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Why You Should Not Use A 21-4138



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Chris Attig, well known Attorney who represents Veterans, explains it, here.

The best reason, as Berta has pointed out, is that VA does not read them, because there are often many of these in a Vets file, and it would take hours to read them all.


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I disagree with some of his statements there.

I do feel that 4138s are not appropriate for some of the things he listed .

I always have sent them a letter...don't recall using 21- 4138s much,if at all.

.In the olden days circa 1990, VARO's read everything....These days many 4138s never ever get read by the RO.

However, if the claim gets to the BVA, the BVA will read them if they are probative to the claim.

James Cripps, the very first AO CONUS vet, used the 21-4138s in a very unique way.

He made many trips back to Fort Gordon, trying to prove he was exposed to AO.

He carried a bunch of 4138s with him, and in some cases, got an immediate, detailed statement , written on them , by anyone at Ft Gordon who could help his claim. That made them very probative evidence.

They wrote on and signed the form ,with contact info, and the form also includes I believe an oath, that what they stated is true,

The BVA fully accepted these 4138s as evidence and, along with his other evidence, he became the first AO CONUS vet.

Jerrel, Jbasser and I did some great blog radio shows with Jim available here in our archives.

I wonder if VA will change or even eliminate the 21- 4138

I cant recall ever using one myself over the past 20 years,

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if a veteran was in Vietnam (boots on ground) I always thought he did not need to prove he was exposed to AO?

Unless he has to show his orders were he was deployed to Nam? or some form stating he was in Nam?

I don't like the new intent to file forms....seems like a big hassle imo

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That what the logical person would think. We are talking about some of the BOZOs that are just trying to deny right of the bat. It's much like what I have noticed in some of my claims. I have gotten connected for a couple of AO conditions from SW Asia. So per that fact I should not have to prove that I was in country for any other claims relating to SW Asia. Never mind that the VA has already verified this as the VA has service connected me for it. Because I filed a new claim I now have the burden of proof again to prove that I was there. So, my suggestions and only my suggestion here, in a situation when you have entered more than one AO claim, and have one on record that has been service connected and won, file the new AO entered claim with your evidence, DD214 and the decision that states and addresses the AO disabilities already confirmed.

These stall tactics are ridiculous and if you have knowledge of them before and nip it in the butt as the saying goes, then you will speed up the claim. Of course I have to add these tactics have been around since this damn game of getting benefits has been around.

As in combat you use your enemies tactics and predictable patterns against them. Make no mistake this is not a game. It is your life. Fight till your last breath.

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There's the AO Registry at most VAMC's.

Vet has a AO exam and is placed in the AO Registry & is automatically known to be exposed to AO.

I am in it but I'm luckly so far (no conditions) of AO at this time!


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James was the first AO CONUS veteran.....Continental United States exposure to AO---sorry maybe I didnt clarify that.

That is why he had tp prove the AO exposure as he was not in Vietnam.

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The VA caused part of this problem themselves, in 2 ways:

1. When they shredded evidence, we sometimes have to resubmit it 3 or more times. So, there are 3 copies (sometimes) of things in our file. This makes files very long and a burden to read everything. This is VA's own fault for shredding our evidence.

2. The VA unnecessarily complicates stuff. (Mostly this has to do with VA saving money). An example is how Vietnam Vets get some stuff, Iraq Vets get something different and WW2 Vets its different yet.

3. Our cfiles are getting longer and longer, they keep have us with more and more requirements..and the VA simply wont read all the long files. They "top sheet" them.

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what form would a veteran use to say ask for increase in rating filing a secondary claim to his P&T 100%disability claim that's been in effect for the last 14 years? supplemental 21-526b? which the claim would be depression.

or would the veteran need to file a new claim? which would be faster?

Seems I remember Bob Walsh said its a better form to use? however maybe I am confused?


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