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Dustoff 11

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Posted (edited)
Pro Se All The Way
What one man can do another man can do (veterans).
 
Like other vets who received prior poor, hostile or indifferent VSO assistance I learned beginning in 1985 to represent myself pro se in all claims and appeals to the VARO, BVA and even CAVC court.
 
You do not need to put up with sorry VSO representation if like me you are willing to do your own research and learning on the convoluted VA disability system. For me it was challenging, learning and even a fun but time consuming experience over 35 years. Here is my 95% successful score card and you can do it to if you are motivated like me.
 
50% PTSD                 1985 pro se with no help from DAV VSO
70% PTSD TDIU        1998 very limited assist from former DAV VSO
P&T TDIU                   2000 on my own pro se
CAVC court win         2005 pro se own my own partial victory CUE
30% Heart Disea       2017 on my own pro se Agent Orange IHD/CAD
50% Sleep Apnea     2021 pro se BVA Appeal back dated 2017
SMC-S automatic     2021 pro se back dated to 2017
60% GERD                2022 pro se VARO initial claim approval
10% Tinnitus             2022 pro se VARO initial claim approval
100% P&T                 2022 automatic from VARO
 
My OSA Sleep Apnea appeal was helped by Dr. David Anaise medical nexus opinion stating my OSA was caused and aggravated by VA diagnosed long term PTSD and PTSD meds. I filed the claim and appeal forms and provided other medical evidence pro se.
 
Only one claim flat out denied in over 35 years with no appeal by me for Hypertension. There is no chicken chit VSO or official VA representative that would have ever done all this for me. Only you really care about your disability claim and no one else.
 
The VVA and Hadit and Lexus Nexus manuals plus BVA and CAVC, Fed Appeals Circuit court decisions are your friends and of tremendous help to me.  Beware of misleading info from other vet websites.   So cheer up and chin up.
 
My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.
 
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Edited by Dustoff 11
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Posted (edited)

Pro Se Vets are at a big disadvantage:

1.  Pro Se Vets do not have access to their VBMS file, so they dont know what evidence VA has "in real time".  

    Sure, the VA can send you a copy of your cfile, but, by the time you get it, it will likely be obsolete as new evidence would have been added, and old evidence deleted.  

Edited by broncovet
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Posted (edited)

Unlike many others at age 21 I did have the foresight to get copies of all my Army medical records and other records in Vietnam, Japan and USA.  Medical clerks were very helpful in them there days and no I did not pay them anything or do any favors.

I also started getting copies of all my VA medical records beginning in 1985 up to present day of May 20, 2022.  I was not about to ever again assume or depend upon the good will of a VSO or VA claims adjudicator.  None of this took much effort or time on my part and was very interesting and rewarding in the long run.

 

Edited by Dustoff 11
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From my experiences with my state VA representatives and the DAV, they never bothered to access VBMS unless I specifically requested it. Most of them did as little as possible unless I specifically made a request. Additionally, the PDF copy of my c-file was, to put it frankly, "jacked up". Content was there, but it was poorly organized and the redactions often overlapped a lot of viable content. It made me glad I got a paper copy in a heavy box years ago before they started doing that.

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