My good friend Vicki sent me a link the other day that really rolled my socks down. I was mortified to think how this impacts the backlog at the BVA for docketing our appeals. Mind you, I take some of these internet sites with a wheelbarrow of salt grains. This one would be legitimate from my standpoint. Either that or Notreallyalawyer and his buds are the most elaborate hoaxers of all time.
The website jdunderground.com explores many post doctorate jobs and their focus of law. This particular vein is a discussion of how overprivileged, underworked little snowflakes’ real life crises are dealt with every day in the real world of the VA’s movers and shakers at the Board of Veterans Appeals. Just imagine if all these disgruntled souls were required to be Veterans with at least two continuous years of active duty to qualify for the job.
Check it out.
Unfortunately, this impacts us “little people”-i.e. Vets waiting on the Group W bench for years. Snowflakes aside, I know what it takes to get a law degree-seven years and an ungodly student loan to pay off. I cheated and became a VA Agent so no big Pell grants for me! For those reasons, I can more than commiserate with their displeasure at being saddled up with a hellish workload and an unforgiving agency bent solely on production over accuracy. This culminated in the complaint here:
Click to access loss-of-confidence-statement.pdf
The thought that comes to my mind is…why on earth would any soul with that much knowledge of 38 USC/38CFR squander it all at 810 Yellow Brick Road (at the corner of Delay and Deny)? Why, with that certain knowledge used to deny, could one not eke out an equally above-average financial existence in far less stressful conditions as a … yep… VA attorney for Vets? Pick a state to practice in. It’s not geographically exclusive. No Errors and Omissions insurance. Form an S Corp. and pay 21%. Work from home on your schedule. Learn how to make Macrame Beer hats. Take up Yoga and Yogurt. Find antique CUEs and make hundreds of thousands with your aquired knowledge. #Doitdude.
Currently, there are far too many Vets who finally arrive here, Hadit, and other sites and hear the deja vu rejoinder- “I can’t get ahold of my rep. He won’t return my phone calls.” Hey. Remember those same VSOs have been doing their dangdest to deter the participation of attorneys and private agents in this business since The War of 1812. We get a shot at it after the VSOs finish reducing it to Hamburger Helper at the BVA. Or, if the Vet finally wakes up to the need for a nexus or IMO, he’s usually waiting in line for a docket number at the BVA and discovering the need on Hadit or here. Ruh-oh Rorge! AstroVet Need Nexus faaaaaaaast!
The obvious 800-lb. gorilla in the VA living room is war-continuous war in Southwest Asia. It is now becoming an trans-generational phenomenon. Fathers who served in 1991 have sons serving in Afraqistan. Count ’em folks. 17 years of on again, off again combat not to mention a shit ton of PTSD claims. This phenomenon has been variously described as ‘the lump in the python’ to VA’s descriptive Adobe 9- “an unforeseen seventeen-year glitch in the statistics which no one could have programmed in to the equation.” VA fully expects this cohort to begin decreasing in 2019 based on their prediction models.
Business demand hates a vacuum. Someone will fill it. NOVA ought to advertise there. Imagine if you turned loose two or three thousand more attorneys into this VA fray. Seems like the easiest to train to think pro-Vet rather than the obverse would be those already entrusted with our appeals. Oddly, in most cases, it boils down to whipping up a good IMO at the BVA at the eleventh hour to save the day. Always remember. In ex parte jurisprudence, you want to be the very last to submit your killer IMO. This deprives those BVA staff attorneys of the opportunity to rebut it at the eleventh hour. Protect it from a remand back to the AOJ and those chowderheads are going to be forced to eat it in order to make their 2.5 appeals per day quota.
I was taught once by a warrior to always think about how your opponent operates. What is his/her Prime Directive? What motivates them? How do your defeat them or neutralize them as a threat? What are their ROEs? If you know their limits, you can exploit them. In the legal jungle, you bide your time and they’ll eventually let their guard down.
VA raters and DROs are not morons but they do have a propensity to deny all but the most obvious without clear and convincing evidence to rebut their mistakes. Absent even rudimentary bipartisanship, you make your stand at the BVA. Present a good VA 9 argument and a SME review and a waiver of review in the first instance at the VARO to keep the DRO’s mitts off it. Sit back, remodel the kitchen and convert the garage into that fourth bedroom w/ bath. Before you know it the oldest kid is ready for college and you get TDIU and P&T. Problem solved.
The teaching lesson today is to give these tired overworked, mentally stressed out VA staff attorneys an easy way out and a simple path to your success that they feel they figured out by themselves with Phonics®. Arrange it so they can ‘sound it out’ legally. In truth, the last thing Veterans of all stripes want to see is an exodus from the BVA’s staff ranks. Golly, no. The backlog would become enormouser.
G. Alexander Graham, Non-Attorney Practitioner VA #39029 POA E1P Accepted CAVC
Seems nothing is solved at the R.O. Sending the backlog @ BVA into outer space and waiting in most cases for hearings that never happen! Those few disability claims that receive a favorable decision then begin the process of collecting their benefits and are again, shoved into the corner and ignored by a government who is stating they work for veterans???
After waiting some 6 years and counting I wonder if federal lawsuits are more responsive than dead end disability claims as at least you receive a decision within 6 months and your on the record…then go from there! This endless waiting and ignoring of facts is really really unacceptable! And they wonder why citizens storm the Capital, and then call upon the soldiers they ignore to protect their mange riddled asses from those they ignore and abuse! All need to STOP accepting unacceptable behavior as we die by the thousands…
Mine was approved thru a Federal Law Judge and the VA still has not paid me. I fought this for 10 years. Appeals Judge granted service connection 2 years ago.
It never seems to amaze me how the people who never picked up a weapon and serve, here in the States and abroad are the ones who get to decide our claims, as if we’re begging for something which is owed to us by volunteering to serve our country HONORABLY. My claim has been delayed and denied for over 10 years and still sitting at the BVA with a docket # for over 2 years, a damn SHAME!!!
That’s a good point. VA needs to hire more adjudicators and fewer bean counters.
I agree. I know an AF guy who said he never stayed in less than a 5 star motel when he was ( deployed )! He is 100% for BS stuff. I was Army Combat Engineer and a paratrooper with back and knee and nerve damage. Hurt in Desert Storm. VA jerked me around since 1993. So I feel for ya.
For anyone who cares to know, stay AWAY from Veterans attorney ERIC GANG. His specialty is trying to get a JMR. IF he can’t, he’ll compromise your claim & you’ll end up with far less than 100% or whatever you should be rated at. His solicitation packet you get upon filing a CAVC notice of appeal is very slick & convincing. But I’ve talked to a few VA specialty & NOVA attorneys & they all knew about his hustle. Forewarned is Forearmed. Don’t get suckered in by this week VA disability attorney. He screwed up my post-CAVC remand & I got NOTHING from VA. NEVER EVER agree to waive ANY due process rights after winning a CAVC appeal. GANG did this to me & I got nothing. BEWARE OF HIM
Ironically Elijah, I hired Mr. “G and Associates” for my first do-se-do at the CAVC in 2015-2016. With little effort they secured a JMR at the CAVC and then shortly thereafter jumped ship for meatier clients I presume. Even with their minimal effort JMR which prevailing got them a healthy fee of $3,500 for maybe three hours effort, they did create for me the opportunity to submit “New Evidence”; some fifty pieces or files of same which were entered in early 2017. Now back at the CAVC in 2018, my C-File is dramatically different then beforehand and we await a 2/19/2019 event at the Court which should bring a very different JMR which should eventually create a very different decision. I’m wondering how they “screwed up your post-CAVC remand”? They usually do NOT rep. one back at the BVA.
I think it is so sad that with all the computer technology that the VA has at their fingertips that it takes so long to close an appeal especially when they have the information on file. If they need more info they should request it in a timely manner. Its just wrong to take 2 or more years. Some won’t live long enough to receive a discussion.
Mr. Gibson, Some of my clients don’t survive and their appeal is picked up by their spouses. It’s a war of words and forms. VA almost counts on that to make you give up and go away.
That’s what they’re banking on, to delay and deny until most of us pass on, my claim has been on a Law Judge desk for over 3 years now and my docket # was assigned over 5 years ago…
I am a veteran, who has been denied and have appealed…reading your article was long and very confusing to a Vet who wants to understand, why do we get lack from the VA. Some crazy acronyms that I’m sure are simple but for a frustrated tired of waiting and having no one on your side through the processes, this article was not the Nswer. I left myself saying what? And help!
Dear Sherrie, my blog and articles are not written for a novice to understand. I’m sorry but I cannot write everything in Dick and Jane format. Your best bet is to visit Hadit.com where you can learn about VA law and procedures gradually from the ground up. You are attempting to absorb complex legal theories that require more experience. It took me 29 years to learn what I know now.
Not often I disagree with you but here I must. I was in the same position and I found your book “Asknod” and possibly Roche’s “The Veteran’s Survival Guide” (very old but still good IMHO) to be 10 times more useful than Hadit.com.
Thank you Gary. I merely suggest that if Sherrie is not well-versed in all the abbreviations etc., she would benefit by asking questions on Hadit which is more basic in VA knowledge rather than coming here and expecting to find basic, elementary information written for the lowest common denominator of VA knowledge.
Almost February of 2019: one year post my earlier comment/s. We are again at the CAVC and 1/18/2019 should be the filing date for our upcoming JR: (Joint Remand) back to the BVA. I keep thinking of that “Letter of No-Confidence” dated September 2017 from over 100 disenchanted attorneys attempting to do their job/s albeit rebuffed by a/the system that should be assisting these folks.
Could you share with us the link to the Letter of No Confidence dated September 2017? I’d love to get my hands on that for an upcoming CAVC petition for post judgment relief. Please let me know. Thanks
Ok lets go.was drafted 1967 . Passed my physical.but remind u had poliomyletis at age 4. Went thru hell during basic training. Long story short was denoed any benefits . Since 1971 .here comes cck law firm
Now have tdiu after 23 yrs
Congrats Joe! I consider CCK, Ltd. to be one fine veteran’s law group and you have confirmed this thought!
Hey, good deal. I know Robert Chisholm personally as well as Zachary Stolz. They’re good people and fellow members of NOVA. They do all of DAV’s appeals.
CCK,Ltd. seems to always proceed the cutting trend of updated information regarding the CAVC as well. Just so very happy they didn’t snag my own legal rep/attorney Robert R. Davis before he could rep. moi back at the CAVC for round #2. The only other online inspiration I’ve received has been consistently: AskNod, Chris Attig, Hadit.com,
Unless a miracle occurs in the next month, I will never again use the DRO route. The fact that the VBA recommends it is enough to make it suspect (what, like they’re going to disagree with their own co-workers?). They’ve now successfully wasted 2.5 years of our time so far ok what amounts to an open and shut 4 page claim.
After reviewing “The letter” and picking at numerous comments from some of these “unfortunate souls”; I “should” be disheartened albeit I am somewhat encouraged since. 1. IT confirms what I suspected already. 2. Currently being in the Queue for a/the BVA “Final Decision” on a post Remand Appeal of 2015 which origin is 2006 and certified there, I am expecting another denial and another day (LOL) on/in the CAVC; maybe even in 2018??? However THIS time we have ample material “new evidence” which should make our voyage rather interesting; as with their current “schedule” to push cases through, there is NO way they could possibly adequately review my file with this new evidence in the time period now constrained to/by their efforts.
I could of guessed based on my recent appeal. It was a win but the decision was almost as bad as the original improper reduction. They claimed “The Issue” was restoration of a rating. Not whether the reduction was proper. Later they said the reduction was improper but it did not reference Greyzck v. West and say it was void ab initio (as if never happened). That is important as 20% of the 40% rating is now protected under 38 CFR 3.951 (b) [20 year protection], and my hernia disability will not be reduced below 20% except upon a showing that the rating was based on fraud. Which of course means they were mistaken when they said it was an unprotected rating. They did not carefully read the original decisions (2) or the SOC on the reduction and egregiously misstated the facts. I was think of requesting reconsideration but am now considering appealing to the court. I want a remand for initial adjudication for an issue raised for the first time in the appeal (Pro Se). This would included TDIU / Extra-Schedular rating and a couple of 38 CFR 3.157 informal claims based on hospitalization for a rated disability at the time of hospitalization which were of record.
Hopefully, you did not “request reconsideration”. I can see in my own mind now: the brown finger stains your File has acquired from its dropping on the toilet floor as the reconsidering party/employee paused between wiping to reconsider your plea/plight…
Finally! Something tangible (or not) about the BVA! After due (actually reading/comprehending) diligence I may comment albeit I do have immense sympatico for those (approx.) 400,000 behind me; many if not most of whom believe that the V.A. (or the BVA in this) is actually working in THEIR interest!! Land-o-Goshen; miracles abound; just not there.
I have just scanned some of the posts from the fall to January. Incredible, although I agree with one poster that someone may be a troll.
Never the less, I noticed this letter signed by 100 attorneys in September with complaints.
Click to access loss-of-confidence-statement.pdf
I hope these attorney’s are still working but I agree that the whole quota system is wrong and some of the back claims should be solved at the RO.
Vicky, thank you for this incredible research.