I got an email from Victoria about her husband’s c-file. First of all, gentlemen, divorce your mind from her name. This is nothing scurrilous. She could just as well have been named Monica. Names are immaterial.

Victoria and her husband have finally received their C-file after waiting almost a year. I’m sure VA will be improving on that lackluster performance nationwide in the future as soon as the VBMS kicks in. Then a simple request for the file  will only require a lowly GS-4 to push {Print} and shazamm! Ten days later you’ll be holding it. But what will you be holding? This is Victoria’s (and Steve’s) problem. His C-file is, how shall we say, “polluted “. They have found another Veteran’s records interspersed with his and are wondering how this will play out come ratings time.

As an aside, Victoria made the first move, as usual. Steve is sick and getting WAY sicker. We all know what this means.  The alpha female roars and St. Louis’ NPRC complies. With the VA, not so much. They are lackadaisical and in no hurry to comply. Considering it was the Fort Harrison VARO in Montana, I think a year to print them was light speed. I hear from others that they have been waiting over a year even with their Congressmen camped out in the lobby at 810 Vermont Ave. NW.

Meanwhile, back at Victoria’s ranch, they are in a quandary. Obviously, contacting the RO will provoke pulling the file from production and entail fieldstripping it to find all these extraneous records. This will cause a major slowdown in their claim if it hasn’t already. You see, they bought my book and went into repair mode. Knowing full well that asking for a copy of the C-file would slow things down, they still opted for it. It’s best to know what the opposition has for hold cards if you seriously want to win.  The fact that Fort Harrison is in the throes of conversion to VBMS and now tasked with adjudicating claims “provisionally” that are over a year old should set off the alarm bells.  You have all the fixin’s  for a long, drawn out clusterclaim. In fact, a lot of them with more coming in every day. Wars are good for business down at the VARO.

Victoria and Steve-first- thank you for permission to talk about this openly. While I would normally give this advice sotto voce and inaudibly to you alone, I think it bears mentioning out loud. You are absolutely right about the extraneous records compromising your c-file. After viewing them, I do not feel they will harm you. As an afterthought, having them in there actually is ammunition later when something goes awry. You can always point to it as a flaw that demands a remand because it is a Cushman violation. No amount of coaxing will put Pandora back in the box and no amount of exorcism will excise that which tainted the decision from the beginning. It demands a complete delousing of the file and a new adjudication sans the offending parts to judicially remain above board.

Which begets the next problem. Here we are in VBMS la-la land, busy as bees uploading C-files at the exponential rate of 10,000 a month across the fruited plain. Again, I ask. What, exactly are they uploading? Or, more appropriately, is anyone checking to see if these new electronic C-files are strictly information and data pertaining to the specific Veteran? Simply copying and refiling them with no quality control leaves Vets in a quandary when they uncover this. A Veterans Service officer from a major VSO would simply march in and demand it be sanitized with absolutely no thought as to how this might delay the Veterans claim(s). Steve, being a man, has dubbed this Victoria’s Secret. Mum’s the word. Full speed ahead with the Claim boat. Onward through the fog. Vote for Oat Willie.  We’re pro se claimants and we’re ignorant. No flies on us.

To put this in perspective, when I received my C-file in 2009, it was voluminous (at three volumes), but devoid of others’ claims work.  Fast forward to 2012 and my loss at the BVA. My attorney requested the RBA which is the Record Before the Agency. That’s VAspeak for the C-file after the Texas Necktie Party. When you go up to the Big House to litigate, everything has a new name. The RBA is what the VA has used to deny you. By now, mine had mushroomed to 3,817 pages. If you hadn’t guessed, I like to write. And this RBA format is the forerunner of what we call the VBMS C-file. News Flash. VA has been doing these for years in .PDF. This wasn’t born in 2010 out of thin air. VA has simply avoided doing it wholesale to every Veteran’s records.

And, like Victoria and Steve, my file had picked up some ticks in the three years since I looked at it last. Included were these  gems during the appeal. Every one of these came from the VARO. None are from the BVA in DC.

2013-05-10 221008

Bogus RBA 22013-05-10 2045062013-05-10 204506_2

The two black dots at the top of each page are where the paper slips over the two old-fashioned spears at the top of the C-file which then fold over to pin it together. Yes, folks this is the technology VA has been employing since the aftermath of World War One and is finally replacing. Call me prescient but I feel there will be a glut of government surplus hole punches with a throw distance of 2 9/16 inches coming on the market soon in all fifty states.

oat willie comic

Onward through the fog.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in C-Files and RBAs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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