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What Is Holding Up Your Claim? I Know Now

Guest jstacy


It is called the BVA. Instead of making decisions on Veterans claims by overturning the RO's, The Remand the claims back to them for them to adjudicate. Once a claim is returned to the RO, It gets head of the line privledges. Kind of like a chow line.

If I had a vote, I would change the name of the BVA to the BRA. Board of remanding Applications.

That is where the backlog is coming from and Congress needs to correct it because it is taking a little bit longer every day due to the remands.

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

The VARO,the DRO, the BVA. the AMA, Service Officers remands qaiting for information, larhe amounts of claims are all used to slow down claims.

Congress should mandate that claims be finished in a reasonable amount of time. Social Security should be an example in my opinion

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We through the service organizations filed a legal action which no longer allows BVA to develop claims. Now if you look at some of the shit the RO swears that is ready for BVA action, which in real life is missing evidence, medical exams, no SOC's etc..... then the BVA has no other choice. The sorry excuses for rating officers and senior raters and service center managers is the real problem. Not taking up for anyone at the VA, but if the RO's were made to take responsibility for their actions then you would see a lot of the stuff clear up. jmho


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What gets me is that it often appears that raters and adjudicators and even DROs are afraid to make decisions.

This is why good IMos seem to be the only way out these days-

I dont think that this is fair as many claims might stand without an IMO- but these raters need solid medical documentation to support any favorable decisions they make.

A lousy C & P report makes it easy for them to deny.

I also think sometimes that there are 2 stacks- one stack of claims that gets worked on properly and another stack that doesn't.

I wonder if SOs and vet reps influence what claim gets into what stack.

I had a vet rep who worked against me and my claim in the local office and another one whose attempt to get the DRO to consider my IMOs seemed to be a fictional account of a "lengthy conference" they had.

This took me a long time to accept and realise this and I got another vet rep.

Walter G just won his award and he made such a good point- he fought them with evidence as well as their own regs.

I also wonder this- say a vet rep has 5 claims coming before a rater and a DRO.

One has significant evidence, the other claims have maybe enough for benefit of doubt.

Would it be to the vet rep's advantage to push for awards on the weaker claims by forsaking the claim with the most evidence and maybe the most retro potential?

There certainly is an advantage too for VAROs who do not send out the proper VCAA forms.

A proper VCAA notice has to tell the vet what they need to succeed and it must be specific to the claim-meaning someone has to actually read the claim.

The claim is not supposed to be denied before this proper notice is sent to the vet.But plenty of claims are.

My own POA has plenty of remands at the BVA due to this VCAA violation.

By violating the VCAA this way-the VARO takes an end product code showing they worked on the claim,

and it gets off the vet rep's desk for years only to come back to the VARO.

Only by being proactive and using their regs ourselves- can any of us really succeed.

I get discouraged that my evidence has not been read but then again-I went through this before and persistense paid off.I think at some point when they know some of us will not give up, that is when they actually start to work the claim.

Also when you are in limbo for years with a claim-you have all that time to find more evidence.

There IS NO oversight regarding the VAROs.

The CAVC has been knocking out decisions quickly due to adding 2 more retired judges to their staff.

That still leaves the BVA backlog-growing every day-

and the BVA backlog is 90-99% due to poor claims work at VAROs.The remands prove it.

What I dont get is why so many veterans are accepting the BVA remands due to VCAA violations without really griping. I guess if they question their vet rep (who should know whether they got the proper forms or not) the vet rep just blames the VARO.

MY POA said they would not support my remand as I DID receive a proper VCAA notice. I had to spell it all out for them- my former vet rep didnt even know what a VCAA notice was.

I waited for 2 months for a remand but many wait for 2 years.

This should not be happening.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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My husband's BVA remand went to the Appeals Management Center, even though the decision said it was being sent back to the VARO. I was relieved the VARO here wasn't going to get it back.

Is the AMC receiving all remanded items or just selected ones? If they're only receiving selected remands, what is the criteria behind deciding whether the VARO or the AMC reviews the remand?

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The backlog is created by an underfunded VA. A lack of employees at the RO level causes claims to not be properly developed. Then they are not properly adjudicated. Then they are sent to the BVA. Then the are sent back to be properly developed again taking time away for new claims to be properly developed.

An OVER STAFFED RO would solve the backlog problem. More properly rated claims at the beginning would mean less use of the BVA hence even less backlog for remands.

The blame goes to the Senate, Congress and President for not funding the proccess.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think that when in doubt it is easier just to deny the claim and see if the vet goes to the BVA. This will put off any action for years. If the vet lets the initial denial go then all good for the VA. If the vet appeals to the BVA so what? Maybe a remand and then the RO has to do some work. Does anyone get punished for delaying a claim for three or four years? No, of course not.

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I agree with all below. Congress etc..... must take the blame for not taking action (funding); If I were a service center manager or RO director, my priority would be on quality. If the claims continued to back up because of this then maybe they would see the problem and fix it. This just deny it and get it out of here for a couple of years is criminal. I know that I would be fired but maybe just maybe my way of doing things would open up the eyes of all an result in a fix to the problem................... Ah maybe I need to quit dreaming. They know what the problem is they just do not want to fix it.


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  • HadIt.com Elder


Disabled vets are just not a priority. Everyone knows what the problems is , but fixing it means having to pay more compensation and the government does not want to do it. How better to pay less to vets than to just constantly underfund the VA and let the claims pile up to the sky? Thanks to Hadit we can fight this system but we are being sandbagged by our own government.

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I called the AMC today. Was told my claim is waiting for someone to view it & reminded it may take up to 90 days before someone gets around to it. After stating it's been over 120 days now, i heard not to worry. It could be 3 to 6 months before anyone gets to it.

During one call to the AMC, I was told my claim was waiting for assignment to another VARO somewhere.

This is the second remand from the BVA. This one states the VARO failed to include Dr Bashes IMO's in SOC or grant any weight to the evidence. They gave specific instructions to follow. My guess is I will not see due process or an honest evaluation until it goes to court, or the BVA decides to process it. Its been 3 or 4 yrs passed back & forth between the BVA & different RO's, with the appeals center being nothing but a go between & collecting dust.

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Boy- I know the feeling of frustration-

Another example of RO's failure to consider an IMO.

My initial one from Dr. Bash is dated Nov 2004.Even though my vet rep said he personally presented this to the DRO- the SOC says nada-like it didn't even exist.

The brief Nov 2004 IMO I had from a former VA doctor was incorporated into the Bash opinion and also sent with his IMO to the RO in 2004. Then they sent me to the BVA in July but I got a remand in Sept.I asked for it and gave the BVA 3 reasons why the claim should be back at the RO.

Dr. Bash's August 2006 second IMO also referred to his first one. Yet it was not at all redundant or cumulative. At some point they have to acknowledge this evidence.

They aren't fooling me one bit- this is deliberate-to ignore probative medical evidence-

I sued them for property destruction.

I named the VSM, director, and someone else -forget who-oh yeah the DRO-

On my SF 95 I pointed out and attached proof of the fact that I had submitted these IM0s many times to the VARO yet -since the 2 initial ones failed to be addressed, I can only assume they have been damaged beyond repair or were destroyed.(I copied the priority mailing slips in color and attached this as evidence that I had sent these IMos many times)

I talked to Regional Counsel about this 2 weeks ago.

He sure got my point. I dont expect the VA to pay me back-

but if they don't address these IMOs ,I could potentially sue them in Fed court.

He was aware of my last SF 95 matter and said he knew I had been through a lot.

I told him I have to exercise every right I have because I went through this same crap years ago.

If the VA is not addressing an IMO that we paid cash money for- I think they should be accountable for that.

I told counsel I expect the proper decision on my claims before the 6 month FTCA deadline is up. But I would not hesitate to go into federal court if this is what they want.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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