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Squeaky Wheel

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paulstrgn

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I just wanted to share that sometimes we need to be a squeaky wheel to get our BVA cases moving.

I had filed an appeal to the BVA October 2018 under the then RAMP program. I had also filed a FOIA request for my complete C-FIle. The FOIA request was completed mid March 2019, unfortunately the pending FOIA case had caused my appeal to fall out of processing (originally my appeal showed to be with a judge since 1/7/2019 with an estimated completion of 1 - 2 months) . I had called the BVA 800 number back in mid May wanting an update and at that time I was told my case was with FOIA. I informed them that the FOIA has already been completed in mid March and asked them to put my case back into production. I called again last week and was told by the representative that the case was back with a judge. I called again today to see if anything happened with my case, I know it is law clerks that actually prepares the cases for the judges and once completed then the judge makes a decision. When I spoke with them this morning I was told it was still with FOIA, I held my tongue and told them that last week I was told it is with a judge and now I am being told it is not. I asked him how is the vet to know whats actually going on with their case if they keep getting different answers? He did not have an answer and apologized. Once again he sent a message to FOIA informing them I had already received my FOIA response and to release my case so it can be assigned to a judge again.

After the call needless to say I was very frustrated and decided to email the Secretary of VA, instead I decided to email his Chief of Staff with my concerns. I explained my frustration and simple asked could she please assist with getting my appeal put back into production. I received a response this after from Ms. Mason the Chairman of the BVA letting me know that a mistake was made by FOIA in updating my case and that my case is now assigned to a judge. The response also had a cc to the Chief of Staff.

I am one of those who log into Vets.gov and ebenefits on a regular basis just to see if anything has changed on my appeal. My point to this long post is that sometimes as vets we need to be that squeaky wheel. 

Also keep in mind I did not send the email right away I tried to use the system as it is meant to be used. But when your case falls off the rail don't be afraid to email those in charge.

If anyone wants to do what I did I will suggest that when you send emails like this be respectful and keep your emotions out of the email. Simply state your facts and what you are wanting assistance on. I did not ask to have my case approved I only asked that they help to get the case back into production is what happened in my case. Be polite and keep it professional after all the people you email are human like us.

Hope this helps others with their claims.

 

 

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I have a claim in remand for about 3 months. I recently filed an ITF on another issue. I would like to get a copy of my C-File for this new claim but i don't dare request it. It is obvious VA can't do a C-File request without blowing that remand into oblivion. There is no chance in hell i will request my C-File now until my active claim is completed. What happened to you is not a mistake it is ineptitude. It is a way push a claim out of line. It is more delay delay delay. I am glad you got it straightened out but all that should be unnecessary. Thank you for sharing though because your process will help many who are mired in VA incompetence.

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Stumpy579 I would suggest submitting your FOIA request for it does take several months (almost 6 months) to complete. I do believe it was an update mistake by someone. I work for the federal government and I have seen mistakes in updating made, these were honest. The person was just not careful when they updated it. Just keep on eye on your claims and call the 800 numbers to check the status of your case as well.

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