DAV useless!

Discussion in 'Disabled American Veterans' started by Disabled-at-27, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Disabled-at-27

    Disabled-at-27 New Member

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    I have used the DAV for about 4 years now and they have become the VA when It comes to help with claims. It took me a month to get ahold of someone, then the stuff I wanted to know they wont find out for me. My Rep has changed atleast 3 times and nobody is ever avalible to speek to. I finally got ahold of someone today and all he did was look at the same exact system the VA reps do and then told me the same as the va reps. I guess my DAV dues were a total waste of money seeing they do no more than the free 800 number to contact the va reps!:mad:
  2. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Which is what they are supposed to do. Did you want them to manufacture an answer?
  3. Disabled-at-27

    Disabled-at-27 New Member

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    No Seems as if you dont know how the DAV is supposed to run. DAV is supposed to find out why things on your case are going slow, not being seen, and help get them in and out like they are supposed to. DAV isnt supposed to do just as the VA Reps do they are supposed to do way way more.
  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    What I do know is that the service officers have no authority to make the VA's decision makers do what you want on your timetable. I have no idea what you asked them to do but you've said you got the same answer from the VA. If that's the case, then perhaps that's the way it is. If your records aren't there, then move on and deliver them or tell the VA where to get them. You'll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar.
  5. USMCTanker

    USMCTanker New Member

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    I had filed for "Housebound" with the VA and was turned down, I had all material evidence in and the VA ignored my primary care doctor and the C & P exam.

    I had to call my DAV rep and asked him to file for a reconsideration instead of an appeal. He said, "You don't want me to do that do you?" I said, "Yes, I do! Within 2 weeks I had received the Housebound rating along with a letter from the VA indicating the oversights.

    Had I not known to ask for a reconsideration I would still be waiting another two to three years for a VA Appeals decision.
  6. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Yeah, that happens from time to time and not only does it apply to the DAV, it can and does apply to all the service organizations as well as attorneys and private POA's. I usually advise vets to interview multiple service orgs and try to find one they can work with and has the time, training and inclination to manage their claim and return their calls. Even that can't preclude getting a bummer for a rep.

    Every veteran needs to be directly involved in his claim and keep a duplicate file on all documents sent to or received fm the VA, When everything goes south and you can't find a knowledgeable and responsive POA, the vet needs to get smart real fast and take over his own claim.

    Knew a woman in the Portland area that submitted a bluewater claim for her incompetent father based on AO presumption and she couldn't find a SO that would get off their duff. Tried DAV, AL, MoPH and VVA. Took her father from 20% to 100% with A&A. She followed advice from a couple veterans forums and spent lots of time reading.

    Any vet can do that if they can remain aside their claim and not get personally involved. They also need the ability to read and understand the statutes and regulations and be able to communicate with others well. Some folks can do that. If they can't, they need to work with a POA no matter how bad it gets.
  7. pathfinder74

    pathfinder74 New Member

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    The DAV helped me fill out all the forms and basically hand carried my claim packet through and stayed on top of it through the entire process. Since I put my claim in pretty early in the VA's transition to processing OEF/OIF vets it took a little over a month if memory serves. it's supposed to be no more than a month now. Granted it's always best to stay on top of the DAV rep to make sure they're staying on top of the VA folks.

    No complaints here.
  8. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    There is no required timeline. Veterans discharged since 9/11/01 receive expedited processing on initial claim. Subsequent claims and appeals get put in the stack with other veterans. Crude surveys indicate the vast majority of initial claims are decided in a year although I've talked with vets that have kept a claim alive for over 20 years. There's usually something specious about it or the evidence is not available.
  9. Weapons Guy

    Weapons Guy New Member

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    I've used the DAV on several occasions and have always had good luck, they stayed with me from start to finish. It may be the individual and not the entire service organization or maybe you are expecting miracles. You the individual have a big responsibility to make sure all this works, service oraganizations are here to help YOU make it happen. Good Luck.
  10. westerville

    westerville New Member

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    Dav

    I agree the DAV were helpful with getting my forms and filing my claim. My gripe was with giving them my medical records from my private doctors and the VA does not accept this. I had to get the medical providers to send the records directly to the VA and that took about 6 month. I gave up trying to contact my service officer, he is never available and never calls back, and besides it is a long distance call. I just call the VA directly or ask a question online which works fine. I just got a email from the VA today saying they have received all my medical records and sending to get rated. So hope it is not too much longer.
  11. westerville

    westerville New Member

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    Dav

    My Dav service officer called me because I kinda reported him to the National DAV office. Well anyway he apologized and he brought up my records and said they were waiting on my Radiation oncologist records. So I call the VA and they say yep thats right we will request them again in 2 months. So I call the doctors office and they say they sent them on Oct 31st. So I call the DAV service officer and of course they are in training on fridays so call back monday. I call the VA and get this nasty lady saying " we probably have the records but they haven't been posted yet and no matter how many times I call will change that". I told her this is only the second time I have called.

    I plan on calling my DAV guy on monday but any suggestions on getting the medical records posted anytime soon.
  12. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Your best bet is to work thru your DAV SO. I don't know where he works but, either he or a co-worker will have an office co-located at the VARO. Call your SO or his co-worker at the VARO and tell him this. They can generally walk over to someone that does this and suggest it get posted.

    Usually, when the VA requests files from other sources they start a suspense file which tells them when to check on the request. Things may get put in your c-file and not get posted till the suspense date. Medical record request generally get a 50 day suspense date.
  13. westerville

    westerville New Member

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    Awhile ago I had requested help from my congresswomen for my claim when I was contacting my representatives to vote for or against different issues. Well this congresswomen's military advocate asked for my VA claim number and yesterday, a week later, I got my 100% rating. I feel happy for me but sad for all the others waiting answers for their claims. I never dreamed our representatives could actually speed things up.
  14. nurseflo

    nurseflo Member

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    Westerville!!! I'm so happy that you finally have your rating.Will you get backpay for a certain amount of months?I bet that representative has you r vote.This is almost a Christmas Miracle.I bet it seems like one for you.
  15. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    She probably didn't. The VA had to settle your claim sometime but if it pleases you to think so...
  16. westerville

    westerville New Member

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    compensation

    Thank you Nurseflo,
    Yes I get back pay for when I applied, I have two kids in college and just sent the required forms for me to get additional pay on top of my 100%.
    I am going to a cancer specialist Dr. Charles "snuffy" Myers in Virginia in January and since he does not take insurance this back pay will sure help.
    I have been unable to find any doctors in Ohio to give me much hope in dealing with this aggressive cancer.
    Now I can fight this cancer and not the VA for now.

    Yes I know my representative Deborah Price helped me because I have emails from their advocate for veterans and military affairs. Their contact took my records and hand carried them to the rating board. The next week I get my manila envelope from the VA. I realize that the VA had to give me the compensation and I would have gotten it eventually but this speeded up the process.
    Stress is not good for anyone at least for a person fighting cancer, so this quick decision makes my life less stressful.

    Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a better New Year.
    Westerville
  17. al6841

    al6841 New Member

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    Any VSO is no better than the people that work them. Noone can speak for all the DAVs in the Country or the VFWs or any other VSO that help Vets with claims. I have found that all the tools I need are on the internet,to teach, file and to understand my benifits. If someone is not satisfied with his/her VSO as far as claims are concerned, then I suggest, use the online claims process to do it yourself, I've found that it saves me time and less frustration.
  18. westerville

    westerville New Member

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    Why is the consensus of other claimants that one should use a service organization to file ones claims? Are you saying it's better to go the online claim process yourself? I would have done that if it were not for people telling me to use a service organization. If I was to do it over I would file online and then contact my congressional representatives. The main problem I had with the VSO was not being able to contact him since he never responded to my phone calls.
  19. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Because in general it is best to do so. Statistics at the BVA (the only ones available) indicate claimants with a POA prevail in more instances than those who do not.

    People who are new to the process, lack patience and perseverance, lack the ability to perform basic research, understand the statutes and regulations, communicate well with others or organize their claim and keep records are not good candidates to file their own claims. Very few individuals have the necessary knowledge to file their own claims successfully. It takes time to learn the ropes and not knowing them can cost you time and money.

    On the other hand, many folks with the necessary qualities might want to go it alone, especially when a good service officer is not to be found. Finding a good one can be a crap shoot and even when you find a knowledgeable one he or she might not have the time to manage your claim as you might. No problem getting help but the claim is yours and it is always you that must stay on top of it.

    That statement gives me good reason to question whether you have the necessary knowledge of the process to manage your claim effectively. Involving legislators for anything but a last ditch effort to untangle a snarled claim is simply a bad move. Seldom does a legislative inquiry do any thing except but detour a claim.

    One distinct advantage of having a POA is they generally have a counterpart co-located at the VARO. When questions arise, a POA can contact the counterpart who has access to VA computers and your C-file. He can look things up and examine your file. He generally has the access and confidence of the RVSR's and VSR's. The SO's and decision makers work and occasionally lunch together. There's generally mutual respect. They can tell your local SO what's really going on with your claim, something the 800 number folks have neither the time or inclination to do.
  20. Vietvet1

    Vietvet1 Member

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    Howdy,

    I have been reading this string and out of it I gathered that some of us do not understand certain things that are in the power of the Veterans Administration and what is in the power of a VSO and it's Service Officers. I too have had the DAV do an outstanding job, this when other VSOs stopped short.

    First, don't begrudge the VA ( a government entity ) to handle your case in a fast manner. It is, by nature slow and has to be prodded by a power at it's level.

    Second, I tell all who send a claim... unless OBVIOUS... there is always a good chance the reply WILL be negative. You have to be persistant and have your Ducks in a row.

    Third, under no circumstance do you switch representatives in mid stream. I have seen a Veteran file at the VA ( a no-no in my book) then felt it was too slow and went to a VSO and signed a POA to do their case and when that didn't pan out in what they thought was enough time, Called their Congressman/Senator. Now we have a quagmire. They now have people attempting to find all the records and they end up scattered over Hells Half Acre. Then they cry.... it is taking too long or They are all stupid but me. Clear your records first before you decide to go to another entity. It saves headaches and hard feelings.

    Fourth, Do not expect the VSO's representatives to "alter" the evidence. They represent you. For most... it is a matter of presentation and VSO's Service Officers should be trained in this matter.

    And now for the kicker..... VSO's Service Officers are usually formally trained I believe by the VA. The SO's at the regional, who usually do your case, do not get paid very much. Now... say you are a SO... and this is your full time job and you do have family or a lifestyle you are aspiring to. The VA comes along and offers you a job at better pay and bennies. What do you do? The VA trained you so you are already to fill their empty slot... plus for them... higher pay and security..plus for the SO.

    All VSO's have a problem holding onto a lot of the staff. Now there is problems with the quantity and quality. You see changes in personnel and now you are PO'ed at the SO and the VSO they work for.

    It took me almost 17 years to be rated... I blame myself as well as the system... ME MOSTLY. I was not persistant until the last push. Basically it amounted to the premise that if I lose my livelyhood, I will have nothing but time and it is a hop, skip and a jump ( or is that a run, dodge and jump ) from my house to Washington ( actually a nice day trip on good days).

    Be glad ( not sure of your location) that Pittsburgh, PA isn't your regional. The VA there has the dubious distinction of haveing to serve all the overseas claims ( Vets living abroad) as well as having to expidite claims from SW Asian Vets. I have been told the claims folders are on many Folding tables
    (for lack of room) at almost shoulder height. PATIENCE is the word of the day.

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