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I haven’t been here for a while, but to update, I am 100% P & T now, but the VA did not hardly pay any retro pay. My medical records are still being withheld per Exemption 5 [ 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(5) ], and my medical treatment records were intentionally withheld for 51 years now. I have the records request form from January 1972 when the US Army told me they were lost intransit from Vietnam. This was absolutely false, and I finally got them in 2016, showing I had no reaction to Chloroquine, yet I had a skin disease they could not determine the cause of. I actually had malaria, and was hospitalized with a serious Lung infection from “Undetermined Organisms” eight months after Vietnam. My oldest son died at 47 years old, and was affected from Agent Orange or the malaria, or both as he was conceived while I was “Home Awaiting Orders” and still sick. The VA has lied to me ever since my Honorable Discharge in April 1972. I need an honest lawyer that will take my case which would go back to my April 1983 claim, almost 39 years of 100% retropay. I was denied, as well as my kids were denied all compensation & pension because I was still ill at discharge. I would have been medically discharged at 100% if the DOD/US Army would have allowed access to my records. I was intentionally deceived and compensation withheld since April 1972, but I did file in April 1983, but the VA ignored my Records Request, not even responding. I have that request form also from 1983. What attorney would anyone recommend as this is one of my last attempts at justice. There doesn’t seem to be any! I am 70 and not doing very well because of CAD 100%. I have been runaround since 2014 getting 100% in December 2020, but losing my son in December 2019. Can anyone recommend an attorney that will fight for the Veteran? I would appreciate and advice or recommendations. Thank you very much

victor ray

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Did you request those records under FOIA 552, or under the Privacy Act, 552?

What of these 9 Exceptions to FOIA requests, were given to you for them to not release the records you need?

"Not all records are required to be released under the FOIA. Congress established nine exemptions from disclosure for certain categories of information to protect against certain harms, such as an invasion of personal privacy, or harm to law enforcement investigations. The FOIA authorizes agencies to withhold information when they reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by one of these nine exemptions.

The nine exemptions are described below.

Exemption 1: Information that is classified to protect national security.
Exemption 2: Information related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.
Exemption 3: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law.
Exemption 4: Trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is confidential or privileged.
Exemption 5: Privileged communications within or between agencies, including those protected by the:
Deliberative Process Privilege (provided the records were created less than 25 years before the date on which they were requested)
Attorney-Work Product Privilege
Attorney-Client Privilege
Exemption 6: Information that, if disclosed, would invade another individual’s personal privacy.
Exemption 7: Information compiled for law enforcement purposes that:
7(A). Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings
7(B). Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication
7(C). Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
7(D). Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source
7(E). Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law
7(F). Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual
Exemption 8: Information that concerns the supervision of financial institutions.
Exemption 9: Geological information on wells."

https://www.foia.gov/faq.html

It seems you are seeking more retro-

I need an honest lawyer that will take my case which would go back to my April 1983 claim, almost 39 years of 100% retropay. I was denied, as well as my kids were denied all compensation & pension because I was still ill at discharge. "

I dont understand the part about the kids being denied comp or pension, but in any event,

Did you appeal the denial of the FOIA?

Or if this was filed under the Privacy Act, 

why did they deny the request?

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/552a

I have stated thi many times here over the years- maybe it bears repeating-

if a claimant wants to get a copy of their VA medical Records, they should use the Privacy Act ,552, to bolster their request-because if they use FOIA instead. that will add a lot of time to the request- FOIA is different from the Privacy Act. I have had plenty of experience with both requests....one FOIA I sent to the US Drug Administration took years to be fulfilled.By then I had already won the claim and didnt need their info anymore.

Veterans have succeeded in gaining more retro by challenging the EED VA gave them  (EED Earliest effective date) often due to filing a CUE on the decison they feel is wrong or by using 38 CFR 3.156:

https://cck-law.com/veterans-law/earlier-va-effective-date-of-disability/

CCK is one of the best vet law firms around. There are more here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Lawyers+who+help+vets+with+claims&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS695US695&oq=Lawyers+who+help+vets+with+claims&aqs=chrome..69i57j46i199i433i465i512j0i131i433j46i199i291i433i512l3j46i199i465i512j46i199i291i512.10422j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
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This is one of your posts from 2018:

It does give the exception they used under the Privacy Act.

Did you seek a lawyer in 2018 as Broncovet advised?

I have not read all of this post or your other posts yet-but you seem to feel your disabilities are from Agent Orange exposure. Did you file under that basis?

Did you also file a timely SF95 for what you felt was malpractice?

You mentioned the VA lies. I certainly can relate to that- they lied to me multiple times and that is how I won a wrongful death case against them, because tthe medical records revealed how they lied, and the evidence from my FTCA wrongful death case was important to me subsequent accrued benefits due to Agent Orange.

I am angry that the VA lies to veterans and their survivor, but anger to me means to take Action by proving they lied and how the medical consequences of that caused you disability.

EED, 38 CFR 3.156 and CUE is searchable here -with lots of info on that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also-are any of your disabilities on the AO presumptive list- if not, those claims will need a strong IMO/IME- independent medical opinion. The most recent AO presumptives are searchable here.

A lawyer wil needto see copies of all of your decisions.

What was the December 2020 100% for? Did you file a NOD in time if you disagreed with the decision?

 

 

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I would recommend the following law firms, either because I used them personally or because of their reputation on hadit (I have been here since 2007):

CCK Law firm. https://bitcoinmagazine.com/business/economy-parallels-weimar-inflation-bitcoin. This is probably the largest Veterans law firm, well known among Veterans advocates.  They offer free case evaluation, as do the others on this list.  

 

Hill and Ponton.https://www.hillandponton.com/

  This firm is great if you need an IMO and cannot afford the IMO.  At least one Veteran indicated to me they "upfronted" the cost of the IMO, then they expect you to pay it out of retro. 

Attig Steele

Glover Luck

Bergman and Moore

and, of course, perhaps the attorney who has done more for Vets than any other: 

 

Carpenter Chartered.   Ken Carpenter is legendary.   The last time I spoke to his office, "he does not accept" electronic files by email, and they had to be mailed in.  I can not say if this remains the case or not, you will have to contact his firm 

NVLSP

   If NVLSP accepts your case, they dont charge the Veteran.  (Unless that has changed).  

     I cant answer "which" of these firms, if any, will accept your case.  Virtually all of them will want to see your most recent decision, as well as a previous decision where you felt the effective date was incorrect.  

     Generally, you can "Never" get an effective date before when you first applied, "except" in some rare circumstances.  The law allows an effective date from the day following exit from service, if you apply within a year of discharge, however.  

     My opinion is that the VA, attorneys, judges etc.  LOVE documentation.  There are circumstances, however, when the Veterans own testimony needs to be considered, as well as "buddy letters" in some cases.  "If" the Board of Veterans appeals disregards your testimony, they have to give a reason and bases as to why they did so.  For example, if the Board finds your testimony "in conflict" with medical evidence, they could reject your testimony and explain your testimony is inconsistent with the known facts. 

     In my case, the Board opined "I was competent" to testify as to the location of my base, and, further, that my testimony was declared, by the Board, to be "credible" as it was consistent with known facts.  I won that appeal but VARO figured out a way to frustrate me anyway.  They gave me Service connection, as required by the board, but decided I deserved 0 percent.  It took a total of 17 years for me to finally get my full benefits, along with an effective date I can live with.  

     And, yes, I used 3 of the above law firms to help me.  All got me a good result.  Often the VA does not give you the whole pie, they give you a sliver at a time.  

     NOTE:  Do not be discouraged because one or more of the above firms "reject" your case.  Law firms often have a "niche" type of claim they like.  A few of these venture almost anywhere, even if they have little experience with your "type" of claim.  As an example, several of the law firms I spoke to "did not accept" effective date claims.  Effective dates are complex.  Its my opinion, that the above firms will mostly accept effective date claims, but they may or may not accept yours.  

     On my long road to full benefits, there were many twists and turns, and I have been rejected by several law firms, EVEN including some of the above.  Then, however, I get another Board decision and contact the same firm, and they say, "Oh, yea, we can do that."   So, dont take a rejection personally, they are not rejecting YOU, they either dont have expertise in this area, are fully booked, OR they dont think you have a valid case.  

    If attorney a rejects you, move to B, and to C.  I would say unless you have been turned down by 10 different law firms, could you conclude you dont have a case.  Remember, YOU know your case better than any attorney..you were there and they were not.  

     In my memory, I have not told "one" Veteran to "give it up, you dont have a chance".  But I have told all of them to hang in there, and keep trying.  Persistence works when other things fail.  

     If none of the law firms, above, suit you, then feel free to chose from others:

https://www.vetadvocates.org/directory/widget_search?current_page=1&sort_type=featured&filter={"additional_info.show-profile-on-sustaining-membership-directory"%3A+"yes"}&asset_type=company_user&display_type=default

    My advice:  limit your search to law firms in on this list.  There are plenty there.  

     When you do contact the law firm, remember, honey draws more flies than vinegar.   Virtually all attorneys like a Board denial, and will review it for free.  But you need to do so within 120 days.  Waiting more than 120 days after a board decision somewhat limits your choices.  

Edited by broncovet
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8 hours ago, broncovet said:

I would recommend the following law firms, either because I used them personally or because of their reputation on hadit (I have been here since 2007):

CCK Law firm. https://bitcoinmagazine.com/business/economy-parallels-weimar-inflation-bitcoin. This is probably the largest Veterans law firm, well known among Veterans advocates.  They offer free case evaluation, as do the others on this list.  

 

Hill and Ponton.https://www.hillandponton.com/

  This firm is great if you need an IMO and cannot afford the IMO.  At least one Veteran indicated to me they "upfronted" the cost of the IMO, then they expect you to pay it out of retro. 

Attig Steele

Glover Luck

Bergman and Moore

and, of course, perhaps the attorney who has done more for Vets than any other: 

 

Carpenter Chartered.   Ken Carpenter is legendary.   The last time I spoke to his office, "he does not accept" electronic files by email, and they had to be mailed in.  I can not say if this remains the case or not, you will have to contact his firm 

NVLSP

   If NVLSP accepts your case, they dont charge the Veteran.  (Unless that has changed).  

     I cant answer "which" of these firms, if any, will accept your case.  Virtually all of them will want to see your most recent decision, as well as a previous decision where you felt the effective date was incorrect.  

     Generally, you can "Never" get an effective date before when you first applied, "except" in some rare circumstances.  The law allows an effective date from the day following exit from service, if you apply within a year of discharge, however.  

     My opinion is that the VA, attorneys, judges etc.  LOVE documentation.  There are circumstances, however, when the Veterans own testimony needs to be considered, as well as "buddy letters" in some cases.  "If" the Board of Veterans appeals disregards your testimony, they have to give a reason and bases as to why they did so.  For example, if the Board finds your testimony "in conflict" with medical evidence, they could reject your testimony and explain your testimony is inconsistent with the known facts. 

     In my case, the Board opined "I was competent" to testify as to the location of my base, and, further, that my testimony was declared, by the Board, to be "credible" as it was consistent with known facts.  I won that appeal but VARO figured out a way to frustrate me anyway.  They gave me Service connection, as required by the board, but decided I deserved 0 percent.  It took a total of 17 years for me to finally get my full benefits, along with an effective date I can live with.  

     And, yes, I used 3 of the above law firms to help me.  All got me a good result.  Often the VA does not give you the whole pie, they give you a sliver at a time.  

     NOTE:  Do not be discouraged because one or more of the above firms "reject" your case.  Law firms often have a "niche" type of claim they like.  A few of these venture almost anywhere, even if they have little experience with your "type" of claim.  As an example, several of the law firms I spoke to "did not accept" effective date claims.  Effective dates are complex.  Its my opinion, that the above firms will mostly accept effective date claims, but they may or may not accept yours.  

     On my long road to full benefits, there were many twists and turns, and I have been rejected by several law firms, EVEN including some of the above.  Then, however, I get another Board decision and contact the same firm, and they say, "Oh, yea, we can do that."   So, dont take a rejection personally, they are not rejecting YOU, they either dont have expertise in this area, are fully booked, OR they dont think you have a valid case.  

    If attorney a rejects you, move to B, and to C.  I would say unless you have been turned down by 10 different law firms, could you conclude you dont have a case.  Remember, YOU know your case better than any attorney..you were there and they were not.  

     In my memory, I have not told "one" Veteran to "give it up, you dont have a chance".  But I have told all of them to hang in there, and keep trying.  Persistence works when other things fail.  

     If none of the law firms, above, suit you, then feel free to chose from others:

https://www.vetadvocates.org/directory/widget_search?current_page=1&sort_type=featured&filter={"additional_info.show-profile-on-sustaining-membership-directory"%3A+"yes"}&asset_type=company_user&display_type=default

    My advice:  limit your search to law firms in on this list.  There are plenty there.  

     When you do contact the law firm, remember, honey draws more flies than vinegar.   Virtually all attorneys like a Board denial, and will review it for free.  But you need to do so within 120 days.  Waiting more than 120 days after a board decision somewhat limits your choices.  

Thank you Broncovet.

I have the information for the attorneys, now to find one that will take my case. I hope to find one soon. I can’t thank you enough, and hope I finally see some justice. Thank you.

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10 hours ago, Berta said:

Did you request those records under FOIA 552, or under the Privacy Act, 552?

What of these 9 Exceptions to FOIA requests, were given to you for them to not release the records you need?

"Not all records are required to be released under the FOIA. Congress established nine exemptions from disclosure for certain categories of information to protect against certain harms, such as an invasion of personal privacy, or harm to law enforcement investigations. The FOIA authorizes agencies to withhold information when they reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by one of these nine exemptions.

The nine exemptions are described below.

Exemption 1: Information that is classified to protect national security.
Exemption 2: Information related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.
Exemption 3: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law.
Exemption 4: Trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is confidential or privileged.
Exemption 5: Privileged communications within or between agencies, including those protected by the:
Deliberative Process Privilege (provided the records were created less than 25 years before the date on which they were requested)
Attorney-Work Product Privilege
Attorney-Client Privilege
Exemption 6: Information that, if disclosed, would invade another individual’s personal privacy.
Exemption 7: Information compiled for law enforcement purposes that:
7(A). Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings
7(B). Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication
7(C). Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
7(D). Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source
7(E). Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law
7(F). Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual
Exemption 8: Information that concerns the supervision of financial institutions.
Exemption 9: Geological information on wells."

https://www.foia.gov/faq.html

It seems you are seeking more retro-

I need an honest lawyer that will take my case which would go back to my April 1983 claim, almost 39 years of 100% retropay. I was denied, as well as my kids were denied all compensation & pension because I was still ill at discharge. "

I dont understand the part about the kids being denied comp or pension, but in any event,

Did you appeal the denial of the FOIA?

Or if this was filed under the Privacy Act, 

why did they deny the request?

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/552a

I have stated thi many times here over the years- maybe it bears repeating-

if a claimant wants to get a copy of their VA medical Records, they should use the Privacy Act ,552, to bolster their request-because if they use FOIA instead. that will add a lot of time to the request- FOIA is different from the Privacy Act. I have had plenty of experience with both requests....one FOIA I sent to the US Drug Administration took years to be fulfilled.By then I had already won the claim and didnt need their info anymore.

Veterans have succeeded in gaining more retro by challenging the EED VA gave them  (EED Earliest effective date) often due to filing a CUE on the decison they feel is wrong or by using 38 CFR 3.156:

https://cck-law.com/veterans-law/earlier-va-effective-date-of-disability/

CCK is one of the best vet law firms around. There are more here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Lawyers+who+help+vets+with+claims&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS695US695&oq=Lawyers+who+help+vets+with+claims&aqs=chrome..69i57j46i199i433i465i512j0i131i433j46i199i291i433i512l3j46i199i465i512j46i199i291i512.10422j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Berta.

Thank you again. I wasn’t actually denied my record requests, but they were basically ignored except for the records they are withholding. I did manage to get the records all but six months worth, which were the first six months after my return from Vietnam. The NPRC told me the VA has those records. The VA denies having those records but did send me two letters stating they are withholding all information that which if disclosed would fall under the “deliberate process privilege”. I guess you would say that is a denial of releasing my records to me, and I cannot find a way to get them. When they denied my claim in 1983, I was under the assumption that my records were lost and I had nothing to prove anything I claimed. The VFW was in charge of my claim and they never received my records either. The VFW and the VA both seem incompetent and dishonest in my opinion. DAV flat like to me and that is the St. Louis branch. It’s as though they’re saying we have the records but you’re not going to get them and you’re not going to be compensated any further. One VSO even told me I was lucky to be granted sinusitis, despite my records that I do have being full of that information to discharge time. I can’t help but feel that most of them are dishonest and I don’t trust the VSOs at all, but I have to trust someone.

I don’t remember exactly which form the request was on but I do believe it was the privacy act 552, but I don’t have it in front of me to be sure.

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