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Old 06-14-2015, 11:29 AM
OLDNAVYMCPO OLDNAVYMCPO is online now
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Yeah, I know I'm way late in doing this. Survivors guilt, whatever. Here's the deal, I'm finally getting around to filing a claim for service connected injuries. In Texas, there is a Texas Veterans Commission that acts as advocate for the veteran. Anyway, they ordered a copy of my service record and medical record.

I got my service record on cd with lots of pages missing but still hundreds of pages long. The problem is that the VA won't accept electronic copies, they must be paper. I could take a disc or thumb drive to a copy store and have it all printed, but my fear is that those pages contain my whole life story or at least 24 years worth. SS numbers, date of birth, family histories, security clearance info, etc.

Talk about opening yourself up for identity thief. I'm at a loss as to what to do. When i asked the VA advocate about it, I was told that those copy places don't pay any attention to what they're copying. Really!

I'm open to suggestions from anyone who has been in a similar circumstance.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:05 PM
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The data from a copy machine/fax machine is saved and can be accessed. I wouldn't do that if I were you. Buy a cheap printer and make the copies yourself.

Get ready for some trials. The VA has a policy of denying claims on the first round. Go outside of the VA for any exams and pay for them with your insurance or out of pocket. They will send you to someone they want you to go to so the results will be in their favor, not yours (read claim denied). Va doctors same deal. Tell the specialist/doctor why you are having the test. They need to know so they can help you with your claim.

Using VA professionals to establish a claim is like having the IRS do your taxes for you. It took me 2 years to find that out. They won't tell you what you need to know and stonewall you at every step. I'm on my first appeal and will be hiring an attorney if this one doesn't stick.

I'm a Vietnam era vet with major hearing lose from working on the flight line for 4 years.

Just a heads up.
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Old 06-14-2015, 02:23 PM
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I'm surprised your VA advocate couldn't make the copies for you. Don't you have any friends with a PC and a printer? When I filed a claim for hearing loss, 40+ years after I got out of the service my VA Rep did all the paperwork, and I only furnished a copy of my DD214. My records did show a compensable loss at the time I was discharged in 1963, but I had declined to file for it at that time. Took about 6 months and I was approved for hearing aids and a small monthly reimbursement.
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Old 06-14-2015, 02:44 PM
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The VA Rep claimed that they are not permitted to insert any device into a VA computer, no CD, no thumb drive, nothing that could be used to download info. This is supposedly why they will only accept paper. I have a printer and am in the process of printing them myself. Several hundred multi-page documents. Looking for an easier way if possible.
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Old 06-14-2015, 02:57 PM
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I think that is correct about the VA not permitting the counselors to copy records.

I'm probably one of the biggest cheerleaders for the VA, never had any problem, get the best care, and have the insurance so I could go anywhere. But I like the VA.

But, as always, I digress.

I stopped in to see about filing a claim for my cancer and some other problems which I am Service Connected for have gotten worse.

Well, let me tell you! I was furious! I had to wait and wait to see a counselor. I must have waited just under 15 minutes from the time I walked in the door without an appointment until the counselor was sitting with me in his office. 15 minutes? I've waited longer to get waited on at a restaurant than that.

He filled out all the "stuff" for me. Got a filed on date (so if I get additional benefits, they'll start the day I filed).

But I have an outside doctor who has info on some of my service connected problems.

He told me to get the records, take them somewhere and get them copied, as the VA did not allow him to make copies. I gathered it has to do with some security issue as suggested in posts above.

I don't know much about discs/copying/machine keeping a record, but I think I'd talk to someone who knows and ask how is the safest way to get a copy made.

Bob
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Old 06-14-2015, 03:35 PM
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in 2013 I filed for a hearing disability claim with the VA. this was done through the county vet service person in I think it was July. I never heard anything from the VA March of 2014 when they had me go to the Lincoln VA clinic for a hearing test. the disability claim was approved in May of 2014. the vet service person said that things go a lot smoother if you join the American Legion or some other service organization because they will have somebody that keeps track of these claims.

the only thing I had to do was show the vet service person the original of my the DD-214 and he did the rest. I worked on the flightline for 3 years at Rhein Main AB in Germany
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:19 PM
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Well, I'm a bit slow, but I finally asked my wife what the story was about not making copies.

She said it's been the "policy" not to make copies of most anything. Not sure why, she supposes it's linked to security.

On hearing loss, as most of you know, there's now no hoops to jump through to get hearing aids if you are a vet. Don't have to show a service connection.

I could have shown the connection, but the doc said you can prove that it's connected to your Service if you want, but they aren't paying any more money for that at this time. This was two years ago.

So I just took the hearing aids.

Bob
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightshooter1 View Post
Well, I'm a bit slow, but I finally asked my wife what the story was about not making copies.

She said it's been the "policy" not to make copies of most anything. Not sure why, she supposes it's linked to security.

On hearing loss, as most of you know, there's now no hoops to jump through to get hearing aids if you are a vet. Don't have to show a service connection.

I could have shown the connection, but the doc said you can prove that it's connected to your Service if you want, but they aren't paying any more money for that at this time. This was two years ago.

So I just took the hearing aids.

Bob
That isn't my experience. I was denied as late as late year. Maybe that has changed with the new VA director, don't know. My doctor said there was no way in hell the VA could say my hearing lose wasn't service connected just because it wasn't documented in 1971. I'm really not sure why the VA would even even try to deny a Vet hearing aids once the hearing lose was documented by testing.

Needless to say I'm not really a huge fan of the VA and this adm.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:06 PM
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Every single day, at Bay Pines, there's a waiting room full of guys (probably gals, too, just haven't seen any) all waiting for the Audiology exam and the free hearing aids. None are SC for it that I know of. I talk to them as I am there to see the Speech Pathologist (like some lawyer needs to learn to talk).

I have heard it is the same way at Haley across the Bay in Tampa. But I haven't been there.

Did you try to get them without getting SC for hearing loss?

Bob
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:01 PM
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See if your county has a Veterans service officer. They were especially helpful for me. VA bureaucracy has to be experienced to be believed, and these guys got me through the process.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDNAVYMCPO View Post
I have a printer and am in the process of printing them myself. Several hundred multi-page documents. Looking for an easier way if possible.
Get a b&w *Laser* printer. They are very fast - they should be able to print several hundred pages in about 15 minutes. There are lots of them for sale for less than $200. They usually come with enough toner to do several thousand pages.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:51 AM
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Ask the DAV to be your representative. In my experience ( 10,000 + PTSD evals including comp and pension exams ) they are the best there is.

They would often have filed the appeal before the vet even knew he had been turned down, You don't have to be a member to have them represent you although most join when they see the good they do.

I donate to them even though I am not a vet.
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