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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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  • 0

Bva Web Site Problem

Question

Posted

It seems I have had to contact the BVA ombudsman 3 or 4 times since last year because of problems at the decision site.

Has anyone here contacted them yet about the fact that we can see the link to 2012 decisions but cannot open them?

Could a few others here be willing to email them at bvaombudsman@va.gov and tell them of the problem.

In the past I told them many on line veterans advocates are interested in these BVA decision but maybe they think I made that up.

Or call them at 1-202-632 4623 and ask them to fix it?

I emailed them again and also called but the ombudsman wasn't available by phone yet today.

It is frustrating and after someone did mention this problem here some time ago ,I thought they contacted the BVA -and surely BVA had fixed it until today when many 2012 decisions came up that regarding the claim I was doing research for....but I couldnt read them ! mad.gif

I am calling BVA in ten minutes again- but it would be nice if a few members here would complain too.

Let me know at hadit what response you get from them.

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8 answers to this question

Posted

Update.... the BVA just told me they are aware of the problem but are waiting for the 'contracting' company to fix it.

I said, 'do you mean the VA has contracted out what is probably a fairly simple technical problem that the VA itself cannot fix' ?

She said Yes. She didnt know when those 2012decisions will be accessible.

VA intends to go entirely paperless for the VA claims process and they can't even figure out a problem

opening the 2012 BVA files at their BVA web site???

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Posted

Berta, I just contacted them via email to ask where I could locate the 2012 Decisions because on their website http://www.index.va....bva.html hope this is correct) the prompt of 2012 is not yet available. Not sure if I am looking at the same page as you Berta because I cannot see any of the 2012 cases - let alone try to click on them.

IF your are able to see the individual decisions for 2012 yet the link is not connected (dead link or unclickable)- it is an easy fix....takes less then a minute to fix each link IF the corresponding information (page they are linking to = individual cases) is/are completed. I'd do it for them for free...if they let me = fat chance of that happening:)

Maybe if enough people send emails or phone - they might get the ball moving a little faster?

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Posted

I posted some time ago about this and others thought I just needed to wait for the decisions to become available. They are/were available but the site does not have 2012 in the drop down. If you search "all years" then 2012 decisions do show but, like Berta says, the link is broken.

I contacted them and they said they would get to it when the get a chance. Just like my claim, they made a decision 90 days ago and will tel me about it when they get a chance. Actually, peggy was honest with me last week and told me I was not a priority so just wait. It sucks but I appreciate the honesty.

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Posted

Thank you both-

Maybe that is why I just got this email

"We are aware of the problem and are working on getting it up and running. I

do not have an estimated date. I appreciate your bringing it to our

attention and will forward to the proper channel.

Diane, Congressional Liaison,

Ombudsman

Board of Veterans' Appeals

810 Vermont Avenue

Washington DC, 20420"

I wish the claims process itself would get up and running. Part of the problem lies here-many VA decisions are still difficult for most vets to even read. I have had to read and re read stuff from the VA many many times to get what they mean.

I got this link today from the FCW, as to the Plain Writing Act as some grading the FCW did.

http://fcw.com/articles/2012/07/23/plain-writing-scores-agencies-va.aspx

In part:

"Everyone recognizes the value of good communication, and a mandate on plain writing issued in 2010 put extra pressure on the federal government to shun the gobbledygook. A new report, however, found that few agencies have made actual strides in avoiding convoluted language.

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 was instituted as a building block to increase government transparency by calling for writing that’s clear, concise and well-organized, void of jargon, redundancy and ambiguity. In an April 2011 memo to agency heads, Cass R. Sunstein, administrator in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said plain writing is ”indispensable” to establishing a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration

via.pngFCW (http://s.tt/1iLNU)

And

<a name=curate-us-tag1"> On the bottom of the list was the Veterans Affairs Department, with F’s in both columns. The dismal grades represent the agency’s non-compliance with almost all of the requirements in the Plain Writing Act, the center said. Although VA had designated a plain-writing official, “that is apparently all they have done. . . . There is no website, apparently no plan or compliance report,” the report card states.

via.pngFCW (http://s.tt/1iLNU)"

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Posted

@#$^%(&*$^% !!!!!

Having said all those bad words-I feel better BUT perturbed that

the BVA decision link seems to be broken AGAIN!!!!!!

For 2 days I figured it was just my PC- when my satellite dish is in a low cloud cover sometimes I have internet problems-

Today there is no weather reason for that.

I had to google Board of Veterans Appeals and then the disability to get google results that got me to some decisions I could open and read..

Apparently the contracting company who is supposed to fix the 2012 decisions,per the ombudsman last month ( we cant open them at all) maybe buggered the whole darn site.

Since VA intends to go entirely paperless, I sure hope they handle medical records via their PCs better than the way these decisions are being handled on line.

And if the medical record aspect of a paperless VA gets messed up, I wonder about having a contractor handle such personal; and critical data.

I saw my non VA PCP yesterday for a check up (I am a civilian ) and they were beginning a full transfer of all of their medical records

into their PCs without much of a rigamarale at all.

This stuff concerns me.

As an advocate I depend on BVA decisions a lot, to understand the inner thinking of the board lawyers and how they apply the regulations. I hope they fix this problem fast.

.

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Posted

Berta

I think the "low quality" of the VA's IT systems is indicative they really dont hire the most qualified employees or contractors. They hire those "well connected" instead.

If you are a private company, you can not tolerate your system "down".

Sites like Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc, have dozens of backups if a system goes "down" and you wont even know it. VA could have that, too, but instead they squander money hiring politically well connected friends.

Its at least part of "whats wrong" with the VA.

Like you, I am not so patient with the BVA being down. There is also a rather persistent "rumor" that the VA is NOT processing appeals, and have instead allocated all resouces to initial claims, because the politicians have taken "heat" about the backlog, and this is election year.

I dont think they are "shutting down" the BVA, but I dont think a claim will be "readied" for the BVA at all. I dont even know about DRO's because they can also write initial claims decisions.

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Posted

I dont expect the VA to "fix it fast". The VA doesnt do anything "fast". The VA got in trouble because on an "expidited" decision, ordered by the court (CAVC), the VA could not follow the courts directions in 2 years.

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Posted

Berta

I think the "low quality" of the VA's IT systems is indicative they really dont hire the most qualified employees or contractors. They hire those "well connected" instead.

If you are a private company, you can not tolerate your system "down".

Sites like Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc, have dozens of backups if a system goes "down" and you wont even know it. VA could have that, too, but instead they squander money hiring politically well connected friends.

Its at least part of "whats wrong" with the VA.

Like you, I am not so patient with the BVA being down. There is also a rather persistent "rumor" that the VA is NOT processing appeals, and have instead allocated all resouces to initial claims, because the politicians have taken "heat" about the backlog, and this is election year.

I dont think they are "shutting down" the BVA, but I dont think a claim will be "readied" for the BVA at all. I dont even know about DRO's because they can also write initial claims decisions.

I don't think I could have said it better! Right on!

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