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Ssoc 30 Day Response


RickH

Question

Hi everyone I have been reading hadit.com for a while.

So I just joined for help and to help.

I just received a SSOC (denial) for my remanded appeal from the BVA. giving me 30 days to respond or add stuff. It took 10 days to get out of AMC

to me.

I have a doctor working on my IMO how can I get an extension if he doesn't complete it in time?

This claim ha taken me 8 years to get to this point.

Thanks,

RickH

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Yeah , when VA came up with this 30 DAY SSOC BS, more vets ,vet reps and vet lawyers could have argued that at the Federal Register like I did.

All this stuff goes up for public comment.at the Fed reg site and It isnt fair but the regulation was never changed to a more reasonable response time.

You are paying for the IMO so why not tell the doctor to try to get it done fast, otherwise you will lose the claim due to this deadline.

As long as the IMo conforms to the IMO criteria here at hadit, and the doc is familar with VA enough to know how they are (like Dr. Bash) it is not inappropriate to ask them to step it up.on the opinion.

Can you give us the BVA remand docket #?

Do you feel a supportive IMO is all you need?

I

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Rick: I never made it to BVA, what Berta said makes me glad I got my issues awarded after 4.5 yrs at my one and only DRO Hearing 6/14. Is there any chance you could "BLACK OUT" your personal info and scan your SSOC? Might help other Vets see what their up against.

This may or may not be of assistance. Vet Attorney Chris Attig once opined regarding a "Sworn Affidavit" as opposed to the VA "Statement in Support of Claim." I used it at my DRO Hearing, all major $$ issues awarded. Did it help, from the DRO's reaction facial and verbal, I think it did. Check it out, you've got nothing to lose and time is of the essence, right. I don't remember, doe's the VA use your US Mail post mark as the date of receipt, like the IRS?

Semper Fi

Gastone

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Rick: Forgot to ask. i realize your busy with SSOC right now, when you have a chance, how about a Claims Time-line? New Vets with claims learn from our moves, right or wrong.

Semper Fi

Gastone

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Berta

At the top of cover letter is this number 397/DAG, is that the docket number?

I feel a little funny about rushing this doc he is a local oncol who is doing this because he likes me and

I don't believe he'll charge me.

AS far as is this all I need? I don't know. This is a chemical exposure prostate cancer from my navy MOS

not AO. I do not have feet on ground.

The C and P doc used "the mere speculation" comment but, also stated that chemical exposure can not be ruled out. He admits to

a bunch of carcenagenics that I was exposed to in service and stated that a link can not be excluded, but then back to the

only speculation comment.

I have 3 buddy statements and, I hope a IMO-IME from this doctor to summit and than I will wave the RO and ask to have it sent

to BVA for a decision, hoping for equipoise.

Rick

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Gastone

April 7 2007 filed claim

Nov 7 2007 SOC denied on rating decision

Dec 7 2007 NOD

August 2007 DRO

07-06-2009 SSOC

07- 20 2009 NOD

April 7 2014 BVA video hearing after waiting for St Petersburg to dig up my claim

and summit it to BVA for travel hearing.

I moved back to Maine and asked for American legion help.

02-13-2015 SSOC after remand for more info and C And P Exam

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There is one other avenue. You can send in a rebuttal to the SSOC indicating you have more N&ME in the pipeline and it will be forwarded directly to the BVA with a waiver of review in the first instance shortly so it will not require a remand back down through the AMC to your RO for another de novo decision. This will allow the BVA judge to make a decision on it sooner, too. Perfectly legal.

You guys have to think outside the box more thoroughly. Surely, the last thing you want to embark on is a request for another DRO review at the RO. Time strictures are just roadblocks. Discern a path around them and press on. What I find amazing is you got to the BVA without signing a waiver of review in the first instance when you got the Form 8 signed off. Without it, they can play remand ping pong with your appeal for years. In fact, that is what just happened to you!

I teach one brand of claims prosecution. If they do not grant at the AOJ (your RO), there's something wrong with it. If, after a really good presentation of all the probative evidence, they still deny, hanging around for a DRO review is going to be a 585-day waste. Getting it docketed at the BVA is paramount-especially for PTSD/ Hepatitis C claims or their like. The quicker you get an up or down there, the more quickly you can get to the CAVC. There, you will experience a maximum of a one-year delay to a win or a vacate and remand. VA gets the message. You aren't going away and the squeaky wheel syndrome kicks in. They grant to get rid of you. The CAVC reverses, vacates or sets aside 65 percent of what appears before them exclusive of Writs and EAJA. Conversely, VA denies 85% of what you file. Where do you want your case heard? In a demonstrably Veteran-friendly venue or one that is purported to be?

If you were in the Army or Marines, they taught you enfilading fire. Set up your M-2s and M-60s on your flanks and shoot across the area of engagement. Make the gomers run into the bullets (evidence) instead of trying to lead them to get the ordnance (evidence) on target. In the Air Force, we took it to a higher level and did it from altitude in 3D. J1VO.

Edited by asknod (see edit history)
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ASKNOD

Are you responding to my post? No

offense and I'm sorry, but I'm lost in all your verbage.

Did you say ask for more time? To whom? AMC? BVA? I plan to ask a waiver and send my claim directly

to The BVA and appeal to CAVC if I lose.

V

I

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Follow Nod's advice and if I might add, get a couple Legal opinion from VA Certified Appeals Attorneys. I used (2) on-line National Firms and (1) Local VA Attorney for an actual face to face. Didn't sign with any of them but getting their opinion as to the strength of my case was well worth the time. With the 04/2007 Claim date, your setting on a potential Mountain of Retro. Let's see what you got, 96 months X ?$2700 = $259K + or -, at the high end with 100% SC. I know that's probably a real stretch but even if you got to 50% SC your in the area of $50K in Retro. What attorney wouldn't sign on for the 20% of your Retro if they think you have a winnable case.

After waiting all these years you have to ask yourself if it's time to bring in the Pro's from Dover. What you've done so far certainly hasn't worked. There is always the possibility that you don't really have a claim, at this point. Many an AO Nam Vet got their initial claims denied for years before the Dr's and Scientists at the IOM made positive determinations regarding linkage of AO and certain (Not ALL) Cancers. It wasn't till 2010 that CAD was added to the VA AO Presumptive list. How long has it been since your exposure to what you believe caused your condition? This could be a AO type IOM journey for VA accepted linkage.

Did you have a DRO Review or an Actual DRO Hearing back in 08/2008?

Semper Fi

Gastone

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Great Post from Alex!

he is right.

I only succeeded in my claims by thinking outside of the box, and by time of my AO DMII death claim, I used the enfilading technique I learned from my education at American Military University

As a civilian in a war school I learned that principles of tactical maneuvers in warfare can be applied to VA claims.

Most of my Profs were officers in the USMC , and one was in the Navy.

ASKNOD, I have a war plan for every claim if have filed since 2003.

My daughter took a photo of my VARO when she was getting the inprocessing testing ,after she joined the Mil.( Vet USAF Intel)

and the photo gets scanned onto a war plan,surrounded by the stages I will advance against the EN with, meaning, what evidence I will send and how I will handle any potential denials. etc etc,for every claim I file.

The Navy prof asked my permission to use some of my thesis work as a template for others in his classes, to show how a thesis should be done.

My favorite USMC prof (Major AD) was the toughest professor I ever had, and it was evident he tried to break me early on ( I was only civilian at AMU at the time)

but he ended up giving me all A's in multiple courses he taught because my work was impeccable and

a big AND, I had already won major battles with VA that even my former vet reps said I would never succeed in.

A USMC Major giving me a hard time at first ,was a picnic,when compared to VA.

My point here is that VA isnt the EN at all...to claimants Time is the enemy

and I needed to understand military training that all of you have had but that I lacked any knowldege of.

ASKNOD tells it like it is

to reply to the poster:

---------------------------------------------------------------

Here it is:

http://www.va.gov/vetapp14/Files4/1427980.txt

The remand decision states:

"The Board also finds that the Veteran's complete service personnel records should be sought in order to determine the circumstances of service
and the extent to which he may have been exposed to toxins while cleaning or overhauling ships
as claimed during his hearing testimony. See 38 U.S.C.A. § 5103A(a)-©."

These types of claims ( chemical toxins other than AO), are very difficult to win.

Often the veteran cannot specific which toxins they were exposed to and then must get an expert in toxins to provide an IMO, that fully associates,
with no other known etiology, that the specific in service toxins caused the disability they have now.

Nothing is impossible however.

Some claims such as this one (unfortunately the veteran died, but her husband succeeded in this DIC claim at the BVA):
"ORDER

Service connection for the cause of the veteran's death is
granted."

http://www.va.gov/vetapp99/files2/9915488.txt

In part the decision states:

"In August 1992, the veteran filed a claim for entitlement to
service connection for acute myelogenous leukemia. She
contended that she served as an F-4 crew chief in service and
was exposed to numerous carcinogens including F-4E and F-4F
radar transmissions, various fuels, greases, oils, cleaning
compounds, ECM transmissions, aircraft cleaning soap, and
asbestos gloves. "

and
"In February 1995, the veteran submitted a January 1995 letter
from her treating oncologist, Lance Loomer, M.D., at the
Southeastern Medical Oncology Center. Dr. Loomer indicated
that, if the veteran was indeed exposed to benzene or
benzene-like compounds, it was definitely possible that her
leukemia arose from such exposure. Dr. Loomer went on to
state that the lag time in developing leukemia after exposure
peaked at approximately eight years and then plateaued at a
3-4% probability. He indicated that it was consequently rare
to develop leukemia immediately, and that it would be much
more common to develop leukemia years later as in the case of
the veteran.

The veteran also submitted abstracts from several articles
which reportedly linked exposure to certain carcinogens,
including benzene compounds, to the development of leukemia.

Following the death of the veteran in May 1996, the appellant
submitted a document from the veteran's service medical
records which showed treatment in service for a chemical burn
of the right upper extremity while using PD-680 during a
cleaning operation in 1977."

Although Dr. Loomer did not state the exact IMO wording that VA is familar with ( in our IMO forum here)
obviously his opinion was weighed heavuily but the VA

There are also significant treatises that either the veteran, or her husband, as he continued her claim after her death, sent to the VA which were also considered.

I googled the IMo doctor and found this reference for a doctor with the same name.

If he is in fact the same oncologist ( you could contact his office and ask)named in this decision, he would obviously be a good potential IMO doctor to contact
for your claim..

http://www.find-yourdoctor.com/north-carolina/goldsboro-nc/27534/info~loomer-lance-md2.html


VA has also Sced AO presumptives to vets who were in Thailand or Korea, Okinawa vets....as well as 2 CONUS vets,who proved they were exposed to AO in the USA,
and the criteria for those types of AO awards is here available under a search.

Nothing is impossible but these types of claims need leg work, research, and a strong IMO



--------------









Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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sorry if double posting.....high wind affects my PC dish.....

I will try to fix it betrter.

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  • Moderator

Rick H

Asknod is in a sense an expert with Appeals and the BVA CAVC ect,,ect,, All the way up to Washington, he knows what he is talking about,

his experience and advice is well worth your time!

.............................Buck!

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I am also on board with asknod's advice. Respond and send what you can - and then ask for additional time to submit additional evidence - and tell the BVA you are in the process of obtaining an Independent Medical Opinion.

I found the BVA to be very accommodating to my requests for additional time. I did not obtain my IMO until shortly before my hearing. I let the RO play their cards first - and provide their brief little attempts at medical opinions. But as the RO did not provide me with a copy of my husband's discharge physical -- the last thing I wanted to do is pay for an IMO, get to my hearing , and have the VA pull the discharge physical out of their pocket, as they could discount my IMOs by saying the doctors didn't have access to the FULL record (whether what was on the discharge physical was relevant or not). So I wrote to the BVA when my claim was sent to them, informed them I had not been provided with a copy of the discharge physical, and asked them to provide me one if it was available.

I did not hear back from the BVA by the time I needed to file a motion to postpone the hearing, so I wrote and requested a postponement, informing the VA that I had not heard back as to whether my husband's discharge physical had been located, and I would like to have it to provide to the doctor writing the opinion if it was available.

The BVA granted my postponement, and I received a letter later that the discharge physical could not be found. So I proceeded with getting my IMOs, but asked the doctors to note that the discharge physical was not available to review.

And even at the hearing, the VSO I had represent me (very briefly) asked the judge for 90 days to submit additional evidence and arguments, and the judge granted that and kept the record open for that time. That was good because the VSO didn't want me to present any of my arguments (verbal or written) at the hearing. I had a hard time convincing the VSO to let me submit my IMOs, which he *hte VSO) called "theories written by people who had never met my husband." So I had a bit of time after the hearing to polish my written arguments and submit them to the judge.

A side note is that I talked to the local vet rep organization, and they told me NOT to request a postponement, and that my case would be put off for several years. That was not the case. I researched postponements at the BVA site, and saw that most postponements were granted for a few months; not years. That was also true in my case. I actually postponed the hearing twice. The March 18, 2013 hearing date was postponed to June 3, 2013. The June 3, 2013 hearing date was postponed to September 3, 2013. I attended the September 3 hearing in Washington D.C.

Ironically, one reason I decided to personally attend the hearing was that I did not get all the evidence in within the 90 days initially granted. Though I believed I had good cause to submit evidence later, I wasn't sure I could count on the BVA granting that. But you are allowed to present additional evidence at your hearing. So rather than take any chances, I decided to personally attend the hearing. The judge seemed impressed that I came "all the way from St. Louis." to attend.

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Berta

I feel a little funny about rushing this doc he is a local oncol who is doing this because he likes me and

I don't believe he'll charge me.

AS far as is this all I need? I don't know. This is a chemical exposure prostate cancer from my navy MOS

not AO. I do not have feet on ground.

The C and P doc used "the mere speculation" comment but, also stated that chemical exposure can not be ruled out. He admits to

a bunch of carcenagenics that I was exposed to in service and stated that a link can not be excluded, but then back to the

only speculation comment.

I have 3 buddy statements and, I hope a IMO-IME from this doctor to summit and than I will wave the RO and ask to have it sent

to BVA for a decision, hoping for equipoise.

Rick

Rick,

You might be able to help your doctor by writing up a bit of information for him as a guideline for him to write the IMO. With an opinion that it is at least as likely as not, and an opinion that it can't be ruled out - the evidence would lean in your favor.

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Rick. I apologize. You were Navy and didn't pull the trigger on very many guns.

Quite simply phrased, when you get to the BVA in DC, you are actually dealing with living, breathing, intelligent human beings. If you have new and material evidence to submit, you always run the danger of having the BVA judge and his flunkies remand it back to your RO (where you filed) for a "new" rating decision taking into account what you just added. You do not want to do this. It will add another year to your claim at a bare minimum. You want to get the info in pronto along with a waiver of review to be safe. You have a narrow window from the time they begin to adjudicate it there.

VA tends to "top sheet" your claims and ignore the real, meaty evidence. To get around this, you file new stuff at the BVA to make them realize you need a comprehensive "re-review" that will provoke some thought on why they denied in the first instance eight years ago. The waiver of review prevents them from shipping back to the RO. VA's latest FAST letter implies they do this as a matter of course but with older claims that occurred before the issuance of the FAST letter, there is still some confusion.I find Vets as short a time as last fall that ended up with the claim trundling back to their RO via the panama Canal.

I'm sorry if my analogies are confusing. I see you only have ten "missions" (posts) under your belt. I think it would be advisable for Theresa to consider putting up a VA dictionary of terms explaining some of the more esoteric terms we use here to avoid confusion. She may have and I just do not know where to look. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. Best of luck on this. You'll most likely win but it may take a while. Don't be disheartened. It took me 22 years and I'm just finishing up as we speak.

\x/ clear prop

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Rick,

I know you don't want to rush the doctor, but you might at least ask him if he can have something ready by the end of your 30 days. You could always submit that, and also request additional time to submit a more fully articulated opinion from the doctor (and follow asknod's advice for letting them know you will send it to them immediately and waive RO review).

But the doctor might be fully willing to help you meet your deadline. I got an IMO from a radiation oncologist who teaches at UCLA. He was going on a trip the week before the hearing - but still worked on my medical opinion on his trip. We emailed back and forth. Once he had the opinion done, he told me he would go to Kinkos and print it so he could get it to me in time.

So don't underestimate a doctor's willingness to help you meet a deadline. It never hurts to ask.

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Hi everyone, I want to thank you all for all of your help.

I have already sent a registered letter to AMC and asked for a extra 30 days in case I couldn't get

the IME-IMO in time

I basically wrote it myself, the Doc went on vacation. He's back on Tuesday, so I can go over

"at least as likely" that my exposure caused my prostate cancer and secondaries instead of," it is reasonable

that my exposure" caused my prostate cancer and secondaries.

I don't know if he a little "gunshy"( that's for you asknod) about the legal ramafications.

Thanks Again,

RickH

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Oh... you are the same person that asked the question about weather "reasonable" is as good as "at least as likely" than not on a different thread. Sorry, I missed that.

It also best for the doctor to give some kind of reasoning for his opinion, especially if he can cite a study that showed something relevant to your case, or give other reasons why he thinks it is as likely as not. Reading some BVA claims can give you a better idea of what kinds of reasoning the BVA cites in their decisions.

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The law requires that all claims that are remanded by the Board of Veterans' Appeals or by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for additional development or other appropriate action must be handled in an expeditious manner. See 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 5109B, 7112 (West 2014).

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Print this up for your doctor, Rick . https://asknod.wordpress.com/6051-2/It gives him the parameters and why. It's a word doc. so you can play with it .

BVA usually gives you a 60-day letter to the evidence cut off date if you ask for notification. Call them.

a

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