Legal Question in Veterans Law in Texas

In a previous question, I mistakenly asked the wrong question. The answer received was "You cannot 'force' the VA to give you a disability rating, like it's your right to have one! They have people that review your medical records to determine if you should have any disability rating, then, if you're found to be disabled, they will assign a percentage rating to your disability."

The question I meant to ask is, "Can anyone 'force' the VA to make a decision on a disability claim...either give me a disability rating or deny my claim."

As of today, the VA has refused to make a decision on my disability claim. Quoting someone I read on the Internet, "Justice delayed is justice denied." Well, I have been denied justice (i.e., a decision to deny or approve my claim) for over 16 months.

Don't I have the right to a decision? Apparently not, becuase the VA is ABOVE THE LAW and can do anything they want...even lie to my Senators and Congressman...without fear of retribution.

Asked on 1/17/11, 1:21 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Williamson Charles J. Williamson, Attorney At Law
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I am the one who answered your previously worded question. As much as you may not like hearing this, all I can tell you is that if you give those people any sort of attitude, your file may "get lost" and there's not much that anyone can do about it. You might want to check with www.RepForVets.com to see if someone there can be of assistance.

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Answered on 1/23/11, 8:11 am
Jill Mitchell Heard & Smith, LLP
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Have you called to check the status of the claim? Is it posible they need more information from you or are they supposed to schedule a VA medical exam? In your case (judging by your zip code, you are dealing with the Houston office) the amount of time you mentioned (over one year) is not that far out of the ordinary. Houston is one of the most backlogged regional offices in the country. Waco is almost as bad. One reason for the delay may be the type of claim it is or if you have a separate issue pending on appeal. If the file is, say, in DC at the Board for an appealed denial, a new claim gets put on the back burner. Or if your claim involved a laundry list of conditions that they have to sort out, that can make it take a long time, too. If you gave me more info about the exact circumstances of your claim(s), like what you are claiming, what evidence you have given them, etc., I could probably tell you why it has taken this long. Now, if you are actually talking about an APPEAL for service connection (and ratings) rather than an original CLAIM, then the time frame you mention is pretty much on schedule. Feel free to email me directly if you have any specific questions.

By the way, just FYI, RepForVets is run by Binder&Binder;, and according to what one of their reps told me, they do not use attorneys for their VA cases unless it gets to the court level and then they refer it out, So if you want a good legal opinion, look for an attorney who specializes in veterans' law. Most of the good ones are members of the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates (NOVA).

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Answered on 1/24/11, 6:18 am

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