VARO–HIDE AND SEEK


CaptureI have had numerous queries as to where to find all my widgets listed above. Some of you even desire to know the name of that brain dead VA rater who absolutely refused to have the decency (or courage) to put his/her name on the denial they sent you for sleep apnea.  To accomplish this task, I’m going to walk you through this and teach  you how you can always find these turkeys. Simply place your cursor on the desired widget (VARO- Who’s Who-see picture above) and “left click” (push down) that little movable piece of plastic on the upper left of the mouse you are holding. Pull the trigger, dude. It ain’t a boobytrap. Bingo.

A new window opens and you now see

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The purple words circled in red above are called a link. By putting your cursor on this and left-clicking, it will take you to the Federal Database of all the 57 VAROS across our fruited plain of existence. It gives you access to all the VA’s GS-rated gomers and even tells you what their bonus was in 2015. Whoa. Silly you. You thought they quit giving bonuses out? They just changed the name to “speshull awards”. Fortunately, they can do this because there are plenty of ‘spechull’ employees there who work hard for your money-i.e. the money you should have been awarded. That’s why they call it an award instead of a bonus. VA is a stickler for truth in advertizing.

When you click on this link, this Federal Data Page will appear. To enlarge any of these, left click on them.

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In blue above,  left click on the Federal Employees UPDATED. This is another link that is going to open to this

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Here’s where you begin to take your data from your VA denial decision and apply it to the database. But first, let’s take a gander at an actual decision and extract the data you are going to need. Several things come into play. The information is always printed in the upper right hand corner of the introductory page. You will note the three digit number of the VA regional office and the three initials of the VA rater. Let’ look at one from Winston Salem, N.C.

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Ignore the 213. I also blacked out the Vet’s name and SSN. That’s extraneous to what we’re doing here. As I mention, 318 is merely the identifier of Winston Salem. VA sometimes farms these out to another Regional Office if they are extremely backed up. In their infinite wisdom, they’ll send it to Detroit (329)who is under water and more constipated than an opioid addict. Here’s the list of Regional Offices by numerical identifier:

Albuquerque VA Regional Office (340/00)

Anchorage VA Regional Office (463/00)
Atlanta VA Regional Office (316/00)
Baltimore VA Regional Office (313/00)
Boise VA Regional Office (347/00)
Boston VA Regional Office (301/00)
Buffalo VA Regional Office (307/00)
Cheyenne VA Medical/Regional Office Center (442/00)
Chicago VA Regional Office (328/00)
Cleveland VA Regional Office (325/00)
Columbia VA Regional Office (319/00)
Denver VA Regional Office (339/00)
Des Moines VA Regional Office (333/00)
Detroit VA Regional Office (329/00)
Fargo VA Regional Office (437/00)
Ft. Harrison VA Regional Office (436/00))
Hartford VA Regional Office (308/00)
Honolulu VA Regional Office (459/00)
Houston VA Regional Office (362/00)
Huntington VA Regional Office (315/00)
Indianapolis VA Regional Office (326/00)
Jackson VA Regional Office (323/00)
Lincoln VA Regional Office (334/00)
North Little Rock VA Regional Office (350/00)
Los Angeles VA Regional Office (344/00)
Louisville VA Regional Office (327/00)
Manchester VA Regional Office (373/00)
Manila VA Regional Office (358/00)
Milwaukee VA Regional Office (330/00)
Montgomery VA Regional Office (322/00)
Muskogee VA Regional Office (351/00)
Nashville VA Regional Office (320/00)
New Orleans VA Regional Office (321/00)
New York VA Regional Office (306/00)
Newark VA Regional Office (309/00)
Oakland VA Regional Office (343/00)
Philadelphia VA Regional Office (310/00)
Phoenix VA Regional Office (345/00)
Pittsburgh VA Regional Office (311/00)
Portland VA Regional Office (348/00)
Providence VA Regional Office (304/00)
Reno VA Regional Office (354/00)
Roanoke VA Regional Office (314/00)
Salt Lake VA Regional Office (341/00)
San Diego VA Regional Office (377/00)
San Juan VA Regional Office (355/00)
Seattle VA Regional Office (346/00)
Sioux Falls VA Regional Office (437/438)
St. Louis VA Regional Office (331/00)
St. Paul VA Regional Office (335/00)
St. Petersburg VA Regional Office (317/00)
Togus VA Medical and Regional Office Center (402/00)
Waco VA Regional Office (349/00)
Washington DC Appeals Management Center (372/00)
White River Junction VA Regional Office (405/00)
Wichita VA Regional Office (452/00)
Wilmington VA Regional Office and Insurance Center (460/00)
Winston-Salem VA Regional Office (318/00)
Trying to be too finite will net you a lot of air. I cast a broad net and look in a general area. Let’s fill in the search block I pointed to in blue up above.

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Hit submit and you are inside the wire, Pilgrim. Welcome to the VA alphabetical Employee directory.

Recently, doing a search for a fellow member, I ran across a possible glitch in this new database. They tend to be lazy in organizing by alphabetical order. Here you will see some ‘O’s scattered before and after all the rest of the ‘O’s. Just be sure to check three or four pages before and after your search to make sure you find them. If the one you search for has been recently married, and many of these folks are young and foolishly inclined to, they may not have updated their metrics in the database. I had a Decision Review Officer in Seattle named Cheryl Anne Mackey who went by CAM. When she remarried, she became CMR (Cheryl anne Mackey-Rivas). Fortunately, they still listed her under M and I spotted the rationale for the change.

In the present case, we see something similar. We’re searching for ‘CKO’ but there would appear to be none by searching.

318 VARO W-S CKO possibilities 1318 VARO W-S CKO possibilities 2318 VARO W-S CKO possibilities 3318 VARO W-S CKO possibilities 4

So, by default, we look for ‘CK’ and another clue. All raters at VAROs are identified by their GS rating nomenclature of “VA Claims-Examining” . Their GS ratings can vary from Apprentice coffee runner GS-6 to Decision Review Officer (senior) GS-13. The rank  from bottom to top is Veterans Service Representative (VSR), Rating Veterans Service Representative (RVSR) and Decision Review Officer (DRO). At the end of each individual you find out if they were naughty or nice last year. The more denials generated the higher the award. Below we find the combination we seek. With 98% chance of accuracy, you can assume Miz Cynthia Kosmatka is our mysterious CKO. She may have married and the O is her new last name. She may be one of those anomalies whose parents were brain dead and it never occurred to give her a middle name. What’s for sure is she is a rater and not a newbie. She’s a GS-11 and got an award for denial excellence last year for a buck fifty seven. Global warming and Congress have seen these awards dry up for the most part so any wins in this column tell us this gal kicks ass and takes names. She’s on the fast track to a GS-12 and an early DRO promotion.  I’m guessing she probably dries each individual bristle of her toothbrush every morning before leaving for work, too. She has two spare snow tires in her trunk year-round just in case. You know the type.

318 VARO W-S CKO possibilities 5

Capture7So, you get the picture. Now you too can find anyone in VA with a GS rating. This doesn’t work for the Senior Executive Service (SES) but you can usually find your “Leadership Team” on the next “VAROs” widget to the right. Click on the widget and then click on your state. Then click on the Regional Office link. Then click on the left side on “About us”. It opens to “Leadership Team“. Click on that and you’ll see ( Fort Harrison, Montana  for example) some slippery individuals such as this gomer. These poker players move around every two or three years to collect max bucks for moving fees. Back in my day, I can remember my rater who did my VA mortgage approval in 1976. He was also my rater and DRO officer at my hearing in 1990. Mr. Peterson went on to become Seattle’s director by the time of my refiling in 2007. The newfangled “Head ’em up and move ’em out” mentality of musical directorships began under Shinseki. His SES handlers conned him into a mega spending boondoggle. This was what all the ruckus was about last year with Dianna Reubens and Kimberly Graves. But that’s another sordid story for another day. You can practice your new link knowledge on them purple words above now. Go ahead. I know you can.

Knowledge is power. When you know who your rater is, you can roll their socks down by asking for them by name. Here’s an example. Call the VA’s Prize Redemption Center at 800-827-1000. When you do finally get a warm body to answer, try this one on for size.

 GS-2 Veterans Rep:  Good morning. Thank you for your service sir.  May I have your name, rank, airspeed, tail number and last known heading?

Vet: Hi, Roger that -Johnny Reb Veteran. DOB 12/25/51, USAF, entry 10/10/69 discharged 2/2/73.

 GS-2: I’m sorry. Did you say your first name was Roger?

Vet: I’m sorry. Johnny Reb Vet. DOB 12/25/51, Branch of Service USAF, entry 10/10/69 discharge 2/2/73.

 GS-2:  Middle initial?

Vet R as in Romeo

GS-2: Your middle name is Romeo?

Vet: No ma’m . It’s Reb. R-E-B.

GS-2: Don’t confuse me, sir.   What’s the name of the dog you used to have?

Vet: Dog’s name was Molly. Whelped 2/4/2004; died 3/8/2015.

GS-2: Okay, what is it you are calling about?

Vet: I recently received a denial for sleep apnea dated 2/14/16. In the upper right hand corner is 318 CKO. I’d like to have Cynthia Kosmatka call me back between eight and five Pacific time and tell me why she didn’t consider my private  sleep studies and nexus letter from my doctor in the denial decision. Perhaps a de novo review is in order.

GS-2: Denial nova?  Whoa. Could you repeat all that?

Vet: Cynthia Kosmatka. She an RVSR at the Winston Salem Regional Office. GS-11. Please route this inquiry to her and just have her give me a call. I’ll discuss it with her. Or you can give me her number and I’ll call her directly.

GS-2: Yes sir. I’ll note this in my report of contact. Oh, yeah. What was her name again? Can you spell it for me?

Today’s show was brought to you by the letter V for Veterans. Never a lower case ‘v’, I might add.

Asknod's VA Logo

P.S. From our sister site Hadit.com:

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About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in KP Veterans, Nexus Information, Tips and Tricks, vARO Decisions, VBMS Tricks, Veterans Law. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to VARO–HIDE AND SEEK

  1. asknod says:

    I bring over comments from our sister site Hadit.com regarding this post.

  2. Kiedove says:

    Cool. I got somewhat close to finding someone in the Fee Unit, or Financial Clerical and assistance. 405/136A
    —————–
    Could you explain the de novo review process when you get a chance.

    • asknod says:

      Want me to do a blog on “De novo” review and when and why it’s called for?

      • Longfellow Rogoczy says:

        Yes, Alex. That would be most beneficial!
        Is there any time limit for doing a De Novo action? This coming June will be a year for me.
        Especially when confronting the GS11 $292 who denied everything and never considered the nexus letters from my doctor in her denial decision.
        Thank you!

  3. Ed D says:

    Now, Ms. CK isn’t actually going to call JR back, is she? Other than to tell JR that all he needs to know is in the decision letter and if he has questions about it that’s what VA 9s are for.

    • asknod says:

      Probably not, Ed D. What JR can do is hire an attorney and inform him of the error(s) and the attorney can call the RO and talk with the director. The Veterans Benefits Manual has all the telephone numbers of the Regional Offices. You don’t seriously think attorneys use 800-827-1000 to communicate with VA do you? There is a much better venue for contacting the powers that be than using green firewood and a wet blanket to send smoke signals to them.
      In addition, the VA “technician is required to fill out VA Form 119. It becomes part of the c-file. Failure in the duty to assist….

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