Correcting mistakes in claim filings


I hope you have time to address a question I have on my wife’s claim for benefits. Brief history, she was honorably discharged 19 Oct 09. We filed her claim for derm issues (on line) 17 Nov 09. At her 3 Dec 09 C&P exam she was advised to file for PTSD benefits. I’ll spare you the details on why this occurred. She filled out the forms and I amended her claim on line. The VBA received them 16 Dec 09. Fast forward to 3 Oct 09. My wife was rated at 100% for PTSD but they only paid her from 1 Jan 10; stating the claim date was December 09. A follow up later received a week later stated that her derm issues were service connected, but were rated at 0%.

To compound this mistake, I too made a mistake on the web claim. I put the wrong birth year for each of our children, which inadvertently dropped one of them from being included in my wife’s compensation payment. Currently, she should be owed for two months of 100% compensation at the spouse/2 child rate.

According to what the claim letter said, if a claim is filed within 12 months of a discharge, the claim date is effective/paid the first month following the discharge. My wife’s claim date should be 19 Oct 09 with payments beginning 1 Nov 09, correct? We’re working with a stellar VSO. We’ve submitted the necessary paperwork to get the birthdates corrected and to get the claim date changed. Without her, my wife and I would still be in limbo waiting for a rating decision.

Can you tell me from any past experience how long the VBA would take to make the corrections and send the back pay?

Much thanks! The work you do helped my wife and I through a horrific 11 months.


I sincerely wish I could even hazard a guess about such things as "Jim, how long do you think it will take to...". I get those requests each and every day and I never have any response other than, "My crystal ball is out for a software upgrade. I'm using tea leaves and a Magic 8 Ball today and the prediction for your case is somewhere between tomorrow and three years from now."

There is little consistency across the system. In the same Regional Office if two envelopes with similar files from veterans arrive at the same time on the same day, one may be routed to desk A and the other to desk B.

One worker may be at his desk A and have the case resolved in a month or so. The next guy at desk B may be in training and having problems. Typically these workers have stacks upon stacks of papers that bury their desks and there is scant supervision of how the individual is processing claims. I have dozens of reports of desks being cleaned out and old files being stuck into every conceivable nook and cranny...some years old.

You can see that beyond this scenario are dozens of others. Your guy takes a leave and work that was piled on his desk stays there for weeks or months.

I'm sorry to tell you I've watched dependent issues...marriages, births, etc. that drag on for years. They do a great job of death and stop the checks at the very second we stop breathing.

I also have to note that I always advise against the on-line system. I only trust one single way to communicate with VA...certified mail. RRR. I teach no faxing, no phone calls and no emails. None of those things provide rock solid evidence of delivery and receipt.

Patience is the number one requirement dealing with VA. Trying to make things go faster will surely see them slow down.