Facebook Friday: VA Closes Veteran’s Claim Without Notification

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Veteran Disability Facebook Friday

Yesterday, a veteran posted a comment about the VA losing his appeal documents and not sending him a Form 9 for his appeal. He relied on the DAV to keep track of his claim, but after some time, he learned the DAV had not done so.

He was supposedly able to salvage his claim later. Read the comments to see what happened.

Every Friday, I pick my favorite Facebook conversation. This week, I picked one from a great group I just joined called Gulf War Veterans. It has over 3,000. My goal with publishing the convo here is to lend some insight from the group to those veterans without Facebook or who are outside the group.

https://on.fb.me/WOeGyx

 

Brian writes:

2+ yrs “FLUSHED”
Seriously Disgusted !!!!!!!
I just found out that my claim for an increase is CLOSED. The reason was, failed to file VA form9. They claim that the sent it to me w/ SOC and that I had 60 to send the form in w/ any additional info. I told them that I never received anything after the decision, in which I filed a NOD w/ DAV and they told me that it would take approx 12-18 mo to hear anything. Well within 10mo it was FLUSHED & CLOSED. Then was informed that I could file again. I’m so thankful that this wasn’t done in person and they’re 90 miles away. Please excuse me, needed to vent. I feel like I’m going to explode… going for a walk.

Krista T.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I understand your frustration. I have a claim in with the VA and it’s been there for 2 years. If they deny my claim due to me not filling out the correct form, I would be mad too!

Airborne

Brian, I understand and sympathize as I have been there too. I left the Army with 0% service connected, and in 1996 started the long and frustrating path of claims, denials, awards, then secondary aflictions, and on and on. 2007 I finally got all I should have recieved in the beginning and have stopped the action. It took 11 years and more patience, time and money than I’d ever would have supposed before. My point is this:
-Never get mad, sullen and quit because that’s what they want and expect. Take this on the chin as a temporary set back, get better letters, forms and information and work with your service rep and get your award next time.

Airborne

If you remember nothing else, remember this: Your county, VFW, or DAV service rep can get more done, faster, with better results than any of us can. They eliminate errors and wrong forms, forgotten SSNs and expired applications. They know precedents and current trends we can even guess. And it’s a free service!

Benjamin Krause

Be sure to keep on them Brian. While the vet orgs do a good job, no one will care more about your claim than you. Remember to keep up on your own files and be sure you understand everything that is going on.

Tanya B.

See if your service officer has the time stamped copy of the NOD that was filed, if so, that will open the claim back up with no time lost. When did they close your claim?

Peter H.

Rule number 1 when dealing with the VA: make copies of EVERYTHING that you and your VSO send in. Then you can go back and retrieve the documents. I have 5 boxes of VA forms, medical records, military records, physician notes, etc. Good luck Brian…we’ve all been there.

 

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4 Comments

  1. When the VA communicates with a war vet, they often use a DATA DUMP to hide important info or documents. That is probably what happened to the form 9. They Probably DID send it to the veteran, but it was hidden in a data dump, so that he could not find it. VSO’s are hardly ever dependable, they work hand in hand with the VA, and they play golf with the VA guys on their cushy weekends off. Whose side is a VSO going to be on, an anonymous. sick veteran who is desperate and without good communication skills or his GOLFING BUDDY?.

  2. To add insult to injury, I **JUST** viewed the following on a FOX National News Affiliate Local program tonight and before I copy the short article, THE VA HAS BEEN USING ***UNENCRYPTED SOFTWARE TO TRANSMIT OUR MEDICAL AND PERSONNEL FILES*** and thus far, the VA admits over 500,000 Vets are affected, with Veteran’s popping-up all over having their financial info hacked and even some having their accounts hacked and emptied of funds!!!!!!!!!!! This is seriously reckless behavior and here you go:
    Report: VA Used Unencrypted Network To Send Health Data

    The Department of Veterans Affairs has transmitted unencrypted health data among certain VA medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics, according to a report released Wednesday by the VA Office of Inspector General, FierceGovernmentIT reports (Slabodkin, FierceGovernmentIT, 3/7).

    About the Report

    For the report, the VA OIG examined how medical information is shared between VA health facilities in 10 Midwestern states (Flatten, Washington Examiner, 3/7).

    The report was prompted by allegations made in May 2012 that the facilities were transmitting sensitive data using the unencrypted South Dakota Network, which is a local telecommunications carrier network (Tuutti, Federal Computer Week, 3/7).

    Report Findings

    The report found that VA transmitted unencrypted data — including electronic health record information, birth dates and Social Security numbers — for thousands of veterans over the Internet-accessible network.

    The VA OIG said that the data were vulnerable to hackers because the network used to transmit them also provides telecommunications services to other customers (Washington Examiner, 3/7).

    The report stated, “Without controls to encrypt the sensitive VA data transmitted, veterans’ information may be vulnerable to interception and misuse by malicious users as it traverses unencrypted telecommunications carrier networks.” It added, “Further, malicious users could obtain VA router information to identify and disrupt mission-critical systems.”

    Recommendations

    The VA OIG recommended that VA’s CIO:
    ■Identify VA networks that are transmitting sensitive data over unencrypted carrier networks;
    ■Implement configuration controls to ensure encryption of such data; and
    ■Require personnel to complete training focused on the importance of encrypting sensitive data shared over the Internet (FierceGovernmentIT, 3/7).

    VA Response

    Roger Baker — VA’s assistant secretary for information and technology — disagreed that VA was transmitting unsecure data over the Internet.

    He said companies with VA telecommunications contracts isolate the agency’s network from other customers.

    Baker added that the agency already has implemented the VA OIG’s recommendations to encrypt private data and train personnel about the importance of encryption (Washington Examiner, 3/7).

    Read more: https://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2013/3/8/report-va-used-unencrypted-network-to-send-health-data.aspx#ixzz2N0l1nH6C

  3. I have had some run-ins with disabled vets advocates through the years & it dawned on me that they have their offices along side the VA personnel you have to see for medical problems. They BBQ & have beers together watching week-end football, their kids go to school with yours, holiday dinners are shared, & all such neighborly family shared events is normal & good, except when they have to be on opposite sides when going to bat for your life’s rights. They should have offices in a remote location & possibly in other cities to disallow your rights from being compromised. I had first visit listened to, & then most of my second visits to my advocates office had them coming down on me sounding like a broken record to where my complaint was directed to, completely as they completely took side of VA personnel, against my complaints. Favorite ‘cop out’ “we have all kinds of vets to worry about, not just you”.

    • I have wondered about this same thing. Since they all have VA.gov email addresses, I can’t imagine that their communications with the veteran are in any way confidential. It would not surprise me if they were combing through emails.

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