image (1)Mark, or Hepsick as he has used as a handle over the years, has had one of the hardest, nastiest examples of a VA HCV claim. Imagine the worst case of circumstances–then multiply it by two 48 week courses of Bug Juice. Both were unsuccessful and Mark says it was like being drug through a knothole backwards. 


Mark came to me with a sad VSO tale. His service rep down in the land of the fruits and the nuts (California) had stood him up from 2002-2006. Finally, Mr. Bob Penny forgot to send in Mark’s Form 9 and all the the hard work was lost. Of course, Ol’ Bob hadn’t told Mark about things like nexus letters and the Caluza Triangle of evidence needed. Bob, like all his buddies at the California Dept. Of Vet Affairs, was a mailman-and not even a good one at that.

2013-02-06-145540In November 2006, he began all over. By his first denial in round two, he spotted our old Delphi Board and contacted me about  his problems. Fresh off my own new win for the Hep, I started helping him assemble all the things needed to win with. This becomes increasingly more difficult when you screw it up like Mr. Bad Penny did. Each time requires new and material evidence to reopen. Fortunately Bob managed that part right. Mark finally packaged it up while I was doing my one year stint as an inpatient at the Seattle VAMC. It took a long time but he won. We won. Bob Penny sure didn’t but acted as though he had carried the water. Mark’s saving grace in all this was a lovely picture of him and his buddy showing off their brand new tattoos in the barracks parking lot at Ft. Hood in Texas- in 1977. That was the winning ticket.  An old, washed out Polaroid One-Step photo was all that had stood between him and a 100% rating. Once the BVA judge saw it, Mark’s claim was in the bag.

When Mark reconnected with me in February 2013, I discovered he had followed some more destructive advice from old Bob and filed a DRO review with Oakland over their low ball offer of 20% for his hep. Bob explained as how he was going to get Mark 80%. News flash. There is no 80% rating in DC 7354 but that’s the wonderful help you expect from a VSO. Keeping in mind that Oakland is also over 585 days out on DROs and you can see the makings of backlogus maximus. Ex Lax couldn’t break up this log jam.  On Janauary 2, we opted to call in the the Legal Eagle– Katrina Eagle, to be more succinct. Mark got his Big Brown Envelope several days ago with the 100% P&T. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing this Vet win after fighting and being given bogus VSO assistance over and over.


The NOD HQ in sunny NW Washington.

Speaking of Big Brown Envelopes…

About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in HCV Risks (documented), Veterans Law, VSOs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. david j murphy says:

    One more bites the dust. Think VA might see the light? no bet, well done

  2. Donya says:

    Love hearing all this good news. Congrats Mark!!!!

  3. Lynn Seiser says:

    Only 14 months into it and I have my first QTC appointment.
    I have been paying attention and trying to get it right.
    Compliments and Congratulations.

  4. hepper74 says:

    Long trail leads to that one moment when you receive that envelope and it is good news. The overwhelming finality of it is the chance to take that huge breath, let it out and then proceed to dance nekid as a jaybird around the house, shades drawn of course, shouting finally someone got it right. Good job Mark. 2014 is, I hope, the final year I have to battle the VA but hey I am as headstrong as they are.

  5. WGM says:

    Congratulations Mark.
    Now you can find more peace and comfort having that heavy burden lifted off your shoulders.
    You fought the good fight and won. It’s good to hear another Vet bearded the va lion in their den.
    Godspeed and Happy Trails.

  6. cdneh says:

    Lot of really Great news lately 🙂 Congratulations Mark !

  7. Kiedove says:

    Wonderful. You’ve been through a lot to get to this point. What a relief.

  8. mark says:

    Well, I never thought it would Happen, BUT YOU TOLD ME, IT WOULD, Now I can Eat Right, get my Teeth Fixed, pay off my Loans. Finally Life is looking UP.
    THANK YOU MR. NOD, God is Working thru YOU.

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