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Unintelligible VA Claim/Appeal Timeline of events


Hello everyone,

Sorry for the lengthier post...Theres a lot that if i omitted would be no help to anyone offering information because too much is missing. I've included my two earlier posts links at the bottom detailing what was my initial interpretation of my problem. After digging around, and piecing evidence from various sources this is the best i've come up with.

OK. So, my attorney had initially spurred this interest about a month ago. He saw something along the lines of "Full Grant" in the system and had no other details. I really took that with a grain of salt. But 2 weeks later i checked the new vets website and snooped around to find under my current appeal to the board, that one of the 4 requests for consideration was no longer an active issue, instead being closed with "full grant" for tdiu. Now my interest had piqued. I started calling the VA asking for more info on this. 3 phone calls, 3 different answers. VA hotline still operating as strong as ever there. One call however the rep was eager to help and seemed to confirm this with a DRO approval of tdiu. Said he was pretty sure it was just waiting for a signature to generate the letter, award. 

I couldnt buy it. It felt off, and fortunately i didnt take some of the advice in my last posts to "go collect flowers" or something equally worthless. When I've waited 9 years to arrive at this point, a likely another 5 to see the BVA...I can't afford to keep wasting months here or there waiting to finalize my plan of attack for fear of disrupting some internal pending status.

The discovery: I wanted some info i could use to support whatever might or might not have been what was happening. A friend of a friend works with the VSO, he offered to take a look and see what was going on. He hits me with some great news, or at least good, that it appears i had been awarded tdiu around the early august timeframe two other sources also said. And the bad news, that i also or primarily was awarded TDIU in FEBRUARY 2017!!!! WHAT THE xxxx...

So, here is what i'm struggling with in how/what occurred there. Ok, full disclosure - late 2016/2017 was during my last semester of college where i just couldnt do it anymore...white knuckle through my moral, spiritual death and keep it together any longer. Fell into heroin somehow and became more or less homeless till about Jan2018 when i cleaned it up. Could the va have sent an award or announcement decision i didnt get ahold of? sure. But, dont those correspondence state, if you dont disagree just sit back and wait for xyz to happen? It doesnt seem like an issue that would halt the process entirely. And i mean, entirely. There's never been an update to my rating. Ebenefits, and the VA call line, have not one trace to support any reference to the VA granting the issue. 

What could have possibly stopped even the recognition of the award in my summary from being updated? Now, i say this because recently my lawyer another piece of evidence...that the award was covering the 2010-2017 range. In my homelessness, heroin chase i did a few months in county jail. My attorney thinks this and a residence conflict might have had something to do with it. Why dont i feel confident with what his two cents are? Because he's wrong about 3/7 times. And depending on another post i just made about whether or not my attorney should be fired due to really no effort and perceived incompetency, might just can him!

I included the screenshots of vets.gov confirming VA granting one or more issue in feb 2017. Any help would really be appreciated. I just CAN NOT be 40 years old, having waited 10 or so years for a claim to resolve, when one or two of the last years maybe employed myself (electrical engineer) in some capacity... and then have to wait another 5 years because of a board decision for an issue that is no longer relevant to my disability, to receive judgement on without me jeopardizing or compromising all the time accrued waiting thus long. Another issue i have is lets say i had posted in march 2017, "Awarded when should i see anything" and was told to wait...i'd be right here approaching 2019 with my thumb in my ass!  Thanks again for the help, this community is immensely empowering...






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Of course, I dont know what is happening on your claim.  Apparently you spoke to an attorney.  He has or should have access to VBMS, which should give the most up to date information.  If he does not have access to VBMS, then you should strongly ask him to jump through the hoops to obtain it.  

We can not give adice which would trump your attorneys, especially if he has access to your Records, which we do not.  

Yes, we know its frustrating, most of us have been through it.  

Try these things, after contacting your attorney:  

1.  Email IRIS

2.  Contact the presidents hotline.

     Your attorney may be able to apply for an advance on the docket if you are in financial hardship or are over 75.  


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hey thanks for the swift reply broncovet...I probably didn't clarify too well what i was looking for in terms of advice by posting to hadit...

I would never ask anyone for my personal claim specific replies...What i was hoping for was to include a just long enough snapshot, or sequence of events, along with all non events(ie. being awarded, yet no benefits/documentation change, no financial change) and hope somebody could identify some of the possibilities maybe seen elsewhere. If an issue is overturned right on it's way to the BVA i'm willing to bet theres not a whole lot that can further take place with it, and for almost 2 years to have passed since then? i haven't seen anything even remotely similar when trying to search for that. With one guy at least getting an award packet and then having to wait almost 8 months for the financial change or backpay.

Is it common place for claim finding to be granted at that level and not even seeing a mention of it anywhere but in the claim itself trail breadcrumbs. 

to highlight my frustration, i know theres one in every crowd to have somewhat easy VA interactions - the rest of us fighting like savages due to uneducated ratings officers or other ineptitude...But, the point i am precisely making is I haven't found one of the people who you said have been through this and it's sort of arrested development. I have a few last approaches up my sleeve to see if i can get any info on that mishap, one which i just learned of is the WH number.

If anyone is aware of any similar anecdotes of awards/grant given and never filed please let me know. I know theres no pattern in VA insanity, but i'm willing to bet any info is good info at this point. Thank you all.

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If you are headed to the BVA, opting into RAMP may speed things up.  


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thanks for the suggestion bronco...I've just recently have been seeing that term pop up a lot. I just dont want to be rifling up dept. or areas that dont have anything to do with the hang up.

What i've see with kind of a similiarity is a few veterans were granted BVA for a few issues remanded the rest and sometimes it gets hung up at AMC or a DRO maybe..It's not my situation since the dro overturned the TDIU denial claim and sent a statement of case before passing on to the board the other issues of contention. So i cant say it got hung up because it was part of a cumulative appeal, it was literally isolated and granted. And since this was top-down judgement meaning a lowly rater didnt award me it before going up the chain for possible scrutiny, it was already a nod or appeal heading issue.

They said they awarded in Feb 2017, and if my source isnt mistaken, again in aug 2018. Is there any rationale why that would take place? I really am going to try a few resources tomorrow to try and get an idea of what happened, where it is..

One resource i cant seem to get a solid contact for is the dro who granted it before sending it off somewhere. I've read accounts of people getting information from their local dro numerous times. Were they likely one way connections? ie the DRO called them? is there a way to find the phoenix dro?

Thanks everyone 

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"Ramp" is the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program, and is designed to give you a faster outcome in your appeals.  So, unless you are okay with your claim at the BVA for another 4 or 5 years, then you need to consider RAMP.  For me, however, another 4 or 5 year wait (I have already waiited 16 years) is unacceptable.  I want my benefits now, not 5 years from now, so I oted into RAMP.  

Even a denial is better for me than a 5 year wait, because I can appeal a denial and still (potentially) get my benefits, in less than 5 years.  

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    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
    • Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
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    • I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:

      2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis

      2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.

      "...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.

      First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date. 

      If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues. 


      I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.

      It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.

      Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.


      Does this help?
    • Thanks for that. So do you have a specific answer or experience with it bouncing between the two?
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