Totally Frustrated with the V.A.

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by sisterluke, May 2, 2014.

  1. sisterluke

    sisterluke Newbie

    I can hardly find the right words to describe my absolute disgust with the V.A. I have never experienced such utter ineptitude and bureaucratic red tape in my life. I first looked into Aid and Attendance for my father, who is 85 years old and living in an assisted living facility, more than seven months ago. The first problem I encountered was that a copy of his discharge papers could not be found because the records were burned in a fire. The V.A. kept insisting that my father provide his discharge information, which, because of his Parkinson's with dementia, he does not remember. I was then going back and forth with Daniel Tooth at the V.A. Lancaster office, who finally told me to file the papers for Aid and Assistance without the discharge information, which I did in December, 2013. In the several times I called to get the status on his claim, I was told that a decision had not been made. When I called the V.A. on 4/18/14, I was told that a decision had been made and the claim was closed and I should wait for the letter to be mailed. When I still had not received the letter, I called again on 4/24/14, and was told that the case had been closed because a letter that was mailed requesting financial information was not answered. I discovered that when Mr. Tooth had sent the pre-filled 21-526 form to me, the incorrect zip code was listed and the letter was never delivered to me. The agent I spoke with said he would change the address and request that the case be-reopened and the letter re-sent to me. On 4/29/14, I received form 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim, with a generic letter that did not give specific instructions on how to complete the form. I called the V.A. the next day and was told by the agent that the agent I spoke with previously did not follow proper procedure and that in order for me to receive the letter requesting the financial information, I had to fax a letter to the V.A., which I did. When I called today to confirm receipt of the fax, which was received, I was told by the agent that my father could not receive Aid and Attendance unless he was already receiving a pension or compensation. I explained to her that I was not aware of that, and asked why, with all the times I called before, didn't someone tell me. She replied that she didn't know why it was even being processed. She said she would request that the case be re-opened and that the letter be released. I have been banging my head against the wall with the people at the V.A. Every time I try to rectify a problem, another one occurs. I am at my wits end. I'm thinking maybe it's time to get an attorney. I would appreciate any advice this forum can share. Thanks...Mike
     
  2. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    Mike,

    Sorry to hear about your situation. Obviously the Lancaster Office gave you bad advice every step of the way, starting with what VA Form to use. The correct Form is 21-527 EZ, not 21-526. Telling you to file the claim without discharge papers is similarly misguided.

    It's hard to say what you can or should do without seeing the More Information Letter and the Denial Letter.

    If you have those letters (sounds like you do not), feel free to private message me or post them here.

    Robert
     
  3. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    I am so sorry that you pulled every possible idiot with wrong information.

    Let me make this very, very clear. Your Dad nor any other veteran had to be receiving pension or compensation prior to filing for this benefit. That is a total out right lie.

    You need to stop dealing with the folks who have eaten up all this lost time and still not having it right.

    Do the 21-4138 along with providing the statement on expenses, and mail it to the proper Pension Center for your Dad's state. A list of those centers are here on the forums under the Tips and Resources tab.
     
  4. Daisywin

    Daisywin Newbie

    We found https://www.ebenefits.va.gov to be helpful in locating our WWII vet's discharge papers that were burned in the fire.

    The VA uses other information to reconstruct papers - such as military payroll records, approximate dates of enlistment, where the vet was based, enlistment location, rank, type of job performed and GI benefits received after discharge (eg, college tuition) and many other pieces of information - whatever you can provide them per their list of questions.
     

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