First, I had cardioversion done on my heart last Thursday and an trying as best I can to stay calm.
I am sick at heart at what you were told by the Des Moines VA Regional Office today. I will take their responses in order.
1. I was granted service connection by Bureau of Veterans Affairs Law Judge Joy McDonald April 4 of this year. It was not a remand but a complete grant. There was no remand. See attached.
The procedure from that point is that it goes back to the RO for rating and processing. In my case, the evidence is clear the rating for secondary should be 70% based on VA rating criteria. There is also a VA FAST
Letter 10-02 that dictates this is to be accomplished in an expedited manner and without delay for any other appeals or claims.
FL 10-02 Implementation of Board of Veterans' Appeals Decisions (January 6, 2010)
2. Individual Unemployability appeal. I was denied IU in January. Actually the decision was from Dec. 20, 2011. The Vas own C&P examiner in examining me in April of last year wrote
“Conditions considered for IU: bilateral knee conditions and varicose veins…After review of the Veteran’s pertinent records (C-file and STR) as well as most current medical examinations, diagnostics, and consults; with review and examination of the Veteran and in light of most pertinent and credible medical information and sources; IT IS AS LEAST AS LIKELY AS NOT THAT the Veteran meets the criteria to be considered solely and medically unable to seek and maintain gainful employment.”
Under the VAs own rule of the benefit of the doubt going to the veteran I should have been granted.
“When there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence regarding any issue material to the determination of a matter, VA will give the “benefit of the doubt” to the claimant.”
Another question is why was the exam scheduled when I had been service connected for 8 years for my legs and was 63 years old.
c. When Not to Schedule Review Examinations
Do not request reexaminations in cases when
· the disability is static, without material improvement over five years, and not likely to improve
· the Veteran is over 55 years of age (except in unusual circumstances)
· the evaluation is the prescribed schedular minimum, or
· the combined evaluation would not change even if the reexamination resulted in a reduced evaluation for one or more disabilities.
Reference: For more information on when not to schedule reexaminations, see 38 CFR 3.327(b).
I filed a Notice of Disagreement in early February declining a DRO review at the VARO and requesting my appeal be forwarded to the Board Of Veterans Appeals in Washington for adjudication. I then received a note that they needed to do a “post decision “ review first. This was March 8 and it still sits in Des Moines. For Des Moines to say it would be two years for that appeal to be processed calls into question intent. And I have come to believe the intent is to keep it in Des Moines and away from BVA where it would possibly receive a favorable review.
3. I never filed claims for Peripheral Neuropathy or Carpal Tunnel after my diagnosis at VAMC in Iowa City after EMG and NCV testing in early April. Rather, I submitted them as additional evidence to my IU claim and waived my right to have the VARO review the evidence in order to speed the appeal to BVA. Instead, Des Moines unilaterally created new claims for each. It is my belief today that it was done as a further delay tactic to hold back transfer of my IU appeal to Des B. The record will show that last fall into December “claims” were created for FOIA requests that I repeatedly denied and requested cancel. It was my belief at the time that the intent was to delay transfer of my appeal for secondary to BVA. Once the appeal was transferred, it was decided in my favor by BVA within weeks.
With the statements you made to you by the Des Moines VARO today, I respectfully ask that you forward my concerns, especially with reference to my BVA grant for secondary being termed to you as a remand, to Veterans Administration Central Office and VA Office of Inspector General with confirmation of the statements made to you.
It seems evident to me now that the actions of the Des Moines VARO are malicious in nature when looking at the evidence. A simple observation. What is the BVA definition of a “grant” and “remand” and did Des Moines deliberately attempt to manipulate the word. On that basis alone, It is my belief the OIG should be involved.