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BrokenSquid

What happened to my SoC and Grant Letter?

Question

Hey Folks,

Let me give you a quick run down on my timeline:

2/15/18 - Original entitlement date

4/27/18 - NOD submitted for appeal

7/9/18 - Additional C&P in response to NOD, addresses requested service connection and rating increase

7/31/18 - DRO Hearing. Assuming it was formal, as my attorney was with me and it was recorded. Informed I'd have the results within 30-60 days.

8/10/18 - Statement of Case issued -- Here's where things get strange. The SOC was issued, but never mailed out. I did some digging and found out that I was awarded service connection for one of the conditions I claimed, and I guess that's somehow still waiting on final approval? Regardless of that, they informed me that my SOC wouldn't be mailed out until that grant was finalized.

10/9/18 - Tomorrow, 10/10, is 60 calendar days from when I should have started the Form 9 response for my SOC. In otherwords, when I get it, no matter what, I can't appeal to the BVA without escalating this entire process, if that's what I decide to do.

 

Anyone have some insight into how this may play out, and what on earth I'm waiting for? If the C&P results are any tell, I should be 100% schedular now, which I imagine makes me 100% P&T. Could that be the reason why all of this is taking so long? Are they literally waiting for someone in finance to push a button? Are they waiting for someone in the letter drafting department to type out my SOC/grant letter? Does the DRO just have this in his outbox on his desk while he's on vacation?

 

Sincerely,

Impatient Broken Squid

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Hopefully you have someone like Alex for your representative, who can not only check VBMS to make sure this is what's happening, but, according to him, he knows people to contact in order to fix glitches like this.    

You see, Veterans are not allowed to call the VARO to fix glitches..the VA makes sure we dont have the phone numbers or names of people to call to fix such glitches, so that these types of glitches can become permanent and we die before we ever get our benefits.    Its too distracting for VARO employees to take calls from Veterans, so they largely dont allow it, by making sure we dont have the name and phone numbers of who to call.   
  It would be like going to McDonalds and finding a mouse in your shake, where no one knows who the boss is or how to contact him to fix it.  Instead, McDonalds has a manager on every shift who simply fixes problems immediately, probably giving you a free shake and maybe even a couple meals, too.   VA's way is to make the VEteran wait so long to fix his glitch he gets mad and sues VA for millions of dollars.    Then the VA repeats the procedure.  

Im not sure where you got the information you posted..it sounds like ebenefits, which instantly makes it unreliable.   

Other than having Alex for your representative, you can send an email to IRIS, or contact the white house hotline.   

This identifies a huge problem present at VA.  Even when we Vets can turn on the light and find out what is going on and identify the glitch, there is no one to call to fix it.  We used to be able to email Alison Hickey, but the VA apparently has not replaced her with a person who fixes stuff like she did.  

Berta may chime in, hopefully, as I think she has a list of names and phone numbers of VARO managers.  I "may" have my VARO manager name and number.  What is your VARO? Cleveland?  St. Pete? etc.  

I might be able to try to help you find the bosses phone number.  

Edited by broncovet

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Broncovet,

Thanks for the words of encouragement and for perhaps shedding some light on what may have happened to my file. My appeal is based out of the Philadelphia office, which apparently has a track record of being fantastic. I’ll gladly take any resources I can and reach out to whoever is necessary. Again, thank you.

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In a perfect world.  I once needed my medication prescribed at a new facility.  I was told I was a new patient and could not get an appointment for six months.  I told the senior vetrep at my service organization about this.  He happened to be at a meeting between the VA and service organizations a few days later.  The question of vets getting their appointments at new facilities after they had moved came up.  The VA  rep told the service reps that this was not a problem and my vetrep dropped the hammer on him.  I got an appointment several days later.

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The answer is simple. The VA is not permitted to combine a grant in the same document with a SOC or SSOC. If they are still waiting on more than two signatures, you automatically know the check's over $25 K. The normal procedure is to send two separate envelopes the same day-one with the grant and another with the denial. The Central Mail Processing unit (VACMP) now prints and mails everything from Janesville WI. It's a "super" RO. #58. The AMO (formerly the AMC) is the 57th. Sometimes they slip up and send both in the same BBE and it's confusing. I hope you all realize if VA was efficient, they could do this with half the employees. It's  much like 'how many VA employees does it take to screw in a light bulb' joke. 

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So, I spoke with my attorney who spoke with their contact at the VARO. As it turns out, they did grant the one condition, but the other is still pending approval. Is the DRO not the person that bottom-lines the appeal? If the one condition listed as granted is correct, then I know for a fact they bumped me up to 100% based on the schedular table. Does this also mean I become P&T? Will I receive backpay up to my initial claim date? My state also offers a property tax exemption, will that become retroactive, or just from the date I apply? Thanks.

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