It’s great to see how access is changing since the end of my service with the 82nd Airborne Division and U.S. Army Special Forces when a parachute accident ended my military career. Ever since then, I’ve had to learn how to navigate VA. While I now work for VA, I’m still just like many of you. When I got out of the service, I didn’t have a clue about VA or how to navigate the system. Anyone who has ever served in the military knows a bit about the concept of “hurry up and wait.” My experience as a service-connected disabled Veteran trying to access benefits was no different. But I’m here to tell you, I believe VA is changing and while it is not perfect, we’re stepping up to give you the service and support that you have earned and deserve.

For years now I’ve listened to my fellow Veterans, service members and their families talk about VA and ask, “Why can’t the process be easier and less cumbersome?” or, “When is VA going to modernize and improve customer service?” People want better, easier and faster access to services and benefits.  Yet as much as I’ve heard some people complain, I’ve also met a ton of folks who still don’t know anything about VA and the benefits they are entitled to. There are more than 22 million Veterans in the US and yet only 8 million currently use VA in some form. We know that 73 percent of Veterans who do use VA want to connect via online, but many still don’t know about what online resources the VA offers.

VA has been working hard as part of our Veterans Relationship Management (VRM) initiative to fundamentally transform your access to VA benefits and services.  A big part of this effort is the eBenefits web portal.   eBenefits is a joint VA & DoD initiative that gives Veterans, service members and their family members free, 24/7 access to more than 41 VA & DoD-related self-service features, with more coming each quarter. eBenefits is the single online source for lifelong access to VA & DoD benefits information. More than 1.4 million users are now registered on eBenefits, but we need to ensure all of our fellow veterans are registered.

Now I realize eBenefits is not perfect, but I also know firsthand that the access and capabilities now being provided didn’t even exist a couple of years ago. There are also a lot of dedicated folks working hard every day many that are also fellow Veterans and Disabled Veterans to try and give us what we need and have been asking for.

I know the biggest complaint we still get is about how hard it is to find out about the status of your claims. You should know that nine thousand people are checking their claims status every month on eBenefits. Are you one of them? Do you know that with eBenefits you can submit your benefits claim electronically, monitor VA benefits payments, view scheduled VA appointments, get a civil service preference letter for federal hiring and much more?

I know that many Vets and transitioning service members are looking for jobs and soon you’ll be able to search for jobs within the VA, receive employment counseling, and apply for VA Compensation Benefits using a wizard style tool. We’ve also just launched a new feature to streamline the eBenefits registration process and make verifying your identity easier.  You can now obtain your premium account all on-line using the registration wizard, which means you no longer have to visit a VA Regional Office or call the 1-800 number that is hard to get through and why I like the on-line ability with additional features getting delivered every quarter.  We’re constantly listening to your feedback to improve the site and give you more of what you want and need.

Now yes, I work for VA, but this isn’t just about doing my job. For those that know me, I live it every day. I want to make sure you don’t have to go through the same things I did all those years ago.  eBenefits is the easier way to connect with VA & DoD, and once you register, you have an account for life.  Go to the eBenefits home page, check it out and register for your free, personalized eBenefits account today. I’m registered and I hope you will take the time to register as well.  I need your help in making sure our fellow comrades are aware, so please pass the word.

Rob Reynolds is service-connected disabled Veteran and the Director of Benefits Assistance Service at the Veterans Benefits Administration.

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Published on May. 21, 2012

Estimated reading time is 4 min.

Views to date: 219


  1. Mike Cheng June 5, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Hello. Does anybody know about anything similar to VA being available for veterans in the UK? I’m afraid the services in here are either completely back warded or just plain ignorant.

  2. Tom Smith May 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    The system appears to be rife with inconsistency, which tends to create concern of competency …

    On two refusals, they couldn’t even get the ‘date of report’ to match on one disabling factor … That one looks like they want to force me to ‘fight’ my own government, when they know my claim is legit, if they look at it properly and with correct, let’s say intentions …

    As for a minor claim (tinnitus) and significant hearing loss. From date of claim, until date of approval was less than FOUR months … It’s only a 10% maximum …

    I say that, because the claim that I will have to wage a huge battle over is most likely 100% ….

    • mike June 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Tom, they always seem to be able to process the part of the claim that will get a low %. Now that should prove right there, that they dont care about the veterans. The only thing they care about is making it look like they are tryin to help the vets. That 4months is about how long it should take to gather evidence and process the claim. Now that you got your 10% it looks like they actually did something but in reality they did not. Its a cover up , that shows a claim was processed in 4mths.

  3. RC May 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    so because your records got lost , exactly how is that your problem. i would say its there problem for losing them and your words should hold grounds enough. once again how did they get lost, why did they get lost and who was held accountable? until these people are held accountable nothing will change. its not the veteran or family members responsibility to make sure they do there job. dont they think veterans and family members have endure enough serving will serving our country. i guess not.

  4. Phil Bulone May 30, 2012 at 11:51 am

    First, thank you Rob for your service. I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran receiving a VA Disability. Yes, it was a long process and sparked my anger towards the VA. However, when I had the opportunity of working as a Disabled Veterans Outreach Counselor, I realized that what takes so long, is verification of service connection. Since my records from Vietnam had been lost, I had to find former military buddies from my unit that witnessed my injury. After searching the Internet for old buddies, I found two, a 1st Sgt and a Captain. Both remembered the Tet Offensive of 1968 when part of a concrete building fell on me pinning me underneath. They wrote letters of verification and within 90 days I received my disability plus back pay for the 5 years I waited. So my fellow soldiers, be patient and keep all paperwork you send or receive from the VA. I did this on my own with no lawyers. If you were injured in service, you will get what you deserve. Airborne All the Way.

    • Tom Smith May 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      I think that’s great for you …

      In my case, I have no intention of involving friends … Any people who were supervisory, and would be more suitable, I have no idea where any of them are, and have looked …

      I suppose we’re only “Honorable” men as long as we’re useful … Once that’s passed, then we have to “Prove” we’re honest and honorable in our claims …

      It’s an insult to me ….

  5. Sean Eagan May 30, 2012 at 12:39 am

    The E Benefits portal is a great improvement and the site seems to gain more features and functionality as it goes. It is getting better by the day all my claims except my last one were pre E-Benefits it would have been nice to have had it in 2006 -09. I have to say MyhealthEvet is also great resource for managing VA healthcare and some current and past records are available through the Blue Button . It is another great resource. The in person verification for a enhanced account is a problem for housebound veterans and those who live a long distance from VA facility i hope they make it easier while maintaining security /privacy .

  6. Frank B. May 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I started out doing my own paperwork with the VA. I was never notified of appointments, and I was denied because I didn’t show up.
    I gave up for several years, and then decided to go through the DAV. Stuff happened fast then.
    I was bumped from 10%-50%. They gave me back pay, but were still deciding on one of my disabilities. They later upped me to 70%, but I have never seen the back pay. They said they were waiting on DFAS, because I am retired, but DFAS told me they told them I was due over $8200 in January. Every other perso I talk to at the VA tells me they are either still waiting on DFAS, or that they owe me nothing. I know both are not true.
    Ebenefits always says they are awaiting paperwork from me on a new claim, and that the paperwork is overdue. But the DAV called the VA and they said they’ve had the paperwork since February. So I don’t know why ebenefits doesn’t get udated.
    I have also been waiting 2-years to get paid “with dependents” on my disability check. DEERS knows I have family members. Why can’t the VA get the info from DEERS. 2-years is a long time to wait on dependents pay. Ebenefits still on;y says that the request has been received.

    • Frank B. May 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      I’m actually selling my house, because I can no longer work. My social security request was denied. I have since sent in a second claim. No word yet. I was really counting on that $8200 months ago. It would have really helped. Now I’m being forced to sell at a reduced price, and move into a much smaller home.
      I have a claim for Individual Unemployability (IU), but I heard many are getting denied now. I don’t know what I’ll do if that’s denied, and my SSDI gets denied again.
      Hopefully I’ll get my retro disability pay by then.

  7. Toby J. Nolan May 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    To All Go To VA Watchdog Dot. Jim Strickland He Is Very Good At Helping Vet. You Can Learn Alot. Va Is Badly Broken Even Corrupt.

  8. Mike R May 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I cannot believe that the US govt treats the vets so poorly. “Be all that you can be” and then we will forget about you. I am a Viet Nam combat veteran and I know my brothers and sisters who served with me know the feeling. But at least I have the comfort of knowing they are still out there and we all still believe in each other even if the VA and the country does not. God bless us all

    • Toby J. Nolan June 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      They Done Care. Garry Owen

  9. Gini May 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I am a 65-year old wife of a Viet Nam Special Services Veteran. We have been married for 18 years and between us have 7 children and 9 grandchildren. However, we live very close to a Veterans Hospital in Florida. I am a retired paralegal of 30 years and want to help get the voice out of the veterans who are disabled or who want “to be heard.” I wanted to start a “blog”, however I came across your information and am thoroughly impressed. Is there anyway I can help, or “get involved” in getting the voice out in the open of those veterans who feel lost and neglected by the “government” or “agencies” that have not found them any help. I know they want to be heard. I just don’t want to see them be neglected or forgotten especially for all they have done for us and our country.

    My husband did 3 tours of Viet Nam, was a Drill Instructor and in Special Services in Nam. When I first met him ( 19 years ago), I can remember his emotional problems with what he experienced in Nam. It wasn’t easy, but, I identified with it as much as I could and 18 years later (that’s how long we have been married), I do believe he’s a lot better “emotionally and mentally” than he was when I first met him. I want to be able to help those who are in a Veterans Hospital who are near to us. Believe me, there are a lot of them…but, am unsure as to how to approach it. I’ve noticed all the blogs, but am not sure if they know about all the others who have not been heard. I want them to be able to publicly “speak” about what they are feeling through someone else…meaning me. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have…I sincerely have a deep-hearted feeling to help them be heard, if not more! Gini

    • veterans wife May 31, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Ty Gina for your efforts in trying to help our veterans but im alittle confused as to what your asking. Are you wanting only the veterans who are staying at the veterans hospitol near you who have problems or all veterans who are fighting the system to get what is rightfully owed to them?

  10. joe t thomas May 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    i don’t know if this will help,but somebody needs to know about our va experience’. i am a vietnam era veteran. i service in korea as a military police. There were things that the va promised us as vet. i am 63yrs. now . and the benefits that i was promised(i defended my country). was not honored, but when i go to the va. hositpal, i have to pay. even gone so far as taking my income tax refund. my understanding is that the va is for vets. but they are doing more harm than help. I JUST WANT WHAT MY COUNTRY PROMISED.

    • Gini May 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Dear Joe: I totally believe in what you are talking about. I am new to this as my husband was a 3-tour Viet Nam vet (Special Services), and now that I am a retired paralegal at 65 years of age, I need to do something that means something with the rest of my life. All that you have explained, is what I am after. We are near a Veterans Hospital here in Florida, and I want to know what problems everyone is experiencing to get the help they need. Any suggestions? Would love to hear from you. Gini

  11. Greg Ruff May 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Sounds to me like the truth behind the fiction is that the VA has gone worse than ever. It used to take about a month for my claims to be denied. I’m at 26 months and still gathering evidence which is all in my VA medical records.. I wonder who in Congress owns this e-benefits hoax.

    • Mike R May 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Is this a joke or what? What a bunch of hypocrites! Hey, but its Memorial Day: “we support our service people” they say. BS

  12. william May 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Just an idea, it should be a requirement of all VA employees to take one hour a week and read some of these posts and maybe that would make a difference.

    • Gini May 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

      My sentiments exactly. I am trying to set up something that will let all the veterans “stuck” in a VA Hospital for however long, to be able to be heard and receive the help that is needed. Any suggestions? Gini

  13. Ryan Sterling May 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Nice to see someone’s perspective on the issue. One of my good friends actually works for the VA here in Los Angeles and so I know there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that many of those who work at the VA can and cannot control. It is nice to see that the VA is getting more organized, however they do their best with their limited budget and resources, and sometimes the work can be quite overwhelming.

  14. Ann Lossman May 22, 2012 at 11:39 am

    My husband’s re-opened claim was sent in 02/29/12 and didn’t show up in the ebenefits system until we contacted our senator and it popped up in Preparation for Decision. This week it was moved back to Review of Evidence. Where has it really been? Claims resubmitted with additional information should not take the long process as it has already been processed once and the new information taken into consideration. I agree, civilian workers should be fired if they can’t meet performance terms and vets should have the jobs. Do they just sit there and move folders from one stack to another until they have expired the time limits and then decide to work on a folder? If you look at the Monday Morning Report on the VA web page under “Other Links” Reports it will astound you how slow these Regional Offices work. Firing needs to start at the top. These workers get by with this because the top officials let them.

    • Gini May 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Dear Ann: It sounds as if we’re talking “Political policies” which seem to get no where fast. I would be interested in any suggtestions you might have to make a difference or as to how it could be changed. I am trying to get “involved” as a retired 30-year paralegal with a husband who did 3 tours of Viet Nam and Special Services. I am now disabled and want to get involved in trying to “help make a difference” in getting things changed. Am looking forward to your reply….Gini

    • Cecil June 8, 2012 at 9:10 am

      @Ann, Same thing happen with me, I filed on 8-16-2011, at my County VA Office, Have called the VA Hospital in Columbia Every mt. Get the same thing Their working on it!, Not ever changed on the E-Benefits Page, So In May of 2012 , I called my Senator, They checked my file, Basically Said the same, The Va was running behind, I had Been to the VA Hospital for my two C&P Dr’s evaluations, But after the Senator’s Called, I received a Letter For me to Come to A C&P Exam, ‘Why had already but to them and had civilian Dr’s report I turned In while there” I called the VA, And they told my my Record’s Had been Pulled On the 10th of May 2012, An it did not show any VA Dr’s evaluations, So guess I have to Start all over again, So after all these Mts I’m back at the Be gaining, Called my Senator Again, Was told that my record had been Marked with ” Congressional Interest’ I believe This may slow it down even more now, Just have to wait and see! Cecil E-6 USN Retired

  15. maria May 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Filed for an increase due to worsening cervical spine condition in Dec 2010. Benefits still says “gathering of evidence”. Never updates. Absolutely useless IMHO.

    • Frank B. May 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      I swear by the DAV. Go to one of their offices. They have rep’s who can get answers from the VA quickly. I ended up joining, and getting a lifetime membership in my local chapter because I was so greatful. They are well trained, and they know all the ins and outs of the paper trail.

  16. MIKE BERLINER May 22, 2012 at 12:44 am

    How can I forward this article to my buddies via e-mail?

  17. Stephen May 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    From everything I read it appears that about the only way a non-amputee is going to get any compensation benefit is to have an advocate. My concern is that if a veteran can not successfully file their own claim then there is something wrong with the system.

    I believe the VA is deliberately stalling on certain types of claims. For example on the claims concerning the Edgewood Arsenal Experiments, I think the VA is stalling until the court case of 5 MEDVOLs is decided. So those who are not part of the lawsuit are deliberately denied due process.

    How long does it take for the VA low level non medical clerk to say NO?

    Ebenefits just keeps saying the same thing.

  18. Brian May 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    My claim is over 15 months and still gathering evidence according to E-Benefits. It took the VA almost 1 year to get my SMR’s, whereas it took me less than a week to get them before I filed. Many, many things about this system need improving. Most of all is the fact that if you call, or IRIS, they pull your file and stuff it back on the bottom. I’m more than annoyed with this whole process.

  19. vets wife May 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Im so tired of hearing the word EASIER on this site. Nothing has been easier since day one of this whole VA process. Its really sad to see so many veterans/families having all the same issues. All i can say to veterans/family dont give up. Get as many state reps., congressman or anyone you can think of to help you. Keep all documents in a safe place and make sure someone besides yourself knows exactly what has transpired so far and where you keep all your documentations. Dont try to do it alone. Yes its alot of paperwork but remember, thats your proof and only you can keep it safe because they sure dont.

  20. william May 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    This is what I know; before joining the military as a reservist I worked in the food industry as a manager. After my injuries I don’t work anymore; however just to give my insight about how injuries are handles in the private industries. First of all if anyone is injured on the job that person is immediately sent to the company doctor then if there is a disabling injury or injuries that person claim is sent up to the company insurance provider for a workman compensation claim. Which in normal cases the rate of pay is usually about 10% of that person income.

    If the injury is found to be caused by the wrong doing of the employer than a workman compensation claim can in some states add up to hundred, thousand or millions of dollars; which sounds pretty good. In order to get the millions of dollars it can take years. I personally know someone who waited over ten years to get a few thousands; I read and herd of cases where people waited over 20 years to get a million dollars. However, if you are not one of those who are not seeking punitive damage then the time it takes to process your claim is quick and easy, about a week or two and not to much longer, in some cases simply days. The reason the larger amounts takes longer is because those cases have to go through the court system and we all know how slow our court system is.

    The VA is not a private insurance company and they are now just starting improvements with automated systems and new technological advancements; where as private insurance companies have had such automation and technology years ago. Largely due to politics and out dated management ideology that worked or not worked doing the time of Henry Ford Model T.

    I’m not up set with the people who are trying there hardest to do the right thing by the Veterans who are waiting. I’m up set with those who think driving a Model T on the roads of today is still a good ideal. A shiny clean Model T Ford looks good in the show room but I rather drive a new Chevy Volt or some other electric car because I believe electric cars are the things of tomorrow, so I’m looking toward the future. I just wish The US Department of Veterans Affairs would share in my vision for the future, by first getting rid of those who like driving a Model T Ford on the roads of 2012 and beyond; out of management, and move like the light in put in automation and technology. I will solder on and keep prying for our politics.

  21. Dan F May 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Yep, I have an eBenefits account and a myhealthevet account. First, the eBenefits account has NEVER reflected how my claims were decided, it still never showed the appeal that I filed and was ultimately granted 100%. The 800 number is useless for up to date information. During the appeal, I called and was told the claim was in decision several times. Finally, after 4 months of this I sent an IRIS to the RO, only to have someone at the RO admit they had “misplaced my file.”

    Myhealthevet promised by the year 2010 we would have access to our medical records. Only one problem with that. It will never happen. Why? Because it violates HIPPA regulations. Imagine building a huge system based upon a promise and then find out you can’t do it because someone forgot to check the laws. I wonder who got fired over that? I can tell you, NO ONE!

    This is all so typical of the VA. It is an over bloated agency that is one step above incompetent and that goes for the health care and the disability programs.

  22. Ginati May 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I am going through my PEB right now and have buddies that just got out all of us at a WTU and they tell me because we are part if the old system our ratings will not be done for min 15-18 months. The new soldiers that go through are part of the IDES system which rates soldiers both by military as well as VA why does it take so long? No one has explained to me how I will get paid I am unable to work a regular job because if my physical disabilities being so severe!!!

  23. JOHN HUME May 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    This is some of the finest propaganda I ‘ve ever read. I’ve been in a DOM for nine months and then was sent to Community Hope. Nothing was done for me in the nine months I was at the DOM. I no longer expect anything from the V.A.. I’ ll be homeless after the stay at Community Hope is over. The V.A. should be shut down. It’s all a lie.

    • Alex Horton May 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      John, I don’t want to see you out of options once you leave there. There are some resources here on the right side bar that can help you before you end up homeless, or you can call 1-877-424-3838. Let me know if you need any help.

    • William Taylor May 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

      It’s not the VA that is at fault, its the Civilian workers, they are there for a pay check..not to help the Vets..think about it… and I’ll keep preaching it till the percentage changes…Ex-military people and vet are Not afraid to work…that’s what makes the difference.

      • Ann Lossman May 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

        I totally agree with you!

  24. Robin May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Bob…the eBenefits portal is like a dream come true with tremendous self service potential. It is so much better than calling the 800 number because it eliminates hold time on the phone to simply get a claim status…for most people. It doesn’t work for me. Why not? It seems that since I entered my husband’s claim in Fast Track an 890 end product code has been associated to it. Obviously, it isn’t being done on the Fast Track…it is in the RO with a 405 end code also associated to it. Unfortunately the 890 overrides…and ebenefits tells me no information is available on the claim…which of course forces me to call the 800 number….who then says “I see you have an ebenefits account” to which I must respond, “Yes, not that it does me any good”. I am not alone in this. Please put in an ehnacement to correct that? I feel sure it is a simple mapping and maybe a trigger change. Telephony charges for the 800 number must be hideous. I am sure the enhancement could be cost justified.

  25. William Taylor May 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    The day claims are handeled in a timly manor is when vets and others will be happy…get rid of the civilion workers and hire vets that knows how important it is to have a claim completed without the BS in between…I’ve been waiting for my claim to go through for over 6 months now and its Still on the first stage of the Game…getting old Now!!!

    • Kathy Karlsen May 24, 2012 at 4:26 am

      OR Hire a Family member! The person who has been taking care of the veteran for the past 30+ years. He/She knows how important it is to address the needs of our disabled veterans. (I thought that veterans had preference for working at the VA)

  26. Jim SF Ret. May 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I’m just not convinced. It took me 7 years to get concurrent pay (50%). I’m a retired NCO and taking the disability out of my retirement check just made the pain and suffering worse. And, they still haven’t replied on what the worse thing is for me. So, I have years to go.

    It’s still broken. Adding two more spokes on a twisted bike wheel won’t make it role any better. I feel bad already that these new bunch of kids from the current wars are going to slip through the cracks in droves. And, for this citizen, that is not acceptable.

    • Fred Rendon Jr June 1, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Jim the whole system needs to be torn down. I wonder how many suicided we have due to the incompetency of the VA? They have attorneys we have service officers with ptsd and horrible attitudes.

      • veterans wife June 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm

        Fred, it truely is terrible and the word is spreading fast about all this , someone needs to step up to the plate fast and im serious. I dont think its ever been this bad and vets are extremely upset. I have been trying to stay calm for the sake of my husband and his disabilities. I dont want him to have any more to endure then what he already has but its getting harder and harder for me to stay calm and reasonably with them. I cant sit here any longer and continue to play there games while my husband suffers from serving this country.

  27. Joe Bagley May 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I have been accessing ebenefits since it started and NONE of the information is correct–When I go to the regional office to get it corrected or verified they just tell me it’s wrong-DAH– Here is just one example–I have 2 appeals in the system–both going on 2 years and the site says there r no appeals–When I talk to my advocate he tells me the site is useless!! and he’s right!! It could be wonderful if 1) it was updated regularly; 2) they got the information right as to claims ans appeals–It’s broken and I don’t see it getting fixed any time soon

    • rc May 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      I have to agree with you Joes, the appeals for most all are staying in stage 1 for many years from what ive heard. Does anyone know how long it will sit in stage 1 before someone actually even looks at it? I have done my part and more to help them with this process. Any response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • William Taylor May 22, 2012 at 8:04 am

      3.) Get rid of the civilian workers and hire some vets, that alone will make the process get done because vets work! And two your helping vet get back to work after coming back from over seas ..

    • Fred Rendon Jr June 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

      When you get to the appeal process get an attorney.

      • Toby J. Nolan June 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

        you R right . a vet. attornet, i think they take1/3 it U win or less. If U lose Its Nothing.

      • veterans wife June 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

        Fred, are you saying if you dont hire an attorney during an appeal , it will continue to sit in stage 1 even with medical evidance from a private MD. That makes no sense, its bad enough we paid to get the exact same evaluation done through a private MD, so now your saying we still need to pay for an attorney just to get what he is entitled to? I told my husband from the get go, he should have hired an attorney but did he listen to me No, he said the VA will handle it. It sure doesnt appear that way. Do you know once we hire an attorney how long does it take before someone actually reviews the case? thanks fred for your in put.

    • Daniel Johnson June 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      e-mail is a royal joke, cluster ///// and seems to be getting worse. I have one appeal pending over 3 years headed for 4 and one over a year. I had to get my Senator invovled and they literally lied in the letter to her to make it sound like I was to blame and yes she bought it all, along with her staff. Best bet vote out the present president, get a new VA director, and unite sending letters to the lazy representatives that are not working for the VET and make them do their job.

  28. Warren Tobin May 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    To Rob and to all who read this:

    I am not much of a blogger, but I did want to pass along my thanks and congratulations to Rob and his staff for what they have accomplished with ebenefits so far. The enhanced capability for the veteran and/or his advocate(s) to retrieve information and apply for benefits on-line have been extremely helpful to hundreds, if not more. Keep up the good work!


  29. Armando Alaniz May 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I have been waiting for my claim for about six months now and ebenefits just says gathering of evidence. Any ideas on what I should do next?.

    • Mike Adams May 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Be patient. I literally kept re-submitting all my information for 3 years. It finally went through.

    • Toby J. Nolan May 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      It Will Take 18 to 24 Months If Not Longer. Iam At 25 Months. Good luck.

      • vets wife May 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm

        Thats absolutely crazy making you wait over 24months. Even social security disability only takes 6mths to complete the whole process and im sure they have millions of people on SS disability. So whats the problem with this system? They are both run by the government. So why should there be so much of a difference in the time period to process something. If the veteran has completed every single thing the VA has requested and all the evidence to qualify, there should be NO reason for it to take years and years to complete. I sure hope something changes soon to help all these veterans and famililies.

      • Kathy Karlsen May 24, 2012 at 4:14 am

        Hi Toby – My father (USMC – 4th Div.- Purple Heart – semper fi !) was seriously injured on Iwo Jima. His case has been in Appeals ever since then. He became severely depressed because of all of this waiting! I noticed that every time I submitted new evidence on my Dad’s behalf, it took another year to be accepted. I have iron-clad proof that his combat related injuries were never rated properly. Do you think that eBenefits would speed up the process?? Thanks, Kathy

        • Toby J. Nolan May 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm

          No ebenefits not much help. Do U Have A VSO. Vet. Service Officer IE. Purple Heart, American Legion, DAV. VFW. There R More. Appeals Can Take From 2 To 7yrs. Or longer. Do Not Give Up Thats What VA Wants. I Will Fight To The Day I Die. Good Luck. Thank Your DAD For His Service From Me U.S. Army VET.

          • Kathy Karlsen May 31, 2012 at 9:01 pm

            Toby ~ My father handed his case over to the VFW, Marine Corp League, DAV and American Legion over the years. When one of the VSOs could not expediate his Appeal after 10 years – he tried another one. I found a handwritten letter that my dad wrote about his injuries. He was shot in the abdomen by a japanese sniper on Iwo. The bullet penetrated his bladder, removed a testicle and exit thru his buttocks. (The VA still maintains he was wounded in the thigh). When the Marines transported Dad to Guam for treatment, there was an abundance of severely injured men being flown in to the same hospital. These men were on a battleship that had been disabled by the enemy. The Military quickly discharged my father (with the PH) and he went back to the states. He suffered for over 60 years with these injuries. He also lost most of his hearing (both ears) and suffered with ‘familia tremor’ which was ultimately diagnosed as parkinson’s. I took care of him (and Mom) for many years. (and I would DO it again) I will never give up on this appeal! I meet people who never even saw combat – and they get 100 pct. I just don’t get it! Thank you for responding, Kathy

    • Debra May 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      You need to check the eBenefits website at least once a week and call at least once a week (1.800.827.100) to ensure that your records are not lost, misplaced, or neglected and a different pair eyes are viewing some actual action being completed. You need to ensure that it is actually being updated at least once a month. The calls should be noted by name, date, and time – stay on top of what is due to you. If you have to do an IRIS – this allows you to ask specific questions in regards to your claim or benefits. I am still learning the ebenefits system, but, it is to your advantage to learn it as soon as you can. this is due to working with the VA it can be a hit or miss situation.

      • rc May 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm

        I currently have been waiting for my appeal for 1 1/2 years and when i go to my ebenefits it hasnt change since day one. It has always said stage 1(in VA office). So why are you saying to check it once a week, when it hasnt changed for over a year. What good is it if it never changes. I have to disagree with saying ebenefits is a good thing, i get the same answer when i call, NOTHING. So for me personally its useless.

      • vets wife May 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

        Debbie, when you say to check it once a week, exactly what are we checking for. The status on my husbands appeal has been in stage 1 for 1 1/2 years. It hasnt changed since eBenefits started. So are you saying that his paperwork might be lost even if it shows stage 1 for way over a year?

    • Fred Rendon Jr June 1, 2012 at 9:30 am

      how many different problems did you apply for? I have seen service officers who apply for hurt back, broken leg, fractured wrist, hearing problem, tinitus, depression, anixety and PTSD Traumatic brain. Well I have new for you it will take a long time. If you file file for one or tw things, get service connected and then you can go after other problems. What is your claim for what state are you in?

      • veterans wife June 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        Fred, its is only one claim that was denied for PTSD. The C/P examinor stated he has PTSD put couldnt put a stressor to it. Amazingly that C/P examinor is no longer employed with the VA due to dening vets who truely have PTSD and stressors to go along with the claim. So we did the work for them and paid to go to a private phyche MD and after the exact same evaluation the VA did he concluded he is 100% PTSD and included 2pages he endure will in firefights and also the counselor from the VA stated the same thing the private MD doctor did. SO tell me why in the world it should be sitting in stage 1 for over 1 1/2 years. There is nothing else the VA needs to do, except to pick up the papers and actually read through them all and make a accurate diagnosis. There is only 1 claim in the appeals process, not numerous ones. This is the stuff that vets are upset about, when they pay to have things done properly from outside the VA and they still drag there feet.

  30. Tonya Nasworthy May 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I have been my husband’s advocate with the VA since 2008. We struggled to get things going in the beginning and it was hard to get the ball rolling. We were like the blind leading the blind because there didnt seem to be anyone to help us. Once we found out about the Ebenefits, we set up an account the old way by doing an in-person authorization. At first the Ebenefits was of no use, no information was really given. All you could see was that a claim had been recieved and that was it. No updates were ever given. Then they progressed to showing what steps your claim was on and after a year at the end of 2011 we got a notice on Ebenefits that a partial decision had been made and we would be recieving notification of that decision soon. Now through even more progess, we know that we have an estimated decision date although not pefect, we do have a 3-6 month window the decision could be made and we know that it should definitely be made by the end of the year. Although we all would wish for an exact date of the decision that would be a little difficult to do with the amount of claims they are recieving. The fact that they are progressing and improving to help better provide for the Veterans is awesome and I think they should be applauded for doing so much. We would truely be in the dark were it not for Ebenefts and all they do and offer…. I think the progess they have done is awesome!

    • Lisa May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      Hey Tonya, Same sitation with me .. I signed up for Benefits at discharge (BDD) where they said we would have a decision w/i 4 months of retirement – it’s been 7 months and no decision. I wwrote a letter stating how I feel “forgotten” b/c I was denied all benefits at the VA! All’s I wanted was a van ride or a little assistance to go up to Birmingham to see my rheumatoloogist. I retired b/c of an RA diagnosis that rendered me unable to “lead from the front” and so far nothing, nada, nill. Granted there are alot of folks worse off than me but even though I was never shot at directly in Iraq or Afghanistan, I gave my life (4 days shy of 26 years) to my country, so I feel the frustration. With BDD, it definately was hurry up & wait! You are right though – EBenefits is on-line (so that’s cool) even though I don’t think I’ve mastered all it’s capabilities, but at least it says now I should have an answer by the end of the year. I sure hope so – some days are good, but some are really really bad & depression over all of it really bites.

      • M. Smith May 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

        Are there recent studies showing a link between military service and the development of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

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