I filed my VA Disability Claim back in Sept of 2009. I let my county Veterens Affair office handle the whole thing as they suggested. Spent most of a year battling with the only regional VA office in SC, only to get it kicked out twice. The local office thought they were being rediculous in their denial, over a very slime grey area technical issue, so they appealed it to Washington. That was in July of 2010, I have heard nothing from the VA in the entire 2 years. about
a year or so ago, when I was trying to get my SSD approved, I invoked my U.S. Lindsey Graham to get involved. Ended up not needing his help on the SSD, as my attorney got that settled big time. He looked into my appeal with the VA, and sadly said that it was in a massive pile (in the 10's of thousands) awaiting decisions, and that even with his power, there was nothing he could do move it up.
Today, I had enough. Went back to the county office. So the woman gets right on the phone, knew who to call, and within 5 minutes got an update. Yes, the person she was talking to found my claim immediately, and no, no action had been taken. Why? Because they do them in date order, they were still working on claims from 2008, and were hoping to start claims on 2009 by the first of August. I was floored and angry, as I am now almost 3 years into this.
I told the woman at the local, that its just like a lot of us vets say, the VA is hoping we will die before they have to make a ruling, then they get out of having to pay. She said there was more truth to that then she wanted to admit.
So she tells the person on the phone my current condition, with the PC, the chronic pain, my favorable SSD ruling. So she said to get my doctor to write up a statement about my condition and prognosis, and a copy of the final SSD ruling (which was very dam-n-ing to SS in how they mishandled my case). She said with that information, they would see if they could shift my case into a special hardship category, and if so, could get an answer in 6 months or less. She said generally, they approve 80-85% of the cases in appeal.
So I will get my oncologist to draft a letter next week at my appointment, and see what happens. She said they were so far behind at the VA in Washington, that they farm out a lot of cases to various American Legion offices to use their volunteers to glean through the pending cases and do a lot of the grunt work.
She said that most people give up and simply don't appeal, which works in favor of the VA. So typical of the system, they sure didn't mind having me in the Navy when I was 18 during Viet-Nam. Now that I am ill and need their help, they are making sure it might not ever happen. She did say, that many of us Navy Viet-Nam vets get screwed, because of how the Navy operated during that time, and its on a very minor techicality, that my claim hadnt been long approved.
So we will see what happens, as long as I am alive, I don't intend to give up on this. I do give high credit to my local county VA group, its ran entirely by women vets, and from the start, they seem to care.