Saturday, March 12, 2011

VA Disability Ratings Taking Too Long

I know that a lot of people have had issues with how long it takes to get the decision for their disability rating.  I have been waiting since May 2010 for my paperwork to go through and for the medical evaluations to go through.  I have been out of work, and paying the bills is really tough.  This is an issue that all veterans are affected by, and it is something that needs to change.  We need to come together and figure out a way to make some changes in the way the VA works.




This problem starts with our government.  The current administration has talked a lot about creating jobs, and there have been projects that the government has sponsored to get Americans back to work.  I know that they have worked a lot on fixing roads that needed re-paving.  While all of this is going on, there is a hiring freeze within the Department of Veterans Affairs.  There are simply not enough people working on all of the disability cases that are currently pending, and wait times are getting longer and longer.

I live in New Hampshire, and all of my paperwork goes through the Manchester, NH regional office.  Right now, there are not enough raters to keep up with the claims and they are working on promoting people to fill in the vacancies.  The people that they promoted have to go through some extensive training in order to be able to make a rating, and that is putting a serious delay on all cases going through Manchester.

Our government needs to "create jobs" by stopping the hiring freeze within the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The director of the VA has said he wants all disability claims to go through within 120 days, but they are taking three to four times as long.  When things are taking longer in a certain district, like they are in Manchester, other districts should take some of the extra workload.  The Department of Veterans Affairs is not working efficiently enough, and it is up to us to demand changes in the way things are done.

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As a side note, I have started my own business doing social media marketing for small to medium size businesses, so please visit dadeconsultation.blogspot.com and my Facebook page.



204 comments:

  1. It definitely does take a while, and it all depends on the situation as well on how long it takes for a disability rating to go through, for example special program evaluations for physical injuries are set at seperate times than those of mental issues, and those may be scheduled months down the road. Every since I got out of the Marines a little over 3 years ago, it has been a struggling issue on getting all the paperwork to go through to get a disability rating. I also know that one thing that makes it difficult is the fact that we no longer are able to contact our own regional offices directly where which our disability ratings are being processed at, all phone calls are routed through a call center where we speak with representatives who are only able to inform us on what the status is on our disability rating process and nothing more than that. I have completed my disability rating package, I do havea little bit of background on how the processing works and how long you should be expecting to have to wait, but like i said earlier, everyone's is different. Please feel free to ask me any questions if you feel as if I might have the answer.

    Semper Fidelis,

    Mathew Hawes

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  2. I've been out of military for 8 months now, I got phone call from regional office in January stating my claim was with rating board, that was 4 months ago. Should I be hearing something from them soon?

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    1. Minimum 2 year wait

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  3. I would call 1-800-827-1000 to ask what your status is of the claim. Just so you know I filed my claim a year ago yesterday and it still hasn't been fully rated, so you might have to wait a while. Sometimes the people at that phone number aren't too helpful, so it would be smart of you to visit your regional office to see what's happening. Sometimes the find out that files are sitting or lost for too long after you ask them, and they should try to get it going again. Remember, the squeakiest wheel gets the grease.

    I'll also give you one word of advise that I got from another veteran: you aren't in the military anymore. The VA will try to get you into the "yes sir" mentality and get you to sit quietly, but you don't have to put up with it. If you are unhappy make sure you say so and fight for what you deserve. Try to get the whole military mentality out of your mind when dealing with the VA or you will be pushed around.

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    1. Mr. Dade

      I am an Active Duty service member going thru a medical review board. I have been inn this process for about a year now. I was diagnosed wit a cartilage disorder in my hip and later came my degenerative disc disease in my lumbar spine. I have been toyed by not only my drs as a "test rat" but also with the VA during this process. I submitted my paperwork last July and in sept, I had my scheduled appts with the VA examiners. In December it reached DoD and in Feb it reached the va. Everyone around me was getting their results except for me when I finally called my case worker that never kept intouch with me. Comes to find out, the VA missed 2 of my examinations. At the beginning of may I completed those examinations and on may 28th they finished my ratings. I called my VA rep and he informed me last week I would have them no later than the 16th of June. I called today and they changed it to the 28th of June. My drs no longer help me in any means with my disability unless they send me home. They all give up. I am curious if you have any thoughts as to getting my results sooner as I am having problems even staying at work behind a desk for 4 hrs.. Could you please help?

      Thank you
      V/r
      Maria

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  4. Thank you for the advice, you are so right when you say I have to get out of that military mentality. I will be getting in touch with my regional office and asking the status of my claim. How long can they take with a claim because I'm hearing alot of different things, is it a year or not? During TAP class that's what we were told by the DAV Reps.

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  5. It can take as long as it takes for them to rate it. Right now a year seems to be the norm, but I have heard of claims that have been in since Vietnam.

    I'll give you an example of my case. I have had 4 hip surgeries, the last one was this past October. It causes problems in both of my knees and my back as well. I also have PTSD from an abuse case in my Army company. About 10 months after my original filing for in increase in my rating for my hip, a rating for my right knee and my back, and a rating for my PTSD they approved a rating on my back and denied my claim on my knee. They deferred my rating on my hip and PTSD. For my hip they are waiting for medical records from my surgery (which they should have already had), and they are waiting for my Army company to confirm the story about the abuse (which they never will). I have been asking for a timeframe in which they are willing to wait and have not gotten an answer in months. As far as I know I could have to wait months or years.

    Hopefully your case is more simple and you will have a rating soon. Another thing you can do if you are in financial difficulty as I am because I haven't been able to work, you can file for a sped up process due to your financial difficulty. It hasn't really helped me, but maybe your region will take it more seriously.

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  6. Hey, send me an email at redsoxfandade@yahoo.com or find me on Facebook (Steve D Dade) and keep in touch. I want to know how things are going, and let me know if you have any other questions.

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  7. My husband has been out of the military since February, 2008. He was medically discharged due to an injury sustained during his deployed to Iraq. During his out processing a claim was filled with the V.A. Of course the shuffling of paperwork took its time which was expected. What happened from that point on was not.

    He has been waiting for a rating for 27 months. The V.A. has confirmed that all paperwork from all the doctors has been on file for approx. 24 months. Each and every time we call we get the same answer. "Your claim is at the rating stage". Recently we contacted the Texas Veterans Commission. They too have been getting the same answer. Now whats really ironic is the T.V.C. is supposed to be an advocate for the veteran. Until last week, we felt abandoned by them as well. My veteran puts a call into the T.V.C. at the beginning of April, and we finally heard the words we had been waiting for so long to hear. "Your claim has been closed and has been awarded a rating and we will be more than pleased with the V.A.'s decision. Right now it is with the review board who is making sure that all the dollar amounts are correct." That sounded reasonable to us. That process will be completed between 30 to 45 days. Soooo, here we are in the middle of May and we are starting to worry. A lot. He puts yet another call into the Texas Veterans Commission, only to find out they had not yet made a decision on his back claim. He was crushed. More than crushed. I don't know what to say to him to help him recover from this blow. As all of you did, he served his country and now they have put his mind in greater jeopardy than the PTSD he was diagnosed with. By the way that claim was settled in 8 months.

    We had decided to be proactive. We will be writing our Senators and Congressmen. Every week if we have too. I guess I am suggesting to everyone, if it is possible, you may want to try the same thing.

    All veterans are important, but he is my most important veteran and I just cant bear to see him or any of you suffer by the hands of those that are supposed to be helping us.

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    1. my claim went in nov 10, on may 31st, i called to see my status, they said, " i was in phase 2 of 4 phases, and it would be awhile. i told them that a man was following my transition from military to va and was writting about the length of time it takes.

      the very next morning, my checking account had back pay from nov 2010, and all was rated and paid.

      so, to go from phase 2-4 overnight, with me letting them know that i was going to go ahead and speak to this reporter, only showed my threat was what got my va, otherwise, i would still be waiting.

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    2. they have had all my paper work and med appointments turned in waiting on a review since mar 4 last year and i havent heard nothing back. i was medically retired with 70% they have all that info to still nothing

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  8. It is rather stressful to have to wait for as long as one year only to hear that your clam is in the "Decision Stage." I've heard the same thing from the VA for the past 3 months. It is quite understandable that the shortage of personnel in the VA is creating a tremendous backlog ... "who cares?" The Secretary of the VA was appointed and received positive reviews for his pledge to make our claims go throught faster. In my opinion, his efforts are encountering the same resistance and defiance as that seen by our President. Too many contrary people in places to deliberately "clog up the process" -- while deserving veterans suffer the stress of anxiety. Who is monitoring the operation of the VA? I agree with others when it is suggested that we contact our Senators and Congressmen. Hopefully, their intervention will help us. It is only fair for the veteran of the United States of America to receive the entitlements that they've earned.

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  9. My claim has been in the "Decision Phase" for over a year (Oakland, CA). In the meantime, I have developed another brain tumor that had to be removed and lung lesions from the melanoma that is in my original claim. I am reaching the point where I don't have the energy to advocate for myself, and I don't have family resources to help me. I am grateful for the medical treatment the VA system has provided, but, unable to work, I am now at the proverbial financial black hole vortex.

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  10. 2 years and still waiting huh? Then we really are nothing more than irrelevant numbers... makes you feel good huh. Giving the best years of your life and then some only to get f'ing crippled and having a bunch of bulls**t to look forward too. The best for me was getting a 160 lb dog kennel at home depot and asking for a little help to get it in the cart and the 20 something fat kid who shows up looks at you in disgust when you explain to him that your shoulder is shot to hell so you only have 1 arm. 8 months and still waiting for me. I'm 36 years old, lost the house and we live in my wife's parents kitchen. I might as well take an insurance policy out on myself and drive off a f'ing cliff.

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    1. Easy brother. Things get better with time. Trust God. Don't worry about what other may think of you, us veterans know that you are a special kind.
      Semper FI
      Sgt leon

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  11. "I might as well take an insurance policy out on myself and drive off a f'ing cliff."
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    That's exactly how I feel. I ran out of savings last months (Lasted me seven months). Still unemployed, Messed up my unemployment due to jacked up decision to leave a job (Couldnt miss training but had two VA appointments in one week),Don't know how I'm going to pay for the rent this Friday. The wife works and at $9/hr still dont have enough to cover the rent. Ive been in the first phase for almost eight months now and still nothing. Anyway, long story short. I already took the life insurance route. I do wish you luck !!!!

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    1. Put your faith in the Lord. He won't let you down.

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  12. I too have been waiting for a while now and it's been 8 months for me. Some of you have been much longer so I have no room to complain here. Did everyone sign up for ebenefits? At least I can log in and see my status instead of waiting for someone to get to me on the phone. Good luck everone.

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  13. Hey, I will not delete posts because everybody is entitled to their opinion and they should be able to speak their minds, but please do not post about "take an insurance policy out on myself and drive off a f'ing cliff". I completely understand the frustration, trust me I've been feeling it myself. Nothing is going to be frustrating enough to make me want to kill myself and I seriously hope that you guys are just joking. If you are just looking to let off some frustration I would appreciate it if you would do that in another way and not on my blog.

    I am always willing to talk with anybody about their frustrations, so please email me if you have questions or if you just need to talk to somebody that understands. Nothing is worth getting so upset that you are willing to hurt yourself or the people you love.

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  14. I went to the VA last friday to sign up for the ebenefits website. It is suppossed to be an instant access but I was told today they are running about 2 weeks behind. I filed 8 months ago for a higher disability rating due to complications. After all we've done! What a shame.

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  15. It seems ridiculous that you we cannot sign up for e-benefits online for ourselves by using our branch and last 4 of our social security as confirmation (like they use when we call the 800 number). Maybe an aditional step or two to make it more secure, but it should not take two weeks to set somebody up. Lets add this to the list of things the VA can do much better!

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  16. I to am another Veteran that has been waiting for over a year now for my claim. I have tried to sign up for the e-benefits website, yeah no luck with that. I called into the 800 number and the lady asked me was I apart of DEERS, weren't we all, i asked. She said no, go to your Regional office and get signed up for DEERS and once that goes through, then you can apply for the e-beneifts. I asked how long will all this take and she said up to a month for the whole process....REALLY, REALLY!!!

    It is truly unfortunate how this whole process works...but I really just try to stay positive about it and look forward to the future when I finally get it. Now if they deny me, then that is another story.

    Good Luck to Everyone and God Bless!!!

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  17. I would like to start by saying thanks for this blog I have been trying to find out how to sign up for the e-benefits website. And you all have answered my question we started our claim 3 years ago after a year and a half we got a screwed up decision it was all over the place they approved my husband for things we didnt even file for. I have been since the beginning an authorized person to speak on his case. All of a sudden they cant find my authorization form and my husband who is haveing to work while being disabled is never home to call them ! So i cant find out the status of his case and they say it will take up to 4 weeks after i faxed in the form for the 3rd time! well needless to say we ended up with an attourney because it was so messed up and my husbands ability to handle the stress became to much we started with the attourney 7 months ago and we were told by the attourney that they had made the desicion and now three people have to sign one has waiting on the other two that was 4 weeks ago still waiting!!! but seriously this is a great blog :D And to those who dont see the light my mother always told me that when it rains it pours but if you ride out the storm theres always a silver lining in the clouds you just have to look for it ! So hang in there and know your not the only ones who are dealing with this we a about to loose our home and honeslty have no where to go but i am an optimist and i believe that it will all work its self out :D ! And THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE!

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  18. It seems that a lot of people have been waiting a year or longer. I recently EAS'd from the Marine Corps, and was told about a few newer programs they had. I filed under the BDD ( not sure of the acronym). Basically, I filed my claim while I was still on active duty, and was guaranteed to have a rating within 90 days of my last medical appointment. It's only been about 30 days, so we'll see.
    As a sidenote, don't you get back paid for the time it takes them to give your rating? Like, if your last medical appointment was Aug 1, 2011 and they gave you a rating Aug 1, 2012...you should get back pay for a year. I'm pretty sure that's the case. The DVA rep at taps told us that it took 2 years to get his claim, and he got a lump sum of like 12,000 dollars.

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    1. The BDD program isn't all it's cracked up to be. I filed before I left active duty as well. That was last Oct. It's been almost 10 months. So I wouldn't put too much stock in these "newer programs". Good luck!

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  19. Well to all my claim was filed in Dec. 2009 I had to have my knee cap removed they couldnt do a replacement because mu femoral nerve had been cut also i have had several knee surgeries on both right and left knee. My claim went to the rater and back out again. As of May of this year it is back with rating board. I havent been able to work since 2002 because all my service connected conditions especially my spine issues. Im also have to use a wheelchair to get around. I must thank the Va for giving me a scooter and building me a wheelchair ramp. But you know Im not even a 100% according to the VA standards but i draw social security because of my service connected conditions. I even have lost of bone and nerve damage all of which are documented service connected conditions All I can say is keep on fighting we all will get it one day and yes my claim is at the VA regional office in winston salem North Carolina

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  20. I had no issues signing up for the ebenefits web site but I did complete that about three months ago. We sign people up all the time and it's instant. I've never heard of a waiting period for ebenefits but I have had people have problems and have to come into the office. Once in the office the VA rep needs two forms of ID and can create the account while you wait. To me it's a must! I'm working in the VA office and have learned so much about the process and other benefits. I filed a quick start claim in Oct 10, retired Jan 01, 2011 and I'm still waiting. One year is common now and that goes for BDD and quick start. The VA is simply overwhelmed now and it's not going to get better anytime soon. They are under staffed and over worked in our office and I'm sure it't the same everywhere. There are two claim reps at Ft. Benning and that site takes claims for many other posts, not just Benning. As for the back pay, it's not as simple as it should be. A lot depends on your rating and retirement amount. Understand concurrent payment first before you try to figure out anything else. I have been shown how it works three times and I still have no clue! Thanks for this blog and for everyone trying to share information to help each other out.

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  21. My husband has been waiting for over a year as well. We have the compensation but not the right amount of $. They are paying him single, and he is married with a child. So they owe us quite a bit of back pay. Every week we call we get the same ole answer, on someone's desk, it rating stauts, what's to rate??? we just need the $ straightened out. Talk about travel pay we just got a check from November of 2010 and this is August 2011....crazy wait times! it really is ridiculous!!

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  22. To the Marine that did the quick start or BDD. They sold you some BS. I filed under the same program. Here I am exactly eight months later with my status on E-Benefits saying that its on the Developement Phase. Warn you marine friends that are about to get out b/c a couple of my friends that are on their way out are still being sold the same BS. Now all I hear from the VA is that there is a backlog. At four months I was told that it was taking six months. I called at six months and was told that now its eight months. Now since today marks exactly eight months. I can bet anybody here the backpay that they owe me that tomorrow I will be told that now the claims are taking nine to ten months. At least I have some family that are helping us out with the rent and I have been slowly selling my stuff but even that is going to come to an end pretty soon. I had almost $50,000 saved when I got out the military. By the end of June that money was gone. In the next couple of months I see ourselfs losing our car, most of our furniture and the last thing will be when we cant pay the rent. I dont rent from an owner. I rent from one of these broker companies. They dont care about anybody's personal problem. they'll kick you out in a heartbeat. So my guess is that VA waits and by the looks of it, personnel at Winston salem wait for Vets to become homeless bums before processing their stuff. Hell of a shame!!!

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  23. To be truthful with everyone I didn't read all the posts after my own. So if I am repeating anything that someone else has said, please forgive me. I wanted to update our own situation. We are now going into our 31st month of being in the "back and forth stage". We sent out letter to our Senators, Representatives, and Congressmen. I will go ahead and inform you guys that any letters sent to State Reps and Senators will tell you that issues with the VA is out of their jurisdiction. However, they happily forwarded our letters to our Congressman who does have jurisdiction over this stuff. Funny thing is we had already sent them a letter. But since we sent of 8 letters to anyone who we thought would listen, we were granted a meeting with our Congressman. He sat with us and listened to our entire plight. I urge EVERYONE to do the same! The squeakier the wheel the more attention it gets. I want all of us to consider being the LOUDEST wheel possible. I am including my email address for anyone who might need or want our help in composing a letter of your own. I honestly think that if we all start screaming together we can't be ignored forever. Here is a web page to help anyone find their congressman... http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ Everyone please keep your chin up and don't give up!! My email address is heather.thomas5801@gmail .com

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    1. My husband also contact a congressman after 18 months in the gathering of evidence stage and a million VA appointments. Things moved much faster after the congressman's people got involved. My husband claim has been closed for about a week and so we are just waiting for the word on his rating. He quit his job yesterday because he just couldn't function in it anymore. He incurred a TBI while in Iraq (National Guard) and just couldn't concentrate and remember anything to continue to be successful at his IRS job. Hopefully, he will get the good news that he needs and can find a job that requires less concentration that won't make him anxious soon.

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  24. I retired on 1 May 2011, started the so called "BDD" process in Feb 2011, and now I am on day 93 and I am being told that my file is still in the Developmental Stage and has been sent to the Salt Lake City UT Regional Office due the the workload at the offices here in Texas being extremely high. Bottom line, after reading how long everyone else has been waiting, I will shut up and wait...

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  25. Anonymous we all hope that you don't suffer the same fate that we have. Make sure that you do everything you can to enroll in the "ebenfits" online. That way you have the ability to check the status of your claim everyday. That will also inform you if they need additional information about your claim. Being able to see that information daily can give you the heads up. Instead of waiting for things to reach you by mail. Also, get in touch with your nearest Disabled American Veterans (DAV) office and get them a power of atty so they can investigate things for you on a face to face level with the VA. They are also helpful if you need to get something to the VA quickly, you can fax it to them and they can walk it over to the VA claims office in most cases. Good luck to you!

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  26. First for ebenefits... the two weeks wait is correct IF you go to an office to have it validated. If you do it yourself then it's instant access.
    Second.. BDD.. supposed to be benefits delivered at discharge. Well I know that at one office they don't even pull files until the month that you are being discharged. Since it doesn't leave the claims office until your last month there is no way you will get BDD. The delay is simply due to the high number of claims and there isn't much that can be done except to hire more VA reps.

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  27. "Justrun Said:
    First for ebenefits... the two weeks wait is correct IF you go to an office to have it validated. If you do it yourself then it's instant access.
    Second.. BDD.. supposed to be benefits delivered at discharge. Well I know that at one office they don't even pull files until the month that you are being discharged. Since it doesn't leave the claims office until your last month there is no way you will get BDD. The delay is simply due to the high number of claims and there isn't much that can be done except to hire more VA reps."

    Hell, I will work for free at first if they would hire me. Do you know how much it sucks when you have a job interview and one of the first things that they ask is "why is your leg shaking?" No body wants to hire people with PTSD. They don't hire you. They just say that you are not qualified or something. Even though I have almost 15 years experience in the field that I am applying for with good evaulations to prove it.

    It really hurts and makes you feel so worthless. Then with VA always saying that you have to wait. Hell, my daughter was born a month after I left for my last deployment. I didnt tell the Army to wait on me because my wife was about to give birth. I had to soldier up and go. Leaving my family basically stranded. Good thing my wife had good friends in Germany. If not, she would have gone through an even harder time as my son was seven years old when my daughter was born. In Germany they dont let you leave the hospital as soon as you give birth. My wife had to stay for ten days before she could go home. Then why is it that I have to wait almost a year and seems like I will most likely go beyond a year to get something that I really think that I deserve. In the military I always treated people how I would have liked to be treated. Why wont the VA at least try to do the same?

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  28. It is tough waiting and yes I am also still looking for employment after recently retiring. I go to school full time partly because the Post 911 GIB provides some income plus I need to be more marketable. I am working at the VA office as a work-study to bring in some more income PLUS learn about the VA and possibly get "a foot in the door". I am still waiting after almost 10 months now for an expected rating around 60-70%. I was Infantry with many deployments so I know what you are saying about PTSD. It's tough but we'll do as we have always done and get through it. Please call, write and call everyone possible to HELP get a fix to this VA problem. This is a decent place to vent and share information but the fix isn't here.. it's in Washington.

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  29. I agree with Justrun. The problem IS in Washington. We met with our congressman on Tuesday of last week. Today my husband received an email from the VA telling him that they were contacted by him. They sent a heartfelt apology for the "extreme delay". Now if they really mean that we don't know. However, they have promised to "expedite" his claim. They are expecting a resolution within 90 days. Now they have told us a mountain of things that weren't true...so this may be another lie. But it feels damn good to know we have someone on our side. After a 31 month wait 90 days will be a breeze. Please, Please write to anyone who will listen about our problems with the VA. Someone will have to do something eventually. Maybe not in time to help us...but hopefully in time to help those who will be needing a claim resolved after us. I hope I haven't repeated myself so much that I have made nuisance of myself.

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  30. My claim has been "expedited" for the past year now, and it seems that every other week there is something else that comes up that they need from me. I told the VA that I needed a compensation and pension exam for PTSD back in October, and I just had my exam set up a week ago. I'm not trying to get your hopes up, but when they say that it is being expedited I would not believe it.

    I have found a few people that actually do care in the VA system in New Hampshire, but they all end up not being able to handle my claim. It seems that the bureaucracy makes it so that the caring people don't end up handling claims personally and the people that are handling your claims can never be reached and constantly overlook things that are very obvious (like when I told them I needed the C&P exam). The whole system is screwed up and I am looking forward to being done with the whole process.

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  31. We are still waiting! its been a year, and all they do is tell you the same stuff.I was told to get hold of your Congressman.It's terrible! Why cant they hire more people!!!Something has to be done...befor we dont get our share.

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  32. I'm at 385 days out of the Oakland office. I'm homeless and live in my car. I've been at the rating board since March. Nobody knows crap when you go there or call the useless 800 number. It wouldn't suck as bad if it was just a matter of waiting around, but it's waiting around thinking about the most horrific crap you've been through. I'm really tired of thinking about it. I wish they could just tell me when they'll be done. How is it possible that not one person has a clue how long it will take within a week or two. "Could be tomorrow, could be a year from now." And they always act shocked when they see on the computer screen that I'm homeless. I didn't start this wait homeless. I sent them my eviction notice. I told them I was homeless a few months later and... Nothing. I wish I had enough balls to just shoot myself. I advise anybody who doesn't know better, do NOT fight for this country. Nobody cares that your life is ruined from being a conned 18 year old dipshit that was foolish enough to believe it would be fun and people would respect you for what you did for the country. It's not and people don't.

    11b 504pir 82nd Airborne

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    1. I agree man. I have 2 sons, and a host of nephews. None of them will serve unless there is a draft. I've been through enough chit for the whole family. I,m preparing to have a denied claim, from 2005, reopened, cause I finally got my military medical records that document the accident, the injury, and hospitalization I had as a result. I've been hurting ever since, just did'nt have the military medical records to show service connection. Good luck.

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  33. I am so sorry to hear your story about you being evicted and living out of your car. Thank god it hasn't come to that for me. My advise to you would be to go into the regional office every single day to check on your status and try to talk to somebody different if possible. The squeakiest wheel gets the grease.

    I have been tempted to sit outside of my local recruiting station to warn people going in what could happen to them. I have been through a lot and I don't want to see that happen to anybody else.

    If you need somebody to talk to please don't hesitate to email me at redsoxfandade@yahoo.com and we can exchange phone numbers or whatever is the easiest way to get in touch. Again, I am so sorry to hear your story and I really hope that your case is resolved soon.

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  34. We've been fighting as well. Our claim was only "expedited" when we were interviewed by a local news company. My husband was denied his disability benefits for having PTSD diagnosed by the VA's mental health physicians. He never received a C&P exam for it which tells me they were trying to shut us up (the denial was determined exactly one week after the story aired). We are trying to make a go of our own photography business now, but we are on the verge of losing our home. We've got three kids ages 5, 3, and 16 months. My husband and I have also thought about going down to the recruiter's office and warning everyone NOT to go, not to sign up, and not to believe a damn word they tell you.

    My suggestion is to get in touch with your local news outlets and tell them your story. The general public needs to be aware and that will be the easiest and fastest way to get the information to Washington and the way to make the voting public know what our officials are NOT doing. The change has to come from Washington, but it definitely has to be brought to light for the general public to know since we vote the officials in.

    I'm so very sorry that this has happened to you. It's not fair for any of our soldiers to have to fight for our country and fight for the benefits they were promised by our country for your service. I don't know where to find the information right off hand, but the First Lady has started a "movement" or cause to keep our veterans off the streets. I know Connecticut has it, but I don't know where else. I would DEFINITELY check into that.

    My email address is april@myzticphotos.com and please feel free to email if you need to talk or if I can help point you in the right direction. I would know where to suggest you go if you were in South Carolina. Also, have you checked with the DAV or American Legion? They may have ways of helping.

    I am sorry to hear of what has happened to you and will continue to check in on you. I hope you have a resolution soon.

    ~April Stoddard

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  35. First of all the VA IS NOT A PART OF THE MILITARY. If you are saying you shouldn't serve in the military because the VA isn't processing you claim in a timely manner then that may explain a little about your homeless situation. Sorry to be so point blank but that don't make one bit of sense. I have no rating after 8 months, I have not been employed after retiring in January but I am not broke. We prepared ourselves for this and saved a little money. We paid off every bill except for our mortgage which is super low because we bought a home off foreclosure. We didn't take any nice vacations or spend any money unless we had to. I know there are special situations that are out of some peoples control but not all. VA compensation was never part of my retirement plan and IF I get a single dime it's more that I ever expected. There are several programs out there to help you, not just the VA compensation. VocRehab is one of them if you have not tried them yet. But the most important thing to remember.. THE VA IS NOT THE MILITARY! Sitting in front of a recruiters office because you are pissed at the military makes about much sense as protesting K-Mart because Wal-Mart ripped you off. GO SIT IN FRONT OF YOUR VA OFFICE!

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    1. You're right, VA is not part of the military. But the VA exists solely for the purpose of ensuring that veterans get the benefits that they are entitled to, as per federal legislation. If they don't hold up their end of the bargain, after you held up yours, perhaps it's a good idea to let unsuspecting recruits know that they might want to rethink this decision. The VA is for us and us only. We deserve to be treated better. I can handle the public saying "Thank you for service", but not really meaning it. I can't handle the VA saying "We exist only for the assistance of veterans", but not really meaning it.

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    2. You can't always plan for that sort of thing. I started applying for jobs a year before my ETS date. Six months before I ETS'd, I was approved for a contracting position going back overseas. I felt so secure and confident as time went by, I went on a cruise. Then, literally 72 hours before the job started, while I was on vacation in Florida, after selling or donating almost all of my posessions so I wouldn't have to store them, the company emailed me saying the contract had been downsized and they no longer had any room for me. I ended up in over $10,000 in debt because of it, living in a hotel and driving a rental car until I could get my bearings.

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  36. Ethan,

    When somebody gets out of the military on a disability when they fought tooth and nail to recover from and then is abused and forced to reverse two surgeries, they cannot plan for it as you did with your retirement. I did not have the time to plan for anything and was thrown out on my ass and left to the care of the VA. The VA is linked very closely with the military and to somebody in my situation they are almost the same. The Military left me basically crippled and left me in mental anguish and the VA is doing as little as they can to barely help me.

    I have a recommendation: before you make some smart ass comments take a walk in the shoes of somebody that is not as fortunate as you. I am lucky to not be homeless like the man in the anonymous post but life has not been easy. I have had to be very careful with my spending because the VA has taken 16 months at this point to settle my claim. I have been out of the military now for 5 years and when my hip that has been surgically repaired 3 times went to hell again life was made very difficult.

    I also hate to be very direct, but you need to understand what I go through. I would sit outside of a recruiting station because people signing up need to know that if things don't go according to plan and they end up hurt and in the care of the VA they will need to be prepared to not get much help at all. See, there is a direct correlation if you have half a brain enough to think about it!

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  37. If he had half a brain he wouldn't have been a lifer. By the way, I'm the homeless guy in the previous post. Lifers always get fired up if you say how the military really is (the way it is according to the 90% of the people who don't stay in). By the way, I'd be curious to know what his mos was and if he was 18 years old his first tour, and if killed people who still haunt him, and if any of his friends got their limbs blown off in front of him. Or was he like my sadistic platoon sgt who murdered a bum just to kill the guy and then came to me and my firend (who had to drag the poor dead guy off) looking to be morally absolved i guess and telling us that,"My nephew was born on the same day that I killed that guy. It's one life for another. That's how i see it. That's not so bad." If the dude was Sfc Pogue and not an Infantry private, then he'll never get it anyway. Typical lifer comment though. Hey, I hope your hip gets better. That kinda thing is brutal.

    Aaron

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    1. Aaron "how the Military really is" mmm sounds like your a know it all with an opinon based upon a small sampling form your small world...any way get some real research done on "How the Real military is" and call ne...OUT

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  38. Hey Guys!! We are all on the same bus here! I think it is safe to say that the VA is not on our best friends list right now. All we are trying to do here is give support to one another and pass on good information that can be helpful. April had a great idea. In an earlier post she suggested that we should talk to the media. I for one know that I would have a great message for the media! Censored of course!
    I myself have good news to report....We contacted our Senator John Cornyn in Texas and he replied with a hand written letter telling my husband that he will be "personally taking an interest in his disability claim". He also threw in a line about "fighting bureaucracy is very difficult". We actually giggled at that line. I honestly believe that if we all start SCREAMING at our Congressmen and Senators they will have to do something! And it feels DAMN good to know that we have people on our side. We aren't hanging our lives on what they have said...but it's better than no one at all. As good as it feels to vent and let out your frustrations here...It feels 10 times better to put a stamp on it and send it to people who CAN do something for us!
    We also need to remember that we are all on the same side. We all gave up a part of our lives for the same cause, and we all did it voluntarily. If we can fight for our country together than we can fight the VA together. Corny, huh?

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  39. Hey! I just got off of the phone with the VA and they said my claim left the rating board on the 19th and is in notification phase (not sure how long that takes). So for purposes of general information; claim was submitted at the Oakland office on July 28, 2010 and was finished at the rating board on August 19, 2011. Hopefully this will help someone who is stuck in the mode of checking the mailbox everyday just to be let down and can't get any answers from the VA.

    Aaron

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    1. Who did you check with at the VA??? Your REP??? Ive been waiting forEVER. Came back from Saudi with congestive heart failure. Im hearing 100 times over pay into accounts is on FRIDAYS .

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  40. Glad to see that you have made progress. I hope you get the correct rating and all else goes well.

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  41. I am sure that is a heavy burden lifted off of your shoulders. I hope that you received the rating you deserved.

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  42. Aaron, I'm glad to hear good news for you. I hope it's the rating you need and deserve. We're pulling for you!!

    ~April

    (I've created several profiles and I can never get it to work right or sign in or whatever... oh well.) :-)

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  43. Hello everyone thanks for your service and sorry about everyones wait with the va...I have had a claim in for ptsd since april of 2010 i have also not worked since 2009 it took me from 2007 when I was discharged medically till about aug of 2010 to realize I should go get help with this instead of ignoring it and saying I dont have ptsd or any issues due to myself not wanting to accept the fact that I have problems. Needless to say I am writing after reading everyons comments and all...my claim was first open by the va in phoenix,az with out me knowing I did not know I had a claim in from them until about november of 2010 then in dec it was denied also in december I was in a inpatient treatmeant center for ptsd in which I have been diagnosed with from several doctors in and out of the va. So the va denied my claim saying "we see you served in iraq but we dont understand how your ptsd is service connected." around this time I found out you no longer need a stressor to claim ptsd just a diagnoses and whatever. I did however send in stressors along with everything else needless to say they denied it for basically no reason at all. Therefore I wrote letters to congress people and senators of washington state and all they did was call me back and say they called the 800 number and said your claim is in the developmental state and i said no sh**. Needless to say I am sort of stuck on what I should do i have called the va a million times and they say they will have someone call me and never happens also my claim has been in the developmental stage since april of 2010 so almost 17 months now it has been in this stage not quite sure what to do anymore as far as getting anyone to do anything. I am also getting social security disability which was just approved in july does anyone know or have heard how much this plays a role in the va making a decsion on your claim even though my claim should be approved just waiting for the right person with commen sense to read it and push it through.

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  44. Same issue. started claim March 15 2011, rating stage started Aug 15th 2011, Atlanta Ga VRO. Hopefully i have no road blocks. Good luck to all the brave soldiers waiting to hear something. try to stay positive.

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  45. To the guy that filed in Phoenix, it sounds like maybe they don't have all of the papers that they need. That's not to say that you didn't give them everything, but they did lose the records from my shrink twice. In fact the second time they received them I had a receipt and the signature of the person who received them. I hand delivered them the third time before it ended up in my file, so stay on top of them. They don't take your situation very seriously from what I've seen. It doesn't make sense to just deny you (even for the VA) without having an explanation, but maybe I'm just hoping that's the case.

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  46. Ok here is an update to our plight. As I have said previously WRITE your congressman and senators. My husband called his DAV representative today to find out if a form had been received that had been faxed late last week. As we hoped the VA had their hands on it. That was the good news. The best news is because of all the attention that his claim is getting from our Senator John Corwyn they have been "instructed" to make sure all correspondence is hand delivered to the rating specialist. Not only just to hand deliver but to also keep an accountability log attached at all times. This is a huge break through! Now every time he calls the Disabled American Veterans Group they know who he is. Find your regional DAV group, give them a power of attorney so that they can represent you. THEN write your people in Congress. It works. We are proof. After 2 1/2 years we are finally seeing movement on our claim. Don't wait to do this! I want to help anyone who needs it to write these letters. They will work! They have to work!

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  47. Hey just so I don't continue to look really stupid; I misspelled our Senators name. It's John Cornyn. Oops!

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  48. I was hoping to read some good news on here to pass along to my husband who retired on Feb 1, 2011. There isn't much good news about the process of getting a rating but the support you give each other is great. The eBenefits site has never updated for us since the first day. We are still in the development stage according to the site. He has called the 800 number to get updates to his claim and that work alright for what little information we get. We are extremely disappointed in eBenefits and the lack of updates. Our regional office is in Salt Lake City and I haven't read much good about them. Thanks to everyone for sharing their story.

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    1. I retired in 11/2010. I did the bdd paperwork. I received my orignal va disability 4 mos later out of Salt Lake. They missed ptsd, so i filed in 11/2011. Claim was closed 1/15/2011. Received notice they are still working on it. Do not trust the ebenefits website for up to date reporting. I feel my paperwork in under the pile, somewhere. Good luck on your claim.

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  49. My husband just got into the rating dept. on the 18th of this month...it's in NC, and its already been 13 months!

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  50. Here's an update. I just got my notification and they rated me at 100% for PTSD. It took a long time (over 13 months), but it is finally finished. They said I'll see a check within 15 days. What a relief. I hope this helps you guys in the hope department.

    Aaron

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    1. I am glad you finally recieved your disability. I have been waiting a long time for mine but it is so great to hear someone is finally getting the help they needed so long ago. Congrats

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  51. Filed Quick Start Claim on 27 August 2010. Went into Decision phase on 27 May 2011 at Winston Salem. Never thought Quick starts take so much longer than BDD. I realize they were a different animal but 1 year for Quick Start seems like forever.

    Bruce

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  52. Hey Aaron,Congrats! Enjoy that big fat check!!! Where was your regional office at?

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  53. Glad to hear that Aaron and I know you would rather not have PTSD than the check but at least you are getting help.

    Good Luck and Congrats

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  54. Heather, I hope that writing your Congressperson works. I have tried this a few times and it does not seem to work for me, but it must depend on the Senator you are working with. It is difficult to fight the bureaucracy that is the VA, but eventually we will all get our ratings.

    Aaron, I'm happy for you man. As somebody who has a claim in for PTSD it is good to hear that somebody actually got a good rating for this. At least now this is one last stress you have on your shoulders and you can focus on getting better. Congrats on getting what you deserve!

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  55. Aaron,how exciting! I know this is a huge relief and now you can focus on treatment and getting things back in order. I hope you'll keep updating us on how things are going for you. Hopefully others will have the same exciting news coming in for them... :-)

    ~April

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  56. It's disgusting to see so many vets waiting for scraps while our politicians give BILLIONS away every day!!! I'm so tired of the VA offering treatment for our service connections while holding our claims ransom. If it wasn't for my family I'd be dead or living on the street begging for change to buy a sandwich...Put that in a commercial and see how many people line up at the recruiting office!!! 12 years service 3 trips to Sand Land, 1 failed marriage, 1 busted back, 1 busted knee, PTSD, no job and a 1800-827-1000 number that doesn't take calls at this time only to tell you to call back at another time..................

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  57. I agree this is horrible having to beg for our benefits. I call every week and log on to e-benefits to check the status. I was medically discharged from the AF in Feb of 2011. I finally made it to the DAV in March. I filed a quick claim; they said it would take about 90 days to process this since they had all my medical records already, LIES!!! Well here I sit mid-Sept in the decision phase. I have been in the "Decisions Phase" for well over 4 months now. I finally got a hold of someone from the 1-800 number last week, they put in a check status request (in her words: this should not be taking this long). The VA gave me a call (I missed) saying that my claim was on someone’s desk. What the heck does that mean?!?!?! Really? Is it on the bottom, stuck in a drawer forgotten about? That is a horrible answer VA!!! I know that I am lucky, I found a job in May (Thank God) otherwise we would have lost our home and be living with our parents with our 2 year old.

    I guess we are all hanging in there together.

    On another note, for those who are trying to use the 1800# and get through, try this: When you dial the number and the automated voice comes on, push 110 immediately. This works for me after the first try.
    Good Luck to ALL!

    Bobbie

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    1. The VA reps told me every time YOU call your FILE goes to the bottom of the pile and they take the next one because its considered your UPDATE so becareful calling yall.

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  58. I filed my "Quickstart claim" in Aug 2010 and the file date is showing 28 Sept 2010 as that was my first day of retirement. well here it is 1 year later and still in the decision phase according to the ebenefits website. Anytime I submit an ask IRIS question they say they are referring to regional office for clarification and I have only ever got one response that it was being worked on. I am fortunate that the part time job I help while active duty led to full time. It is frustrating that this process takes so long. I know that they have had all of my stuff since Late Jan-mid Feb I have an email to prove it but have gotten no further updates. Anyone have any ideas?

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  59. im also am a vet waiting on a claim. injured in iraq 2007 and spent a year at walter reed. filed in 2009.still waiting.i have lost everything...including hope. not so easy checking status when you are homeless. wish i would have died from that IED. now i have to walk back to the shelter which is 9 miles away from library.

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  60. To whoever wrote the above post:

    I am so sorry to hear about your struggle to get your disability pay. The VA needs to be completely re-worked, and you are a living testimony to how messed up the system is. There are groups that will help somebody struggling as you are, like the American Legion. I would highly recommend getting in touch with your local American Legion chapter to see what they can do to help you as far as housing, and maybe even for somebody to fight for you with the VA.

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  61. Josh, I feel your pain. I also did the "Quick Claim" process which was encouraged during my VA briefing before I outprocessed out of the military. That was May-2010. It has been now been 17 months and it is still in the "Development" phase. I've had all my appointments and yet, nothing. What's worse is though I live in PA, my case is being processed in Winston-Salem??? Once a month I do the on-line claim status and call the 1-800 number. I get the same response. Initially, when I would query, I was told there was a backlog. Now, for the past 4 months, I get a cryptic response stating the status of my claim cannot be verified and that they, being the VA help-desk, have sent numerous requests to Winston-Salem for a status. I have yet to hear from them. I'm not sure what the next step other than to keep calling and requesting claim updates. It's becoming a challenge to purchase my medical supplies and durable goods. I hope it eventually moves forward. I will keep trying.

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  62. To the writer above:

    Take the time to actually go into the Winston-Salem office. I am in the same boat waiting since May 2010, and earlier in the process I went into my regional office and found that my file was misplaced and I didn't leave the office until it was found. Being there in person makes the person feel more sympathy for you than over the phone. I need to do the same at this point. Let me know how things go.

    Steve

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  63. PS...this is the blog owner. I was signed into the wrong account.

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  64. Guys and Gals I wish I could give you more hope but there is little there, Im a 1991 gulf war vet. The health issues just get worse with each year. My claim is now 17 months old. I tried to be the tough guy for many years. Now after nearly dying having surgery to removee half my colon, arthritis of the spine, degeritive disc disease and PTSD that continues to worsen. I hope the oil from that part of the world is appreciated by the people that I will leave behind. 11 drugs every day and life in disaray at 49 I feel life is over. I am just a shell now no matter if the claims are approved my quality of life is gone. Hope is lost to ever feel whole again.

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  65. Hey, i was told that if the winston salem, office is backed up...other offices take some claims. Well, we know that office is backed up!!!

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  66. I just got off of the phone with an '800 person' who stated that although my claim has been in the Phoenix Office for over a year, they're still attempting to "communicate" with the military installations I was at previously to "verify" my claims (3). I sent them my mililtary medical records and the records from all civilian doctors....essentially doing the work for them. He said to call back in December and they would send another "inquiry", and, that calling in December would "let them (VA) know that I'm still alive and 'knocking' at their door." Are you kidding me?????? He said my claim was sensitive and unique???? Isn't every veteran's? Good grief. I'm ashamed that we worked so hard to serve, yet can't receive the help/finances we are entitled to in order to support ourselves and families....especially in this current economy.

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  67. I think the thing that pisses me off most about this entire situation is the fact that they are honoring claims that have been submitted after claims that have been sitting there for a year or more. I called the VA and was told that because congress passed a law honoring agent orange or something like that to the Vietnam vets that all new cases were put on hold. This it total crap...If I filed before someone else there is no reason his claim to add something else to his/her already active claim should trump a new claim that was filed prior to his/her claim. Also I was told by a person at the VA that soldiers that have accounts in collection (like debt collectors sending letters) are able to submit a copy of one of the bills and their case is automatically pushed to the front of the line as a "HARDSHIP" case. I'm tempted to just not pay a few bills so I get a collection notice that I can send to the VA and take advantage of this ludicrous policy. I have been waiting over a year for my case to get to the decision phase and it has been in the rating part of the process for 4 months now with no word. I have called the VA and requested a inquiry (which is supposed to take 7 working days) and it has been over a month and I still have no information from my regional office. I even have a direct contact number for my regional office and when I call and ask to speak to someone about my claim they just hang up on me once I say the word "claim". This is totally unacceptable.

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  68. Chris, this is horrible...I bl alot of us have bills that need to be paid!!! and what they are doing is WRONG! Hey, maybe we all should try that!

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  69. I know it is frustrating waiting for more than a year. I am at 18 months, and that is WITH the financial hardship status. I have a problem with people purposely not paying bills to get on hardship status. If you are ok financially, you could make the process longer for those that have lost their homes and more.

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  70. Wow, I just read through every post on here. My heart is so sad. I am not a vet, but I was an army wife. My children's father is OEF vet, spent a year over there. He filed the first claim in '06, was quickly denied. He reopened the claim last year, June 2010. He has been across the country a couple times trying to get this resolved. He was told his decision was at the "rating board" about 6 months ago, then 5, 4, 3 months ago. He is now supposedly going in for his "final" physical, after he already did 2 other "last" physicals for the process. He has been all over the country dealing with this nightmare. Texas, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin.

    I urged him to go to our congressmen's office here in Illinois, and he finally did. He immediately received a phone call from his veteran rep who apologized for not helping him be more pro-active with his case, and not being more forthcoming with the information of how to do that very thing. It all seems like a bunch of smoke up our asses. It has been 6 weeks since he went to the congressman's office here, and he was told it would take them a month to figure out what is going on. He has heard nothing yet from his office. I urge him to go back... there's only so much I can do though.

    My ex keeps telling me that they don't want his case to go over 18 months since it has been re-opened, I guess that timer would expire here in December. There is something about claiming "Irish" when the VA drags their feet. You can google it, from what I read it's about some Lady Vet who's nickname was Irish and she died from service related injuries/illnesses before the VA would help her. I don't know how true that is, and the information you can find on it is very limited, but try to ask other vets about it. My ex is the one that told me about it. I will be back to update and read on your stories soon. Take care all, and GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

    Becky in IL.

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  71. ALSO... a few more things I would like to mention,

    #1. I have a friend who works for the VA here as a nurse and they say it is "standard procedure" to deny vets disability claims first time around. YOU HAVE TO FIGHT LONG AND HARD, AGAIN!

    #2. If you were in Iraq/Afghanistan... Learn everything you can about gulf war illness/syndrome alone and in connection to PTSD and TBI. (Traumatic Brain Injuries) These 3 things all go hand in hand and NO VA DR is going to tell you about what you should be tested for. If you were in Iraq, you were most likely exposed to Chemical Burn Pits on a daily basis that cause very damaging effects on your health, up to cancer. You can google these areas and find information on the VA website.

    3. Definitely get your Congressmen/women involved in your case, they have a lot more pull than the people at the 800# and will get you answeres in a more timely fashion.

    ....... hang in there Vets. I'm praying for you all the time. There is a major back log for the VA. My nurse friend is responsible for 1200 cases herself. 1 person to 1200 cases??? INSANE!

    Becky in IL.

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  72. My claim has been in the works since May 2010. I am like some of folks in the older posts in financial hardship. I filed for unemployability. I am currently rated at 20 percent but my disabilities have gotten worse and I can't work. I am currently in the administrative review/decision phase. When I called the 800 number they told me that a draft decision of my claim has been made and is with a senior rater. I confirmed this twice by calling again to see what another operator would say. This has been since 22 September 2011. I really need to know who can help me to speed up this process. I faxed my eviction notice to the VA and they say they will be expiditing my claim. That was 14 Oct 11. I sent in an "IRIS" and was told that the VA is very aware of my hardship and will notify me by mail as soon as my claim is complete. I found out that an administrative review is an internal request on a prior decision to uphold or overturn it in which this claim was previously denied, or an external request by an attorney or veterans organization that disagrees with the final decision that was made on my claim. I am hoping that someone is fighting for me because I didn't request a review personally and I don't have a lawyer. The only thing is I need to know whether or not I am swimming or sinking because my floation devices have given out and this decision to end on a positive award note for me means everything.

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  73. its has been the same for me, i am at 16 months and counting for my intital claim!

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  74. Reading all posts. Gulf War Vet . PTSD Exam June 2011. Diagnosed PTSD. Aug.2011 Went into Rating Stage. Sept. 2011 into what POA calls Pre-Determination Stage. Internal Development. POA does not know why??..I thought they knew??? No more development is needed from me is what I've been told for a little over a month. A couple guys at 1800 number could see that claim was looked at late Oct. again Internal. So claims that look like they are moving..just STOP.

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  75. I got my decision! The only problem is that they said that I've only had 2 hip surgeries when I've had 4. My rating should be higher, so I guess I'll have to fix this. Is there any way to get around this without waiting 4-5 years for an appeal?

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  76. By the way, anybody reading this, please click to follow this blog. It would mean a lot to me, and it would help the search engines find this blog easier. We can help more people, so follow my blog please.

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  77. My military records were falsified over 44 years ago. The veterans administration filed them away and only recently recovered another of my files. I have been fighting the veterans admin for over 45 years. Many veterans have given up I will die before I give in to what appears to be a crooked federally run agency.

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  78. Anyone here know if va will go back to ssdi date if both were filed same year. Both are for PTSD and both are using only Va medical records. Is Ssdi used as a Medical Opinion?

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  79. Filed my clain in Aug 2010 here it is Nov 2011 and still nothing. I've requested an expedition on my decision due to hardship, a month ago still no response. I'm very discouraged.

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  80. I looked at my verification letters on the ebenefits website and it states "Our apologies. The Benefit Verification letter, which shows disability rating and payment amount, is currently unavailable. We are working to restore it as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.This has never been there before, does that mean I should be hearing something soon?

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  81. It all takes time. I know if you call the 1-800 number and request anything while it is in any stage it will take longer. I call this number alot..i just dont request stuff anymore. E-benefits I do not have set up..

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  82. 44 yrs, is way too long! I would get hold of your Congressman, someone QUICK!!!

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  83. I am taking some posts and this blog and sending it to Senators and Congressmen and woman all over the state of Missouri. It might not make a huge effect but if we can get our messages to congress, and not just the initial concept It could do better.
    Oh yeah I have had to wait as well. 13 months in the 1st phase. Still not past that. I've faxed in 3 diffrent financial hardship statments with proof. None has gone through. It did go through a review back in JUNE, they found they needed something elses. I sent that to them. You would figure it was the only thing I needed. Nope another thing was needed in AUG. What's up with that. Sounds like a waste of 2 months to me. Why just locate one error and then another 2 months later. I'm so fed up. Really I'm feeling like The citizens or Egypt and Syria had it right. I hope our voices of Congress and Senate will here us, and not throw us away in the trash as I fax these to them.

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  84. It Really would help us Veterans to Know where are claims are and a time frame that we should call back or check on the internet. We veterans are afraid we will miss somthing important if not kept informed and More time will be spent on a "Later Date" with same issues. It costs Everyone when issues are not addresses right away. Wish The developmental team would look to us and call us so we can give them or help them get what they are needing. At least we would be kept informed and have an idea on the amount of time our claims would "Actually take".

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  85. The effective date of an award of increased disability
    compensation is the earliest date that it is factually
    ascertainable that an increase in disability had occurred,
    if a claim is received within one year thereof.
    Otherwise, it is the date of receipt of the claim or the
    date entitlement arose, whichever is later. Yes, If you have SSA for the same condition you can get an effective date sooner..but no longer than a year..UNLESS someone knows something different?

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  86. I've did 3 inquiry requests at the 18008271000 number to submit to my regional office giving them 30 days each time to respond still no response. I was told to apply for SSD while waiting for my claim with va, has anyone tried this and if so what as the outcome been or do I just wait for a rating? Please give me some advice thank you.

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  87. I filed my claim and two days later filed SSDI. It helps to have SSDI in your claim for unemployability . SSDI was approved a month later for PTSD. Now waiting on VA . My claim went back to development stage after a month in rating. I have to wait 60 days to give an inqury as to why no activity. 30 days is to short and it has to be without ANY activity to get a response. Also..requests, changes, Can and will slow your claim down. Best to just send and let it run its course..I've been told anyway..But I do call 1800 number ALOT..To make sure it's there!

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  88. I filed a claim in April 2010 for depression. I was really depressed and having memory problems. I found out later I had a PTSD diagnosis also. Does anybody know if I should just leave the claim alone or refile? to add the PTSD. (and how do I do that?) My wife works and with the money we had been saving to buy a house we are going to make it about 6 more months before everthing falls apart. My wife has been so patient and i don't want my kids to suffer thru homeless and I feel like I am out of options.

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  89. It's been 15 months since I filed my claim and still nothing. I was told I was given a dav rep but never has this person contacted me and explained what the status of my claim is. How do I know if this person is truly working on my behalf or have my best interest at heart.... I'm behind in mortgage payments and contacted my regional office letting them know of my hardship still nothing.... I reside in VA but my claim was sent to NC don't know why seems like a bunch of crap to me now I'm tinking about taking the 5-6 hour drive so that 1 can speak to someone in person and get some answers to my questions. And to top it all off I've had 4 appointments cancelled by the VA clinic and had to seek care somewhere else. Talk about taking care of veterans some of us are falling through the cracks and getting treated like 3rd class citizens. shaking my head

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  90. Sorry to hear about all the issues we veterans are facing with the VA claims process.I'm still waiting for a decision and I filed in July 2010, my next step is seeking an attorney to get involved maybe some heads will start turning and giving some answers. please keep your eads up all!!

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  91. Janice is this your first claim?..This is mine. Gulf War Vet. 8 months..went from rating to predetermination stage..or developmental stage..( same thing ) I was told this was a "Natural process" claims take 6 months to a year. For First Claims.

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  92. Yes this is my first claim and it's been well over a year. I'm frustrated with the entire process something needs to be done about how long it's take for the claim process.

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  93. Janice, you are so right! This is so wrong! We've been waiting for 16 months, and everything is in NC.

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  94. on e benefits, my husbands claim for iu says in decision stage, nothing needed, but in his historicals claims from 09 and 10, they have already been closed but have question marks above them, before they didn,t, does anyone know what that means

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  95. I'm a Vietnam Era Veteran. I have a new position working with homeless veterans. I was at a meeting yesterday where a VA Benefits Manager said that disability claims have a 60-90 day turn around. I couldn't believe it. When I questioned this and mentioned Vietnam Vets who have been waiting for years, she said that's different, "any appeal process takes longer, its no different than any other court". When I followed her out to her car, she clearly did not want to talk because she continued to walk ahead of me, I told her I was speaking of the appeal process - which could stem from any disability claim - what about all of the vets who are waiting. She said in a less than compassionate tone, "I hear it all the time". These people don't know the work we do. I said, "So are you saying its just a lot of hooey (nonsense, baloney). She said yes. I said, "Surely you mean this is the exception, not the rule?" She said "its the rule". I said, "and why would veterans do that". She said, "Some people just like to complain, they don't like the VA." This is the attitude of an individual who is responsible for an entire region. I then asked her, "what about veterans who claim PTSD?" She paused, she had to choose her words wisely I guess. She said, "They have to be looked at on an individual basis. If you have a claim, why don't you just tell me". I do have a claim, but would I want to tell someone about it who just pretty much called veterans who complain liars. Also, she did say that her department has an "adversarial" position when it comes to claims. I'm going to tell you something if someone at the top of the chain has an attitude like this, we'll be waiting another twenty years.

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  96. What is a 60 to 90 day turnaround? Janice does your Poa give you any answers as to why it is taking over a year?

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  97. Like many others, I'm having the same frustration. I filed a BDD claim in Jun 2010 (which the VA changed to a quickstart in Oct 2010) Mine has been at the rating board since 1 Sep 2011 (in Winston Salem but I live in WV) and I keep getting the "Please be patient, it takes 6-8 months to process a claim". Last time I checked, I'm a little past their 6-8 months. I was also told to send proof of financial hardship (lost my job due to back problems associated with crushing my L5 while on active duty). I spoke with the DAV today and was told unless it's a case of eviction, it won't help. Like others, I was stupid enough to belive it when they said 6-8 months and planned accordingly. Now, I'm struggling to make ends meet from check to check

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  98. Your not stupid! We do everything they ask us to help with our claim and they tell us a given time to expect it. Than something happens that we cant do Anything about. We must wait..:[ We will get "Our" turn. Unfortunately, most of us..including me..Have not worked in over a year due to our disabilities. I'am struggling to make ends meet with a family of 5. I really dont know why my claim is taking so long, They have had Everything from me since June 2011. I do get generated notes saying they are sorry and are still working my claim.

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  99. I have been waiting for almost 2 years for my claim that apparently went into the notification phase on 10/12/11, but according to the dam 1800 number, they havent even mailed me the letter yet as of 11/22/11. I wrote my congressmen, nothing back from them yet. This whole process makes me sick. I think its stupid to have to call an 800 number just to have them read you the same crap that is on the ebenefits website. These people dont even work in the compensation department. I know they can go faster. I dont want to hear anything from the VA workers who say any claim over a year they are expediting, thats obviously not true at all. I guess my life will just be on hold.

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  100. 10/12/11 I bet you hear something soon..just hang on! 2 years is a long time..:[

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  101. I'm happy to say I spoke to someone at the 800 number and was told my claim has been closed and a decision made but she couldn't say anymore. She also said to check my bank because I will be getting retro pay, well that is a relief just waiting for paperwork with details. She also asked did I have an appeal I said no because I don't know what is my rating as of yet with that being said I have a bad feeling that maybe it's not the beat decision...... will update soon

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  102. Yeah Janice!..keep us updated.

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  103. Hi my name is Ted. I am still waiting for my claim to fully go thru. I filed my claim in Nov 2008. After waiting a year and making god knows how many phone call the VA found my paperwork in Nov 2009. That is now the date in which VA uses in regards to my filing of my claim. In Oct 2010 I recieved a partial rating. I am now at 80% and am waiting for the rest to be finished. I can't say that it was easy. But I am glad that I am at least this far. Everyday is a struggle. I've been diagnosed by 5 different Doctors for PTSD. But the VA regionizes it as Major depprression disorder. I have as well Epilepsy. But I won't give up this fight. It is sad when I read about other Vets who are struggling. I wish I could help each and every one of them. The ebenefits site is a good start. But it isn't updated as often as it should be. It can take up to 21 days before something actual is displayed. My best advice is to call or visit your regional office if possible.

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  104. Sorry The date for my Partial rating is not Oct 2010 but Oct 2011. Ted

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  105. I have been waiting for a year now, come December 2011. I have been at the decision phase since May 2011. When I called VA and spoke with a rep, they told me that Winston-Salem, NC was one of the test sites for electronic medical records. So, if your medical records were not digital already, that meant they were going to scan them and it just takes time. Not sure what to believe but I do know that I am very disappointed in the management of the VA’s processing.

    I retired because I felt that I couldn’t keep up physically and later found out that I had Lupus. I was disappointed that civilian doctors had to tell me this. Even though, everything was documented separately while I was on active duty, but I was just given, Quarters or Ibuprofen and told I would be ok. So, it’s not just about the money, but without the rating you don’t receive all of the benefits. On top of everything, the finical hardship is what hurts the most.

    Sherri

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  106. Hi Ted! you have been Service Connected! Congrats! that is the Hardest battle. With that said you have also been diagnoised with a mental issue. You will not get another dime for being PTSD. Now with that said..You must show how disabled you are with the mental illness they gave you..2 ways ..Unemployability..Social Security Award Works..and since you are 80 percent try for TDUI..If you continue pushing the issue for PTSD and other stuff they are going to look for ANY improvemnt and lower your rating. You have a Very Strong rating ..if you are unemployable continue and Prove it to the VA. If not..your rating is great! and you can still work with that rating. You will never have to go through your stressors again..you are service connected for them..you now just have to show your disability has become worse than when they last rated you. I would hate for you to have to continue more C&P exams only to change your mental illness and not get another dime..or worse they have found you have improved because of one day seeing a doc and you told him you were ok..or something so simple that would make a BIG difference to them. I hope you discuss with your poa or whoever is helping you on your claim so it wont be to late. I hate to see fellow vets loose there rating on stuff they need not push with the VA. Be Well informed before you make your next move with the VA and Take Care!

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  107. Filed a claim for a disability in April 2005 and after going thru repeated remands it finally was approved by the Veterans appeals board. It has now gone to the ratings process and looks like it will be another year or more. This was for an injury in 1970 which is now manifested itself to put me on SSDI. I waited too long to file because of raising a family and being scared of the process. You just have to hang in there and keep fighting.I live in Oregon and the congressmen in this state seem to fight alot for your benefits,but even then it can still take a long time. VA system is still way overloaded

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  108. I was medically discharged in April 2008 after breaking my neck in the Army. I went BDD before I was discharged but still waited a year and 4 months before I received an 80% rating. I have suffered chronic pain ever since and this pain has become so distracting that I became clinically depressed. I tried working for a few months after my discharge but had alot of difficulty due to the pain issue and partial paralysis in my left arm and hand. Things got harder financially and with my inability to work, my VA social worker recommended that I file for Individual Unemployability (IU)and try to have my rating increased to 100%. I filed in July 2011. I also filed for SSDI and it was approved in September 2011. Because of the posts I have read here, I am afraid that the raters at the VA are going to determine that my condition has'improved'and reduce my VA even though in reality my pain, depression, and inability to use my left hand has worsened. I have also learned that the average time for a rating in St. Louis is 8.23 months. Does anyone have any comments toward my situation that might help me understand what I might be able to do to make sure my rating won't be reversed? If that happens I will be living in my car on St. Louis streets with my Golden Retriever and my cat. (I guess I am lucky to have a car to live in as far as the VA sees it.)

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  109. put a calim in aug 2010 for pd and diabetices still waiting in just had my cand p exam in oct 2011 i files for a disagremment the va officer wrote it wrote more wasted time we a on a cash problem need a aide its been since aug 2010 next congessmen

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  110. Praise God! we finally got that brown envelope in the mail today! he spoke with someone on friday, and it came today! after 15 months, i see why it takes long now, because of all the paper work.

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  111. WASHINGTON – To ensure veterans with emotional crises have round-the-clock access to trained professionals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun operation of a national suicide prevention hot line for veterans.

    “Veterans need to know these VA professionals are literally a phone call away,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. “All service members who experience the stresses of combat can have wounds on their minds as well as their bodies. Veterans should see mental health services as another benefit they have earned, which the men and women of VA are honored to provide.”

    The toll-free hot line number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). VA’s hot line will be staffed by mental health professionals in Canandaigua, N.Y. They will take toll-free calls from across the country and work closely with local VA mental health providers to help callers.

    To operate the national hot line, VA is partnering with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    “The hot line will put veterans in touch – any time of the day or night, any day of the week, from anywhere in the country – with trained, caring professionals who can help,” added Nicholson. “This is another example of the VA’s commitment to provide world-class health care for our nation’s veterans, especially combat veterans newly returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    The suicide hot line is among several enhancements to mental health care that Nicholson has announced this year. In mid July, the Department’s top mental health professionals convened in the Washington, D.C., area to review the services provided to veterans of the Global War on Terror.

    VA is the largest provider of mental health care in the nation. This year, the Department will spent about $3 billion for mental health. More than 9,000 mental health professionals, backed up by primary care physicians and other health professionals in every VA medical center and outpatient clinic, provide mental health care to about 1 million veterans each year

    Im am in the long process as well and almost at the one year mark. If the stress is getting to you and your thinking about "getting a life insurance policy" please call the Hotline...they are helpful....

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  112. oh my i am looking at some of these posts from these veterans and it breaks my heart. my husband spent 23 years in the army, gulf war veteran. i am also a veteran with 20 plus years . my husband was 80% service connected, AIRBORNE. he passed away on 29 october, he was only 43 years old. the love of my life, anyways, i will be the first to say, the VA needs a shakeup in a big big way. there is absoloutly no support for the Persian Gulf Veterans. i could go on but i wont. God bless everyone

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  113. remember VETERANS, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER\
    www.va.gov
    in the search menu type in WARMS, you need to do your research and read up on how they rate your claims, also PERSIAN GULF VETERANS, be aware of the deadline on filing your claims....read read read DO YOUR RESEARCH and when they least expect it...LET THEM HAVE IT....

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  114. I applied for increase in my right shoulder and PTSD in march 2010. They did surgery on my shoulder in the Marine Corps and ever since I can't use my arm for more then writing. Can't throw a ball more then 2x without it going numb. And was finally persuaded by many to apply for PTSD even though it was against my belief (kinda a stubborn person) they received all of my paperwork April of 2010 and yet I am still in the "Gathering Evidence" phase. I'm in NY and I can only imagine how long it is going to take...

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  115. The retro pay isnt coming fast! still waiting on that.

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  116. Well, I submitted my claim 6 months ago with all documentation attached to the claim. I received confirmation and the C&P very quickly. I was shocked how fast things were going. Then the file went for review and the information flow stopped. On the 6th month after filing the claim (and 4 months of waiting after the file went to "review") I called to ask for a status update. Here is what I got in return...

    "Mr. XXXXXX,

    We received recent correspondence requesting we provide you with the status of your disability claim.

    At this time, your claim is pending further review before it goes to our rating board for a decision. Due to a high volume of complex cases that have been mandated by a court order in Washington to review, the processing time for all other claims, including yours, has increased significantly. It may still be another 4-6 months before your claim is complete. We will notify you when a decision is made or if anything else is needed from you.

    We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the delay in processing your claim. If you have questions or need more information, you may contact the VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.

    Sincerely yours,
    Pandi Van Houten
    PANDI VAN HOUTEN
    Veterans Service Center Manager

    Email us at: https://iris.va.gov"

    My interpretation of this email is that there was a court order in Washington to review "a high volume of complex cases" has increased the review process (before it even goes before a board to determine if you are going to get disability and at what percent) by another 4 to 6 months.

    All I can say to this is "Holy Cow!"

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  117. Hello all haven't been on in awhile just updating recieved decision rated 70% it's better than nothing then got a letter stating my medical records have been lost what is going on? I feel this was due to me filing a possible appeal. Really stressed out and depressed. Any advice.

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  118. Janice, oh no! have you received any of your back pay? If so how long did it take to get. You don't have copies of your records?

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  119. I filed mine in July of 2011 just called VA Dec 14th 2011 and they told me it was going to take 13.6 months to find out something! its freaking crazy! if anyone can help me or know a way to speed it up some how or who to call todaysdate@live.com

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  120. I filed in August in 2010 and for the last six months i have been at the rating board and here i sit reading all this honestly i feel a little better since im not the only one thats been at the rating boad for ever. Has anyone tried the lawyer route if so how did that turn out?

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  121. Anthony, trust me, bl me, i really couldnt at first, but now i see why it takes this long!! at least you are at the rating board. I say just hold on for about 4 months or less and you will see something!

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  122. I got my back pay within a week of getting my letter. I was in the rating stage for 10 months so for those in that stage you should be getting someting soon. Best wishes to all, the process is frustrating, when I went to my C&P exams the drs. took out info that were my only copies...... I was told they weren't suppose to do that so when I go for my appeal will just have to see what happens....

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  123. Janice, be glad you got yours in a wk. because they also, have to audit your account before issuing the check. This can take 30 days or more.

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  124. I'm glad I found this blog and it's nice to know that I'm not alone. Tuesday will be the 1 year mark for filing my claim and it's still in the "Gathering Evidence" phase. Somehow between leaving the military and being in the inactive Reserves my medical records were lost. I still have a copy but I know the VA requested them and they were never received. My husband went through this process in 2008 and it was 8 months start to finish so I can't imagine what is going on.

    Some of your comments and stories break my heart, so I hope you all get your back-pay and care that you need very quickly. My husband lost his job in June of 2011 so maybe I need to try and submit a hardship letter as well so that maybe it will be expedited a little...who knows.

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  125. in june i will be my 2 yr mark... im still in the evidence part. i dont no wat to do..

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    1. At my six month mark i started sending e-mails every month. Seemed like my claim moved every time i sent an e-mail. Some people say that will slow them down but it cant get much slower

      Delete
  126. wow, i filed my claim back in sept. 2011 using "quick start". got out in oct 2011. filed for shoulder, back, ptsd, and hearing loss. did all the c & p appointments at va in palo alto, with the last appt being on 06 jan 2012..i thought my process was going pretty good til i read these post..looks like ill just get n line at the rating phase...i guess this is where the process stops due to back-log...will keep everyone updated..anyone filed in the oakland area??

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  127. Where are you Steve Dade? Many find your blog helpful thanks in great part to your insightful commentary and perspective. Please maintain the momentum.

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  128. I've been reading all of the posts and responding to plenty of emails from viewers. Thank you all for your support and viewership. I hope that this blob has made a difference in your life one way or another. Keep reading, and let me know if you have any suggestions for new posts.

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  129. I have been reading as many posts as possible. I am going through a lot of the same things others are. I am in month 16 of this Oh so wonderful battle with the VA. I keep getting the "call back in two weeks, and we'll have an answer" crappage. I have wrote my Congressman, and his involvement has yet to show any light on my claim. I had one guys tell me that all that needed to be done was a couple I's dotted and T's crossed, and I would be out of the rating phase. Then I call today and the guys tells me 2-3 months, of course my follow up was oh you mean 2-3 years...he didn't appreciate it but I don't appreciate being jerked around. I do understand that I have an extensive claim however these morons decided to send me a letter in December stating that the claim should only take 13 months from start to finish, mind you I was already in month 15. I am so fed up, I just want this to be over with get what is owed and move on. My poor psychologist has to be getting sick of hearing about the stress and anxiety this is causing me. I need to be able to support my family. Not being able to work has caused many problems with this. Starting to look into lawyers, but who really wants to deal with that mess? They really need to get this sorted. Any help or advice is so very welcomed.

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  130. I have gone to a C&P exam for PTSD, now in the decision phase. My question is if they actually give a C&P exam does that action preclude that they recognize the ailment as being military related ? And/or can they still deny the clame or defer it. ?

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  131. Jeff, I have had it happen where a decision was deferred after my C&P exam. The people at the rating board can make the decision based on the facts as to whether or not it is service connected, and they can deny it. I have also had an injury recognized, but rated at 0% because they did not think that it was serious enough to give a rating. It still made it so that treatment for that issue was covered by the VA.

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  132. Has anyone tried going through their congressman or senators? If so, what was the outcome?

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  133. I am currently using the assistance of the Congressman for my area and the DAV. I must say if you filed for the DAV they will dig until they find the answers and will push the point for you with the VA. I sent them a letter on their main website and within about two weeks they came back with answers! They are now staying on top of the situation for me as well. Basically I was assigned a case manager to work with them on my behalf because the claim is taking so long, and quiet frankly I was being jerked around like everyone else on this forum has been. The Congressman is being helpful too, I am assigned a case worker through his office who checks on my claim continually, but they don't seem to be able to get more than a generic response from the VA most of the time. I also call the 800 number quiet frequently, about once or twice a week with the new system. I still get the same answers but eventually they are going to get sick of hearing and seeing my name. LOL However, I am determined to be a pain in their backside until this is finished.

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    1. I am a Lifetime member of the DAV and wish I had never joined. IMO- they are as incompetent as the people reviewing the claims.

      The best thing I did was fire mine when he made a mistake, i then hired an attorney.

      Delete
  134. If any of you have the letter that was sent to your congress or whom ever, could you please email me a copy? Please take out all personal information. I have been waiting a year for my rating. Please email to johnabarfield@yahoo.com Thank you

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  135. its been 20 months for me and its still in developmental stage, ive been to all the c&p exams, they said nothing further is needed. the va in winston where my claim is out of said it was in the prosses of moving into the prosssesing stage, then once done there it would go to decission making stage.....that was almost a year ago and nothing has been done.im about to lose my job because of absents from work for numerouse appointments with doctors... i have ptsd, and numerouse other aiments and thats the thanks our goverment gives me for being an war vet...... they wont give me no help at all

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  136. Well, we still havent gotten the retro! Finally, got the first check..but still the retro is going slow! i didnt know this could take 90 days for that.

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  137. i went to the va to see the status of my claim he showed me that my claim had been authorized on 6 different dates, i really dont understand what this all means...where am i at in this process

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  138. My story is like many who write in this board. I served in the USMC and was dicharged due to the tearing of my pectorial muscle, and torn ligaments in a excercise in base. I was given a 10% rating at first but through the years I have been able to increase this to 50% for major back issues due to my gant walk caused by this accident and the pain of my back increasing. I live off of Codiene and pain medicine with BP meds added. My blood pressure is off the charts as yesterdays reading was 203/132 and this is norm with lisinipril 10mg. The more harder BP meds make me ill and I will never go on Antenolol again. I have had what the MD believes is a TIA (mini-strock) and have lost major abilities to remember things and write. If you could see me write this you see me stop every few lines to get my bearing and corretc things. I have two MD's that have written in there reports that my back pain is contributing to the extreme BP. I have had to receive a Angeogram because I was told that I would need stints and that my arteries were clogged and that is what they belived was causing my High BP. Then I was told after the surgery that my arteries were just fine and it was the pain causing this. ( I could afford to lose some weight but when I do the BP still is the same)Ive had to quit my job due to this and have been waiting for 20 mths for this to be resolved. I submitted all paper work to VA and went to the VA hospital in Prescott. I just received a letter stating that I need to go to the heart center for the first time through them. During this whole process I was told by some VA rep 1800 827-1000 that my case made it into the develpoment stage and was even once told that it had moved to decision to only be told that it had moved back to development again due to them waiting for a VA report from a clinic I went to. Problem was I never went to that clinic and had to waiver waiting for a report that does not exist. I am frustrated at the age of 43 with high BP, shot back, knee gone, memory issues and injections for pain in my knees. (did I mention going blind in one eye for the day)I wish there was some way that I can find out what is going on without using that worthless 1800 number. We served our Country when others laughed at us for serving and now the ones who promised to take care of us forget who we are. I love my Country and would die to preserve her and would never retrack that I was and still am a Marine but I feel that the govenment is waiting for me to die from a heart attack before they will help me. I was once told by my DI in MCRD that I would give up on them before they give up on me. It feels that they gave up on me and would like to forget me. God sped Vets and I hope we can hang in there a little longer and see if our Country still remembers us who were and still are willing in spirit if not our bodies to serve and die for our country that we love.

    Semper Fi

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    1. the (800) help desk reps are worthless. They screwed up my direct deposit and after contacting them and was assureed that my almost $20,000 concurrent receipt check would be mailed to me instead of DD they still tried to DD into someone elses bank account. I did not receive my mothly check or concurrent receipt check for 3 months, and only after I contacted a senior rep a very high place within the Agency. The VA IG office is a joke as well. Said they woould "consider" my complaint. If it was their monthly income and $20,000 floating around in space rest assurred they would have started an immediete inquery.

      Delete
  139. Hey, the retro came...it took 2 months.

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  140. Here's my case P1 continued and a little friendly advice.

    I was injured 2005(Multiple Injuries) (10th Mountain Fort Drum) and after a year of treatment was assigned to MED Hold now (WTU). While assigned to MED Hold it changed to WTU and became more Soldier Friendly.

    The story here is NEVER give up and NEVER take no for an answer, unless you are satisfied.

    2008 after spending more than 2 years in WTU the MEB found me unfit for duty and I was retired. My original VA claim was filed by the Veterans Office at Fort Drum. 4 months later April 2009 I received my first rating 50% with several injuries being deferred.

    May 2009 I sent the VA a NOD on some of my ratings (based on the VA rating Schedule that was explained to me on Fort Drum).

    July 2009 I received a letter stating "NOD was denied" and that my injuries that were previously deferred were still being reviewed.

    July 2009 after speaking with a VSO she filed another NOD and explained IU to me. A week later the VARO contacted me via telephone (unusual) and told me that the "Incompetent VSO rep" had put the NOD in for my complete file. Including rating I was satisfied with. Needless to say I revoked my POA from the VSO contacted her and did the Donald Trump "you are fired", my exact words.

    Aug 2009 once again I filed my own NOD and NOV 2009 was denied an increase and was informed the injurries in deferment were still being considered.

    Aug 2009 I contacted a "VA Authorized Lawyer, listed by the VA as Accredited". He was very arogant and after hearing my story replied "it seems that I did just fine" and "I should be happy and just take what they gave me and be happy". He went on to say that "many others from Vietnam are still awaiting decisions and they would be more than happy with my 50%".

    Needless to say I did not take his advice. Instead I Googled VA Lawyers and found one and contacted him. He workes on Pro-bono and after reviewing my complete file decided he would take the case and try to get me 100%. He would not take ANY money unless I receive a 100% rating and at that time he would get a percentage of the Retro pay. I agreed and we proceeded.

    2009 he filed my NOD and a new claim for IU. 2010 I was granted an increase to 70% and of course some injuries that have now turned into illness's were still deferred. The IU was one that was also deferred.

    My lawyer immedietly filed another NOD and an inquery of the IU.

    2010 I was increased to 90% and the IU had not been considered and yet some injurries still deferred.

    2011- still no word on the IU or other injuries so my lawyer filed some other paperwork that had reference to certain USC's.Something to the effect that they had 30 days to respond to him and then we take them to Supreme Court. (something like that)

    TBC

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  141. Here's my story P2

    Dec 2011(about 2 weeks after he sent them that letter) I received a notice that my claim was still being reviewed and it asked me to call them at a specific tel # if I wanted to appeal the ratings I was already satisfied with. (no generic 800 help desk number). Of course I was satisfied with the ratings I had already received so I did not contact them.

    Feb 25 2012 while reviewing my MyHealthEVet account I noticed a status on my appeal(s). It staed a Notification was sent Jan 10 2012 with the decision. As of writing this I have not received the notification which my lawer takes as good news. It seems the higher dollar amount of Retro Pay (over $25,000) has to be reviewed by several people to ensure the correct money is being paid. So here I sit awaiting what should be almost $100,000 in retro pay.

    If all of this turns out to get my rating increased to 100% it is too bad that it took hiring a lawyer to get what is justly due. Due to the fact that these specialized lawyers know the VA and USC laws as good as anyone and we Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen dont we stand to lose a lot of $'s to a system that is broke.

    Moral of the story as mentioned above NEVER give up and if you feel you have been done wrong LET THEM KNOW and get rid of that person. Most of them work for or are affiliated with the VA and trying to keep you at the lowest rating possible.

    It only took the Social Security Office 2-3 months after getting my SS appointed physicals and evaluation in order to get my retro and mothly award. And why in heck the VA will not even consider the SS Dept's finding is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. As far as I know they are both Federal Agencies!

    Best of luck to everyone and if my story helps just one person I have done good.

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  142. I just created a petition to speed up the process for disability ratings. Make sure to sign it. Just go to the top of the page, look on the right hand side, and you'll see the box for it. This is very important, make sure to show your friends as well.

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    Replies
    1. Your minds in the right place, but that not going to do anything. They wont care, bottom line is, the VA is almost as broke as the government is. They cut tricare, they cut active duty and reserve benefits, they cut the post 9/11 in so many ways its scary, and they are beating this around the bush. I was told at 1st the waiting time was 6 months, at 6 months I was told 12, at 12 I was told 16, now at 22 they are telling me 2 years. This will continue until people just give up. I know guys from the Vietnam era that are still getting pushed around.

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  143. It's going on 21 mths and I was finally told that I am in the rating phase. I will keep all posted on how long it will take to see what the outcome will be. To review a bit I was told that it is a good thing to have the VA look for second opinions on your case and I should be optimistic. This was told to me by the 1800, and a two VA counselors. Is this true or is this just more smoke being blown. To read my whole story back track to Feb 6 USMC.

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  144. Does it help to actually go to the Regional Office and ask to talk to someone about your claim? Or would it just tick them off that you are there and bothering them? My husband called the Regional Office in Louisville and talked to a rep. that said his case was being close to closing and it probably wouldn't help to come there. Anyone ever actually gone and had them pull your case?

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  145. I always found that going into the regional office helped. One time, I was on the phone with somebody at the 800 number and they told me "The squeaky wheel gets the grease". When I went to the regional office, they sometimes found some info that was missing from my file or an appointment that needed to be scheduled. I would recommend that anybody having trouble with their case physically goes into their regional office.

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  146. I put my claim in with the VA in early 2006 for fibromyalgia which occured while I was active duty in 1983. At that time the diagnosis for this disease was not known or recognized by the military. I also had a flare of Rheumatoid Arthritis which was evaluated by a Medical Board and I was granted discharge to TDRL with 40%. The TDRL lasted almost 5 years at which time I was transferred over to the VA and rated at the lower rate of 20%. At the TDRL physical examination the Air Force doctor told me he thought I had a little known disease called Fibromyalgia. I continued to seek treatment for this for years. Finally, in 2006 I filed a claim with the VA to have this evaluated and rated in my case but my claims were continually denied. I appealed over and over again and finally on January 11th, 2012 I had a personal hearing before the Veterans Board of Appeals in Washington DC. I went unrepresented but was met at the hearing by a representative of the VFW. I had never met this man before and never been contacted by him but there he was holding my file about 6 inches thick. He spoke with me for about 30 minutes before the hearing explaining what was going to happen inside and answered every question I could throw at him. He was kind but he was honest even when he had to tell me things I did not want to hear. I went into the hearing and the Judge was incredibly attentative to me. She asked me many questions and at the end she allowed me to make a statement regarding anything that I felt relavent to my case. I was prepared to make a statement and the words just came out without much thought. After we were through and were off the record she thanked me for my service and wished me the best. The whole thing took about 30 minutes inside the hearing. I asked my representative if the information I had been given regarding waiting on the results of the hearing was correct at 3 to 6 months. He said that would probably be wishful thinking. Now, I checked my mail yesterday and after all these years it took only 5 weeks post hearing to be given the news that my claim for Fibromyalgia had been granted. I still cannot believe this. I would like to know what happens next, and if it is the best estimate that the rating process will take another year. Thank you for any information you can give me about the process from this point on.

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  147. I also did a "Quick Start" claim, thinking that I would be rated shortly after discharge. I filed my claim via VONAPP and mailed in my service medical records via certified mail in June 2011. In August 2011, I officially ETS'd. I was impressed that my first C&P exam was in October 2011. My last one was in November 2011. Now, in February 2012, I get a different answer every time I call the VA's 1-800 number. One time I'll call and they'll tell me that it's been rated and they're waiting on the final signature before the "notification stage," then three weeks later they tell me that it hasn't even been looked at by a rater yet. Whenever I ask via IRIS on eBenefits, they mail me a letter basically telling me "GFY" and that if they need anything from me, they'll let me know, and that "there is no need to contact our office before then."
    I was a Fobbit I'll admit, intel, two deployments to Iraq in four years. The tail end of my first deployment I developed Ganglion cysts in my right wrist. The docs at sick call kept on with the routine of temporary profile/ibuprofen/drink more water for nearly a year before referring me to a civilian specialist in Topeka, 100 miles away, who literally took five seconds to glance at my wrist, then told me "you look fine" and walked out. Meanwhile, the pain was getting so bad the whole time by the time I saw another specialist in the fall before my second deployment, I couldn't bend my wrist at all. Over a year after my first visit to sick call, the doctor found the cluster of cysts wrapped around my ligaments like a vine. They removed the nerve endings from the top of my wrist during the Ganglionectomy to minimize the pain, but it still throbs daily, and I've since developed degenerative arthritis in my right shoulder from the overcompensation the past 3 years, as well as tendinitis in my right arm, neck, and back--all diagnosed by VA doctors. I know it's not as bad as many on here, but my anxiety's been so bad since last deployment less than a year ago, every time I hear sirens of any kind I clamp my hands over my ears and close my eyes and fight the urge to hit the ground. I look like a complete freak, and that makes it even worse. I go to school full time, trying to make something of myself--I have the clearance, but that means little in light of the budget cutting spree the government's on. I will write my congressman, as I'm past the six-month mark on my claim now, and ask them to advocate for veterans. I've already written him once--the VA sent me a letter in January 2010 stating I had 100% Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, and when I got out of the Army in August 2011, I moved to Florida and enrolled in school full time, only to receive a letter literally the day after I signed my lease, and 3 days before school started, that I only had 50% benefits because of my student loan repayment program while I was in. I've sent them my eviction notice and initiated a "Request for Equitable Relief," which I'm told could take years. Any ideas anyone has for joining the movement to promote veterans advocation, let me know, I will gladly participate. tamara.d.miller@gmail.com

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  148. I would like to share my experience with my claim for PTSD, the low ball rating and the long wait. I filed a claim using that Benefits Discharge program and after my initial claim was lost I had to do another C&P exam. My initial claim took place in 2009 just before I separated from the military. All was good I received a rating within 4 to 5 months of anxious waiting and all I saw was a small chunk of change thrown into my account. I did the math and saw that the VA rated me at 30 percent for Chronic PTSD,Panic Disorder, Insomnia, Agoraphobia,and of course Anxiety Disorder and also 10 percent for tinnitus. I was thankful that I even received a dime because a lot of guys get swept under the rug and don't get a lick back from the VA. I felt shortchanged and with all of my records supporting my condition I strongly felt that I was being low balled. I suffer hardcore from Panic Attacks on a daily basis and have been on about 7 different anti depressants and also 3 different Benzo's and in and out of treatment for a few years now and still I am left hanging on by a thread. It has put a financial strain on us and me being out of work doesn't help. I did work part time at a place but after one of the upper management guys tried to talk down on me and make me feel like a dead beat I had to walk away and put my two weeks in. I almost slashed that guy and I felt bad because still after being prescribed lots of chill pills I still fly of the handle and I'm afraid I will end up behind bars. Ive had several allergic reactions to some of the meds they keep trying me on and it just seems like I have to keep on suffering until I either croak or get a new mind. I filed for an increase back in April 2011 for my PTSD and Panic attacks that occur daily not just once in a while and here we are 11 months in and still the same old song and dance, you're claim is ready for rating but due to a backlog we are unable to give you a timeline.I know there is a stack of claims 100ft high but as of December 2011 the VA implemented a change in timelines to get claims done in a certain window, granted that is what they are shooting for but my claim is somewhere just collecting dust while I'm here trying to hang on and keep my marriage together and go to college while having panic attacks that sometimes keep me housebound, but I push through the anxiety and panic just so I can make ends meet with the BAH from the Post 9/11 GI bill. Somedays its so hard for me to get in my truck and drive that I literally feel like I'm going to die of a heart attack from my heart racing while I am driving down I-95 to my therapist. I am not trying to make anyone feel for me nor am I trying to convey that I have it real bad because I know a lot more guys and girls out there have it really bad I'm just saying the VA needs to hire more folks and get our claims through because if it weren't for the Post 9/11 GI bill I would be in dire straights. I love what I did for my country but its hard to love anything anymore with such high anxiety and Panic that is slowly killing me. They say no one has ever died from a Panic attack but think about your insides, all that adrenaline constantly flowing out of your adrenal glands cant be good not to mention all that cortisol just floating around your body. I want more than anything to see us Vets get the help that we rightfully deserve, if there is anything I can do to help please let me know, I apologize if I sound like a pansy whining here, I just wanted to share my ongoing journey with the VA and their disability ratings and their expeditious ways. Email me if you want to share anything or have any questions or just feel like cussing me out I'm here at joseph.hicks1@gmail.com
    Thanks
    Joe

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    1. Hang in there Brother and I say this waiting since July 2010 your not alone.

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    2. Update to my fellow brothers and sister Veterans. I finally received my disability increase packet in my mailbox last week, only took just under a year for them to make their decision. I opened the mailbox and was apprehensive at first to open it and see a big Denial letter but to my surprise they indeed increase my overall rating but left my PTSD portion untouched... I was a bit upset at first because I have hard evidence that my condition has become worse since my initial rating which was and still is at 30%. They claimed that I didn't have sufficient evidence to put me even into the next tier for PTSD which is to the 50% margin but they are daily mistaken. I have a stack of papers about as thick as a deck of cards full of notes from triage doctors and Chief Psych doctors. Luckily I had an appointment with the Chief Psych two days after receiving my letter from the VA with my new rating and I presented it to my Doc and she was pretty pissed of because her word carries a lot of weight and she was very confused as to why the raters over looked my GAF score which was at a 45 and also clear written notes that my condition has become worse since I began my treatment. Long story short I was handed 30% for Rhinitus which was the last thing I was concerned about but my doc said they gave me that because of the thick black smoke I was exposed to in Iraq before they put a stop to all the open burn pits. I however had the Daytona Beach VA outpatient clinic print me out my MH records so I can file a Notice of disagreement and file an appeal. Im super grateful to have moved from 40% SC to 60% SC but I still think that rating calculator they use is garbage but I am not going to complain since I was fortunate enough to get awarded more than when I started last April. It just sucks that they looked at the rhinitus as being a pain in the a** to live with and gave me 30% but also left me at 30% for a laundry list of MH problems that have only got worse, so bad that I still have been out of work for over a year now and I still have to talk to myself everyday to get behind the wheel of my truck to go to my treatments. The only thing that I did was called the 800 number to talk to the VA people on the horn and ask them about my claim and each time they filed a inquiry and right after the 3rd one, literally a week later I got my rating and back pay. This time when I file again I will do the work for them like use a super bright highlighter and literally point out the details for the raters to look at so they won't have to do any work because we all know the easier it is for them to find your problems the faster they will process the claim. This past claim was filed through my local VSO in town and they just jumbled all my paperwork together so I will admit it wasn't put together all that easy to read for the raters. This time I think I will use the DAV to fight for me and I hear they get the ball rolling and won't stop till they get some answers. I am giving all of you guys that have been waiting for a claim to go through some words of hope, hang in there and keep calling, Ebenefits is for the birds and isn't updated as frequently as you would think and talking to someone can and will get your claim to be flagged. Just don't ever give up or settle for less, that is what they want us to do, just take our little percentage and walk away with our heads held down. We deserve better and I wish all of you the best. i will stay in touch with this blog, its actually the first blog I have ever used so I hope I can help someone out.

      Joe
      joseph.hicks1@gmail.com

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  149. It has been since Nov 2010 for me..... and still in the developemental stage. For me it is asking for an increase/ ptsd/ tdiu. Just wondering why it is just soooo dragging on?? Besides growing a lot of grey hair and wrinkles appearing, I am becomming convinced in my own demented mind , that the VA has gone broke, and delibertly making all of us vets wait, until they can get more monies from interest, congress etc. before they can process my claim and your claim.

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  150. I submitted my claim Aug 10, 2010 finished all my VA doctor's exam November 2010 retired Feb 1, 2011 called the 800 number March 2011 I was told my claim is in decission phase. Called again Sep Oct Nov 2011 still in the Decission phase. So my next step was to email my DAV rep. March 9 2012 my claim went back to Development Phase! !!???????????????????? I am getting convinced also that the VA has gone broke! Oh the waiting game SUCKS!!

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    1. They are going broke, all around they are making cuts. I go to an out of state school, last semester they decided that they werent going to cover the out of state tuition costs anymore as well. So now where I rate 100% Post 9/11, they only cover 25%. So I did 8 years active duty for only 1/4 of what I am entitled too. my claim has taken 18 months now, and still at the decision phase. . . . where its been sitting for 11 months now

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  151. The VA is going broke. Looks like somebody didnt think about this when the wars started.

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  152. I submitted a claim in Aug 2010. It has been 20 months and I am still in the Gathering of evidence stage.I have called the American Legion- my reps... They were pretty helpful. But, still did not give me the answers I need. I call the 800 number once a month and they always tell me that unfortunately you are in the most backed up regional office in the US (Indianapolis). But after 20 months and I am still in the "Gathering of Evidence" stage? I would think that I would be further along. My claim is for a 4 conditions. I do not think we should have to wait this long.

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  153. Well i filed for an increase in oct, 2011 and it has been in the preparation for decision phase since nov 2011..I called to inquire and was told there is nothing I can do but wait. Shortly after that i received a letter stating the v.a. is sorry it is taking so long and to continue to wait?? Anyone else get a letter like that?

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    1. I filed my Benefits Delivery at Discharge(BDD)Claim in May 2011 for a few issues i.e. degenerative neuro muscular condition. PTSD, TBI, Sleep Apnea. Had the physical in September 2011. I retired in October 2011 and already had an Ebenefits account. I contacted the VA stating I needed a letter to use for disabled veteran preference for employment. Got a letter that stated 10% which isn't enough for VA preference. My claim never moved until December 2011. There it got stuck in preparation for decision phase. The only changes have been to Ebenefits web site. Like adding another block here or there. So I started calling the VA numbers and using the IRIS. I kept all the responses to include the exact same letter you recieved. All responses were the exact same. We can not tell when your claim will be processed. We are sorry for the back log and a claim takes around this mount of time but depends on what is claimed and how many issues were claimed could extend the wait. I think it is all smoke and mirrors and I think they will never pass my claim and they just wait for people to get tired of complaining. I just read yesterday the Strs and Stripes paper and it had an article about the claims. All it really says though is what we are all complaining about. I think it is time to elect some new politicians.

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  154. I filed my claim in june 2010. It's been stuck in the "Review of Evidence" phase for well over a year. I cannot get any more information than this. I can barely walk now, and I'm going broke. I'm only 31 years old, and was injured in combat. Literally all of my injuries were listed on my Purple Heart citation. Why in the heck does it take so long for them to take care of me, I nearly died overseas for their freedom.........konrad.faries@gmail.com

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  155. Hey everybody, first off thanks for all the info provided. I was medically retired for injuries sustained during my deployment to Iraq of 08-09 the last September 2011. I filed everything while on active duty during the quick start program and at first i was very optimistic. Everything moved along very quickly and tracking through ebenefits has been a breeze. It took less than 2 months to get to the "preparation for decision" phase which according to the VA is when the rarer has made a decision and preparing paperwork for approval. Also, according to the VA this is only supposed to take 16-28 days. I have currently been waiting on this since November 2011. I'm thinking about contacting my congressman to see if somekind of fire can be lit under this situation. I'm not in as bad of a situation like some others on here and my best wishes go to those who have yet to find resolve. I'm just throwing my situation out there and taking a proactive approach out the gate based of information provided here. Thank you everybody for your service, and continued support for each other.

    Talon

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  156. I got out in 2005, filed my claim for PTSD and right knee. Heard nothing from them, not a word.

    Last Saturday I received a packet in the mail from VA Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, says that I'm priority group 1 with a rating of 70% service connected.

    I've called a couple of times to try and find out what the award is for, knee or PTSD. Can't get an answer, when I called the VA asked me where I've been. In the last 7 years I've moved twice. Once from SoCal to NorCal and once locally in NorCal. By my accounts the VA owes me a grip of money. In the time between getting out and now I've gotten married and have 3 dependents. I'm pretty sure I'll see a check while on my death bed, but not a minute sooner.

    This is a painful process and with a half a million backlogged claims, they'll never get out from under this stuff and we'll never get our benefits.

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    Replies
    1. So I just got an answer, the VA did award me 70% for my PTSD back in 2005. Never sent the award letter out and I haven't been paid. The VA is in the process of finding out why I haven't received an award letter or been paid.

      So this should be interesting to see how and when this pans out! More to follow.

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  157. After reading so many HORROR stories from other Vets about the VA, I guess I should not feel fustrated. My claim has been in the works since June of 2010.Had C&P in Oct 0f 2010. It finally went to preperation for decision phase in Dec 2011, only to go back to gathering of info in Jan of 2012. had my second C&P for this claim in March of 2012. Well it went back to preperation for decision on April 1st, 2012, only to go back to gathering of info on April 12th, 2012. All medical records are at the VA Hospital in Chicago, and they want more info from them, or perhaps another C&P exam. I have to wait and see if I am contacted. After two letter to my congressman, and one to the Sec of VA affairs, ( a waste of time it seems) I am stuck waiting to see what they want next.If I had performed in the military the way the VA performs on claims, they woud have tossed me out on my a**. Maybe my claim will be decided before Jan of 2013, or at the very latest June of 2013.

    G.Allen

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  158. Hi all , from reading everyones frustration i couldnt find anywhere else to this question online. I was at 70% disabled been out of the Army for a year now things been getting worse. anyways i got a letter in the mail from the VA statin they had changed my disability to 100% and was wondering how long til the py kicks in. Gathering everyones frusration i dont mean to be the guy that got his if it looks like that I apologize its 4 am for me and this is the only webpage i have found to even ask a question.

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    Replies
    1. Im sry for the typo's i usually get 2 hours of sleep a night and everythings blurry to me.

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  159. I just need to vent a little... After reading some of these and getting a letter in the mail i have completely lost hope. I cannot believe there are veterans filed claims in 2010 WITHOUT BENEFITS? What is that about, that scares me.. I started my initial 'quick start' claim January 2011 and finished all C&P exams March 2011, claim sent to rating board 'PREP FOR DECISION on April 2011. It is still there. I did a congressional inquiry with a state congressman (last ditch effort) and finally received a letter back stating the follow:

    "Our office has received an interim response from te Department of Veterans Affairs regarding our inquiry on your behalf. We were advised that your quick start claim will be worked in the next few months. They are currently working claims received in October, 2010. They received your claim in January 2011."

    I hope this information helps someone else thats stressing as much as me. Dirty rats originally told me that i would have my claim done within 90 days lol, fucking scum bags...

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  160. This is all classic political BS. If the work load is such that they have a backlog as large as it currently is, then the common sense thing is to hire more people to handle the work load. Before anyone goes there I already know that common sense isn't common! Shinseki has been nothing but a disappoiontment since being confirmed as the Secrectary of Veterans Affairs. It's utterly ridiculous that so many Vets have to go so many years without the benefits they earned.

    Stream line the process and hire more people to handle the work load.

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  161. Get rid of the Appeals Management Center, all C and P exams, all bonus programs, and give veterans a real benefit of doubt when service medical record conditions is validated by medical evidence by granting initial claims.

    It's a shame that it takes several remands and 5 years only to get a zero percent rating by AMC on BVA grant and another remanded condition on top of that.

    I appealed the zero percent condition by submitting evidence from a gastro specialist basically spelling out the guidelines for a 30 percent rating and my other remanded condition has been awaiting further review since Sept 28th of 2011.

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  162. We all need to contact our local congressmen. It is an easy process to file a congressional against the VA quick start claim center. When you file a congressional they congress office has 5 days to reply to your needs and find the problem and solve it. I just went to my local regional office and they told me there is nothing that they can do and this is what I should do so I did. I have been waiting since June of 2010 for my claim. My father in law filed his through the local regional office and got his rating in 6 wks after all his QTC were over. I would advise everyone to do this. If we make a big enough stink over the issue something will have to happen. They cannot ignore us!!

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  163. Lets organize a day to show up at the winston-salem office with pick signs and protest..

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  164. Im with you on picking the Winston-Salem office.The Government need to get more help by hiring veterans to help push the paper work thru.BVA sucks they take their time on making decisions and have people lives in their hand waiting on 0%.I know my friend got hurt and they give him 0%.VA need help badddddd.

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  165. If the service medical record has the injuries in it, why do C and P exams? I do not understand why the military doctor word not goood enough to make a decision.VA uses a lot of money by doing this.I need money now and these people do not care if Im homeless.They care about how long we can make them wait for my decision.They got an job Im still looking for a job since 2009.They alway say veteran will get the Jobs first in what country not this one.I feel everyone on here with dealing with this system.I went in with and great body and got with and broke down body.

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  166. I filed my claim for an increase in my 10% award for a service connected injury (broken neck in 1969 - awarded on discharge in 1972) in February 2011. Forty years after my cervical fusion, the mobility of my neck has diminished considerably, causing much discomfort. After filing my claim, I was forced to wait one month short of year (January 2012) to finally be scheduled for a disability increase review. Four months later (April 2012), I was informed by the DAV (my authorized sponsor), not the VA... that I am to be awarded an increase in disability compensation from 10% to 60%, based on a complicated and nonsensical formula used to combine the limited movement of my neck and PTSD... 43 years later and an honorable discharge after leaving Vietnam in 1970. As of this date (June 2, 2012), my status remains in the 'Decision Preparation for Mailing' status... as it has been listed on the ebenefits web site since May 18, 2012. In short... I have been patiently waiting for the VA to react and respond to my claim (broken neck issue)for a year and four months now. And from what I can gather here... I will be lucky if my claim reaches a final decision to include an increase in my disability for at least another month or two... maybe longer! A year and half wait in total for an upgrade to a previously awarded compensation related injury(s) suffered over 43 years ago. I used to joke with other veterans that I expect to be dead before I ever realize an increased award. I'm not laughing anymore.

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  167. 23 Months since my claim....still awaiting. Now with the new system you could more or less track where you are within the process, but its a looooonnggg road ahead!

    -Go Army!

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  168. REASONS FOR DECISION

    Review of your VA treatment records show that you had imaging completed in January 2010, indicating a Herniated Nucleus Pulposus. You were referred for physical therapy to be followed with pain management. You were treid on mechanical traction which was unsuccessful, and were issued a TENS unit. You advised that eh TENs had given some temporary relief of pain.

    We attemped to obtain your private treatment records from Dr.XXXXXXXXX. Our July 2, 2010 letter advised you of this, but also encouraged you to obtain these records and to sent them to us. As of this date, we have not received any reconds from Dr.xxxxxxxxx Office (denote Dr. XXXXXXXXX is my primary care doctor that is a VA doctor not a private one.)

    At your recent VA examination, it was noted that you walk with a cane. The examiner commented that you were observed sitting for longer then 30 minutes with out any complaint of back pain.(denote, it was an exam what is one suppose to do at an exam, stand up all the time or lie on a bed or floor, Daa)

    ENTITLEMENT TO INDIVIDUAL UNEMPLOYABLILTY

    After undergoing a thorough VA examination, it was medically opined that although your service connected disabilities would have a major impact on your ability to work a physical job., they do not limit you for working a sedentary job. You are considered capable of gainful employment in a sedentary firld. Therefore entitlement to individual Unemployability is denied.

    Well I sent in a Notice of Disagreement on December 28, 2010. I recently had a video conference with a VA decision rater or so with DAV representing me with all of my facts and meds I take. I am waiting for a decision on what I had presented and there findings.

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  169. I To have a problem with the winston salem VA, While in the Navy I was in a military car accident and my left arm was broken, plus serve back pain..Went to a Naval Hospital for treatement, they put a cast on my arm, put me in traction for my back..I had three months left of active duty after serving nealy four years. When they removed the cast I had limit range with my arm. Could only raise it half way. No therapy noting, this was in 1963, my back was still hurting."Without knowing the doctor of record sign me out fit for duty.I was release 20 days past my enlistment..I file a claim after going to the VA for 25yrs for compensation, Come to find out there are no records of my broken arm, went for a C&P exam and the doctor told me since its not on you records there is nothing he can do..The doctor was 85yrs old part timer and only did this twice a week..He could not even find any VA record I had in Florida..The poor man seem to have his own problems..I am now in the waiting for a decision stage..Wrote my congressmand, plus the govonors office, and no help..All they said is you have to wait..My gut feeling is I will if any get zero from the VA..I should have never bothered with this BS..it only causes sleepless nights..The system sucks..I can't belive I was on complete diablity from SS for 15 yrs, and that never counted..Anyway, I am sorry about all of these sad comments..do you think if we acted the way the VA or goverment acts we would have been able to do our job in the servie..Iam giving up on writing since all I get is the same old story..Nothing..Thanks for letting me vent.

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  170. I certainly feel for everyone on this blog. I filed the BDD thing as well, with the BS promise from the VA rep during acap of 30-60 days. Never took that seriously anyway. Did my C&P's in December and January. Sitting in the gathering evidence still. Ebenefits says that they are waiting on exams and teh rep on teh phone said the same thing. When I called QTC (the folks who did the C&P) I was told they loaded the exams to the website on the 28th of January and all teh VA had to do was hit a simple button to add to the file. My ebenefits shows an estimated completion date of 17 November to 3 March 2013........really specific. And that date is on its second move to the right.

    I have pretty much resigned myself to a year and a half wait on my initial claim and a probably significant time to wait for the appeal I am certain will happen.

    Fortunately, I have a little bit for my retirement and a fairly decent job right now, although standing too long is a killer. But I will survive.

    I also have friends that are raters at the VA and are veterans. It isnt the folks initially doing the paperwork on your ratings, they are generally veterans. It is the pencil pushing, never serving GS-11's and 13's that are screwing you. My friends tell me they submit claims to these folks with everything they need and they let them set on the desk. Then they return them for BS additional information, etc. They try to disapprove what they can and force the rater to spend significant time proving the obvious in the files.

    We want to fix the system, make prior military service mandatory for all VA leadership. These leaders now dont have any skin in the game. They tend to be there for a paycheck.

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  171. I submitted a claim in August 2010 for Bi-lateral hearing loss and tinnitus and the claim just came out of the gathering evidence phase for the second time in July 2012.I have read that the VA had significantly increased its workforce by 70%, well what the hell are these people doing, playing video games, emailing friends, and cruising social media sites. I have been waiting coming up on 24 months for a simple claim that would not have taken any normal functioning operation in the Marine Corp more than 2 maybe three months to get the issue resolved. How many people working on comp. cases for the VA are veterans is one really big question I would like to find out. I am willing to bet it is a very low percentage, because you would not treat your fellow service member in such a manner. I just sold every tool I have for my trade, which I can no longer do, and every personal item I could sell that wasn't bolted down. Been out of work for 2 years and going to school trying to learn another skill at the bachelors degree level while getting in deep with student loans so I can survive. I just find it very hard to do carpentry work(25 years) after rotator cuff surgery and at the same time developing what I finally found out was rheumatoid arthritis. Mean while I have another comp case I would like to start but I am afraid to because it may cause the first one back to the beginning also. This whole VA operation is a joke, like a slap across the face, for all of us veterans who are patiently waiting, and slowly losing everything we own. I remember thinking my savings account would get me through a couple of hard years, and I could not make it last 3/4 of what I thought it would. I was making 8 dollars an hour in 1978 and before 2008 I was doing pretty good at $20/hr plus full benefits, now I can not get disability because i am too young (49) and can do sedentary work! For what, $7.50/hr, you can't be serious, 34 years later and I have to go back to less than I was making as a kid in 1978, WTF. All I want is help to get my degree to become a useful member of society and not a welfare leech, which is one of the reasons this country is in the state it is in. I am having all sorts of medical issues, and can not help but wonder if the reason is because of all of the trichloroethylene and other numerous chemicals contaminating our potable water, and the 6x20x8 dip tank full of trichloroethylene exposed to the open air in our shop at Camp Lejeune in the early eighties, which by the way the VA is not taking comp. cases related to this particular issue anyway. Last statement: doesn't VA mean veterans administration, there to help veterans with their social, health, and economic problems? If so why do they act more like their own separate entity/political party and treat veterans like a dog turd they just realized is on the bottom of their shoe. WE AS VETERANS AND AMERICAN CITIZENS PAY THEIR WAGES AND VERY GENEROUS BENEFITS PACKAGE. WHY WON'T SOMEONE LISTEN TO US????

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  172. I got out of the army in october 2008, I entered my VA claim the following February 2009 for PTSD from my 2 tours, with supporting documents and as well as my torn rotator cup and traumatic brain injury claim. Being that I often tend to forget things that are not routine, I did not call or check up on the claim until my father, also a DV had asked me one night while we were bbqing. This is 2010, when I called and got transferred numerous times to different extensions I finally got told that they were waiting for supporting documents from my medical records. I often get flustered and upset with things of this nature, especially when I can not get a straight answer so I let the claim take its course. 2011 came, finally went to some appts, physical, again, psych, again and much like the army it seemed I hurried up to just wait. Here we are in 2012, I finally got a call last month saying how they had approved me 80% and were back paying me all the way to 2009 when I had intially submitted my claim.

    I'm still in a bit of disbelief and it has been 3 weeks, but I have not recieved anything in the mail or any other phone calls. When I check on my status it just shows its in the rating stage, so my guess is they have yet to update the status on their website. Anyhow I just wanted to know if this has happened to any one else on here. Also once u get your call explaining the compensation and rating, how long till I get the paperwork? I asked on the phone, but got a roundabout answer and I do not hear too well as it is and didn't have my wife around as my extra set of ear. I'm just anxious and don't want to feel as if I am getting the run around.

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  173. I have 5 years and waiting. i am in the rating stage. Dows any one know how long the rating stage is? And whats the rating for malignant cancer

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  174. This reads like a bad country song. I am over 1100 days for TDIU. Lost my home. Almost lost my dogs. It was SSDI that saved my dogs from having to go bye bye.
    I was told several months ago that I was in the decision phase but the VA still hasn't sent me any letters yet. I am lucky that I eventually met someone who gave me a plave to live and put me under their medical insurance who really cared about me. Otherwise, that old saying about being a homeless bum would have rang true.
    Can't work at all due to back injury being so severe and going down my leg all the time.
    One one hand, I am fortunate that after all these years, my claim was decided. I really am.
    Lord knows that I would like to buy my new family some better food and maybe a lawnmower.
    My dogs deserve some bones too. They held on for years eating generic kibbles and bits.
    I would trade this back pain and nerve damage anyday to be able to work. I would rather work but I am forced to live this way due to crippling pain.

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