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Did I Do The Right Thing?


I have a relative that is a WWII Vet that never filed for disability. He now is diagnosed with asbestosis. Having read here that so many of you have taken control of your own cases, I helped him fill out the VA claim form, get his DD 214, and documentation from his primary care provider (civilian). We sent his claim package and recieved a letter from the VA saying that they have recieved his claim and will process it.

In talking to the local AMVET rep he tells me that I screwed up. According to the AMVET rep "...the VA will eat him up because he does not have representation". The rep told me that no service organization will take his case and represent him to the VA after the claim is filed. So basically this guy is taking on the VA by himself.

So did I screw up? Is it ok to have filed the claim (this vet could die tomorrow) without a VSO? Is the local VSO just blowing smoke? This VSO has my power of attorney and has filed paperwork for me in the past. Having said that, I sometimes have a better idea what is going on than this guy so my confidence level with this guy is not sky high. To be brutally honest I get the impression that he is paid on commision.

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Cammy, you did the right thing. If for no other reason than to establish an effective date of claim.

And, and you guys correct me if I'm wrong, but all recognized Service Organizations have a Congressional Mandate to represent ALL veterans, even if they are not a member of that organization, and regardless of where they are in the claims process. Now, that doesn't mean that an individual Service Officer necessarily has to represent a particular veteran, I suppose, but the Service Organization has to come up with somebody.

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Amvets turned me down after I filed the initial claim on my own. They said they need to concentrate on claims that are winnable and because I did not have medical evidence of treatment for my claimed condition beginning the day I was discharged and continuing to the present day, I would not win my claim. I haven't won yet so he may be right.

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Amvets turned me down after I filed the initial claim on my own. They said they need to concentrate on claims that are winnable and because I did not have medical evidence of treatment for my claimed condition beginning the day I was discharged and continuing to the present day, I would not win my claim. I haven't won yet so he may be right.

And how long have you been working your claim?

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WHat vets DO have continuous treatment from day of discharge to present?

Certainly many- but does he tell this to PTSD vets or Nam vets with AO disease ,diagnosed 30-40 years after the fact?

If every vet had what he said they need -there would not be a backlog of claims-

Then again a vet rep can turn down POA on any claim that has absolutely no merit or chance to succeed-but

then again they would need a crystal ball to do that unless the claim was obviously hokey-

You need a current diagnosed disability and current treatment records.

If not in your SMRs, you need to prove the nexus unless your DD 214 covers that.

Buddy statements etc can help prove a nexus-

if you tell us more maybe we can help-

only saw a vet turned down twice-by a rep -

Once a local vet had prepared an outright false claims scenario-wasted many hours of my time -I got him to a vet rep and within minutes the rep checked something at VA and said he could not possibly help him at all.

Another female veteran was turned down too-

she had a brain tumor but didnt want to give my frmer vet her SMrs because she said her work in the mil had been perfect-there was nothing in her SMRs that would possibly show she had any brian tumor symptoms, no memory problems, no unusual outbursts,

I was called to help with this claim but by time I got to Bath VA she had left and I clearly understood why the rep turned her down-as far as filing a claim-

still one never knows-

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1 year.

I filed using VONAPP in MAR06.

Signed the application & the doctors release & put it in my mailbox with the little flag up. Big mistake. The VA never got my signed application or the doctors release.

They sent me a letter saying they had made a decision and asked me if I had anymore evidence. I thought they had my private records by now so I said no, no more evidence.

They sent me the denial 2 days later saying that I was seen in service for the condition but there were no chronic residuals -- the first element in a well grounded claim.

I then sent them a radiologist report showing a current chronic condition. Element one is satisfied. Element two is satisfied by there own admission. I remembered being seen multiple times while in service and, althought the condition improved, it never resolved.

I thought the VA would do the right thing and service connect me for this condition based on thier own law which states that if the condition is considered chronic in service than any manifestation post service is service connected unless clearly attributable to another cause. I had no other cause or injury beside service.

The Va did not do the right thing. They denied me again, even though I also had submitted a letter from my chiro linking my current condition with my inservice injury.

So I paid $2500 for an IMO linking my current condition to my inservice injury. Element three satisfied.

The only catch is that my VSO filed a NOD after the 2nd denial so now my case is in appeals and when I call the #800 they tell me there is no time limit on appeals. I can almost hear them smiling when they tell me that.

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