Good afternoon Pilgrims. I hope this finds everyone armed and dangerous with their votes ready to be cast. I’m told this year the admonition is to Vote Early…and Often. And here I thought you only got one vote. Naw. Just kidding. I don’t live in Chicago. We received the ballots for Cupcake’s dear departed parents for years but never even thought of trying to submit them. I can’t think what that would gain you other than an all-expenses paid vacation at the Greybar Hotel. I cotton to what my mom told me when she was alive-You should only appear in the newspaper three times if you’re a man-birth, marriage and death. It was four for ladies (debutante ‘coming out’ ball). Boy howdy did that term ever metamorphose over time. I reckon it’s three or less now. But that’s not why I called you here.
Jerrell lined me out for tomorrow afternoon/evening’s show several weeks back. I forgot to announce it until just now-Adult Hyperspazzed-out Disorder(AHD). Fortunately, in this new electronic jungle, we can thump the drums and get pretty good coverage in short order.
For the show, I’d like to discuss several different litigation strategies VA raters have been handed of late which ignore the law. I use the term ‘handed’ to mean it has been enunciated quite clearly to the little people by the Big Kahunas of the VAROs across the Fruited Plains that they need to do their part to trim VA’s profligate, wanton spending of compensation funds. With the corona shutdown, it’s not like they have a lot of other things to do besides Faceplace©. Hence I’m seeing and hearing about a lot of these.
Here’s the gig. VA sends you a proposal to reduce. With Kung Flu afoot and the USPS running on empty, your notice doesn’t arrive for about two weeks after the date stamp on VA’s “proposal”. You don’t think much of it until a week later and by then you’re screwed. Even if you’d acted the day you got it, you were charcoal. 30 and 60-day suspense dates are suddenly flexible, arbitrary and entirely meaningless. In the instant case I show you here, the proposal- if you could even characterize it under that misnomer- was dated 9/17/2020.
I spotted the launch of the reduction dated 10/2/2020-a scant 19 days later. What’s even more atrocious is my client didn’t receive the letter before the reduction. I spotted it in VBMS and had him supply the requested information two days later (9/19/20). I can even see his submittals timely uploaded in VBMS. All for naught. The denial has been completed and nothing- not even my request for reconsideration under M 21-1 III.iv.7.B,3(a), has been acknowledged. Whoa. Don’t laugh. I use the M 21 denial manual when dealing with VARO bumpkins. They can cite 38 CFR but cannot read it. It’s like Greek… or Klingon.
Yep. I, too, find it incredible the VA can “pack” that many assurances into their own missive and then promptly ignore them 19 days later. Welcome to the new AMA VA.
Now, you can fight fire with fire and pad the VBMS with wallpaper which no one at VA can ignore (technically). Once you insert it, it’s poured in concrete and promptly mislabeled as “third party correspondence”.
Nevertheless, it’s embedded. If they don’t respond, I’m learning to broadside them with a 20-0996 Higher Level of Review (HLR). The VARO pukes at the DROCs are now getting mighty hoighty toity and refusing to allow so much as a legal brief to explain the need for an HLR. Thus, inserting the legal brief into the record technically dodges this. Not. Nothing after the Rating Decision is looked at. You have to beg them to call you and then attempt to explain it in monosyllabic words with lots of ‘ya know’s interspersed. You’re lucky if you can garner 10 minutes to do this so you better have your cites at finger’s reach when Victor Alpha rings you up.
I let the VA Bozo know the legal brief is in the VBMS file even if he’s going to refuse to look at it. It’s like old Lot’s wife Edith who felt compelled to look over her shoulder to witness the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned to a pillar of salt. I’ve noticed this propensity among doctors at QTC and LHI at c&p exams. I think they’re all a bit insecure and want mutual validation. After all, they claim to “practice” medicine-not “perform” it. If you take an IMO into a c&p and hand it to them, they try to beg off but will accept it. A lot of times it will reverse their rush to say your ________ isn’t service connected.
Another trick I have up my sleeve is to ferret out the HLR Officer by his notes in VBMS. I can look his email address up and bombard him with even more stuff if he cuts me off short. I always claim it’s my Tourette’s Syndrome and apologize. I don’t have Tourette’s diagnosed by any other than Cupcake, though. I learned in Laos that it was far easier to call in Nape with a side of CBU 26-49s and apologize afterwards for my indiscretions. Emergent situations require special treatment.
H hour tomorrow is 1900 Hrs on the East side of the mountains and 1600 out here in Leftland. The phone number is:
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