One thing I love about Extraordinary Writs is the alacrity that enervates the DVA when it hits 625 Native American Ave. NW. Before it can even be docketed this time, I have a decision back from the Seattle Regional Office hot off the press. In order to appear as though it was in the pipeline all along and already a fait accompli, you will notice the decision is dated April 11th, 2017. That’s VA’s way of subtly trying to make it appear this occurred last month and their printer simply ran out of ink. Shit happens. I get that. I just find it an incredible coincidence the decision document arrived a mere four (4) working days after the mailing of the Extraordinary Writ. Good heavens. I checked this morning and it hasn’t even been docketed yet.
Padewans wishing to understand this phenomenon might take note of certain forensic clues as to where it originated from. VA would have us believe it traveled from afar. While the return address ostensibly declares it made its way all the way across country from the new 57th Cheeseville, Wisconsin Regional Office known as the EIC, reality is the impossibility of any such thing ever happening.
The USPS doesn’t go along with mistruths and the mailing zip code is no other than 98174- or Seattle. The mailing date is also May 15th… How could it be otherwise in less than a week? Nevertheless, that’s pretty damn quick.
What is even more entertaining, as I mentioned above, is the fabrication this was already in the pipeline and our missives merely crossed paths like ships in the night. The decision date is May 12th, 2017. Considering I mailed it May 12th, 2017 at 1327 Hrs (L) from Vaughn, Washington 98394, and the expected delivery date was Saturday afternoon the 13th, it’s a mighty big stretch of the imagination to think they made this momentous grant prior to its mailing. I’m game. Shit, maybe they’re prescient and all-knowing like Johnny Carson’s Karnak the All-knowing. I wonder if they keep this info at Funk and Wagnall’s in a large, sealed mayonnaise jar? Maybe they have microphones and secret cameras watching my every keystroke. Regardless the method, I am suitably impressed with their verve and devotion to setting the record straight before I complained.
Here’s a screenshot of this amazing prestidigitation.
Perhaps this is the “World-class service” we Veterans have been promised recently that was described to us at the recent NOVA convention in San Antonio. Regardless the predicate, I am full of appreciation for the “new VA” approach to claims adjudication and resolving old, old problems before the complaint even arrives. That it take just the threat of the Ex. Writ to accomplish it is exhilarating beyond belief. Just imagine what will happen when the CAVC actually dockets it and politely asks the Secretary what the two-year hold up is all about vis-a-vis the greenhouse? Will I wake up next week and find it already built a month ago? Yep, and probably in the wrong location-with VA’s propensity to screw things up.
One thing VA attorneys and advocates should note: this is the very first decision-ever- granted for a 100% schedular evaluation for Porphyria Cutanea Tarda. As such, it isn’t precedential but if the circumstances are identical for a similarly situated Veteran, it will suffice as a guide to a similar rating for others. In the past, we hit the wall with a 40% for phlebotomies under DC 7704. I did win 60% separately for Anemia (DC 7700, 1994) which was VA’s stopgap measure to grant SMC S back to 1994. It remained, however less than the highest award possible under AB v. Brown (1993). I searched high and low for an analogous rating that would approximate continuous phlebotomies and settled on 38 CFR 4.115a (dialysis). Apparently, the BVA Judge felt the same way or I have the ultimate golden tongue.
Delay, Deny…until we cry. This sadly concludes all my outstanding grievances with the VA with the exception of that pesky greenhouse matter. All in good time. More anon.