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.