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Cervical spine


Ken Dillon

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Good morning, my case on my Cervical spine has been sent to BVA judge. I have submitted all my Evidence, so my question is this I have more appointments with a neurologist at the VA well those notes be submitted or looked at When time comes when the judge reviews my claim? Thanks

 

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Good question!  Short answer:  We dont know. 

Your problem is repeated over and over:  We really dont know what evidence is sent to the judge.  Veterans are not allowed access to VBMS (sometimes called the efile), but access is given to some VSO's and attorney or non attorney representatives, but never directly to Veterans.   The decision letter is supposed to detail what evidece they have, however the description is often very vague:  Sometimes it will give "medical records from medical service to present", or something close.  

Its an important question, because, when we appeal, we need to decide if we have "new evidence" or not.  This is not easy when we still often dont know what evidence they had (have).  My attorney gave me a DVD of my "RBA" record before agency, but that was AFTER the board decision.  (I would have liked that much much sooner).

Often, Veterans request for a copy of their files is met with delays, and delay excuses, and these delays are often a year, or even more.  

The end results is that we are often "shooting in the dark", when we dont know what evidence they actually have.  Its a big part of whats wrong with the system.  

If you were suing your neighbor, its unlikely you would want "all" of the evidence against your neighbor "to be held by your neighbors attorney", and this evidence not even disclosed to you, until the trial is over.  That, certainly would be unfair, but this is exactly what is done with Veterans..Our opponent, the VA, "holds" the records, and does not even give us real time access.

When we do request a copy of our file, most of the time by the time we receive it, its already out of date.  Its akin to writing some one a snail mail letter and ask them what time it is, and expect a good answer.  

  Supposedly, this should be covered by 38CFR 3.156, where we can submit new evidence.  ("New" evidence basically means evidence the decision makers have not seen in the past.  Sometimes that can be from many years past, but if the decision makers did not see it the first time, then its new evidence.  

In the past, the claim was "certified" to the BVA, but that is not done anymore, since 2019 with the new AMA. 

We dont have great answers, but you need to get a copy of your file ASAP, and compare it with the RBA after the board decision. 

A VSO, attorney, or non attorney practioner who has jumped thriough VA hoops to get VBMS access should have up to date real time evidence and know what is in the file.. 

We can no control when/if your examiner sends his notes to be included in your medical records/ efile/vbms file. 

You sometimes can get a fairly current copy of your medical records at your local VAMC's "release of information office. 

However, VA is often very hesitant, or even hostile, to giving Veterans a copy of the C and p exam, at least not in a timely manner.    

 

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The record will be included if the decision is made after the exam.

The other thing is if it a higher level review appeal they will not be included any new evidence.

I wouldn't worry about it the va is going to use what ever records and notes that they feel address your case.

I think you are at the bva I would be trying to fight with the cfr and laws.

That They didn't address in your case. That how you get it remand by the court and bva.

Edited by Mr cue
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15 hours ago, broncovet said:

Veterans are not allowed access to VBMS (sometimes called the efile),

One really should ask why that is.  Is it something vets should fight to change?  Should the fight start with me? Maybe...

It's sort of like sitting in a realtor's office, and they're thumbing through all the opportunities in the current MLS and they only let you see a few of what they think you should be interested in. You just want to reach over and yank the book from their hand, when the book is 3 inches thick. Or you're making an application for a loan, and the loan officer sees what's most important to you (the version of the credit report they see), but they're not turning that computer screen so you can see it. Yeah, I know their version is proprietary...just grumbling.

I'm grumbling...only because I've never been a good backseat passenger watching what flies past me while others have the wheel. Maybe because I've been in too many wrecks, figuratively.

But overall, I do think that vets could benefit greatly with more transparency, and/or timely or unfettered access to VBMS. I shouldn't have to make an appointment. Time matters. When time is gone it's gone.

If had had access to the VBMS, and if my attorney didn't keep it from me, then I might have saved my TDIU situation and had the back pay to have paid off my house already.

I didn't know my attorney was playing games with my TDIU. The VBMS might have revealed that, had I had the access in that circumstance.

I'm not grumbling at you... do know that I'm not grumbling at you.  I'm a newbie. I just think the VBMS should be made available to vets, and access to information shouldn't have so many steps and time delays.

 

Edited by Rivet62
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15 hours ago, broncovet said:

Its an important question, because, when we appeal, we need to decide if we have "new evidence" or not.  This is not easy when we still often dont know what evidence they had (have).  My attorney gave me a DVD of my "RBA" record before agency, but that was AFTER the board decision.  (I would have liked that much much sooner).

Exactly.

15 hours ago, broncovet said:

Often, Veterans request for a copy of their files is met with delays, and delay excuses, and these delays are often a year, or even more.  

The end results is that we are often "shooting in the dark", when we dont know what evidence they actually have.  Its a big part of whats wrong with the system.  

So, you do understand where I'm coming from on this issue of vets not being allowed their own access to VBMS where it concerns them.

15 hours ago, broncovet said:

If you were suing your neighbor, its unlikely you would want "all" of the evidence against your neighbor "to be held by your neighbors attorney", and this evidence not even disclosed to you, until the trial is over.  That, certainly would be unfair, but this is exactly what is done with Veterans..Our opponent, the VA, "holds" the records, and does not even give us real time access.

Right. The information silo and the delays made on purpose to acquire that information is what bogs down the system, causing incredible unjustified costs to the taxpayers in veterans having to re-attempt their claims and appeals and so many mistakes are made by both the veterans and the VA that have to be redressed. Things linger for decades.

15 hours ago, broncovet said:

When we do request a copy of our file, most of the time by the time we receive it, its already out of date.  Its akin to writing some one a snail mail letter and ask them what time it is, and expect a good answer.  

....

15 hours ago, broncovet said:

VA is often very hesitant, or even hostile, to giving Veterans a copy of the C and p exam, at least not in a timely manner. 

I'll get to experience that next, for the first time. 

When I first started with my first claim for vets disability I had no idea I was embarking on the engagement of so much. I feel like I'm active duty again, with the tangle.

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