Many of you have been having trouble with IRIS recently, so I wanted to give some pointers on how to get your requests in and let you know what IRIS is if you’re reading this scratching your head.

The Inquiry Routing and Information System (IRIS) is our secure email messaging system.  IRIS is a secure way to send queries that would contain your personally identifiable information (PII) to us via the internet.  Most times, when you submit through IRIS you can choose how you want us to respond either by phone, email or mail.

The trick to getting a response, though, is making sure your inquiry gets to us.  I spoke with the VA employee who runs IRIS and she gave me some technical info that I wanted to pass on.

A lot of Vets are having trouble transmitting through IRIS because of issues with the internet browser you are using.  Basically, your security setting is really high on your browser of choice and it doesn’t let the transmission go through.  To check if Internet Explorer fits in this category (and to change the setting to submit a question through IRIS) follow these steps:

1. At the top of the browser go to “Tools”
2. From that drop down menu, choose “Internet Options”
3. In the box that appears choose the tab labeled “Security”
4. Click on the globe icon labeled “Internet”
5. In the box labeled “Security label for this zone” slide the bar on the scale to “Medium”
6. Click Apply

If you follow those steps and you still can’t get your inquiry through, make sure:

1. You are running a standard version—not a hybrid—of your browser.  You can check this by going to “Help” at the top of the screen and clicking “About Internet Explorer” from the drop down menu.  The box that pops up will tell you whether or not you’ve got a hybrid.
2. You have java script enabled.  To check, go back to “Tools,” click “Internet Options” and go to the “Advanced” tab.  Scroll down until you see “Java” and make sure the box underneath is checked.

If you run all those checks and you’re still having problems, leave a comment and I’ll get you to the right person to help out.

Have you ever used IRIS?  Did you get the answers you needed?

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Published on Dec. 9, 2010

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 1,122


  1. Thomas Hribal May 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I am writing because I have tried to call the 800 number to check the status of my claim and also to claim Hardship. I was told through the automated service that I would receive a call back and when I did it was disconnected before I was even transferred to a person. I then called back to set up another call back and was told by the automated service that it would be Friday when I would receive my call back. My problem is I need to claim a Hardship and when I call I don’t care how long I am on hold I want to talk to a person not an automated service.

  2. C.V. Compton Shaw March 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Please repair the IRIS site. I attempted to file a complaint about a particular health care facility on the same but, despite my repeated efforts, continued to receive the message: Duplicate claim number.
    I, again, attempted to file the complaint following the directions on the “Duplicate Error on IRIS Customer Entry Form”. However, this, also, did not work.
    Finally, I had no other choice than to call the VA at 1-800-827-1000 telephone number.
    I received courteous, efficient, and appropriate assistance at that phone number.
    However, please correct the IRIS problem as it is very time consuming.
    I am a Honorably Discharged Vietnam Combat Veteran.

  3. Cheap Cruise Deals January 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Crazy Ideas…

    …Why do so many users repeat……

  4. Thomas C Dark December 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I received a Dec 1st 2011 audit from DFAS which indicates VA owes me $4232.

    Please provide status of VA’s action.

  5. rghaner October 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

    All three have become a total waste of time IRIS, 800 number, and Ebenifits

  6. Bryan Demarre October 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I applied for compensation for ptsd from a tour in Iraq. I was rated at 65% I received a few checks while still in the guards, I did not cash any checks while still in the service. after i retired i got a few checks, then my compensation stopped.the reason given was i could not receive compensation while still in the service. I want through the Vet’s service rep in anoka mn, we had the d.a.v. audit their records and they confirmed i did not cash any checks while still in the guards. i received a couple more payments, and they stopped again. i was told the dav was witholding two months payments for the checks they already said were never cashed.this was june & july. all payments to me on my claim have been stopped. what can i do i tried the VET’s service rep in anoka mn and nothing is done. should i just let it go???

  7. Louella October 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I agree with FJ with this, please make your site friendlier. It is difficult as is for claim processing or even find answers to our personalized questions. Thank you.

  8. Thomas Lyon September 29, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I submitted a new claim on 20 Sep 11. The USPS indicates it was received by VA on 22 Sep 11 but ebefits shows no claim received. I have tried to call the 800 number but can’t get through. How can I find out if they have received the claim?

    Thomas Lyon, 2331

  9. nathan krakowski September 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    i have tried all the ways it tells u to set the computer up to fill out the form and it still doesnt work. i filed a year and a half ago and have heard nothing about any process about it. i really need that recompensation pay to help support me and my daughter before we become possibly homeless as i am currently out of work. the faster you can get back to me the better. thank you

    • Ed Myers October 6, 2011 at 9:25 am

      The system will not allow me to send messages because of a problem with a duplicate SSN and email address.

  10. Mike Smith August 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    When I receive a thread from IRIS it does not contain any history even though it may be asking me to make a reply. Is there way I can access that thread via the inquiry number assigned?

  11. Peter Fitzpatrick August 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Maybe you should stop projecting your anger and frustration at her and start trying to use the knowledge and experience you say you have to help other veterans with their issues.

  12. Earnest M. Daniels August 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Can you give me a more definitive layout of my service related claim that I have pending with the VA regional office. What additional info you need me to send you. I was told that you will supply me with correct and updated info related to my request.

  13. Frank Veasey July 30, 2011 at 3:16 am

    I have sent several messages regarding the Myhealthyver website. I registered several months ago and have forgotten all id and password info . When I go to re-register Icannot do so because the machine says that my name and info are already registered. How do I re-register or recover the existing myhalthyvet account?

  14. jo ann reilly July 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    i am one of three people who do the aide and attandance paperwork for our assisted living residents. Do you have a standard Fiducary letter that could be included in the the EZ and regular applications?

  15. Gerald o Higgins July 15, 2011 at 4:21 am

    I sent you information on a duplicate problem I had with IRIS. I was checking on my claim for diabetes and it wouldn’t go through because of duplicate information. I sent the information with inquiry#110706-000329 and haven’t got a reply for some time. My last four 8116

  16. Andrew June 29, 2011 at 1:14 am

    An Insulin Pump dramatically helps reduce the number of daily injections required in day to day life. The delivery tube needs to be changed every 3 to four days on average which is a great reduction in the 4 to 6 injections a day that most of us diabetics currently have to cope with for tight control.

  17. decoration de mariage June 22, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Thanks,I think this is better topic for me. I get some benifit by this topic. You can’t go anywhere without some type of stimulus coming at you but it’s effective. To requried atopics, It is also so much important for us.

  18. james e May 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    father died in perto rico at the va hospital and i need to get his death cirtifacte how would i go about getting this done?

  19. Jack Sheldon May 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I would like to know thw status of my case by which I contracted diabetes because I was in an area tat agent orange was used as a defoleate.
    My last four are 5596.
    Please respond as soon as possible as I started this process in September of 2010.

  20. Jack Sheldon May 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Would like to know the status of my claim. My claim is that agent orange is the reason I am diabetic. The VA concludes that I have type 1 diabetes and that it is inherited. I believe it is type 2 ans a result of agent orange.
    My last four are 5596. I would like an answer as to the status of my claim.

  21. Jack Sheldon May 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I submitted a claim to change my diabetes status from type 1 to type 2 last September and have not gotten any response. I wa stationed in the aras where agent orange was used as a defoliate.
    The last four of my SSN are 5596.
    Pleas respond as soon as you can.

  22. Jack Sheldon May 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I submitted my claim last September to change my diabete from type 1 to type 2. I was in Vietnam where agent orange was used to defoliate the jungle areas.
    The last four of my SSN are 5596, and I would appreciate an answer assooon as possible on the status of my claim.

  23. Jack Sheldon May 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I submitted a claim changing my type 1 diabetes to type 2 last September, and I would like to know the status of my claim.
    I was in the area of Vietnam where agent orange was used to defoliate the jungle areas.
    The last four of my SSN are 5596. I would very much appreciate a response as soon as possible.

  24. Jack Sheldon May 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I submitted a claim for changing my diabetes from type 1 to type 2. This was done in September of 2010 and I have not heard anything from the VA. And I would like to know the status of my claim. I was statione in Vietnam in the areas that agent orange was used to defoliate the different areas.
    The last four of my social security numbe is 5596. I wouldlike to receive an answer as to the status of my claim.

  25. Michael JONES April 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I submited a claim 26 jan 2010 and it has gone SOME WHERE 15 months and going.

  26. pdxdawg April 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    It is shameful the lack of respect given to Veterans just trying to get answers to our claims and appeals just don’t understand have the CLL leukemia in pain and sick most of the time would work if i could but this mindless game comp and pen plays If you contact your overpaid Rep.or Sen their offices are just as disorganized and concern about resolving comp issues not a bail out just compensation for disabilities while in service to our country

  27. Eri Torres March 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Requesting status of my claim. Its been pending for 7 months. please contact me for any additional information my number is 619-779-0973,
    Thank you.

  28. Rafael Castro Castellanos March 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I wanted to request information on my PTSD claim. I’ve started my clain in march of 2005 and they still don’t tell me whats going on with my claim. It became an appeal after I submitted my notice of disagreement and I still have not heard from the VA. Please tell me why its taking so long? What are they working on? Do they need anything from me? Please tell me something?

  29. Richard Parker March 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I submitted a request for a reconsideration of my claim January 2010, and I just found out January or February that my request for an reconsideration was placed in appeals, and I was never notified concerning that decision. I found out by calling the 800 number.

  30. EDWARD R ELDER March 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I used the IRIS system asking a question. At the end of the process a note read “don’t click the send button again.” Meaning that, there is a problem with users that click send twice. Most Government websites send an instant acknowlegement within seconds and the user has no doubt that the message went through. If there was an automatic response, such as that,that isssue would be resolved.

  31. Christopher R. KNowles March 4, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I am trying to move forward with my disability claim. (Removed social security number-Alex Horton)

    thank you

  32. rlc January 29, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Using IRIS as an official VA secure internet email tool, IRIS says my email will not be published. However, if I request that my submitted documentation not be published, rather, privately, securely, and with the greatest discretion to allow for personal information not being publicly released, does IRIS provide for that when requested? /?p=874 entered into the Website above apparently routes my questions for IRIS response if routing is to Is that correct? What post script identifier would be used for submitting evidence supporting an appeal, p=874 or some other specific identifier, or does IRIS make that determination upon receipt of personal information? Also, is that information received in a secure, discreet process that allows transmittal of an attachment, similar to all other email servers, and if so, does IRIS acknowledge receipt in a reply response while still not revealing or making public any documents one has submitted under comments or in an attachment (if attachments apply or can be used in IRIS emails)?

  33. Matt Mhoon January 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    The specified CGI application misbehaved by not returning a complete set of HTTP headers.

    Has this error been fixed? I have tried at several different computers on several different servers and still receive this message. I am not able to send an IRIS request.

  34. Woman Veteran January 3, 2011 at 6:23 am

    The few times I’ve used IRIS to inquire about problems with VA Benefits, I’ve gotten really snotty responses and been told to let my VSO American Legion guy handle the problem for me. Unfortunately, here we are 18 months later, and my VSO can’t tell me what the hold up is on the VA correcting a problem that it created. As a result of this problem, the VA wrongly withheld 12 months of my disability compensation before it restarted paying me, but I have yet to get a penny of what was wrongly taken from me, lost my marriage, my home, my car, my telephone… everything. Frankly, if there were any justice in my case, the VA employees at Detroit VARO who screwed me over would work without pay checks for the next 12 months, so they’d understand a little of what they’ve put me through… but we all know that isn’t going to happen.

    I call my VSO once a month, just to inquire about my case. Every month, the answer is the same: my file is sitting on “her” (someone who works at Detroit VARO) desk still, no action on it. Then I ask what my VSO has done for the past month. He hems and haws but the answer, if he were honest, is NOTHING.

    So, here I am, 18 months later… the VA won’t talk to me, only to my VSO… and my VSO is not doing anything to help me resolve the situation.

    Meanwhile, I’ve relocated to Colorado, but my case is still sitting there in Michigan. I’m relying on friends to survive. I can’t even look for work because of my vision problems (service-connected) and without that money I’m owed, I can’t afford new glasses.

    If you want to contact me for my real name, VA file #, name of my VSO, etc. Feel free to email me for more info and permission to speak to my VSO about my case.

    And just so you know… Christmas really sucked, New Year’s did too.

    PS – Tell your web designer that this grey colored text in the text input box is not good for vision-handicapped veterans (like me).

  35. Janet Jennings December 31, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I also get the same error message beginning with “CGI”. I would also like to know why should I have to lower my browser security settings to “medium” just for the VA? That allows all kinds of unwanted things to invade my computer.
    No. I’m certain this has been planned by your office to prevent veterans from contacting your office. Perhaps we should just go over your head.

    Janet Jennings
    USAF Veteran

  36. Rene R Ortega December 30, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    All this questions and answers are so depressing. As a veteran of the Vietnam conflict I feel for these guys. I gave up a long time ago.

  37. Casey W. December 30, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Dear V.A,

    Thank you for not giving me an education and instead ruining my life. I gave up a 15+ dollar an hour tech job to go back to school and you people have all but ruined it.
    Due to your accounting errors, my life is falling apart. When I ask for help you do nothing to fix it. You should all be fired and until the whole system overhauled.

    -I have no idea what I am getting for education benefits, no idea who to speak with, the people I try to contact are inept and argumentative.
    -Every term some error in accounting is made and its taken out on me financially, not you. So I am constantly docked money I already can’t afford to lose and bare the brunt of your failures.
    -I am always behind in my bills and can’t afford to live on my own while going to school. I have no one to lean on for resources, every time you fail it hurts me and no one else. If your paycheck got docked for no reason, you would revolt…what should I do?
    -I am a veteran with PTSD and cannot deal with the extra anxiety you are putting on me, the system should not be this hard to use or navigate. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
    -You should not be allowed to take money out of my check without first consulting with me, because you have no idea the damage you are doing to my life when you do this.
    -I haven’t received word from you in months about anything having to do with my education other than photo copied forms that have no pertinent data in them.

    I am going to keep finding public forums to decry you until you start really helping veterans.

    Casey W.

    Soon to be homeless, failed out student.

  38. Edward December 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I have tried everything sugested also tried seven differant computors,all can not have the same problem.

  39. Roger Phillips December 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I have used Ebenefits and IRIS and realize that they are valuable resources if you have claims pending and desire to know if documents supporting your claim have reached VA and will be included in my rating. IRIS gave me assistance recently in pinpointing the exact cause for delay in the final rating. I like, other Veterans, have bashed VA. I submitted a request to IRIS requesting information on reasons that an FOIA request I had submitted for copies of C&P Exams was not fulfilled. IRIS responded in 2 days and told me that the C&P Exams results had never been received from a VA Contractor even though 3 months had elapsed since the exams. As a result I made some phone calls, located the Contractor Office that was responsible for the hangup. Granted that did not erase the 3 months of lost time, but it gave me peace on mind that things were back on track and on the way to being rated, hopefully. Ebenefits has some problems now but in time that system should improve. I think VA is on track by trying to improve communication with Veterans.

  40. Joe Average Vet December 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks, Jim Stickland for sticking up for me and other Vets who have been frustrated with the VA’s handling of “the shredded evidence” scandal.

    Im not blaming Lauren for this scandal, in fact, she seems to be sincerely interested in helping Vets.

    Im gonna give the VA the “benefit of the doubt” and will give the VA management an opportunity to ACTUALLY RESOLVE this shreddergate and to make it right with Vets they serve, but I am much more interested in their actions rather than their words.

    I would think that the VA publishing a name/ email address for shreddergate victims to contact and resolve would be the least they could do for victims.

    If the VA wont so much as give a name/email to someone in charge of resolving this shreddergate issues, then it would not suprise me to see the VA get caught shredding Veterans evidence again.

  41. James Norris December 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    My issue is quite complicated. I wish to file a formal complaint about my local regional VARO. Wilmington/Elsmere, DE. Before I get into it i want to know if this is where i launch my complaint or is this where we vent so everyone else can read about?

  42. rod December 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

    looks like the VA will do anything and everything in its power to avoid settleing veterans the disability claims.This in just another example of how the Viet Nam vet is getting jerked around

  43. jim strickland December 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I find snarky remarks like, “I’m sorry that you believe that an RO would intentionally damage any part of a Veteran’s claim” to be particularly offensive.

    This young lady hasn’t got the institutional memory required to know that in October 2008 years ago we (Larry Scott and myself) proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that VA employees were working hard to destroy a great many vital claims records. Thousands of files were dumped in industrial shredders so as to lighten the load at certain ROs. It really happened, it wasn’t a rumor.

    The VA OIG conducted an investigation “Claims Documents Inappropriately Placed in Shred Bins Information needed to support the processing of claims was inappropriately discarded in 37 shred bins located at the four VAROs visited.”

    Before making such remarks and acting as if it would be unbelievable that such a thing could happen, study the ongoing behavior of your new employer a bit. You will only get trust by earning it, not talking like Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm.

    This history and your denial of the facts is one of the many reasons that there is a wide and deep credibility gap between veterans and their VA. You are not a veteran and if you wish to have any connection to vets whatever, know your topic prior to putting pen to paper. The link for you to get up to speed is here

    I’m happy to answer any questions regarding such things should you wish to be a bit more accurate next time.

    Jim Strickland

    • Hogan July 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Jim, you’re being a jerk. This young lady is offering help and advice, but you’re portraying her as a willing participant in some kind of conspiracy to screw over vets with the ignorance you’re ensuing. There were definitely wrongdoings, but not by her. Maybe you should stop projecting your anger and frustration at her and start trying to use the knowledge and experience you say you have to help other veterans with their issues.

    • Cash March 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      I like your thoughts JIm

  44. Joe Average Vet December 14, 2010 at 12:50 am


    I have been unable to get my claim resolved, in part, because the Regional Office shredded critical evidence. I have tried to resolve this with IRIS and about every other method I can think of, for several years, to no avail. It has gone on for years and I have even lost my home waiting on the Va.
    Someone said something about using our real name here. Well, many of us are scared to use our real name out of fear of retaliation by people in the VA, who may want to use us as an example of not to say anything.
    As someone said, when the VA got caught shredding evidence, they shredded Veterans trust along with the evidence. I understand the VA is trying to earn that trust back. Is this true?
    Is there any way to resolve the continued delays due to shredded evidence with or without IRIS?

    • Lauren Bailey December 14, 2010 at 6:24 pm

      I’m sorry that you believe that an RO would intentionally damage any part of a Veteran’s claim. You are exactly right when you say that we are trying, through the blog, and improving our processes, to rebuild and foster trust. If you ever need any help, please let me know!

      • Joe Average Vet December 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

        Yes, there is something you can do to help me resolve this shredded evidence issue. Can you give me a name/email address of someone in the VA that can/will solve my shredded evidence issue? To me, it does not matter whether VA shredded it intentionally or not, I just dont want this to drag on any longer, and want to get on with my life. It will probably need to be a senior VA official, as the employees I have dealt with so far have been unable to produce a satisfactory resolutions so far. If this person can solve my issue, I will post the results here on this site, if you like. Maybe a successful resolution by a fellow Vet will help restore other Vets trust.

        • Lauren Bailey December 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

          Joe, I just sent you an email on the subject and I look forward to hearing from you. My sincere apologies if my initial response was construed as uninformed or unsympathetic to the situation.

  45. MAURICE SCOTT December 13, 2010 at 1:46 am

    The purpose is absolutely correct, but the truth is what you get, specific to your questions ask, makes us all feel like we are the campaign trail, tell lies, and getting away with it because its politics. I’ve utilized the IRIS system, I get two different responses, one, nothing, and two, absolutely not the truth. Much of the same thing we are peddled here on this and the actual VA website. The anticipated full circle date, when most of the waiting will be over, is a consideration of whether this President will get another term, if he doesn’t then it goes back to business as usual, so that’s the nonsense.

    Secondly, its not process, or procedures, or even these expensive systems that needed to be put in place, what you need is to rid your agency of the employees who are not doing there jobs. Lets face it, if your goal is to have a fully developed claim cleared in 125 days, then why isn’t a fully developed claim cleared today, if its fully developed, Why? Because of the same reason it wasn’t yesterday, sorry staff. So while all this sounds good, do the math, paying a greeter, because thats all public contact people are greeters, more than average, averaging 30k a year, to do absolutely nothing, you can do better, the question is will you.

  46. Craig Nystrom Jr. December 12, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Quite honestly my complaint is not with the IRIS system as I always have received a prompt reply with a reference number. My compliant is that in this reply it states that my local VA Regional Office will investigate the matter and will be contacting me with a response, now there is where the problem is! I have left countless requests via IRIS as well as the VA National 800 number as well as formally writing to this Chicago Regional Office to speak with anyone from the Chicago VA Regional Office concerning first my initial claim and then subsequent appeal. Yet the weeks, months, and years go by. Just to receive a copy of my military medical records I formally requested a couple of times per year to have these records which I am entitled to receive. All along I would receive a VA form letter saying that with the large number of requests for these types of records that these are processed and are sent out in the order that the request is received. Well low and behold after five years I finally received them! Imagine if I took five years to send in medical records concerning my claim/appeal, but yet it is at the Chicago Regional Office’s time frame that I finally received these medical records. But the reality is that I have had so many questions concerning my initial claim and then appeal and yet all I am given is lip service both in writing and over the phone about being contacted by the Chicago Regional Office. Where is the checks and balances at this Regional Office? So either when you speak to a live VA representative over the National 800 number who can’t answer my question(s) as they can only be answered by the Chicago VA Regional Office, or when I utilize the IRIS and receive a confirmation stating that someone from the Chicago Regional Office would be contacting, well this never happens and I do mean never, then I receive more and more standard VA letters that either my claim is being worked on or now my appeal is being worked on. I know of other veterans that have experienced the exact same response from this Regional Office for their inquiries as I have. Where’s the checks and balances here, where’s the accountability? Finally who can be contacted at this Regional Office that is actually willing to work with veterans and solve problems rather than create more problems? Specifically how does a Decision Review Officer issue a statement of the Case (SOC) after making the veteran wait nearly three years for an appeal without reviewing the new evidence that was in the Chicago VA Regional Office’s possession along with not requesting and then waiting for medical records from private medical facilities and doctor’s that this same DRO stated that was needing to be received by him/her at this Chicago VA Regional Office as he/she sent me the release of medical information forms that I signed and sent back in within the allotted time frame. How does the DRO issue a SOC without this information? Next how does this same DRO’s coach or supervisor who has been made aware of this mistake by this DRO who is underneath him/her then acknowledge that there clearly was a mistake made by this same DRO and said that there was a “Disconnect” that this information that was in the Chicago VA’s possession and yet this new evidence was not matched up to my claim file. This information was Confirmed by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chicago Supervisor who spoke with this Chicago VA Regional Office DRO Supervisor when he/she acknowledged the error, only to now that I the veteran must now appeal the appeal that was never reviewed honestly in good conscious and had nothing but negligence involved here. Both the DRO and his/her supervisor knowingly admitted that my claim was not reviewed and the SOC was issued not in good faith, with all the available evidence deliberately not being reviewed or considered. Yet now I have been informed that a Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC) would be issued based on new evidence received at the Chicago Regional Office in September 2010, but currently these SSOC’s at this same Regional Office are taking two years or longer before they are issued. What planet do we live in or what country do we reside in that anyone at the VA at any level should ever consider this to be acceptable? Where is the checks and balances here? Who are these VA employee’s accountable to? Clearly there is no accountability to us veterans, nor the taxpayers that pay their wages. Yet if I worked at any other job in either the civilian or military and knowingly signed off on a report or a paper that I knew that was false and prepared not in good faith, then if my supervisor was made aware of this situation and signed off on this same negligence then both of us would be fired at minimum. Or in the military when I was in I would at minimum suffered a NJP or a Court Marshall, yet it’s business as usual at this Regional Office. On what principle is this morally right or correct or acceptable? Still it’s business as usual at the VA, so now another issues is that if they have done this to me, how many other veterans at this office has both this DRO and his/her Supervisor allowed this to happen to? How many other countless lives have been affected by people in these positions who are negligent in the performance of there job? Yet no one at the Chicago VA Regional Office will contact me to say how this is acceptable. Lets get myself, my DAV representatives who personally witnessed this injustice and both the DRO and his/her Coach or Supervisor as they are called in a court of law and under oath and let the chips fall where they may and see if these people still have their jobs. Obviously as they still do then this practice is perfectly acceptable at the Chicago VA Regional Office. What about other Regional Office’s is this acceptable at these locations as well?

  47. rod December 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Have been using va for medical since losing me job and insurance due to heart disease 3 years ago.I’ve been stuck with a forien doctor(DR.AKELA) who seems to care less ago a veterans helth. I have never had an appointment with him that has lasted more than 15 minutes.Ihave problems with my legs and knees but he blows it off and has never bothered to even check them out.He told me I could still walk so there was nothing they could do.(there are times I can barely walk with the help of a cane).
    This is the kind of care we get at the VA in des moines.

  48. rod December 10, 2010 at 10:27 am

    you put out a lot of b-s about inproving the system,why not just have va employees do thier job and sttle some of our agent orange claims

  49. FJ December 10, 2010 at 9:17 am

    You need to make it friendlier. No one – I repeat no one – knows or cares what acronym “IRIS” means or is.

    If you insist on keeping it, get permission to use a photo of a smiling VA employee named “Iris” (I’m sure there are a few). And then re-brand it as: “Ask Iris”.

  50. jason Shattuck December 10, 2010 at 12:49 am

    IRIS gets **** 4 out of 5 * stars. My only reason for the 4 is, the fact that you have to be super direct with your issue(s).

    Since were talking about technology stuff will, the “ebenefits” link, ever be fixed? I got to

    after logging in to my heathyevet account and checking the boxes to verify my info i get …

    “Error : [999] The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) cannot provide you with a DS Login at this time. To address this problem, do either of the following: (1) Contact the My HealtheVet Help Desk and report that you received this message; or (2) try creating your account at a later time.”

    Im just wanting to be able to check up on my claim, and see what the hold up is.

    • Lauren Bailey December 10, 2010 at 8:46 am

      I’m going to forward this to the My HealtheVet team to see if they can help out.

      • jason Shattuck December 10, 2010 at 10:44 am

        Thank you, I don’t know what they can or will do I have already gone down that road and they sent me an email saying
        “Our records show you have successfully been authenticated as of 9/27/2010.

        We are currently having some issues with the DS Logon feature but are currently working to resolve it.

        You can call 1-800-983-0937 for Toll-Free eBenefits Customer Support.

        A live customer support representative will assist you Monday-Friday, 7am to 7pm CST.

        We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”

        • jason Shattuck December 14, 2010 at 10:46 am

          It is now working. Now I can see my claim yeah!

          • Lauren Bailey December 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

            Oh great news, Jason! So thrilled!

  51. Patrick B. Monahan December 10, 2010 at 12:03 am

    My problem with the IRIS system is the fact that it is totally dysfunctional in some departments. I have provided an actual live example below. I would like to know how to get resolution on these IRIS issues that are being ignored by VA departments. Is there an IG, an IRIS supervisor, or other quality assurance person/department that I can contact. My issues are extremeny important, yet they are being ignored like I’m some bum who doesn’t deserve a quick IRIS response.

    Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS)

    I submitted an IRIS question/complaint on 1 Nov 2010, inquiry number 101101-0…
    Discussion Thread
    Inquirer (Patrick Monahan) 12/07/2010 11:26 AM
    Thank you for responding to my initial request. It only took you 37 days. Could you please explain why it took your office so long to respond to my inquiry? Is this the norm for your office because the IRIS system advertises 5 days. I ask because the long response creates the perception that you don’t care, that my question was unimportant, or that somehow I was irrelevant in the big Regional Office way of business.

    Now…back to business. Here are the real facts. Mr. Shroyer never met with me. Mr. Shroyer made one approximate 25 minute phone call to me, got a dash of info, then made a host of assumptions about me and my employability. Mr. Shroyer was rude, arrogant, and totally full of himself. He treated me like I was a chump with no backbone…I assure you that he used some very faulty logic in that particular assumption.

    Why does my receipt of SSDI have any bearing over my ability to perform within the VA Vocational Rehabilitation program. That was never an issue when I was in VocRehab in Utah. Perhaps it was documented, but it was not a discriminator in Utah. I was enrolled in a VR&E long-term education program in Utah. I’m a former officer with 3 college degrees already…so, Mr. Shroyer’s method of scrutiny is bizarre.

    IILP was something that was considered in Utah, but my counselor did not arrive at that conclusion because I still have the ability and motivation to re-educate and reintegrate into the workforce. I don’t know what was documented yet (I’ve filed a FOIA request for my Vocational Rehabilitation records), but that is the straight truth. Feel free to contact the VA Ogden Vocational Rehabilitation counselor for more info.

    Here is what I request:

    – A new VA Pittsburgh Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, i.e. someone other than Mr. Shoyer
    – An actual, in-person meeting with me and whomever I choose to bring with me, within the next 60 days, with a real/new VocRehab counselor, in Pittsburgh, PA (i.e. no phone “meeting”)
    – Development of a “real” IEEP, which was never developed on 2 Jul 10

    I live in Johnstown, PA, and I’m here for the long-haul. Looking forward to contributing to the Western Pennsylvania workforce with my new bride (marriage: 23 Apr 11).

    Thank you.


    Patrick B. Monahan

    Response (Dept. of Veterans Affairs) 12/07/2010 08:53 AM
    Mr. Monahan,

    Your file was transferred to the Pittsburgh Regional Office on or about July 2010 from Salt Lake City, UT. The counselor of record had met with you to develop an IEEP (Individual Extended Evaluation Plan) plan of services so that your feasibility for returning to the workforce could be evaluated. Your file was assigned to Mr. Shroyer for review. Mr. Shroyer spoke to you on July 2, 2010. You informed Mr. Shroyer that you had relocated back to the area due to an impending divorce. You also stated that you had many physical problems and were in receipt of SSD/SSDI. You also reported that you were having psychological problems with PTSD and were under treatment at the Salt Lake VAMC. When asked about employment you stated you were not employable at this time. Mr. Shroyrer determine that you were not in need of IILP services and that feasibility at the time of your conversation could not be established. This was the same conclusion arrived at when you met with the counselor in UT. If your situation has changed please provide the Pittsburgh Office with medical documentation to support your condition and readiness to participate in a rehabilitation program. If you have returned to UT your file must be transferred back to that station and they will make that determination.

    Inquirer (Patrick Monahan) 12/03/2010 12:35 PM
    I know my rights and entitlements and I’m not being serviced properly:

    Inquirer (Patrick Monahan) 12/03/2010 12:12 PM
    I submitted an IRIS question/complaint on 1 Nov 2010, inquiry number 101101-001690. I have received zero response since that time. According to the IRIS automated response page, I was supposed to receive an actual response within 5 business days. Well, that timeframe has come and gone…a long time ago.

    My Vocational Rehabilitation benefits are not being met. I want a new VocRehab councellor to serve my needs because the current one is not. And, as my original question/complaint emphasized, I request written documentation and information on my Vocational Rehabilitation case (past & present from the Vocational Rehabilitation Office in Pittsburgh, PA).

    My passiveness in this process is at an end. I require full response and assistance on this matter by 17 Dec 2010, or I will have no choice but to turn over my case to my attorney.
    Thank you.


    Patrick B. Monahan

    • Lauren Bailey December 10, 2010 at 8:44 am

      I too am from Johnstown, PA! I’d be happy to help in whatever way I can.

      • Cash March 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm

        You have got to be fucking kidding me??

        • Cash March 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm

          Wow…I am sorry for my profanity, but I have been fighting issues for two years and it seems you never get a clear answer. I hate this for all of us vets.

  52. Randy Watson December 9, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t have a problem submitting an inquiry, my problem is IRIS will NOT respond to my questions pertaining to the status of my Agent Orange NEHMER REVIEW Claim. I have submitted numerous inquiries and still do not get a confirmed reply. All I got was a response stating they sent my inquiry to the VARO and states they will respond once they receive an answer. This has been several weeks ago if not longer.

    • david August 3, 2011 at 8:25 am

      I have had the same problem as Randy. My VARO in Nashville will not return calls or send e-mails to me and I have had to take actions on my own. This VARO controlls my money and I had to move, but they won’t talk to me, my rep payee or my va social worker. I compalaind to IRIS twice, was promised a repsonse twice and never heard from it agaain! How can I find out if VARO did anything???

  53. Ray December 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I have adjusted my setting to medium and I still get teh same message
    CGI Error
    The specified CGI application misbehaved by not returning a complete set of HTTP headers.

    • Lauren Bailey December 10, 2010 at 8:46 am

      CGI error — that’s a new one. I’ll see if the IRIS team has seen this before.

    • Nary March 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Just like Veteran Affairs, IRIS is a sorry team. V.A. needs to be shut down and all jobs contracted out. These people can not do their jobs, period. I have never seen a
      group of people so dysfunctional. They will not respond to your certified mail letters. I finally send my information to my Congress Woman Barbara Boxer. The biggest problem in the military was employing people who could intepret the ramifications of what one error could do to a mans life. Many veterans are missing benefits because some ignorant ass clerk did not fill that form out properly. There it goes, the domino effect. One error can follow a veteran through his life. With computer you can now find the dirty rotten sob that didn’t know how to do their jobs properly. Another issue, they do not know or have a clue where all the records are located. Most Veteran Affairs employees don’t even know the history of their country.

      • Karen March 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

        I am sorry that you have had a bad experience with your claim but I resent the fact that you refer to all VA employees as being bad and that the VA should be shut down. I have been a VA employee for 18 years and I go above and beyond to serve our veterans. I love my job and I have spent numerous hours of my own time serving home cooked meals, running personal errands, and giving financial aid to those in need. I feel that it is a privilege to serve these men and women who have given in service. The VA has helped millions of men and women who feel differently than you do. I am also married to a Marine who was injured during his service in the Marine Corp. He filed a claim almost 2 years ago and has received nothing but letters stating that they are still working on the claim. I know from behind the scenes that it takes a long time to get records from the time a person entered service until the time of their claim. There is a lot more work involved than what you realize. There are also many claims that are bogus and so every detail has to be checked. There are a lot of people just looking for a hand out without ever having served beyond a week or two in boot camp with a dishonorable discharge. The claim still has to be reviewed and it holds up the claims for those with a legitimate claim. Although it does take a long time, the compensation will be given from the date of the application. Try to be patient, it will pay off in the end.

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