Scores of Veterans Facing Electronic Claims Expiration

posted on

Hundreds of thousands of disability and compensation claims filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ eBenefits portal are incomplete and are beginning to expire. DAV wants to avoid a costly reset in their date of claim submission and help veterans and families obtain the benefits they’ve earned.

Veterans have been starting claims online through eBenefits since early 2013, but those claims expire if they are not completed and submitted within 365 days.

“It is critical that anyone who has started a claim electronically, with or without DAV’s assistance, be sure his or her claim is being processed correctly and in time,” said National Service Director Jim Marszalek. “Nearly 280 National Service Officers nationwide are ready to provide free assistance to veterans who need our help.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ electronic claim submission process gives veterans the ability to start a claim online with limited information to hold a date of claim, while providing 365 days to collect data, treatment records and other related information.

During that one-year period, a veteran may add additional data or upload documents pertinent to the specific claim. At any point during that year, a veteran may click “submit” and a claim will be automatically established within the Veterans Benefits Management System.

After 365 days, according to the VA, any data in an incomplete claim becomes inaccessible and the initiated claim date is removed from the system.

There are many reasons to have DAV assist in the claims process. DAV’s services are always 100 percent free to veterans, their families and survivors. Veterans do not have to be members to utilize this free assistance. DAV has the most highly trained and experienced representatives. Every DAV NSO is a service-connected disabled veteran. Many times claims require hundreds of documents, such as medical records. DAV has the expertise to ensure that the right information is gathered and properly submitted.

“We need veterans to let us know if they have initiated claims on their own or if they have problems obtaining the information necessary to complete a claim,” Marszalek said. “We want to help but we need to be in communication with the claimant. We are here, eager to serve our fellow veterans.”

  • Chris Worley

    So how do we involve the DAV? I have an open claim and the dates for completion has changed three time due to the VA requesting the same information that I have already uploaded through ebenefits. Please help. dandeecowboy@gmail.com

    • FMF Doc Mac

      Contact your local DAV office. Can be found by the link above that says Veterans. DAV is awesome and helped me get my claim. I fought with the VA for 20 years. I contacted DAV and was done in less than a year.

  • Ali

    And how exactly do you expect us to “let you know”? We can never get a hold of anyone at the VA. How do we inform you of our situation?

    • Donna Harper

      Good luck.You be better off getting a attorney the way they are treating my Dad.

      • nlong

        I agree with you Donna. Sameway they treating my husband here.

      • aaron tennison

        For the last 15 years I’ve been trying to get my pension I’m56years old and disabled by a physical and mental conditions through the social security administration and for past 15 years I’ve been unable to work and very hard and stressful to manage a home for my wife And kids and when I signed and put my life on the line for our country I WASN’T TOLD WHEN I’M OLD/OLD AND DISABLED I WOULD BE TOLD TO GO TO WHEN I’M OLD AND DISABLED AND NEED HELP FOR A WAY TO SUPPORT MYSELF I WOULD BE TOLD TO GO TO HELL.
        BEFORE I WAS IN THE CONDITION I’M IN NOW AND I SEE THIS LIE ” HELP A VET – WE TAKE OF OUR VETERAN, IS A BUNCH OF DECEPTION. I HAVE ALL DOCUMENTS STATING THE FACTS OF MY DISABILITY.
        I’M CONFUSED ON THE STATEMENT, That says that I must have SERVED 1 day of service for ME TO get my pension that condition should be removed and it’s no wonder WHY THOUSANDS OF VETS THAT ARE HOMELESS OR HAVE DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROBLEMS AND MY QUESTION IS ARE THERE. ANY OTHER WAY TO APPLY OR GET HELP GETTING MY PENSION STARTED OR HELP WITH A LAWYER? I SERVED MY COUNTRY AND NEED HELP INSTEAD OF LIES.

      • Vernon E Cole

        I am thinking of doing that Donna. No matter what I do I can’t get help from anybody since I filed my appeal through the DAV, which has been very helpful up to now. It seems that even the DAV and Vet Center isn’t able to get into contact with the VA

    • Christopher Chesley

      the only thing you can get from the VA is your appointment 3 months later

      • J. C. Carter

        That is not always the case, but even if it is there are civilian medical appointments taht are scheduled the same way.

        • Vernon E Cole

          That’s true. My brother in law who isn’t a Veteran can’t get an appointment he needs with his private doctor any sooner than 3 months from now.

    • FMF Doc Mac

      This isn’t the VA. This is DAV and they’re soooooo much better. The best in fact with getting claims done, processed and paid. Please stop getting them confused. The VA-horrid. The DAV-OUTSTANDING!

  • Donna Harper

    Y’all not helping my Dad at all at the DAV Houston office.We are very upset and we are about to pull my Dads POA away from y’all.Y’all have treated him like the VA like (beep) and all making all kinds is excuses towards us.We are starting to regret this of letting y’all helping my Dad at.

    • DAV

      Please send me an email with your contact information, Donna, and I will be sure we get a supervisor to contact you right away. My email is jchenelly@dav.org.

  • Darrin

    It looks to be the norm to VA to deny the claim, put it in Appeal status up to a year then assign it to a DRO or let it continue in the normal traditional VA way…”Hurry up and wait”….I have never before seen where it not only takes VA months to respond but sometimes the actions of VA looks like it purposelessly makes it difficult to communicate “Directly” due to the fact it might actually get something done quicker and require work on a claim to be done. You think I’m kidding, before the Special Committee got involved to inquire into backlog’s of submitted claims that the VA showed that most of those cases were actually being worked on, when in fact they were only moved into “Appeal Status” to make it look like it had gone through the process. Tell me this: I was Texas Air National Guard and before it was “required” to go through VA on any Medical Disability, the Guard Bureau at State put me before a Medical Examination Board (MEB) and found 6 things wrong with me and 1 of those was Sleep Apnea which the MEB awarded 30 % but VA says it 50% never-the-less it was clear cut…at that time I had a VSO “Texas Veteran’s Commission” and one of their own Reps said it would only take about 6 months at the latest…..it now been over 3 years….go figure. I am now with DAV, it’s a little better…but the one thing I found out after the fact was that I got a Life time membership under my sponsor and now its with Mr. Meza who has been out on sick leave for over a year, and has not been involved with my case and has definitely not given it the attention it deserved as Mr. McWhorter who was my sponsor and original Rep. Oh, the most important issue is now that Mr. Meza has it now and I was never informed until I called to check the current status and found out it was transferred to Mr. Meza who when asked “had not been familiar with my case nor was there any communication that he was now the Rep. My Appeal is up Aug. 19 2014….I just had to submit a Financial Hardship Official Letter informing both the VA and DAV that I am about to loose my home because of the extra medical evidence I had to submit and Buddy Research to find my supervisor and another buddy that was on Active Duty when I was seen by a Active Duty Doctor….Anyway, its time for this to be settled….its cause me more undue stress and put me in Financial Distress. I pray this will be completed soon. I wished DAV would assign me back to my original case Rep who has been with me over 6 moths now….Unfortunately, Mr. Meza is just not up to date and assisting me like my other Rep was….I just don’t feel comfortable with Mr. Meza assisting me at this late date in the VA Process.

    • thedav

      Hi Darrin,

      Please email us the specifics with your contact and membership information and we will have our service department see if they can have you reassigned if you don’t feel the process is moving along fast enough.

  • Y P Alvarez

    I have been trying to reach the Regional VA, Waco, TX DAV office for quite a while. They do not understand that it is not safe to give an SSN over a cell phone. Nor do they understand, that veterans do not carry every document with them when traveling for medical care to give them a case number. Even e-mailed the manager. If one cannot talk to the DAV or get an e-mail response, what is one to do? Frustrating, as I am Proudly my dad’s caregiver, a WW II veteran and cannot break through the telephonic and electronic maze.

    • thedav

      YP,

      Email us at social@dav.org with the specifics of your case and we will get it to one of our Asst. National Service Directors to followup with you on. We would recommend giving your SSN over the phone as it limits our ability to verify your information and be able to help you get the answers you need. Emailing your SSN is actually less safe if not using SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

  • SGT NRL A 2/32 FA III

    Every time i call there no one there they are always on a conference of some sort and the one person says to call in the morning. And that person knows nothing. If the info is incomplete or missing something it be nice if they would tell us and we can fix the problem and keep our submission date… but they have a better way of not telling anybody any thing and count your claim expired and lose your submission date. I am still waiting and all i get is pending……………………….

  • Ernie Devlin

    Highly recommend getting a Power of Attorney for the DAV, or other organization to help handle your claim with the VA, it saved time and much frustration for me

  • Maria

    My advice. Never ever go to the VA to file a disability claim. Never. It is not an easy process to get disability. Not all DAV service officers are good. I went to the DAV at the VA hospital and the service officer was absolutely horrible. She would not help me and gave sorry ass advice. I made mistakes and it screwed up my claim. I have a friend in another state who is DAV service officer and she helped me find a service officer at the main DAV office. I have PTSD and was having major issues cognitively and emotionally. Once I changed, my new service office really tried hard to straighten things out. He was very kind and helped me out a lot. It paid off after about 3 years.

    • Maria

      If you get approved for disability, what ever percentage you are awarded, you will receive back pay from when you originally filed your claim.

    • Evan Lawson

      The DAV is NOT the VA, not connected, not affiliated in any way.

  • Ronald W. McAtee MSgt, ret.

    Mine has been sitting in the “system” untouched since 2003! When I call and wait like an hour to speak to a human all i get is “Yes we have it, but it’s not a “priority claim” so you will just have to wait! What, until I die? My Congressman can’t even get them to look at it. VA is completely 100% Broken beyond repair.

  • Ronald Brimmer

    I would like to let everyone know that any process takes time. I made the mistake of not using a veterans service organization when I got out in 1978. When I started with DAV in 1983 it still took time with letters not satisfied with VA’a decision and appeals in fact it took 22 years from the date I filed. If you’re not proactive in your case and updating your medical findings with your NSO it could take longer. If you decide to just give up just remember it will make it that much harder for the veterans who come after you.

  • Evan Lawson

    I’ve had great experiences with the DAV, both at Fort Lewis and Audie Murphy VA hospital in San Antonio. Patrick Noonan is my DAV rep and has done a lot for me over the past 3 years, I don’t blame him or DAV for the VA taking 3 years so far on my claim.

  • A. L. Montgomery

    The DAV (or any veteran service origination) is only as good as the person offering their help. I have cared for my husband for over 35 years with a TBI, he is now suffering from dementia and has other issues that limit him. The last conversation I had with an officer he told me I must bring my husband to his office (125 mile drive) to have a meeting with them for them to file an additional claim. When I did take him the officers we not available to see him as they changed their schedule for the day. Not good enough, I have attempted for over a year to get this paperwork going. We have changed to a local service origination and had the claim submitted in a few days. No matter what group you talk about the VA, service origination, local civilian medical care the program ONLY works when PEOPLE are treated as PEOPLE and in return the veterans will treat others with respect and patience. Bottom line keep asking questions until you get someone that is truly listening to what you say and in return listen to what they say as well. It is called communication.

    • thedav

      A.L. We want to apologize for the poor customer service you’ve experienced with our organization. We have the highest standards for training our NSOs, but with any large organization some mistakes or communications errors will happen. That being said we always aim to do the right thing and we want to make this right, if possible. Please feel free to contact us at social@dav.org to explain your experience with us and if there is a way we can restore your trust in our organization.

  • jeannie

    how can we search to see where our claim is? I used to get VA letters telling me there was a delay but haven’t received them in a while.

    • thedav

      Jeannie,

      It is hard to say because the VA is in the process of converting its infrastructure from paper to electronic filing and with the scandal currently going on with hospital administrators and a shake up in leadership this process of finding where your claim is will be tough. What we would suggest is contacting your local NSO and see if there has been any progress or status update with your claim. They contact the VA on your behalf, go through the proper channels and see if they can find the answers you seek.

  • Sherry Hager

    My husband filed his claim in 2010 and his NSO is USELESS! She has done nothing to help us, everything we have gotten, is because we have gone to the VA, hand carried papers, made copies, and made friends with one of the VA officers that helps us by making suggestions on what to do next. When we go to the DAV, the only thing we get from her is a lot of ATTITUDE! She has even raised her voice with him, and that is NOT acceptable to anyone, especially a fellow Veteran! I thought her job was to push things through the system, and make sure they are still moving along and the raters are still looking at the claims. HA! If she was doing that more Veterans would be getting their claims paid, and I would not be posting this. If anyone in power is reading this and they care, the Phoenix office of the DAV is what I am talking about, and the NSO I am talking about is Judy Orosco. Now, you can’t say you don’t have the information to take care of this.

    • thedav

      Sherry,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We take all feedback like this very seriously. If you could email us more specifics (eg – Your husband’s name and other pertinent claim information), if possible to social@dav.org we will make sure to get it to one of our Assistant National Service Officers. We want to apologize for the poor service you have experienced from a fellow veteran. We will do everything we can to make it right.

      • Sherry Hager

        Just like I thought, you guys are useless too. Everybody talks, nobody helps! The DAV is just like the VA no body cares enough to even get back with 1 answer!

  • nlong

    I’m thinking of pulling my husband’s p.o.a from the dav. Your branch in temple and fort hood did nothing to help or give good advice. The lady that help with my husband’s claim was an older lady who volunteered her time to help veterans. She did not belong to any organization. What upsets me, why did the dav lobbied to stop the lawyers from representing veterans. Veterans should be given a choice. I’m happy the law changed in 2007.

    • DAV

      I am sorry you’ve had a negative experience with a service officer. We have some 280 professional National Service Officers across the United States helping more than 300,000 veterans and family members each year. You can find the one closest to you at https://www.dav.org/veterans/find-your-local-office/. DAV stands firm on the belief that veterans and their families should not have to pay to obtain benefits that have already been earned through immense, lasting sacrifices.

      • nlong

        Ty for your response. I did look it up and it states temple and fort hood office. The same office my husband been going to.acke live in the lampasas area.

  • Cole

    I really don’t understand what takes VA over a year to decide on some appeal claims, My husband was diagnose with PSTD and was rated at 30% because the physician forgot to check the box that he have panic attacks more than once a week. He have one to two attacks per day. It’s in his medical record in black and white at the VA Hospital that he take Buspirone and Hydroxyzine. I even sent a statement of support form to DAV. Stating that a retired VA Appeals Rep told me that Hampton Va. Physician had made an error on my husband claim. How easy is it for the appeals board to request his medical records and medications list to verify that he take panic attack medication. It would take all of less than 24 hours

  • Jim Trent

    I had an open VA claim that expires in 2 month. I went to finish it and it keeps saying open claim information not available at this time. It has been saying that for a week. I tried to finish it a week ago and the site went down. I tried calling the phone number on the website and the wait is always 20+ minutes.One time I tried to wait it out and after 45 minutes I hung up.

    • Cole

      If you can’t get to talk to anyone to help you submit the claim, mail in your paper work, so that your 365 days don’t expire. If your 365 days expire, you won’t be able to submit. Make sure to get a return receipt saying that someone signed for your paperwork that you mailed to your local claim region. Hope this helps, Brother

  • Victor R

    It’s been over three months and the VA says DAV has not submitted a claim. I have a stamped and dated letter from DAV of August 1, 2014 saying it was submitted to the intake processing center. It should have gone to Wisconsin but I don’t know where it went. Today November 4, 2014 the VA still denies receiving a claim for me. They also say all claims are scanned and in the system in 21 days or less, and I am not in it. Someone is being dishonest here.

    • DAV

      Victor – We’re apologize for the inconvenience. Can you please email us your contact information and any other important details to social@dav.org and we will forward it to our National Service Office in Washington, DC to have them look into correcting this for you and get the answers you seek.

      • Victor R

        Yes.

    • Vernon E Cole

      I just went through that. The VA finally got that fixed. Now the VA is telling me that They haven’t received My records from the Vet Center and I know they have been sent. They are telling me that They may make a decision without the records from the Vet Center.

  • halojumper

    Part of the game. The VA keeps asking for evidence and I keep giving it to them. Even though I have been in their system since 1978. Rather than fight with them I give them what they want. The VA has my records since day 1. The DAV helped me quite a bit. The VA wants to discourage you , but you must keep fighting. Keep every piece of correspondece you recieve and copy it and file , no matter how trivial it may seem. Remember you are dealing with a government agency.

  • Rodney Denson

    I am getting completely screwed through the VA after suffering from a stroke. I joined the DAV to get help. I just can’t get a hold of anyone. I’ll just go to keep trying.

    • DAV

      Rodney – Please contact us at social@dav.org with some more details about your situation and we will forward it to our National Service Office Headquarters in Washington, DC.

  • Jerry

    I was medically discharged on June 3, 2013… Can I still file an appeal? If so, who do I contact?

    • DAV

      The window in which you could file an appeal may be up, but we strongly suggest you right away contact whichever service office helped you your claim. If you didn’t use a service office, you can get help from a DAV National Service Officer now. Find that office at https://www.dav.org/veterans/find-your-local-office. Thank you for your service!

  • Csc

    My husband and I have tried to get in contact with his service rep and have had no luck. We have moved and really need information on his claim since the computer system is asking for documents that were already turned in. This also keeps changing the decision date. How can we get help if the rep will not return phone calls?

    • Csc

      BTW this is the DAV rep that we have left messages for not the VA.

      • DAV

        Csc – We apologize for the inconvenience. We want to make this right. Please email us at social@dav.org explaining your situation, your experience with DAV and contact information and we will forward it to our National Service Headquarters in Washington, DC.

  • Calvin Silverbow

    I do not know if the DAV around Fort Hood are over burdened or too much confidence has been put into what a DAV NSO can do. Are they Licensed Counselors with at least a Masters Degree in counseling?
    Like Sherry’s comment, I have given up on the DAV – along with the VFW, and all the others. I waited 3 years to be awarded my claim – and am still waiting 2 years later for retro pay. During those years I had my claim bounced around the U.S.. Only once was the DAV in SLC, UT able to get me to someone in the VA Claims office who told me why my claim was not moving … after that I could not reach him anymore because he was always with another customer.
    For the years that followed … it was crickets from the VA and the DAV. The DAV does not even know we exist until we actually become awarded the title… and after that what does the DAV really provide? How many times has a DAV NSO called you on the phone or even came by the house to see how you were doing?
    Read this dialog and time the conversation – how much do you think a call like this would mean to a veteran that is disabled – wouldn’t it be nice if they really knew us?
    ***Begin timing***
    “Hey disabled soldier, this is Martin from the Killeen DAV, I am calling to tell you that I have not given up on trying to get answers to your claim. I spoke to your claim handler. She is currently working on November 2012 claims and has a goal to make it to February 2013 claims in the next 30 days. That means, if she can maintain her tempo, yours will be worked on in about 45 days.
    I will stay on her and make sure DAV members get what they need from the VA. Thank You for believing in me and the DAV. But… don’t get excited… this is paperwork… you still need to find a way to make money and pay for your life. Are you going to school? Why not? … ah… Money, that is always an issue for us disabled vets… I know a fellow DAV member who is a Lawyer, perhaps he could help you out until you get an income going again. You do want to make your own money don’t you? That is good, I always like helping vets who are interested in not becoming a leech on society. Hang in there.
    While I have you on the phone, what is your debt situation? Do you have food for you? Family? How is your yard? Anything broken on the house that needs fixing? Oh, your fence fell down in that last storm… whew… you are okay right? Well, I know some guys that can come by and fix it for you… no charge… no worries… if I do my job right by you… maybe you can pay it forward to someone in the future… but lets get you where you can be your own boss again. Do you have a computer? NO! WOW! I wish I knew that sooner. We have a lot of computer savvy members who can give you an ‘older’ computer but it will at least get you access to the internet.
    Let’s talk about those pain pills you have been taking. Are you still taking them? How about those PTSD pills? You say they make you feel like doing nothing … oh, they make you brain dead… that is sad to hear. Do you think you need them? Oh, the Dr. says you do. You know, we have counselors you can talk to for free and you do not have to wait 5 months to talk to them for 50 minutes. Yep, the DAV has members who help out veterans for free. I know of one guy, he might even come out to your place, maybe even give you a second opinion on your meds… or maybe offer someone to vent what is on your mind… you know, with someone who does not see people as parts of a factory assembly line. Okay… cool, I’ll let him know… are you okay with me giving him your number? Great.
    I want to ask you one more question. I know you are having a hard time, have you had any thoughts of taking your own life? No… that is good. Let me give you a phone number to call just in case you find yourself in a dark place. It is free… and the people on the other line are licensed and trained counselors… not someone reading from a script in a book to cover there asses because of government guidelines. You can really talk to these people and they are available 24/7. Another free service that the DAV pays for.
    Okay… we have been on the phone for awhile now… thanks for hanging with me, I know medication can make long phone calls enduring. A real quick summary of what we talked about: I will contact your claim handler at the VA, ask my lawyer friend to help you out with employment, get your fence fixed, get you that computer and help you get set up on the internet – very important these days – We have a fund to pay for internet for up to 3 years for people waiting on claims status… would you need this? Yes… okay… I will add that in. You would like to talk to a counselor… and I gave you that phone number that you can call if you start having dark thoughts.
    Before we end, I want to re-iterate that you want to be self sufficient. Keep looking for work and I want to get you into school. The DAV just doesn’t give speeches, hand out papers, wave flags in parades, and exist for members donations. WE believe in what we do… and we want you to believe also. We need strong people to help out our disabled brothers and sisters. Don’t worry, you will get there. Call me if you need anything. Remember, the DAV Cares about you. Take Care.”
    ***End Timing***
    The DAV in Killeen, TX is a disappointment. “We can not help you until your claim is resolved.” I guess this includes ‘will not talk to you either’.
    What does the DAV in Killeen TX do for Veterans? Except send their voice -salesman- to give briefs on Fort Hood to the ignorant. Here are the articles under related news link above: Not Left Behind, Big Results from DAV Information Seminars, DAV’s MSO Rolling Like Never Before, New Training Platform to Enhance DAV Representation. … HOT AIR… veterans leave service recognizing HOT AIR service. I would like to see the DAV actually DO something that has a long lasting effect. All I have seen is a lot of propaganda and grand standing.
    If the DAV or any other organization wants to help veterans – they will kick in the doors of senators, representatives, … government… and lead smear campaigns against those that do not make the claims situation priority number 1. A parade of overweight Harley riders and flag waving is not action. Plus I have always associated ‘Chopper Riders’ with the Hells Angels and criminals. When a group of them rumbles on the road… they activate my ‘danger’ receptors.
    If the DAV was at all credible, they would conduct a scientific, U.S. Government sanctioned, investigation/research project to explain WHO – by name – in the VA is causing the bottlenecks? Then publish your findings to the world in mass. Embarrass them all publishing publically all empirically gathered data -the entire study and all findings. Work day and night to get this published in 30 days or less. AND give the solutions that MUST be implemented… or the DAV will start banging their war drums to call up members to use their positions to lean on the elected officials.
    Investigate the efficiency of the VA and make recommendations to the President of the United States of America. All we get now is throwing paper – claims- at the inferno that is the VA. The VA needs help… but they are not going to get it from the federal government. Our government has made this clear to us, plain and simple. Marches, Rally’s, Grand Standing… worthless… we have A LOT of really smart Veterans with serious PO and CI skills who could make things happen.
    Unfortunately, organizations like the DAV, get the Hells Angels to ride through cities carrying the American Flag. Yeah! Go Team! Go DAV! It’s embarrassing to be associated with these events because I am a Veteran… and a disabled one too.
    How many Scholarships for guys in wheelchairs, missing limbs, suffering from PTSD, etc… has the DAV made into Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Computer Scientists, Engineers, Licensed Counselors, etc… that do pro-bono to bring other veterans life status up to this level – with a “pay it forward” motto.
    There is no charity in the DAV… toys for tots… how about College Degrees followed by Careers for Disabled Veterans. Help Disabled Vets be self sustaining. Help Veterans not to slide into a ‘status quo’ or ‘comfort zone’ stance after that government check arrives. Remember, that money comes from tax payers hard work, your neighbors! Represent!!! When the DAV, VFW, American Legion, Free Masons, etc can stand up 1000 Veterans each that they personally mentored to a self sufficient status then they will be honored to join. Since there are SO MANY HOMELESS AND FORGOTTEN each state and all 280 NSO could easily create 1000 Disabled Veteran Success stories.
    Instead we get hot air from the DAV and VFW that add fuel to the flames in brains inflicted with a wide spectrum psychological disorders. We are much smarter today – cigarettes and alcohol are unhealthy – mentally and physically.
    Veterans Organization reaching out to the community spend a lot and get little in return. The America that WWII veterans came home to is LONG gone. Our nation is being influenced by all the people that would spit on Vets coming home from the Vietnam war. Motorcycle Gangs and Soldier of Fortune Commandos represent veterans today. The USO tries… The television and movies are either extremely graphic dopamine generators or they are making comedies of our tragedies… and now, the Commander and Chief is attacking the funds that disabled veterans and veterans desperately need to transition back to civilian life. Because veterans are not representing well to the public – media and marketing is presenting veterans in a negative light. Thus changing public opinion about US! Which makes politicians flow in the same direction.
    Disabled veterans AND Non-disabled veterans get so much that NON-Veterans do not get. Tax breaks, Free Food, Billions in Tax Payers money… volunteer groups, churches, students… giving to help the vets by creating ramps, driving them to appointments, professional counseling… we actually see more respect from non-veterans than we see veterans representing respectfully.
    Lose weight, volunteer, eat and drink less, give to your neighbors… be the respected veterans who deserve and are grateful… Motorcycle gangs, Militant Groups, drug addicts, homelessness, indebtedness, tattoos, piercings, … these are what are we are being portrayed as to the public eye. The quiet majority is not who we should be worrying about. The vocal minority is what is hurting us. The majority of us veterans are hard working and there are a lot of us that do give back … quietly. Because we do not want to be associated with ugly veteran.
    How many times have you seen a Disabled Vet hop out of brand new truck parked in a handicapped space that did not really have a need? I see it all the time around Fort Hood. I KNOW retired vets with 100% disability who have PTSD and park in the handicapped spots… and they just don’t care. We, the veterans, have bread this into our fellow veterans. We have lost site on how we, as veterans, can influence the youth of our day to rely on themselves, and not the government.
    Can you imagine how powerful a true Disable American Veterans group could be if all the members were wealthy and in positions of power? If the DAV was built from people that had nothing, lost everything, and were lifted up by fellow DAV’s to careless about a check from the government. We had our own privately funded 5 star medical and senior citizen programs… an organization like this would MAKE elected officials fix the VA and the people at the VA would be fix it fast… OR ELSE!!! Face the wrath of the DAV.
    What does the current DAV bring that would make elected officials tremble at the sight of a DAV lapel pin? Nothing.
    Who is going to commit this kind of energy – realistic – this would require people to stop watching TV, get off their computers, stop wasting their free time and commit to helping others who need help. People will follow a worthy cause if lead by the right person for the right reasons with realistic intentions.
    The last time I went to the DAV in Killeen, TX., I waited 30 minutes to talk to ‘somebody’ in the DAV office in Killeen. When I went in, their were no veterans, just people who didn’t even notice I had entered the building. I walked around in there and it was not until I went into an office – I kid you not – a guy had his feet up on his desk and was sleeping. I was a little perturbed, and I think he was too that I woke him up. I asked: “Can you help me understand this paperwork?” – I held up my envelope from the VA with what was awarded and percentages.”
    He had me take a seat next to his desk – and a person knows when they are deal with ‘amateur hour’. He looked over my paperwork and said: Did you know you can get a hundred bucks a year for clothing with for you skin award?” That was not what I had asked of him. I simply wanted to understand how the percentages were broken down… because the award letter paperwork does not make sense to they layman.
    I ventured another question: “I would like to submit a claim for insomnia. I have all the medical documents with me. Can you help me submit a Fully Developed Claim?” and the guy’s response was to hand me to a young woman who printed out the forms and said: “Fill these out and send them in to the VA office.”
    She handed me the forms, stood up, and said: “Have a nice day.”
    I don’t know if the NSO’s are paid employees or volunteers… but the ones I mixed with in Killeen, TX… are worthless. Perhaps ‘you get what you pay for’?
    Blah, Blah, Blah… no one reads books that do things anymore… Americans only want to leisure and be entertained…
    And before you dare to accuse me of being a “belly ache’r”, I am not simply another blow hard arm chair warrior. I realized that the VA was going to fail me when I retired… Despite my injuries and disabilities… and as much as wanted to give up… at first I was a ‘true believer’ – read Eric Hoffer’s book “True Believer” to understand this reference – I lost my home – my car – and nearly my family – but a veteran from a local church opened his home to me and showed me the way we help people – I am not religious – He gave me his time – and since I have repaid him. I am on my own again, happily STILL married, debt free, and helping both people also be a success.
    Which none came from the VA or the DAV.
    If you want to check who you are inside: Next time you go to the grocery store and see a parking lot full of grocery carts – do you ignore them and get a ‘fresh’ cart at the store door or do you bring two or three or more in when you go inside? Why do this? Well, this free’s up the person inside that is working a register or bagging groceries to do their job. This also means fewer carts damaging cars in a parking lot… which cascades into – maybe- lower costs. Or have you brought a cart from the back of the parking lot and placed it next to a handicap space? Our aging and feeble that need those spaces appreciate those carts because the cart assists them in walking… for those that can walk.
    Lastly, please do not get a handicapped license if you do not need one. There are plenty of us that do need them and suffer when they are unavailable.
    Volunteer at the VA – we were soldiers – we can endure the smell of death, poo, pee, vomit – we have hardened souls that have been trained to kill and help our buddies who are less well off. One drop does not make a difference… but many will. Be inspired and be infectious.

  • Briches

    I can’t get ahold of anyone to save my life at the ebenefits/VA… I’ve been calling for 5 months straight and cannot get through. impossible ! I sent all my paperwork via certified mail 5 months ago and I’m still getting “need supporting paperwork!” Answer our phone calls!!!!!!!!!!! Please tell me how I can get my claim processed without being able to communicate with anyone

    Thanks,
    Combat Veteran – Brittney Riches

    • DAV

      eBenefits is, as you noted, run by the VA (completely separate from DAV). The VA number we believe would be best for this is 1-800-827-1000. But we always recommend reaching out to the DAV National Service Office helping you with your claim anytime you need info pertaining to your claims, benefits or compensation. You can find the office, or maybe a closer office, at http://bit.ly/help4veterans. Thank you for your service!

  • nancy

    My father has been having such a hard time getting his claims approved. Almost two years ago whis claims were heard through a judge in Washington DC who ruled his previously denied claim was a mistake. He approved the claim and included back pay but my dad has not been paid nor his rating changed. What else do we need to do??

    • DAV

      Every veteran and every case is unique, so we couldn’t possible diagnose the problem on here. We encourage your father to contact the service officer who was assisting him with the claim to follow up. If he was not using a service officer, we strongly encourage him to contact the closest DV National Service Office right away. That office can be found online at http://bit.ly/help4veterans. And, of course, DAV never charges veterans for help.

  • Douglas Brinker

    While some Service Officers tend to work very efficiently with a claimant my particular officer ignores my calls and acts as if he has no cue why I am calling. I wanted to appeal a Washington decision a yr ago this coming April. Contacted him not once but twice to no avail. He once told me to settle for what I have in my rating REALLY!! He calls himself a Veteran. It seems that Congress Reps get further than some of our own Service Officers.

  • Alicia Poore

    The Seattle DAV did me a major disservice! I handled my own VA claim via local department of VA affairs. I got my warranted 100%. I should have known from the first day I recieved my DAV letter that they are inept when they got my name wrong. Since signing up with them it has been nothing but a merry go round of ignorance. Glad it has only been 2 months and I never started with them. Never go with the $ lip service DAV. If you can’t do your claim yourself go with a local VA lawyer or a different veterans claims rep service.

  • Ken Wingfield

    I have a claim dated 8/04/2014 being work in Alabama and I live in Phoenix, al va claims process average 5 months, my claim has been in the same status since 8/18/2014. ( 8months plus) I have tried to contact Dav here in Phoenix, no luck, no return call. I will try Monday to reach the Dav office in Alabama. My iu claim has been deferred since 5/22/2013 and was given a increase on my back since 3/31/2015 by bva in which the va has not change. Now let’s see what Dav can do.

  • Calvin Barnes

    Well I do have a DAV rep that doesn’t do anything on my behalf. I submitted my own claims and he wanted me to send him everything I submitted so he can have on file. He acts as if I’m bothering him if and when I call. He tells me what is it you want me to do about your va claim I can’t see what va is doing with your claim just wait and see what happens and if you don’t like what they do then call me. Does anyone else get the same treatment from their reps? Maybe I’m wrong but I thought the DAV was here to assist me and direct me in this process.

    • DAV

      Hi Calvin,

      We apologize for this experience you have had with one of our reps. There are a couple avenues to take. One is to request another DAV rep on your behalf. The second option is to submit the details of your interactions with said rep to social@dav.org and we will forward it to our National Service Office Headquarters in Washington, DC so our leadership team sees it. The more detail the better. Again, we want to apologize for this unfortunate experience. We pride ourselves on superior service to our nation’s veterans.

      • Calvin Barnes

        Thanks for the quick response, what is the process to request another DAV rep? I thank this would be the best avenue to take at this time.

        • DAV

          Calvin,

          When you call your local office you can ask for the NSO Supervisor and tell the secretary/receptionist the reason you are asking is to request to be reassigned to a new representative for your reasons stated above.

  • Whiskey_Tango

    When I first prepared my claim I requested the DAV to be my VSO. I was under the impression(falsley) that I needed to submit the claim first before the DAV could help. I filed my claim in time without consulting with a DAV VSO but now I have a halfassed claim filed that I need help to get fixed. I need to get it back on track but I have some gaping holes in myclaim that if I don’t get fixed will be denied. Can the DAV still help me? What should I do?

  • Albert James Vangorder

    I DONT WANT TOO TAKE NOBODY TOO COURT THE DAMAGE IS BEYOND

    DONE

  • Albert James Vangorder

    HORRIFIC DAMAGE IN ALL WAYS

  • Albert James Vangorder

    ITS INEVITABLE

  • Albert James Vangorder

    DEATH IS MOCHARY

  • Albert James Vangorder

    I GOT HELL ON WHEELS 2 WITH YELLOW STRIPE IN MY WALLET HOW BOUT YOU?AND VICTORY PENDENT 24 INFANTRY 91ST CHEMICAL COMPANY 24TH INFANTRY MECHANIZED DIVISION FT STEWART GEORGIA MY DAD WAS THIRTY EIGHT AND FOURTY TWO IN 1983 &1987 WHEN THEY SPLIT HIS CHEST OPENED IN 1987 THEY ESTIMATED HE HAD AT LEAST THE BODY OF A EIGHTY YEAR OLD MAN THEY KNEW ABOUT AGENT ORANGE EXPOSER THEN DONT GO TOO THE VA HE SAID STAY AWAY

  • Albert James Vangorder

    MY SELF HAVE MEDICAL RECORDS ALL MY LIFE AND I PUT MY SONS CORD BLOOD ON FILE WITH MOMS AND MY DNA AS WELL AMEN FOR THAT AMEN

  • James Jordan

    This is DAV for you, I had an appeal hearing with a veteran’s law judge. I found a doctors note that stated my condition was related to my time in service. Before going in to see the veterans law judge I had the DAV representative look it over. He proceeded to tell me that the doctors note is not good enough to submit. He stated the doctor needed to be more specific. I at the end of speaking with the veterans large eyes she says do you have any evidence you want to submit I said yes and gave her the doctors note. 3 months later my case was reopened I politely fired his ass and went with the Vfw they call me back and they seem interested in helping you complish your goal.

  • James Jordan

    One way to get in contact with someone from the VA is to call after hours and take the telephone appointment they will call you back

  • Ricky Lee

    The American Legion handle my claims and I was approved. I’ve had no problems thanks to my representative.Just keep your claims going n don’t stop because of a denial decision. I joined the American Legion n have encourage others to file for your earned benefits. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CLAIMS!!!!

  • Paulette McCoy

    Google DAV taking VA to court, for what they are doing by preventing veterans to even file a claim. It will explain how the VA is doing this. It might help some of you to know or understand how they are doing this. The VA won’t let you send a written request, or send you a form to file. I just don’t see how the VA continues to get away with the stuff they do. But then I guess it is because the government is not holding their feet to the fire. I talked with my Senators office recently, and he actually told me, well, we pass something, the problem is getting the VA to do what we told them to do. I told him that if they did not comply with what they were told, then they should be fined, fired or imprisoned, or all three. Period.
    I hope this helps some of you. You should not have to go and fight for your country, and then have to come home and fight for what they promised you.

  • Vernon E Cole

    The VA has stopped publishing the phone numbers of the Regional offices. Last month I was able to call my regional office and got help. They were sending the Tulsa Vet Center a request for my records to the wrong zip code.
    This month I received a letter from the VA telling me that they haven’t received my records from the Vet Center and if They don’t receive them they will make a decision based on the records they have, which is none. I talked to the Vet Center and They told me they sent the records. Without a phone number for the regional office I can’t talk to Anybody at the regional office to solve this problem.
    I called the DAV since they are representing me, but there is nobody there to help more today and to call back tomorrow.
    It sounds like the VA has found a way to cut the appeals backlog by closing the appeals of the Veterans that have filed appeals.

  • LaShun Watkins

    I have been trying to get in touch with someone at the DAV in St. Pete, Fl for almost 2 months now. Someone has either been calling me back or getting in touch with me and none of the above has happened.

    • DAV

      Hi LaShun,

      Can you email us at social@dav.org with your contact information and questions and we’ll have someone from our national service office in Washington, DC call or email you? We apologize for this experience.