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FOIA Timeline


AllTheWay
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Question

Does anyone knows approximately how long does a FOIA release take?

I had one submitted in August 2019 and according to VA.gov, the estimated completion date is Mar 2020. Just getting a feel as to how long as to how long any of you had to wait.

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I heard from the Regional Counsel VA, NY, within months after filing my SF 95 in Dec, many years ago.

In May of the next year he ( the RC)obtained a Peer Review that supported my charges and the RC called me to begin negotiations.

Then the Peer review doctor was fired, the RC retired, and the Peer Review report disappeared.

(I had contact with them both after that happened.OMLA VA told me that report had Never existed.

I found it in my C file right at the bottom of the stack, in 2004 and used it for my DMII AO claim.)

So I filed immediately with the General Counsel VA.(although they had a copy of the SF 95 already)

The SF 95 date was December 1994 and I filed well within the Statute of Limits here in NY ( 2 years)

I won the FTCA case in 1997. A lot transpired between June 94 and mid summer 1997 between me and the General Counsel's Office. I negotiated the settlement with them myself, and was satisfied with it...and my DIC was under 1151, with an offset that GC and I agreed to.

I did the medical and legal work myself- could not find an IMO doc in those days, and 20 NY lawyers told me I could never succeed.

I do not advise anyone to handle FTCA themselves. Still- you have every right to file yourself- and others have been successful as well with no lawyer- but they must have had a strong IMO.

I liked dealing with General Counsel.

I had made charges in 4 specific areas of VA malpractice, and referred them to the specific VA medical records that revealed what had happened.

I believe my SF 95 is here under a search.

I kibitzed a lot  with the VA attorney who handled my claim and asked what errors most make on SF 95s.

He said the biggest error is that they do not fill out all three boxes on the amount they want and the SF 95 must be rejected until they fix it.

The SOL is the first thing they check, and he said many are far beyond the SOL limit ( which is 2 years for most, but one year for others- depending on your state).State law controls the SOL.

I charged the VA with Acts, and Omissions of acts,in their medical care of my husband, that were not consistent with the standards of the usual medical community, and those act and omissions of acts resulted in his untimely death at age 47.

There is more here to the SF 95 under a search.

I also succeeded in my husband's 2 claims pending at his death- one was a 1151 claim, that I succeeded in.

In 2012 I succeeded in another 1151 claim, and also in a 2015 1151 claim, and also used the missing Peer report ,to be awarded AO DMII under Nehmer.

My daughter began to insist ( while she was in the Military, )that I re open for direct SC death.She mentioned dad had symptms of Diabetes.

It took me years to do that. She was right.

I re opened a claim that  husband had untreated and undiagnosed DMII from Vietnam (AO)-it was a lot of work.I had 3 IMOs.

Instead of filling under 1151, I filed under direct SC death ( although I proved the DMII was an additional malpracticed condition.)

When that award came, everything changed- and brought me more ancillary benefits- and direct SC death DIC.

Most importantly it gave me and my dead husband Peace with Honor.

We had both worked for the VA, and there is no honor in a 1151 death because the very entity deemed by Congress to properly treat veterans, is often highly negligent in their medical care of those vets.

Make sure the doctor(s) you charge with malpractice actually work for the VA.

There is a Providers list here unde a search.

These are federal contractors, who look like VA doctors, wear lanyards, white coats, and have offices in VAMCs, but thy do not fall under FTCA. They do fall under 1151.

Va has paid so many Millions - maybe billions by now)  for FTCA cases, that this is the way they can get out of those large settlements.

There is no accountability for 1151 awards.I have 2 Bills, in the House and Senate  VAC on that travesty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
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forgot- one reason my FTCA took so long was that the MF ( Mysterious Force employed by my RO) showed up-

OGC gave my files and charges to the Top Cardio doctor at VA Central, who denied the claim at first.

I called her up in DC asking how any cardio doctor could fail to understand my husband autopsy, that clearly supported my charges.I had sent the autopsy to my RO 12 times, because they kept ignoring it.

The VA Cardio DOC screamed WHAT AUTOPSY????

The MF had removed it from my files.

I faxed or snail mailed it to her and she immediately reversed her opinion.

OGC called me up to begin negotiations.

If I had a lawyer maybe this BS would not have happened.

Then again the VA MF has shown up many times since in claims I have filed and I immediately file a 38 CFR 4.6

CUE claim. I know that MF ( mysterious force) very well.😃

 

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" the estimated completion date is Mar 2020. "

There is a 6 month period after filing FTCA.I think that is where they got th March 2020 date

"Suing a federal government entity for damages in a personal injury claim is more challenging than suing a private citizen or corporation. Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, you are not allowed to sue a government entity without its express permission. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is a highly complex law that allows specific types of lawsuits against a federal government entity and federal employees who have acted within the scope of employment while causing injuries, but certain strict rules must be followed."and 

"After you file your claim, the agency has six months to respond under FTCA. The federal agency may agree your claim is appropriate and pay some or all of your damages. Or the agency may reject your claim or refuse to pay the total amount of damages you believe you deserve, in which case you have another six months from the date the agency mails the decision to file a lawsuit against the agency."

More info here:

https://www.justia.com/injury/federal-tort-claims-act-ftca/

And in our FTCA forum.

March 2020 has passed by already.

Have you heard anything at all from OGC? Maybe the COVID crisis is  getting them behind.

 

 

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