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      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
    • Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests.

      Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests. Please check the little home I am carving out for our SVR partners. http://www.hadit.com/svr.html
    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf
    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40963-va-fl-10-34/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40964-va-fl-10-32/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40966-va-fl-10-30/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40967-va-fl-10-26/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40968-va-fl-10-25/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40819-va-fl-10-24e1/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40818-va-fl-10-24/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40817-va-fl-10-22/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40814-va-fl-10-04/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40969-va-fl-10-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40812-va-fl-10-02/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40808-va-fl-09-52/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40806-va-fl-09-50/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40970-va-fl-09-41/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40971-va-fl-09-38/ 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Searching Bva Decisions

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I know I saw somewhere that someone listed a trick to use while searching BVA decisions off the web, like a way to target certain claims and cut out the non important info???? Anyone know what I'm talking about?

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6 answers to this question

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here's a link to the bva search http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.html I have created a demo movie on how to search hadit.com which may help here it is http://www.hadit.com/searching_hadit.swf

I know I saw somewhere that someone listed a trick to use while searching BVA decisions off the web, like a way to target certain claims and cut out the non important info???? Anyone know what I'm talking about?

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There are some ways to hone in on BVA decision that you need.

I had a recent situation where I was asked to help with a CAVC case but the advocate didnt have their BVA decision critical to anything I could offer as to their pending CAVC issue).I had to find it myself.

I knew the BVA decision had to be within 3 months of their CAVC docket date.So I stayed in the 2010 decisions and then searched under some key words in the CAVC docket motions.Like " High Altitude flight " and I was surprised to find I narrowed this down to 2 cases at the BVA and the first one that popped up was the one I needed.

I knew the vet's lawyer's name- another way to narrow down the list- but he was unrepresented at the BVA so that didnt help but in some cases it could help.

My former rep brought a vet to my home years ago as he was stumped with the denials the vet had gotten.The vet was trying to prove inservice diabetes with no inservice diagnosis.

They called me by cell as they thought they were lost and ended up at a diary farm but I was right down the road from the diary farm a few mnutes away.I asked the rep before he hung up-if he remembered to bring the vet's BVA decision but he had forgotten it! (I had reminded him many times!!! :wacko: )

I had a few key words to search for -Army ,1960s, venereal disease, Texas,African American,and I knew his MOS.

Bingo- I found the case just as they pulled into my driveway.

It took about a year but I helped this vet get SCed for diabetes, manifested in service.

He did have an IMO before he got here but it was awful. I wrote up a guideline for the doctor to follow along with my

lay medical assessment of what I had found in his SMRs (which were extremely difficult to read)

So between the much better IMO ,his SMRs, and some help from me- he succeeded in a case that had been in the VA system for TWELVE years and at CAVC twice.It was a lot of work and his rep was shocked when he won.

I ended up reading his BVA decision many many times.The KEY to his SC award was within the very first paragraph of the decision.One medical WORD.

I asked the vet and the rep what the word meant. They didn't have a clue and never looked it up.By this time 2 LAWYERS the vet had at the CAVC had never looked up this word.

When they left I got on the net and found what it meant.It was a documented manifestation of his diabetes inservice.

It was also listed in the Diabetes Training letter which I circled with a highlighter and submitted with his better IMO.

I could have never helped him get the valid IMO without a thorough study of his last BVA denial.

I study BVA decisions every week and sometimes every day.They have helped me in awelath of ways.Once you get the feel of the pulse of BVA and how they 'talk' and think- it helps to word a claim from the git go that will be properly decided if it ends up at the BVA.

Searching by disability at BVA shows how they use the Schedule of Ratings rgarding specific claims and how they weight the evidence.

Also BVA citations can become relevant to some claims and the veteran could use them if they are Precedent Decisions by the CAVC or OGC that could be relevant to their claim.

I found VA had violated the VCAA in my last case by finding a remand for similar lack of proper wording in another widow's claim.

Also BVA cases reflect the thinking patterns of the BVA.At times they are quite abrupt . I saw a case the other day where the veteran had claimed over 20 disabilities. He didn't have diagnosis of most of them and as the BVA indicated, the OIG was looking into a false document ( his DD 214 had been altered) that he had supplied to the VA.The BVA had continued the appeal fr remand on one isse that he really did have but it sounded to me like the veteran would not see a dime if the OIG pressed charges on him.

Anyone reading this type of BVA case is reminded well that before you help a vet one to one- best to see their DD 214 and look it over carefully.

Yo can also eliminate words like “denied” from a search you are dpiong at the BVA. Then from that list you can eliminate the word “remand” and then yo will narrow down your search to claims under your main search topic that have been awarded (or in a few cases dismissed.)

While BVA decisions are not prejudicial, they can be used in certain claims situations.

For exanmple in order to prove my CUE I refernced 4 BVA decision as to their legal aspects regarding M21-1 MR and 2 of these cases cited an OGC Pres Op that I submitted in full to stress my allegation of legal error(CUE)

Different types of claims can be searched initially by putting DIC, or Section 1151, or CUE into the BVA browser then narrowing them down.

It takes time to use the BVA web site and it can be time well spent.

One other thing-always look for the most current decision you can find for a specific search, as this will hold recent citations or even any changes in the regs or M21-1MR that could be critical info to what you are seeking.

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Posted · Report post

If you are trying to do research to support case law to support your claim, I would humbly suggest you search CAVC cases first. While this has been discussed before, CAVC cases which are "panel" (3 judges) or en banc (all the judges) are considered precedential, while BVA or "single judge" CAVC cases are non-precedential.

In other words if you have a similar situation as the claimant, the VA judge is required to rule in a similar manner in all precendial cases. However, if the case is not precedential, the judge may or may not consider how another judge ruled in a similar case.

That being said, BVA cases often cite CAVC, or even Federal cases, so BVA decisions are helpful in preparing your case as Berta has pointed out. I am not disputing what BERTA said...that BVA cases can help you learn from the get go how to word your claim...but if you want to cite a case, given a choice, you make it stronger by citing a precedential case. If there is no precedential case, then certainly cite the BVA case, or as Berta suggested, cite several.

I think some poeple here have opined that they use BVA cases and cite them in defending their positiion..and that is okay...but I do think if you cite precedential case law, you are making a stronger case in support of your position, but that is JMHO.

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Posted · Report post

The trick that I use and that fanaticbooks put on her website is to search for the name of your condition with the phrase "is granted"

examples - YOU MUST INCLUDE THE QUOTATIONS

"PTSD is granted"

"angioedema is granted"

- This will get a high search return showing cases that were awarded. There will be some not so focused.

However, this gets a well focused search return. You can also use the "is denied" to get perspective. Hopefully this gets rid of all the remand cases.

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VERY GOOD advice Hoppy-

Remands tell us nothing as to the outcome.

When a claimant gets remand-in my opinion- they should try to do whatever the remand asked the RO to do-if possible.

When BVA remanded my claim for a cardiologist opinion-

I immediately got in touch with a cardio doctor and paid for an IMO.

But the remanded VA opinion came from a PA,not cardio doc, and was too speculative.(and easy for me to knock down in a rebuttal I sent to the BVA).The BVA already had 3 IMos from me.

The cardio doc had not even had time to prepare the IMO when my BVA award suddenly came and then he refunded some of the IMO fee.

I dont regret jumping the gun with the IMO money.Because I thought I would get a real cardio VA opinion. My evidence was strong yet I didn't expect any VA cardio doc to support the claim- as part of it involved a top VA cardio doc's negligence anyhow.

Other remands seeking records or SSA stuff etc- in those cases sometimes the vet can find exactly what the BVA expects the VARO to get and get it faster, and send it to the BVA themselves.

This does not work in most cases of remands but is worth a try in some.

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I went and got my Social Security records on my own and had them sent in for this reason....

VERY GOOD advice Hoppy-

Remands tell us nothing as to the outcome.

When a claimant gets remand-in my opinion- they should try to do whatever the remand asked the RO to do-if possible.

When BVA remanded my claim for a cardiologist opinion-

I immediately got in touch with a cardio doctor and paid for an IMO.

But the remanded VA opinion came from a PA,not cardio doc, and was too speculative.(and easy for me to knock down in a rebuttal I sent to the BVA).The BVA already had 3 IMos from me.

The cardio doc had not even had time to prepare the IMO when my BVA award suddenly came and then he refunded some of the IMO fee.

I dont regret jumping the gun with the IMO money.Because I thought I would get a real cardio VA opinion. My evidence was strong yet I didn't expect any VA cardio doc to support the claim- as part of it involved a top VA cardio doc's negligence anyhow.

Other remands seeking records or SSA stuff etc- in those cases sometimes the vet can find exactly what the BVA expects the VARO to get and get it faster, and send it to the BVA themselves.

This does not work in most cases of remands but is worth a try in some.

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