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Cavc Judges Are Bookin'


Berta

Question

(Email from Jeff Schrade- media- US Senate)

NEWS FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS’ AFFAIRS

VETERANS COURT ON RECORD PACE – CUTTING DOWN THE BACKLOG OF CASES

Chairman Larry Craig (R-Idaho) standing with Judge Al Lance of the Court of Veterans Appeals. The Judge previously served as the Attorney General of Idaho, and Sen. Craig later nominated him for his current job in the Veterans Court. Judge Lance is a past national commander of the American Legion. The two men both served in the Idaho House of Representatives, although at different times.

November 3, 2006

Media contact: Jeff Schrade (202)224-9093

(Washington, DC) The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is deciding more cases than ever, after recalling two judges to the bench earlier this year, and is now on track to issue 30 percent more decisions than any year in the Court’s history. That feat is earning praise from chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

"At a hearing this past July, I cautioned that if trends continued without action, such as bringing back retired judges, the number of pending cases could reach 10,000 in the next five years. Since then, two retired judges have been brought back to work and the Court is getting back on track. This is wonderful news for veterans," said Chairman Larry Craig (R-Idaho).

According to numbers released to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Thursday, with 7 full time judges and 2 recalled judges now deciding cases, the Court is on track to handle over 4400 cases this fiscal year, which is almost 800 more cases than the Court is expected to take in.

Other federal courts regularly recall judges, including the U.S. Tax Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Earlier this year, Chief Judge William Greene of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims became the first chief judge of that court to recall retired judges.

"I was very pleased that the Court decided to use this valuable resource – to bring back recall-eligible judges – to help them deal with the huge number of cases the Court has been receiving. It’s clear that Chief Judge Greene, all of the judges and the entire Court staff have been working very hard to make sure that veterans receive timely decisions," Craig said.

In July of this year the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs conducted a hearing on the backlog issue, at which Craig and other committee members pushed the Court to recall its eligible retired judges. Under current federal guidelines, the retired judges receive the same pay as active judges – currently $165,200 a year – so they can be called back to work if the Court needs additional help to deal with its workload.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims reviews decisions rendered by VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Most of the Court’s decisions deal with veterans’ claims for disability compensation.

#####

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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Berta

Thats great news, Now if they could only do something at the ro level.

I taked to my rep yesterday and he said the Huntington ro have the biggest backlog ever, due to retirements, and failure to get replacements. I called the ro and they confirmed a big back log.

I am wondering if I would be better off to go ahead and appeal to the BVA in DC, I remember Dr. Bash telling me he could have my whole case docked in 3 months or less and could arrange reppresentation, Just a thought, what do you think.

My case and Cavman are nearly identical.

kkp

Edited by kkp (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder
I taked to my rep yesterday and he said the Huntington ro have the biggest backlog ever, due to retirements, and failure to get replacements. I called the ro and they confirmed a big back log.

I don't know who your rep is, but I can tell you that Huntington will never replace those openings. I heard that same old crap for 1 year in that hole.

Are you with Brimmer, Lipscromb, Carl Ray and that bunch?

I knew that they were going to deny my benefits from the Roanoke, Va. office, but I couldn't get Huntington to mail it out, so that I could go on to the BVA. I had my form 9 in for almost two years, before I could get them to make a decision.

I contacted Honorable Daniel Cooper and he gave them a call and they mailed it to me within 3 days.

Your answer is probably stacked on ones desk collecting dust.

You must be in Appeals at Huntington?

Is this where you filed your original claim, as I was transferred there from Roanoke, after I received a More likely than Not from the Salem Medical center. I was sent there to be rated or to get rid of me, probably the latter.

You had better watch those C&P's.

I went from Huntington to the BVA in December and now I am coming out of the AMC. I think so at least.

Josephine

Edited by Josephine (see edit history)
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Kkp -the BVA makes much better decisions then the RO-

I am not sure what Dr. Bash means by what you said-but if you sent the RO good medical evidence and you can establish the nexus- maybe you should wait and see what they (the RO) does next-did they send you a formal I-9 form?

The CAVC backlog reduction could begin to even affect the BVA backlog -maybe-

this would be great-

Some of the cases I have read at the CAVC this year did not seem to have much merit.

It is hard to get awards out of the CAVC but it does happen.

I just read a recent 2006 CAVC decision. The veteran had an IMO and argued that the VA gave more weight to their medical examiner. However CAVC stated that the private physician failed in any way to support the nexus factor-with medical rationale.

This bears out the excellent post by 1968 Army here today on IMOs.

"The Board provided an adequate statement of its reasons or bases for its reliance on the May 2004 VA examination in lieu of Dr. Emerson's opinion. Specifically, the Board found that Dr. Emerson's opinion was "an insufficient medical nexus opinion" because (1) he "provided no rationale to support his opinion that the veteran's current heart disorder [was] related to [the veteran's] service- connected psychoneurosis. He simply states that the two are related without providing any explanation of the medical principles or rationale supporting his conclusion;" and (2) "there is no indication that Dr. [Emerson] actually reviewed the veteran's claims file, including the service medical records." R. at 10. In contrast, the Board placed greater probative value on the VA examination ."

The veteran was Pro se at the Court (not a good idea) and in all this time the veteran did not attempt to get a better opinion with a good rationale from the private IMO as to the actual nexus he needed.Of course he lost at the court.

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Let's see,

Larry Craig is once again patting himself on the back for the good work he does for veterans.

Yup, this is a good thing. But it is something that should have been done long ago.

The first thing I notice is this action costs nothing. According to the article the retired Judges are already being paid the same rate as active Judges while they are retired. They are being put back to work.

All of Craig's good deeds for veterans seem to not cost the VA a dime. Rather than fully funding the VA at all levels and solving the backlog by properly working claims to begin with, he thinks he is doing a great service to veterans to have them denied for years before the court straightens out the mess. And I am refused VA health programs that would help me because the programs are "full". Not even given a future date.

In two years I will use this good deed against him and put him on the unemployment line. It's too bad he's not up this year.

Time

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Kkp -the BVA makes much better decisions then the RO-

Berta is correct.

Mr. Liscomb told me that the DRO in West Va. trashes all IMO'S unless they themselves order the independent medical opinion.

My niece told me the same thing, " if you have to pay for the opinion, then she doesn't consider them.

Josephine

Edited by Josephine (see edit history)
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Josephine, I have had several medical opinions done. If anyone is going to get am IMO, they need to obtain copies of everything and have the Doctor state they reviewed it, They can state what they reviewed. THey can provide an opinion and the RO cannot ignore it nor trash it. The BVA will eat the RO;s lunch and the Court will also. If your niece is doing that then she is in violation of federal law and it needs to be addressed by the VA inspector General.

The VA must consider all the evidence in a claim or they are setting them up for CUE. AN IMO is evidence and therefore it must be considered. It does not matter who paid for it.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I'll have to agree with Berta, I'm not sure what Dr. Bash means. Dr. Bash can't personally get a claim on the docket and considered quicker at the BVA. Claims are considered in order they were docketed (this is done when the Veteran sends in Form 9), not by having a doctor sending something to them.

Josephine,

I agree with Jstacy, if your niece as a DRO said that, she should be fired immediately. What she said is a clear violation of Ferderal law and VA regulations! Any evidence submitted by the claimant must be at least considered regardless of how weak it is. It is these few bad apples in the large barrel that give the VA a bad rap!

Vike 17

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Josephine,

I agree with Jstacy, if your niece as a DRO said that, she should be fired immediately. What she said is a clear violation of Ferderal law and VA regulations! Any evidence submitted by the claimant must be at least considered regardless of how weak it is. It is these few bad apples in the large barrel that give the VA a bad rap!

Vike 17

Huntington R.O told me the same thing about the IMO. If I got one they would not consider it.

They would only place weight if they ordered it themselves.

I have been told the same thing by both R. O.

I am just using my treating military doctors letter, as he was there, knew it all and saw it all and treated it all and wrote it down.

What can another doctor possibly add to what 3 doctors have already said?

Treating doctor of 29 years, military treating doctor and the Va. own Medical doctor.

Thanks,

Josephine

Edited by Josephine (see edit history)
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thinnk the main reason there is such a problem with IMO or other medical opnions being accepted by the RO is there failure to consider them is grounds for remand. This allows the RO to deny a claim and have it og out on appeal but they have a string attached just like a yo yo and they have no risk of being over turned on the merits because of its procdural errors.

You said it all!!!

Josephine

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Berta Vike-17 and others

I do remember what Dr. bash said about moving my case to DC. He didn't mean he could bypass any rules and get me ahead on the list. His exact statement was they were not backed up in Dc like they are in Hunington, Where the panel of Judges only comes twice a year. He said the average time to get a case docked there at the present time is about 3 months. They bon't have as big a back log.

I'm sorry I didn't make it clearer to start with, but I always seem to try to take short cuts, and let people fill in the blanks

I'll try to do better in the future.

kkp

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I understand now-- another thing too is- if you have already been sent to the BVA and send them (the BVA)new evidence-

such as an IMO from Dr. Bash -they will remand.

He put a handwritten note on his last IMO to me in August-that I should contact my Congessman about the way my claim was being handled but I already had contacted a Senator-and the IG-

he did not take it lightly that his first opinion was completely ignored and that my POA's email to me seemed to support that they didnt care that it had been ignored.

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Huntington R.O told me the same thing about the IMO. If I got one they would not consider it.

They would only place weight if they ordered it themselves.

I have been told the same thing by both R. O.

I am just using my treating military doctors letter, as he was there, knew it all and saw it all and treated it all and wrote it down.

What can another doctor possibly add to what 3 doctors have already said?

Treating doctor of 29 years, military treating doctor and the Va. own Medical doctor.

Thanks,

Josephine

Who is your VSO? You need to write an Iris email to the Service center manager and complain?

Also contact the Inspector General and complain. Write it down word for word what they said.

Tell them that is not acceptable.

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jstacy,

I know what you guys are trying to tell me. My Form 9 came out of Roanoke, but my file is in Huntington.

It is kind of like what Berta said, " Why do you have a pension for chronic anxiety disorder with depression and back to 1983?

The two psychiatrist that lied about me, say that it is a personality disorder with an Axis 1 of Anxiety not other wise specified. Not the result of service, but in my SMR's as described by Dr. C he treated me for it with librium. They also will not give the BVA the etiology of their reasoning.

Some where it isn't making any sense?

I have 3 doctors stating that it began in service. Why do I need someone else to tell me the same thing.

How did I get the pension in the first place for the correct diagnosis?

When you have been treated for the same illness for 42 years, it is a little difficult to give it another name.

If I had had hypertension in service with 3 months of treatment for the illness and then found my SMR'S stating this. If I had been treated for hypertension for the next 41 years.

Would we think that the hypertension began in service?

Josephine

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My own personal experience with regard to:

"Who is your VSO? You need to write an Iris email to the Service center manager and complain?"

was,

"Please do not contact this office with questions regarding your claims"

Also.

I contacted my DVA POA and the DAV national office and they told me to shut up or the free help would dry up.

I was already a life member at the time.

"FREE" ??

Now I'm at the 'court' again.

My 30 year old daughter was 12 years old when I began having serious unemployability problems.

If I croak she will continue to pursue this mess until my estate receives the full amount of my legally earned benefits.

Never give up

sledge

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Sledge,

I know exactly what you are talking about. I am already feeling the effects of going to Honorable Daniel Cooper, Under Secretary of Veterans Benefits, for help and President Bush.

I was 33 when I started this claim and now I have suddenly turned old.

I have told my daughters to finish up what I have started.

One daughter is 40 and one is 36.

I think that I may resolve this issue with the AMC next month. Hope so. If not I will be into the courts also.

Thanks,

Josephine

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