Hugh D. Cox, Attorney in
Greenville, NC, proudly representing the disabled for rightful veterans benefits,
Social Security benefits and Workers Compensation.
2411 B Charles Boulevard
Greenville, North Carolina 27858
Post Office Box 154
Greenville, North Carolina 27835-0154
Fax: (252) 757-3420
| North Carolina Bar Number
Department of Veterans Affairs Accreditation number 8925
The information contained in this website is general legal information and not legal advice on any legal subject. It is no substitute for the services of a
competent professional attorney experienced in these matters. This information is subject to change at any time due to new legislation or new court cases.
September 25, 2014: New VA Regulations wipe out 70 years of veteran friendly regulations and presumptions. The Federal Register (Vol. 79, Number 186) issued on September 25, 2014, now destroys much of the veteran friendly "duty to assist the veteran" presumptions available to veterans since World War II. These regulations are the greatest sabotage of veteran disability rights in the history of our nation. Basically, the new rules are:
--The veteran applying for benefits or appealing a benefits denial must use the VA form for a all purposes including Notice of Disagreement http://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=21-0958 and Appeal to BVA http://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA9.pdf .
--A claim for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) must be specifically made to VA. TDIU is no longer considered an implied claim within another claim. If a veteran does not ask for TDIU, it will not be granted.
--There are no more implied or informal claims. Iraq veterans who discover that they were exposed to mustard gas cannot allege, "I have a mustard gas claim." There is no more "Agent Orange claim". If a veteran does not give his exact diagnoses, the VA can treat the claim as a notice only and not a claim. Specific medical pleading is now required or the VA will ignore or dismiss the claim.
September 15, 2014: REGIONAL OFFICES NO LONGER ACCEPT VETERAN EVIDENCE, CLAIMS AND APPEALS. After January 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) apparently issued a several billion dollar contract to a unknown private corporation to produce paperless veteran records to the individual Regional Office adjudicators for VA decisions.
The VA has yet to make a national Internet announcement of how the system works.
This system started operating in August 2014. There will be two Centralized Mail Processing (CMP or CM) centers for the entire nation: Newnan, Georgia and Janesville, Wisconsin. These CMP's will scan all veteran evidence, claims, and appeals, etc., and make them available to the Regional Offices. All scanned and paperless documents will be in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and will be available to the adjudicators through their computer system. Supposedly, the veteran can connect to the VA veteran Internet access called "e-Benefits", but “e-Benefits” is currently unreliable and not updated due to the new CMP delays. The United States Post Office is now instructed to divert mail from individual Regional Offices to the new CMP centers regardless of content. The veteran apparently cannot avoid the CMP monopoly by communication with the Regional Office.
Each document collection submitted by a veteran must be scanned individually by the CMP's. The CMP employees will determine whether the veteran document submission is evidence, a claim, an appeal or something else like a waiver. VA forms may have priority over letters even if the letter is very explicit.
The scanning and organizational process at CMP will take at least three weeks per document collection before the Regional Office can access the collection. There appears to be no procedure or time limit to notify the veteran that his document collection is received.
The veteran CANNOT submit his document collection in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. The veteran must submit paper only by mail. Fax transmission to the CMP is allowed, but is limited to nine pages plus a cover page. No email upload is allowed at this time.
Veteran National Organizations representatives can still submit in the traditional manner of giving paper to the Regional Office. Attorneys and unrepresented veterans cannot do so.
Questions that arise for this CMP monopoly include:
-- Do CMP employees have any experience with VA procedures and VA forms? What are the qualifications of the CMP employees?
--Will National Veteran Organizations be able to "game" the system by moving their members' claims ahead of attorney clients and unrepresented veterans? These vet rep's for national organizations already have free offices in the Regional Offices and they have virtually unlimited access to the veteran's file folder including VA computer access. Attorneys must pay for this VA access.
--Will this new CMP effort create a much longer backlog than exists at this time?
Most of us who know the VA can guess where this system is going. It will create longer backlogs and further sabotage the nation’s disabled veterans.
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