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Just about ready to submit HLR


JKWilliamsSr

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I have some questions before I submit my HLR.

The document pointing out the errors is so far 38 pages long.  Not because there are a ton of errors but that the same errors were repeated.  For example they denied an increase for my left knee and right knee under seperate decisions.  What I did was listed the left knee decision and pointed out they did not apply Deluca, Mitchell....etc.   Then I listed the right knee decision and listed the same things,.  I did it that way because I did not want to give them an excuse saying that I did not say I did not point an error out.  For example I did not want them to say I pointed Deluca for the left knee and did not do so for the right knee.   Also my IME separates each disability.  My IME warrants different percentages for the right and left knee so I thought it best to keep them separated.

There are some things I am pointing in my HLR and did not know if it would have any value.   It deals with the VA being required to state the reasons for explaining the reasons they did not consider or give my lay or medical evidence at all or gave minimal weight.  For example I found 9 precedent setting CAVC cases that state the the VA is required to supply a reason for why they rejected lay and/or medical evidence.  I included this in my HLR.  My thinking it is important to included it because if they decided to deny my HLR it shows them I know the requirements in case they try to not included it in my statement of case.

Here is an example of how I know with absolute certainty the did not consider my lay evidence.   In my denial for diabetes the rater stated that I did not claim obesity as the reason for my diabetes.  That is completely wrong because my VA Form 21-4138 that is submitted my statement clearly states that I using obesity as an intermediate step to my diabetes claim and I even submitted the VA OIG document that states it can be used.  That alone tells me they did not read my evidence.

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15 minutes ago, JKWilliamsSr said:

Thanks for catching the typo.  You are correct and it should be "Reasons and Bases"

It is so sad that as a veteran I had to go through each line of a decision and point out an error.   It is a clear indicator that that many raters are completely inept at doing their jobs.  Without any training I should not be able to find so many glaring errors but with more than 35% of rating decisions being overturned and almost 40% being remanded back to the VARO to correct errors it is expected 

You are definitely correct. We should not have to tell the VA how to do their job right the first time.

To err is human, but with the VA quality reviews that happen before a decision letter is mailed, they should at least catch most if not all errors.

While in the Army, at one duty station we processed classified material. Every few months, the sergeants would round up all of us lower enlisted and take us to a storage room filled with safes (huge secure filing cabinets). We went through every safe, every drawer, and every folder to alphabetize them. Periodically we would encounter a folder not properly alphabetized. In some cases, we would locate a number of folders in the entirely wrong safe. My sergeant called that "a Friday". He explained that the other staff were not allowed to leave for the day until all records were filed and the safes were secured. For whatever reason, they just jammed their remaining records into the nearest drawer and left to start their Friday. I assume the VARO employees may also have their share of Fridays, too. Instead of misfiling, they simply do as little as possible which leads to careless errors.

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I'm not saying this based on any facts, but is suspect a large percentage of VA errors are based on some ty in with a quota system. Like having to meet so many processed over a week or month, or, having to reject more because there is too high of a "winning" number. I'm just saying.

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This is a great education in how to advocate for yourself. I recently submitted an HLR, Supplemental Claim and a CUE based on the concepts you have in your HLR. It looks like it is estimated to take 4-5 months, but it is worth the effort to correct the record and receive the service connection that was denied, and apply the proper rating for an old claim (earlier effective date). Great job, keep us in the loop on your progress.  

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