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Another Iris Query


jessie0054

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Did he get a VCAA Notice with an election form and a specific narrative that told him exactly what he needed?

Berta:

Yes, he did get the VCAA notice, And we sent it back with everything they wanted except for the something to the nature of evidence of serving in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations and information of his Illiness as a Gulf War Veteran.

He wasn't claiming Gulf War Illinesses!!!

Jessie

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I hate to say it but this is common practice for the VA to do this. It is called the evidence gathering phase but we all know it as the stalling for time stage. Has your son had a C@P claim for his conditions claimed?

8 months in VA time is a rather short period of time for them.

During this stage, The va sends out request for records and information from Government agencies. If a Private Physician is involved, They would ask you to sign a release, send it back to them and then they send it to the Physician.

This takes some time as I believe that they just spinning theuir wheels. The VCAA notice had a section to ask them to not wait the 60 days and decide or wait if you had additional evidence. I believe they can take up to a year after the notice is marked with new evidfence to decide a claim.Also remember the VCAA notice says the VA "may" decide the claim asap. May means this: May a word that rhymes with delay.

The southwest asia thing is just a plot to add confusoin with the claim.

Does your son have a Vet Rep?

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I hate to say it but this is common practice for the VA to do this. It is called the evidence gathering phase but we all know it as the stalling for time stage. Has your son had a C@P claim for his conditions claimed?

No he hasn't had any C&P exams yet!!

During this stage, The va sends out request for records and information from Government agencies. If a Private Physician is involved, They would ask you to sign a release, send it back to them and then they send it to the Physician.

I had gathered all his medical records from all his DR's and sent them in with the claim. I thought all was pretty well cut and dry and they had all his diagnoses up to date, so there was no one to send for the records from they had them all. I also sent all other evidence at the same time.

This takes some time as I believe that they just spinning theuir wheels. The VCAA notice had a section to ask them to not wait the 60 days and decide or wait if you had additional evidence. I believe they can take up to a year after the notice is marked with new evidfence to decide a claim.Also remember the VCAA notice says the VA "may" decide the claim asap. May means this: May a word that rhymes with delay.

Yes, He did sign the VCAA Notice Response form and sent it back also.

The southwest asia thing is just a plot to add confusoin with the claim.

Does your son have a Vet Rep?

I would have thought that his DD-214 would have shown that he wasn't in the Southwest Asia, But because we are making a claim for Cancer and a Bone Marrow disorder due to Benzene in the Jet Fuels he worked with, This is also backed up with his Oncologist statement that his conditions were the cause of the Fumes and Exhaust of the jet fuel.

Anyway, How do we get moved out of this PHASE??

Thanks

Jessie

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jessie

If you have sent all evidence and filled all requests and have been waiting this long start writing Senators and Congressmen and tell them of your sons duty and what it has done to him . Don't hold back inform them on what they have done . Let them know he is being put off by the VA if you write the right person you will get some help! when the VA has them looking over their shoulders things get done not fast but it moves along at a snails pace anyhow.

Macool

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jessie

If you have sent all evidence and filled all requests and have been waiting this long start writing Senators and Congressmen and tell them of your sons duty and what it has done to him . Don't hold back inform them on what they have done . Let them know he is being put off by the VA if you write the right person you will get some help! when the VA has them looking over their shoulders things get done not fast but it moves along at a snails pace anyhow.

Macool

Thanks Macool:

I have thought i'd write letters, But i wanted to give the VA plenty of time.

My son's SO has said that my son's claim is strong, and that the RO usually takes 6-7 months. Now it's 8 months and i find we haven't moved at all and they have everything i think they need to make a decision on.

I ask him [ his SO] 2 weeks ago to Expedite the claim since my son and his children are homeless [ he's a single dad] and now all this delay is putting a real hardship on myself and my husband. Not to add that my sons hasn't been able to work since last July a year ago. He had Back Surgery in March and somehow he slipped into a deep crack in the VA system and didn't get the PT he was to get. Last week he went into the PT himself as he is having so much pain in his back and the DR said that his muscles are all knoted up, Some Muscle groups are working overtime to compensate for those that aren't working. The DR also told him that he is looking at another back surgery as he now has a disc below the fusion that is ready to blowout. { gee i wonder if this could have been avoided if he hasn't fallen in a crack and gotten the PT when he was surposed too} Also his mobility and range of motion is very poor. {wonder if i could make a case out of that?? ]

Jessie

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Jessie,

I have been in the veterans business a long time and often see responses to questions like this. Since I am not familiar with your son's claims it is not unreasonable for the VA to take as long as they do. Some veterans do not get decisions on some of their claims for a year or two. Average wait time for the VA is somewhere from 12 months to 18 months from initial claim to decision. Having said that the time frame is about right. I know when I performed C and Ps, 6 months later the same veteran would return for an exam because they added new claims to an existing situation and they still have not received any response to their initial claim that I looked at 6 months earlier.

I have also found that writing Congressman and Senators gets you a machine print out response that they will look into it. Sometimes a politician will get motivated and move on it. However, unless you gave then 50K for re-election you will get a form letter, yada, yada, yada. I know this since my 1st cousin is a Congressman from Illinois it is routine for politicians to sent out "We will look into it" letters.

Believe me I know many raters and you can imagine how many Congressional letters they get everyday. At the VA Regional I worked in, they averaged something like 250 inquiries per day from Congress. So make your own conclusions as to how much attention is paid to Congressional inquiries. The VA has a standard form letter to respond to Congressional Inquiries. So what I am saying is you will be placed in the "FORM" letter cesspool. Your letter generates a form letter that generates one to the VA which generates one back to the Congressman or Senator which generates another back to you. Sad, but true!

Having worked for the VA for quite a few years, the best way to do this is to write the VARO and request a hardship decision based on whatever hardships your son is facing. The most common hardship is usually a life or death illness such as cancer or other diseases. However, if you word your letter carefully and state the reasons for a Harship request they should expedite your claim. It might be worth a try to see what happens as a result.

Patrick

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When your claim is with the "evidence gathering phase," this actually means that you C-file is with the Pre-determination Team. There they request all of your SMR's, any private medical records that you told them to get, verify your service with the DoD if you didn't send them a certified copy of your DD 214 ect... This is all required under the "Duty to Assist" set forth by congress in 2000. This isn't a conspiracy by VA to intentionally stall or delay your claim.

Alot of times the reasons for delay are that the private doctors that you told VA to contact and get records for your claimed disabilities either don't answer the requests from VA or take forever in responding. If the private doctors don't respond, then the VA sends a second request to them with a another 60 response time. If the doctor doesn't answer the second request, then the VA will send a third request out and wait an additional 30 days! This isn't on VA, it's the outside sources of medical information that cause the delays!

"This takes some time as I believe that they just spinning theuir wheels. The VCAA notice had a section to ask them to not wait the 60 days and decide or wait if you had additional evidence. I believe they can take up to a year after the notice is marked with new evidfence to decide a claim.Also remember the VCAA notice says the VA "may" decide the claim asap. May means this: May a word that rhymes with delay"

If the outside sources doesn't answer the VA's request for documentaion, how is the VA spinning their wheels? They're tryig to get evidence to prove your claim. It's not the VA's fault that the outside source isn't releasing the requested information! If the VA decides your claim before or after the 60 day time frame on the VCAA notice, and it's an adverse action, the veteran has up to a year from the date of that VCAA notice to submit any addition evidence. The VA will reconsider their decision on the additional evidence and render a new decision, and the veteran retains the original effective date.

"The southwest asia thing is just a plot to add confusoin with the claim"

If the veteran didn't claim any conditions related to Gulf War illness, but the VA wants verification of service there, the VA may have seen something in his SMR's that prompted them to request this so they can consider any disbilities that may fall into that catogory. I think certain types of cancer are a part of the Gulf War illness!

There is no plot or conspiracy to intentionally deny or dely a veterans claim.

"If you have sent all evidence and filled all requests and have been waiting this long start writing Senators and Congressmen and tell them of your sons duty and what it has done to him . Don't hold back inform them on what they have done . Let them know he is being put off by the VA if you write the right person you will get some help! when the VA has them looking over their shoulders things get done not fast but it moves along at a snails pace anyhow"

Eight months really isn't a long time in terms of a VA claim. As Patrick said, contacting your congress critter will just slow down the process even more because then his C-file has to be pulled from where it was in the process and be reviewed for a response to that congress person! He isn't being put off from VA! The VA is trying to get all of the relavent records to his claim under the Duty to Assist.

Vike 17

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Dear Vike And Patrick:

I appricate your commits and direction.

I think the delay must be in the Gulf War Illiness thing, Although he wasn't claiming any illiness related to Gulf War. He did serve during that time frame but never left the states for that region. The only time he left the base was on a couple opps to the gulf, But not in the Southwest Asia.

I had gathered all his medical records from all his private Dr's , Oncologists and the VA and sent them at the time that the claim was sent. So there was no waiting on any medical records. They have them all. They also have all the buddy statements and other forms of support of the claim from friends that knew him before and after his service in the Navy.

Everything he claimed happened while on the base except for one back and head injury that happened on the Naval Ship " The Hawes"

He was an Avitation Structual Mechanic in the Navy, His Claim is for two very rare conditions [1] a Cancer of the Appendix and [2] a Bone Marrow Disease or sometimes called a Blood Cancer called Polycythemia Vera due to the Fumes and Exhause of the Jet Fuels [ This was verified by his Oncologist].

When he enlisted in the Navy there was no abnormals in his Blood work, But on discharge it was noted that he had an Elevated HCT Level of 53.25 which is an indication he had the Polycythemia Vera when he was discharged.

The Back injury is also noted in his SMR and he showed that his back condition was Chronic and he received treatment since his discharge right up to the report from the Neurosurgeon who did his back surgery in March 2006 for fusion of 2 ruptured disc with placement of internal rods. He hasn't been able to work since July of 2005 and spent from July to March in his home as he couldn't stand the pain of riding in a car for any lenght of time. He was supposed to receive Physical Therapy after the surgury but looks like he fell into a crack in the system as he never got the PT.

He spent the last month in the hospital and while there went to the PT department himself because of his back pain and ask for some help that didn't involve narcotic pain medications as he was trying to kick an addiction to the Narcotic he had had to take since July 2005 just to get through the day.

After a complete exam the DR in the PT told him that they are going to have to retrain all his muscle groups now since some aren't working at all and others are over compenstating for others. And he is on the verge of the disc below the fusion and hardware is going to rupture as it is now bulging. He did the Range of Motion thing with some kind of instrument and told him his mobility is really poor. He said at this point there isn't much of anything he can do in the line of work.

So what's he to do?? He is 34 years old, a divorced dad with custody of his 2 children, Who is now homeless as he was kicked out of his rented home while in the hospital and some of the owners dear friends and the owner himself distoried all of their belonging and their car. So they have to start over again for the second time as they lost everything during his Cancer and treatment. And he can't work!! At least until he gets through Physical Therapy, Or maybe not even then, I don't know.

Would it help if i wrote the VCAA and explained the thing about the Gulf War if that is what is holding this up.

This had created a great hard ship for my son and his children and not to mention my huband and myself.

Any suggessions are appreciated.

Thanks

Jessie

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