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Acknowledgement Timeline

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blahsaysme2u

Question

so i never heard or seen any reg on the topic and i tried searching Hadit-

is there any regulation that the VA has to respond to NOD, appeal or any claim for that matter acknowledging they received it etc? we have a timeline on when we have to get the claim in, but is there nothing to force the VA to certify or acknowledge the claim, NOD, or appeal? any help is always appreciated.

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Its not a regulation, but it is pretty much public knowledge among Veterans advocates.  

VA argues "each claim is different", so "there cant be a time limit" to VA processing the claim.  

While it appears like those news articles where it took decades for VA to process a Veterans claim have been removed from Google seaches (its bad publicity for VA), I recall at least one Veteran getting benefits after a 52 year delay.  

There were more than one which took 30 years, and I got my benefits in a "mere" 17 years.  

I recall one Veteran telling me "it has taken VA 5 years", and I thought he was joking, that it could not take that long.  

How does VA do it?  

Its easy.  They chop up your claim in pieces, and mostly each piece needs to be appealed seperately:

1.  They seperate Conditions.  Your PTSD may take years, but your hearing loss may only take months.  

2.   They chop up conditions still further.  

      a.  Service connected or no?   A seperate decision and a seperate appeal.  

      b.  Dispute on disability percentage?   Appeal, and of course this can take years, too. 

      c.  Effective date?   Oh yea.  Another long ardous appeal. 

      d.  SMC?   YOU GUESSED IT  more appeals.

      e.  P and T?  Yep. 

Each of these above claims and appeals can take 5 plus years.   In fact, "normal" for a claim (denied), and a BVA appeal, as well as "implementation decision by the VARO" is about 5 years on average, in my real world experience.  

     Dont take my word for it, tho.  BVA tracks the length of time.  While VARO may also, the VA is not forthcoming with this data.   At least once, VA "faked" the length of time Vets had to wait for a doc appointment in order to make management "look better".   One way they did this:  When a Veteran called to schedule a doc appointment, and if there were not appointments available in 30 days, they told the Veteran to "try and call back" at the first of next month and maybe then we can schedule you.  They were instructed to lie to the Veteran and tell them "the computer" wont let me schedule an appointment longer than 30 days in advance, so you have to call back and try again next month to get an appointment.  

    In other words, Veterans were put on a waiting list (which was not reported) in order to get on a waiting list.  Vets being told "call back next month" when we have a "new 30 day allocation" and we may be able to schedule your appointment then.  Yep, they did exactly this to me.  

BVA chairmans report :https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp

On page 21, the time length is "buried" on page 33, which is 501 days Just to the SOC (not a completed appeal). 

VA "buries" this information after you have long since fallen asleep reading the first 32 pages of the Chairmans report, because this is very bad press for VA.  

Edited by broncovet
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I appreciate your response but I'm specifically asking about acknowledgement of filing and receipt of the claim, no adjudication.

 

I have a claim sitting in limbo that the VA refuses to even acknowledge. I have called multiple times and keep getting the same answer that you basically said "VA doesn't have a ti.eline for claims"...They keep sending service requests to have to appeal reviewed so that a letter can be mailed saying they reviewed and received it but i keep getting no where and want to try force their hand if there is a reg or some other reg- possibly delaying? Not sure

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"Claim Glitches" are the norm when dealing with VA, "smooth sailing, no problems, claim approved in 4 weeks" is the exception.  

If you have a 9:30 appt, check in and you wait till 10:00 and your name has not been called, then go ask them if they forgot about you.  They probably did.  

Same way with your claim.  Wait 2 to 3 months and YOU check on it.  Dont expect VA to provide a timeline to acknowledge your claim.  They wont.  

Therefore, my advice is:

1.  "Call Peggy".  Ask for the status of the claim you submitted on mm-dd-yy for (arthiritis, hearing loss, and ptsd, for example).  Then ask the clerk to document your phone call, and YOU document your call also.  Write it down, time/date, what they said.  

2.  Send an IRIS email.   Ask the same question as above.  

3.  Send a letter, you can send it on a 21-4138 with similar wording.  

     Dont wait for VA, I estimate they lose or trash about 10 percent or more of the claims submitted, I have had them lose/shred/forget about 3 claims over the past 19 years.  

    Dont fret about VA's timeline, use YOUR timeline.  They dont have one.  They would prefer to forget about you forever, if they can get away with it.  

     Key is to document everything.  Then fight for an eed, if VA says they did not get your claim until Dec. 9, 2029.   You got it documented you sent it in 2022, Best is to send your claim certified mail return receipt requested.  

Edited by broncovet
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yeah i sent a 21-4138 requesting they certify my appeal that was sent in on 10/24/2022. 

i have called peg like i mentioned, a few times now, and they have submitted "service tickets"(whatever that is) to have the appeal reviewed and certified received. they told me that i can call back in 30 days to request another "service ticket", as they can only be sent 1/30 days.

i just checked again this morning and still no movement...ill try IRIS question too...ill use the same wording i used in my 21-4138...

i just cant believe there isnt a timeline for some form of acknowledgement....i understand adjudication takes time...but there should be something saying they have to say "yeah we got your claim,NOD, appeal and are working on" within some time frame...otherwise whats to say it could sit in limbo with indefinitely with no action/review/certification? this seems like a HUGE loophole that needs closed...i wonder how many times this has happened and its just happened to me the 1x...

how many times has a vet sent in a claim and it just sat there for years with no one even looking at it? how can this be changed? i mean i cant even appeal or go to the courts without adjudication- soooooooo how can you make change without a NOD? this is nutz

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@blahsaysme2u I'm in the same boat to some degree. Appealed two issues to the BVA, but at the time of the hearing I learned that only one was "certified". I was never notified that the other claim will be placed on the back burner indefinitely... Once one is finished, I'll explore the other...

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