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A Watched Pot Never Boils...


Indy_CV62_OS

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I'm not sure that PTSD includes obsessive behavior but watching Metrics and va.gov several times a day is not gonna get it anymore.  As best as I can tell, my Appeal will take at least another 14 months or so to reach the Board.  I just hope that others are able to maintain their sanity....The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and then expecting a different result...it's very difficult to wait them out.  We have to believe that the people at VA are trying to work on the backlog and providing whatever service they can to those of us who have Served.

I have to rest on that.  I'm Praying for DRO Grant but I'm expecting my Appeal to be Certified soon.  I think that when we cross into the next step, this gives us some reassurance and a little peace.  As long as we can fully understand each step and communicate with our Advocate, everything should work out.  It really is about doing the time and waiting out the process.  

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@Indy_CV62_OS, as I and others have told people you need to get a hobby because watching vets.gov is counter productive.  It will only add to your stress.  I also am waiting on a DRO hearing that is expected to be 10 to 26 months.  This is pitiful.  But there is not much we can do about it.  Hang tough.

Edited by vetquest (see edit history)
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The waiting is hard. Not knowing is hard. I find everything with the VA is confusing and difficult. Everything is too complex.

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I've rested on my previous post, however, I had to at least reach out to the Board and get a few things cleared up.  This may benefit anybody else in the Legacy Appeals Program.

When my Lawyer submitted the Form 9, we did in fact secure a place in line.  I called the Board and even got my docket number.  The number is 800-923-8387

The logjam is with the DRO.  There is no published wait time for Appeal Certification.  Essentially, the Board can't do anything until the RO Certifies the Appeal.  Now, there is always the possibility of a Grant on Appeal by the DRO.  This seems to be borne out of several factors.  1) Congress pulled the plug on bonuses.  2) Congress has pressured VBA to get all Legacy Appeals completed no later than FY 2020.

Wish there was a way to muster all of the Form 9 peeps so that they can post their date.  My Form 9 was received by VBA in Nov. 2017.

Next step in the process is either a DRO Grant with SSOC or Certification.  From what I can scrounge up on the web, Certification takes about 22 months.  The little counter on the bottom of the page of va.gov shows where you are in line.  My counter shows 108,433 appeals ahead of mine.  The Metrics page shows that the Board is dispatching about 1760 cases each week.  Some quick math puts me at about 61 to 62 weeks.  But, without Certification, that counter really is not useful.  Hope this helps others.

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While doing more research, it seems that IU is not very difficult for me to get.  I have one disability at 50% and another at 10%.  All the DRO has to do is to SC my collapsed lungs at 30% or Grant 20% for lungs and increase Asthma to 20%.  I have to say that the Disability Calculator here at Hadit is a great tool.  I have to believe that RO's are getting pressure to clear up the Legacy backlog.  Just in case you did not know: IU (Individual Unemployability) is at least one SC Disability Rated at 60% or two or more disabilities that total 70% with one disability at least at 40% and you can show that you cannot work anymore.  IU is paid at 100%.

Now upon further research, it is better for all of us to achieve Scheduler 100%.  This would give us protection from a down grade out of 100%.  I love what Chris Attig is doing for all of us and it was he who had said that even if we cross the IU barrier, we must continue to file for increased ratings.  Using the calculator, you can easily figure out how a combination of Disabilities would get you to Scheduler 100%.  So, let's hope that the DRO's can clean things up by just Granting a few conditions on our Legacy Appeals.

I'd like to see more of you who are in the same boat do some posting here.  At some point, all of us are going to spot trends with the VA, either at the DRO or the Board.

Edited by Indy_CV62_OS (see edit history)
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36 minutes ago, Indy_CV62_OS said:

you can show that you cannot work anymore

That is the kicker.

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2 hours ago, kanewnut said:

That is the kicker.

I'm already on SSDI.  I would think that it should not be too big of a reach to get IU.  It's on my Appeal and all the DRO has to do is to raise Asthma to 40 or SC the collapsed lungs at 30% and I'm at 70.  I'm already 60 combined.  Gotta believe that DRO would just Grant what's on Appeal.

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22 hours ago, Indy_CV62_OS said:

I would think that it should not be too big of a reach to get IU.

Seems like it, doesn't it. I have been 70% with one 40% since 2001. I have been on SSDI for service connected disabilities since 2005. I now have a VR&E rejection and I still can't IU. I hope your path is much easier than mine has been.

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How ironic I thought 2014 IU P&T (submitted OPM FERS disability approval, denial overturned in 45 days, lawyers are like WHAT?!?!)was much easier than social security denial which made me happy! FERS can't double dip and social security too much red tape for me! Social security said I have a permanent disability but not at its level. I didn't reapply after VA increase! FERS application required I apply for social security.

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20 minutes ago, kanewnut said:

Seems like it, doesn't it. I have been 70% with one 40% since 2001. I have been on SSDI for service connected disabilities since 2005. I now have a VR&E rejection and I still can't IU. I hope your path is much easier than mine has been.

I did not know that about your case.  Can I assume that you have filed regularly for increases over the last 17 years?  Can you elaborate a little more on your VR&E process?  Do you have a VSO or an Attorney?  Your profile says 90% but you're actually 70%

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I have kept IU going since 2007. That is when SSDI was awarded with a date back to 2005. I had applied for IU earlier but was denied. The DAV told me I needed new and material evidence to refile. I went into VR&E and took tests, I think I took them at home on my computer. But my PCP filled out the paper work to show I can't work. So VR&E filled out a letter to indicate I can't be accepted in the program. DAV is my VSO. They are worth everything I pay them. I am now at 90%. I have had about 10 C&P's over the years.

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12 minutes ago, kanewnut said:

I have kept IU going since 2007. That is when SSDI was awarded with a date back to 2005. I had applied for IU earlier but was denied. The DAV told me I needed new and material evidence to refile. I went into VR&E and took tests, I think I took them at home on my computer. But my PCP filled out the paper work to show I can't work. So VR&E filled out a letter to indicate I can't be accepted in the program. DAV is my VSO. They are worth everything I pay them. I am now at 90%. I have had about 10 C&P's over the years.

So what you're saying is that with 90% combined and with one at 40%, IU is not a gimme.  Sheesh.  And you're on SSDI as well.  Un-frigging-real.  That's a disgrace.  I mean you are right there in the IU wheelhouse and they won't just Grant it.  I am really pulling for you to get it.

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40% is for my low back. That was in 2001. I have had a single 70% for depression for several years. I think I need about one more percentage point to be 100% schedular. There are lots of CUE's in my records. One day I will get a big payday or die trying.

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3 minutes ago, kanewnut said:

40% is for my low back. That was in 2001. I have had a single 70% for depression for several years. I think I need about one more percentage point to be 100% schedular. There are lots of CUE's in my records. One day I will get a big payday or die trying.

CUE is so damn hard.  I wonder if you could find an Attorney and file a Writ of Mandamus with the Federal Court.  It's a very long process and it might be difficult to find a Lawyer that would take the case on contingency basis.

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31 minutes ago, Indy_CV62_OS said:

find an Attorney and file a Writ of Mandamus with the Federal Court.

I don't think this can be done until you get a denial from the BVA. 

 

32 minutes ago, Indy_CV62_OS said:

CUE is so damn hard.

Why do you say this? How many have you filed?

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Kanewnut -Do I understand you get TDIU for the  SC 70% depression

and you get SSDI solely for the depression?

And Voc Rehab turned you down solely due to your SC disabilities?

If so- is the VA aware of the  SSDI award ? and Also aware of the VOC Rehab turn down?

Have you ever posted your last denial here?

I sure do not think CUEs are that difficult in most cases.

The biggest problem I see with CUEs that are denied at the BVA, is that the veteran did not properly identify the legal errors they made.And they take a lot of reading, if one has never filed a CUE before.

 

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15 hours ago, kanewnut said:

40% is for my low back. That was in 2001. I have had a single 70% for depression for several years. I think I need about one more percentage point to be 100% schedular. There are lots of CUE's in my records. One day I will get a big payday or die trying.

if you are at 90%  currently  you will need another 50% s.c.condition to get you up to the 100%

Unfortunately VA Don't use a 1 percent point...they all start with 10% and up.  but the VA math is like not like your mothers Arithmetic  :wink: 

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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Well, I have decided to ask my Congressman to make an inquiry.  My reasons are 1) My Appeal is at Phila. VARO and they have had many scandals in the last 5 or 6 years.  2) It should not take more than 18 months to certify an Appeal.  Look, I know there's a backlog and if my Appeal were Certified, at least I know it's going to the Board.  The Board may take another year; that's fine just as long as I know my Appeal is progressing.  I checked my Form 9 and we did not request a Hearing so my Legacy Appeal should go faster than those who have requested a Hearing.

I don't know what, if anything the Congressman can do but I did get a DRO Hearing in Philly after calling the White House Hotline.  In the case, the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease.  I would encourage any disabled Vet to squeak loud and often.  The scandals are worrisome to me; whistleblower came out and said that dates were changed on all of our claims in order for the RO Director and some others to get their bonuses.  Another scandal was the relocation deal for over $270K.  Let's just say that I watch many Congressional Hearings.

I don't know how much power is left at the House, but it sure is satisfying to watch the Entitled Critters squirm when they have to answer questions.  I'll let you know what comes from the inquiry.

Ray

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Do I understand it right that after a call to the Whitehouse your DRO appeal was moved up?  I am on a wait of 10 to 26 months before they do anything.

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If you mean the 646 Certification:

 "   c.  Executing VA Form 646 for Remanded Appeals        VA must provide an appellant’s accredited representative the opportunity to review the appeal and submit VA Form 646 once all remand actions are complete, and prior to certification to BVA.
    
    Important:  The appellant’s accredited representative has 10 days to complete and submit VA Form 646.  Do not complete certification of the appeal until this time has expired.
    
    Note:  VA Form 646 is not required when 
•    new evidence was not submitted and additional actions were not required, or
•    an appeal is remanded by BVA solely for assembly of records, such as X-ray films or outpatient treatment folders. 

Reference:  For more information on review of a remanded appeal by the authorized representative, see M21-1, Part I, 5.G.4.g."
http://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/docs/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/ch05/M21-1I_5_SecF.doc

These take a lot longer than ten days most of the time and VSOs usually just say they agree with the claimant's contentions.

It is very rare when the BVA actually even mentions a 646 and only because the vet rep supported the veteran's contentions in some detail.

646s are usually prepared by a VSO who has no real knowledge of the claim, but has an office in or near the VARO.

If this is what is delaying the Certification, you might want to put a fire under someones butt- like your VSO...

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6 hours ago, Berta said:

Kanewnut -Do I understand you get TDIU for the  SC 70% depression

and you get SSDI solely for the depression?

I am not getting TDIU. SSDI was awarded for the mental issues.

 

6 hours ago, Berta said:

And Voc Rehab turned you down solely due to your SC disabilities?

Yes. I only have SC disabilities.

 

6 hours ago, Berta said:

f so- is the VA aware of the  SSDI award ?

They are aware of it. They keep misquoting it and saying I was awarded SSDI for my back and that I can do sedentary work. I was a computer programer in the army and after I left until I couldn't work any more. That is about as sedentary a work as you can find.

 

6 hours ago, Berta said:

Also aware of the VOC Rehab turn down?

 

I keep sending them a copy of the VOC Rehab denial letter and they don't list it in evidence. The DAV has looked and said it is in my records.

 

6 hours ago, Berta said:

Have you ever posted your last denial here?

Yes. I think it is titled "My latest denial".

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