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VARO Processed An Incomplete Application

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Back in May of 2020 I logged in to VA.gov and initiated a claim for disability compensation and medical benefits for multiple conditions. However, i never completed the application and had never provided any kind of signature. I saved the incomplete application establishing an intent to file a claim under 38 CFR 3.155(1)(b)(i). I also submitted multiple FOIA’s requesting access to my C-file and have had no success in obtaining that. In August 2023, i received a correspondence letter from the VARO stating that a defect on the VA.gov platform had affected my previous application submission(which is a lie because I never signed or attempted to submit it). They also stated that they intended to rectify the error by expediting their evaluation of my claimed conditions. In September I received decisions that were favorable for some conditions and unfavorable for others.

However, i am still waiting to receive access to my C-file, resulting in my inability to have ever signed or completed my application for benefits. I know the VA shouldn’t have processed my claim without ever acquiring my signature, and the VA hasn’t provided any evidence of an alleged defect ever occurring. This is so FUBAR that I don’t know where to begin. Any advice would be greatly appreciated unless your advice is to contact an attorney without providing the name and number of one to contact.

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Posted (edited)

I will restate what you posted, in my words, to make sure I understand what you are saying.  Please correct me if I am wrong. 

You applied for benefits in 2020, but did not sign the application, as you had intended to file an ITF after you got more information which you did not timely receive. 

You said you received a decision which was "favorable" on some condition and unfavorable for others, and have yet to receive your cfile.  

DO I have it about right?  

Welcome to the Department of Veterans Affairs!  

   If this were mine, I would NOT hire an attorney at this time.   Instead, I would file a NOD disputing the issues which were unfavorable, AND disputing disability percentages you felt were LOW And, if you thought the effective dates were OFF, dispute those also.  But I would just leave the  favorably awarded portion alone.  (When you file a notice of disagreement, you can dispute, any or all portions of a decision, and leave in place portions you agree with which are favorable, which is what most Vets do)   That is, if denied conditon A, you can disagree with denial of condition A, but if awarded condition B, but you think it should be 80 percent, not 30 percent, you can dispute the percentage.  Finally, if you were denied condition A, awarded condition B, and granted the percentate you wanted, but you felt you deserved a 2020 effective date, and VA said granted it from 2023 instead, you can dispute JUST the effective date, and the denial of condition A, if you so choose.  

    You will need to make a choice "how" to appeal.  There are options.  

    A.  Higher Level Review.  Probably not for you, because this assumes you nave no new evidence.  And, you probably have evidence that the VA did not consider, so dont use HLR. 

    B.  SCL. Supplemental Claim lane.  Similar to above, stays at regional office, but you can submit new evidence.  or, my favorite:

NOTE:  While my opinion is not shared by all, I think if you choose one of the 2 above you mostly will be wasting time and you will wind up going to the BVA, below, anyway.  Sometimes, however, you can win with A and B above.  

    C.   Appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals.  While this takes a long time, the win percentages are in your favor.  Big time.  Yes, it will take years to resolve UNLESS you have a compelling reason for an "advance on the docket".  

    Probably the most expiditious method of getting a look see at your file is to sign a POA with a local Veterans Service officer WHO HAS VBMS ACCESS.  ASK them first, not all VSOS have VBMS access.   There are hoops the VSO must jump through to be granted VBMS access, and not all are willing/able to do them.  ASK before you grant your POA.   You may be able to view your file online immediately and reivew it, perhaps print off necessary documents.  

   AS far as you not signing it, my "opinion is" that you should be happy you are receiving  compensation (I assume you are, from your post).  VA benefits are "supposed" to be "pro claimant" and "liberally interpreted" IN YOUR FAVOR.  It would appear they did that, at least somewhat.   While I am suprised your claim was not returned for your signature I do know much stuff is done electronically, and I even did some insurance (private company) stuff online without a paper signature, all online.  Indeed, lots of stuff is done online, without paper signatures.  One of the first thing VA does is make an electronic record of your claim.  


Edited by broncovet
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