Having trouble with the VA or just want some help... read this!

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by slapyo, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. slapyo

    slapyo Administrator Staff Member

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    If you are having trouble with the VA or just need a little help with some questions then keep reading. We have found this to be very useful and hopefully you will too.

    You want to make sure that you try all avenues open to you regarding getting help. First of all, you can start off by asking questions here on Veterans Resources. There are many smart individuals here who may be able to point you in the right direction.

    You need to make sure that you use a VSO. Make sure that this VSO is the right one for you, that they will be able to help you and are competent to do the job.

    Here is a list of how you can find the contact information for a VSO in your area.

    Visit the VSO website, http://www.va.gov/vso/
    Contact your local Veterans Organizations such as the VFW and DAV
    As your final and last resort you can call, visit, or write the Congressperson that represents your district.

    Here is a Web Site to help you make contact with your Congressperson.

    http://www.house.gov/writerep/

    Again, make sure that you have tried all your other options first before going to your Congressperson. You want to have exhausted all options first and made sure that you have gone through all the proper steps and filled out the appropriate forms.
  2. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    Slapyo ; This is a good post and I can't understand why this post haven't rec'd more posting than its have. I know there alots of us Vets that are having trouble with not only the VA but others\ problem in every day life that is caused from our Military life. Ifs you have any questions or answers please feel free to post to this post. Thanks GOD for all of you on this board !
  3. harenk

    harenk New Member

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    Need DD214 amendment help!!

    Hello! Some of my awards and recognition were left off my DD214, some of which would help me join different veterans organizations. I don't have letters anymore for some of them, so I am not sure how to provide proof. Is there an agency that keeps records of awards and would issue copies to me? And do I need these to get my DD214 amended? I have read other postings on this site and understand that there is a DD215 that might have ammendments to my record, but I'm not sure it would show any of these. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    harenk:

    Not all veterans are issued a DD-215. The DD-215 is actually an amendment to the DD-214 and is only issued if there was a mistake or an omission on the DD-214. If you believe there is a mistake or an omission on your DD-214 you need to apply to The Board of Corrections for Military Records and ask them to correct it. If they investigate and agree, a DD-215 will be issued to you and you attach it to your DD-214.

    You apply by filling out a DD-149 and mailing it to the address for your service branch listed on the back. Here's a link to a fillable copy of the DD-149:
    http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd0149.pdf

    You'll need Acrobat Reader installed on your PC to be able to use it. You can get Reader here:
    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
  5. Mickey111

    Mickey111 New Member

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    Comp hearing

    I've got a question: A Vet goes to his/her comp hearing, and doesn't receive the benefit/rating they hoped for. How can a U.S. Congressman/Woman help? Thank you.
  6. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Actually, they can't help in this instance. Upon first application a veteran doesn't get a hearing at all. The only time a hearing is involved is if there is a "Notice of Disagreement" and the claim proceeds to either a DRO or BVA hearing.

    Your claim will be decided on the basis of the law, the evidence of the severity of your condition and the evidence supporting service connection. Your legislators have little or no ability to influence the decision. They can be helpful in shaking loose some co-operation between agencies when information is needed and your claim is stuck waiting.

    You only want to get legislators involved as a last resort. Their participation can actually slow down the normal process

    If you provide more information we can provide a more definitive answer.
  7. Mickey111

    Mickey111 New Member

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    The original statement does not involve myself directly, I've heard other Veterans make that same statement, and I was just curious. As for the N.O.D. I've had to file one last year myself, and just recently had my VA hearing. Needless to say the entire episode was very interesting, and for myself I felt it was a positive one. If I can just add one comment to our fellow Veterans who are reading this is: When you 1st. file a claim against the VA for service related injuries please, make sure you seek medical treatment. One needs to "build a paper trail" in my experiance the VA seems to love paper work. Thank you.
  8. USNPO2

    USNPO2 New Member

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    Hello Mickey111,
    I trust this finds you well. I agree with you on the "paper trail". I think one of the reasons some of us may not have one prior to getting out is we sometimes put our job over going to sickcall/sickbay etc... it was frowned upon if it seemed you wanted to regularly get medical treatment, and labels such as sickbay commando etc...are thrown around as though a person would rather wait for medical attention opposed to doing their military duties/job. I too fell in that category until I realized I was only putting myself through misery so I could help with work. I stopped putting my job before my health and at the end of my career (retired) I had a fat medical record that actually had 2 volumes to it. So bottom line.... they had plenty of paperwork to look at.
    You would think if a condition is present the vets word should be enough. I honestly don't think there are many who try to play the system to get something undue to them.
    Take care and best wishes,
    Sincerely, USNPO2
  9. Mickey111

    Mickey111 New Member

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    I myself was a paratrooper for my two active tours, and last year was diagnosed w/a degenerative disk issue. An mri confirmed this, and I've been out of work for about a month in the last year alone due to back injuries. I've filed my NOD last October, had my hearing 3 months ago, and all I have to do now is WAIT until the VA contacts me which I understand can be as long as up to 3 years before a decision is made. It gets really bad when I hear that much older veterans wait as long or longer that's the sad part. Thanks, USNP02

    Mickey111
  10. nurseflo

    nurseflo Member

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    It really irritates me to hear you guys don't get the help[ you deserve,BUT I've said that so many times.I'm surprised that you're not having issues with your knees and hips too.My son was a paratropper in his stint with the regular Army.Only did practce jumps.His knees bother him to this day.He's only 31 years 2 weeks and 1 day old.I can I can imagine what you guys that are my age feel like.I have severe arthritis of the spine, both hips,left knee and left shoulder.I wish I could get some help.Mostly I wish they 'd just stay off my back when I hurt too bad to go to work.Somedays it just hurts to be alive.I'm sorry I started venting.I was on here to support you and made it about me sorry.my son will be out of Iraq In January!!I'm so happy.My biggest concern about him is PTSD.He may leave Iraq in Oct.He'd go to Germany for teaching and training future troopsSay some prayers that those plans take place,please.Good luck getting the help you need.Gloria
  11. eichblatt

    eichblatt New Member

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    a couple things no one seems to notice

    i just read this website:
    http://www.moaa.org/magazine/July2003/answer_digest.asp

    this is a classic example of what the military member and retiree don't know...they were asked: "What income counts toward the Social Security earnings test limit?" however they didn't mention the "special earnings credit" that applied to military personnel from 1940-2001 (http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10017.html). yep, that's right...in 2002, that benefit was stripped from active duty service members...the special credit was worth up to $1200/year ($1950 from 1940-1956)...but as a part of public law 107-117, "Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States Act, 2002", this provision was repealed. yes, repealed in response to a time in which the military was being called upon to FIGHT and even DIE to protect us.

    yet, i haven't met a single person who has ever heard of this provision. why is that? why aren't we concerned about that? what is being done about it? nothing.



    my second point is an injustice that is being perputrated upon us by dfas and the va. for all those retired members who were rated at 50% or greater by the va after january 01, 2004, they are not being paid their CRDP from the date of eligibility to the date of their first va disability payment...in my case, for example, i retired in sept 2004. i was granted 60% disability in apr 2005...and then 70% in sep 2005. i have appealled both dfas and the va, but they will not pay my crdp difference...and i'm sure there are hundreds more in my situation. in
    fact, according to the dod's actuary report for fy2004, there were 227 members who retired in 2004 with 20+years that were 50% or more disabled as of sep 30, 2004. i'm sure that number has risen since then (at least by one...me).
  12. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    eichblatt:

    I can't tell you anything about SSA but I can tell you that CRDP has nothing to do with the VA. CRDP is a DoD program and CFR and USC tell DFAS what the rules are. The bottom line here is that you are not going to get "back pay". That's a VA concept and is not supported in either statute or regulation for CRDP. DoD has authorized DFAS to pay the amounts authorized and they have no authority to pay anything more than that. If you want that to change, you'll have to talk to your legislators about that and ask for new legislation supporting it.
  13. eichblatt

    eichblatt New Member

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    thanks, but there's gotta be more

    i know that CRDP is a DoD thing and not a VA thing. but the point is what I should be entitled to. the CRDP that was paid by the DoD is NOT a portion that was waived....thus, it should be paid by the VA. if i were not a retiree, i would have gotten the full VA backpay. why they don't see the logic in that, i do not understand.
  14. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Sorry, it is waived and DoD is required to refund certain portions back to the retiree. They just don't have to pay anything before the VA notifies DFASand there is no legislation authorizing the VA to do that for them. If you want change, take it to your legislators.
  15. ashbylk

    ashbylk New Member

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    Maybe you can help me. I am trying to get my entitlement back and the VA said that my loan is still not paid off. I let someone assume my loan in 1980 and it is apparently not paid off. I'm not sure if they allowed someone else assume it since then and that is why its not paid off. I asked the VA how much is still owed on it and they said that they had no way of knowing that. I really find that hard to believe. They obviously know that it is not paid off. How else would they know that? I wondered if you knew how I would find out how much is owed and if you knew how many times someone could assume my loan. Thanks, Jim
  16. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    I'd suspect that's possible as the VA doesn't make the loans themselves. They just guarantee the loan will be paid. They have no way of knowing the amount outstanding but the lender will notify them when it is paid off. That's the consequences of selling to a non-qualified buyer and allowing them to assume your loan.
  17. mariellenl

    mariellenl New Member

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    Hi, my husband was diagnosed by the V.A. medical center as having PTSD in 1991, but then when he filed for benefits he was told there was no proof that the condition was combat related. We went through several appeals and it seemed they needed to know a specific tramatic event. I found a letter he had written to his mother that discussed his platoon being ambushed and how it was the first time he ever engaged the enemy face to face. It went on to discuss how he felt and the impact it had on him. I sent a copy of this letter along with a copy of the original envelope to the VA. The again denied his claim stating that the event could not have traumatized him because he tells his mother about going to the beach a few days later and that if the event were that traumatic he would not have been able to go to the beach. We had a traveling board hearing in March of 2005, I brought the original letter and envelope to show to the hearing officer. I also brought a comprehensive list of behaviors I have seen in the last 20 years that indicate to me that his PTSD is combat related. We have not heard a word about his claim, do any of you think he has a change of having it approved in Washington or should I start working on helping him forget about the whole thing?
    Thanks!
  18. 1s1j5z4

    1s1j5z4 New Member

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    I have requested a Pre-Discisional Review hearing with our local VA Regional office relative to our asking for a NOD hearing. Exactly what happens? Is this a face to face hearing with someone who is supposed to be a advocate for Veterans or is this another adversary procedure.
    1s1j5z4
  19. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    1s1j5z4:

    The VA does not employ veterans advocates but the VA claim process isn't adversarial either. The hearing is just an opportunity for you to present material in a face-to-face environment with a VA decision maker. You can ask questions here but you will not get a decision. Your VSO or his counterpart who maintains an office courtesy of the DVA at the RO may be present. You might also bring someone. The VA will do everything it can to award your claim within the law but they will not manufacture evidence or regulations to to do so. It is up to you to present the necessary evidence. They are also required to assist you in this endeavor but they won't do that till hell freezes over. If told, evidence doesn't exist, they will stop. In the end, it becomes the veterans responsibility to present evidence to support his claim.
  20. 1s1j5z4

    1s1j5z4 New Member

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    I am a married veteran living with spouse but the VA pays my compensation as a single vet. I have submitted marriage certificate to VA and there is no fraud or filings against me. How do I get them to pay me as married or resolve this issue.
    1s1j5z4

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