BVA–WINNERS AND LOSERS

Here’s a real eyeopener. Got this from a reader. Interesting. Statistically, I would expect attorneys would have the highest rate of success. As presented, I presume a 13.03% denial reflects the obverse-a 86.97% rate of success in either winning or getting a remand to repair it. 

PVA has some excellent attorneys on their legal staff like Jennifer Zajac who are gogetters. They do a lot of pickup work from the NVLSP, too.

VVA deals mostly with Vietnam Vets. Getting herbicide presumptives  is like shooting fish in a barrel. That would account for a large number there.

MOPH, now, is going to have a really low denial rate because they aren’t even in business. They were above average on wins when they were in business but as their Association suggests, they attracted a lot of easy musculoskeletal 0-10% SFW wounds and a few LOU/A&A/amputations from PH awardees, too.

Next, we have Agents. I’m glad to see us about here because it validates my suspicions that we were in the upper tier. Interestingly, a large number of combat Vets from RVN gravitated to VFW with documented injuries. They should, by rights, be up near the VVA stats. Personally, at this time my win/loss statistics at the BVA are 80-1. I lost Butch’s appeal for the EED of 1970 but I expected to. I’m rebuilding it now so I don’t consider it a loss yet.

I think it’s also sad to see such a marked disparity with AmVets below the rest.  State and County VSOs could really shine if they were allowed to have more training…like NOVA.

 

Lastly, it speaks volumes that 67.39% of pro se Vets can actually articulate their appeals coherently and succeed. What we cannot see is a statistical breakdown of claims by percentage. It’s one thing to win 0%-10% for tinnitus at the BVA. It’s quite another to get an R1 or R2. I would bet those would be very revealing statistics and skew this ranking entirely differently.

I suppose the glaring 800 lb. elephant here is that 67.39% of pro se Vets win which means that VA is in error 32.61% of the time just on these Vets alone. Considering the CAVC reverses, sets aside, vacates or reverses 74% of time is an indicator that the process is grossly flawed. But then we knew that.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Corona humor and then some…

Posted in BvA Decisions, Humor, NOVA Attorneys, VA Agents, VA Attorneys, Veterans Law, VSOs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

CONTRACT C&Ps NOW BEING SCHEDULED

Just pulled this off the TTY.  LHI, QTC and VES are allegedly open for business. Could be the VA are even hiring on some new outfits. Relax. It’s standard SOS-DD.    I’m sure we’d all like to believe the VA conducts fair, impartial examinations and gives us the hallowed benefit of the doubt. Of course, an equally large number of us have cancelled our subscriptions to the Flat Earth Society and Tooth Faery quarterly. Whether due to pragmatism or a rude awakening is immaterial. If the “cheat & prevent” exams were equitable, we wouldn’t have outfits like Mednick Associates doing a land office business.

Here’s the screen grab of the incoming on the headline subject.

Specialized contract examiners. Did you catch that? So who were they using pre-Corona Beer Virus? My wild-rearended guess is no more c&ps out of VAROs-period. They don’t have enough warm bodies to keep the places open as it is. Perhaps this will take the load off the shrinks VHA convinced to stay and keep working there.

Posted in C&P exams, Corona pandemic, Corona virus, Nexus Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Start Civilian Life as a Home-Based Entrepreneur

You’ve served your country well, and now you’re ready to begin a new venture. If you haven’t already contemplated it among your options, it might be the perfect time to start a business of your very own. Working from home is the new normal, and you have all the qualifications — leadership, drive, confidence, perseverance — to be a top-notch entrepreneur. What’s more, a work-from-home startup is a great way to decompress as you make the mental adjustment to life in the civilian world while establishing financial security for your future. 

The following resources can help you get started out on the right foot. 

Equal Opportunities

When considering timing, the current state of the world might give you cold feet. At first glance, waiting for a period of lush economic growth might sound wisest at first glance.  But where problems exist, so do plenty of opportunities. 

  • As Entrepreneur points out, when times are challenging, that means you can often purchase equipment, or even whole businesses, for a song.
  • You don’t need an amazing discovery or invention to dive in, just a good solution to an existing problem. If you see a product you think is overpriced, perhaps you should look for ways to produce it for less. 
  • Maybe you’ve spotted a trend you’re ready to capitalize on. 
  • For instance, many people have adopted animals during lockdown; when they return to work outside the home, perhaps you could fulfill their need for a pet sitter

 

Create a Space

Whatever you decide to do, you’re going to need a place to work. 

  • Design a space that will allow you to be focused and productive.
  • Think about budgeting for your startup costs and price things out.
  • Look into whether you need a license or permit to operate your business. You can also hire companies that will help you file the necessary paperwork.

 

Finances and Foundations

A new business venture requires money, whether to build your dream office or invest in new gear. You might even need to establish a more stable position before going too far. Getting your money in order will pave the way for your business to blossom. 

  • If you’ve made financial mistakes, you may need to take steps to repair your credit.
  • In the course of making calculations and plans, you might decide to apply for a loan.
  • Inc. explains you should draw up a formal business plan to help with applications, formalize your ideas, and to give validity to your venture. 
  • If you need time to repair your credit or build a safety net, there are many part-time jobs available that you can perform remotely while you formulate your plan. 

Just for You

There are a number of services and special offers available just for veterans.

  • There are attorneys and other legal resources that can help you.
  • Going from military life to civilian life is a big adjustment. If you need mental health support services, be sure to reach out. 
  • Whether it’s for your business, education, or something else, there are many grants out there specifically designed for veterans. 

You’re in an exciting but challenging phase of life. Be sure to connect with whatever help you need, and you’ll see victory in your new venture.

Author’s note: Ms. Brewer is our latest new contributor. She searches out new ideas and concepts which may help with the Kung Flu doldrums. Telecommuting is undoubtedly the wave of the future. I’ve been running my blog and my legal practice for Veterans from home for over a decade. It’s like kids’ fireworks-safe and sane.

Posted in All about Veterans, Food for thought, Future Veterans, Tips and Tricks, VR&E | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FORT FUMBLE SEATTLE–I HOPE YOU HAD THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE

Sol 1700 Hrs Western Washington. Orange sherbet-colored

Today marks the first time I’ve woken up to a yellowish, smoky overcast with no sun since Vietnam. It finally made an anemic showing this PM. The only thing missing was the oily petroleum-like aroma of burnt nape, CS and some cordite. Of more import this morning was discovering the wholesale evisceration of the English language and the ‘woke’ reinvention of timeworn analogies while I slept.

ox·y·mo·ron /ˌäksəˈmôrˌän/  n.  A moron wasting valuable oxygen to make a vapid argument he can’t possibly substantiate?

No shit. I read a comment made by someone that concluded with ” God. What an oxymoron. He doesn’t even know what he’s talking about..” Hmmm. I never thought about using oxy as an intensifier…

And the analogy that raped my eyeballs…

He treated me like a piece of cattle.

Singular? Plural? No. I won’t go there.

But I digress from my title. I almost always defer to Cupcake on who we accept as clients. We have a coffee klatch every morning with Widget, Pickles and my wingman/parrot (Buddy) and make these life-changing decisions together. She’d probably invite the horses in, too if she thought the floor could support their weight. After much discussion, she informs us (dogs, parrot et moi) why one particular case is more deserving of our efforts than another. As I/we fund most all of our independent medical opinions out of our own pocket, this can be a mighty weighty decision if it is unwinnable. I have observed, over the years, the proclivity of some litigators to cherry pick their claims to fight based on how much they stand to gain. I suspect that extends to the claim’s viability and whether it can be substantiated. I have never been forced to make that unpleasant choice to date. The metric is more often one of who’s going to die the soonest. I’ll admit repping Steve for Hep C with self-admitted cocaine use was the longest shot yet but MST with nothing to ante with was going to be a challenge. Or was it?

I enjoy working with my local neighbors and shirttail relatives for many reasons. I like to take a man’s (or woman’s) measure of personality face to face. Obviously that isn’t possible in all cases but I find it a valuable tool to gauge the intensity of his/her mettle- the Veteran’s speech and mannerisms foremost. These affectations often speak volumes about the person. And then along comes Mary (not her real name).

Mary lives near us (20 miles as the F-15 flies) and, like a lot of you, needed help. As most know, Bent Brain claims are  my least- favorite venue. By extension, PTSD with a side of Major Sexual Trauma (MST) is also  emotionally difficult for me as a male to discuss with a female Veteran. I’m learning.  I find any man who would abuse a lady to be somewhere lower than whale shit and it’s pretty hard to get any lower than the bottom of the ocean.

Mary has been through the mental wringer on this. She was drugged and gang-raped shortly after AIT in the summer of 1986 following arrival at her new duty assignment in Germany. Like many, she was embarrassed to be so naively taken in by a fellow soldier she trusted. She didn’t report it and let it slide. Two missed periods later, she was still in denial about it but did report to Sick Call. She opted to have the baby after she discovered she was preggers. If I were a psychiatrist, my hair would already be standing on end thinking about the downstream consequences of all this decades later. Well, perhaps everyone but a VA psych.

Finally, thirty one years later in 2017, Mary found me via Cupcake and we decided to file for it with the newer, relaxed requirements in §3.304(f)(5) and that missing IMO.

(f) Posttraumatic stress disorder. Service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder requires medical evidence diagnosing the condition in accordance with § 4.125(a) of this chapter; a link, established by medical evidence, between current symptoms and an in-service stressor; and credible supporting evidence that the claimed in-service stressor occurred. The following provisions apply to claims for service connection of posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosed during service or based on the specified type of claimed stressor:

(5) If a posttraumatic stress disorder claim is based on in-service personal assault, evidence from sources other than the veteran‘s service records may corroborate the veteran‘s account of the stressor incident. Examples of such evidence include, but are not limited to: records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals, or physicians; pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases; and statements from family members, roommates, fellow service members, or clergy. Evidence of behavior changes following the claimed assault is one type of relevant evidence that may be found in these sources. Examples of behavior changes that may constitute credible evidence of the stressor include, but are not limited to: a request for a transfer to another military duty assignment; deterioration in work performance; substance abuse; episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause; or unexplained economic or social behavior changes. VA will not deny a posttraumatic stress disorder claim that is based on in-service personal assault without first advising the claimant that evidence from sources other than the veteran‘s service records or evidence of behavior changes may constitute credible supporting evidence of the stressor and allowing him or her the opportunity to furnish this type of evidence or advise VA of potential sources of such evidence. VA may submit any evidence that it receives to an appropriate medical or mental health professional for an opinion as to whether it indicates that a personal assault occurred.

So, with that in mind, after listening to Mary’s spiel, we (Cupcake) decided we had to take this claim regardless of the outcome. In retrospect, the dogs, parrot and I all agreed. It will always be the right thing to do regardless of the outcome. Win or Die. Mind you, this was before I even got access to her VBMS efile. After reading it, Mary’s predicament merely resembled all of the others I’ve ever done. The absence of an IMO was the primary defect. However, VA had previously strongly discounted the pregnancy test as any kind of MST “marker”. Baaaaaaaad idea.

§3.304(f)(5) is explicit. It’s a nonexclusive list of possible markers but the mere presence of a pregnancy test gives the claim the cachet of truth. You can’t climb into the old DeLorean with one of them ginormous flux capacitors, set the time for Fall 1986 and go back to insert the pregnancy test on November 4th. This is what gives a claim legs. VA can pop smoke and obscure the claim with the old boilerplate lack of diagnosis of MST but they cannot ignore or recharacterize the demise of that rabbit. That’s what will win this case.

Right.  I went out and obtained a killer IMO from a noted Psychologist who specializes in bent brains. Here’s where the claim went sideways. The 2017 denial discussed the pregnancy test in brief detail and discounted it because Mary said the Sick Call on November 4th was for diarrhea and stomach upset related to her “as-yet undisclosed pregnancy”. Ah how soon we forget Layno v. Brown and Clemons v Shinseki and the holding that a Veteran cannot diagnose themselves with complex medical issues- most especially mental ones. You can see this denial disintegrating before your eyes on appeal.

I didn’t feel I needed to point bright red arrows at the STR showing the dead rabbit and VA studiously avoided any mention in this newest rating. Poof. There went any discussion of a positive finding of an MST stressor. Most of you might not know it legally, but VA is not permitted to go on a safari and search for negative evidence with which to deny your claim. The whole proposition about the much vaunted Benefit of the Doubt in §3.102 is inviolate. Once the evidence is in equipoise, the claim is granted. Moreover, if you present a proper IMO to rebut a prior denial, it puts the claim in equipoise assuming the IMO doesn’t involve alien abduction and the implantation of an alien embryo.

§3.304(c) is also implicated. Remember our old friend Mr. Caluza whose CAVC decision revealed the three magic beans needed to grow the claim beanstalk? In the instant case here,  you need a stressor in service precipitating the bent brain and some evidence it happened; the mental condition now, and; medical diagnosis tying the two together which rebuts the VA’s examiner.

§3.304(c) Development. The development of evidence in connection with claims for service connection will be accomplished when deemed necessary but it should not be undertaken when evidence present is sufficient for this determination. In initially rating disability of record at the time of discharge, the records of the service department, including the reports of examination at enlistment and the clinical records during service, will ordinarily suffice. Rating of combat injuries or other conditions which obviously had their inception in service may be accomplished pending receipt of copy of the examination at enlistment and all other service records.

In 2017, Mary had presented with a recognized stressor of a pregnancy test relatively recently after the alleged rape stressor. The missing link was a diagnosis of PTSD/MST. This we provided in our most recent VAF 20-0995 supplemental filing with our IMO. Essentially, at this point, VA would be forced to concede service connection. The next step would have been to send it out for a ratings percentage c&p. VA decided to send her out for an entirely new c&p to “redecide” whether she had PTSD. This is forbidden at  56 regional offices scattered across our fruited plains. The concept was first addressed in Mariano v Principi and then pounded home even more forcefully in Kahana v Shinseki.

Undoubtedly, further medical inquiry can be undertaken with a view towards further developing the claim.  However, in this regard, the Court has cautioned VA against seeking an additional medical opinion where favorable evidence in the record is unrefuted, and indicated that it would not be permissible to undertake further development if the sole purpose was to obtain evidence against an appellant’s claim.  See Mariano v. Principi, 17 Vet. App. 305, 312 (2003).   See also Kahana v. Shinseki, 24 Vet. App. 428 (2011); McLendon v. Nicholson, 20 Vet.App. 79, 85 (2006) (In any event, the lack of medical evidence in service does not constitute substantive negative evidence).

Imagine, if you will…

During this Kung Flu season, we have been treated to some of the most horrendous miscarriages of VA justice conceivable. Imagine, if you will, an optometrist overruling a ophthalmologist with surgical credentials. Imagine denying HCV with cirrhosis because you didn’t manifest the cirrhosis within one year of separation under §3.309(a). I could go on but the dye is cast on the water. Telecommuting for VA raters is going to create an indigestible lump in the BVA python for years to come.

Here’s the 2017 rating denial.  redact Mary 10-2017

Now, here’s the new denial.  redact 8-31-2020 RD

Amazing. Evaporation of evidence favorable to the Veteran under the new AMA is only mentioned at the end. Poof. Benefit of the Doubt? We don’t need no stinkin’ benefit of the doubt to deny.

Last but not least, and on another subject entirely, I mention this in passing. There has been much said in the news that we need to service connect the troops on Anderson AFB (Guam), larger swaths of the Korean DMZ and Okinawa in the presumptive for herbicides. Nowhere to be found in these discussions is there any mention of granting this presumption to the brave men and women who served with me in Thailand and points north. The VA currently grants exposure in Thailand to military policemen with appropriate MOS/AFSC  who served on the perimeter unless you can prove you, too, served on this magic strip of infested land. Obviously, these VA poohbahs are unaware that we all had to do 30 days of “Augmentation Duty” in full battle rattle. There weren’t enough MPs to cover the perimeter.

This is insane on another level as well. Udorn RTAFB, like all the other bases we were assigned to, is a representative example of the size of a base over there. The main concern was to appropriate enough land for a 10,000 ft. runway and revetments for the fighters. Space above and beyond that was minimal. Your hootch was often within 50 feet of the perimeter. VA has conceded “tactical herbicides” were used and grants SC for this but you still need the magic IMO. This concession is far more than what they’ll even concede on Anderson or Okinawa but if you still need an IMO, then it isn’t a presumptive grant. I’ve won two for two on this subject and both required an IMO -or the threat of obtaining one- to obtain the concession of exposure. With the grant to the Blue Water Navy folks, it would seem all the more obvious that this presumptive herbicide exposure  granted to all these folks should extend without restrictions to MOS for all of us-period. This is insane- not to mention illogical and grossly unfair. But then, when did VA ever use logic to decide anything?

I have my work cut out for me on Mary. Sadly, it will require a trip to the BVA to argue this on direct review. I do hope that jackwagon GS -11 had the time of his life writing Mary’s denial.  He’ll be in good company with the rest of the GS-14s in the third ring of Hell some day. And don’t even go there on an HLR. I was schooled early-on to relieve myself downwind rather than up. I wouldn’t even trust an HLR rater to recognize the import of Mariano/ Kahana on this matter-let alone the illegality of fetching endless c&ps to keep denying the claim. As for the M 21 cites? They’re immaterial when argued at the BVA. As to whether you can provide your own IMO for a psychiatric condition to rebut a VA examiner’s-why, of course you can. What have they been smoking whilst telecommuting? Mantanuska Funderthuck?

Here’s why getting old is fun

And the inevitable blonde joke.

And Karma (or lack thereof)

 

 

 

Posted in 2015 NOVA Conference, Agent Orange, All about Veterans, AO, Appeals Modernization Act, Blue Water Navy, C&P exams, Corona virus, KP Veterans, MST, Nexus Information, PTSD, Thailand AO presumptive path, Tips and Tricks, VA Agents, VBMS, VBMS Tricks, Veterans Law, Women Vets | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Here’s the Advice You Need on Returning to College as a Veteran

Going back to school at any point in life can be a challenge. But making the jump when you’re a veteran returning to civilian life can involve additional obstacles. Here’s the information you need to know before heading back to college post-enlistment.

Know Your Benefits (and Rights)

All veterans can receive specific benefits from the U.S. government. And most vets are aware of the GI Bill and how it ensures their educational benefit after discharge from the military.

But beyond the basics, many service members don’t know much about their rights or benefits when re-entering civilian society. If you’re unsure what your next steps should be or need advice on any legal aspect of veteran-hood, visit the Ask Nod website for free advice. You may find the answers you’re looking for – for free.

Choose an Educational Path

Before you enroll in college, it’s vital that you have an end goal in mind. Maybe you’re hoping to brush up on your skills with a few classes. Even enrolling in a psychology class can provide insights you can use in the workplace. Or maybe you want to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree that can help you pave a new career path. Those interested in pursuing a career working with businesses, for instance, could benefit from earning an accounting degree.

Whatever type of education you decide to pursue, you can choose to head to campus or attend online. Earning a degree online is an easy way to boost your education while still making time for personal and professional responsibilities. From classes in business to a certification in healthcare, you can find a degree option no matter your interests.

Take It Easy (At Least At First)

You might expect that after your time in the military, college will be an easy and even rewarding experience. But many vets find that navigating college is particularly difficult, notes Military.com. The transition to an educational focus requires effort – and an entirely new set of parameters.

Easing into classes – and campus life, if applicable – can help maintain your confidence in pursuing your education. You can also investigate programs to support your college applications and overall experience, notes U.S. Veterans Magazine.

Build a Support Network

Building a support network during your college attendance is essential for maintaining a social life. But it’s also important for your educational performance. Think about it: connecting with fellow students can enable you to develop a new perspective and experience new things.

Culture shock is also real when re-entering the community, so AAC&U explains veteran students often require more support than their civilian counterparts in order to succeed. Don’t feel intimidated by the transition – instead, seek support to help you thrive.

Be Proud of Your Hard Work

Fewer veterans earn degrees than nonveterans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, veterans are only slightly less likely to possess a bachelor’s degree – and they are more likely to have an associate’s degree. By attending college – and earning a degree – you’re creating a positive effect on how the statistics fall.

Don’t Pursue (Only) a Passion

When it comes to exploring a career (or planning for one) after your education, many experts caution against pursuing passion alone. Doing some soul searching or taking a quiz can tell you a lot about what will make you happy, but it should be backed up with knowledge and skill. Hone in on an industry or niche you’re interested that also helps you make the most of your degree.

Other strategies include paying attention to the market and seeing what’s happening around you. Monster suggests that working with your strengths might mean skipping a specific type of degree in favor of something that comes easier to you. But balancing your passion with what you’re good at is a great way to make the most of your degree.

Heading to college when getting home from your military service may not be a priority. But if you’re considering diving into higher education, it’s important to know what you’re up against. The good news is that many veterans successfully earn degrees – and propel their civilian careers to new heights, too. All it takes is a bit of know-how, and the motivation to make it happen.

 

Posted in All about Veterans, Guest authors, Inspirational Veterans, Tips and Tricks, Veterans Law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FORT PEA GRAVEL–SQUARE BOB CUE PANTS

The author-as he sees himself- Jedi Master

While this isn’t my largest number of Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE) busts on one decision in my career, it’s certainly a butt load of errors to make-not once but thrice. This was clearly a “Mission from God” assignment. Chase died the 10th-the very day this came out. I had received several earlier ones-on 3/26 (denial), 4/01 (grant) and 4/08(EED). All three were consistent with VA’s purported 98% accuracy statistic-all three were 98% incorrect. The last two only got the effective date wrong. The 4/01 decision granted on the day of the filing of the 995 and submission of an IMO. The 4/08  rating decision (RD) moved the effective date back to, of all things, the date of the filing of the NOD. Shut the front door, GI. 

Since the inception of the Kung Flu quarantine, VA raters have been making errors faster than a 16 on rock-and-roll. The repair rate is just about as rapid fire but unfortunately equally error-prone. I had to harp and carry on like a shrew three times just to get it to a 10182 and we now have to take it to someone with a JD after their name to get this back on track  for Chase’ accrued total disability entitlement. Elementary logic would posit that if a Veteran is so ill during the pendency of his claim/appeal that he passes away from the disease or injury, chances are an appropriate rating would be 100% schedular. Well, maybe everywhere but the VA.

Here was the first stab at screwing it up. Remember, this was an easy slam dunk with a top notch IMO.

3-26-2020 denial Narrative redact

Here’s the second shot at it with an admission that it was in error.

4-01-2020 rating redact

And the third maladroit attempt…

redact 4-8-2020 Narrative

Finally, after the ‘I’m not going away briefing’ email to the booth bitch at Fort Pea Gravel, Arkansas, they almost got it right. The third time was the charm. The effective date is finally correct but the actual ratings are unequivocally parsimonious and bear no resemblance to the fact that Chase was in a coma during his last week on earth.

4-10-2020 RD redact

I love to read the mea culpa on the Code sheet. It was authored by their VA “Quality Control Officer, Timothy Harrell RQRS (Ratings Quality Review Squad). It did require the signature of the Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager (AVSCM) Laura Jones, which is only appropriate after you’ve hamburgered it three times in succession.

redact code sheet

The Magic Incantation of CUE

CUE is only a true CUE when your decision is final and unappealable. The legal repair order is called a Motion to Revise. We are seeing this phenomenon (calling a stupid non-final,  VA ratings mistake on yourself a CUE) because VA so dislikes this whole mea culpa enchilada thing. VA raters think of themselves as Jedi Knights. They don’t do sackcloth and ashes. Read §3.105 closely instead of doing a flyover at 25,000 ASL and you see…

(a)

(1) Error in final decisions. Decisions are final when the underlying claim is finally adjudicated as provided in § 3.160(d). Final decisions will be accepted by VA as correct with respect to the evidentiary record and the law that existed at the time of the decision, in the absence of clear and unmistakable error. At any time after a decision is final, the claimant may request, or VA may initiate, review of the decision to determine if there was a clear and unmistakable error in the decision. Where evidence establishes such error, the prior decision will be reversed or amended. 38 CFR §3.105 (2020)

Now, legally speaking, the above fustercluck Chase went through was a compendium of stupid errors committed by  VA telecommuting raters left unsupervised. The Courts, however,  call live controversy an” erroneous error”. That’s a far cry from the term CUE.  CUE implies finality-always has and always will.  Worse, the assigned supervisor who would normally have to sign off on this erroneous decision was AWOL. VA’s attitude on this is they can come back and fix it as they did here surreptitiously. If I’d never pitched a bitch, it would have stood forever… or until someone came along and recognized it as CUE over a year later. In this case the idiots kept coming back in the dead of the night and changing it. I’d wake up and the prior decisions were nary to be found- just the latest iteration of what they felt it should be. Like a good neighbor, I always print these before they evaporate with the morning’s dew.

The actual way you go after these gomers is to cite their bullcrap right back at them. Here’s how the VA Secretary looks at this:

The M21-1 is an internal manual used to guide VA adjudicators at the RO level. DAV v. Sec’y of Veterans Affairs, 859 F.3d 1072, 1077 (Fed. Cir. 2017 ) The Secretary responds that the Board is not bound by the M21-1, DAV, 859 F.3d at 1077, and that it would therefore be improper to find the Board decision erroneous simply because it did not comply with its provisions.

But… their holy Book of M 21 verse has this to say…

M21-1, pt. III, subpt. iv, ch. 7, sec. B(3)(a); see also id., sec. B(3)(b) (requiring correction of errors on the rating codesheet, including disability evaluations, effective dates, and diagnostic codes); id., sec. B(3)(c) (requiring referral of an erroneous decision “to a decision maker to issue a new decision” once an error has been identified).

Again, this (fixing an error immediately after it occurs) is what VA law calls “live controversy” or the fact that you have one year from the date of any denial to pull your bacon out of the fire and fix it. This is true in the AMA context. If you are still in the Legacy system, you are bound by the 60-day hand grenade to file your VA Form 9. Our new AMA allows you to keep it alive like a volley ball passed innumerable times back and forth among the same team preparing for the inevitable spike. CUE, as I pointed out, is a dead controversy. It is a claim or appeal that has now died for lack of a substantive appeal to keep it alive. It is these claims which for which §3.105(a) is the proper vehicle to revise.

As surely as the sun comes up tomorrow, VA will reinvent the meaning of words and try to gaslight us into believing this has been the status quo all along since the War of 1812. Right. And they even had DBQs way back then in them olden days, too- but unfortunately they were not “forward facing ” to the Veteran population.

The teaching moment is simple. Win or Die. Never surrender. Never take a Faustian bargain. Fight like you’re the third monkey in line for Noah’s Ark and it just began raining. I spend more time on the phone fixing the VA’s ineptitude  by leading a “technician” through VBMS and showing them the errors. They only see it when they finally believe it.  Trust me. The default setting with VA is automatic-the Vet is wrong. The representative is an arrogant uncouth son of a bitch and doesn’t understand M21. Once you make them count to 53 and explain how that is less than 60 days and nights and the SOC was timely filed, they relax and allow as a CUE has been perpetrated. But it isn’t a CUE.

Today’s blog is brought to you by C, U and E.

TTFN

As a postscript, I would never condone someone altering the meaning of a graffiti artist’s work but the below was submitted to me by a patron. I merely publish it to show how heartless the world has become. It is apolitical in its current, sanitized form and thus passes the smell test.

and it makes a nice bookmark with these…

Bunny Lives Matter Protesters blocking traffic

More anon.

Posted in CUE, Earlier Effective dates, HCV Epidemiology, HCV Risks (documented), KP Veterans, Nexus Information, Tips and Tricks, VA Agents, VBMS Tricks, Veterans Law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DISGRUNTLED GASLIGHTER/TROLL

Just as the title suggests, every once in a while I get deep-diggers who must sow discord where there is none. Much like an indigestible meal, it causes discomfort that can only be alleviated by visiting it upon others. An apt analogy is to cast a Mepps™ #2 next to an old, dead log sticking out from shore @ 0515 and trying to get a rise. If the bottom is sandy and there’s a Mama Smallmouth thereabouts, you’re in for a interesting ride. Lighten up your drag and back out into deeper water. Lather. Rinse, Repeat.

Meet  Monica (again)-motivated “volunteer” for TWS. https://www.facebook.com/monica.primus .If we can believe her, she is a Veteran avec college degree(s) and extremely erudite. The problem arises when reading comprehension escapes one and they hight slightly over a three-figure vocabulary. Remember that old adverb-niggardly- the one that has fallen out of use due to early wokeness?  Same problem. In the instant case, it was the difference between ‘sever’ and ‘serve’, I think. I’ll let you be the trier of fact. It began here…

https://asknod.org/2012/11/20/warning-on-togetherweserved/

Scroll down, if you would, to the comments section but before you do so, please look at the top of all my posts to ascertain when the article was written. This is imperative if one hopes to be taken seriously.

Both Bruce and Monica cast their Mepps and waited for a strike. I obliged them because I can’t allow this kind of tomfoolery. The asknod site is not for silly, illogical arguments and pretentious aggrieved-party status. It’s for knowledge and good jokes. No one disputes your God-given right to join TWS and even pay their 60¢ a day if you so choose. As my daddy used to say, you have the unalienable right to remain stupid. No one-no one,son- can take that away from you. However, an apples-to-apples comparison and indeed, an elementary vocabulary, are a virtual necessity to argue here cogently.  Well, that and an ability to place the article in its context contemporaneously. Arguing about how wonderful TWS is in 2020 is inapposite to a period description of what it was like in 2012. Or is it?

Because I’m non- judgmental and want everyone-even those who may disagree with me- to be accorded a chance to pull up their own soapbox and talk about the Veteran experience, I always extend the olive branch to those who feel I’m oppressive. I have only taken the drastic extreme unction function to censor once. I now exercise it again. We have three taboos here. No Politics. No Religion. No Advertising. I grant PSAs to valid groups and they are listed in the above widgets section. None are trying to separate you from your wallet, however. We have no pay walls for my legal strategies. I give all this away for free. Truth be told, I’d rather be out horseback riding on my Cooper with Pickles or bird hunting. If I can teach you how to do this stuff yourself, then I don’t have to. My accountant tells me it’s a piss poor business model.

Towards that end, I noticed  “volunteer”Monica had returned yesterday to explain to one  (Kelly) how TWS was the land of unicorns and rainbows. Then the paywall pitch began- including the address and costs for this wonderful invention. Sorry, Monica. That’s a Bozo No-No. I took down the comment but I did offer her an opportunity to become an author and publish here. Any one of you can do this. Remember the three Bozos and proceed accordingly.

For the record, and in all fairness, here was her censored comment on the blog site:

Kelly, I am not wrong. All you have to do is read what the offer is (it is a 1 year free premium service if you use the link at the bottom of the aforementioned article) and then read what happens once the offer expires (converts to a free account which limits you to what is free on the site). Even if you don’t use that link, to have a profile on TWS you do NOT have to pay for it. You just have to choose to continue with the free profile. Yes, there are areas of the site that are part of the premium package ($20 for 1 yr; $40 for 3 years, $100 for a lifetime), but that is not the whole site. While the servers are not in the US, this is absolutely a US Based company that is for Veterans and managed by Veterans. Here is there [sic] address and phone number: 1234 Yellow Brick Road, Ste 123, Oz, Kansas 60609 (800) 867-5309. [Info changed to avoid free advertising]

Tommy Twotones anyone? Kelly, I got your number. I want to make you mine. This sounded like a high-powered sales pitch to me on my dime. If you have to extol a product’s virtues versus cost, you’ve already lost the majority of your audience. I sent Monica an email and explained why I took her advertisement down. Hey, in the interests of glasnost and perestroika, I’ll even share it here with you:

Dear Ms. Primus,

I apologize for having to restrict your ability to publish your most recent comments on asknod. Unfortunately, we do not permit advertising nor do we accept funds to do so. Your last post included the contact info for TWS which is not permitted.

My site is purposefully devoid of any advertising because I do not need the money. I never censor any comments and thought long and hard about doing so to your latest comment. Sadly, it violates one of the three precepts I embody here-i.e. politics, religion and advertising. For that reason, it was deleted.

Should you desire, I will grant you privileges as an author to publish articles on my site, assuming arguendo, you are a real Veteran. Your choice of subjects or content is not restricted as long as you avoid the above three subjects.

I bear you no animosity but even a cursory  research into TWS would reveal all I have told you as gospel truth. As a VA nonattorney practitioner and an Officer of the Court (Federal Circuit), I can be disbarred for lying to, or misrepresenting, my Veteran clients’ legal interests. That would include anything on my site as well. I take that responsibility very seriously. My site (and asknod moniker) began in 2008. Since then, I have helped over 1500 Veterans attain TDIU or 100% scheduler ratings. I can’t count how many I’ve helped get lesser ratings.

In 2015, after being cured of my life-threatening disease, I began my desire to become accredited. It took a year due to all my disabilities, which do not permit any mental disorders per VA regulations (100%, 100%, 60%, 40%, 30% and 10%). Following my grant of accreditation, I applied for, and was admitted to, the Federal Circuit to practice-one of only 33 nonattorneys who have been granted that honor. I am a combat Veteran and did two tours in Vietnam. I choose to help Veterans-not charge them money for access to a glorified Facebook-type venue. I have no paywalls on my site. I do not accept donations. I do not charge for advice. If you don’t believe me, feel free to call me about your own ratings or potential claims before the VA. My contact information is below including my office telephone number.   What the hey? If you want a free copy of my book, I’ll even give it to you gratis.

You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to misrepresent my intelligence, my website or my motivation for helping Veterans. It requires very little to investigate all the negative publicity TWS has received due to their avaricious practices over the last 8 years. I merely reported my own experience. It cost me $20- a cheap price- to determine the site was devoid of anything useful in 2012. It may have improved but the tenor of the comments I see upon Googling it recently reflect very little, if anything, has changed.

The argument that it is expensive to provide the services Mr. Foster does is valid. Fortunately, I do not suffer that problem. I finance mine out of my own pocket as most Veterans-especially disabled Veterans- are not financially well-endowed.

Very respectfully,

/s/

Sounds fairly innocuous, ne c’est-pas? Well, apparently not. I will defer to her wishes not to be contacted again, and, like a moth to flame. she can read my rejoinder here. I might suggest a dictionary and Roget’s Thesaurus for her, though. If a college-educated individual can’t discern the difference between sever and serve-let alone the intricacies of there, their and they’re, it bears an inquiry as to where she got her degree and in what field. I decline to venture a guess. I’ll just cast my own Mepps spinner.

I honestly hoped she’d see the wisdom of having a free, paid berth from which to preach from for TWS. But noooooooooo.  The following is the priceless gaslighter rejoinder I expected. I’m rubber and you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks on you. Maybe ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’?

Mr. Graham,

Of course you deleted it.  That does not surprise me at all because it would have armed her with information.  Your apology is not accepted as it is not sincere.  I see that you have reverted to the name calling again.  You infer that I am a “troll” and “gaslighting”, but it appears that you don’t know the definitions so I am providing them to you.  Neither of these describe anything that I have said or done.

Troll  – to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content

Gaslight – to attempt to make (someone) believe that he or she is going insane (as by subjecting that person to a series of experiences that have no rational explanation). [sever vs served?]

No one sent me to your site, I just happened upon it after a deep dig on the internet.

I was not advertising anything.  You had the option to remove that portion that you thought was advertising and left the rest, but it contradicted what you believe to be still true.  I was providing information so Kelly could do her own research and be provided facts about the company that you have libeled.  It appears to me that you have a biased opinion because of something that happened to you with TWS many years ago and that you still hold a grudge and animosity toward them.

People and companies evolve.           

[emphasis added by Ms. Primus]

You can stop bragging about yourself.  I don’t care how much money you have, what you do for a living, how many people you claim to have helped [sic].  This gives me the impression that you are quite insecure.

Do not contact me again.

Ms. Monica J Primus

You’re outta here, Monica.

Roger that. I now have to temper my censorship proclivities to respect her wishes? I respect SSgt. Primus (R) for her right to an opinion and very little else. But, like all others, she has to conform to those three silly restrictions. Some cannot bring themselves to see their own follies or to admit they arrived here to “set the record straight”. Note Mr./Ms. Kelly Phillips had already walked point on this and came back to report. What did Ms. Monica think she could impart to him/her that s/he had not already absorbed?  Reminds me of John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd on a “Mission from God“. Seems the internet, and not me, is all atwitter (no pun intended) about this business of charging Veterans for the right to talk to each other. I know. It’s probably far more entertaining than I make it out to be -and for only about 60¢ a day. Funny but I count no less than six internet sites explaining how to find their cleverly hidden yellow and black ejection handle. Say it ain’t so, Monica.

I put great faith in those little gold stars at the beginning of the complaints. A one or a two is indicative of problems.

https://together-we-served.pissedconsumer.com/review.html

Now, I’m not bragging but look at the stars in the comments section of my old Amazon book. It’s a wee bit out of date but some of these comments are fairly new. I would ask you to count the stars to gauge the feelings of those who bothered to come back and submit a comment after buying the book. Cool beans.

Click on that “53 reviews” doomoflotchie after the 4.5 gold stars… Again. I’m not bragging. This is my life. I love it. That Others Might Win is not a catchy phrase. It’s a commitment to my Veterans.  I’ll leave the comments section open just in case another disgruntled Vet arrives here with his or her horror story. Like my grandma used to say “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, then sit down here beside me.” I bear Mr. Foster and his Merry Men no animus. They have to eat.  But then, so do vultures.

Here’s another’s viewpoint– http://www.afterthedd214.com/together-we-served/

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

P.S. 8/27/2020 Edit—- Or was. I spotted an anomaly in the Amazon verified purchaser reviews I mentioned above. On August 18th, 2020, a mere nine days ago, and only six days before SSgt. Monica’s comment, a certain “vkunk” posted his/her review of one star and said the book was a complete zero. Now, as most know, I subscribe to the logic club known as Occam’s Razor. Quite simply, the simplest explanation for a paradox is invariably the correct explanation. There’s no need to mount up a posse of 20 or hire Pinkerton’s Detective agency. Leave Mel Gibson out of it. I defer to the reader’s vivid imagination to envisage someone so desperate to lodge a published complaint that they would cut off there nose to spite there face. I hope they, whoever they are, took the cheap route and got a Kindle .pdf version instead of the more expensive paperback. Idiot’s delight. You can’t make this stuff up and even if you could, a body would never believe you.

Posted in ASKNOD BOOK, Complaints Department, VA Agents, Veterans Charity concerns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

BVA HEARINGS UPDATES–SMILE AND GRIN AT THE CHANGE ALL AROUND

Right. The Who dialed it. So, as most of you know, I’m a “hearing” kind of litigator. Have Jetgun. Will travel. Wire asknod Seattle. The full panoply and all that. All kidding aside, I strongly believe in the hearing process. Once, before VLJ Matt Blackwelder, my theory was pivotal in winning. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a face-to-face hearing is worth a thousand pictures. Judge Blackwelder essentially was prepared to grant after learning you could “date” a Hepatitis C infection using the Metavir scale. If you have cirrhosis in 2018, it took you 40+ years to get there notwithstanding you snorted some toot in 1988. Subtract 48 years and you’re back in the Air Force in Udorn in 1970. 

But first, the Pickle gun…

 

I had a good, old fashioned Travel Board Hearing scheduled for May 8th this spring in Houston right up until I didn’t. The Kung Flu made sure that didn’t happen. No word on rescheduling yet. Oddly, I have numerous fossils in my family, including my siblings, that, by rights, should have fallen afoul of this insidious disease. In fact, I have yet to claim knowledge of any in my memory who have either contracted it or died from it so far. That, in and of itself, doesn’t mean anything statistically. By the same token, none of us are demented or debilitated enough to warrant being relegated (incarcerated) in the euthanasia chambers (state old folks homes) nor I am naive enough to suggest this is a blatant politivirus designed to winnow the objectionable voting population down. I don’t do conspiracy stuff. New Yorkers are weird in their own right. They wouldn’t know fresh air if it bit them on the butt-tocks.

Where were we? Ah, hearings. I received a NOVA flyer telling us Attorneys/Agents all the expected bad news on hearings this week. It’s far more bleak than I expected. We’re going from TBs to video hearings to- gasp- virtual hearings. I’d say ‘virtual’ is very aptly named. I decline to jump in just yet. I didn’t do RAMP in 2018 when VA touted it as all the rage. I kept a lot of my stuff in Legacy because, well, to be perfectly Alex, I don’t trust the VA. The HLR path is classic bait and switch. Butch Long’s LZ Cork saga is also a classic example of my well-founded distrust. They screwed him even though I was extraordinarily careful to avoid what happened. Fortunately, I kept a few §3.156(c) hand grenades in my cargo pocket. It was a habit I picked up from others I flew with up in Laos. It was rumored the cyanide pills we were issued tasted like shit. We all knew the Pathet Lao didn’t take prisoners either. Two hand grenades meant you could have the last laugh and still have one left for yourself. Bad habits die hard.

Attached here are the briefing statistics. Sorry- it’s Powerpoint without the audio.

BVA hearing data 2020-2021

TXT

Hidden amongst the plethora of pathetic platitudes in the New AMA was a ominous change that went unnoticed similar to some of the regs in Obamacare (nee ACA). Gone was the right to a Travel Board hearing at your local VARO unless you are still Legacy with a shiny VA 9. Now, all they offer locally is videoconferences… or did before the onset of COVID 20. I confess my guilt. I went along with the “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it” VFW/AmVets crowd. If you want a real sit down, face-to-face with the Trier of Fact, you have to fly to DC and attend one at the BVA down on 1425 I Street. Hey, it’s not bad. They have really good coffee and the folks don’t treat you like untermenschen or the unwashed homeless.

I tried my first videoconferencing hearing on a three-way link between San Juan, Puerto Rico, DC and Seattle VARO. It was a disaster. We lost commo 20 minutes in and didn’t get it back for another 20. The VLJ had lost his train of thought by then and we never regained traction. That doesn’t happen when you can swat a fly off that ol’ boy’s nose across from you. I like them to really see my Vets-the damage done, the  suffering. The earnest expressions of  truth. No camera can capture that. It’s the difference between black and white and color.

Moving along, I find myself at a loss for words with our revised litigation regulations during this time. Where else can VA raters ignore the equipoise regulation in §3.102-one of the most holiest of due process- and say an optometrist’s considered opinion is far more probative than an ophthalmological surgical specialist’s? These are piling up day after day. Each denial has to go to the BVA for direct review causing an interminable 6 month delay in an otherwise obvious grant. The latest is now denying widows their right to be substituted in their deceased husband’s stead for outstanding appeals. You almost expect the next edict will be “Due to the COVID 19, all claims will be denied until further notice.”

I hear the VVA and their ilk continue to harp and demand the new presumptives for Agent Orange to include hypothyroidism, bladder cancer, Parkinson’s-like disease and hypertension. Where in Sam Hill is the hue and cry for presumptive service connection for my Thailand/Laos brothers? We continue to hear them clamor for inclusion for Anderson Island, greater areas than the small patch at the Korean DMZ and Okinawa -but nothing beyond the sound of crickets for Ubon, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, NKP and Don Muang.  But what about Tango 11? Phitsanolok?  Or Det. B, 7th RRFS? Ko Kha Air Station? The military may never recognize us-ever. That sucks.

Ko Kha Air Station, Thailand with clear field of fire

Det. 1, 7th RRFS. Thailand- no grass…ever

But then, if you think we Veterans have problems, think about how shit happens anyway. This is why I avoided rotary wing aircraft like the plague in my military years and after…

or when you lose a wheel…

or when your impromptu rocket fuze is too short…

or why they put cow catchers on the front of buses. Seems you’d learn this after about 6 years  riding the yellow loser cruiser.

This reminds me of an incident at LS 22 where a $123’s wingtip just barely touched the rotors of an AirAm Bell Jet Ranger spooling up. The 123 took off 10 minutes later. The chopper didn’t. We airevac’d it back to 20 A with an H 34.

Everyone be careful and be socially distant. Well, maybe that’s not what I meant to say. Seems politics has everyone in that state. Wear your masks regardless of how you feel about the efficacy of same. Be especially considerate of the youth who don’t have a clue what’s afoot. Youth, by definition of course, doesn’t extend to those over 18. Think positive thoughts and curb your tongues. Things will return to normalcy and we’ll all sigh in relief. Well, maybe everywhere but Portland. I think there’s something down there in the water.

BLM (Bunny Lives Matter) protesters attempting to block traffic

 

The Loach Coach gotta have for rotorheads

P.S. I can’t resist. No names. The SDNY, in their indictment Thursday, said some of the $350,000 spent on the gentleman’s lavish lifestyle was for “cosmetic surgery”.

2011

2019

We Report. You decide.

Posted in Appeals Modernization Act, BvA Decisions, BvA HCV decisions, Corona pandemic, Corona virus, KP Veterans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BLOG TALK RADIO THURSDAY 8/13/2020

Once again, I don’t get no respect. Jerrell called to say they had a cancellation and would I be available? Well, sure. Anytime I get to bloviate and expound on VA law for an hour in front of a microphone, I consider it a religious duty to attend and offer my useless conjecture. I don’t care if I’m second fiddle. The music is all the same.

If you served in Thailand (or Laos/Cambodia as I did) and still haven’t hit the jackpot yet on your Agent Orange claims, listen in tomorrow. I’m two for two on these claims which is not to say that will continue in the plus column. It takes a special kind of finesse to understand how to win these claims. I discovered they are all unique and a confluence of many different facets of service. Most try to show exposure at the perimeter and fail. We’ll talk about that. Most of all, it helps because I was there for two years and walked in your boots.

Here’s the most recent BVA decision. These chuckleheads did the RD in less than a week. Shut the front door. redacted BVA win 7-31-2020 

redact RD & Code sheet 8-7-2020

Old Harry cut this one mighty close. I had to get a pronto IMO from my folks at Mednick to get in under the 90-day letter wire. The BVA even obliged me by giving us an advancement on the docket as well. Seems like all my Vets get the AOD. Seems like most are pretty ill, too.

We’ll talk about how to prove boots on the ground when all you have left of your STRs is your shot records. Check this out. Remember that Plague shot? How could you forget it? If so, here’s a retrospective. Ignore that US Embassy entry in Vientiane. We were never there. It’s a fig newton of your imagination.

https://asknod.org/2013/01/31/the-little-yellow-book/

So, same Bat Time, same Bat channel and same Bat telephonic contact number:

(515) 605-9764

 

Or, you might try this on the internet:

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/jbasser/11791813/connect/2af1320d7527b62e2fe837d92e99ebecfae78d83

Before you click the link, make sure you:

  • Use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
  • Have a reliable broadband Internet connection
  • Plug-in a microphone and headphones (Common Apple or Android earbuds with a built-in mic, headsets, and USB mics are options – Do not use the internal microphone on your laptop!)
  • Have access to a quiet recording space with as little echo and background noise as possible

Enjoy the show. We’re also going to discuss Wolfe v Wilkie. Read about the problem here.

John and Jerrell will inevitably talk about the election and that’s well and fine. My website is free of such things as we only have one common enemy-the government. I don’t reckon it makes much difference as to who’s screwing us- be they of the red or blue persuasion.

Anyway, I hope you all tune in. 1900 Hrs on the (L)east coast and 1600 Hrs on the leftmost (progressive) coast-which, incidentally, is all Trump’s fault…

Here’s a good shot of flying humans

Here’s a good way to avoid a carjacking

And Mayor Lori Lighfoot as she sees herself

 

I thought this one up this morning driving by a scholar.

And the latest fad from Bar Stool Sports…

 

Be safe. Drink Coronas w/ lime wedge to gain immunity. If you can’t smell them, you have the virus.

Posted in Exposed Veteran Radio Show, Exposed Vets Radio Show, Humor, KP Veterans, Lay testimony, Nexus Information, SVR Radio on hadit.com, Thailand AO presumptive path, Tips and Tricks, VA Agents, Veterans Law, Vietnam Disease Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LZ CORK– ANOTHER TEQUILA SUNRISE–BACK TO THE AMA DRAWING BOARD

Yeppers. I augered in at the CAVC on old Butch’s claim. But due to the wonders of the new AMA system, I merely have to hit the turn signal lever, make a quick u-turn and go back to the Seattle RO. There, I will file yet even more §3.156(c) records and demand not just one- but four new reconsiderations- one for each claim in 1970. What? You think I filed aaaaallllll the new service department records in back in ’15 and ’17? Are you mad? I don’t trust the VA any further than I can throw an F150.

Long v. Wilkie 19-7301

Turns out my distrust was well-placed. I couldn’t figure out why these dipsticks never said a word about §3.156(c) for five years. There was a good reason. They’ve never heard of it. Every filing I submitted (and boy howdy was that a shitton) was granted outright with nary a word about the magic DeLorean Regulation. Along about the time they issued the SOC, they threw in a blurb about how they allowed as they had done a §3.156(c)(1) analysis and came up with a blank.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t pass the Vigil v Peake  2008 test nor does it satisfy the newer George v. Wilkie decision last month. You see, in order to prove a merits reconsideration occurred, it requires more than verbal assurances. They actually have to perform things like going back and getting your SSA records and emailing  a few PIES 3101s to the NPRC or the appropriate military service to take a gander at the military personnel file back in 1969-maybe even discover the General Court Martial for failure to report to duty due to TBI secondaries.

I have decided to enlist another to help assure I get this right. Who, exactly, I’m not free to divulge just yet. Two heads are better than one. The financial stakes for Butch demand it. It doesn’t take a bean counter with a Masters in CPA to figure out what 60% with spouse and four chilluns works out to from April 1970 to September 2015. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters, dude.

The decision was 19-7301 and came out July 31st. Always remember my motto. Win or Die. It isn’t over in AMA land until you keel over and can’t sign the 995 or 10182. That’s about the only neat thing you can say about the new appeals system. As long as I’m penurious and husband the §3.156(c) documents I have left, I’m pretty sure the Poohbahs are going to realize that this could turn into a twenty-year war.  What the hey. I began building this Butch Bomb in 2013 when I promised his daughter I’d get him a Purple Heart. I’m not about to throw in the towel now.I still have plenty of ammo for my Thumper.

We’ve come a long way, baby. It’s not over until the fat  weight-challenged DRO  sings. And maybe not even then… stay tuned for the next installment of VA poker. Here’s the first one:

https://asknod.org/2014/10/05/lz-cork-january-18th1969-a-day-in-the-life/

P.S. One thing I did not realize. As a nonattorney practitioner at the Court, I’m still accorded deference due to my lack of a Juris Doctorate. Amazing. Butch and I still get the white, kid gloves treatment and retain the right to the presumption of stupidity. Awesome.

 Here’s a few winners.

 

 

 

Posted in 1154(b) combat presumptions, 3.156(c), Agent Orange, All about Veterans, CAVC Knowledge, CAVC ruling, Corona pandemic, Corona virus, Earlier Effective dates, Inferred claims, Informal Claims, Inspirational Veterans, KP Veterans, LZ Cork, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments