17 April 2016

VA caught shredding veterans' claims documents –INCLUDING MINE!

Its happened again. VA caught shredding veterans' claims documents, either purposefully or accidentally. How matters little to a vet who waited from months to a year for the local VARO to decide his claim, or the veteran who has waited three to five years for the Board of Veterans Appeals to review his denied claim: If VA blocks a vet's medical care and other benefits because the facts and proofs originally sent to VA weren't in the C-file, he's screwed!

And I believe I've been screwed. Not only have parts of my 2011 Agent Orange claim remained denied or unresolved for five years, but there's lots of stuff missing from my C-file! By comparing two VA reports available through eBenefits. I can't say whether missing documents were actually shredded but I don't care – they're gone!

I send in most materials for my claim by using eBenefit's SUBMIT DOCUMENTS function available by navigating down from the OPEN CLAIM to VIEW DOCUMENTS. I got the idea to compare the list of materials there to my activity log. The log shows what I did on each visit to rBenefits.

If the activity log showed I submitted something when logged in on a date, that should show up in OPEN CLAIM VIEW DOCUMENTS.

But that wasn't happening.

In fact, dozens of visits showed I submitted documents to help prove my claim but they never were posted to the C-file. Dozens of proofs to my claim were missing, and there was no way to tell which specific items were absent. Still, the list itself should have interested VA in resolving  a serious problem so I brought it to VBA's attention.

And never heard back. So the problem exists today and I'll just have to hope that evidence elsewhere in my C-file will suffice to win claims and appeals. We'll see. I've waited over a year but no answer to my letter.
January 22, 2015
VA Compensation and Pension Service:
Please compare these two documents and note that VA received from me many documents between 4/2014 and 8/2014 which show on my eBenefits activity (#1) but do not show on the claims “unsolicited documents received (2).

Why were they discarded.
Thank you.
Sincerely, etc.

Here is the comparison I made to see if documents were missing. This doesn't identify which item are missing unless I know what was sent on that day. Yellow highlight means no corresponding post of a submission in the claim file. There's a lot of yellow! I show one page but there are 33 more with varying amounts shown lost...click to expand.

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