I submitted my claim to the VA in September 2015 and the VA increased my original rating effective August of 2016. The amount of retroactive pay due based on the dates described has not been received. In April of 2018 after contacting the USCG PPC (RAS) office (by phone) I was informed (by email) that the Audit Error Worksheet (AEW) was completed and sent to the VA Central Office on April 10, 2017 and was told that the VA Central Office is working on the files we sent them in February 2017. The email I received described the following AEW process.
“The process works like this:
PPC (RAS) automatically sends your Audit Error Worksheet (AEW) to the VA and then the VA also conducts an audit to ensure each agency (Coast Guard and VA) is paying you the correct amount.
Once PPC (RAS) has processed your AEW, we will send you a letter notifying you that your AEW was completed and sent to the VA. All AEWs are sent monthly to the VA Central Office for upload to Veterans Benefit Management System (VBMS). The VA Central Office has one person that reviews and uploads all Coast Guard retiree AEWs into the VBMS system. Each file can contain up to 600 AEWs. Then the VA Regional Offices (VARO) are notified that they have new cases to process.
Currently the VA Central Office is working on uploading February 2017 AEWs. (As described in the email I received on April 5, 2018.)
If you contact the VA asking if they have your AEW that was completed after February 2017 they will tell you they do not have your AEW and to call the Coast Guard. Be advised the VA does have your AEW however, it has not been uploaded in their system yet so the VARO’s can’t see it.
The Coast Guard and the VA are currently working on improving the AEW process from a manual to an electronic process. However, it will take time to get this initiative implemented between the two agencies and will take time to get the backlog caught up.
Additionally, be advised that PPC (RAS) does not mail/email/fax a retirees’ AEW or provide dollar amounts to a retiree. Also, we do not send AEWs to a VARO office on behalf of a retiree. This is due to the fact that PPC (RAS) does not want to give the retiree incorrect information since the VA has not yet completed their review of your AEW to ensure it is correct.”
My question is since the USCG (apparently) verified that the AEW (however, it has not been uploaded in their system yet so the VARO’s can’t see it) it created regarding my VA Claim is withIN an office within the DVA but That I cannot contact the DVA to ask if they have my AEW that was completed after February 2017 and that I will be told that they do not have my AEW and to call the Coast Guard.
Is this the (Round Robin) standard that currently exists? In September of 2015, it will be three years since I applied for my increased disability rating and close to two years since I received the described monetary increase, could someone please let me know that I am not the only one this is happening to.
Rob Grant, QM1, USCG (Ret.)