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Former K9 handler that was stationed at Clark AB from 1983 to 1985 Advise

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I was a former K9 handler that was stationed at Clark AB from 1983 to 1985. Have you had any success with you VA Claim(s)? For me, it seems like 90% of the battle is navigating their system and dealing with having claims denied when the actually should have been granted. Perhaps you can share your experiences, both good and bad, and any success stories and/or recommendations that you may have. Thank you.

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Why is Clark AFB specific? Unless you are claiming exposure to something or a presumed contention like RVN service or looking for 'buddy's that were there with you around the time of whatever happened the location shouldn't matter. 

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Yes, VA has a massive list of regulations and red tape.  And, my experience has been 80 to 90% of first time claimants are denied.  This means most Veterans, who win benefits, win them on appeal.  

So, dont be upset if you are in the majority which are denied.  Instead, appeal.  You can get help at hadit, or from. a VSO.  

People have had very mixed results with VSO's, some are good, many are bad.  

I won my benefits only after appeal.  My hearing loss was denied "because it was too long since military service".  This is a bogus denial, "time since military service" is not on the criteria list for hearing loss.  Its like they denied me because they did not like my hair cut.  Its irrelevant.  And, yes, I had all 3 caluza elements:  current diagnosis, event in service, and nexus.  Since I had all those, that VA employee "made up" his own criteria.  My appeal was successful, and I eventually won all my benefits (100 percent plus smc s), but it took a total of 17 years, and multiple multiple appeals.  VA fought me all the way..at every turn.  

EAJA (Equall access to justice act) pays attorneys fees who represent Veterans against the VA at the CAVC.  The criteria for payment is that VA "took a position that was substantially unjustified" against the Veteran.  Its well known, in the advocate community, if you appeal to the CAVC, have attorney representation, and you win or get a remand, the fees will be paid.  

This means VA takes a position against the Veteran "about 80 percent of the time"...that is "substantially unjustified".  This ought not to be so.  

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