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Typical Iris Response To Questions

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This is my response to recent VA IRIS email sent to me. It is replete with errors that IRIS and VA has made. Went to IRIS website and noticed that my claim, originally filed in July 2012, is now showing closed with no appeal, no nothing.! WTF.

I received this response from IRIS and have questions about it.
Response from IRIS:

Our records currently show your appeal is a traditional appeal.
We received your Notice of Disagreement (NOD) on October 7, 2014.

Your appeal will be reviewed under the traditional appeals process. Right now, your appeal is awaiting that review. If we need additional information, we will contact you. If we don’t need any additional information, a decision will be made and you will receive written notification.
The processing of Notice of Disagreements average about 377 days.

The length of time it takes to process your NOD depends on the specifics of your case and the VA’s pending workload.
A review of your documents indicates you submitted a notice of disagreement (NOD) to the St. Petersburg Regional Office (RO) indicating you wanted to appeal the decision in your September 22, 2013 notification letter and requesting a de nova review or Decision Review Officer for your appeal. We show you also submitted supporting documents with your NOD.

We are reassigning your inquiry to the St. Petersburg Regional Office (RO) to request they update your appeal records to show you requested the de nova review and contact you to advise you when this has been done.

PLEASE Respond to my questions. Thanks!

What a crock! changed my NOD date by one year and then "reassigned" my case to St. Petersburg and ignored the fact that been over 377 days since my NOD.

Hate dealing with any aspect of the VA as incompetence is the accepted norm with this agency.

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Every time I would get a response from Iris I would be filled with anxiety because either they did not answer my question at all or they put incorrect information in the answer.

Have you tried emailing Robert.a.mcdonald@va.gov Just a short email with Your name, claim number and a short description of your issue. In the subject line type "St. Petersburg Appeal status"

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Agree with NavyWife.

IRIS will vary by VARO - at my last VARO, I'd get rapid and relevant reply.

Where I am now, I get no reply from VARO and just a canned response well after the IRIS inquiry 'times out' (5 business days) so, like so many things, IRIS is only as good as your VARO.

And if your VARO was good, you might have no need to use IRIS! :tongue:

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I sent an IRIS complaint ( using the drop down box for complaints) because the last responses I got made absolutely no sense at all.

IRIS replied with something to the affect...'thank you for your suggestions'....Say what?

Suggestions? I didnt make any suggestions ...well maybe I told them to learn how to read....

My last BVA ombudsman response confirmed that I do NOT have anything at the BVA ( 800# said I did)

but it was a rehash of what my RO told them...all incorrect info so I replied to the Ombudsman that

the info was all wrong, but not their fault because my RO cannot read and I CCed a copy of my BVA response to Sec Bob.

After being on the phone with the 800 guy however for some time, he confirmed they did find my 1151 claim and I have 3 pending issues (one which I already won in 1998 ????)

I have only 2 pending issues I know of.

We can't seem to get a straight answer from the very people who your service has employed.

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As I read posts like these, it's really unfortunate that the system is so overwhelmed that significant mistakes are being made everyday which cause significant emotional pain and hardship for Vets. I've come to the conclusion that if a Vet's Disability Claim veers anywhere from the normal course of processig that it will take huge efforts to get it back on track. I now trully believe that it's all about the "luck of the draw" and who is working your claims at VBA and their workload/skill levels. Seeing a NOD that's being listed at over a year later (and no one saw it was wrong) than it should be is really disheartening and I'm sorry that Vets are going thru this. That said, I've learned from this Hadit.com board that you have to just keep working it and not give or let up - otherwise you lose momentum. From what I'm seeing, the people who win....just keep persevering and I think we are lucky to have some many Vets that are providing advice with this forum..good luck...

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You have to understand that veterans have and have had the same sort of problems with the VA for multiple decades.

If you were to research things, you'd find the same types of complaints and how they might be fixed. Unfortunately,

for whatever reasons, even after a "fix", in time, things just revert to the same problems as before. (If the fix was ever

done in the first place!) The recommendations of numerous comissions, "Blue Ribbon Panels" over the decades have been largely ignored.

Why? Any serious improvement comes at a significant cost, plain and simple.

Money spent on the VA and veterans is money that is not spent elsewhere. ("Pork Barrel", earmarks, etc.)

All sorts of reasons and conjecture have been given in the past.

I believe that congress was well aware of the problems, occasionally tried to address some, and then,

just moved on once the public indignation died down.

Today as in the past there is a lot of finger pointing. Some is layed at the feet of the service orginizations

for not wanting to change the law. The reason for the opposition is not really mentioned, but involves the bare fact that such changes often have had "poison pill" provisions that are not directly obvious.

A current example - - -

The law concerning outside VA care went into effect 5 Nov. Even today, such requests are being handled under the older "fee paid" system.

That's a minor issue. What is of real concern is that language in the law restricts accessibility under the law to veteran's that reside over 40 miles

from ANY VA medical facility, even when the VA facility cannot provide the needed services. The process currently in use and in the new law involves first seeing a VA primary care physician, who writes a "consult request".

This gets sent to the VAMC in charge of the lower level medical facility. The VA primary care level is usually the most overloaded part of the VA medical system, with the VA, as a result changing the desired time to appointment from two weeks to 30 days. In actual fact, most of the appointments at the primary care level. are made months in advance. The bulk of the appointments involves renewal of prescriptions used to tread long term conditions. It's said that VA primary care appointments are booked at up to 125% of the capacity.

The latest VA web site statement concerning this is interesting. Seems that a veteram requesting an appointment in two weeks can be given an appointment within 30 days of the initially requested date, not from the date that the request is made. This actually means that the VA has extended the wait time creteria from two weeks to possibly six, not the thirty days the VA talks about.

In about 2003, the VA decided that it should enroll as many veterans as possible in the system, undoubtedly in the hope that the result would be a larger budget. This was politically advantagous, but certainly caused problems.

An ignored facit of the VA is that it's supposedly there as a reserve medical asset to be utilized by the public in certain types of disasters. Yet, it cannot care adequately for the veterans currently in it's system. How is it going to cope with a disaster that is wide spread, due to war or disease?

A dim light at the end of the tunnel is based upon the success of the new VA Secretary in getting the VA to reform, and actually do things in a timely and responsible manner.

Edited by Chuck75
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They could 'fix' the VA if they really wanted to.

Despite Congress' dog & pony shows, they want thing to remain status quo.

The Woodward and Bernstein question is WHY?

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