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Things That Slow Down Veterans Claims


Guest jstacy

Question

I have compiled a list of items that slow down Veterans.

#1 A Regional office in a highly populated area. ( example) Tampa,

#2 Submitting a new claim while a claim is in progress.

#3 Contact with a Congress person adds 60 days to the claim.

#4 Medical Evaluations like multi stystem C@P's that can take months to get the reports.

#5 Government and other places that are too slow sending requested medical information.

#6 A vet not sending in the VCAA notice. ( A lot of Vets are mislead to think it is the VA responsibility to submit the records)

#7 Inefective and incompetent Veterans Service Officers who are nothing but claim filing factories with no working Knowledge of how the system operates.

If anyone would like to add to this, Please feel free to do so.

Edited by jstacy (see edit history)
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I have compiled a list of items that slow down Veterans.

#1 A Regional office in a highly populated area. ( example) Tampa,

#2 Submitting a new claim while a claim is in progress.

#3 Contact with a Congress person adds 60 days to the claim.

#4 Medical Evaluations like multi stystem C@P's that can take months to get the reports.

#5 Government and other places that are too slow sending requested medical information.

#6 A vet not sending in the VCAA notice. ( A lot of Vets are mislead to think it is the VA responsibility to submit the records)

#7 Inefective and incompetent Veterans Service Officers who are nothing but claim filing factories with no working Knowledge of how the system operates.

If anyone would like to add to this, Please feel free to do so.

You can request when appealing a VA denial, and you are requesting a "De Novo Review" that the review begin without the VA having to send the required DRO letter explaining the process, this could save up to 60 days...but it's at their discretion. Berta suggested this from the VBM, and when speaking to my congressman's vets. liason I told him that I was going to do this he said yea that will cut off 60 days off the time it takes to even begin the review.

I listed my congressman in the Cc: at the bottom of my NOD, but didn't actually request them to look into my claim yet. I did this so the VA DRO would know that I have been in contact with my congressman, but I didn't want the congressional review because I knew it would slow down the process. I don't know if it will help, but it's the best way I could think of without actually slowing down the claim.

Good ideal for a post jstacy.

Boondoc

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Istacy

I could add this: The VA consistently losing documents and evidence. I think you have hit most of the key buttons. As Pete says this is part of the VA system. They are slow by design. If the government wanted to speed up the process they could hire 5000 more rating officers. They are spending that much in two weeks in Iraq. Why speed up a system that saves money by letting vets die before their claims are even rated? I do have a friend in a small RO and they are horrible and the care he gets is horrible.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Or, they could hire me as BOSS. It'd take about 2 years and you would never recognize the NEW VA as opposed to the OLD VA.

How many businesses do you think could be run like the VA is run?

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What's the alternative if you have a condition for which you're either filing for initial service connection, or for an increase in a condition already service connected, if you need to establish an effective date of claim? A veteran never knows how long he/she will be waiting for the pending claim to wind its way through the process, and the veteran could be wasting time that should be used to establish the effective date for subsequent claims, instead of waiting for a decision on the pending claims.

Regarding congressional inquiries on claims, if it hadn't been for our U.S. Senator's office telling me that the VA was using a computer to determine overall ratings instead of the Combined Ratings Table in 38 CFR, I would never have known the reason why they were shorting my husband on the difference between 90% and 100%. The situation has been corrected by a decision from the Appeals Management Center, not the VARO, but it wouldn't have if we hadn't asked for congressional help. The inquiry didn't delay anything that was pending. I think it's well worth the inquiry, if you feel you're being ignored like we did.

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Vicki, I did not say contacting a congressman is a bad thing, I said the Regional Offices take advantage of things like these to work on other claims. Thus adding to the delay.

Delay is the Key Word, I also contacted a congressman and the RO fed him some pure angus bull and he accepted that as his conclusion.

Maybe someone who has a question about contacting Congress, or Senate, can remember this post and use it as necessary.

Pete had a good one: The System was implemented to be exactly this way.

Edited by jstacy (see edit history)
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I didn't hear you say it was a bad thing, just that it delays the process. I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes, we may have to risk delaying the process to secure a decision in compliance with 38 CFR. That was what happened in our case. What good is saving two or three months (or more), if you get a decision based on reasons and bases that don't comply with the regulations?

I would still recommend asking for congressional inquiry, despite the possible delay it may cause in processing a claim, because you never know if it will help or not. In our case, without it, the VARO would have continued to ignore us, and I wasn't going to let that continue without a fight.

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Terry, for one thing, if you ask for a Board hearing, your claims file will leave the VARO, and you have no idea when you will get it back again, especially if you have a remanded item being handled by the AMC, or if you appeal a decision to the next higher level at the Court. That of course means that anything you file with the VARO in the interim goes nowhere until they get your claims file back.

Right now, in our case, the file's been in Washington since July 2004.

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Vickie, I have been there. I look at the 38 Cfr 3.303.

(:( Chronicity and continuity. With chronic disease shown as such in service (or within the presumptive period under §3.307) so as to permit a finding of service connection, subsequent manifestations of the same chronic disease at any later date, however remote, are service connected, unless clearly attributable to intercurrent causes. This rule does not mean that any manifestation of joint pain, any abnormality of heart action or heart sounds, any urinary findings of casts, or any cough, in service will permit service connection of arthritis, disease of the heart, nephritis, or pulmonary disease, first shown as a clearcut clinical entity, at some later date. For the showing of chronic disease in service there is required a combination of manifestations sufficient to identify the disease entity, and sufficient observation to establish chronicity at the time, as distinguished from merely isolated findings or a diagnosis including the word “Chronic.” When the disease identity is established (leprosy, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, etc.), there is no requirement of evidentiary showing of continuity. Continuity of symptomatology is required only where the condition noted during service (or in the presumptive period) is not, in fact, shown to be chronic or where the diagnosis of chronicity may be legitimately questioned. When the fact of chronicity in service is not adequately supported, then a showing of continuity after discharge is required to support the claim.

I am awaiting a Decisionat the RO level for a CUE based on the above criteria, There is no way they can deny it, Yet they did. I am expecting a Win in the box any day with a very large retro.

It is disheartening to see them do this to me and other Vets in the same boat.

Tom Petty wrote it best. The Waiting is the hardest part.

John

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We never had any luck with DRO reviews, so we opted for the Board Appeal.

The VARO sent the claims file to the Board way before it was needed. They sent the file to the Board in July 2004, even though the Board didn't hear the appeal until October 2005. I doubt very much that the Board asked for the file almost a year and a half before the case was scheduled to be heard, but that's what happened. I believe the VARO just wanted to get rid of the file so it could use that as an excuse to avoid dealing with pending claims at the local level, at least for a very long time.

Then, the Board remanded two claims back to the VARO, however, the Appeals Management Center got the remands, not the VARO. At the same time, we appealed part of the Board's decision, and are in line for the Court of Veterans Appeals to hear those appeals. The file went from the VARO to the Board, then to the VA's General Counsel because of the Court Appeal, then to the AMC for review of the remanded claims, where it is today.

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Yeah, I know. We don't dwell on it much, we just annoy the hell out of the VARO and the AMC calling every week to determine if the file's been sent back to the VARO.

Once we find out they've got it back, we'll start pushing for them to handle the claims that have been accumulating over the last 2+ years. We've got a CUE sitting there, an 1151, plus several claims for earlier effective dates. They hate us...

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