Member Danielle writes of her Adventures in VSOland…
We had our third visit with my husbands new SO at the DAV on Tuesday and Im worried . He doesn’t seem to understand that my husband is not in good health. We filed for Hepatitis C again because he got to sick to work. We didnt get the forms filled out on time in 2006. The VFW SO didnt call us either so we lost out on the 2002 claiming. Thats not why Im writing. ____, this new SO is kind of wishywashy. He said he hopes we get a good C&P doctor at QTC and they write it up for having combat blood exposure. I just came to this site Google and I see the nexus bible thing. We read it together last night an it sounds like a brick wall. If the VA is doing the C&P, how do you do a private nexus? Were broke. We got Medicaid and thats whos paying for this now. He did the peginton drugs for 40 weeks and it came right back. The SO says he hopes my husband’s records are all there. Doesnt he look at the Central file if he has our attorney power. How do we get a copy of his records. ____ said he’d talk to his supervisor about the records but we should not try to get them while they are doing the claim. Frank says we should start over. What do we do.
Danielle (myreal name)
I would ask you to read everything on the site here, Danielle. Start with the introduction and tips and tricks. You don’t have to do all the legal cases. But most importantly, I would lay out some serious questions for you to ask your Service officer. It sounds as if you have a robo-server who is a remote conduit to the supervisor with the knowledge. Now you have a filter in between that does not give you real time information. Without you medical records, you cannot do anything effectively to come up with a true, unbiased nexus. Without reviewing the record, I can almost guarantee you will be denied again on this. You mention a 2002-2006 claim and do not say what they denied it on. If you have not found something new to submit (like a nexus letter) they may just deny it before it leaves the station. It sounds like your present DAV SO “hopes” a lot of things fall into place. He obviously thinks as many do that the VA is your best friend. Only 15% of Vets who file claims feel that way-eventually- after they win. Some fight for many more years to get the proper amount they are due. Few of the Vets we have helped here will sing the praises of the veterans Administration. Kumbaya, my Lord is not a winning game plan.
Ask to speak to ____’s supervisor directly and deal with him/her. Every extra cog in a wheel is useless and an opportunity for an error. Use the information you find here to question the supervisor about a game plan. I realize for many, it is a maze of paper forms and confusion. After you understand the process better you will see some of the method to the madness. You can ask questions without anyone telling you “somebody already asked that last week”. Remember- we were all blind at one time on this. It took me 18 years to “get it”.
Due to the backlog and depending on how recently you filed, getting your medical records and anything else you can find in St. Louis at the National Personnel Records Center will not hold up your claim. If you have your files from the 2002-2006, scan them and attach them to an email and I can at least tell you how to develop a game plan while you’re waiting. If you want to protect the private info, go ahead but I already have plenty of extra IDs and four condos in Mexico so I’m set.
Hope is not a strategy to win with. The vA is not your BFF, either. I don’t care what the DAV or _____ told you. You need responsible help, not a mailman. You need real legal input based on your circumstances but the vA deprives you of that avenue until you lose. We are not a substitute for real legal help but are more informative than the DAV is currently being with you. To be brutally honest, you stand a good chance of losing a few teeth before you get a win. We try to provide you with a mouth guard. I know some of what you will read here seems way over your head. On the right hand side are categories of things we deal with. Starting out is the hardest part of any journey. The widgets you see at the top under the Vietnam Service Medal are paths to the tools you may need to win with. They also give you the actual forms VA prefers you to use. Feel free to be a bull in a china shop here. You won’t break anything or be criticized. Your husband earned what he seeks. You just need the key to the door and the secret password. I’d like to think we have both or can direct you to the ones who do.
A wise Chinaman probably came up with “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. Around here it starts with a Form 21-526 and a request to St. Louis. Good luck to you and Frank. Your success quotient just went up dramatically when you went to Google. If you have Kindle, download my book for $3.99 at Amazon. If not, Barnes and Noble have a paperback for less than $15. It will give you a lot of the basic information to get going without trying to turn you into a lawyer.
I found this site by mistake. I am very lucky (blessed) to have others who understand what “I” am going through. Support is here with help with claims and how the system works. As they say a double stranded cord is harder to break. Post all your news here as this is a community of like minded veterans and their family’s. NOD will help as this is his calling and reason for this site. Welcome aboard..
Danielle, Welcome aboard. Like myself, you have discovered a great resource here. Good information and good people sharing, asking questions, venting, news, encouragement, joking, etc..
( HCVets is a great resource too.)
I would get a composition notebook and take notes from some of the topics that relate to your situation. Re: The AskNod kindle book: Amazon has a free kindle app for PCs to read it on but you’ll need to register to get the Asknod kindle book. Amazon makes it all painless.
Another choice is to beg your public librarian to order the paperback from their library wholesaler and then borrow it for free.
Nod has been interviewed on an Internet radio program and they give a good overview–see links.
In fact, I wish Nod would consider making a few short pod-casting (MP-3) on selected topics/decisions (solo or in discussion) and post them here!!! (Anyone agree?)
I say this because this site requires intensive reading and some folks learn better by listening.
Also, the Internet radio site is a little funky so I’d like to access audio here.
So we hope to hear how things are going with you.
Danielle, I am a wife of a guy who is too sick to fight his own VA fight and I am a pretty good paper filer/fighter/analytical pain in the neck. If I can help you to get where you need to get to please feel free to get my email addy from Nod….I’d be glad to help if I can. I know little to nothing about the hep issues…but I am pretty darned good administratively (and the more I read here, the better I get…).
“He said he hopes we get a good C&P doctor at QTC and they write it up for having combat blood exposure.”
A dollar spent on a lottery ticket has a better chance of returns than a VA C&P for HCV. I am in the same boat, too broke to own a pot to piss in. No chance of getting a private nexus for me. A small VARO like where I am is too cheap to go out to QTC for a medical opinion. Here they just grab some PA or nurse and tell them to look over the Vet and say his hep wasn’t diagnosed in service and it isn’t due to service so they can deny the guy. That’s what they did to me and others here. Combat blood exposure isn’t a bona fide risk factor for HCV for some reason. The risk factor has to be more specific than that. Get your risk factors down pat and get the STRs in order and generate a nexus package based on Mr. Nod’s nexus bible. You might get lucky to get the VA medical people who are treating him for the HCV to give a nexus letter. All you can do is to ask and they may say no. However, I got a favorable nexus letter that way. Your VSO won’t go there for you, it is up to you to get the nexus letter on your own. Good luck and wish you both the best. You have already taken the first correct step toward a win to come here to this site and asknod. 🙂
Keep us all apprised Danielle.