HARDSHIP CLAIMS


One would think that the vA would have a soft spot for those Veterans who are so horribly disadvantaged that they find themselves financially or medically strapped to meet their obligations. When they succumb to lack of funds and are forced to seek shelter or food from family, this would normally constitute the conditions I associate with hardship. Apparently I am wrong.

To put this in perspective, by 2008 I was in the hole about $250,000.00 and getting ready to find a new zip code for Cupcake and myself. vA looked at my numerous credit card balances, second mortgage and other medical info that said I was in deep medical doo-doo and granted my request for advancement so I could get P&T while I was on this side of the grass. Mind you, they don’t tell you they are granting it. They just speed things up after a 90-day review of your circumstances. If you pass the audition you move over to the Group W bench and are seen on a first come, first served basis.

Member JM and I have been working on his hardship filing for the last several months. He has intractible knee issues that are documented on his medical discharge yet vA insists he’s ready for the Ninja Warrior series on TV. Well, we’ve actually been trying to get him SC sooner rather than later. The hardship venue is just an attempt to get it done in 2012 rather than the mythological 125 day/2015 mantra being handed out like necklaces at Mardi Gras. No dice. vA is going to move at their usual snail’s pace regardless of how much plastique you pack under their ass.

JM emailed last night with this lovely rejoinder to his continuing saga. He’s been on the IRIS path for about three weeks pursuing this. I had no idea you need to actually occupy a house illegally to qualify. That’s right. You need to let your mortgage go south, quit paying the utility bills, stiff everybody you owe money to and mail in the proof. Homelessness and living in your parent’s basement is not considered a hardship. In fact, after you lose all the amenities of a home and job, you are still not in a hardship predicament unless you can prove they’re getting ready to cut off the power to the place you don’t own anymore. Huh?

Read this:

 Discussion Thread
 Response via Email Via Email (Department of Veterans Affairs) 06/28/2012 05:01 PM
IRIS #XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXDear Mr. JM:

There are specific criteria for hardship request. Unfortunately, your bankruptcy and overdue VA medical bill does not meet the criteria for a hardship request. A hardship request should include evidence such as foreclosure notice, past due utilities statement, and eviction notice.

Thank you for contacting us. If you have questions or need additional help with the information in our reply, please respond to this message or see our other contact information below.

Sincerely yours,

DOUGLAS C. CHAPMAN

Douglas C Chapman
Veterans Service Center Manager

How to Contact VA:
On line: www.va.gov
By phone:  (800) 827-1000 (please allow 5-6 hours for one of our vA counselors to help you. We are experiencing delays extending into 2015 right now and if you’d quit filing claims we could serve you better)
 (800) 829-4833 (TDD hearing impaired)

By fax: (404) 929-5586

By letter:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Atlanta Regional Office
P O BOX 100021
Decatur, GA 30031-7021

 

It’s odd. I was told by a VSO that the threshold requirement was a financial debt in excess of $3,500.00 and /or medical issues that might cause death before they finish the adjudication. JM is “existing” at the whim of his parent’s largesse in allowing him to occupy the basement rec room. He gets to eat there while he tries to weather this financial/medical maelstom that engulfs him. VA must think he’s kicked back in the lap of luxury eating popcorn and watching The Young and the Breastless and Family Feud all day.

Relax. This is the new, improved vA. Jm has graduated to the ranks of the 1%ers. He’s rich. No debt. No financial problems to mention. His bankruptcy erased his financial obligations and he has no outstanding overdue utility bills because…he no longer has a home. One of these days they’ll acknowledge the knee problem and he’ll be remunerated. Until then? Well, pilgrim thousands before you have bit the bullet and soldiered on. Where’s that fine entrepreneurial spirit that built America? Get off your dead ass and hobble off to work. If you can’t find any, why, try the Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Program for disabled Vets. Whoops. Back up. Get that rating of 30% or more first and then go to VR&E. Pretty confusing? JM thinks so. vA doesn’t.


About asknod

VA claims blogger
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9 Responses to HARDSHIP CLAIMS

  1. David hopka says:

    How long does it take to recieve a va financial hardship once va receives request

    • asknod says:

      My experiences are very quickly. Keep in mind, I file some instrument as quickly as possible or contact the VARO lickety spit and let them know. Other practitioners may use other methods. Written evidence is required. They will not just take your word for it that your new zip code is under the I-90 overpass at Exit 115.

  2. Wiley M Riner says:

    Can anyone tell me where to mail the completed VA Form 10-10HS ?

  3. Chrissy says:

    Please help! Don’t know if we are in the right place.. My hunny ( a 100% service-connected disabled Marine Vet) and I were hit by a drunk driver in MVA in Jan ’13. The ins co. paid him $7500. for his injuries and has a two party check made out to him and the VA for the remaining $7500. Time has just about run out. He is going to the Palo Alto VA in a few minutes to talk to the Business Office. That $7500. should be his, in his opinion, since he is 100% covered by the VA and the drunk driver fled the scene of the crime, etc.. Any advice at this point is welcome. You can also contact myself, Chrissy Dunworth @ 831-710-9207/ chrissycat77@aol.com or Trevor at trevors1200s@gmail.com . Thanks so much for any all advice. We have 5 kids between us, and between the ins co and the VA, they have done everything possible to make this process impossible for us. 🙂

  4. SquidlyOne says:

    I found it to be a two step process to get a waiver. One step is to have all co-pays waived for one year prior to the date of filing the waiver and passing the means test to file for a waiver for one year in the future. I had to go fill out three different forms and went to 3 different offices at the VARO to file each form. Found one threshold for a medical care waiver and yet another lower threshold for a waiver for co-pays on meds. It took about a month to get the approval letter for the means test. Less time to get reimbursed for the prior year co-pays; that took just a couple of weeks. I don’t know what forms they were but I can forward a copy of the approval letter if anyone is interested.

    My situation was similar to JMs although after my wife died and I lost my job at the bank I sold my horse ranch. Paid off all of my bills and lived on what was left of the equity until it ran out. Went homeless last year for a few months and then cashed in my life insurance policy to get some cash to live on. I rented a basement in a ladies house for a while until my back pay came on my claim decision. That was only enough to pay for a rent deposit and 1st month’s rent on a trailer home near a small town. Actually it’s not bad at all. I have a big double garage and a private patio with a large fenced in yard for my dog about an acre. All for $600 a month. I never missed any bills so my credit rating and score is still very high. I just don’t have any assets and my only income is paltry and well below the poverty line. I am getting food stamps and was denied medical care by my state.

    The VA homeless social worker dude didn’t know about the means test or waivers. However he did talk to the RO about the status of my compensation claim. I talked to a couple of VSOs and they didn’t know jack, without a POA anyway! A VA CTAP fellow whom I have known for years took me over to the VARO to get the forms completed and submitted. Everyone at the VARO was very nice and helpful. I think all of that really did speed up my claim decision and now I can at least live in my own place and enjoy my dog.

  5. Kiedove says:

    This year, we sent in a waiver request for an outstanding VA medical bill. It was denied with a similar form letter. So, thanks to my attendance at Ask Nod Academy, we sent in a NOD in letter form with additional information and quoted their own words (policy guidelines) in it. We also said we would be open to a compromise payment. The VA offered a compromise payment which we agreed to.
    So the moral of the story is to write a NOD letter in response to the hardship denial within the time period allowed.
    Print and tuck this in with your NOD if your answer is yes to these questions!
    http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/assets/documents/publications/Distress.pdf
    And look here–they want to help!
    http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/assets/documents/publications/Hardship.pdf

    Good luck.

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