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I was trying to find my SSA records but so far I haven't. There are over 5,000 pages in this version. I have tried several searches, but to no avail. I have searched for the individual whose records where mixed up with mine but so far can't find those either. Since I should have at least been awarded TDIU back to the time SSA found me unable to work, based solely on service connected conditions, this is important to my claim.
There are lots of new military records. Lots of names blacked out. I guess the VA doesn't want us looking up any of them.
Just a quick question...I just received my C-File via CD. Upon skimming thru it (I will do so a third time to be sure), I did not see any of the "Statements in Support of Claim" documents I have submitted. However, a recent denial showed them as items used as evidence by the VA. Is it likely that my C-File sent to me just did not get those specific documents added to my CD? I would like to think it was just missed on my CD as it has been shown on evidence list of denial. Just wondering. Thanks
PRIVACY ACT REQUEST
VIA FACSIMILE & CERTIFIED MAIL (Return Receipt Requested)
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CLAIMS INTAKE CENTER
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547-4444
Fax to: TOLL FREE: 844-531-7818
July 15, 2018
RE: PRIVACY ACT REQUEST
VA File No (SSN): xxx-xx-xxxx
Veteran Social Security #: xxx-xx-xxxx
To Whom it May Concern:
This is a request for documents under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, (PA) on behalf of INSERT NAME(Veteran). This request is properly made via facsimile as it contains the signature of the requester.
IDENTIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS. I hereby request all documents contained in my VA claims folder for any of Veteran INSERT NAME VA claims, AND, to include anything in the VA Virtual File, Virtual Records, or any electronic system where records about me or my claim are kept or stored.
I understand that if I am seeking my Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center records, I will contact that Medical Center.
FORM/FORMAT IN WHICH TO PRODUCE INFORMATION. The PA and the VA’s own internal policies related to PA requests, require that the records be produced in the format sought by the requester, if the record is readily reproducible in that form or format.
· Please provide my records (on a CD or in Paper). I understand my records are now in the electronic format and at times the copies maybe hard to read due to the condition my record was at the time of scanning. Please take special care to ensure that both sides of any two-sided documents produced in response to this request are included in the response, and are scanned into a PDF in such a way that they do not “bleed-through” from one side of the document to the other.
4. TIME FOR RESPONSE. Please note that this request for documents is being made pursuant to the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, as well as 38 C.F.R. §1.550 and 38 C.F.R. § 1.577. Your agency has a duty to respond to this request within TWENTY (20) BUSINESS DAYS of the date of this request pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(6)(A)(2)(i).
Additionally, although an extension of time to respond may be requested, it may only be granted for “unusual circumstances.” “Predictable agency workload” is not typically considered an unusual circumstance as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(C)(ii). Moreover, even to the extent that unusual circumstances could be demonstrated in this instance, the time limit for the extension is limited to “10 working days” pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 1.553(d).
Please also be aware that your agency's failure to respond to this request within twenty business (20) days can result in the filing of an administrative appeal with the office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 1.557 and 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(2) (ii), and/or, the filing of a federal lawsuit to compel the production of the information. In any such appeal or lawsuit, I intend to seek not only injunctive and/or monetary relief related to this request, but to the extent permitted by law, injunctive and/or monetary relief based on the Department of Veteran’s Affairs patterns and/or practices of responding to PA requests in a manner violative of the PA, as well as attorney fees and litigation expenses, and any other remedy/relief available at law.
5. Point of Contact. As discussed above, please respond to this request within twenty (20) business days. I may be contacted at Insert PHONE# or EMAIL. My address is INSERT ADDRESS.
Thank you very much in advance for your assistance.
INSERT SIGNATURE & NAME (MUST be signed)
By J McB
Ok, so I started requesting copies of my c-file in 2013 or 2014 after filing to re-open my 1993 claim in August 2013. My repeated requests went unanswered, and I ended up having to make a Congressional Inquiry through Senator's office to get a copy.... and now I request a copy every time the VA makes a decision (via Congressional inquiry).
Here's what I've figured out and what I'm not sure how to deal with, and a question about c-file contents.
1. I have, I think, 4 or 5 CD's of my c-file. I received the first Spring of 2015! 😡. The problem is that documents that were in the c-file CD that I received in 2015 aren't in the one I received in April (2019)... Documents that were in my c-file CD from last summer (2018) aren't in the one I received in April (2019)...
Anyone have an explanation for that?
2. Alternatively, I cannot figure out why Congressional Inquiries correspondence that was made while I was still active and the 4 years after aren't in my USAF/VA? 🤔...
Yes!, (and again to the dismay of the VA) I do have hard copies of that Congressional Inquiry correspondence...
Granted, as one of my previous "Question to the Elders" noted, I have had to find friends and my ex to write letters attesting to my filing a claim and seeing a VA doctor in 1993 because the VA has lost the files, so it doesn't surprise me that the VA sucks at filing documents in c-files. However, in the April 2019 copy I received, I noticed they seem to have "piecemealed" what letters/correspondence from the Senator's office, who is my intermediary for the VA, is copied into my c-file...
Anyone have an explanation/solution for that? Granted I have all the correspondence to/from the Senator's office and the VA, but it makes me wonder what they've sent to the BVA...
3. Is there an option for me to view what is on VBMS? I ask this question because the c-file I received summer 2017 included a "Rating Decision" page which I never received from the VA and at the bottom of the page I noticed a note that read, "VSR: Please see the deferred issue in VBMS as to the "appeal" noted on the VA Form 21-4138 (dated August 1, 2016) with attachments and tabbed in VBMS documents. Veteran notes the appeal regards "an earlier effective date as to the service connected conditions." The Veteran's "appeal" received on August 2, 2016, should be addressed by the Appeals team."
There was no appeal filed at that time. The Form 21-4138 they reference makes clear the documentation I was submitting was being submitted in support of my 2016 claim, which the VA closed. I have since requested the VA correct their error and attach the document to my NOD, and now to BVA appeal.
But this makes me wonder what other *&^% ups they've made that I can't see in VBMS? I went to the D.C. VARO office last week and the dude who is working at the front desk said I can't access/view VBMS...
No, I do not have a VSO... haven't had a good experience...they don't seem to have read 38CFR, know or keep up on case law, and only seem to know 'surface' information... (i.e. File such and such on this form).
Curious if anyone here has gone through the FOIA and had to ultimately sue the VA in Federal District Court to force them to provide their C-File in a more timely manner? FOIA's are required to be fulfilled in 20 business days by law assuming no special circumstances. Obviously the VA isn't going to respond to anything in 20 days but when it goes on for 6 months or longer that is ridiculous and slows our ability to address claim denials/issues quickly. I just filed a FOIA appeal and was sent a letter from the Office of General Counsel, Veterans Administration that my FOIA request was DENIED under FOIA Exemption 6 but remanded to be provided via the Privacy Act. The issue is that the Privacy Act process has no deadline so they can take as long as they want, while the FOIA actually has deadlines and a process for relief when they don't do what they are supposed to. From my understanding, this is a tact the VA uses to confuse people into thinking it is a Privacy Act request and not a FOIA request.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
rebabevets posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,I already get compensation for bladder cancer for Camp Lejeune Water issue, now that it is added to Agent Orange does it mean that the VA should pay me the difference between Camp Lejeune and 1992 when I retired from the Marine Corps or do I have to re-apply for it for Agent Orange, or will the VA look at at current cases already receiving bladder cancer compensation. I’m considered 100% Disabled Permanently
Ddsr posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,The 5, 10, 20 year rules...
Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.
Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.
Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.
If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"
At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.
NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.
Example for 2020 using the same disability rating
1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%
RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008
RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)
2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%
RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
broncovet posted an answer to a question,While the BVA has some discretion here, often they "chop up claims". For example, BVA will order SERVICE CONNECTION, and leave it up to the VARO the disability percent and effective date.
I hate that its that way. The board should "render a decision", to include service connection, disability percentage AND effective date, so we dont have to appeal "each" of those issues over then next 15 years on a hamster wheel.
Ztmiller8 posted a question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVC,Finally heard back that I received my 100% Overall rating and a 100% PTSD rating Following my long appeal process!
My question is this, given the fact that my appeal was on the advanced docket and is an “Expedited” appeal, what happens now and how long(ish) is the process from here on out with retro and so forth? I’ve read a million things but nothing with an expedited appeal status.
Anyone deal with this situation before? My jump is from 50 to 100 over the course of 2 years if that helps some. I only am asking because as happy as I am, I would be much happier to pay some of these bills off!
Joey Ross posted an answer to a question,I told reviewer that I had a bad C&P, and that all I wanted was a fair shake, and she even said, that was what she was all ready viewed for herself. The first C&P don't even reflect my Treatment in the VA PTSD clinic. In my new C&P I was only asked about symptoms, seeing shit, rituals, nightmares, paying bills and about childhood, but didn't ask about details of it. Just about twenty question, and nothing about stressor,
Picked ByJoey Ross,