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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.
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      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

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    • 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/ 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  • 0

Received Award Letter 1 Year Ago Today


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Posted

One year ago today (26 July, 2011) a big brown envelope from the VA arrived stating I was found to be 80% service connected and would receive $x,xxx per month. I thought great, I need the money and while I am working, it is getting difficult and I could use the financial assistance. I waited a few months and never received anything so I called and was told to be patient, sometimes it takes a few months, so I waited. 3 or 4 more months passed, again no money so I called again and was told the same thing, so I waited. Another 3 or 4 months passed and I called again, Peggy told me she had never seen anything like this and would get to the bottom of it. I called last week, same story, no new information but Peggy did say “ at least your retro is growing larger”, I am beyond tired of the situation.

My advice to all vets who receive the “big brown envelope and letter” do not count on, spend, expect or make any plans for your newly awarded funds until you have a check in hand or deposit into your account. Again, I thought I would have had this long, long ago and I am still waiting with no expectation of anything happening anytime soon.

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9 answers to this question

Posted

One year ago today (26 July, 2011) a big brown envelope from the VA arrived stating I was found to be 80% service connected and would receive $x,xxx per month. I thought great, I need the money and while I am working, it is getting difficult and I could use the financial assistance. I waited a few months and never received anything so I called and was told to be patient, sometimes it takes a few months, so I waited. 3 or 4 more months passed, again no money so I called again and was told the same thing, so I waited. Another 3 or 4 months passed and I called again, Peggy told me she had never seen anything like this and would get to the bottom of it. I called last week, same story, no new information but Peggy did say “ at least your retro is growing larger”, I am beyond tired of the situation.

My advice to all vets who receive the “big brown envelope and letter” do not count on, spend, expect or make any plans for your newly awarded funds until you have a check in hand or deposit into your account. Again, I thought I would have had this long, long ago and I am still waiting with no expectation of anything happening anytime soon.

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Posted

This sounds absolutely absurd but it happened to me too-and it took VA about 10 months to pay me but this was not a traditional SC claim retro matter.

I started fighting for my money the very day I got the award letter based on the way VA had worded it.

Do you have a vet rep?

What steps have you taken so far to get your money?

Have you moved or changed bank accounts since getting the award?

Have you IRISed them to get hard copy (I always suggest asking for email or snail mail IRIS responses)

Have you contacted the RO VSM and their director by fax or by phone or by mail?

If you tell me what RO handled your claim I will post their contact numbers.

Have you contacted your Congressman/woman ?

Have you contacted any member of the H VAC?

Have you contacted VA Central Office?

Did "Peggy" say she would put in a formal Inquiry for you?

You gave great advice:

<a name="multiq_286083"> “My advice to all vets who receive the “big brown envelope and letter” do not count on, spend, expect or make any plans for your newly awarded funds until you have a check in hand or deposit into your account.”

In my case, I didn't do all of above but the General Counsel resolved my issue (after a ridiculous ordeal with them too) and I should have never waited so long for my money.

One thing I didn't do was call the 800# as it would have wasted time on problems like this which require pro activity right away.

Worse case scenario here (because this is a VERY unusual problem ) is that some one else got your checks and is drinking martinis on a nice beach somewhere.

I had another serious problem with VA over another type of award money matter ,they didn't want to pay me on ,and when I called the VA Public Affairs Office in Washington DC, and told them what I was planning to do about it, someone definitely helped me right away because they don't want any more bad press. That was a few years ago.

Recently VACO intervened on another matter I had because this time I really got ticked and again VA didnt want me yapping to either the press or to the House Veterans Affairs Committee again. That matter also was swiftly resolved.

I have always tried to be respectful but firm in dealing with VA on errors like this.

But I learned long ago that being a squeaky wheel with the VA can often remove thumbs from butts very fast.

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Posted

And yet many here have also been paid before they got an envelop. Berta gave good advice but you really do need to get after them.

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Posted

Got my envelope Tuesday and got the retro today.

I did get screwed out of one month of retro due to my Payment starting date being 5/1/11 and we got paid for 5/2011 in 4/2011.

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Posted

Do you have a vet rep? No I do not

What steps have you taken so far to get your money? I have only called the 1-800 number

Have you moved or changed bank accounts since getting the award? No, I have not moved or changed bank accts

Have you IRISed them to get hard copy (I always suggest asking for email or snail mail IRIS responses). I do not know what this is, I need to google it and research what this is and how to request it.

Have you contacted the RO VSM and their director by fax or by phone or by mail? No

If you tell me what RO handled your claim I will post their contact numbers. I orginally submitted my claim to the Atlanta office and they forwarded it to the Jackson Mississippi office.

Have you contacted your Congressman/woman ? No, but I feel like I should. I feel what has happened to me is almost criminal in nature.

Have you contacted any member of the H VAC? I do not know what this is.

Have you contacted VA Central Office? No, only the 1-800 number

Did "Peggy" say she would put in a formal Inquiry for you? No, Peggy only said they would send a message and "get to the bottom of it".

I feel confident that no money has been paid out thus far as I have checked Ebenefits and have not seen a payment. I am going to school part time and my Chapter 33 post 9/11 GI Bill payments always show on Ebenefits so I'm not worried someone else has robbed me.

Thank you for the help

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Posted

Go to http://www.va.gov/ and click on the Contact Us button at top right hand side of the VA main page.

The link will take you step by step.

“I orginally submitted my claim to the Atlanta office and they forwarded it to the Jackson Mississippi office. “

Jackson Miss:

Craig Moore Director

1-601-364-7010

Fax: 1-601-364- 7007

VSMC (unknown who their VSCM is) 1-601-364-7044

Atlanta:

Director Al Bochicchio

1-404-929-5818

Fax 1-404-929 5819

VSCM Doug Chapman 1-404-929-5179

These were working numbers a year ago so I hope they still are.

It sounds like ATlanta farmed you out to Jackson and that is where the award was made. But maybe they should have had Atlanta process the retro and never sent them the files back......

hard to now what went wrong and I agree, this is almost criminal when you consider how many vets can hardly get by each day and might get an award letter but might not even have the means to find out where their retro money is.

If the Iris and any other contacts you can make fail, then time to send them a Writ of Mandamus..... we can help with that but I am sure this will get straightened out.

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Posted

Berta's response brings up a great point.

Why is it the VA "hides" VA management phone numbers so we can not fix anything? Its very difficult for us to figure out the VSCM manager name or phone number.

While Im sure they dont want to deal with pesky Veterans...so why dont they just retire to the Bahamas and collect their retirement.

That is why they call it a "job"...yes you do have to take phone calls from people that maybe you would rather not speak to. That does not mean they should be able to get away with ignoring everyone by having an unlisted phone number.

That is insane and its the VA way. No wonder why the backlog is so big...we dont really have a good way to fix errors!

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Posted

Its obvious why management hides their numbers but if your smart like I was, look through your CFile and see if they mistakenly didn't black out a phone number to the RO. I really felt sorry for them after I called it and they were like "How did you get this number". I told them I know people....

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Posted

One year ago today (26 July, 2011) a big brown envelope from the VA arrived stating I was found to be 80% service connected and would receive $x,xxx per month. I thought great, I need the money and while I am working, it is getting difficult and I could use the financial assistance. I waited a few months and never received anything so I called and was told to be patient, sometimes it takes a few months, so I waited. 3 or 4 more months passed, again no money so I called again and was told the same thing, so I waited. Another 3 or 4 months passed and I called again, Peggy told me she had never seen anything like this and would get to the bottom of it. I called last week, same story, no new information but Peggy did say “ at least your retro is growing larger”, I am beyond tired of the situation.

My advice to all vets who receive the “big brown envelope and letter” do not count on, spend, expect or make any plans for your newly awarded funds until you have a check in hand or deposit into your account. Again, I thought I would have had this long, long ago and I am still waiting with no expectation of anything happening anytime soon.

Did you have an outstanding debt to pay? or did you receive a terminal payment from the service? If so, the VA could be holding back your award until the payment is made. Now retro is a different matter.

Are you saying that you are not receiving the monthly disability payment?

Or only retro payment?

I've corresponded with a lot of vets who are in the 6-month to over a year that are awaiting retro (I am at the 8-month mark myself) but I am a retiree and we are the ones that the VA is holding back on - even after the VA has received the DFAS audit.

The last thing is maybe they are sending the money to some old account they had on record? or maybe they do not have an address, or maybe an address they have is receiving the checks and a person their is glad to receive a monthly contribution.

If all else, now you can contact your elected officials too!

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