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All these changes at the va at not helping veterans


Mr cue

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So I was just thinking about all the changes to the va system.

First the comp exam system.

U can't get a copy before they use it on your claim.

The no phone contact with bva no more.

They are ordering exams for all issues now with no way to say anything. But put in a statement and hope some address it

This is my opinion other may love all this new stuff.

But to me it looks like a set up to reduce rating and not to grant many claim's.

And the veteran has no phone contact with anyone.

Now let's talk about the mail thing they put out something saying they are adding day to any notice letter.

So if they say u to late you got to appeal and hope.

It does address the 120 days to appeal to court.

So veterans now have 90 days or less. 

I don't think the va lawyer are just adding days they will say u didn't appeal in time and ask the court to dismiss.

This is all my opinion.

And I just want veterans to be aware of things

 

 

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It seems like every time they make the system "better" it hurts vets.  One of my claims through the DAV was denied years ago in that it was not submitted on the correct form, I was told at the DAV that it was a dead claim.  After some research I found that any correspondence to the VA was considered as a claim for disability.  I was able to win this claim.  Now that avenue is no longer open to vets and it is in writing that everything has to be on an accepted form or it is mute.  I see the new changes as more of the same.  Thanks for the update @Mr cue.

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@vetquestYou are correct. Since the AMA changes went into effect, the VA has become more strict about requiring a certain form. It's an administrative mechanism which serves two purposes. What they say publicly is that it will help them streamline claim processing. What they do not state is that it is also a convenient way to streamline denials and reduce workload. In reality, it pisses off veterans who often do not know their procedures and the claim ends up coming back. In effect, it actually consumes more of the VA's manpower to do this. 

 

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If you realize that Iraq and Afghan vets will be filing claims for the next 40 years you understand why VA wants to save money at the expense of us.   They pray that us Vietnam vets will just die as soon as possible so they can pay the current vets.  With those bastards at the VA it is just about the money.

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Here is the deal:  If the VA helps "some Vets", and gets no additional money, then that money has to come from "somewhere", usually at the expense of Other Veterans.  

   That is the way it works, pretty much, with all of us.  When we spend money, unless we get more in, we have to give up other things, unless we are living high off the hog, which does not apply to most Vets.  

You posted:

Quote

U can't get a copy before they use it on your claim.

The no phone contact with bva no more.

They are ordering exams for all issues now with no way to say anything. But put in a statement and hope some address it

As far as I know, VA does not have a national policy of whether or not you can "get a copy of your c and p exam" before your claim is processed.  

To the contrary, I have gone down to MY VAMC, and whenever I asked for medical records they gave them to me, "but only" if they have them.  In the case of 3rd party providers c and P exams, that doc "may or may not" enter your c and p exam on your records, they may just send it to VA.  

And, number 2, "NO" they are not "ordering exams for all issues".  

It was not that long ago when I was awarded additional benefits without a new c and p exam, because the records contained enough to award.  Remember this is a judgement call, made by the decision maker..which you may or may not agree with.  

We dont have to like the referee, we dont have to like all his "CALLS", BUT we still have to abide by the referee's decision.  And, if we dont like it, we can appeal.  

Im not sure about BVA's "no phone" number.  I used to have an "Ombudsman" at the BVA's number.  

Or, better yet, if you have a good rapport with your representative "who has VBMS access", you can tell a lot about what is going on with your claim in real time.  

However, if you tick off your representative, he does not always want to give you that information.  

If you are going Pro Se, then you wont have access to VBMS (unfortunately).  

But, if you delegate your POA to, say, one of the local VSO's "who do have VBMS access", then you can develop a rapport, and get access to your file by calling your VSO.  

I did exactly that.  I enlisted the services of a VSO, knowing I would mostly use him for VBMS access, and, occassionally maybe some other stuff, but I file most of the documents with VA..not the VSO.  Or at least I send the documents to the VSO to file them.  

Most VSO's dont want to put their signature on their, they would rather have it come FROM YOU.  Then, its "your hiney" if its wrong, not the VSO.  Many people dont want their "hiney" in a jam.  I dont.    Others seem to draw trouble like a magnet draws iron.  We get to choose which. 

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27 minutes ago, broncovet said:

It was not that long ago when I was awarded additional benefits without a new c and p exam, because the records contained enough to award.  Remember this is a judgement call, made by the decision maker..which you may or may not agree with

I also had some claims decided without C&P exams. Sometimes the evidence is adequate enough that they can even assign ratings directly from evidence. Sometimes it can be a judgement call, but personally I have had to contest and win when they simply failed to factor in all evidence of record or made common procedural errors.

 

The claim reviewers must first determine if a C&P is necessary by following the laws, regulations, and also their own internal M21-1 procedures.

38 CFR 3.326 describes the relationship between the need for an exam and the evidence in the record: 

Quote

§ 3.326 Examinations.

For purposes of this section, the term examination includes periods of hospital observation when required by VA.

(a) Where there is a claim for disability compensation or pension but medical evidence accompanying the claim is not adequate for rating purposes, a Department of Veterans Affairs examination will be authorized. This paragraph applies to original and supplemental claims as well as claims for increase submitted by a veteran, surviving spouse, parent, or child. Individuals for whom an examination has been scheduled are required to report for the examination.

(b) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, any hospital report, or any examination report, from any government or private institution may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination. However, monetary benefits to a former prisoner of war will not be denied unless the claimant has been offered a complete physical examination conducted at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital or outpatient clinic.

(c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 5107(a))

Cross Reference:

Failure to report for VA examination. See § 3.655.

[60 FR 52864, Oct. 11, 1995, as amended at 66 FR 45632, Aug. 29, 2001; 84 FR 170, Jan. 18, 2019]

 

Because 3.326 is relatively vague, M21-1 procedures fall under duty to assist with processing instructions for various situations:

M21-1, Part IV, Subpart i, Chapter 1, Section A - Duty to Assist With Providing a Medical Examination or Opinion

Article ID: 554400000180494

https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000180494/M21-1,-Part-IV,-Subpart-i,-Chapter-1,-Section-A---Duty-to-Assist-With-Providing-a-Medical-Examination-or-Opinion

They must review the facts and evidence to determine if an examination is even necessary. There are some judgement calls involved, but the VA gives them enough guidance to make claim decisions without always requiring an exam.

 

I personally like 38 CFR 3.326 (b) a lot because it opens the door for common sense to be used, which is often overlooked. Just have to keep in mind that even though the VA may not need an exam, they may request one anyway just so they don't have to sift through the evidence. In effect, they are kicking the can down the road to the C&P examiner to deal with it despite having all the answers readily available. 

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20 minutes ago, Vync said:

I personally like 38 CFR 3.326 (b) a lot because it opens the door for common sense to be used, which is often overlooked. Just have to keep in mind that even though the VA may not need an exam, they may request one anyway just so they don't have to sift through the evidence. In effect, they are kicking the can down the road to the C&P examiner to deal with it despite having all the answers readily available. 

Yes, this is where a lot of veterans get confused as to veterans think that there is enough evidence in their records and the RO should make a decision, but the RO can still and most likely will request a new medical exam. It sucks, I had a direct BVA grant that threw out five inadequate C & P exams and service connected my disability, yet the RO still sent me to a new C & P exam that I am fighting at the Board.  

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