Travel Appeal Board but Case NOT Trans. to BVA

Discussion in 'Appeals' started by zeelarry, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. zeelarry

    zeelarry New Member

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    A few months ago, I appeared in front of the VA Judge [Travelling Appeal Board] at the local VRO. Today, I sent an eMail to the BVA Ombudsman inquiring about the status of my appeal case, and here is their reply "I see were you had a Travel Board Hearing in August. Your case is still with that Regional Office. Case has not been transferred to the board."

    Can any one help me as to what this really means? I don't understand how I could have presented my claim before the BVA Judge, even though my case hasn't been transferred to the BVA yet! Before I go and spend a full day travelling and waiting to see my DAV VSO, is there anything I should be worried about, or can I do anything from home?

    Additional information- Back in April 2008, I had my VA C&P exam. The C&P REPORT confirmed my doctor's NEXUS that my heart problems were 'MORE LIKELY THAN NOT' related to . . . etc. The C&P REPORT assigned me with a METS 2 [100%]. However, the Regional Office decided to schedule me an appointment to appear before the Travelling Appeals Board, [Form 9 filed October 2006] instead of deciding the claim themselves, even though they had the C&P Exam REPORT with the 'METS 2', months before scheduling me for the Travel Appeal Board. To me, it just doesn't add up. And yes, the Judge had my whole file in front of him!!
  2. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Larry:

    This doesn't make much sense to me. Let me ask a friend that might know.
  3. zeelarry

    zeelarry New Member

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    Appreciate it.

    Additional information- after receiving the info from the BVA, I sent an eMail to the RO [BVA suggested I contact the RO]. Received a reply from the RO this morning [I'm still dazed that I received a reply within a day]. Anyway, this is what they had to say:

    Your file is still at our VA Regional Office in Little Rock. It is being prepared to be forwarded to the BVA but it has not been sent yet. Sometimes this process of forwarding claims to BVA takes some time. Your file will soon be forwarded to the BVA so your appeal can be worked by them.

    Thank you for contacting us. If you have questions or need additional help with the information in our reply, please respond to this message or see our other contact information below.

    Sincerely yours,
    Veterans Service Center Manager


    Does this make any sense? By chance, is this an intentional delay on their part in the hopes that I'll die before the claim is decided? My medical records show that my Heart Failure is worsening and looking through the BVA appeal decisions for my RO [North Little Rock, AR], there's a track record of veterans' deaths before rendering a decision. I only looked at the 2008 decisions! In fact, one that jumped out was where the BVA decided in favor of the Vet, but had to withdraw their decision because the Vet had died. With this is mind, should I contact my Senator in the hopes of getting someone at the RO to gett off their backside & do what should have ben done, or will a Congressional Inquiry only hold things up?

    Any and all fedback is welcomed. Again, THANKS
  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Sure, I can just see the decision makers sitting around taking bets on which vet will kick off first. Do you have any idea just how stupid that sounds? What possible motivation could any decision maker have for doing that???? These guys want the claims off their desk.

    Of course there is, people of all kinds are dying every day. It's called old age. Veterans are an aging population with serious medical problems due to their disabling conditions.

    Only if you want to have your file pulled from the queue for several more weeks while the assistant service center manager tells your Congressman's aid that there is no problem and there is nothing wrong; but, hey, it's your claim. Do whatever makes you feel good. The VA is not intimidated by Congressional inquiries and very few have the effect the veteran intends.

    One friend had this to say;
    It isn't uncommon after a BVA Travel Board hearing for the BVA member to direct the Regional Office to do some additional development on the claim. BVA dispenses with the Remand Decision and simply leaves instructions, often handwritten, for the RO. In many of these situations the veteran will sign a statement with the BVA waiving RO consideration of the new evidence that is developed, meaning that as soon as it is accomplished the file is sent directly on to BVA.

    ...and if you don't sign that waiver, the VA will have to consider any newly developed evidence before forwarding it.
  5. zeelarry

    zeelarry New Member

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    Thanks for the input about my claim being pulled & delayed if I generated a Congressional Inquiry.

    It seems as though I have the same thoughts of many other Veterans awaiting a claim decision & delays. Here is a website you might find interesting pertaining to my thoughts- VA Watchdog dot Org - VA NEWS FLASH - 10-13-2008 -- SHREDDING OUR TRUST IN THE VA -- VA investigators find entire claims and other critical documents in shredding bins at Detroit Regional Office. VA official will only say, "I can't talk about that."
  6. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    VA Watchdog and Larry Scott are merchants of sensationalism. They make a living from the misery of veterans. Neither has ever lifted a hand to help a vet. Larry gets off on telling everyone when the VA screws up but never says a word about when they get it right. Not trying to say the VA is a poster child for Mr. Perfect but they aren't the evil wicked witch of the west, either. All of us would be in deep kim chee with out the VA. Personally, I have been filing my claims for 30 years and have always been treated with professionalism and courtesy. Not all my claims have been approved but that says more about my lack of performance than the VA. Of course the VA isn't talking to Larry about the shredding problem, there's an official investigation going on. FWIW, the problem was discovered during a routine audit by VA IG's office and disclosed by them as well. Larry Scott and the fear mongers were asleep at the switch again. There's a VA press release here: http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1602
  7. zeelarry

    zeelarry New Member

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    Well, here it is Feb 2009 and my file/folder still has not been sent to the BVA in Washington D.C. [I appeared before the Travel Board back in August 2008] I did receive a letter from the RO that they certified my appeal folder, dated back in November 2008. I was able to get through via telephone to the local RO, back in January 2009, and was told that they just located my file/folder [?] and would send it out to D.C. Yesterday, I found out that my file/folder is still at the Regional Office [per the BVA OMBUDSMAN] and when I called them, I was told that I had to call the 1-800 number!!! When I called, I waS INFORMED THAT THE SYSTEM SHOWS THAT THE FILE WAS SENT TO THE BVA BACK IN NOVEMBER, 2008. Tried to contact my DAV rep, but he has moved to another location and the one handling my case [DAV] is out of town until next week. My inquiries into the VA IRIS have gone unanswered. So, do I need to get my Senator & Congresman involved.
  8. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Actually, tou should have a VSO that can run interference for you but a legislator is your only option now.
  9. zeelarry

    zeelarry New Member

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    I VSO had taken a promotion in a new state. The VSO that has been assigned to me hasn't been available or was out of the office when I called. Unfortunatelly, my health prohibits me from driving to the VSO's office. Anyway, I did contact my Reps- Senator Blanche Lincoln [who had just sponsored a $50 million bill for VA] and Congressman Snyder [who is on the VA Committee]. I guess time will see if anything will come of it. I'll keep the FORUM advised, so others can see what is happening.

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