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BVA Changes coming


Berta
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In part:

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) and Office of Information and Technology (OIT) are working towards nationwide availability of virtual hearings for Veterans next year, allowing access using their mobile phone or laptop via the VA Video Connect app.
The virtual hearings are based on the Veterans Health Administration's tele-health platform and lets Veterans participate in their appeals hearings from the comfort of their homes."

https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5372

Also:

"VA continues record setting claims processing pace for 2019

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) disability claims backlog reached its lowest point ever, Nov 23 from its previous record low achieved May 2018."

https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5371

 

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Nothing against you, Berta, but Im "from Missouri", and I have learned the hard way not to beleive the VA.  

This is inconsistent with the BVA chairmans report for FY 2018, published not all that long ago.  In the 2018 Chairmans report (the most recent available), they estimated it would take 42 months to catch up, if the BVA were to complete 341 decisions per working  day.  

I have noticed BVA decisions are VERY short in recent history.    Its hard for me to believe that BVA could "catch up" in a few short months, and still manage to NOT complete my 2 decisions currently waiting at the BVA.  

One is a remand from the CAVC which is supposed to be given priority, the other is an appeal from 2008, which is ALSo supposed to be given priority since its over 10 years old.  

If they are doing them so fast, then why cant they get mine done, when they are supposed to be priority?

"Remands" are to be given "expiditious treatment", and VA promised if we "opted into Ramp" our appeals would be given priority over legacy appealants who did not opt into ramp.  I opted in, and nope, no BVA decision.   Its been waiting at the board for months.  

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I doubt if Alex is in favor of this tech advancement. He said he did a video hearing in P.R. and the veteran is at an disadvantage. Th positioning of the cameras did fully show body language, etc. among other things. 

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The good part is that the Veteran is not required to do a hearing.  And, I understand that a Vets representative can represent the Vet at a hearing and he need not be present.  

I dont "do" hearings.  Why?  Because I dont hear..so "hearings" is a source of stress for me, big time.  

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I am so frustrated by this...is it my figging fault I had trouble understanding a C & P examiner not from THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (no offense to foreigners) and now I am stuck in appeal h e l l ?

Thank GOD for HADIT.

Edited by Holllie Greene
do not want to offend
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I do not see where having a virtual hearing would always benefit the vet.  I do not look good on camera and I cannot hear so well sometimes.  I would rather go to DC or have them come to me.  I have also been told that sometimes it is to the veteran's disadvantage to have a hearing with the board.  Look scruffy and they might take you for a poser.  Look good in a suit and tie and they might not believe that you are disabled as you claim.  It can be a crap shoot when it should not be.  They have the evidence and that should be what carries the day.  Of course they need to read all of the evidence.

On second thought the RO's should read all of the evidence and finish our cases correctly so they do not need to go to the BVA.

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VA Video Connect connects Veterans with their health care team from anywhere, using encryption to ensure a secure and private session. It makes VA health care more convenient and reduces travel times for Veterans, especially those in very rural areas with limited access to VA health care facilities, and it allows quick and easy health care access from any mobile or web-based device.

Veterans and their health care providers jointly decide whether to use VA Video Connect for a medical visit. Please speak with your VA care team if you are interested in potentially receiving care through VA Video Connect. Ahead of a VA Video Connect appointment, you will receive an email or calendar invite with a link to launch the session.

VA Video Connect works on nearly any device that has an internet connection and a web camera. For example, it works on Windows-based PCs and laptops, Windows mobile devices, iOS mobile devices, Android mobile devices, etc.

Note: To test whether your personally owned device is compatible with VA Video Connect, visit the VA Video Connect test site on your mobile device.

How to prepare for your VA Video Connect visit:

On an Apple mobile device (e.g., iPhone, iPad): Download the free VA Video Connect iOS app from the Apple App Store. The session will launch automatically in the app after the session link is selected from the email invitation.

All other devices: No application download is required. The session will launch automatically in your web browser after the session link is selected from the email invitation.

I sit and talked with a Phyistrist here a couple months ago .I was up at the VA and all the other Dr were to busy to see mew so they put me in this small room with a TV Monitor and I talked with this Dr for about 30 minutes.the hearing appeal is or works about the same way  only the veteran will be in his home, the Dr was on her Lap-top I assumed.

worked fairly well although i HAD TO Ask the Dr so speak up...so I guess a Veteran could use a set of headphones.

 

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vetquest you bring out some good points. I'd probably have a rep do it ; I doubt if I could handle the stress all the BS procedure stuff  there would be. What do I know about proper procedures and legal protocall? I don't hear that well either which is another point. (Actually it comes in as an advantage several times a day with my wife,  but that is for another time.) If they have the evidence, which they should or I shouldn't have gotten  to the BVA anyway, what am  I going to do, explain the law to them. No, I doubt if I'll be in attendance at any of my BVA appeals. Not likely.

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vetquest quoted

''On second thought the RO's should read all of the evidence and finish our cases correctly so they do not need to go to the BVA.''

I totally agree with this statement.

I think the video teleconference is a good Ideal for the veterans that have problems traveling ,or  can't afford a Hotel Room  when they have to go to DC for court  as I understand it they don't pay travel pay either..

Usually the Veteran rep will rep the veteran in cases like this...Alex traveled to Waco Tx  R.O. to represent his Veteran   even at the CAVC  OR BVA in DC

Waco Is my R.O.  And Back in 2002 I had to go to a DRO Hearing in person I represented myself  & ask DAV to go in with me the morning I got there..but we left a day early and stayed in a near by Hotel Room  and went to the hearing early that next Morning.

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2 hours ago, Holllie Greene said:

I am so frustrated by this...is it my figging fault I had trouble understanding a C & P examiner not from THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (no offense to foreigners) and now I am stuck in appeal h e l l ?

Thank GOD for HADIT.

I get not being able to understand someone because of a language barrier, but I have always found bringing my evidence with me carried it's weight in gold, regardless of where they understood me or not.  I have had plenty who understood me who did much more harm to my case than someone from another country as they thought they were the only one who could tell the VA what as going on.  Like some kind of power trip or something.  

For my case I had something only ever rated 3 times before.  So sometime you literally have to lead them by the hand to the information they need to make a decision.  Even then they will sometimes find a way to mess it up.  

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Hi Shrekthetank1,

I brought all of my paperwork and he did not want to see it.  Sometimes it seems you just can't win...but I will never give up because as one in the Hadit family said "if you give up they win".

Thank you for responding to my post.  😀

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I have never done BVA hearings in my several successful appeals over the past 30 plus years because i cannot hide my disdain for VA employees  or even VSOs in face to face contact and have done everything by mail, phone, fax or email that was just fine with satisfactory results.

Between 1985 to 88 or 89 I was notified AFTER THE FACT by a DAV VSO that he attended a hearing on my behalf and he sold me down the creek without a paddle or canoe.  I was never notified in advance about anything by him and my PTSD rating was reduced and then terminated because of that sorry ass VSO and sorry ass VA rater.  The VSO was an older Korean vet and thought of us younger Vietnam vets as doppers and losers. This is  first reason for my disdain.   Since then I have handled many claims and appeals myself with mostly successes.  To hell with them and their petty prejudices and jealousies. 

Edited by Dustoff 11
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Sorry Dustoff to hear that. We all are. But if I may, I have learned there are good carpenters and then there are bad carpenters. There are good cops and there are some bad cops. Just like there are good lawyers and VSO's and then there are bad. Maybe there are a lot more bad than good but, I think you are an intelligent guy (after all, you are Army),so my point is that it is up to us as individuals to do are best to make sure we improve our chances on separating the good from the bad. VSO's and lawyers serve a purpose and if we find ourselves in need of their services, we have to do our best to make good choices in the selection processes. I think we do some readers of Hadit a disservice to paint with a wide brush. Veterans should do their due diligence. Ask other veterans if they had a good VSO. If yes, ask them why. Is the answer based on facts, or is based on the results that were favorable to the veteran but the VSO for example didn't do anything to get the favorable result. What did he really do?  Interview the guy. Not good enough, then start over. It all goes back to what we say over and over. The veteran him or her self are their own best advocates. We have to increase the chances that we are getting what we want. Personally,  I don't like VSO's in general. For the most part I have found that they are under trained and have away too many veterans to help  so it is rare that they can spend the time to do a good job. For many, it is, bottom line, just a job with very little accountability. If your claim doesn't go right, well, not my fault, it's the VA's. But, that said, I now do have a very good VSO. I know enough to be able to say that not only has she done very well for me, caught small things I didn't, but now to the point I do not hesitate to recommend her to veterans I come in contact with who are in need of a good one. But believe me, I did a lot of searching before I found her. I don't have VBMS and she really knows the system and is respected at the RO. She is a disabled veteran and loves what she does. Hard to beat.

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Hollie, we are all following you. You know what, you keep on asking and listening to the good advise from Shrek and others and you WILL WIN. You aint no pushover. You ain't going to let them win. We're just here to give you a hand when you need it. Small hint: mark your calendar for 6 months and 9 months from your decision letter. Be aware on your one year appeal limit. We want an update when you come up with a plan. O.K.

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52 minutes ago, Dustoff 11 said:

I have never done BVA hearings in my several successful appeals over the past 30 plus years because i cannot hide my disdain for VA employees  or even VSOs in face to face contact and have done everything by mail, phone, fax or email that was just fine with satisfactory results.

Between 1985 to 88 or 89 I was notified AFTER THE FACT by a DAV VSO that he attended a hearing on my behalf and he sold me down the creek without a paddle or canoe.  I was never notified in advance about anything by him and my PTSD rating was reduced and then terminated because of that sorry ass VSO and sorry ass VA rater.  The VSO was an older Korean vet and thought of us younger Vietnam vets as doppers and losers. This is  first reason for my disdain.   Since then I have handled many claims and appeals myself with mostly successes.  To hell with them and their petty prejudices and jealousies. 

I have to go with Gbarmy here as he hit the nail on the head!  There are those at the VA and other offices who do a great job and there are those who don't give two s$&ts.  I dropped 2 other organizations or one dropped me because I kept pushing!  I found one (VFW) and the guy there is great and will look up anything I ask him for.  He will also call me if he sees a big change or anything I should know about.  Sometimes it is about searching for that person who can and will help you!  The VA does change, but it takes a long time!

Remember you have people in your corner!

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This is the same thing as WebTV in the 90s and it took a decade to really be fruitful--with Netflix/Youtube. This includes the billions that we (USA) spent in the 90s on laying fiber everywhere, so that it can sit for years before it gets "lit" which is why it is called dark fiber in the first place. Since 2005 with Youtube, Netflix, Video Gamers, Linux/BSD not Microsoft, and mainly 64bit cpu chips help pushed up things. The 64bit chip broke the barrier, which took 30 years, since cpu chips 30 years ago were 286s and Nintendo NESes.

Virtual hearing, is a video I saw in the college 2003 where a Japanese doctor had the "Nintendo Power Glove" on and was treating/examining the patient. Can't find the video. So it will be at least ten years before its happens. That and some lawyers are already doing that with out the vets through Internet video conferencing; with a 100 dollar webcam, microphone such as a AMT 404 Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone, and their internet connection.

 

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2 minutes ago, Oceanbound said:

This is the same thing as WebTV in the 90s and it took a decade to really be fruitful--with Netflix/Youtube. This includes the billions that we (USA) spent in the 90s on laying fiber everywhere, so that it can sit for years before it gets "lit" which is why it is called dark fiber in the first place. Since 2005 with Youtube, Netflix, Video Gamers, Linux/BSD not Microsoft, and mainly 64bit cpu chips help pushed up things. The 64bit chip broke the barrier, which took 30 years, since cpu chips 30 years ago were 286s and Nintendo NESes.

Virtual hearing, is a video I saw in the college 2003 where a Japanese doctor had the "Nintendo Power Glove" on and was treating/examining the patient. Can't find the video. So it will be at least ten years before its happens. That and some lawyers are already doing that with out the vets through Internet video conferencing; with a 100 dollar webcam, microphone such as a AMT 404 Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone, and their internet connection.

 

Further more in 2003 when I was looking at the Big Telephone equipment, I came across one machine that was like a million dollars and it said that the cell phone is still a baby with only having like 40 apps currently "live" when there is a total about 450, which meant the other 400 weren't developed or created yet. 

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@Hollie, look at it this way, should it come down to it, you have a very strong case to appeal if necessary.

 

Allan 2-2-0 HUAH!

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Hi, GBARMY, ShrektheTank1, and allansc2005,

Thank you all for your kind words and advice.  It means a lot and I appreciate it.

...to old friend allan:  I have an appeal active (in my 20th month now), and as I am pretty sure you are aware MS is a mystery disease with no cure.  This current cluster F situation began in 2017 when I could not walk; I literally woke up and my legs would not cooperate.  My husband had to carry me to the bathroom and then we went to our local ER so I could have the Prednisone infusion for 3 days and Prednisone pills to take home.

I still have an exacerbation that is hanging around (AKA natural disease progression), anyway, it took a few months before I decided to put in for an increase (seems like a reasonable and rational thing to do) BUT NO, I have had nothing but problems.

I have a urologist now and he is a retired civilian urologist from another county (contract physician); he is nice and explains things.

So, I hang in and I will never give up.

Thank you all again.

H   😀

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