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Claim Not Certified But Ebenefits Shows Bva Decision


add55p

Question

In January 2010 I submitted a substantive appeal VA form 9. March 2010 the claim was listed as certified to BVA. In February 2012 the claim was no longer certified to BVA and I was told that it was being reviewed by DRO at VA Regional Office (maybe because of the new evidence that was discovered by someone). Scheduled for a C&P in April 2012. On 18 Oct 2012, Ebenefits shows that the BVA (not the DRO at the VA Regional office) has made a decison on my claim and has sent it to the VA Health Center (not the VA Regional office).

Question 1: How did the BVA make a decsion if I was never notified that they (BVA) received my VA form 9 for review?

Question 2: If somehow the VA Regional Office DRO is using this term and has again denied my claim and is sending me a supplemental statement of the case, will I have to submit another VA form 9 and get back in line? And if so, what happens to my January 2010 Subsstantive appeal.

About six months ago, I personally telephoned the BVA to ask when a docket number was assigned to an appeal and the BVA specifically told me, that the docket number is assigned upon the appeal (VA form 9) being received and logged at the BVA.

If an SSOC has in fact been issued then I am in for an additional 2 to 3 years wait (very unfortunate if that is the case!!!).

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Add

Something similar happened to a Vets advocate friend of mine. His claim went to the BVA nothing, nothing, nothing.

During the long wait, he had recieved an unrelated RO decision which he also appealed.

Years go by. One BVA decision is decided and no decision is sent out. This is because they decided to merge it with the "new appeal" thus further delaying the first decision.

Mine was even worse. The BVA had merged 4 decisions with one appeal. Two of these were never adjuticated at all because the BVA decided they "became moot" when benefits were awarded...this all without due process for me. In other words, they were "deemed denials" that the VA loves.

A deemed denial is the ultimate slap in the face to Vets. What it says is "The VA does not have to decide your claim..we are delaying this forever, and it is up to the Veteran and his advocate to figure out that it was denied. If the Vet can not figure that out, we are banning benefits for him unless he can come up with "new and material evidence". Of course, the VA can ignore that, too.

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Also, its a mistake to think that ebenefits is accurate. Ebenefits is a politically made up farce that the current administration touts as how he helped Vets. Ebenefits does not help Vets...it is so inaccurate and unreliable as to be unusable. It is updated only when and if the RO decides it should be updated, and often that is not very often. It is also "down" a very high percentage of the time. Hadit, manned by volunteers, is a far more reliable website than ebenefits which cost millions of dollars.

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Each Veterans eBenefits information is influenced by your reagional office to some extent, since they do certain data entry and are responsible for keypunching information about you claim/appeal into the system.

That said, with Detroit VARO, every single appeal I have lists the status as pending BVA decision(3). However, none of these claims have been certified or sent. I have one that is in active DRO review, and until they send me a SOC and I have to file that last form 9 none of them are even close to going to BVA.

I had one DRO review that was a favorable response so I did not file the from 9. When the deadline passed I received an eBenefits entry that indicated that the BVA made a decision on my claim.

I suspect that ADD55P's file has been at the VARO all along and it hasn't been sent to BVA. Did you ever receive a docket number from BVA? That "decision" was that the claim had become final since I had not filled a form 9, for that particular claim.

Sounds like the decision that was reached was that the April 2012 C&P was deficient and needed some questions answered. At least they did this relatively soon for you. I have a DRO C&P in June 2011 and they Decided in July 2012 that it was deficient and needed additional information.

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First let me say that I do not feel bad or stressed out, Just concerned!

My updated situation is as follows:

VA form 9 submitted and claim was subsequently certified to BVA(but remained at VARO). After making VA aware of serious errors that they made, VA pulled the claim from being certified to BVA (still at VARO) and adjudicated the substantive appeal at VARO. VA closed the BVA appeal and awarded (SLAP IN THE FACE) extremely lowball rating. Substantive appeal never reached BVA and is now listed in the Historical Appeal Section.

VA states that another NOD for the new decision must be submitted to start the appeal process over agian. All of the evidence to support a very much higher rating was not mentioned. I was very optimistic when they pulled my substantive appeal out of the BVA stack to adjudicate it at the VARO, but was very disapointed at the results. It appears that my due process (perfected substantive appeal) was simply taken away to save VA embarassment at BVA (the error that VA made was that bad and would have been noticed right away by a BVA Law Judge).

I was under the impression that a Substantive appeal would remain open until it was reviewed by BVA.

The VARO made it appear on Ebenefits that the Decison and claims decision was disptched from a BVA Veterans law judge, but after speaking with a BVA representative, I was informed that my claim was never certified to BVA and decidied at the regional office.

What does any one recommend as a course of action for a situation such as this. Before you ask if I have a VSO, the answer is yes. No answer from the VSO to my inquiry as of yet. I am beginning to get the feeling that I have nothing to lose by informing the VAOIG and sending the subcommittee on veterans affairs a letter explaining how I feel that my claim was not properly adjudicated. VA cannot do anything worse to me than what they have already done.

Thanks in advance and Happy Thanksgiving!!

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I don't think you will get far with OIG. I see what they did now. The only way they could stop it from going to BVA was to award. But, as you say, then they low balled it.

As others here could better explain than me how the VA is obligated to use specific criteria and it you can show in your C&P that it was not followed that is strong grounds for an appeal.

This all happened to me. They held up sending my appeal to BVA for months by turning a request for information from my c file into a new claim. After I got the claim killed BVA decided in my favor within 5 weeks. then the VARO took additional evidence I had sent into new claims and tried to hold off rating my grant because of them. I got the Office of Case Management involved (202-273-7453) and Had been updating my US senator for years and this time they really got involved.

I got a call from claims supervisor at the VARO July 12. " I hear you have been in contact with Washington and Sen. _____." Friday the 13th ebenefits showed me P&T. the following Monday the letter arrived. Wednesday of that same week the retro was deposited.

Start with the Office of Case Management. they only touch old claims and appeals but I think you fit that. Contact your US senator's office. then, I think it may be time to have a VA attorney look at it. If nothing else, if he/she says they will take your appeal on a contingency basis it says you have a good case. Just be careful who you pick. the ones with the big names fit my definition of legal puppy mills, as I found out the hard way.

It took me 6 years of hell, Add. Never give up......

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You need to file another form 9 in response to the SSOC. The clock is ticking, if you miss that deadline your decision becomes FINAL. You have 60 days from the date of the SSOC unless it is a contested claim, in that case it is 30 days.

Best regards,

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