UPDATE: 12/15/2017: Most of the information in the following post is no longer applicable as VA has modernized and updated its appeals process to better ensure Veterans receive the benefits they deserve in a more-timely manner. The following post remains available to better understand the evolution of the appeals process. For updated information, please read the blog titled VA launches program to resolve compensation appeals sooner.

In my previous two posts, I discussed the difference between a claim and an appeal and the appeals process that occurs at the VA regional office. If you have not read those posts, I suggest you start with those, as this post builds on those.

There is a perception that a lot of the regional offices’ decisions are appealed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. This is not accurate. Historically, only 4 percent of all claims the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) decides are appealed to the board. The perception probably comes from the increasing number of pending appeals, but that growth is explained by looking at the math. In the last four years, VBA has completed more claims than ever before in its history. Because VBA has completed so many more claims, the volume of appeals has also increased, even though the rate of appeals of VA decisions has remained steady.

If after receiving a statement of the case (SOC) from the regional office you still are not satisfied with the regional office’s decision, you can file a VA Form 9, Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, within 60 days from the date the SOC is mailed.

Appeals at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Once the board receives your appeal, it assigns a docket date based on the date VA received your Form 9. This date is important: under the law, the board must work appeals in docket order. Currently, the median, or middle, docket date of appeals the board is working is July 2014. Some newer appeals can be pushed to the front of the line: those from older Veterans and survivors, those who are terminally-ill or those who have documented financial hardship, etc. It’s important to know that if the board remands (returns) your appeal to the regional office to gather more evidence, you won’t lose your place on the board’s docket.

Just like in the regional offices, several Veterans service organizations are located at the board. If you choose not to have a hearing before the board, your representative will write a legal argument on your behalf. The board will consider that argument when it conducts its own de novo review of your claim. If you choose to have a hearing, your representative will help you explain your case at that hearing. VA will transcribe the hearing and put it in your file. The board can do one of three things: grant your appeal, deny your appeal or send (remand) it back to the regional office for more action.

If you disagree with the board’s decision, you may pursue an appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). If the CAVC denies your appeal, you can appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If you lose the appeal there, you can petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review. The Supreme Court grants review in very few appeals. Generally, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court review only legal matters in an appeal, not agency decisions.

In my next piece, we will discuss what happens when the board remands your appeal. But in the meantime, I am happy to answer questions about the process at the board in the comments section. Since I don’t work at the board, I have asked a friend who does work there to help me answer your questions. Please remember we cannot answer questions on your specific appeals.

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Published on Feb. 17, 2016

Estimated reading time is 3.2 min.

Views to date: 533


  1. richard wilson March 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    i went to the conroe va clinic for years seeing different dr’s constantly, been going to the va since i had a deuce and a half dropped on me in 1989 crushing me lost all the feeling in my left leg 8 years ago i finally got the best md and mental dr’s in my history of the v/a i Doctor that spent more than five minutes with me. his wife also worked there and she took care of my mental heath, together they cut my meds in half, and neither had God syndrome , she didnt try and force me on antidepession meds, and my md finally got my pain and anxiety disorder, and insomnia. i never felt better but because the Doctor spent to much time with his patients he was constantly getting hounded, so he went into private practice. me and many other veterans left the v/a clinic and followed him. his wife also left.i continued to see him for the last 7 years. He got promoted to wound care and bio-chamber care at the hospital recommended another doctor gave us three months of medication refills until we could get in. That dr filled up to fast for me to get in to see so two weeks ago i went back to the conroe v/a clinic, only to find out how barbaric, they are!!!!! i cant feel my left leg my spine is crushed i am in a power wheelchair, i said could you please just put me back on the same meds i was on. I have to have help getting up out of bed ,help getting showered,,help getting my wheelchair loaded, and unloaded, i live alone so have to get help from a friend, my daughter, or x-girlfriend, or my son to come help me. i final made it to the conroe v/a clinic, only to find out they changed the laws on pain management, couldnt get any of the same medications i was on 7 years prior and 24 years prior to that. instead the new doctor said i would have to go to 7 different appointments in houston tx, to get on the same medications ive been on 31 years, ive had numerous epidurals, Cant have anymore surgery’s on my back since then ive have two seizures, I had a stroke years ago from taking a depo testostrone shot one night the v/a gave me, woke up with my entire right side paralyzed was taken to the local ER ended up with a $23000.00 medical lien against me, i asked to speak to the patient advocate was told if i had problems with the doctor contact my congressman. i can not even get to my congressman my wheel chair lift the v/a installed on my vehicle fell off my truck the hitch my power chair i paid for broke ive waited a month for them to come replace my broken lift, they did send a man to my house to half ass fix my power chair its like pushing a shopping cart with a broken wheel the chair was drug a block before iwe could stop so there is a bald spot on the wheel and the seat adjuster is still broke. i called to get it replaced sent letters from 2 private local doctors that both said it needed replaced. was told i had to go to Houston mobility clinic. how in the hell am i suppose to get there !!!!! catch 22 no lift cant get there missed last 4 appointments so i just lay here waiting for a lift or to die from seizures and strokes. i also didnt get my clothing allowance two years ago, always got it before that, fillied a notice of appeal , denied told to file an appeal, filled out an i-9, which i had to turn into the same guy that denied me,never heard but on appeal, got denied again this year, call told the houston prosthetic dept the day my ridge back brace was ordered nov 3rd 2012 the day i was fitted nov 20th 2012, the day it was issued dec 3rd 2012, sent a picture then went and showed it to steven , he said it couldnt see it on his computer the patient advocate in houston called him told him the date and Mrs C an executive at the Houston V/A hospital whom was very nice and i believed would help me, would. i was wrong steven told me this year to file a notice of disagreement and another i-9 for this year. talk about the wolf guarding the hen house, i still had not heard anything from the appeal the year before. ITS BARBARIC TREATMENT I HAVE ALL THE RECORDS SECURE MESSAGES RECORDS AND COPIES OF THE PAPERWORK. ILL JUST KEEP PRAYING SOMEONE HAS THE ABILITY TO FIX THESE PROBLEMS.,

  2. Fred Wilson February 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I have a few questions that hopefully you will be able to answer for me.
    #1 I filed a claim and received a decision letter stating that I was awarded a percentage for my service connected disability but the severity of the disability did not warrant a higher percentage at this time as they (V.A.) stated in their decision letter that I did not meet the requirements for the higher percentage. After reading the requirements that would warrant the higher percentage I felt that I did indeed meet them. So I asked my primary doctor and my vascular if they each would fill out a D.B.Q. on my behalf stating that in their medical opinion I did in fact meet the requirements, they both did and I submitted this evidence through my D.A.V. rep. requesting a reconsideration on their decision as to the higher percentage.
    The letter I received back from them baffled me. They (V.A.) said that the D.B.Q.s submitted was not considered new evidence. The V.A. considered the two D.B.Q.s as repetitive and redundant. I don`t understand how they can say this as they only had a letter written by me when they awarded me my disability in the first place. I have since filled a N.O.D. well within the one year requirement, asking for a D.R. O. review.

    #2 If I file another claim will it be looked at on its own merit or will it be lumped in with my appeal? After reading some of the stories here I feel that I will be waiting for years to get an answer on the new claim as well as the appeal (Note: I was advised to ask for a reconsideration before filling an appeal because that would be faster and in my rep`s opinion there was no reason that I would not get the higher percentage) Boy were we wrong.

    3 I have heard that when you file an appeal that the V.A. looks at only the issue you have appealed. I have also heard that your entire case file is looked at during the appeal process. Maybe this is why there is such a huge backlog on filed claims. Can you please clarify this for me?

  3. Rodney Boyd February 26, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    No, she is definitely telling the truth. I am at the board at this very moment and have constantly been denied, even though the evidence in the case states that all events happened in service. I served in Desert Storm and have been diagnosed with PTSD by a VA DR. and my personal DR. They have corroborated my stressor and everything and these people are talking about prove it…….bunch of BS. See when people walk into places and blow their asses up then they want to call you a lunatic but never ask what did they do to make a person so mad.

  4. THog February 24, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Just wondering if there is anything I can do. I wanted to file a disagreement for my disability rating. I was told to go through a VSO because they know what they are doing. Locally, I was referred to the DAV. I did wait 11 months of the 12 months I had to file it; however, I gave it to the DAV and was emphatic that it had to be filed by the deadline. I called the VSO everyday to ensure it got sent to the VA. He finally told me he was working it and to stop calling him. Long story short, they did not file it in time and the VA denied my disagreement because the 12 month period expired. Is there anything I can do?

  5. John J. Toni, Jr. February 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Good news, the eBenefits site has (finally) been updated with the most current version of VA Form 21-256EZ (May 2015). The data you fill in during the on-line application process for compensation gets transferred to this form once you sign and date it electronically. Not sure why the form continues to ask questions about if you want to receive your service retirement pay or VA compenstion; how would one even know this if they are new to the game? VA should not ask this question until they decide if you will receive the compensation you are asking for. The VA should inform you as to the compensation you are entitled to and then notify you of your options.

  6. Ruben Fonseca February 22, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    I have been told that I can check out the status of disability claims by accessing e-benefits. Wrong. Is there such a place whereby I can find the status of my claims. I don’t even know if it was ever received, since I got no confirmation. Please advise.

  7. Guy Rich February 21, 2016 at 10:25 am

    A bunch of statistical gooble-degook!! Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) once remarked: Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.
    The Bottom Line is that the VA has an unwritten policy of ignore and deny.

  8. John Leslie Fleming February 20, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I filed a Title 38, section 1151, because a fine needle biopsy went wrong during a surgery in a VA facility. The surgeon who did the procedure wrote a letter on my behalf noted that not only had the surgery disfigured me, but it had made the use of my right arm and shoulder difficult, at best. she mentioned that the situation has not improved and may never improve. At present, I have about 25% usage of the limb and the pain is intolerable. In spite of the surgeon coming forward on my behalf, the claims department denied the 1151 based completely on lies and matters that did not pertain to the case.

    I filed an appeal, and the Director of the pain clinic wrote, yet, another letter on my behalf and pretty much said that the claims person out and out lied. This is the doctor who is tasked with doling out my Methadone, Hydrocodone, and Tizanidine has become very familiar with my case and he would not be giving me those kinds of drugs unless there was something severely wrong. There is no “fix” for the damage that was done by the VA. The bills mount and I’m afraid that the next help I am getting from the VA well be as a homeless Vet. I cannot work, because I cannot get behind the wheel f a car on these narcotics, let alone try to do a job single-handedly. I am told that the appeal should be resolved within three to six years.

    Thanks, VA! Always there to help the Vets!

  9. Monika Jones-Lyons February 20, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I have submitted a claim for my dad who is a purple heart and 89 years old almost a year ago. I have been told that all claims have now been pushed back to 2020 – this is ridiculous – someone that has served his country and has to wait FOUR more years just to get a response. I was told to send a letter saying he is over 80 and indicate the financial hardship. My dad has dementia and cannot advocate for himself so I am doing this for him. It has been an awful year of getting the run-around, no return calls, etc. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO EXPEDITE THESE CLAIMS FOR VETS THAT HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH. We are not asking for a hand-out – only what he deserves………..frustrated veteran’s daughter

  10. Larry Dobbins February 20, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    If after submitting VA form 9 in response to a SOC, I submit new evidence, will the VA’s receipt of that new evidence reset the docket number to a higher number (later date based on the new evdience)?

  11. Larry Dobbins February 20, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    If I submit new evidence after filing VA form 9 (after receiving a SOC) will the new evidence reset my docket number to the new evidence receipt date?

  12. Vincent F. Neuroth February 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Is it better to use outside doctors or get a VA PCP? VA doesn’t seem to review or respect outside doctor’s records?

  13. Thomas Farmer February 20, 2016 at 3:05 am

    “We don’t have a record of that” is all the VA ever says when checking on anything. When I point out I sent things via registered mail and they signed for it they hang up. No response is ever made to e-mails. It has been over 40 years now. These dishonorable twits have no intention of even acknowledging valid claims. Demand your congressman move to fire all VA administrators.

  14. calvin valentine Jr February 19, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I been waiting for my claim since 2010. I was diagnosed with ptsd. I lost my house,car, and family. Denied medical assistance because I have no income and can not hold a job. I tried to kill myself 3 times now and am living on the streets. So if anyone could help me please call me at 985-519-0655.

  15. Paul Coleman February 19, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    The “claim” of only 4% is an outright LIE and the author, a VA employee knows that it’s a LIE.

    I have appeals pending from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

    Talked to rater and DRO at the Little Rock Regional Office and both had a below average IQ ( 85 for the rater and maybe 99 for the DRO ) and neither could understand what VA and private doctors had written in exam notes and opinions. Also did NOT understand and/or have a working knowledge of 38 CFR.

    Plus the VA’s motto is “Lie & Deny”.

    • M.P. Oliver February 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Joseph Cecil Coleman, Your “waiting” period seems 4 years 300 days more than unacceptable. Do You have any advocates? Attorney? legal team? Resourceful relatives? Your “Remand” was/is a very important legal document with great liability to the V.A. IF not performed upon they are liable in CAVC to penalty et al. There are legal remedies for your situation, please avail yourself of these instruments of legal process. FYI, your wife has legal right to pursue your award should you untimely pass.

  16. Joseph Cecil Coleman February 19, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    I am waiting for a decision after my claim being remanded from the U.S. Federal Veterans Appeal Court in 2011.

  17. Joseph Cecil Coleman February 19, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I am 83 years old and waiting after a remand from the Veterans Appeals Court in 2011.

  18. Robert Kersten February 19, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    My appeal was sent back to Denver RO from BVA for remand, this was 2 years ago. I have tried repeatedly to get a status of my claim….but no replies. I would like to know if it is in fact actually being worked on/examined or just put on hold somewhere.

  19. Robert Causey February 19, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Ian going to sue the hell out of it of them I have certified and expressed mailed and had my CP board. I am not going to play. I will sue the individuals who signed my paperwork upon recieving them.

  20. CHARLES W STECZ February 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    8July 2015 Awarded 0% PTSD stating not on Meds. or being treated. This is incompetent or just plain lazy, you see at that time and now I am on Meds. and being seen at Pensacola VA Clinic .
    8July 2015 appealed 0% comp.
    7 Oct.2015 awarded 10% based on Chronic Sleep Impairment Controlled By Continuous Meds.
    In the same letter this is a30% rating. See 40130(9411) Schedule of Ratings – Mental Disorders.
    3Nov.2015 Filed Form 9. Requesting hearing at local office .Also for regional to read my VA health records.
    31Dec.2015 Rec. letter from regional that they transferred my records to (BVA) in Washington DC and BVA will notify me when they Rec. them.

    19 Feb.2016 still nothing

  21. Michael P. Oliver; 15-0389 February 19, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Against ALL odds, I “just” received CAVC Order for Joint Remand and Mandate on 1/28/2016.
    My “Claim” goes back to 1968, albeit THIS Claim Filed February 2006.
    Final Decision that was subject of; “Vacatur” and “Remand”that was stamped December 21st, 2010.
    DELIVERY to me was actually accomplished four hundred forty two days later.
    Secretary/V.A. Filed for Dismissal due to equitable tolling (being late).
    I was able to prove equitable tolling was V.A./ Not me, ONLY because I kept every shred of evidence;
    through a period of homelessness, divorce and living in my small auto.
    CAVC denied V.A. dismissal almost seven months after I entered CAVC in January 2015.
    Am I now expecting a miracle? No I’m not, however Attorney that agreed to rep. me at CAVC;
    One out of thirty two who would not, was able to achieve Joint Remand and of course due payment from V.A. Fund.
    They indicated they would rep. me back at BVA, we will see if this is true! Nonetheless, I’m telling you this to;
    potentially encourage those who are about to give up! Please do not my fellow vets! DO NOT GIVE UP!

  22. Jonathan Hammond February 19, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Ive been waiting for over six years and i call the board and the only answer i get is they aer waiting on the judge to call my docket. How long does it take for the judge to call a docket i went to my C&P On last april and im still waiting for the judge to call my docket maybe in april? Which i had an answer

    • Paul Casto February 21, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Alot more people are legite [redacted]!!! [redacted] Vietnam Vet Huh? You [redacted] haven’t even deployed like us nowadays [redacted]

      Editor’s note: Portions of this comment were redacted by Vantage Point staff per VA’s social media policy.

  23. Clearly Upset February 19, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Jesus, I just finished reading all this whining and belly-aching. As a Vietnam veteran, you all should be ashamed of yourselves. What do expect for nothing? You’re not the only one – you sound like a bunch of selfish, entitled spoiled brats. How many of your disability claims are actually legitimate? A local veteran here at the VFW actually told me that you have to go in and make up stuff and go from there when you meet with the physician. I decided to keep my integrity intact rather than try to hustle some free money from the taxpayers. Some of you ought to be ashamed of yourselves! When I filed a claim for some help with obtaining prescription drug coverage I received a letter explaining that I was at the bottom of the bottom of the list. No problem – there are far more veterans worse of than I am. If you’re so goddam unhappy then go out and buy insurance like the rest of us. Just sayin’.

    • Stephen Sliss Jr February 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      I did not make of my VA claims because the DOD admitted to all of my medical problems due to military service after VP Cheney, Adm. D. Cooper, Adm. M. Mullen and others got involved in trying to help me.
      However, it seems that VA Claims Processing Personnel Division are allowed to commit federal crimes on VA files and a huge amount of times not get arrested.
      Before you judge veterans like me and others as whining and belly-aching, find out all the facts !!
      My wife has to help me physically a lot of the times, I have 24/7 pain with Leukemia from radiation exposure, TBI Injury, PTSD, vein & femoral artery disease, arthritis in several places of my body, and other issues.
      All my 25 VA C&P exams were written in my favor except for one that was falsified by a VA Medical Director over 1,500 miles away from me which he never seen me and said he did (VA personnel set this up from the VA Oakland Regional Offices).
      So find out your facts first before opening your mouth !!

  24. John J. Toni, Jr. February 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Please have one of those nice “someone’s at the Roanoke, Virginia RO reach out to me” and reinstate my 100% monthly VA benefits that stopped effective August 1, 2015 because the decision letter stated that’s what I wanted, hello!! Why in the world would anyone file a compensation claim and then say they don’t want to receive their VA benefits? Not only were my VA benefits stopped; my service retirement CRSC payment was converted back to taxable retirement and I received a bill from VA’s debt management center saying I owe $10,200 in over payments! This decision by the RO was an error on their part and it resulted when I filed an on-line claim on the eBenefits site in July of 2015 for a new secondary disability. When you use the on-line claim system, you fill in blanks and at the end of the process you sign and date the file electronically and it flows to the RO. You don’t see the actual VA Form 21-526EZ that your information is transferred to unless you happen to notice the little link where you can print a copy at the end of the process. The RO claims I placed an X in block 17 of the form which stated that I wanted to receive my Air Force retired pay in lieu of VA benefits. Once again, you don’t see the form 21-256EZ during the on-line, fill-in-the-blank, process so you can’t possibly place an X in block 17! The version of the VA Form 21-256EZ (Jan. 2014) currently being used by the on-line compensation claim system is obsolete and was superseded in May 2015 and the new form clearly states the Jan. 2014 version “Will Not Be Used”. ROs continue to use this obsolete form to make decisions on claims. I don’t understand why you don’t fill out the actual Form 21-526EZ during the on-line process as there are many changes to the new version and lots of notes to guide you in completing the form. I wrote the RO back in October of 2015 and informed them that I did not recall placing an X in box 17 but if I did, I’m asking that you please remove it as it was inadvertent. I’ve called and called and called the “1000” number and have not received any word on my benefits being reinstated. Why is it the ROs have no deadlines to make things right?

  25. Stephen Sliss Jr February 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I just filed my 16th VA-Board of Veterans Appeals some of which go back to 1981, 1990, 1991, and last added claim is 2012.
    I have had my VA files trashed with witnesses by VA personnel, files mixed up, records changed, some of the NSO’s were working with the VA personnel doing it with is violating Federal Racketeering Laws – RICO.
    One of the VA-BVA Judges threatened me during a BVA hearing with witnesses. Some of my VA-BVA hearing records were illegally edited and/or missing. And many more acts of Criminal Federal Felonies by BVA & VA Personnel Claims Division.
    Federal Crime Does Pay In The VA With Salary, Bonuses, & Benefits.
    Yes, I filed many complaints about all of this to Congress, White House, VA Secretary both Past & Current, including the U.S.Justice Dept. who refused to help me. Some federal agents admitted to me that they wanted to help me but there bosses told them that they were not to get involved in criminal problems by VA personnel regarding VA claims unless it is the veteran that commits the crime !!!

  26. CHARLES W STECZ February 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I just typed in a long letter and you rejected it claiming wrong code .and erased my letter

  27. Alphonso Lee Adams February 19, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Why do VA have different standards for family member’s who work there? I have the same cancer submitted claim for the cancer and wad denied but my friend who knows someone at the VA claims got his approved in just a couple of months. We both retired in 1998 and I deployed to the Gulf War but he didn’t. What do you see wrong with this decision?

  28. Alphonso Lee Adams February 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I spent all this time typing to get and error code

  29. William F. Wilderson Sr. February 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    I will not use this site again since everything I submitted was deleted. The only way to get anything done is to do it one-on-one.
    Bill Wilderson – Vietnam Vet
    Don’t give me this BS about a CAPTCHA Code – I did everything as directed.

    • William F. Wilderson Sr. February 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      I will not longer settle for unresponsiveness and rejection by the VA and our so-called congressional reps. This will be the last message from me. Again, thanks to me fellow vets. I still feel like I am fighting my own battle but combined maybe we can do something.
      Wild Bill

  30. Mark Clifford Hines February 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    You say completed claims, I say let’s see what they will settle for. I would not boast about your completed claim rate, when your appeal rate is about the same!

  31. Lawrence Williams February 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    The first thing I would do is FIRE Robert McDonald. He is nothing other than a political appointment by the worse president in my lifetime. He has done nothing to repair all the problems of the VA. USMC NCO Vietnam 1966-67 combat veteran.

  32. James R Kiehn February 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I filed an NOD in Jan 2013. I am a Vietnam veteran with Agent Orange issues. The AR regional office gave a lawyer I hired for a CAVC case 20% of my TDIU case that gave me back pay to 2006. The second remand for the TDIU gave me a nexus and was before the attorney did anything.
    I also had a nexus for depression that was denied. My claim for severe hearing loss and tinnitus was also denied.
    When will I hear from ;the regional for a SOC?
    I also am now being treated for a second cancer on the Agent Orange list.

  33. Cynthia Carter February 19, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    My claim for bilateral carpal tunnel took 11 years and went all the way to the Supreme Court. I thought about giving up many times but if it hadn’t have been for the DAV being my representative I wouldn’t have Won my claim and don’t forget if you win they have to pay you from the date of filing your claim. Also remember that it effects your claim rating and if it’s over 50% then you will get reimbursed for prescriptions also.

  34. charles mayberry February 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    i had got hurt a the VA hospt. im muskogee ok and after get back into the state of oklahome from little rock i file a tort claim and was told it would be in 30 days after the 30 day were up i ask the law over in the office of the vet affairs what was take so long to hear about the claom he told me that they had it and it found they were no foults in what had happen and i had 30 day to reamend it so i did and ask to be at the next hearing so time went by had not heard from anyone so i went back to vets affirs lawer and ask what was taken so long he said he could not get a stament from a doctor he had left the country and the case was closed and it would be in the fed courts to be open if i had a lawer i told him lawer dont like taken vet case so what do you do now

  35. Wilson Perez Jr. February 19, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    What does it mean to have your NOD stamped “TERMINAL,EXPEDITE” ? I’m awaiting a Liver Transplant and have undergone a 24 week Harvoni treatment,my 3rd attempt at getting cured for Hep C but I don’t know when I’ll get a Liver and probably Kidneys.I appreciate my current Benefits and have only asked for an earlier effective date to leave my Spouse and family in good stead.My NOD is currently 300 days old at the Board,the last time I had to contact Bob MacDonald to get things going and I don’t really want to do this again.

  36. BERNARD L EDWARDS February 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    1) I went to local VSO office in Hampton, VA in October of 2008. I was advsied by the VSO Rep at that time that I qualified for “VA Pension” based on the fact that my Wife was not employed and I was receiving Social Security Disability from SSDI. I aske this VSO Rep if my Wife was to get a Job in the future would this affect the VA Pension for which I was applying for, he said No. Because, that once it was approved, it was approved forever, this was a bold face lie.
    2) My wife received a $424.00 IRA payout from a former employer who created a IRA Account without none of his employees knowing about what he did. When this employer went out of business that is when my Wife received notice that she had a IRA Account. She deposited the $424.00 in the bank and we filed the 1099 on our taxes. I received a letter in 2012 from the VA Pension office in Philadelphia, PA asking me to filled out a “Financial Status Report”. I sent 3 from the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. I never received notification that they had been received by the “VA Pension Dept” in Philly. I made the mistake of sending them via US Mail without it being sent using “Certified Mail” with a signature Request, thus no accountability to say that per the “VA Pension Dept” in Philly.

    3) In October, 2014 I received a letter from the “VA Pension Dept” stating that my “VA Pension” would be stopped because they never received the “Financial Accounting Status” that they had requested earlier.

    4) In February, 2015 I went back the “VSO” Hampton, VA office and found out that the “VSO” Rep that had helped me filed the “VA Pension” was no loner there. I was then advised by the “VSO Spvr” that if I did not apply for a “Waiver of Debt” that the VA by Law could start taking the monies I received for the VA Pension total amount of $42,000.00 from my Social Security Disability to repay the $42,000.00 back. I of course said this is what I would do because my “VA Pension” was stop Feb. 01, 2015.

    5) I came back in 1 week and spoke with a different “VSO” Rep in the same VSO Hampton, VA office and was asked how come I had never filed for “VA Disability” instead of the “VA Pension” because the “VA Pension” is “Income Based” only and it is just like “Welfare” or “TANF” and if the Veteran “Household Income” status changes, such as: Wife gets a job, son or Daughter gets a job, it doesn’t matter if the Veteran is “Disabled” all “Household Income” is the main qualifier’s for the Veteran to receive the “VA Pension”. Also that any changes of additional “Household Income” will disqualify the “VA Pension”.

    6) The “VSO” Rep said for me to try and get my “VA In-Service Medical Files” so that she and I could see if there was any “Service Connected Treatment” done for what I was receiving SSDI for. She told me to sign a electronic signature box for me to file my “Waiver of Debt” request form to be sent regarding the $42,000.00 that I had received for the “VA Pension” to prevent the VA from taking it out of my Social Security Disability Monthly Payments. I sign in this box. in May, 2015 I received a letter from the Roanoke, VA “Veteran Regional Office advising me of my “Service Connected Disability Claim Application” and I was like I had not applied for any “VA Disability” but it was done without my permission by this “VSO” Rep in Hampton, VA VSO office. I called the rep and ask why did she forward a application and knew I had not got my “Service Treatment Records” and she replied, “If you want I can stop it by putting in a “Withdraw Claim Request” asap. I told he No and That I would proceed anyway.

    7) I was lucky because I got my VA Treatment Records in October 2015 and discovered that the same things that I was declared disabled through the Social Security Disability Dept and that the same things that I’m current being treated for at the Hampton Virginia Veteran Medical Center are one in the same. I was received a Honorable Discharge in May 1971 and that that time they did not give not just me, but any Veteran upon being discharged from active duty their “Medical Treatment Records” nor their “Military Personnel Records” because the VA was not required to do so.

    8) My VA Disability Claim that I submitted did not have a “PTSD” claim attached to it. But after I went to have my “C&P Exam” in December 2015, the Doctor who examined for my “C&P” diagnosed me with having “PTSD” even though, none of the doctors at the “HVAMC” had diagnosed me with “PTSD”. My VA Disability Claim” was denied because there was “No Known Stressor” in my VA Service Treatment Records nor my “Military Personnel Records” to support the claim. But they did not approve the claim for the other 4 documented and what I’m currently being treated for at the “HVAMC” in Hampton, VA, not looking at what the “Social Security Disability Dept.” has approved me for as being the same medical diagnosis.

    9) This is my personal experience with the Veterans Affairs. (A) Send all requested and non-requested letters, forms and any documents regarding anything that has to do with your Pension, Disability Claim, Medical Treatment, Appeals, etc… via “Certified Mail Requesting a Signature”. If not, the VA will state they never received it. Make someone sign for your correspondence, because based on my experience with the VA, they only hire people, without last names, therefore you will never, I repeat never find out who or whom you have been talking with. The VA have “Call Centers” all over the US. (B) Scan all of your letters and the envelopes for the date that the VA send you. Because they have people that do not care at a “RATIO” of 15% that care and 85% that don’t. (C) Do background checks on all of the “VSO” Reps, “DAV” Reps that are suppose to be helping, because they are not VA employees, they hired by your state goverment and not at the Federal Level. To Hell with the “States Rights” B.S. leave it for the politicians rhetoric at election time, because they do not know you or care about you. (D) Always, and I mean ALWAYS have a “Family Member” present when you got to any Veteran Facility, VSO office, DAV office, beause the normal mode of operation is for them to lie to your face. (E) A micro-pocket recorder” is also a good thing to have. Pull that “Recorder out and if the person that is being paid to help you the Veteran have a problem with you recording the conversation, then leave and find one who don’t care about the recorder being used, because if they are there to help you the Veteran they have nothing to hide for stating the TRUTH! And lastly, whether your filing a VA Claim, filing an appeal of a denial a claim or getting treatment at a VA Medical Facility. Always write down the names and times of all In Person or On the Phone interactions with any and all people you come in contact with. Because as I have had the unfortunate experience of having to come in contact with some of the most ruthless, backstabbing, non accountable people on the face of this entire planet, it was through my meeting them at these Veterans Affairs Facilities, VSO office’s and DAV rep. Oh by the way, just because a Veteran did not serve in a combat war zone, that does not make him no more less than a Veteran who did serve in a combat war zone. As some of you already know, A VET IS STILL A VET!

  37. Carl G. Lilly February 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Gayle I just left a very long comment reference post by Dominque. I entered the CATCHA Code as it was written then told it wasn’t good. I don’t know if I spoke too much truth in support of her but I’m very concerned when something like that happens. I’m a retired Technology teacher and I believe I can follow those simple instructions. Is there any way to retrive my message, if not I will write again. My comments praised the VA for they did right and it also demonstrated how right Dominque was in her comments. Your help to retrieve my comments will be helpful. If not I will write them again. I am VFW Post Commander and it is my job to support our veterans in any way I can.

    • BERNARD L EDWARDS February 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      I put it in as it was given cap letters and all. It did not go through. so I used all lower case letters and numbers and it went through. Give it a try, good luck. Also my comments are awaiting moderation. I hope that does not mean, CENSORED.

  38. Joseph Harvey February 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Dominique joseph, thank you for your help.
    I have a quick question I received notice from the board of veterans appeals that a decision Had been made in my appeal. I was elated and thought my years of waiting were finally over my appeal had been won and granted it’s now been over a month and I haven’t received any more information about my claim? For example my new rate of disabilty. And also have not received my back pay? Please explain who and what I’m waiting on now? And also any idea of any kind of time frame I’m looking at now?
    I use the st Petersburg ro.
    Thank you

  39. James Kuroiwa February 19, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    The many comments on their experience with the VA appeals process is probably why only 4% file an appeal. I am aware that the VA is attempting to improve the appeals process, as we all sit or lay in bed waiting. There has been many improvements on the filing, processing, and decisions on claims, but at present no improvements in appeals.

  40. Ray Girard February 19, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    March 5,2012,still await resolution on my A&A appeal.Am 100%s/c,open heart surgery,heart failure,diabetes.If they wait longer they will only have to pay my insurance policy.
    As far as VA care….Tops! Best specialists,hospital,care.I am indebted and appreciate all they do.
    I believe 4years is a bit long to wait.
    But being a Viet Nam vet,I can

  41. Adrian Richard Hummel February 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I had my hearing on 10 September 2015 after 32 years of waiting to see if I have gotten my disability. My case worker told me it works for me it should work for them. My case worker said I most likely will get is 30% and to me that is great. What I getting at how long will it take?

  42. Faithful February 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    I have been retired for over 20 years. However, I’m about to file for disability for an event that happened at the beginning of my career. I didnt file because I thought I could deal with it but it worsened over the years. What is your opnion on getting someone to help me file the necessary paperwork? I’ve been told this office is better than that office (DAV vs. VSO) etc.

  43. Jerry Monroe February 19, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Its all ways hurry send in information and wait.been waiting since 2013 when I did my c/p exam in Vero beach Florida.How much longer should it be.All ready 3 years?

  44. donald February 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Why is it easer and quicker for dishonorably discharged persons to get their services connected disability clams approved (60 days or less) then honorably discharged people up to 10 years???? Is this only going on at the Detroit Dept. of Veterans affairs or is it nation wide????

    And dishonorably discharged military persons get 3000+ per month for life and Honorable discharged Veterans get “bend over and F%$ed from the Detroit Veterans affaire dept.

  45. Ramona February 19, 2016 at 11:32 am

    After 10 years of trying to work with the VA on correcting a wrongful termination of my mother’s apportionment from my brother who is the veteran, she won her case from the Board of Veterans Appeals in August of 2010. It was sent back to the Regional Office in Roanoke VA for them to pay her the apportionment she had been denied and to reinstate her monthly apportionment from my brother. We let them know that she was in poor health and asked them to speed up the completion of the order. They did not. My mother passed in November of 2010. I am the executor of her Estate and I’m being denied the money owed her by the VA office. They are not even looking at the details and stating there is no law governing that or that I did not explain my self. In December 2015, I sent them another letter of disagreement and have not received any communication from them. Can I go back to the Board of Veteran Appeals with this case? Thanks for your help, since it’s hard to navigate through this system that seems to be against veterans and their dependents. (Note: No one else can receive the apportionment and it can’t go back to my brother because of his situation).

  46. Robert February 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

    In 2012 I filed a claim for “sarcoidosis” which a lung disease. I was stationed in Plieku, Vietnam from August 1968 to July 1969. I didn’t have any problems when I was stationed at Wright Patterson from 1966 to 1968 prior to be shipped to Viet Nam. I did get sick just before I left Nam. In early 70’s had started having issues with my lungs. In 1975 my primary care
    physician had me have ex-ray and on that x-ray there was a spot on my right lung. Later between 1975 and 1979 lumps
    on my face and had a ENT doctor check them out, but he could explain what they were. By 1979 after being sick every year
    I started having problems with my lungs. My PC sent to have x-rays and the one spot I had in 1975 turned into many spots
    on both lungs. I then was sent to a pulmonary specialist in Boston. After numerous lung tests they sent me to NW hospital
    Newton Mass. for a open lung biopsy. The spots had become blotches on both lungs. I was then diagnosed with sarcoidosis
    and after 10 days in the hospital recovering from lung surgery I was immediately put 55MG prednisone (steroid) for 18 months. I am now in remission but I do have breathing tests and see a pulmonary doctor every year. I have had 2 VA physicians tell me that while I was in Viet Nam I was was exposed to Agent Orange and that was origin of how I ended up
    with sarcoidosis. I attempting to file another claim and hoping that the VA will finally recognized that my problem origin
    was from me stationed in Viet Nam.

  47. Ed kowalcik February 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

    So I filed my VA form 9 appeal in Jan 10, 2013 it went to the Oakland CA VA, same as everyone else. Was told the average wait time was 720 days now that average wait time is 765 days. Still waiting. On a good note I do have my VA medical records.

  48. Odean Danio Spence February 19, 2016 at 11:17 am

    It seems as if every 2 years I’m given a 10% raise even when I got denied from 2010, I had so many issues the Va says if they where to give me 10% for every disability it would reach about 300%. If your put out the army on a dead man’s profile it means you are met up physically, and was told not to worry the “VA” WOULD TAKE CARE OF ME, I felt good hearing that but come to realize dealing with the Va is deteriorating my life. I was denied everything but a minor back injury and was given 10% that I lost because I did 2 years Florida National guard, from that every time I get the 10% raise they keep taking out money due to national guard service. I can’t hear anything from the appeal board , I tried to open new claims , come to find out they just add them to the appeal pile since 2012. I could feel the difference from I came from Afghanistan in 2010 with alot of issues, spending 15 months straigh in a combat zone ain’t no joke, I was taught never quit , never give up, the mission come first, not because I haven’t lost both legs, hands ,head or body doesn’t mean I’m not hurting, it just mean I was paying attention and took my training serious. I know I deserve better….PTSD..stalled my whole life and all the medications made it worst…..Thanks to all who deprived a soldier from what they are really entitled to , I guess you are a true AMERICAN.

  49. James R. Phillips February 19, 2016 at 11:15 am

    I am currently service connected and under the care of a specialist within VHA. After several years, my primary condition worsened. This was confirmed, in writing via DBQ form by my VA provider. When I submitted this information and asked for an increase based on the information in my initial disability paperwork, the DBQ was not listed as a supporting document and the request was denied, despite clear medical record documentation from a VA provider. Additionally, the compensation and pension doctors changed my medical diagnosis in CPRS to a condition that now has completely different parameters for an increase and seems unrelated to anything I have ever claimed. When I asked my VA provider to look into this, she was confused and said this should not have happened and the new diagnosis does not make medical sense given my history and condition.

    The service officer that I am working with has told me to submit paperwork for a reconsideration of their decision, but I wanted to check with you before doing anything as I am very concerned about my diagnosis changing based on incomplete information.

    Thank you for your assistance.

  50. James Dawson February 19, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I have reservations about the statement that only 4% of claims go to appeals. I would love to see the real data. I have had an appeal in for not far from two years. The VA office recently (and conveniently for them) changed the date from August 2014 when I submitted it to much later.

    My original claim was denied because I was not at the 6 month or more requirement for seeing a doctor for my condition. To make this even more stupid, the denial was dated three (3) days before the six month minimum time. I have the documentation of all communications from the VA because they have done nothing to earn my trust.

    It is for this reason and many more that I have seen that I really do not believe the 4% number.

  51. Helem C. Broussard February 19, 2016 at 10:38 am

    W, Filed new disability claims and also one appeal claim due to agent orange. Why did the New Orleans VA claim deptpartment put all my claims in appeal status? I will furnish more documentation on request.
    Thank You,


  52. Denise Michele Robertson February 19, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I agree with everyone. My appeal is still with the VLJ. I am unable to finish school or pursue a job in my field because of the arthritis in my hands. I earned my A.S. in Paralegal Studies, but the Education Department refused to continue to pay me benefits to earned my B.S. because of the arthritis. I also keep getting the same response when I inquire about where my case is or when will it be decided. I have been trying to get my unemployability since 2012. The DAV is no help, most of the time I can not even get in touch with their agency.

  53. John S Partilla February 18, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    I feel very sorry for so many people! Please continue to seek help from others in your appeal process. I continue to wait on mine for over six years and can support a lot of the earlier comments. I will never give up as a Vietnam Veteran and Marine “Always Faithful” and so lucky to live in America. My health care is excellent at this period in time and also at 60% disabled. John from Denver Colorado. I will try to help anyone if contacted.

  54. Patricia Evans February 18, 2016 at 1:07 am

    I had my appeal date of 26 May 2015 in San Diego with Law Judge Kilcoyne.. I received notification in late October 2015 from the Board of Appeals that it had been remanded back to the Regional Office. Where is the Regional Office and can I call them to find out what else I need to send them to help expedite my appeal? I have two 3 inch binders full of medical records from San Diego Naval Medical Center The Law Judge thought the board could get them on line, however, the problem with that is that all of medical records are under my husbands social security number as I am also a D//W/N/Ret. What is the best way to get these records to the regional office. Do they want paper, a flash drive, or a CD? I currently live in Ohio and would like to continue with the San Diego office. My Service Office Representative is the DAV in Mission Valley. Thank you very much.

    • Dominique Joseph February 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm


      Based on what I believe you’re saying, since you now live in Ohio, the VA regional office in Cleveland should have your file. Does VA have your Ohio address on file as your latest address? If not, it is with the regional office who has jurisdiction based on the address VA has on file – meaning, if your address on file were located in Oregon, your file would be at the Portland VA Regional Office. Check to make sure the current address we have is correct. Once that is verified, send a legible copy of the records provided to you by the San Diego Naval Medical Center to the appropriate address based on the information here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/mailingaddresses.asp. They will be added to your VA file.

  55. Weaver T. Brian February 17, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I have also had an appeal in the system for a long time, June 2012 is when they say they received it. Haven’t heard from the VBA in a few years, when I call to ask, nobody ever knows anything at all. Damned frustrating.

  56. Bill Wright February 17, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    To all of you who believe VA changes are coming I must say I admire you’re continued fait, please – please don’t hold your breath when the smoke clears & the mirrors are shifted again and you’re able to see things as they really are. The various “administrations” DNC/RNC use VA related matters like the preverbal “football” just a hot item to kick around during election periods. The end results is the game ends in a tie.

  57. Clark Staehle February 17, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Nice article.

  58. Pablo lopez February 17, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    My VSO requested a C&P exam during my hearing. Judge granted a 90 day extension to provide new evidence. Do not have any new evidence. 90 days is fast approaching and no C&P is scheduled. Who schedules the exam. Does my case get closed out at the 90 days. No can explain to. My VSO, regional office or BVA. Help please

    • Dominique Joseph February 18, 2016 at 1:59 pm


      The VA Medical Center closest to you schedules the C&P exam. Be on the lookout for someone from VA contacting you for more information.

      • Pablo lopez February 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        My 90 day waiting period is over on 20 Feb 2016. Someone from the V.A contacted me and stated that my waiting period had to pass before they are even to schedule a C&P exam. I’m lost in what to do.

  59. Avet Advocate February 17, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Just got a call from a 90 year old WW II vet asking me about his appeal. The previous decision was vacated and remanded for expedited completion almost three years ago. He asked me if I could find out the status. He had called about the progress, received a letter from the VA that said he should expect a decision in 12 to 18 months! All the evidence has been in file for ten years for the VA to be able to make the decision (grant the claim and appeal ). He does not think he will ge around 18 months from now. I told him to speak with the RO Director in person, with tv cameras and reporters along for the meeting.

    • Dominique Joseph February 18, 2016 at 2:32 pm


      Be on the lookout for someone from VA contacting you to obtain more information.

  60. Jamie Dement (LadyJai) February 17, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    My husband submitted his appeal to the board in July 11. No one can answer where it’s at in the system except that we are waiting to schedule the hearing. Is there a way to get the docket number and find out where in line we are and how long we can expect to wait?

    • Dominique Joseph February 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm


      Be on the lookout for someone from VA contacting you to obtain more information.

    • Norbert Pirri February 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Jamie, call the cell phone 1-513-509-8454 of Secretary of the VA Bob McDonald. I call because of the same problem you and your husband are having. When I called, I got a voice mail message asking me to leave a message for the reason I called. I left the message and wondered if I would ever get a return call. I did receive a return call from a very nice lady at the Denver regional office. She took all my information and ask me to give her a week to research and she would call me back. The reason I called was concerning five and a half years back pay the VA owed me. When she called me back, she said I should see a check within two weeks. A week later, I received the check.

  61. David T February 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    “Currently, the median, or middle, docket date of appeals the board is working is July 2014. “? Really?

    I filed an appeal in 2012. Which for some reason ebenefits says the Form 9 was filed in 2013. Either way:

    Hearing Details: Requested
    Hearing Type: Video Requested Date: 03/04/2013 is a far long time before this arbitrary July 2014 date.

    Going on 3+ years waiting for my file to even leave my regional office for the BVA to get it and review to then schedule my hearing.

  62. David T February 17, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    What happens is that it sits in your regional office for going on 4 years collecting dust, to maybe in the next decade, actually get your video hearing scheduled.

    • Leon Suchorski February 21, 2016 at 12:54 am

      As the saying goes, always have a VSO help you.

  63. julie maille February 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    i filled an appeal that was granted. i was supposed to receive three months back pay of UI. I only two. i contacted the 1-800 number and I was put me on hold while she talked to her supervisor. i received a ringtone and it was the local denver VA reg center. i didn’t have a pen or pencil because i wasn’t expecting my call to be transferred. i could not find a phone # for local VA. i then sent an e-mail to the person who had responded to an inquiry on the original claim asking whast to do. i received an email that said this nis the sixth response blab blab blab your case is closed. i filed an appeal, i didn’t know what else to do. this is my money that was stopped due to VA error. i shouldn’t have to wait. people need to be better trained to deal with issues

    • Dominique Joseph February 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm


      Be on the lookout for someone from VA contacting you in the coming days.

    • Joseph Cecil Coleman February 19, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      I am 83 and have been waiting for 15 years.

  64. Rodger R Chaplain February 17, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I”m 71 and have been waiting 6 years. The VA is waiting for me to die!

  65. David Daniels February 17, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    They wait for us to die.That way, no payouts.

  66. Will smith February 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Very good overview of the appeals process. Thanks for helping our Veterans

    • Jerry Lee Tennant February 19, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Yep! All true. I’ve been saying the motto is “it’s cheaper to bury them than treat em”. I was harassed by “a brother vet” and the head of the Salem VA hospital, who wrote me a letter telling me that things were not in my records that are. I down load them every three months to a separate non-connected hard drive. The Drs lie like they are getting paid to and it’s obvious. I’ve been passing blood and clots in urine since June 2014. I got a different urologist last year. I’ve seen him every six months for 2.5 minutes each appt. He done nothing, doesn’t tell me anything and won’t listen to a word from me. Why are we having to put up with this? A Navy vet killed himself at the local CBOC because of non- treatment for severe pain. They did their best to cover it up. If I had ANY other choice I’d drop them but now I try my best to mess em up.
      An ex- VN Army medic

      • Lark Eskridge February 20, 2016 at 9:20 am

        My husband has had cancer in his kidney tubes, kidneys and bladder
        He had his hearing in December he just received his remand letter yesterday. After reading the above tactics they use I had to tell him any of it because he had hopes since the remand that his claim for PTSD may be close to a decission. I guess it will sit there until his canser will kill him. This is so disheartingly wrong.

  67. Gayle Glick February 17, 2016 at 11:44 am

    My case is similar to Jennifer Parker’s (above) … Dec ’12 was when my case was supposedly sent up.

    Roanoke seems to be a major issue.

    Since I moved to Columbus Ohio .. I requested my file be moved to the VA Regional Office in Cleveland. This has not been done yet.

    I am unable to work full time any longer because of the arthritis and other issues cited.

    This is ridiculous.

    • Dominique Joseph February 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm


      Be on the lookout for someone from VA reaching out to you to obtain more information.

  68. Jennifer parker February 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I file a NOD on 2/23/2011, I was told my Form 9 was received on 9/26/2012. when ever I call to check the status I received the same verbiage from the customer service rep. If the date is correct in your post I should have heard something a long time ago. My appeal is still at the local office in Roanoke. What can I do?

    • Thomas Hewitt February 17, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      I was told by the RO at St Petersburg FL in Oct 2014 all my paper work for a claim was lost. In Nov 2014 I get a letter to report for Comp hearing. December 2014 I received a 40% in crease. In Feb. 2015 I received my payment. This Feb 2016 I receive a letter stating I was overpaid by $1457.16 and it would be coming out of my monthly benefit. They did not send the lawyer his fee. I asked if it could be taken out over two months. No was the answer. Yet the VA will not take money back from employees who took them for thousands in relocation fees.

      • Catherine Trombley February 18, 2016 at 9:27 am


        Have you received your notice from the Debit Collection Center?

    • Dominique Joseph February 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm


      Be on the lookout for someone from VA contacting you to get more information.

    • Sandy Hale February 18, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      VA Dirty Tricks Veterans Need to Know About
      1) Deny or Ignore Everything
      This is the most commonly used dirty trick in the book. Many government and private agencies use this as their first line defense against any claim. They will either immediately deny your claim or they will ignore it. If they choose to ignore it, they will not acknowledge that they received your claim. If you try to find out if they did or not, they will make up excuses that will cause you to wait, tell you to call back, send you on an endless goose chase from one department to another, or they will repeatedly tell you to submit it over and over again.
      This is called “kicking the can down the road”. It serves many purposes. The main purpose is to discourage you and make you give up or distract you and cause you to forget or miss deadlines for filing documents or appeals or whatever you need to do. If you file the same claim again it creates a new disability compensation claim date cheating you out of your back pay.
      Another reason is that it distances them from the issues. This works to their advantage. Let me explain. Let’s say you filed for a back condition and the VA kicks the issue down the road for several years and in the meantime you develop some other medical conditions. Now, the VA doctors can begin to try to link your back pain to some non-service connected medical condition. Don’t laugh because they can get very creative when it comes to this trick.
      It also gives them time to confuse the issues. Suddenly, your medical records will be filled with fabricated evidence to support the VA’s position. They will twist everything you say to suit this purpose. For instance, the doctors ask you if your back hurts when you lift heavy things and naturally you tell them YES. Here’s what will be documented on your medical records:” Veteran complains of back pain from doing heavy lifting at home.” The VA just created a new cause for your back pain and it’s not service-connected. Or even better, “Veteran injured back at home today while lifting heavy object.” See how that works? They just made a chronic condition a NEW medical condition.
      On the other hand, if the VA injured you and you file an 11.51 disability claim, they do the opposite. For example, The VA tore my rotator cuff by surprising me with heavy sandbags for an x-ray without giving me a chance to refuse. Immediately, this torn rotator cuff became an old injury, it was suddenly labeled “chronic shoulder pain” and they attempted to fabricate a history of shoulder problems. Old injuries are new and new injuries are old, which brings me to dirty trick number two.

      2) False Medical Records
      Most veterans don’t have copies of their military or VA medical records and depend on the VA to furnish them. Good luck with that; because the VA will both lie and say they don’t have the records or just deliberately destroy them. There goes your evidence.
      The Houston VA Regional Office told me for almost three years that they never received my Notice of Disagreement until I went down to the office in person and demanded to see my C-file and there it was on the very top of the file with their time stamp dated three years ago.
      That’s why you should get copies and read your medical records every time you go to the VA because if you don’t they will fabricate false medical records for you. They do it anyway, all the time. The VA doctors and nurses will quote you as saying things that are false. Their favorite misquote is pain. My VA records state that I tell the doctors I have no pain just about every time I go there, which is a bold faced LIE. Your back could be broken with bones sticking out and they will write on your medical records that your back appears to be normal with no visible sign of distress and patient denies back pain.
      Don’t think for one minute that VA doctors are your friend. They know that their job is to cover up, hide and distort medical evidence in your VA medical records and VA C-file if it’s connected to a disputed VA claim. And, don’t think the medical doctors are the only ones who do this. Your x-ray will be read wrong by the Radiologists. They won’t see that broken bone or compressed disk and if they acknowledge it at all, it will be coded in long Latin medical terms that you will have to look up in a medical dictionary to figure out what they’re trying to say and don’t count on VA medical doctors to explain it because they will tell you everything is NORMAL. Don’t believe me, just file a FTCA (federal torts claim act) and watch your medical records disappear like magic and new records appear debunking your claim
      Ever wonder how the VA gets away with these lies? Did you know that VA doctors can legally withhold medical information from you? That’s a fact. The practice of withholding pertinent medical information from patients in the belief that disclosure is medically contraindicated is known as “therapeutic privilege.” That means all the doctor has to do is think that you might be upset if you knew the truth, so he or she is not going to tell you. How convenient for them.
      The VA doctors will try to change dates, confuse facts, and create new reports with false information claiming they are backed up by prior records and reports. Perfect example is what the VA Radiologists did to my kidney X-rays and ultrasound.
      I had an ultrasound in 2013 that showed no sign of damage to my kidneys. The 2013 ultrasound stated that there was evidence that I had passed a kidney stone because it left a small distorted area inside one of my ureters.
      Then, in 2014 a VA dentist soaked my partials in poison that you clean countertops with and put them in my mouth. The corrosive poison caused burns in my mouth, throat and intestinal tract and resulted in atrophy of both of my kidney cortex. Want to know what my VA medical records say about it “Veteran’s current X-rays unchanged from 2013 ultrasound that shows atrophy of kidneys.” That’s a creative lie. The small distorted area now becomes atrophy and now applies to both kidneys. They tried to link the new injury to an old ultrasound. Nice try but no cigar.
      VA doctors love to use terms that are ambiguous. For instance, my thyroid levels were all off the chart. The VA doctor recorded in my medical records that the results of my thyroid levels were “low normal” , “high normal”, “moderately high normal” moderately low normal” and my favorite doublespeak catch all VA medical term “cumulatively normal”. So, what this VA doctor did was take all the abnormal results, add them together and then divide by the number of tests and presto; it’s now “cumulatively normal.”
      Here’s another example: On the report for my Compensation exam for the torn rotator cuff injury caused by Michael Debakey Medical Center, the doctor wrote that I injured myself “lifting weights”. Out of nowhere, now I’m a 62 year old disabled weight lifter. That’s another creative lie / half truth meant to confuse the issues. I can see this doctor defending her statement in Court. “Well, your Honor, the sandbags were weights and she was injured by lifting them so what part of that is a lie? “
      3) Research
      This is a dirty trick few veterans know about or even realize is happening to them. In the military you know you are government property because they just come out and tell you; but what they don’t tell you is that they have a legal right to experiment on you without your knowledge using untested drugs and treatments. Most veterans just give their permission by signing everything put in front of them without reading it. Read it sometime and you’ll see you gave away every human right you ever thought you had in exchange for treatment at a VA facility.
      I go to the VA Hospital in Houston, Texas. It is not called the VA Hospital. It is named Michael Debakey Medical Center. It is a TEACHING hospital and is owned by Baylor College of Medicine. I am no more than a guinea pig or laboratory rat to the students, residents and interns that staff this hell hole. It is literally run by students, residents and interns who have little experience and no one is teaching them. The head of the department is in his office doing paperwork or not there at all.
      I would say that some trainees learn by trial and error, but since they don’t know what they did wrong, they can never learn the right way to do it. They are overseen by whoever has been there the longest. It’s the blind leading the blind. They staff the entire hospital almost exclusively with these pimple faced inexperienced adolescents. There are very few real doctors with real life experience. Maybe you get someone who actually knows what they’re doing and maybe not. It’s Russian roulette with a loaded weapon. That’s not the way veteran’s healthcare should be.
      Why do you think your VA medical care is free? Why do you think they force veterans to go to VA doctors and VA facilities? They want to experiment on you. On the Hospital complex campus in Houston, the Research buildings are almost as big as the Hospital. Where do you think the VA Hospitals get their federal and state funding? Where do you think they get all that scientific data, medical literature and medical statistics? It’s from medical Research. The VA advertises that their facilities are on the “cutting edge” of medical science with the latest in drug therapy, new and improved treatments and surgical procedures. Its cutting edge all right and you’re the one getting all those new and untested drugs and medical treatments. Five or ten years down the road you or your family will be answering one of those television attorney commercials that say “Did you or someone you love die from this surgical procedure, implant, medication or treatment?” This leads into dirty trick number four.
      4) The VA Profits From Your Death
      Pretend you’re a homicide detective working a murder case. You’re going to make a list of suspects consisting of who had motive and opportunity. Well, the VA is at the top of the list because the VA has both. Their motive is that they save money if you’re dead because your VA pension, VA Disability Compensation and all monthly and yearly VA benefits die with you. The VA definitely has opportunity because they have complete control over everything aspect of your health thru their VA medical care. They can give you the wrong medicine or treatment, wrong surgery, overdose you or just neglect you to death by doing absolutely nothing, like the secret waiting list for VA appointments that killed thousands of veterans. The VA saved a lot of money with that dirty trick.
      You see, that’s why they staff their VA hospitals, Clinics and medical facilities with unskilled and inexperienced students, interns and residents; they know that mistakes will be made and veterans will die. The VA’s only job is to cover it up and blame it on something else and that’s way too easy because they control your medical records. The VA can make your medical records document anything they want. You disobeyed doctor’s orders not to get out of bed and fell down a flight of stairs. They can say anything. Who’s going to dispute it? Not you. Not your family, unless they actually witnessed the injury or death and the chances of that happening are slim and none.
      Remember this, I talk from experience. I once spent three days in the Houston VA Hospital and went to check out and the nurses at the desk didn’t know there was a patient in my room. I told them “Yeah, I know you didn’t know because I didn’t see a nurse for three days.” But my medical records stated that they checked on me every two hours and everything was fine. What made me laugh was that my husband had spent the night there in my room with me for two nights and that’s against the rules.
      The few VA doctors that are actually experienced are either tucked away in an office somewhere and don’t see patients or have little experience themselves and probably graduated from one of the many Baylor Colleges. Nurses call their graduates “Baylor Butchers”. Worse than that, the rest of the staff doctors work at the VA because they couldn’t make it in private practice and civilian hospitals and clinics won’t hire them. Most staff VA doctors are foreigners from other countries with no credentials except a diploma. It’s really sad. I’m talking in general, of course. I’m sure there are a few good VA doctors out there, but they are too few to make a difference. Where were all the good VA doctors when the veterans on the secret waiting lists were dying? Answer me that?

      5) Divide and Conquer
      When I came back from Afghanistan in December 2007 I was disabled. I knew it and my unit, the 160th Military Police knew it too, but they tried their best to cover it up. I won’t go into detail but suffice it to say I had multiple medical issues that my unit military doctors did not, could not or would not diagnose or document. As a direct result of that, I had to try to figure out myself what to claim on my VA disability Compensation Claim.
      My medical conditions had to be in my military medical records because I don’t have x-ray vision and could not run the medical and laboratory tests I needed for diagnosis, so I settled on 25 known medical conditions. I know what you’re saying. Wow. No wonder you had so much problems. True, but you don’t understand. If I didn’t claim them at that time, and claimed them later, I would lose out on my back pay.
      The VA disability compensation program is designed that way for that exact reason. They want you to wait to claim medical conditions because it saves them money. But it doesn’t really matter because even if you had two medical claims, they can divide it by denying one and granting the other, thereby forcing you to appeal or give you a partial decision on one issue and reserve the other issue so they can” kick the can down the road.” See, VA dirty trick number One.

      This “Divide and Conquer” technique serves many purposes. The main purpose is that this dirty trick allows the VA to generate a perpetual ‘backlog” of disability claims which means more federal funding for them. The VA created this “hamster wheel” to keep veteran’s compensation claims forever at your local VA Regional Office, which leads me to VA dirty trick number six.
      6) The Hamster Wheel
      The local VA Regional Offices deliberately deny claims so they can be appealed, we already know this, but what you may not know is that they do this by making “vague” and “unsupported” decisions so that when it is appealed and goes to the Board of Veteran Appeals, it is certain to be REMANDED (sent back to them). This is done deliberately.
      Example: My clothing allowance claim was for forearm crutches for my service-connected Fibromyalgia/Traumatic Brain Injury. When the Houston VA Regional Office denied it, they wrote that it was denied because my medical records stated my forearm crutches were for a non-service connected back condition. That is a deliberate lie and they know it and I know it, but now I have to appeal it to the Board of Veteran Appeals and prove it is a lie. It was done on purpose to put me on the Hamster Wheel.
      Putting a veteran’s claim on this VA created Hamster Wheel allows the local VA Regional Offices to sit on your claim for another three or four years and starts the entire process all over again just as if you filed a brand new claim. No final decision. Now you have to wait for more appointments for more tests, more doctor visits, more x-rays, then wait for another decision, then file another Notice of Disagreement and wait for another Statement of the Case and appeal it and then wait for it to be certified back to the Board of Veteran Appeals. The VA motto which should be on every Department of Veteran Affairs document as their letterhead “Delay and Deny till the Day they Die”.

      Sandra Hale, Retired Nurse, Combat Veteran

      • George Nixon February 19, 2016 at 12:32 pm

        This sounds all to familiar. I went in for my knees and before I had a chance to decline their examination I found the heel of my left foot wedged against my buttocks so that they can measure with a protractor of how far my knee could bend. Whatever life I had in my left knee was now gone and at that moment when I left the office my right ankle (which used to hurt when my left knee goes out) was in distress because my knee was totally useless at that point. I went from wearing my elastic knee brace once a month maybe for a few days to hobbling with a cane. Now my left wrist is hurting which may be as a result for compensating for my left knee when standing or sitting. On one final note I’m in construction I learned my trade in the Navy and what I learned most was SAFETY. I always wore the right protection when working in conditions that required knee pads or ear plugs. I knew that not properly suiting up for safety causes cumulative damages so I never went without the proper safety gear and yet here I am today, disabled like my fellow veterans that worked under the same conditions I had while serving.

      • Novus Livy February 19, 2016 at 4:53 pm

        To Sandy Hale –
        You sound like another of those who didn’t get what they wanted from the VA and now just want to throw stones. If you have any verifiable proof of this you should have provided it to those legislators who have been trying to clean up the VA. What I believe is that you have no such evidence and are just shooting your mouth off because no one will ever know who you really are.

        She’s just another of the “GIMME GIMME GIMME” bunch who frequent these sites every day.

        • john Davis February 20, 2016 at 1:04 am

          I believe every word she has said…why…because it describes our nations greed and the lack of Vet lives. We all heard about….eliminate and conquer….no matter how much problems you have..you are denied and the merry go round goes round n round till you give up or die. And that’s the American truth

        • Johnny February 22, 2016 at 11:19 am

          I believe her….sounds all to familiar…apeal…apeal..apeal…years go by and nothing…in hopes that you give up…I really feel sorry for those servinging our country that will later find out that there is no such word as Liberty…You vow to give your life if need be and if u manage to not have to and get wounded….Then you will learn the lesson we all know to well…Good job and thats it…you are on your own with what ever problems u have became during your enlistment or there after….Like I say Land of the greed and Home of the Human Slaves.

    • frank h whaley February 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      How long should it take my appeal has been pending for over a year. Nothing should take over a year.

      • robert elmer travis February 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm

        What is the status of my appeal?? have been waiting over 9 months whats going on? 3 army 54 t0 aug 56 korea war thanks

    • Donald Lundy Brack February 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      My appeal returned to regional in Louisville Ky on remand. That was approximately fourteen years ago. If my document number keeps it’s place in the sequence of things; then we really have a serious problem! Multiple times throughout the years l have requested help.The same standard reply is always sent back to me. (“Your appeal is on the supervisors desk”) No other assistance is given! Common sense dictates that something is seriously not right!

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