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Command Post What is this?
Posted on Dec 14, 2015
CPO Ed Ball
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COL John Hudson
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Edited >1 y ago
ALCON: I have always been with "Disabled American Veterans (DAV)." A VA physician put into writing that "due to previous surgery on my neck" he was not granting service connectivity or compensation (neck injury occurred in Bosnia, all ER records and a Line of Duty report were given to the VA as support). I had never had any surgery on my neck in my lifetime. My DAV rep. was able to file the appeal and actually got me a full color video conference with a VA law Judge in Washington, DC. I didn't sanitize my response in telling him how untruthful that doctor had been and would go to any competent medical authority he assigns to confirm that. My case was remanded back to the VA with an order to 1) start over 2) make it service connected based on re-examination 3) pay me compensation back to day one. It goes without saying I was vindicated and the end result worthy of time and effort taken. This was one event in a lifetime, but a major one and the DAV came to bat with a big stick. Just FYI.
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CPO Ed Ball
CPO Ed Ball
>1 y
Col many refer to similar scenarios as VA delay tactics, i.e., deny until you die, etc.. the truth is, like any major organization, there are a few bad apples, in this case I'm assuming it was the C&P examiner as the VA physician that made the statement. In which case it is in the best interest of all veterans to request a copy of the C&P exam, scrutinize it and make your representative aware of any discrepancies.

The VARO rater looks at your induction and separation physicals as part of the adjudication process along with your military medical treatment records which would have been silent of surgery in this case. So now you have two bad apples.

The DAV rep may have provided the option of a Decision Review Officer (DRO) review, or simply file the Form 9 for a formal appeal before the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington DC. Electing the DRO review could have saved you some time as they have the authority to overturn the VARO raters decision based on a faulty C&P medical opinion and thereby request another exam for a positive medical opinion and overturned the initial denial letter.

If only veterans could have representatives witness the C&P exams, but the current law does not allow this. It takes months, sometimes years, to prove the VHA/VA wrong using the current process available, as we both know too well.

Thankful things worked out for you, congrats!
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COL John Hudson
COL John Hudson
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Thanks, Chief. Your commentary throughout has been very illuminating. JCH
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
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Great Post Chief! When I finally filed my claim, I used the State's Veterans Services and finally, everything work out great! Thanks!
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
Sgt David G Duchesneau
>1 y
SP5 Christine Conley - Christine, all you have to do is call your State's US State Senators Office and they'll put you in contact with them. As I said, once I did, everything went really good.
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COL Lowell Yarbrough
COL Lowell Yarbrough
>1 y
SP5 Christine Conley - SP5 Conley, you can also the contact information for the State Veteran Representatives on the state's official website under veteran services link.
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SGM Mikel Dawson
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I admit having help is good. My cousin worked with POWs, helping them file claims. When I filed my claim, I visited her, she reviewed, directed me the right way. As I worked on it, I'd e-mail to her for review. When I sent my claim in, it was approved the first time. Getting help from some one who knows if vital to success.
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PO3 Michael James
PO3 Michael James
5 y
NICE.. guess its who you know.. 16 years, 20 operations, Filed 7 years ago.. Still waiting.. diseases listed by the VA.. Ship listed on the VA's "exposed ship list" .. 1971.. USS Okinawa LPH3 .. Cam Ranh Bay !! Assigned to Staff, PhibRon7, therefore, not on ships roster .. however, Personnel Eval. says I was evaluated as Radioman onboard USS Okinawa ??? Don't know where the VA thinks I picked-up these souvenirs I brought back with me !! SNAFU !!
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SGM Mikel Dawson
SGM Mikel Dawson
5 y
PO3 Michael James - Who knows what goes on in the VA. On another note, I have a cough, been with me every since I got back. Filed a claim on it, provided all the evidence I was in the areas of burn pits, dust storms, but VA came back saying - not related - go figure.
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