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Filed Claim 1 Dec 2020. NPRC says it sent my Records to VA 21 May 21. VA says it is waiting for NPRC to send records.


bangkokbill

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Hi Board,

US Army vet needs advice on nudging NPRC and VA to acknowledge where my service records are and move my Tinnitus claim forward to a decision.

By way of background info, I filed an online claim with the VA on 1 Dec 2020. I tracked the progress online and noticed it was stuck on evidence gathering for several months. I then requested (online) for the VA to make a decision, since I had no further evidence to submit. I attended a C&P exam on May 21, but my claim remained stuck on "Evidence Gathering."

I reached out to my congressman and both senators; one senator ignored me but the other senator and my congressman promptly replied around 20 Jun 2020 (OK, a staffer :) ) The VA says they requested my records around 28 Dec 2020 and 15 Mar 2021- and were still waiting. The National Public Records Center says my records were sent to the VA on 21 May 2021 and are no longer in their custody. 

During July, I have called the VA twice and was told they are still waiting for my records from the NPRC. 

Any advice on how to proceed? I'm stuck in limbo between two government agencies that are not taking responsibility and I have yet to find a decision maker that can move my claim towards a decision.

Thanks in advance!

Bangkokbill

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Bankokbill Welcome to Hadit. The VA has a "duty to assist". The veteran doesn't have to provide copies of your military records or medical records; the VA is supposed to do the leg work. It takes longer if they do; we suggest you provide if you have the evidence yourself, that way it specifically part of your evidence for your claim. That said, they are supposed to but they often take the easy way out and say they couldn't get the records.  What is in your records at the NPRC that you need to prove your claim? Is it your MOS that shows an increase of your opportunities to have exposure to loud noises? You can get that off your DD214. A statement in support of your claim, or Buddy Letter, may be a good substitute for your missing evidence. You do one on how the tinnitus affects your daily routine at work and interactions with others. Get another from someone who knew you before you experienced the disability, and how it affects you now.You can and should request a copy of whatever your missing thru a FOIA request, but know it's probably a year away because of the backlog. Lastly, as indicated by getting your MOS of your DD214, there may be alternative resources depending upon what evidence you are missing. Example: newspaper clipping from a car accident or a flight ticket. Without know what you need, I would just advise to be creative on trying to get what you need.

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20 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

Bankokbill Welcome to Hadit. The VA has a "duty to assist". The veteran doesn't have to provide copies of your military records or medical records; the VA is supposed to do the leg work. It takes longer if they do; we suggest you provide if you have the evidence yourself, that way it specifically part of your evidence for your claim. That said, they are supposed to but they often take the easy way out and say they couldn't get the records.  What is in your records at the NPRC that you need to prove your claim? Is it your MOS that shows an increase of your opportunities to have exposure to loud noises? You can get that off your DD214. A statement in support of your claim, or Buddy Letter, may be a good substitute for your missing evidence. You do one on how the tinnitus affects your daily routine at work and interactions with others. Get another from someone who knew you before you experienced the disability, and how it affects you now.You can and should request a copy of whatever your missing thru a FOIA request, but know it's probably a year away because of the backlog. Lastly, as indicated by getting your MOS of your DD214, there may be alternative resources depending upon what evidence you are missing. Example: newspaper clipping from a car accident or a flight ticket. Without know what you need, I would just advise to be creative on trying to get what you need.

Thank GB Army. 

I have no idea what the VA wants from my personnel records. The NPRC says "We sent them to the VA"; the VA says "We are still waiting for the NPRC to send your records. They did request and I sent them a copy of my DD214. 

Either the NPRC or the VA is not being truthful, in that the NPRC says they sent my records on May 2021 and the VA is saying, no we never received them. I was discharged almost 50 years ago and lost contact with the guys I served with, so buddy letters aren't an option for me. 

I can understand the VA having a back log, but making no attempt to actually track down my records is negligence.

I need to find a responsible person that will actually investigate where my records actually are 🙂

Maybe write the head of the VA?

 

 

Edited by bangkokbill
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  • HadIt.com Elder

That is Superb advice from GBA!

By all means go over this list:

https://criteria.njarmyguard.com/wp-content/uploads/fast-10-35.pdf

This is an update of the original Fast Letter 10-35 that has helped many veterans here,

http://blog.finkrosnerershow-levenberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Duty-MOS-Hearing-Loss-Probability-Chart-VA-Fast-Letter-10-35.pdf

 

As this notable vet law firm states, tinnitus is almost always rated at 10% and no higher for one ear or both ears:

https://cck-law.com/blog/secondary-conditions-to-tinnitus-va-disability/#:~:text=VA rates tinnitus under 38,takes both ears into account.

The article also reveals some conditions that could be found as secondary to the tinnitus.

You are only claiming tinnitus? And not hearing loss as well?

You might well be able per your MOS on your DD 214, and with this updated VA Fast Letter , enhancing the initial 10- 35, to get a reasonable  response on your claim.

 

 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The MOS criteria I posted ,can help:

"The claim of entitlement to service connection for right shoulder disability, diagnosed as osteoarthritis and impingement syndrome, is granted.

The claim of entitlement to service connection for left shoulder disability, diagnosed as osteoarthritis and impingement syndrome arthritis, is granted.

The claim of entitlement to service connection for a right-hand finger disability,  diagnosed as trigger finger, is granted.

The claim of entitlement to service connection for a left-hand finger disability,  diagnosed as trigger finger, is granted.

The claim of entitlement to service connection for bilateral hearing loss is granted.

The claim of entitlement to service connection for tinnitus is granted.

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. The Veteran’s assertions of in-service noise exposure and the performance of strenuous duties associated with his military occupational specialty (MOS) are credible and consistent with the circumstances of his service."

https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files7/20044653.txt
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The Veteran was exposed to excessive levels of noise during service.

2. Bilateral hearing loss was not shown in service or for many years thereafter and is not related to service.

3. The Veteran's bilateral tinnitus was incurred in service.

"CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. The criteria for service connection for bilateral hearing loss are not met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1101, 1110, 1111, 1112, 1113, 1131, 1137, 5107; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.307, 3.309, 3.385.

2. The criteria for service connection for bilateral tinnitus are met.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1101, 1110, 1112, 1113, 1131, 1137, 5107(b); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.307, 3.309."

https://www.va.gov/vetapp19/files2/19111592.txt
In Part:
"Turning next to service incurrence, the Board finds that the Veteran was exposed to excessive levels of noise in service, based on his consistent statements regarding in-service noise exposure related to his MOS.  The Board also notes that while the Veteran’s specific MOS isn’t listed in VA’s Duty Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Noise Exposure Listing, military personnel having an MOS of Engineer have for the most part been determined to have a moderate to high probability of noise exposure."  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In this case....

In Part:


"We note that, although the Veteran does not have a hearing loss disability for VA compensation purposes, the examiner did provide a positive nexus opinion for the Veteran's high threshold left ear hearing loss. The examiner noted the Veteran's military occupational specialty (MOS) during service was field artillery, which carries a high probability for hazardous noise. The Veteran had reported significant noise exposure including 105- and 155-millimeter howitzer artillery pieces in combat and training and aircraft and helicopters."
and 

"Here, the credible evidence supports the claim and service connection for tinnitus is warranted."
https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files6/21037517.txt


My note here- remember you guys had No real type of acoustical protection during the Vietnam War-at all.
And the ear plug lawsuit is advertised on google and tv- 
https://earplugs.injurymatch.com/int/?cid=1211&afid=3&project=Earplugs&usid=11260499982|military earplugs lawsuit-b&sid=GoogleSearch&msid=CjwKCAjwo4mIBhBsEiwAKgzXOAVyIAGGyHiqmwjFmlEBFcNec7FmIqORXeVDBbp5jxY5IVrgBvjhiRoCVNoQAvD_BwE&st-t=GoogleAds&vt-k=11260499982&vt-p=&vt-n=g&vt-d=c&vt-dm=&vt-c=military earplugs lawsuit&vt-t=118020728530&vt-ap=&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=11260499982&utm_content=118020728530&utm_term=524417910620&vt-p1=118020728530&vt-p2=524417910620&gclid=CjwKCAjwo4mIBhBsEiwAKgzXOAVyIAGGyHiqmwjFmlEBFcNec7FmIqORXeVDBbp5jxY5IVrgBvjhiRoCVNoQAvD_BwE

 

 

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