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Varo Claim Development Stinks


Guest jangrin

Question

Guest jangrin

Well we finally figured out why it takes so long to process and rate and get final approval on our claim. Yesterday we got a call from the VARO (after we sent them an email status request). The very nice lady on the phone said they were waiting for records. We asked what kind of records, she said records for gastrointestinal problems. We stated ALL records have been sent to RO and All VCAA notices are signed stating no more records available. Then I stated that we requested my husbands SMRs but we couldn't get them because ARCHIVES sent the records to the RO. She said oh yes, we have the SMRs. I said what is the hold up then.

Her answer, "WELL,WE JUST HAVE A FOLDER, WE DON"T READ THE PAPERS WE GET.OK folks-they actually admit they don't read this stuff.

Then she tells us we are suppose to write a letter saying no more information or records.

So much for the legal VCAA election box being checked. :(

Jangrin

Edited by jangrin (see edit history)
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Guest jangrin

I have a REALLY GOOD solution to this problem. Instead of sending a letter stating that we have no more records and to please go ahead and rate the claim.

we will send a singing telegram. sung to "Yes, I have no bananas...

YES I HAVE NO MORE RECORDS......

I HAVE NO MORE RECORDS TODAY......

:D :( jangrin

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Many here including myself had to mail a request to go ahead and rate with the records already obtained. Them reading your records is exactly what the main problem is I don't think they bother.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

And, then, there is my situation.

I just called the AMC a couple days ago, you know, checking to see what story I was gonna get this week!

Well, Pearl says "We're waiting on a response from the Voc. Rehab. Dept. in Okla."

I says, "Pearl, how long we gonna wait?"

She says, "til Nov. 21st."

I says, "Pearl, you and I both know that the Okla. Rehab. won't have any files going back to 1964. So's how about we just go ahead and forget about it? You know, y'all just go ahead with what ya got? You know, I sends ya a letter tellin ya that I give up on gettin the records outta Oklahoma?"

Pear says, "Nope. Can't do that. Gotta wait until Nov. 21st."

I, like the dummy that I am, says, "Oh. Okay."

Should I send them dummies my dummy's letter tellin them to "cease and desist" and get on with it without the Okie Letter?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Larry,

I can help you with this one and it will work. I got the same darn run around, about perhaps there were medical records at the archives for me, since in 2004, I located my long lost Psychiatric records and a letter of my discharge from my C.O.

Pearl told me that the letter from the archives with the medical records were due in on September 2, well like a dummy I waited, but they told me that if in the mean time, if I wanted to contact the archives for missing records and send them to them, they could progress with my claim.

Not true. I send for those darn records in May and again in July and heard the same story. They had received what I sent to them, but they wanted something directly from the archives themselves, that didn't pass through my hands. Well they should have told that the first time.

Nothing showed up from the archives on the 2nd of September.

They were still waiting for their records. I called the archives to find out that they had never been requested by the AMC.

Larry, If there are no more records, this is what you need to do. It worked with me at the archives. I beat them at their own game. I called the archives, used the internet to request for them to please fax this information into the AMC. I got a phone call from the archives to see if that is exactly what I needed. The technicican said that he would have a letter faxed to them in about 10 minutes. He even went to the extent to call the archives to see if they received his fax and then called me back.

Now, finally my file is moving.

"Pearl, you and I both know that the Okla. Rehab. won't have any files going back to 1964. So's how about we just go ahead and forget about it? You know, y'all just go ahead with what ya got? You know, I sends ya a letter tellin ya that I give up on gettin the records outta Oklahoma?"

Pear says, "Nope. Can't do that. Gotta wait until Nov. 21st."

I, like the dummy that I am, says, "Oh. Okay."

Larry, you need to call the Okla. Rehab, and ask them yourself if they have any other records for you for 1964? They will check and if they say no. Tell them to "state that there are no more records at this center for the following years, for Name, Social Security Number.

Tell them that you want them to fax this information to the AMC fax # 1 – 202- 530- 9216.

They will be happy to do this for you, if you explain to them what is going on.

You can then call the AMC and see if they have the letter and then your file will move on out.

I hate to tell you that date, she gave you, is nothing factual, just what they assume. They absolutely will not work your claim until this is done.

If you need more help, don't hesitate to let me know.

Always,

josephine

Edited by Josephine (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Jangrin,

You have to remember that the lady you talked to was probaly a VSR (Veteran service representative) in the Pre-Determination Team. They don't really read every single page of every document as would normally a Rating Veteran Service Representative (RVSR) would. By this I mean, let's say there was a request for SMR's that went to St. Louis from the RO. The VSR would just check to see if the SMR's as whole had been recieved. They wouldn't necessarly check to see if, for example, treatemnt of a knee condition was in there that the veteran claimed. Another example, is let's say there was a request for records from Dr. so and so. The VSR would probably just make sure that records were received by that doctor. Do you see what I mean? I'm not saying this is actaully a good practice, but in the big picture of things at the RO the actual reading of the records takes place at the rating board. Granted, if the VSR would take the time to see if something particular is in the records before sending a claim to the rating board in the "ready to rate" status, and then having the RVSR turn around and send the claim back to the Pre-Determination Team for addtional developement, it certainly would reduce the time it takes to finish a claim. But this ultimately has to do with the huge back log and the VA being under staffed and under funded by congress!

Vike 17

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  • In Memoriam

Pearl told me that my claims were at a special rating team in May 2006, and that they would be finished in June 2006. It is on the specialist desk right now. I called every week for three months. The finish date kept moving back 1 month at a time. In the middle of September Ms. Robinson said it would be one more week.

I called up the next week and I was told that my claims went back to the VARO in July. AMC is just a 3 to 12 month stall.

That Pearl, sure has a nice voice, and she is a very pleasant person to talk too. Only problem is... Nothing, at all, was done at the AMC. Allan told me this, now I know for myself.

This is how Congress limits the amount of back-logs at the CVAC. Congress, just simply stalls more claims from getting to the court. The stall is done with a very pleasant person so that the veteran has some false sense of hope, kind of like waiting in long lines for GASOLINE. I got Pearl about 12 times in my weekly calls. Ms. Robinson about 4 times, and another guy about 2 times.

This is what happened to me recently. When the AMC uses names like Tiger, penguin, special rating, Pre or Post, specialist, and many more just know that this is a stall. Maybe it will be different for you.

Also keep in mind that if the BVA request current medical records, from the AMC on the way back to the RO, the claims have to go back to the VARO to get new FOIA forms signed by you for the new information. VARO will send you your new VCAA again. Pearls (AMC) number: 866-258-0341

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I received my official letter today from the AMC:

This is what it says.

Dear----

We are writing in connection with the claim that was remanded by the Board of Veterans Appeals on April 10, 2006, however we need additional information or evidence.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE?

We asked the VA medical facility who conducted your August 2005 examination ( actually the date of the exam was April 12, 2005), Hope that this doesn't matter?) to review and make a new medical opinion in your appeal. They may contact you to report for a new exam. This exam is very important. If they ask you to report and you fail to attend the exam, we may have to deny your claim, or you might be paid less than you otherwise would. If you can't report for the examination as scheduled, contact the medical facility and arrange a more convenient place or time. This letter will give you the phone number to call.

HOW CAN YOU CONTACT US?

If you can't report for the examination as scheduled, contact the medical facility and arrange a more convenient place or time.

When have they ever cared about me?

Josephine

Edited by Josephine (see edit history)
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Guest jangrin
Jangrin,

You have to remember that the lady you talked to was probaly a VSR (Veteran service representative) in the Pre-Determination Team. They don't really read every single page of every document as would normally a Rating Veteran Service Representative (RVSR) would. By this I mean, let's say there was a request for SMR's that went to St. Louis from the RO. The VSR would just check to see if the SMR's as whole had been recieved. They wouldn't necessarly check to see if, for example, treatemnt of a knee condition was in there that the veteran claimed. Another example, is let's say there was a request for records from Dr. so and so. The VSR would probably just make sure that records were received by that doctor. Do you see what I mean? I'm not saying this is actaully a good practice, but in the big picture of things at the RO the actual reading of the records takes place at the rating board. Granted, if the VSR would take the time to see if something particular is in the records before sending a claim to the rating board in the "ready to rate" status, and then having the RVSR turn around and send the claim back to the Pre-Determination Team for addtional developement, it certainly would reduce the time it takes to finish a claim. But this ultimately has to do with the huge back log and the VA being under staffed and under funded by congress!

Vike 17

Vike 17,

I truly understand what you are saying. I am so frustrated with the obvious lack of organizational processes involved in having a claim filed with the VA. I was just trying to find something humerous about the situation to take the edge off so I could sit down and type another letter stating we have no further evidence at this time and to please send the claim for rating. But I realize that the helper bees are just that and they really have no other function than to try and organize what has been recieved in the mail. It just seems that there should be ONE person that can truly cull through the file efficiently and not let it gather unecessary dust.

The social security admin. goes through many many claims and they don't seem to have the problem that the VA does. I think this system is in need of a revamp or "new" staffing. I certainly understand why many vets believe the VA is out to discredit them and deny their claim. Mainly, I believe caused by a lack of accountability of the work product by VA employees. But the old saying is, "IT TAKES AN ACT OF CONGRESS for a VA employee to loose their job." No penalties for one not doing thier job.

Oh well, we write the letter and then we wait, what other choice is there. I thought a singing telegram might get some attention to the file. :( It got us to laugh around our house today!

Thanks for your thoughts I know you speak from experience.

Jangrin

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I like the singing telegram idea. I wish I were clever enough to write a parody of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" based on the VA disability claims process. It would start,

"I do not like the AMC/

Nor do I think they care for me/

I'd rather tear my toenails out/

Than have to wait to ask this clout/

If he could find out where I stand/

With the various claims all on remand/

He's very rude and quite abrupt/

In such a hurry to hang up/

We send them proof of claims galore/

The information they ignore/

I do not like the way they stall/

I do not like those folks at all.

Feel free to add on, I'm tapped out...

Edited by Vicki (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

It is not an accident that the VA is understaffed. The government just does not want to pay these claims. If they delay long enough many vets will die off and they don't have to pay.

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It is not an accident that the VA is understaffed. The government just does not want to pay these claims. If they delay long enough many vets will die off and they don't have to pay.

Die off or get pissed off and quit like I did in the past. How many others have done the same, countless numbers for sure!

No doubt the stalling, sending c-files all over the country (mine set in Alaska for a year once after I called my senator's vet. liason and pissed the RO off really bad) it's by design...nothing in government just happens.

Boondoc

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Guest fla_viking

Dear Fellow Veterans & Friends

The VA medical system made the news as being a number one medical center. I belive it is. the VA over the 90's turned itself around. We all know what the VA was like in the 70's and 80's. How much harder and costly is a hospital system v. a claims office?

This is delibert that the claims office is so screwed up.

Terry Higgins

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  • HadIt.com Elder
It is not an accident that the VA is understaffed. The government just does not want to pay these claims. If they delay long enough many vets will die off and they don't have to pay.

That is exactly true. They have pushed me around for the last 3 years, since I secured those psychiatric records from the archives.

Every time I think that there is hope of ending this battle. It just starts again.

I have told them my story so many times, that I am wondering what in the heck to say, if and when, they should order a new C&P for me.

It seems that the letter that I received yesterday, gives the doctors that option.

If they would believe and listen to what I am saying and what I can prove, we could end this thing.

I have give them everything, but blood.

They know that now I am getting older and more illnesses on the arisen.

I had cancerous colon polyps removed last Wednesday and they know that it is also in my Thyroid, now they are wanting another possible C&P, at my convenience and my place and time.

Shall I just ask the doctors to meet me this time at my private hospital?

Josephine

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