Are there any veterans out there that are like me and are just fed up and mad as H--- over the lack of representation that they have received or not received from the DAV? It seems like it is an ongoing thing when I call down to the DAV office to try and speak with my rep. Yesterday they were completely busy with veterans coming in and out. Now don't get me wrong I am proud that they are helping my fellow comrades but if they are that busy why then don't they get some extra help to return the phone calls of veterans like myself? Don't we count too? Today I just called down there and my reps are all busy today with hearings! Well, dang it. They should have staff handling the hearings and other staff in the office to handle the walk ins and those vets like myself that can't drive a 200 mile round trip to talk with their reps. Are you listening up there in D.C. DAV? I don't like to cause trouble or stir things up but dang it DAV I am NOT going to shut up and be quiet ANYMORE till you get MORE help in that DAV office? Do you hear me?
Posts: 21 | From: Greenville, S.C. | Registered: Sep 2008
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I had the same trouble with the TVC (Texas Veterans Commission -- a state VSO here)...they seemed WAY too busy but they kept taking on new cases anyway! As you, I thought they should have more people on staff. And as for the DAV I FIRST went to, the DAV guy didn't seem very interested in helping me that much.
I ended up going it alone.
But from what I have been able to gather in the various online vet forums, it depends more on the individual within the VSO who has your case than it does the actual VSO itself since some of the reps DO care and SOMEHOW find the time to work your case, return your calls, etc..
If a rep becomes more of a liability than a help, you could look for another VSO but be advised some of them do NOT care to take a claims case you began with another VSO (i.e., you go with DAV and dump them, then go to VFW and they don't want to "take over" because you started with some other vetorg)...so who you start out with is pretty much who you have to stick with...or else go it alone. But you can TRY to change VSOs...all they can do is say no.
[I don't know if the VA giving preference to more recent vets's claims has anything to do with this problem, but the VA has been backlogged for many years now. When I was doing my case, there was a backlog of 500,000 claims]
Still, whatever you do, it's up to YOU to make sure things get done so you just have to keep on them...the VSO as well as the VA!
I had the DAV as my first VSO, what a bunch of crackheads. Thay didn't know what was going on pretty much the entire short time I had them. Now, they may be good for others but the the ones in St. Louis are inconsiderate, complete morons.
Posts: 193 | From: St Louis MO | Registered: Jul 2005
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I recently had a time sensitive question that I needed to speak to my VSO at the DAV about. I thought calling TWO weeks in advance would be enough. I was wrong. When I finally got a call back .1) It was too late. 2.) It wasnt even from the representitive I asked to return my call. Then this kind of threw me back. The guy informed me I'm not a member and was very pushy, informing me that he's sending me an application to become a life long member. I support maintaining a membership but at the momment I CANT afford a life time membership. I'm awaiting the results of a C&P and find myself wondering if the length of my wait is related to the return of my membership form? I swear if it's not one thing it's another! God Bless All- Michael.
Posts: 117 | From: Boston | Registered: Oct 2005
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Well once again I got the shaft and old heave ho rejection/denial from the V.A. regarding my unemployability and aid and attendance claims. Even though Im had a recent statement from one of the V.A.'s own physicians saying I was homebound that just was not good enough for the V.A.! I don't believe that the V.A. would accept the Word of and from Jesus Christ Himself if He were to speak up in my behalf! I just don't know if those individuals over there at the V.A. have a heart and brain at all! Of course my big mistake was having a VSO to represent me. That is why I am getting another top notch legal firm to represent me. I had to have an attorney before to get me my 60 per cent that I have now. So the gloves are coming off everyone if that's the V.A. wants it.
Posts: 21 | From: Greenville, S.C. | Registered: Sep 2008
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i feel your pain everyone. My DAV rep is in baltimore but I think I'm going to see if my case can be transfer to DC. In the meantime, I am still waiting on the VA to give me some CP exams or rate me. Eight months and counting.
Posts: 121 | Registered: Oct 2008
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quote:Originally posted by The Old Bulldog: Well once again I got the shaft and old heave ho rejection/denial from the V.A. regarding my unemployability and aid and attendance claims. Even though Im had a recent statement from one of the V.A.'s own physicians saying I was homebound that just was not good enough for the V.A.! I don't believe that the V.A. would accept the Word of and from Jesus Christ Himself if He were to speak up in my behalf! I just don't know if those individuals over there at the V.A. have a heart and brain at all! Of course my big mistake was having a VSO to represent me. That is why I am getting another top notch legal firm to represent me. I had to have an attorney before to get me my 60 per cent that I have now. So the gloves are coming off everyone if that's the V.A. wants it.
Hello Bulldog...How the Health are ya?
I see you are still Barking up that Old VA Tree.
Don't You know that DOGS can NOT Climb Trees.
I got ta tell ya Bulldog...Straight UP...you ARE shooting yerself in the feets. BOTH of Them.
I went back and read your latest posts.
In them you are asking about Veteran's Preference...(which is working)...you talk about getting TDIU so you and your Future Mrs can get married.
Bulldog, again I got to tell ya Straight Up..you are "sounding" as though it is THE MONEY that you are seeking...rather than the BENEFITS.
Shhh...yes we ALL know that the MONEY is a Great Benefit...butt Bulldog you are not using the Secret Code.
Now Bulldog, while you are Barking Up BOTH of those Different VA Trees...(VA Compensation and VA Pension)...at the SAME TIME.
That very well might be where and why you haven't been awarded EITHER...even though the VA is "SUPPOSED TO" view one as the other one, too.
And Bulldog...I would bet the Farm if I had one...that YOU didn't BUY the LexisNexis Books and CD-ROM as I suggested to you...a long, long time ago.
Did ya? Shame Bulldog...Shame on You.
You Should KNOW by NOW that the VA isn't going to just hand-you what you are seeking.
And they are RIGHT to NOT do so, too. NOT you personally...but in general. There are Laws that they are "SUPPOSED TO" go by.
Bulldog, You are Barking up the wrong VA Tree when you are trying to get TDIU...and...Aid and Attendence.
Survivir! I LOVE when you haunt these boards and you are not around enough! I copied your links to my favorites, now I know where to turn and what to buy - because when I move I intend from this point forward to represent myself. I don't want to wait on some other person, who might be more interested in eating a snickers on break then helping me!
Posts: 484 | From: FLA | Registered: Feb 2007
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When someone sees the price of the LexisNexis Books and CD-ROM for the first time...they usually Gasp at the Price...I know I did back in 2004...but once I got them, I was amazed at the amount of information that is ALL in ONE PLACE on the CD-ROM...alone with the ease of just clicking on another source of infomation, and you are instantly there. I have always recommended that others also buy BOTH the Books AND the CD-ROM...although ALL of the information that is within the Books, is also on the CD-ROM.
But there are times when having the Books saves a lot of time and torture, because I can look something up in the book...and then go to the information on the CD-ROM to view or to print out...or copy and paste it.
The CD-ROM also has a Search Function, too...but there are times when I just want to hold what I am reading.
I have bought a set of LexisNexis Books and CD-ROM Every Year since 2004 and I would be lost without them.
What I would REALLY, REALLY Like to see...is MANY Veterans having the LexisNexis Books and CD-ROM...so when someone asks a question...that question could be looked up, and then the person seeking the answer...could be told where to go within the LexisNexis Material to find the answer. Something like when we were in High School.
I am NOT CONNECTED in any way with EITHER of these Sources that I recommended. It's NO different than IF I would have found a GREAT place to EAT.
The "What Every Veteran Should Know" Book is IMO an UNDER-PRICED Book. It is worth a LOT MORE than the $20 that it costs. I also get the Monthly Newsletter.
In MY Opinion...EVERY Veteran AND any Veteran's Loved one, should have this Book. It is packed with information of Veterans Benefits.
I think you are absolutely correct about representing yourself. But representing One's Self is NOT for everyone. And even those representing themselves...might-should...use a VSO. But do your own research and compiling. Just use the VSO for a Go-Between.
Let me get to main question here, because I'm about to file my appeal. What is the general consensus here? Is it better to file the appeal yourself or is it better to use one of the organizations? And which one is best, DAV,VFW, or is a private attorney better?
What we really need is a veteran’s organization of our own. Just for Gulf War veterans. It would encompass both wars, the one in 91 and now. After all, we all know that no one knows what we’re going through better than other GW vets. We could call it GWVA for Gulf War Veterans Association. I would even go so far as to put in a motion for our national president. Gale please stand up!!!
All in favor!!!!
Posts: 205 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Mar 2006
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IAVA.org - Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Many of the "New" Vets are "Old" Vets too, having served in the early 90's and again more recently. The web site they run, and the issues they work on are current. I wish they would enter the VSO business, perhaps in the future they will . . .
I both had representation and flew on my own. I needed the representation to get me going, then I wanted to go into more detail with service connection then my service rep wanted to bother with. I am very fortunate to be in Maine a very friendly state for Veterans in regard to Benefits. I also live within 60 miles of the big VA in the State so I have gone to the actual benefits office myself and spoken to the VA reps. I have had extreme good luck in this regard. I got a youngish, GW1 Veteran that helped me and encouraged me to not get discouraged and put in for every single thing wrong with me. He said "I am a mess too" I know exactly what you are talking about.
I think it is an individual decision. I plan to buy the books/CD Survivir recommended and go on my own.
I have YEARS of experience in records management, and can find my way around legal-ese, especially when I first take my Ritalin! LOL I have found it frustrating to know more, and learn more than my VSO seemed to care to do. Then there are just the freaking awful VSOs that need to be avoided like the plague - it is the individual person who unfortunately may be under any umbrella. (DAV, VFW, etc.) For example my old VSO was employed by the state and worked near my town. The VSO at the VA for the same organization would actually monitor for females coming up for exams and call them into his office so he could "check them out" I am serious. Had I walked into his office first - and started from scratch with this A$$hole I would probably be stuck at 30% and on a psych ward.
Things change all the time and unfortunately my VSO (who was kind and helpful up to a point) was behind when it came to Gulf War Service connected issues . . . dealing mainly with WW2, Korea, and Vietnam Veterans. He was sort of stuck in the Pre-Gulf War group mindset. I found it exhausting to try to update him and educate him to the new realities.
I mean GW1 was almost 2 decades ago - and now these new Wars? I hope the IAVA decides to go into the VSO business seems like we could use some new blood. The bottom line is you almost gotta interview them to see if you can trust them. I find it exhausting - after all I have trust issues anyway.
In any regard - assisted or not - you have got to advocate for yourself and keep good records.
Can't help you with "new wars" such as yours, since I'm an "old war" vet (RVN)!
But as far as the VA Disability Benefits Claims process goes, it's pretty much THE SAME for all of us...although one difference I have heard of is the newer (current) "war" vets have priority over the rest of us, especially the older war vets like WWII and Korea...and RVN probably, too.
As for going it alone or going with a VSO, if you can read VA regs and make SOME sense of them, apply appropriate regs to your particular claim(s), read and grasp basic medical articles about your particular medical issues, can communicate WELL (write/express yourself) so YOU can type up your Statements in Support of Claim (VA Form 21-4138), NODs, write rebuttals to a flawed C&P exam, be able to get online and research BVA and CVA decisions for cases like yours & how they could be used to support YOUR claim, write statements to the BVA judge to include with your appeal (VA Form 9, if it goes that far), then you SHOULD be able to handle everything on your own (if it goes BEYOND the BVA level, however, you WILL be needing a VA Benefits savvy lawyer).
If you are the opposite -- due to lacking education, being on meds that mess with your thought processes, or you just never could write well -- then you DO need SOMEONE to do all that for you, even if only a VA Benefits rep to type up your documents/statements (you state what you want to do and why, he/she types up the appropriate form, you sign it and he/she sends it in to your VARO).
IMO, MOST vets are best served with a VSO.
BUT, I must add that ALL said vets (even with a VSO) need to be aware that THEY need to be on top of the VSO and -- on the side -- THEY need to learn all they can about their particular disabilities and the VA Claims process. THEY must monitor their VSO and try to sort out if things are taking so long as per the USUAL AND EXPECTED VA snail's pace slowness/case backlogs (that we all know about), OR, is it because of a care-less/lazy VSO.
No one vetorg stands out so it's like a crap shoot: You make your choice of vetorg and go from there.
Keep in mind though that once you start with some vetorg (VSO) and if you want to dump them at some point due to laziness, not being available or incompetence, most OTHER vetorgs don't want to "take over" in mid-stream, so at that point -- if you can't get some other vetorg to take your already-in-progress case, then you're either on your own or you'll have to get help from some fellow vet who can assist you writing things up and otherwise advising you.
But also know this: You HARDLY EVER need the services of a lawyer (EXCEPT at the CVA level as mentioned already): If you have a good VA Disability Claims case, just expect the spend the 3-5 years it usually takes to see it through (that is, if you are DENIED or LOW-BALLED and have to go through the whole process. If you WIN, then it can be over within 3-6 months). But a lawyer is HARDLY EVER necessary.
Besides, who wants to pay those lazy, greedy, couldn't care less about YOU (they only care about what's in it for THEM) any of your VA disability retro check anyway...unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY?
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