieved a call back from my DAV rep...(Phoenix DAV)...Ive been calling (daily) and leaving my info for a call back for almost three weeks.It seems all but impossible to get a hold of a case officer since there are only 2 and they stop taking calls by 2 each day. I filed a NOD in Dec 2009 so basically its 2 months short of 3 years and nothing. Ive been to several C & P exams the last one about a month ago with the Compensation and Ratings dept. The Dav rep tells me nothing at all other than my case is with the DRO officer and has a completion date of 180 days from now (2013) my mouth about hit the floor. I remind him its been almost three years..he says "yeah I saw that".................I originally filed in 2006 and somehow they lost my app so I went to the DAV and filed in 2007. Just deflating to hear 2013.................

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I find that YOU the VETERAN have to be your OWN ADVOCATE! There are different veteran service officers out there and they are TRYING to help thousands of veterans. There really are not enough out there to do justice to very many, statistically speaking! I find them to be my paper pushers...plus just to make sure I send them to the VARO via certified/registered too! I wish in the beginning they would have informed me of this, however costly, I found out during the process. So read, ask, utalize the internet, and other vets to find how to and what to do, but make damn sure you follow the timelines!! Any late posted forms cost the vets $$ and appeals MUST be timely! This is my own opinion!

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I'm in Phoenix also. When I first moved here I had the DAV boy was that a bad choice. It would take on an average 3-4 weeks to call back after leaving a message. On my first call it took her 3 weeks to call me back and then she started to lay down the law with me. She said your new here and this is what's goes on here don't ever contact your congressman, don't submit anything without me seeing it or she will stop any DAV help on my claim, do this and that man sounded like she was employed by the RO. So I said I'm outta "I fired them" all I did was simply ask here if my C file was transferred from Philadelphia to Phoenix yet and she went off on that speech. I'm over two years still on my initial compensation claim they rated me on two of my 5 things. I moved my POA over to AMVETS at the RO and the guy there has been great always responsive, emails back always the same day if he is in "great service". You may want to give them a try. As far as C&P exams I swear the Phoenix VAMC only employees 70-80 year old examiners for the topaz clinic to do these exams LOL. The guy that was around 70 did mine back in June and put all my info on the wrong DBQ cause he couldn't figure it out. So now I have to repeat the C&P exam next week since he used that wrong DBQ and it was incomplete URRG. The new examiner I now have I looked him up and he is 78 years old, hope he can see LOL. My claim also says now June 2013 almost three years after submitting it that's just crazy!

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I dont "favor" one VSO over another, and here is why:

I started with my "county" VSO, the VFW. After about a year the VFW sends me a letter saying they are "dropping" my representation.

They seemed to think I had little or no chance of getting benefits. I thought they were full of horse puckey. It turns out I was right.

I went to another VSO, this time a "National" DAV. He was just sure he was going to help. Its impossible to get hold of him. Useless.

Frustrated, I went to my VSO at the VAMC, with the DAV. He was worthless, and tried to talk me into not appealing, and instead "settling in" for a lowball rating and apply for an "increase later".

Still frustrated, I went back to county VSO..he seemed more knowlegeable than the others, except the national VSO, who was unavailable.

The county VSO said, "I represent them all.VFW, DAV, and a few others"....dont worry about the VFW dropping you..you should have came to me earlier, and I could just switch you to the DAV as I am with them all".

Gee...when you get a letter from the VFW "dropping you"..what was I supposed to think? He said that came from national, and they dont know what they are doing. I will agree, there.

He was no better with the DAV than he was with the VFW, altho he was probably the best of 4 VSO's but has retired recently.

In a nutshell, I think all the VSO's are equally bad, but for different reasons:

1. The "national" VSO's are better trained, but it does not help you, because you cant reach them. They dont return calls, and good luck trying to get hold of them.

2. County VSO's have no clue what they are doing, but you may get one out of 10 who does. The word will spread, tho, and soon he will be like the National VSO's, and very busy...much too busy to call you back..he has more important things to do like signing up more Vets POA.

I think they win "sales contests" for signing up Vets, kind of like magazine sales reps. I did hear my county VSO got a barbeque "for excellent service to Vets". My county VSO told me my claim was "inactive" for 2 years, so they discarded my evidence submitted and shredded it to protect my privacy. No kidding. I guess they dont have a clue that "2 years" to the VA is like 2 weeks...you are just getting warmed up and almost never will have any real benefits at least not at my RO. My claim was shredded, by the VSO, WHILE IT WAS AT THE BVA, which typically takes 4.4 years.

The VSO's and VA seem to expect you to contact them "just the right amount". In other words, I think they expect you to stop by for coffee, maybe, and probably join the DAV (pay money, when you have none). You need to stop by about once every 6-12 months. If you call or go by too often, say once a week, then you are a "pesky" Vet, and the VA finds a way to delay or deny pesky Vets. If you dont call often enough, then you have abandoned your claim. You are expected to "hit that sweet spot" in the middle to win benefits, in spite of your PTSD/and or poverty.

3. The ones at the hospital are available, if you wait, but they are about on the same level as county, except, getting their free rent from the VA, they are much more "pro VA anti-Vet". Expect them to tel you "you dont have a case for appeal, now just "settle in" for a 0 percent rating..after all, that empty lollipop stick will get you free hearing aids.

Bottom line: Get an attorney. They are "on commission" and have a vested interest in your case.

Edited by broncovet (see edit history)
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I'm sure many VSOs are great but overloaded.

It doesn't take long dealing with The Machine to become jaded.

Unfortunately, most of us didn't realize at the onset of our claims that you really need to become an amateur attorney and work on your own case, both with the VA and Social Security.

I feel for the folks who are too beat up or otherwise unequipped to do this.

Do all the research you are able and try to manage your own claim.

Good luck! smile.png

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I really agree with Notorious. The people I see that have had success did as much of it themselves as they could But what if you don't have access to a computer or know about sites like this. You are flying blind...

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Ive been to several C & P exams the last one about a month ago with the Compensation and Ratings dept.

The C&P's at least show that some action is being taken and your claim issues

are no longer just sitting in la-la land.

Have you tried to obtain any copies of your C&P exams yet to see what was stated

in them and if they appear advantageous towards a grant ?

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The C&P's at least show that some action is being taken and your claim issues

are no longer just sitting in la-la land.

Have you tried to obtain any copies of your C&P exams yet to see what was stated

in them and if they appear advantageous towards a grant ?

I have one of the last three C & P reports. I have the Rhinitis diagnosed with a nexus provided BUT do not have the polyps at this point so it looks like a 0 rating will apply HOWEVER it looks like SC will be awarded. So if it happens to worsen over time that will be good. The last C & P I had was with Ratings and Compensation Doc( Migraines and my Back ) and it seemed like everything went great ( I watched as he entered all info in to the computer). Its been about 3 weeks since the last exam SO I will go to the ROI to get copies next week to see them for myself. Thanks

Ive realized in the last several months that it TRUELY is up to me to babysit my claim. Its my responsiblility to develop and guide my claim. Only a fool would think the VA or DAV would actually do what they are supposed to do.....SOMEONE posted on here the VA is only consistant at 2 things....DENIALS and DELAYS........from my experience that is a true of a statement as you will ever hear. I appreciate those who have commented as well as those who provide such a wondeful wealth of information that we all may benefit from...Thanks

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If you don't know the rules and regs when you file your claims years later the VA will be proud to quote how all this information was available to you and you failed to avail yourself of it. They will blame you for trusting them and the VSO's. If you filed a claim 40 years ago and find out 40 years later that you were screwed to the wall the VA will say you had a chance to fight this claim 40 years ago and you should have done it then when you were young and ignorant.

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