If you have filed a claim... How did you file your claims?
Did you use a Service Officer through the VFW, MOPH, etc. or did you file directly with the VA online, mail, or what?
Did you file while still on active duty or did you wait until you got out?
What was your experience?
Filed my claim with a Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Representative. I highly recommend that you use a Veteran representative, and obtain an E-Benefits account before departing Active Duty. As frustrating as this website can be, it does provide something for you to follow your claim.
I filed a "Benefits Delivery at Discharge" (BDD) claim, and am now thinking this was a huge mistake. I sent in my complete package in April of 2011, with a Retirement effective date of 1 September. BDD claims are only handled at certain offices, so mine ended up in Salt Lake City, UT. After speaking with my new DAV rep, it appears that I would have been better off waiting and filing after I retired. That way, my claim would have stayed in Alaska and I wouldn't have to go through nearly as much hassle. BDD is a joke. Even after receiving my claim and completing the C&P physicals in June of 2011 - they didn't decide my claim until the following May (and they deferred part of my claim for further exams). My pay was screwed up on the first Compensation payment (VA didn't pay me as much as they were supposed to, and DFAS deducted an extra $260 - because that is what the VA told them to do). Here it is almost a year later, and the VA hasn't reimbursed me yet. My claim is still not finalized, and I have 2 new C&P exams scheduled in the next 4 weeks. My "Benefits Delivery at Discharge" claim will probably finalize 2+ years after my discharge date. Get ready to test your patience and start looking into hobbies...
Here are a couple of links for you:
VBN is a site where you can find an enormous amount of information pertaining to VA claims, and the frustrations Veterans are having when dealing with the VA.
Hope this helps.
My opinion is that veteran service officers, just like attorneys or anyone else, can be very good or very bad at what they do. I believe claimants should know enough about their claims to know whether their VSO is going to help them or hurt them. I believe claimants need to approach disability claims like a career make-or-break personnel action or getting your taxes done at VITA on base. Be an active partner in your case rather than a passive recipient of assistance. Have an educated idea (from the black and white references, not emotion) what the outcome should be and why. If you don't get a warm fuzzy that the VSO is as least as schooled as you are on the issues, you might be better served elsewhere or by doing it yourself.
I filed through my county VSO, and selected the DAV to be my representative. Since I was retiring and staying put I applied six months before retirement. In South Dakota the process is smooth, quick and the VA is good. I got my tentative rating while still on AD (terminal leave) and my disability pay the first month after retirement.
Claim everything, list every surgery you had. Be specific and detailed with your compensation & pension (C&P) examiner on what limitations (if any) you have based upon what you are claiming. Request any medical records from private docs as well (the VA has the forms). Some states are better than others, so be prepared. Remember that even a C&P rating of 0% is good (it is a service connected disability), so if things get worse later you could get it upgraded.
Hope all goes well for you!
"Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"
I filed myself onlineabout 3 years after I got out. I wish I could have filed before I got out, but I got stuck with having to do a change of command ceremony, and my platoon sgt. was a dick. But I filed back in October and I am currently still waiting. I am not expecting anything high, just want to be assessed sooner than later.
I had a VSO do my initial claim 4 months before I retired. I was already pretty knowledgeable beforehand but just decided to let the VSO handle it.
I should have done it myself because the VA awarded me for other ailments that the VSO left out. So I went through my records again and found another diagnosis left out and submitted it and I just received 2 1/2 years of back pay for it and it bumped me up to 90%.
When my spouse separated from the service over 10 years ago they were never informed about going to the VA for disability. 6 years later I requested the service/med records from St. Louis and did the claim myself. My spouse is now at 80%.
I've heard veterans complaining about how bad the VA is screwing them about their claims/percentages, but if you have the medical records to document everything there's really no reason to be upset with the decision. Everything has been smooth with the claims I've dealt with. It did take long (years) but the back pay was pretty nice.
The best revenge is living well and life is great!
Rainmaker didn't file. but, word on the skreet, is that If a muhfugga really wanna get P.A.I.D. then HE need to use lotsa breevieations on his claim. The Biggest one to have is a CPAP. it PAY a automatic 50% and the latest is MST. No one really know what it mean. but, its BIG. Tell them it affects your famblee life too. NomSayin'?
Last edited by Rainmaker; 05-16-2013 at 02:52 PM.
I filled after I got out. When I retired in 2003 you did not get both your VA Disability and retirement check so I was in no hurry to file. When I originally got my rating back from the Roanoke VA Regional Office my rating was 60 percent they turned me down for everything except for Sleep Apnea, Acid reflux with Hiatal Hernia and tinnitus s .I fought them and won. I am now rated at 90 percent and let me tell you the VA math is unlike any math you have ever known. I give you an example I am rated at 50 + 50 + 30 + 10+10+10 = 90 in VA math The DAV is good for doing you initial claim after that you are on your own. Always remember nobody care about your claim as much as you due. If you get lowballed in your claim or denied you have one year to appeal its simple to do a VA NOD which stands for Notice of Disagreement. The best website I have found out there to help you is a website called Hadit.com It is totally free site run but VETS for VETS. IF anybody needs help with a sample of a NOD send me a note and I will help you out. Just Like the AF we need to take care of each other.
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