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Tell us about your own VA claim wait

Tell us about your own VA claim wait

In order to get a better, more specific picture of the types of claims and lengths of wait for veterans filing benefits claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs, The American Legion has launched a survey available here.

The Legion wants to hear from veterans about how long their claim has been pending, how many conditions were included with the claim, what type of claim it is and why the claim is pending.

"We’re conducting this survey so we can get a better snapshot of the backlog," said Lori Perkio, assistant director of the Legion’s Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Division. "We’re trying to get an idea of some of the specifics of the issues faced by our members who are a part of this backlog."

The survey will remain on for 30 days. After the survey is completed and the information is compiled, it will be given to VA; the Legion also will share the results on

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March 6, 2015 - 6:47pm

Finally the VA office in Muskogee OK. approved my OJT for the job I am at now. That took a year because they changed the Application process. Finally approved in Dec. 2014. Been E-mailing the VA office for the follow on paperwork since then but they will not respond to me or my supervisor as to when this paperwork will be sent..I think everyone who works in the building should go outside and look at what is written on the building, Especially the part where it says "VETERANS". This is the person they "WORK FOR" a Veteran is a person who did their Duty and Worked for them at one time. Our Ethics and Response Time was never questioned!!!


November 3, 2014 - 10:59pm

I filed for ringing in the ears in Sept 2014 and was awarded 100% Nov 3, 2014. the VA is a joke and the only thing I can do is make jokes to make me laugh

David K. Ward

February 4, 2015 - 12:05am

Filed for lost records and tinnitus. My first real interview/test came 8 years after filing. The VA is incompetent beyond words. We just need to shutdown the VHA and move on. You cannot fix something that is dead.

Weapons guy

November 13, 2014 - 1:48pm

100% you say, don't you mean 10%. Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) is only 10% weather in one ear or both. Maybe you are talking about your total from all your disabilities.

Cpl Joe

June 27, 2014 - 7:11pm

The worse part of all this is: The ones making decisions on our ratings are sitting at a desk and never went to medical school. MY case goes all the way back to 2001 and I am still waiting, waiting,and appealing.


October 21, 2014 - 9:28am

To clarify the raters who rate you only follow guideline from 38 CFR Book C, Schedule for Rating Disabilities, after they look at what the physician noted after your C&P exam, bottom line they rate as to what the physician says.


September 5, 2014 - 1:15pm

The ones making your decisions only make those decisions after what is written by a Doctor that gave you the C&P exam.


October 17, 2014 - 5:59pm

You must be one of those people that are just sitting behind a desk and never served.

l. grant mcewan

August 29, 2014 - 11:37am

congress sure did fix the incompetence in the VA> BULLSHIT my claim for agent orange injury goes back 14 years. lost filings, denials, appeals more lost filings, this aftyer 40 years it took me to get my medical records from the VA, note attached to file read"NOT TO BE REALESED".i was medically discharged after my last exposure to agent orange. spent % weeks at zama army before being medivaced stat. reason listed in medical file , allergy to wool. tested at VA hospital in st.pete. fl. NO ALLERGY TO WOOL. THESE LIEING BASTARDS.

Dave Davis

December 13, 2014 - 5:10pm

You got the lying part right. Sometimes when you read the SOC or the SSOC you even wonder if they looked at your file before they wrote what they did...

William O'Toole

May 29, 2014 - 6:19am

Last but not least. Thank you to the Shertz F.D. E.M.T.s. who were not only totaly professional, but completely non judgemental in there assessment of my medical condition. And in doing so properly treated me for Shock. Witch was agreed I was going in.. By not only them but me. The truth is all I can remember is there undivided attention in making sure I was not only stable, but also comfortable.. A heated blanket no less. Asked a few times at the V.A. As well for some ice chips. Nope I'll ask a nurse was all I heard them say. So gental men you were not only great, but so right.. About me not wanting to end up at the V.A. I was stupid to think, expecaly when I couldent thru the pain. May True Karma guide your way. If ever I find myself that close to death, cause it hurt so bad I wanted to.. And did try one time to knock myself out in the hellhole I ended up in. You guys were nothing if not deserving of my resepect. Cause after the E.R. At the V.A. I felt as if I had none left. Thanks a million cc. Billy.

Willam O'Toole

May 29, 2014 - 5:40am

Allmost forgot, after making my way the heck otta there to avoid having kidney stones in jail. I made my way just across the street to the ablance entrance of the Uniniverisity hospital and dragging myself up the long incline of the ramp. Was met by two uniformed personal, who told me I needed to walk all the way around the hospital There words "all the way around" exact. So I knew someone must have called ahead and in doing I would surly face police areast. I got out of there as quick as a sick sober and pain riddled xcorpsman could. Next week" the pizza party" or how to get a diagnosis from three boot camp orthopedic doctors who like all the other San Antoine V.A. Docs will never give "U" pain meds.

William O'Toole

May 29, 2014 - 5:26am

Without pain meds having a kidney stone passing I became not only delirious but nasuated so the cold tile floor of the San Antonio V.A. Was the only place I could find any relief on this memorial day. Untill two or more nurses informed me to get up or go to jail as they would call the police. Even thou a kidney doctor, standing a foot away told me it was ok to seek whatever relief the floor held. I'm sure knowing how painfully clear I needed some type of relief.


May 18, 2014 - 1:13pm

Vietnam Navy veteran, filed in 9/2010 for CAD from AO, ship had anchored in DaNang harbor Jan of 1969. Later developed type 2 diabetes in 2008 and filed that in 2011. Also prostate cancer in 2012. All claims denied, said I was boots on the ground in Vietnam hence no presumption of exposure, had DRO hearing April 3 2014 showed DRO BVA rulings stat THAT DANang harbor WAS a inland water way. Also showed where a agent orange spray was conducted within 10 miles of DaNang 12 days prior to our arrival. DRO denied all claims says VA considers DaNang harbor a deep water port.. So on to board of appeals... DRO position was created to reduce the load on BVA put it's not happening... So getting a lawyer and figure another two years waiting.. The solution would be to have the President issue a executive order declaring that any Vietnam Veteran that has any illnesses that or on the agent orange list should receive their rightful disabilities compinsation!

Robert from Pearland

May 16, 2014 - 3:56pm

I filled a claim thru the Order of Purple Heart in Houston on August 26, 2013. They acknowledge receipt of the claim on 18 November 2013. Went on all my appointments on 10 Dec 2013. Was contacted on 13 Jan. 2013 by QTC for a copy of my sleep study, sent to them on the 14th. Check on the status monthly, until April, when I sent an email to VA, simply asking if and when they planned on taking any action my claim. The next Monday, QTC called me for another appointment. Went to the same facility I went to 6 months early for something that was claimed on the initial. VA did even send my medical records over, nor was there a mileage check waiting for me (still have seen it). I really don't understand how the VA can be so jacked up and make a process so difficult. My claim was for 16 conditions all of which I provided medical documentation with diagnosis, MRI's, medical records, and x-rays and almost 9 months later it appears I am no closer to getting resolution on my claim then I was when I initial went to my first round of appointments. I absolutely believe the VA cooks the book on the waiting, which would explain why it took them nearly three months to receive the claim. I hate the fact the General Shenski is getting so much heat for the VA scandal, but someone should be held accountable for the woeful experience the VA provides. I, look a lot of VETs dislike the VA for three reasons. The first is the most obvious, it takes too long to get anything done with the VA. Two, wasting my time. The VA set an appointment for VOCREHAB for me, on the phone I fully disclosed my educational credentials and the fact I was currently working in a field that I have my degree in. Told them I was looking at making a career change. How about I go down there listen to a brief, take a really stupid test, and patiently wait. When called by the counselor, she immediately tells I'm not qualified based on my educational and employment status and my VOCREHAB claim is based on Sleep Apnea. I asked the lady, how can that be? I have received a rating from the VA. She replied the VA takes the disability with the potential of the highest rating and basis that as the disability to be used for VOCREHAB. Pretty dam ignorant if you ask me. I asked the lady, why did you call me down her if you knew I was working, had a degree, and my retraining was going to based on Sleep Apnea? I suspect the VA is also uses this as basis to justify that position, this gives the ability to claim the counseled x amount of VETs. And lastly, the VA makes absolutely no sense. I called them asking if I could be reimbursed for medical supplies and prescriptions or have them filled at the VA. They responded yes and had me fill out a form and send it in. Like clock work, 6 weeks later I received a "personal" handbook detailing my health care benefits. Its personal not because its cater to you disabilities but because the take the time to print your name in the booklet. I received a call from the VA 2 weeks later asking me to come in for an initial appointment. When I ask for what? They said in order to receive prescriptions and medical supplies I need to have a VA doctor evaluate me and he or she has to order it. Now that, in my opinion is DUMB. Why would you further strain a system by wasting a valuable appointment time to evaluate a patient who already has a diagnosis from another physician? DUMB. Sadly, the VA system will not get any better. The employees of the system are uninspired and stuck in mediocrity

Aeryn L

May 8, 2014 - 7:43pm

Discharged in 08 with 2 bulging disks, received 10% in 2009, been appealing ever since.

chuck lytle

March 7, 2014 - 9:07pm

the whole va system is crooked-they steal from vets-they dont have competent doctors with any experience-for them it is easier to say we cant do anything more for you. if you go to emergency room with serios case they tell you this has to be treated as walk in not thru emergency. i hate all of the sobs there-arogant sobs and bitches also


June 5, 2013 - 6:32pm

I have 9 (nine) of the 12 (twelve) GULF WAR PRESUMPTIVE CONDITIONS and this is verified by my VA medical records, yet the VA Regional Office in Houston, Texas sat on my claim for four years, and is now sitting on my appeal. I think they should all be fired and new employees trained to do the job these walking monkeys refuse to do but collect a fat paycheck and federal benefits.

Walt Lambert

April 19, 2014 - 9:40pm

You need to appeal to a Federal Circuit Judge from DC. They go to all Veterans centers and conduct on sight hearings. All these DRO (Division Rating Officers) are a joke and basically have their hands tied to make a real judgement based on perponderance of evidence. I appealed 50% rating in front of a Judge and received a 100%. Good luck.


May 28, 2013 - 10:29am

I have been working on a VA claim now for over 4 years on PTSD when I was shot and stabbed while on active duty prior to getting out and going TR. The VA primary care recommended to see a in residence social worker which does not have the right credentials for an appropriate diagnosis. So the VA denied me again. I’ve been seeing professionals on my own dime and when possible, through my personal insurance.


May 16, 2013 - 7:19pm

Filed for increase in PTSD and had Compensation exam May 3, 2012. No word to date. Everything is pending, pending, pending. How long????????


November 3, 2014 - 9:05am

I have been waiting since Dec 2011. JUST had my medical evaluation on Oct 22 2014. Still I do not have a rating.

Walter Lambert

April 19, 2014 - 9:43pm

I appealed at a circuit judge hearing in April 2013 I received a 100% rating in April of 2014. The hell with division rating officers. Appeal to the Fereral Circuit Court. The have real power and are veteran friendly.


November 18, 2013 - 10:19pm

I have been waiting 10 months now since my exam so I hope you are doing better


May 16, 2013 - 3:43pm

I retired from Fort Bragg on 29 January 2013 through the new IDES system that was designed to speed up the process. However, based on the E-benefits the military has you sign up for, VA will keep it in review from 30 January 2013 through with an end date of 10 August 2013. Once VA gets completed will lead into another war that all Reserve and National Guard soldiers will face. Based on DFAS website to qualify for CRDP, states the following: Eligibility You must be eligible for retired pay to qualify for CRDP. If you were placed on a disability retirement, but would be eligible for military retired pay in the absence of the disability, you may be entitled to receive CRDP. Under these rules, you may be entitled to CRDP if… •you are a regular retiree with a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater. •you are a reserve retiree with 20 qualifying years of service, who has a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater and who has reached retirement age. (In most cases the retirement age for reservists is 60, but certain reserve retirees may be eligible before they turn 60. If you are a member of the Ready Reserve, your retirement age can be reduced below age 60 by three months for each 90 days of active service you have performed during a fiscal year.) This was designed after the United States Congress on January 28, 2008 passed Public Law 110-181 Section 647 otherwise known as the National Defense Act of 2008 dealing with reduction of retirement age for each 90 days of active duty would deduct 3 months off the age 60 retirement age rule. Later clarified by H.R. 6523 Sections 633 and 635 signed by the United States Congress on January 5, 2010. The Department of Defense sent DoD I 1215.07 on January 24, 2013 to all secretaries of each branch of service indicating the reduced retirement age. In turn the Secretary of the Army had already created Army Regulations 600-8-7 Section 8-9 on the reduced retirement age. However, inspite of all these documents and Congressional Laws, soldiers who meet the eligible criteria stated on DFAS website are being turned down CRDP until age 60 and refuse to comply with the laws. When you quote what is written word by word in each, they will claim it is above their paygrade, ignore anything that talks about the reduction of age and force those to wait until age 60. So basically Guard and Reserves are paying for their own VA disability out of their retirement checks. Numerous Congressional Complaints have been filed and still being filed, but no action.

Doug SSBN 618

May 9, 2013 - 5:44pm

In Nov 2011, I filed my claim for hearing loss, tinnitus, and thyroid disease {due to Ionizing Radiation treatments} given while attending Submarine School in April 1963 at New London CN. After 14 months of hearing NOTHING {Jan 2013} from the VA, I wrote a letter DEMANDING an status update on my claim. They hastily scheduled a C&P hearing exam. and within the next 3 months, I was awarded 10% for tinnitus, 0% for service connected hearing loss, and denied any service connected thyroid disease. Today, May 09, 2013, I filed an appeal and submitted a substantial amount of data and proof of my service connected disease. Thousands of Submarine Veterans were treated with nasopharyngeal radiation while in submarine school. I didn't even know that I had been treated with radiation for 47 years. The doctors didn't tell me what they were doing or of any possible health effects in later years. I accidently, stumbled upon an article while searching the internet regarding military radiation. This procedure was discontinued in the late 1960's because it was considered potentially DANGEROUS. The procedure consisted of inserting two Radium Tipped rods into the nasal cavity for 10 to 12 minutes {3 treatments} to relieve aerotitus media {ears blocked from pressure- from escape tower. procedure} Today, I suffer the multiple consequences of thyroid disfunction. But, even more worrisome, I have a great risk of developing Thyroid, Brain, & Throat Cancer.


May 9, 2013 - 3:43pm

I submitted my claim to Winston-Salem R.O. 9/18/12. I expressed mail my information each time so I can have a signature and date it was received. I sent medical documentation showing the injury occured while on active duty and that it has become worse since my medical discharge. The VA hospital in Alexandria, LA reviewed my medical file (2007 MRI) and MRI performed by my civilian doctor. I was diagnosed with DDD for my lower back (two disc bad, a third going bad) and arthritis on my spine. I faxed the medical results from the hospital to the R.O. 11/29/12, rcvd on 11/30/12. The R.O. has sat on my claim for 231 days. According to eBenefits, my claim is due to be completed 5/25/13. The R.O. sent an e-mail to my congressman stating they need another 90 days to review my claim, which is still in the developmental stage. The R.O. has the information to make a decision now, especially since the VA hospital provided the diagnosis. It makes no sense for my claim to be there this long when I have provided medical evidence to support the increase and received an exam from the VA diagnosing the condition. The R.O. keeps sending letters about being backlogged, working with a new system, etc. The R.O. can never provided specific information regarding the status of my claim. I believe my claim is sitting in either a queue or someone's desk inbox collecting dust. It's horrible the VA pushes the claims back of veteran to work other claims deemed more important. I am for all of my fellow veterans to receive compensation, but the VA should work on the claims the order received and keep their word on the processing time.


May 4, 2013 - 7:26pm

The people who recruited me told me that after you get out if you want healthcare all you had to do was request it! I guess I should have gotten it in writing signed by the president before I raised my hand to take the oath.


May 3, 2013 - 12:38pm

Submitted my paperwork 18 Nov 2011 for agent orange-Okinawa 69, Vietnam 71 & Korea 86, prostate cancer, black blotches all over body dermatologist have no idea what it is after several major tests, had blood clot in lungs [placed on daily doses of warfarin; with data from civilian and military doctors ONLY to receive NOTHING from any of the above. Submitted another claim for COPD as I was examined and approved and on CPAP machine to sleep at night-went for their scheduled appointment 25 Feb 12 ONLY to find out that date from a clerk- my records are "contracted out"!!! I asked to who?, they do not know; when will I be contacted? I do not know and where are my records? I do not know! The great state of TEXAS treating veterans like.... To date [3May13] NO response from VA....I'm just another statistic to talk about.


May 3, 2013 - 7:24am

I served 3 years in the Michigan Army National Guard 1955-1958 followed by 8 years active duty in the U.S. Air Force 1958-1965. During my 8 years in the Air Force, I was PCS at bases in a number of states and served 18 months at Kadena AFB, Okinawa 1961-1962 during which time I was TDY to Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam not long after the C-123s of Operation Ranch Hand began spraying tactical herbicides, commonly known as Agent Orange. I was also exposed to the chemical TCE throughout my 8 years of active duty because in my job as an electronic avionics technician, I used it to clean electronic components and at times, used it to clean hydraulic fluid, grease or JP4 fuel off my hands. I also discovered last year that four of the Air Force bases where I was stationed were declared by the EPA to be Superfund Cleanup Sites due to ground contaminated with chemicals such as TCE, PCB, Benzene, etc. I had been in good health for prior to 2005 when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and not much later was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia. I was successfully treated for prostate cancer in August 2005, but suffered a major DVT in January 2006 and was hospitalized for 3 days and have been taking warfarind (Coumadin) ever since with the exception of two months in 2007 when my primary doctor took me off the warfarin, but I had another DVT and am now probably going to be taking blood thinners the rest of my life despite having been a marathon runner up until the iime I had the major DVT. I did not file a VA comp claim until August 2009 after reading that the VA was going to make hairy cell leukemia one of the three new Agent Orange Presumptive diseases. I filed a claim with the Detroit VARO, but because they were backlogged with claims, they farmed out the development to the Togus VARO in Augusta, Maine which did a thorough job, but it still took 18 months until I received a denial notice in February 2011. However, I did receive a 10% rating in April 2011 for my advanced cervical osteoarthritis only because I had copies of Air Force medical records related to an aircraft accident which injured my neck and required medical treatment over a long period of time. I probably would have received a 100% rating for the hairy cell leukemia had the VA been able to find proof of my TDY to Tan Son Nhut in 1962 which was a classified TDY on verbal orders because our RF-101 Voodoo aircraft TDY to Tan Son Nhut were flying photo recon missions over Laos in violation of the Geneva Accord establishing Laos as a neutral country. I had emails from a couple of other veterans who also had TDYs to Tan Son Nhut about the same time which were classifed with no travel orders. I filed an NOD in Sept. 2011 on my Feb. 2011 denial. When I read last year about the water contamination at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina, I began doing research and found that many of the Air Force bases where I was stationed were also found by the EPA to have ground contaminated with a number of toxic chemicals, including TCE which I used on a regular basis over 8 years and which in known to cause both prostate cancer and leukemia, my hairy cell leukemia still active duty requiring checkups every six months by my oncologist. I also have residual impairments from the prostate cancer treatment of August 2005. After learning of the dangers of TCE, I asked the Detroit VARO to change my appeal from a request for BVA hearing to a request for a DRO review based on the new and substantial evidence I sent them regarding my exposure to TCE over 8 years. Because I'm a life member of the DAV, I did appoint the Detroit DAV National Service office as my representative for my appeal. I did not have an appointed rep for my initial claim because I thought I could handle it on my own having retired from the Social Security Administration after many years and having been a legal assistant to SSA administrative law judges for four years after I had already retired. However, I found that VA claims are in many ways, far more complicated than SSA disability claims so decided I had better have the DAV represent me in my appeal. It has now been 20 months since I filed the request for a DRO review and I suspect it could be another 12-24 months before I get a DRO review and decision. The average initial SSA disablity claim takes 90-120 days to get a decision and a hearing decision on an SSA appeal is now taking in most cases less than 365 days. SSA has had a totally electronic disability claims system for many years and virtually all claims are in electronic format. SSA began converting its paper claims process to electronic back in 1988 so I'm not sure why the VA could not have done the same. VA medical centers have medical records in digital format, but the VA has only recently begun to oonvert its claims process to digital and it could be years until all VA claims are digitsl rather than paper. In the meantime, the floors of VA offices around the country are sagging with the weight of paper claims. I had two C&P exams in 2010 at the Battle Creek, Michigan VA medical center at which time I saw my comp folder which was at least 12 inches thick and probably weighed 10 pounds which is not exaggeration. Both my primary doctor, a board certified internist and my oncologist believe my prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia could have been caused by my prolonged exposure to TCE over 8 years of active duty. My hairy cell leukemia diagnosed through a bone marrow test in 2007 does not yet require chemotherapy, but my oncologist says it's just a matter of time. My claim has now been pending 45 months so I hope I live long enough to see a final resolution even if my appeal is a affirmation of the denial. I am grateful that I can still walk following a hip replacement in September 2010. The leukemia has caused anemia and my CBC blood counts are all out of normal range and I am no longer the long distance runner I was for 25 years. I cannot believe that being diagnosed with prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia was a fluke. I believe both were associated with exposure to either Agent Orange or TCE or both. I was stationed at Dover AFB, Langley AFB, Elmendorf AFB and Shaw AFB, all of which became EPA Superfund Cleanup Sites. I suspect Agent Orange was also sprayed during the 18 months I was stationed at Okinawa 1961-1963, In fact, in January 1998, the BVA awarded comp to a former U.S. Marine who was stationed on Okinawa the same time I was there and who was determined by the BVA to have been spraying Agent Orange over the Marine Corp's northern training area. It was probably actually Agent Purple at that time, but the VA uses the term Agent Orange for all tactical herbicides regardless of color. That former Marine's BVA decision was January 1998, but as we all know, the VA does not have to accept a BVA decision as a precedent and both the VA and DOD continue to deny that Agent Orange was ever sprayed on Okinawa despite the fact that Okinawa was known to have underground bunkers full of toxic chemicals, including nerve gas, chemicals which were finally moved to Johnston Atoll after a 1969 nerve gas leak which hospitalized 20 members of the miltary stationed on Okinawa. The nerve gas and other chemicals were moved from Okinawa to Johnston Island Island in 1971, move that took 55 days because of the volume of chemicals being moved under Operation Red Hat. That's a matter of record regardless of what the VA or DOD says. Had it not been for reading the news about former Marines at Camp Lejeune being harmed by exposure to TCE, I probably would never have begun doing research on my own exposure to TCE. I now have to make it a point to live another 2 years or longer to see a favorable decision on the appeal of my VA comp claim which has been active since August 2009.

Jan Hoffman

October 8, 2013 - 5:06pm

My husband is trying to prove boots on the ground now from his trips from Okinawa to Da Nang during 1963-1964. We received his personnel file from St. Louis and no record of the flights to Da Nang. Likely a C-130. Can you advise us?

Chris Dery

July 25, 2014 - 11:22am

This is very difficult and I was working a case similar to this. Back then the flight manifest record keeping was horrible. I had to track down fellow Soldiers in his unit through the internet and luckily I stumbled across a Soldier who had a manifest with his name on it. That was the proof we needed to submit to the V.A. for his agent orange claim. Good luck I hope it works out for you, Chris


May 3, 2013 - 12:37am

I made a mistake for filed for a BVA hearing and afterwards a newspaper reporter wanted to speak to me. We started to talk and then security stopped us and we continued our conversation outside in the rain. I had direct deposit and had been getting it regularly for two months but 12 days later did not get my direct deposit. The VA gave me the account number they put it into but had to put a tracer on it. Seems that I will not get paid for them miss sending it wrongly until they recover the money. I have been waiting to get 100% with unemployability for about 6 months and got 90% and back payment since July 2010. I have since went to outside doctors since I have outside insurance and the VA was dragging their feet for any treatments. Seems the de-generation in my neck which is mostly likely related to exposure to Agent Orange and the VA will not accept that fact. My neck condition is arthritis, de-generative joint disease, bulging disc at C7, stenosis through out neck vertebrae and flattening at C-7. This is more extreme than the VA claimed and have arthritis in my lower back and having an MRI ran outside the VA to see if there is more. I have not gotten prosthetics for traction devices thru the Spine Clinic referral for them so bought my own outside the VA. Write to your congressman and get investigations going and put pressure on the VA for without it nothing will be done.


May 2, 2013 - 4:16pm

I waited for over six (8) years until my claim was approved. Although I had the actual reports from the Naval Air Mishap office, service records regarding the HELODET crash - I kept getting denied. I even had statements from both VA doctors and civilian doctors (records from my treatment at Pearl were somehow misplaced) all stating that my disabilities were/are "...directly related to injuries received while on Active Duty when PT was involved in a helicopter crash..." - I was still denied. I gathered ALL communication, appeals, denials, evidence etc., and sent it to my then representative in Washington - Representative Jim Ryun. I heard from him directly within a matter of DAYS!. He assured me that he was going to handle it and he did. I was next contacted by by an intern from Mr. Ryun's office. He explained that all had been resolved and that I shoulkd be receiving notification from the VA. I received my award letter, a retroactive check (106,457.00) a rating of 100% Service Connected, Total & Permanent. It is absolutely amazing to me that the VA would deny, deny, deny when all factual accounts were sent along with medical statements from VA doctors stating the obvious. When the Navy sent reports stating what I had in my claim - it still took actions of a member of the House to get the job done. That retro check would have had to never been paid had the bufoons at the VA actually read what VA doctors were telling them and what the Department of the Navy was telling them. I explained all what I went through to my doctor at the VA and she said they (VA) were probably waiting for me to die.


May 2, 2013 - 3:52pm

I feel like a piker as many of these claims have been going on for years. In my case, I submitted (through the American Legion Post Service Rep) in May of 2012. Having not heard anything I called them in March of this year and was told that they couldn't find my claim so we resubmitted again. I told the Rep that I would probably be dead before they ever get around to looking at it and he said that might be a possibility.


May 2, 2013 - 2:26pm

They remind me of the Cheech and Chong skit. It's me man, I have medical records of my wounds and injurys.Two years later------DAVE'S NOT HERE.


May 2, 2013 - 2:12pm

I returned from Afghanistan in 2007 and filed for SSN and VA disability. Social Security gave me 100% based on my military medical records and the VA gave me 10% a year later. I appealed and the Houston VA Regional Office claimed for 3 years they did not have my Notice of Disagreement and closed my claim. The Congressman's office got involved and made them acknowledge they had it in their files and it was filed timely. Game over. So then, they just begin my appeal and here it is over six years later and still waiting on my appeal to be certified and sent to the Board of Veteran Appeals. The Michael Debakey Medical Center, Houston, TX uses Physician Assistants instead of real doctors to do Compensation Exams and they not only screw up everything you say, they just out and out lie on the exam results. One had me smoking and depressed (which is FALSE) and moving joints that are clearly fused on X-ray. I walk with a cane and they put on paper I did NOT. Its ridiculous. They deny that they have documents and records you send or give them and just lie on your medical records. I have to bring a witness with me every time I go to the VA.


April 26, 2013 - 9:29pm

I was diagnosed with PTSD in March 2011. I immediately filed my claim. I had been having problems with my sinuses since I returned from Desert Storm. I had also had numbness in my back, pain in my right arm and shoulder, and varying weakness at times in my leg muscles. My VSO also suggested that I apply for Gulf War Syndrome (undiagnosed illness). I had to retire from my job as a Police Officer in August 2011. I had several test done and went to a C&P exam for my PTSD. I asked for my file after I was notified that I was 30% disabled. My file read as though I was perfectly fine, but the statements made by the examiner read almost verbatem the requirements for 50%. I filed an appeal. Finally I was granted a hearing in November 2012. The Hearing Officer was very understanding and listened intently to me and my wife as we explained all the problems I had been having. I provided him with statements from other psychologists as well as my therapy records. Finally in December 2012 I was granted 70% disability and enemployability. My claim took almost 2 years to finalize. During that time I almost went bankrupt, since I had to take a medical retirement from my job. I was very displeased with the entire process. I had to make several calls to my American Legion Rep. just to find out if my claim was still being processed. I had Congressional, Senatorial, and Presidential enquiries filed, to no avail. The initial examiners seemed to not really care about my claim. I was treated as if I was just another file in the stack. My Hearing Officer finally understood and got things happening. The delay was between the time I filed and my hearing. In my opinion there needs to be more of a one on one session from the start. It was obvious to me, my therapist, my doctor, and the hearing officer that I had been underrated from the beginning. I think there should be more people to help process the claims faster and to be able to take the time to seriously evaluate the claim.


April 26, 2013 - 10:36am

I just received a co-pay statement from the VA adding prescriptions previously covered. When I contacted the VA they said my new Dr. did not check the correct box. I have not even met the Dr. yet. I asked how long it would take to straighten this out and she said 3 months to a year. These meds were for Agent Orange disabilities.


April 25, 2013 - 10:15pm

The list of delays, missing files, incompetence, and arrogance goes on and on. There is more than enough evidence to find the VA either unable or unwilling to abide by the rules and regulations dealing with disabled veterans claims. Time for Congress (yeah, big laugh) to get involved. You know Congress, the guys and gals ready, willing, and able to send someone else off to fight our wars but unable or unwilling to take action to care for those disabled from those same wars.


April 25, 2013 - 7:24pm

I first filed a claim in 2009. My TBI occurred in 1964 but I was unaware of my ability to file a claim (when I was discharged in 1968, no mention was made of my injury, the subsequent surgery and hospitalization). In 2007 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and cognitive disorder. The VA has not approved my claim for Parkinson's yet. I filed a claim for multiple items (depression, hearing, headaches etc) in June of 2011. In November of 2012, I met with Comp & Pen to discuss the depression. I was told my claim would be settled by the end of the year (2012). The end date for my claim resolution has since varied from May 2013 to September 2014. It currently stands at July 2013, but I am sure that will change as well. One of the problems I am facing is that my VSO can not see my eBenefit remarks. Since it was 45 years from the time the TBI occurred and I sought compensation, I would think they would not try to jerk my chain so much.


April 25, 2013 - 12:23am

I applied for and received partial Service & Non-Service Connected physical disability in 1992 or 1993 after being examined at Fort Miley VAMC San Francisco. Back then it only took about 6 months from the time of the exam to the time I received my 40% rating; making the time from filing the claim to being rated about 4 months. Following an incident in 2000, 32 years after coming home from Vietnam, I decided it was time to return to the VA. Once I had been in processed for counseling by a local VA PTSD psychologist, I visited our local American Legion post to see the Veteran’s Service Officer. We chatted for about 30 minutes while I told him what was happening and asked his advice about proceeding. He provided, and assisted me in filling out, the initial application for Service Connected disability. Once I signed the form he informed me that the date of receipt of the form would begin my “new” claim but beyond that a lot would depend upon the medical reports being submitted by my doctor/therapist, on time and correctly filled out. Six months later, the Veteran’s Service Officer called to tell me it was time to return and fill out some more forms and to write a “Stressor Statement” to be attached to my claim. He also asked me to bring whatever documentation I had that would help to verify my stressor statement; things like the names and ranks of people that witnessed the actions that might be able to verify my statement, or records indicting my presence in action (beyond my DD 214). I surprised him when I arrived for our appointment. When I was discharged from the Army in 1970 I given the option of paying $35.00 (I think) for a notarized copy of my entire 201 File, my personnel records. At the time most of the guys being discharged weren’t interested in their files or giving the Army $35.00; I was the odd duck. This turned out to be the best money I ever spent because, as I was later told, most vets didn’t have their personnel records because the building where the record were stored burnt to the ground and all the paper records stored there were lost. My having purchased mine upon discharge saved me the need to provide the names of long dead comrades to vouch for me. I continued to see my PTSD doc and wrote my stressor statement. Things were financially going downhill fast and I sold just about everything of value I had accumulated over the years to stay afloat. About a year later I was awarded my Service Connected rating followed by one more form and another 3 – 4 months wait before I was awarded 100% Service Connected disability rating. It was another month or two before my check for back pay arrived. The entire process took about 18 months from the filing of the request for Service Connected Disability rating. The Veteran Service Officer said, “Without your personnel file this could have taken much longer.” Thank you American Legion. Robert Ireland (PUFL)

Sherried Watson

April 13, 2013 - 11:14am

I've been waiting over 4 years just to get a response from the VA as to my claim. I'm a veteran of Viet-Nam and Thailand in 1967 and 68. Have had many health problems due to exposure to chemicals but all they want to do is hope for us old Vets to die. What a useless bunch of bureaucrats!


April 11, 2013 - 9:25pm

I am writing for my husband who has been a Legion member for many years, at least 40. We started 2 1/2 yrs ago to increase his disability. He now has dementia and is in the Mmory Unit of a Nursing Home. His expenses are $1,000 more than our monthly income less household expenses. If his disability was even 10% more he could be in the VA Nursing home 5 minutes from our home, instead of being almost half an hour away. He saw a Neurologist in January this year, but still no news. I am having to sell our house to keep him where he is.


April 10, 2013 - 10:20am

we started trying to get my husbands claim through in November of 2002 and have not succeeded yet because we were Special Forces in Korea in the 1960's and someone at DOD does not want our records to surface even to the VA. This is a terrible problem for Korea vets who did Anything in Korea special forces or not and to date none of the national veterans organizations have taken it up as a cause. Missing records dates back to 1962 Korea it is not just Afghanistan 2013


April 9, 2013 - 6:29pm

I began in March,1994 with claims for hepatitis, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda-PCT (Agent Orange) and an increase (compensable) for tinnitus. VA denied all 3 in November. They said I didn't have hep. in service and I was never in Vietnam. The tinnitus was denied because I never heard about the C&P exam.I filed my NOD with evidence of hep. in service and TDY orders showing duty in RVN(1970) in December 1994 and got a SOC in January 1995. The SOC said "Roger on the new evidence. We'll get back to you. Don't forget the tinnitus exam in February." I attended the C&P for tinnitus and never heard another word. In 2007, I got very ill and filed again. They paid the tinnitus back to 1994 and deferred the others. In 2008, sixteen months later, they granted the hepatitis for 100%. Five months later they granted the PCT. They refused to go back to the 1994 date. Six years after filing, on March 3, 2013 the VA said they may have made an error and asked for a Joint remand from the CAVC to the BVA to "correct" what appears to be an ambiguity in the BVA decision. Almost nineteen years to now. With a remand to BVA, and a remand to the VARO, I would say it will be 2014 before I get a 0% rating from the RO from 1994 to 2008 when they granted the 100%+40%+10%. I doubt I hold the world record though.My doctor said to hurry up because I only have about 5 years left on my shelf life sticker. I'm at Stage 4 cirrhosis and they refused me a liver transplant.


April 9, 2013 - 5:53pm

Back in 2008, it took one year from start to completion. I then had to challenge the VA doctor who examined me because he refused/didn't submit 3 tests that proved my disabilities. When I added more evidence it took another year from begining to being rated so with my current disability rate it took 2 years. After 2 new surgeries to correct a service related problem, I submitted a new claim. I was told from the Atlanta Regional office it will be 4 to 6 months before they send me a notification that they received my new claim which I sent certified..

Specialist Goodell

April 9, 2013 - 1:37pm

Exposed and sick from all kinds of toxicity at Ft. McClellan, Ala. 1978. Still waiting. Every month I get a generated letter from the VA telling me they are still "working on it". Last update on my claim was July 2011.

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