Disabled Veterans Sample FOIA Letter

Here are two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) letters.

The first one I borrowed from a law firm for disabled veterans requesting copies of their disability claim folder (which will contain your Service Medical Records (SMR’s)). The second is for disabled veterans requesting a copy of their Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) claim folder. These are two separate folders!

The request for the regular SMR will need to go through the regular channels of the VA.  The quickest way to the the Voc Rehab folder is to hand carry the request into the Voc Rehab office. Mix and match whatever language suits you best. If the first one seems too “teethy”, then alter the second to request your SMR’s.

________

 

First FOIA Example

July 18, 2008

Privacy Act Department

Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office

575 N. Pennsylvania St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Re: Mr. Smith’s Claims Folder FOIA Request

css-xxx-xx-xxxx

Dear Staff:

I hereby request a copy of all documents contained in Mr. Smith claims folder, including, but not limited to, all documents in the right flap, left flap, and center flap, and the reverse side of any documents with writing on both sides.

Please note that this request for documents is being made pursuant to the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552a, as well as 38 C.F.R.§1.550 and 38 C.F.R.  § 1.577.  Your agency has a duty  to respond to this  request within TWENTY (20) DAYS of the date of this request pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(6)(A)(2)(i).

Additionally, although an extension of time to respond may be requested, it may only be granted for “unusual circumstances.” “Predictable agency workload” is not typically considered an unusual circumstance as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(C)(ii).   Moreover, even to the extent that unusual circumstances could be demonstrated in this instance, the time limit for the extension is limited to “10 working days” pursuant to 38 C.F.R.§ 1.553(d).

Please also be aware that your agency’s failure to respond to this request within twenty (20) days may result in the filing of an administrative appeal with the office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to 38 C.F.R.§ 1.557 and 5 U.S.C. §552(a)(6)(A)(2)(ii), and potentially, the filing of a federal lawsuit to compel the production of the information.

This may subject your agency to contempt of court and a fine, including attorney fees and litigation expenses in compelling the production of this information pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 552a(g)(l) of the Privacy Act, and 38 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B) of FOIA. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

BIG NAME LAW FIRM (OR YOU)

_______________________________________________

Second FOIA Example

 

Name
(Insert Address)
(Claim Number)

(Date)

(Counselor Name)
Department of Veterans Affairs
(Address of Vocational Rehabilitation Office)

Re: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request

Dear (Insert Counselor Name):

I am writing to request a copy of my Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment file through FOIA. Please furnish a copy of my file to the above mailing address.

My file can be found under: (Claim Number)

I further request a full waiver of fees associated with this request. The information I am requesting is material to my claim for benefits from the VA.

If you deny this request, please cite the reason you feel justified for the denial, and provide me with information I will need to make an appeal.

Please contact me with any questions about this appeal via phone or email at (insert phone number and email address).

Sincerely,

(Signature)
(Typed Name)

Voc Rehab Survival Guide Benjamin Krause is the creator of the DisabledVeterans.org community, author of the Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans, and numerous other guides. 

Benjamin is an award winning investigative reporter, Veterans Law attorney, and a disabled veteran of the US Air Force, where he served in its Special Operations Command. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, Benjamin began his decade long fight for benefits after being lowballed with a 10% rating in 2002. During that fight, he received degrees from Northwestern University and  the University of Minnesota Law School while using VA Vocational Rehabilitation.

You can connect with Benjamin on  Google+,  Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.

Comments

  1. says

    OK, my disability claim with SS is not service related, but I have issues with them about injections during that time, mkultra etc. Have a daughter conceived during my service with what seems birth defects but not debilitating. Cant find anywhere to go to research the questions I have, talk talk about these issues, some acknowledgement basically by the CIA, but no answers. My VA health benefits since 2002 involves an extreme amount of strong pharms and constant monitoring…..weaned off in 2011, struggle with the lasting side effects from the crap……Lab Rat? You have any ideas of how I can reap benefits from this? Also interested in a lawyer to discuss malpractice, pain and suffering etc…….Thanks for being here for us, truly thank you.

  2. James Edward Vernon jr. says

    i have been using rep4vets as my agent to represent me in my claims. so far, 1 denial working on appeal for “upgrade to 100%”. can they be listed as a LAW FIRM ? or should I send the letter signed by me ?

  3. says

    i have been told that i have been given the most i can get out of my injuries that i am aloud i am 40% service connected for a loss of a rib a broken collarbone and they have a claim for hearing loss

  4. Lee Vining says

    Yes would be rounded up to 80…most likely. One handy tool I found was google “va disabilty calculator”. There are two of them out there.

  5. says

    Dear Joseph: I’m sorry to hear of your situation. I am a V.N. vet. I am now 69 year old and am so happy to have my medicare and a supplement. I find that it is so worth getting these two things in place asap as well as a plan D program. You will spend so much less and things happen so much faster. I can’t afford Vet. meds. with my Plan D I pay $18.00 a month for the plan and $1.25/rx. I also have my own private doctor. I wish you the best and thanks for giving so much for us. A fellow Vet, Sarah

  6. kel says

    what if you are rate at 50% and you receive an additional 50% according to what you are stating it does not = 100%. What would your new rating be

    • says

      I think you new rating is going to be 75% rounded up to 80%?? The VA has a chart/scale they use for this. Many of the people who work at VA don’t even know anything about this chart/scale. You can try and request it from your VA regional office and don’t take “I don’t know about this paper” for an answer from the VA. Good luck!

  7. Joseph says

    Greetings all! My name is Joseph, and I just retired from the Air Force in Feb 2012. I had hoped that the VA would not treat me as poorly as they have these past few months, but I get the sense that I’ve been kicked to the curb. I’ve completed all of my medical appointments, and I’ve provided all requested documents. To-date, I have not received my VA medical ID card, nor have I received a copy of my claim-form; the request submitted in writing was delivered more than four weeks ago; thus far, nothing. I’m attending school under the Post-911 GI bill, and thus far, I’ve achieved a 4.0 GPA in Information Technology of Applied Science. My injuries are serious, and yet the VA offers me no help or assistance in cost-care. Due to over-population of my local base, I am no longer permitted to use the base medical facilities, and have thus be forced into selecting a civilian Primary Care Manager; this gets expensive I might add. I suffered from colon cancer back in 2003, and ended up having a permanent colostomy installed; they removed my entire rectum and surrounding tissue. According to the VA disability ratings chart, I’m to be awarded 100% percent disability for this injury alone. The injury was identified while deployed to Turkey in support of the initial stages of the war in Iraq, and thus is deemed a service connected injury. I have other injuries, such as a complete ankle fusion of the lower right extremity. The other injuries I’ve yet to claim as I did not want to bog-down the VA claims process with too many injuries; I now realize this mistake.

    As stated, I’m attending school using the Post 911 GI bill, and while they’ve paid for my schooling, I’ve yet to receive a housing allowance. My classes are on-line, and according to the latest regulations governing on-line classes, members attending on-line classes are to receive at least 50% percent of E-5 housing pay; thus far, nothing. I’ve contacted the ever-difficult eBenefits hotline, and was told to fax my DDForm 214; this was done, and to day (almost two months), no payments have been received.

    The VA has me running in circles! I’ve yet to have my “Prime” eBenefits account established. I’ve requested the DS Login information but after three months of waiting, still nothing. I went to the local VA DAV office, and had my Basic account upgraded to Prime. But when I got home, my password failed. I called their tech support, and the guy deleted my account and told me to start over. I’ve done that, and now I’m unable to obtain a “Prime” account because they claim that my identity could not be verified, EVEN when logging in with my DFAS user-id and password.

    Colostomy equipment is expensive, and I cannot afford the c0-payments every time I visit my civilian PCM. The co-payment for each appointment ranges from $32 – $60 dollars, and this does not include the co-payment for the colostomy equipment at about $32 dollars. Thus, as you can see, it’s getting quite expensive for me to buy colostomy care equipment. I could get this from the VA Hospital, but they have failed to send me my VA ID card, and thus I cannot use the service.

    I’m almost out of money, and I’m stuck! I do have a job, but it’s a “TEMP” job, with the hopes of being hired; thus far, no luck. Having been forced to retire from the Air Force, as a TSgt, my retirement pay covers my mortgage and utility; all other expenses are paid with my TEMP pay-check, which only equates to about $1,700 monthly. As you can see, I have enough to survive, but life is getting much tougher.

    Any help would greatly be appreciated. I’ve tried calling the VA but I keep getting their “high-volume” message, and when I schedule a call-back, it’s always weeks out.

    Please help if anyone has information.

    Joseph

    • vgakgnsd says

      Seems like your not trying hard enough. Airforce is supposed to be smart, Im a Grunt Marine and get my full benefits from Disability, school, you just gotta stay on it, do the right research and hopefully talk to the right person who can help you. The BAH is probably something you are doing wrong and need to figure out. Go to a VA and go to the emergency room until they give you an appointment with a main physician. you are a freakin retired vet who had CANCER??? get on it man you seem smart just go to the VA, but maybe you are in a shity area im in SD area, they know what the fuck they are doing down here i guesse. looks like ill be screwed when i go to GA

    • says

      Joseph,
      I hope you have received some assistance since vgakgnsd replied to you. As you the VA’s system is very slow, especially since we pulled out of Iraq with the deserving vets filing their claims. It appears that the educational part of VA is also clogged.

      I suggest finding a recommended Veteran Service Officer (VSO) to assist you with your VA’s issues. Remember there are some good VA’s medical personnel and private medical personnel and there are some ones that are not as good. I try to select the best of each.

      God Bless You!

  8. Tony says

    I am a retired after 2o year with bad knees. I have had three surgeries in 4 years. I have been told that both need to be replaced. Keep fighting for what you earned! I have had nothing but problems with the VA. Thank all of you for your service.

  9. richard connor says

    I started my claim about about two years ago. I did the paper work myself ,after seven months of waiting I was giving 10% for tinnitus and 30% for ptsd. after four months i went back to the va for a increase . I went in for my hearing and without any problems, I was giving 20% more for my ptsd. Then about five months later I went to a six week stay at a ptsd clinic in leeds ma. after my stay there I went back to the va again. after six months I was giving a ptsd rating of 70% and 30% for unemployability a total of 100%. so what I;m saying stay on top of them and don”t give

  10. george o stadler says

    WOW 56 YEARS OF BAMBOOZLE
    AT AGE 19 I GOT DISABLED IN ARMY THEY DECIDED NOT TO PAY
    FIRST MEDICAL BOARD FOUND ME DISABLED NOT FIT FOR MILITARY
    SERVICE
    ARMY HID THAT
    GOT ANOTHER MEDICAL BOARD LOST THAT CASE HID THAT ALSO
    SENT ME HERE FROM GERMANY NO RECORDS AT ALL
    THEY THEN GOT THE NAVY TO DO A MEDICAL BOARD NAVY SAID NOT FIT FOR FURTHER MILITARY SERVICE THEY HID THAT ALSO
    FOR 56 YEARS THE BIG BAMBOOZLE IS ON ME

  11. george o stadler says

    HERE IS SOME HOPE FOR US PERHAPS

    I JUST NOW CONTACTED BERGMANN & MOORE LAW FIRM 877 8382889

    THEY SAID TO SEND A CERTIFIED LETTER TO THE VA SERVICE CENTER MANAGER AND REQUEST AJUDICATION OF MY CASE 56 YEARS IS A LONG TIME THEN IF UNSATISFIED CALL THEM

    OUR CASES ARE NOT UNUSUAL AT ALL

  12. george o stadler says

    I have been 56 years getting jacked by VA/Army they “lost” all my recorfds while I was still hospitalized in 1956, filed claim after claim all these years no records got nothing I HAD BEEN DECLARED TOTALLY AND PERMANENTLY DISABLED AND UNFIT FOR MILITARY SERVICE 3 DIFFERENT TIMES BY 3 DIFFERENT MILITARY MEDICAL BOARDS

    IN JANUARY 2008 I MET GARY C DOUGLAS OF AMVETS THIS GREAT
    PERSON SAID “I WILL FIND THOSE RECORDS” IT TOOK HIM OVER 3 YEARS AND HE DID WE FILED YET ANOTHER CLAIM

    THE GOVERNMENT HAD LIED THEY USUALLY DO

    GARY FOUND OUT THEY OWE ME 55 PLUS YEARS OF BACK PAY

    WILL THEY PAY / DO THE RIGHT THING ?? OF COURSE NOT THEY HAVE NOT YET WHY START NOW ???

    10 MONTHS AGO GARY C DOUGLAS VANISHED ONCE AGAIN I DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE REPRESENTATION

    AM 75 NOW VA SEZ IT MIGHT TAKE 10 MORE YEARS TO RESOLVE THIS CASE WOW

    THIS GOVERNMENT CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHY NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND BELIEVES THEM

  13. george o stadler says

    if i could find something good to say about the va it could be said in 2 words or less
    56 years “no records” bah humbug

    I now have some records was declared totally permanently disabled by 3 different military medical boards did no good all these long miserable years

    Turns out they went “shopping” for medical boards could not kill my case that way so they hid the records all these years very sad

  14. Lana says

    Go to your county Veterans commission, they supplement your income for at least 6 months, soldiers and sailors pension apply forthis too.

  15. Lana says

    Go to Social Security and file for SSDI….bring in your entire medical to them. Go in person, ours went fast within 6 months we got it. Joint program according to their web site. You couldn’t have believed how shocked we were when we finally got something. Get into the D.A.V. immediately!!!!!!! I wish we could all buy back tax property and set up homes for ourselves for the last few years of our lives.

  16. John Chambers says

    Johnny, I was in S.Korea from June 66 to Oct. 67 and with the 38 Brigade I was at your C Battery over looking the Yellow Sea many times I worked on the generators for that site and your right it was a hell hole, and not much of a village outside the wire either. I remember A Bat. B Bat. C Bat. D Bat. and C may have been worst of them, I also remember over looking the Yellow Sea and seeing Red China on a clear day, I spent many a night and day at C Bat.
    I did not know we where in the 2nd Korean War Johnny ( thank you for the infor. ) I know when I got to Korea I hit the the ground running, I knew we lost some people but not 90 KIA & 140 wounded I did not know that.
    The fox holes and the winter and the rain in the summer and the friends I made on patrol and driving to the Battery’s I do remember.
    Take care, Johnny
    John

  17. george o stadler says

    96% of veterans polled, do not believe the VA 4% are no brainers

    I LOST MY MIRACLE PERSON GARY C DOUGLAS HAS VANISHED

    NO HELP FOR ME ONCE AGAIN HIS “REPLACEMENT” IS BUSY KEEPING THE CHAIR WARM

    MY FRIENDS THINK HE HAS BEEN SACRIFICED TO THE VA DENIAL GODS

  18. Hugh Lytle says

    I am like all the others that deal with the WACO, TX Regional Office and all their blah blah blah crap. Yes, I have all the reports where they have improved their C&P rating process to 120 days…LOL then ask me why mine is still there since January of 2011 for a re-evaluation.

    then I was hospitalized in for 8 weeks in June to August and filed all my paperwork for it and hand delivered to them for the compensation of being hospitalized. Its October and its still in Development phase and get this one, they lump it into my January 2011 re-evaluation and telling me there isn’t anything they can do to fix. I have contacted my DAV and well other than an employee getting terminated I still have no progress, I have gone to the VET center and they have also looked into and no still progress and I have even spoken to a VSO and only told the VA takes their time doing things and I must wait. While I am waiting I have deplenished our savings, and now selling everything we own to be able to keep a roof over a head. We can’t get anyone from the homeless or prevention of homeless in the VA to call us back either.

    That is Texas for you I agree with all the others here on this page. Regardless of what the reports say. We end up with our families at our side living on the streets for taking care of everyone freedoms that sit at those desks and probably didn’t even see a day of war in their lives and don’t care what happens to us or our families.

    My spouse has applied for the Family caretaker program and was told over the phone that she was denied “because I don’t talk about what she does for me” that was done at the clinical stage. Although, she has gone to my appointments and my psych doctor and she keeps my journal and she does everything for me and our family. but, the psych doc denied her because I don’t talk about it”. She applied for an appeal since I was hospitlaized but still no word from them. Yes, this is the same place Waco, TX.

    If I had the funds I would move to another state that may serve their veterans better. I was also denied SSI because I haven’t received my rating from the VA and they say since I worked before I can work now. That is what diminished my capacity in the first place. I am now in the process of filing the appeal for that.

    I have been denied Voc Rehab because when I went I was told that I had a job, although it was part-time, and then a couple of days later I received a letter saying I didn’t show up for the appointment. My wife and I both were there, sat through the videos, spoke to a counselor and was denied even the reimbursement for mileage. Unless you go through transition with the military now when you are getting out, you are just a piece of paper of files on someone’s desk who doesn’t care that you too have children that need clothes, shoes, food, and shelter, and utilities to get by. But, to them, its a paycheck and they can chit chat and eat chips, drink sodas, and have fun at their desk talking on the phones.

    While we wait in despair is totally wrong! Way to go Waco, TX

    What does one do in these types of situations.

  19. says

    To Ricky James
    They damn sure did use A.O. in S. Korea starting Feb 68, right after I left Dec 13th 67. Their is a site regarding it’s use in S. Korea, just keep googling it Ok. I cannot remember where I found it as I thought they used it around Charlie Battery 6th MSN BN, 44th ADA Regiment 38th Brigade ADA. So, I looked and looked. The HAWK or NIKE Hercules site you were on might have been sprayed if that close to DMZ as it was used on DMZ. The places used are listed. The DMZ for sure. You were in what as is known as the 2nd Korean War, starting Nov 2- 66, ending Dec. 69 with 90 KIA &140 wounded. We 22J20’s (6) spent every other night a team of 3, alone while on guard duty in a big foxhole 20 ft from sites fence with only 4 clips, no grenades or bayonets and 1800 yds from Yellow Sea due Charlie Battery went to Defcon 2 Apr 67. Pure hell, 50 plus below zero, 2 on 4 off.
    ` Good Luck. Be glad you weren’t in the infamous C battery, the most isolated Hawk site in Korea. 6 hrs to camp Humprey’s or K-6, one way. Johnny Johnston

  20. joe says

    i was drafted in 1968 and i had a permanent profile all through my two years beginning in the six week in boot camp until a month before i was to be discharged. they sent me to a doctor and he said i was fine and revoked my profile. so now I’m disable with a pension but not service related. i can’t get my social security because all these year i was disable and could not work……. joey d

  21. says

    I was 3 separate times, by 3 separate medical boards, declared 100% permanently disabled in 1956, not fit for military service, then my records were “LOST”, for 55 years, AMVETS GARY C DOUGLAS, has found them, sez the VA must pay me for over 55 years of back pay, now the case is in appeal at VA Regional in Los Angeles, I called them and they said it might take over 10 more years to resolve, must be true, they stall and deny until you die, I am 75 and going down now… bah humbug

  22. Kelley says

    I contacted my VR&E counselor to get a copt of my file. She sent in the request. After she sent in the request I contacted the ROI(release of information) person directly and asked her if she had received my request and how long would it take to get a copy. She was able to have the copy completed within a few days. When I went to see my VR&E counselor, she started to tell me how she had spoken with her supervisor and due to privacy reasons they could not release my file. I told her not to worry, I had already contacted the ROI and she would be picking up my file that day. Hope this helps

  23. Jay says

    Hello Gary. Contact Alpha at this number if you can’t get any assistance. I am positive they will be able to assist you greatly. 877.611.7724. Good Luck!

  24. Edward Dominguez says

    I have also been denied numerous of time and frustrated with the regional office. Today just like in other day or evening sleepness carry a big toll on my mind and body. i decided years ago to come out of the woods and speak to someone VA (big mistake) since then limited to no help. All they want is for your or their records to come in once a year for blood work. I need more help than what I have been given (pills). Disgusted in Texas.

    Edward Dominguez
    USMC/Sgt./74 -78

  25. Ron says

    To Jim Vo Ruedgisch: If you are at 80%, you can file for unemployability. See your Service Organization’s Service Officer to file the claim. If you don’t belong to a Service Organization please join one. Most SO’s help all Vets whether you belong or not though.

  26. Ron Pawuk, VFW Post Service Officer says

    You can use your Service Organization’s, (VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League and etc.), Service Officer to assist you with completing your claims or increase request . There are a large number of SO’s that the VA recognizes. Each Post should have a SO. The State Dept’s of most SO’s have offices in the Federal Buildings where VA’s offices are located. They will handle your claim all the way to Washington if it goes that far to a hearing. You don’t have to hire a lawyer, who will take a big chunk of your award, to assist you. All veterans need to join a Service Organization, if you don’t belong to a Service Organization. The more members there are, gives us more clout in DC.

  27. Ken says

    Jim Von Ruedgisch,

    The VA computation for service disability is not based on adding up all the disability percentages. If you have 50% and 20% you would think it was 70%. It is based on the whole person concept, if you’re 50% from one then you are 50% not disabled. The 20% is based off of the 50% not disabled so 20% of 50 = 10. In this case a 50% rating plus 20% actually = a 60% rating. If another 10 percent is rated then it would be based off of being 40 percent whole and that 10% actually equals 4% which would = 64% but since the VA rounds in this case it is still 60%. Hope this helps.

  28. Ssgt Richard Erens USMC ret says

    If you live close enough to a VA Regional Office you can go everyday, if you like, to speak with an adjudicator and present your reasons either in writing or verbal to get a disability increase. I did just that and went from 30% to 100% SC, P&T within five years. Now that is a fact. Good-luck.

  29. says

    To;
    Alan January 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM
    Is there an honest law firm who represents disabled veterans with claims?

    Yes there is. I have found a Great lawfirm that represents us!

    Bergmann & Moore [ (877) 838-2889 ] *Please call them – do not use the online ‘Contact us’ section on the web site.

    I have a friend that used them with great success. I am in the process of retaining them myself and they said they ‘Look Forward to Representing Me and Anticipate a Great Success of My Claim!’

    I have spent several hours on the phone with them getting answers to all my questions and what steps to take next!
    Good Luck ! Robert (Army)

  30. Ricky James says

    I had prostate cancer and radical surgery in ’99. Served in South Korea in ’69/70, found out Agent orange was used supposedly at some bases along DMZ. I was at a Missil unit about 20 miles south. surgeon spoke off record and said was probably Orange. I could not document contact, I filed claims but was denied three times. even had a senator and congressman working on claim but not any help. Now have lost 85% of my hearing, and have to wear hearing aids. Is there any way to process a claim with any hope of winning any benefits?

  31. Jim Von Ruedgisch says

    I am having a very hard time trying to figure out how the percentage works. I have over from different ratings 150% but only receive compensation for 80% it is a mistery to me. But I guess in most cases VA regional offices do just about everything they can get by with. I can tell you one thing if you don’t need to use Waco, Texas don’t, I have never known of them to do anything in the vetrans favor. Thanks for the information on this website i enjoyed it.
    Thanks!

    • John says

      do a google search “VADisabilityCalculator.xls” it’s a spreadsheet someone created to calculate the disability ratings, you just type in the percentage and what it’s for, and it calculates it for you. it also explains the math a little

      Resulting Percentage Disability Multipliers Disability Category
      60 0.6 Leg
      80 0.5 Ankle
      88 0.4 Knee
      91.6 0.3 Shoulder
      93.28 0.2 Wrist

      • John says

        for example, if you have ratings of 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, and 20%, the 60% is the initial starting point, then they take 50% of the 40% that you have remaining and subtract it from the 40% that is not disabled, then another 40% disability would be taken from the remaining 20% 100%-60%=.4, 50% of the 40% =20%, so 40%-20%= 20%, then take that 20% add it to the initial 60% to get 80%, another disability of 40% would be 20*.4=8% to make a total of 88% . then another rating of 30% would be out of the remaining 12% non-disabled part 12*.3= 3.6% added to the 88% for a total of 91.6% (which would be rounded down to 90% total disability) any further rating would continue from the remaining 100-91.6= 8.4% and so on …..

        Sorry if I seemed a little confusing, and i hoped it helped.
        John

  32. Jamie says

    Advise on filing a new SC disability claim, asking for an increase in rating of a current SC disability claim or adding a new issue (disability) to your current SC claim. SEEK A VETERAN SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE (VSR) for FREE representation and assistance and appoint a veteran service organization (i.e. The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, etc.) as your power of attorney (POA) for VA purposes only. A VSR is accredited and trained to know the VA processing system. A VSR can be contacted through a VA Regional Office or a State or County Veterans Commission.

  33. Manny Herrera says

    I was recently denied a claim for prostate cancer from the VA. I was stationed at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand in the USAF. Because of evidence contained in a declassified document called “The Checo Report” that was declassified, certain Air Force base perimeters were sprayed with Agent Orange, including my base. This was done in order to deny infiltrators to hide in the brush. I worked on the flight line during 68-69 about less than half mile from the perimeter. The VA claims that I did not work directly on or near the perimeter of the base. What I would like to know is how far from the perimeter is near the perimeter? What is their parameters? In Vietnam everyone was presumed to be exposed to agent orange, but in Thailand I would have to have been a perimeter security police, or worked near it. It doesn’t matter if I had red dust on my jungle fatigues everyday. Does the contaminated soil stay glued to the ground or does it spread through wind, aircraft, monsoon rain? My family has no history of cancer, prostate or any other. I intend to fight this ruling until they see the error of their decision.

    • says

      CONTACT LARRY WESTIN AT westin@tdstelme.net,- 207.278.5502. HE WILL TELL YOU HOW HE GOT THE MAPS OF KORAT RTAFB SHOWING SHOWING DRIFT AREAS. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO APPLY WHAT HE LEARNED TO YOUR NAKHON PHANOM IN THAILAND. HOW CLOSE WERE THE HOOTCHES TO THE PERIMETER?

  34. Jack Robbins says

    Thanks for the info. I recently was given 40% disability for prostate cancer(Vietnam). I lost about 35% of my hearing in the service. They agreed that it was service related but said it wasn’t compensable. I no longer go out to social functions because all I can do is stand there and nod at people because I can’t hear a word they’re saying.

    Prior to the prostate cancer I had pancreatic cancer that they caught early. They removed about 40% of my pancreas and my spleen. They say the pancreatic cancer is not agent orange related but no one in my family has ever been diagnosed. Both of my brothers are also vets but only I was in Vietnam. They are both older than I (I’m 60) and in perfect health. I’ve had skin cancer twice and am in the early stages of type 2 diabetes. And to top it off there’s a good chance I have leukemia. I have to have my blood retested as my last test showed a high white blood count and atypical lymphocytes. I’m also in constant pain from large kidney cysts, one of which has been drained twice (so far). Also guaranteed not agent orange related.

    I guess I’ll try appealing the hearing loss ruling. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.

    Jack Robbins.

  35. GL CW2 Aviator VN 67 says

    I was lucky and volunteered for a VA Blood Flow study for vets with Type 2 diabeties
    I had a folder about 2 inches thick to prove my medical problems from RVN
    I then had Prostate Cancer and got 100% for that period of time until determined “cured”
    Then they tried to knock me down to 40%, had to go back and fight them for other problems incurred because of the Prostate Cancer, still have urinary problems etc. I did get it back to 70%.
    YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU DESERVE. Each state is different in how they handle your case and any appeals. Get help from the American Legion, you need a representative to help fight for you.

  36. Joseph M. Savala says

    I receive 30 % disability compensation and have been receiving it since I was discharged
    with a medical retirement in 1965. Over the years I have received cola increase’s but that
    doesn’t help. Now I feel I should be entitled to a larger percent of disability because of
    the Illness that I aquired while I was on active duty and how it has caused me more Illness’s
    over the years.

    Is there anything you might be able to help me with to receive a higher compensation. Any
    help would be greatly appreciated. I look forward hearing from you.

    Thanks,

    Joseph M. Savala

  37. says

    Thanks for the information. I’ve been sending out information like this to ALL the veterans because we deserve to be given our benefits due. We’ve fought for our country and this is how we’re treated.

    I’ve been posting information on this website (www.newcareernu.com) and this is just the type of info people need to be aware of.

    Thanks again.

    Charles M.
    http://www.newcareernu.com

  38. Mac says

    I have to say, I’ve been fighting for my benefits for 20 years. Each time they give a little, like 10% or 20%. I knew I deserved more, because I was in pain even with the physical therapy that I received. I took a break for about 10 years because I got really frustrated, which was a big mistake. When I started back again 10 years later, I kept at it because I had nothing but time on my hand & God on my side. So, to make a long story short I started my appeals back in 2004 after going through with my local VA Office & since then they have been coming through very slowly. I call 1800 827 1000 a lot. I also signed up at ebenefit.com & send a lot or IRIS inquiry of which I get a response with 72 hours. Don’t give up, just make sure you balance what you get & modify your current living or financial situation until your claim/appeal is completed. I almost lost my house 3 time during the time of my last appeal. But, I have learned to save & been frugal with everything food, finance, friends & children. Everyone wants to be your friend when they think you have money. Best wishes, I will keep you in my prayers.

  39. Michael says

    The best advice I could give every veteran is that it really takes along time to get any disability from the VA. But this is your money and fighting for what is your right as a service to this GREAT COUNTRY. It has taken me 10 years to get some kind of disability from the VA. I made alot of mistake in handleing my own affair with the paperwork that I needed, and their has been times that I just wanted to say why deal with this kind of stuff. Now I’m getting alot older and my body is breaking down, and I’m still hanging in there. There is alot more information that can help you to start or to keep going in trying to get your disability, just hang in there.

  40. says

    Go to VA.gov to the VONAPP Page and apply for a non-service connected pension, if you mention that your homeless, the application will be routed to a Homeless Vet Representative in Milwalkee WS if I remember right. Apply for the pension ($900.00/mo) and then go for the disability claim… Sam Riddle

  41. Gary Tamsett says

    Thanks this is great! I have been fighting the VA since June of 2010 when I lost my career due to knee surgeries. Today I was informed that i need total knee replacement on both knees. This will take several years to complete and recover. The VA will not pay for my time or convalscence pay or UI benefit since the Doctors have written letters of off work status. I receive 243.00 for my wife and I. At 59 yrs of age i’m broke and about to lose my home. I have sent every letter and script necessary but they seem to change the rules. Not sure what to do ? Can’t work no one will hire me because of my knees and connection to the Doctors, I have no income to live on except 243.00 the VA sends my wife is in process of Social Security this will take awhile. I have written many letters to the VA but the response is I done all i can and we are working on your case? By the way Thanks for your service? Joke!!Anyway I’ll try your way and send this letter to them for the request Thanks Gary and Cindy

  42. Robert W. Duquette says

    In 2002, I was granted a service connected disability benefit for Periodontal disease (for treatment only). With this I was able to see the dentist at the VA for treatment. In 2008 when I requested a re-evaluation as a secondary factor to my diabetis, my claim was denied and loss my dental benefit. I file a Notice of Disagreement and in 2010, I received a letter denying my claim, stating that I had rheumatic fever during my childhood which caused my periondontal disease, therefore not service connected. I never had rheumatic fever in my life and with the previous VA findings that awarded me dental benefits I once again disagreed with their results and file a request for copies of my record used to review my claims under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). To date, I have not receive anything from the VA except a letter that my request is still in process and would take some time due to my previous on going claims on file. I’m starting to lose hope here, what should I do?

    Robert

  43. george says

    GET A VETERAN’S LAWYER THAT IS NOVA CERITFIED SINCE YOU HAVE FILED A NOD AND HAD ALREADY RECEIVED A REJECTION NOTICE. USE YOUR SEARCH BROWSER FOR (VETERANS LAWYER).J THIS SHOULD TURN UP SOMEONE IN YOUR AREA. THESE LAWYERS RECEIVE 3 YEARS OF TRAINING BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO REPRESENT CLIENTS. YOUR ELECTED CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATORS OFFICIALS ARE A GREAT SOURCE IN EXPEDITING YOUR CLAIM. THE LAWYERS CAN TAKE IT ALL THE WAY UP TO THE- US COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT, AND EVEN TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. KEEP ALL RECORDS OF DEALINGS WITH VA, AND FILE FOR ALL OF YOUR RECORDS. TWO INTERENET ADDRESS FOR YOU ARE: http://CONGRESS.ORG/CONGRESSORG/DICTORY/CONGDIR.TT,& HTTP:VETERANS.SENATE.GOV – BE SURE TO ASK FOR NAME AND REFERENCE NUMEBER FOR FOR EACH PHONE CALL, YOU CAN EVEN RECORD EACH CONVERSATION.(RADIO SHACK ) HAS EQUIPMENT TO DO THIS. DON’T GO ALONE TO ANY DECIDESION REVIEW BOARD FOR YOUR NOD, TAKE LAWYER, OR CONGRESS MAN. RECORD THE REVIEW OF APPEAL

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