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Anyone Have Dealt With Montgomery, Al Ro


Michelle

Question

Hello Everyone:

First, is their anyone out there that deals with the Montgomery, Al RO?

You know I've discovered that VA thinks if they just keep you going in circles that you will get tired and pissed enough that you will just let it go. I've told them that I will fight this until I die because I was in perfect health prior to going to the Persian Gulf War and they are responsible for the conditions mentally and physically that I have now. I have as much time as they want to drag this out (God Willing).

My claim for an increase for T&P and IU has stayed at one regional office for 7 Months (Atlanta RO), then they sent it (without notifying me, but a week prior to them sending it when I telephoned them the Atlanta RO told me it was "Ready to Rate". The next thing I knew, when I called back again they had transferred my claims folder to the Montgomery, AL RO, where I had to start all over from the beginning (even though Atl had stated it was ready to rate). Now, that I've done everything all over again, including their C&P, all my civilian tests, exams, etc each time I call the 800# I get a different answer and it has gotten on my last nerve.

I've sent many inquires thru IRIS just to get their response in writing and the other day I put in a complaint with the Chairmand of the Senate on Veteran Affairs Committee in Washington (I figured what the hell they are taking me on a ride anyway so it can't hurt) and explained all that I have gone thru and what all of my fellow vets have to go thru to get what the law states we are entitled to. Also; I had to stop and think and I told him that the Veteran Service Reps try to make the veterans feel like they are applying for welfare or food stamps and it's very degrading. I have been out of work for over a year, (Prior to that year I have worked all of my life from the age of 16) and my claim is over a year old, I've been SC for PTSD (1st Gulf War) and Chronic Peripheral Polyneuropathy (Nerve Damage) in all four limbs. I get 60% for the Nerve Damage and 30% for PTSD which = 90% but we all know VA's math and this = a combined rating of 70%.

I applied for my SSD in June and it seems like everything has gone favorable and my adjudicator called me on Thursday and said everything is complete that I will be receiving a letter by the 26th of Nov. I didn't ask her if it was approved because I was nervous and didn't know if she was supposed to tell me but the process from beginning to end, even going to their doctors has been smoothed and the doctors stated I shouldn't have any problems getting approved. I will let you all know.

If I didn't have you all who I know understands what we all go thru, I don't know what I would do and as soon as I get approved for either SSD first or VA I will be donating to Hadit.com...Thanks so much...

Michelle

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Michelle

I have dealt with the Montgomery RO and my experience with them was similar to yours. Others may disagree with me but I think you did the right thing getting the the senate involved in this case. I was caught up in the RO maze, getting the wrong information, lost claim info, them saying they haven't received info from me etc, etc, stuff like that. I finally contacted Secretary Principi and that prompted a congressional inquiry which put their focus on my claim. Secretary Principi is no longer heading the VA and contacting Sec Nicholson would probably be a waste of time.

Something that I would highly recommend if possible is going to the RO in Montgomery and viewing your C File if you haven't already done so. If you do this make sure you call them to set up an appointment first. It may not be required but make the call just in case. Take a pen and paper to take notes of anything in your C File that could help you with your claim.

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Michelle, I have to deal with Montgomery on all of my claims. Each and every one of them has gone through this circus. Don't bother with iris or the 800 for this RO for each attempt will be met with a lie or some answer that is completely confusing. My latest was a Nod that I sent last Aug 05. I was told it would take at least a year. In Dec 05 I received a letter asking if I wanted a tradional appeal or DRO. I wrote them back and told them that my original Nod had provided that I wanted a DRO de novo review. In Jan 06 I received a rating and all claims were denied. I was surprised - in less than 4 months they conducted a de novo review. I then sent them my va 9 to them in Feb 06 and asked for a hearing at the RO cause I wanted to see face to face what idiots they had hired to work there. By July 06 no word was received on the hearing. I sent in an iris query - their reply stated that since my appeal had not been received until AUG 06 it would be a while hmmmmm - I replied informing them that I was glad that ro personnel were physic and could see into the future however, I had sent in my appeal and request for hearing in Feb. They replied and stated "yes, we do see where we received your appeal in Mar 06 however, based upon our workload, this office does not conduct local hearings - I quickly replied and quoted my due process rights to them to which they replied that I would be contacted as soon as the hearing had been scheduled. That was the last I heard until Thursday of last week. At that time I received a letter from them stating that my hearing with a travel board from the BVA could take up to two years and wanted to know if I wanted to change my election to a video conference type hearing with BVA. The letter also said "please be informed that you can also have a local hearing with local VA personal, however, if you desire such a hearing you must request it immediately" JESUS - I just fired off a letter to them changing from a travel board hearing and notifying them of my Feb request for a hearing at the local RO with a DRO. Funny how this works - it takes them less than four months to do a complete de novo review of a claim containing 10 seperate disabilities and damn near a year to plug my name into a schedule for a local hearing. Good luck to you.

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Gee- I thought Buffalo RO was bad----

Michelle- ther ARE hoping vets give up-

If the SSA is awarded (hope so !) and it is for the same conditions you claimed as service connected- make sure they know of this award.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs responded to a letter from me , with a copy enclosed of what I sent to the RO director, in 5 days -to my VARO.

This was Senator Craig- there is a new Chairman now-due to the election-

The VARO had just illegally transferred my claim to the BVA and then the BVA said they had sent the Chairman's inquery to the BVA a few days later. I got a fast remand and they got stuck again with his letter-

I had made some very strong points in what I told him and the RO director.

I think-if you write to the Senate Chairman- best to stick to the facts as to how they violated or ignored established VA regs and procedure and thus put you potentially into the backlog situations that the committee is attempting to reduce.

Someone did react at the RO to all this because the RO then quickly filed a motion at the BVA (they didnt know I was working on getting the remand directly with the BVA)

It was a motion from them to re-open a past denied CUE claim I had.(I think) The BVA was puzzled by their request as they did not specify what claim the VARO was filing the Motion on and I am not sure if it was the old CUE claim.When VARO remanded the claim -I think they included the VARO Motion too-for more specifics.

It seemed to me that they were anticipating writing a response to Senator Craig stating more or less- yes we sent the widow's claim to the BVA illegally without addressing any of her evidence and without giving her a proper VCAA notice but we filed a Motion at the BVA to re-open a past SC claim for her.(to cover our butts and make it look like we did something right)

The Senate backlog committee under Chairman Craig did reduce the CAVC backlog-now they have to work on the BVA backlog-I hope they are going to-

I gave Senator Craig a brief synopsis of exactly how ROs are adding to the backlog and that my claim, as an example , is one of many many remands at the BVA website that shows that ROs are not complying with the regs and that obviously some of our POAs are supporting these illegal procedures as the remands at the BVA reveal.

(my own POA -at their highest level refused to support my remand request and they were shocked that it happened so fast-I got a better rep vet at this time)

In my letter to Senator Craig -I referenced VA case law and a recent report from the Inspector General as supporting the fact that ROs are deliberately contributing to this backlog at the BVA and then at the CAVC-

and my claim was a good example of this.And I told him why.

You can email the committee at

http://veterans.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

But I suggest writing directly to Senator Daniel Akaka at

U.S. Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs

412 Russell

Senate Office Building

Washington D.C. 20510

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

I kinda like my little Senator here in Texas:

Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

http://hutchison.senate.gov/veterans.htm

The VA kinda pays attention.

She'll at least TELL you she's tryin to help ( I know, I know, she's a politician, but she's all I got! ).

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Thanks all of you for your input and advice. After I get my letter from SSA. I'm going to move back over to Georgia (we have another rental home their) and ask to move my claim to the Atlanta RO. This was who I had dealt with for the past 7 or 8 years and it wasn't this bad. I'm going to wait a little bit until I hear back from the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs first. Berta, I did email them, thanks.

It is just a sorry shame how we get treated and I think I'm going to call them first thing Monday and request that I have a appt to review my C-File, if they say I don't need one then I'm on my way up there.

I'll keep you all posted.

Michelle

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