Greetings to all you CUE nuts. For those of you obsessed with trying to revise your antique denials, here’s a good example of one that just jumps up and bites you on the nose. It did entail doing a 2-minute dumpster dive into the VBMS file but not to worry. VBMS is polite. They arrange it chronologically rather than the CD version you request that resembles a game of 52-card pickup. I offer this example because it’s been sitting in my files for several years. As I was focusing on getting my client SC for his hep c, I didn’t go back to the dawn of his claims existence. Hep C wasn’t ‘invented’ until 1989, so it’s unlikely I’d find anything back in 1969 on the subject.
Anyway, Wayne was here at LZ Grambo going over a filing for 2ndys to his Hep C with me and was discussing a hip/knee filing that was denied in 1983. He said the ‘VA technicians’ couldn’t find his records- meaning his STRs (or SMRs) from service back then so they denied. He reopened it in 2007 with a lot of buddy letters and a ton of doctors’ records showing the interim history from the 1983 denial and finally won. He might as well not have wasted the energy. This time ( the 2007 filing), they found the STRs and the NPRC sent them in to the local puzzle palace. In the leadup to the rating, an astute RVSR named Melisa spotted the STRs and noted in a VAF 21-6789 Deferred Rating Decision that if 1) the QTC clinician handed out a positive nexus to service based on the new service department records, that 2) the Waynester was in for a shit ton of retrobucks -30% back to 5/1983.
Sure enough, the QTC puke came back with a positive connection and the rating decision granting SC stated that he was being awarded an effective date all the way back to his original claim. The problem, as always, is the semantics in VAspeak. To them, his original claim was 2/27/07. Then they inexplicably changed it to May of 2003. Then they CUE’d themselves a year later and gave him another 10% for DeLuca knee pain- but with effective date of 9/2007. Go figure. That took him to 30% and covered the wifesan. Since he was not well-versed in §3.156(c) law, he didn’t ‘see’ the error.
Being quasi-inquisitive, I said hold the phone and gazed into my VBMS crystal ball. Sure as shit, there’s the finding of fact in 1983 times two of no STRs. They didn’t even trot out the old Friday the 13th of July 1973 BBQ of Veterans’ records as the excuse. Granted, that would have fallen flat as a cheese soufflé in a whorehouse because he got out in 1969. But then, I’ve had a few like the one where the Vet served from 79-83 and them back-to-the-future Delorean gomers snuck in and stuck his records into the sixth floor fire. I hate that when that happens. When you query the technicians at the NPRC, they get a bit brusque and tell you they are not up on how that time travel thing works.
Likewise, the 2007-era records say they found the STRs but no one bothered to scan them in until around 2013. Nevertheless, the PIES VAF 21-3101 says in no uncertain terms that they transshipped it all to the Seattle claims experts. Dr. Judas at the local QTC promptly said roger on the 1968 fall from 20 feet up and the full leg cast up to the hip. Bingo- 20% (and 30% a year later on the belated CUE). It was all there-well, all there except for the May 1983 rating for 30%.
So, being a VA ambulance chaser worthy of my name, I’m filing it today. I’ve done a few §3.156(c) claims in my day but never have I seen them give me the ammo to shoot them in the foot so completely. Here’s a copy of the filing. I’d give a Benjamin Franklin just to see the look on their faces when Janesville forwards this one to them.
The VA folks in Seattle have gotten to know me on a first name basis over the last 15 years. In the last six, some of the DROs have even become a little terse with me and implied I’m an ignorant slut. I prefer to think of myself as a knowledgeable slut. My clients certainly do not agree. They’re all satisfied campers and TDIU’d/SMC’d.
The fact is VA law is like fishing with hand grenades. You literally can’t miss. They screw up virtually everything they touch. Granted, not all of it will rise to the level of CUE that you can guarantee a win with but enough does such that it makes VBMS dumpster diving lucrative enough to pursue when things quiet down and you’re bored. Last week, one of my R1 Vet’s files was lying open and it dawned on me that back when he was granted A&A in 2017, he also had a spare 100%. Yeppers. They should have granted him the §3.350(f)(4) bump from L to M but nooooooooooooooo-they just had to lowball him. It’s not much but everyone can use a couple $14 K for some wine and women money. On second thought, he’ll probably need it for gas all too soon. It was $5.39 for regular when I filled up Cupcake’s new Expedition this AM. New because I shot the old one twice in the engine block to prevent its departure from a crime scene. It was declared DOA shortly thereafter.
The fact is, VA uses a “SMC Calculator” that is supposed to automatically infer all the possible SMCs you can get by analyzing your rating sheet. The problem is their SMC technician inputting the data. Somewhere, a village is missing it’s idiot. CUE. It’s what’s for dinner!