Good news on Approval Process...I think!!!

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by suse, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. suse

    suse Jr. Member

    Since contacting our senator in TX about a month ago, it appears the application process is finally moving along. Prior to that not only wasn't it moving but VA said they had 2 files on my husband, one under SS # & one under File #. An inquiry was sent from the VA to the VA due to nothing having been done on it in over 75 days. Apparently when that happens an inquiry can be done in least that is what I was told. In the last 2 weeks it has gone from Claim Received Phase to Preparation for Decision. In the last 2 days it has gone to next phase of Pending Decision Approval with a completion date of 3/25/13 to 4/15/13. There is only 1 more phase before the Completion Phase. There is no doubt we would not be at this point if the senator hadn't sent his inquiry.

    Thank you, Maralina, vetwife, Pat & all for your encouragement & advice. Last but not least, thank you Debbie for your knowledge, perseverance, & courage. Without you behind all of us none of us would have been able to know what to do, how to do it & remain constant to our goal. We are not all the way there but I am hopeful that we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. For those of you I didn't name in my thank you, please know that there are so many of you who guided me & others that to name all of you this post would have been endless. I will keep you all informed in the days & weeks ahead.

    For all those waiting, don't give up. Use your senator, that is what they are getting paid for...we are paying them to step up for us. It is a struggle, a far greater struggle than it should be, but we have to keep the faith, we have to persevere, & we have to remain constant to our goal. We owe it to our vet and to Debbie.

  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Here's to hoping a BIG congratulations will soon be in order!

    I just came back from DC from doing a TV segment entitled "Battling for Benefits". It is just a shame that with so few requirements for this particular benefit that a Senator should have to be involved.

    I just got an email from a woman whose 91-year old Mother just passed away, who was waiting 18 months, with still no decision. It's an injustice, and just makes me dig my heels in harder.

    Thanks Suse for your kind words and appreciation for all here to share in the journey.

    NANAPATOK Newbie

    Suse, I've been checking every day in hopes that you would have good news! My dad was approved in only 11 days, but the 12-months prior we applied for was held up for months for the same reason yours was. They had his application filed under 2 different names, and it was just lost in the system. You would think they could figure out how to keep that from happening!
    Keeping my fingers crossed and prayers for you! Pat
  4. vetwife

    vetwife Full Member

    Great to hear you and hubby are making progress, Suse! :)

    Same as Pat and Debbie...thoughts and prayers...fingers crossed for you.
  5. suse

    suse Jr. Member

    OMG...I am just sick to my stomach. I just looked at the ebenefit site & it was updated with the following:

    Claim Closed. Appeal is Possible Decision Notification Sent. View Board of Veterans Appeals Status

    Truly I feel sick...after all these months & now it sounds like we have been denied. I feel like crying but know that won't do any good. I am also really ------off. That won't really do any good either.

    Debbie, I need some words of advise & your calm voice of reason as I am not feeling very calm right now. It's like having the rug pulled out from under us.

  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    OK - first thing is to take a breath as hard as that may be at the moment. Now take a couple more!

    Let's wait to see what the reason for "denied" is based on. You know at this point to NEVER "APPEAL" a decision. You ALWAYS do a 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim putting forth new or updated information to be considered.

    Until we know the reason there isn't anything else at this point that can be done.

    Keep breathing, and we will figure this out when we know what you are dealing with.
  7. suse

    suse Jr. Member

    Debbie, I just called the 800 number & talked to a rep. When I asked him about the "Appeal is Possible etc. he said those are just blanket statements that don't necessarily mean denial. I then asked if he was sure it didn't necessarily mean denial & he repeated that it did not. He said a letter would be going out on Monday. I asked him if he could give me any words of encouragement because I was feeling physically sick. He said he couldn't be specific but he said he was sure I would be happy about the decision. I know I must have sounded desperate because that's how I was feeling. I feel better now & will wait for our letter. I am breathing normally now...well, almost normally. Thank you for answering me so quickly.

  8. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Very good, and we will wait.

    Keep breathing!
  9. vetwife

    vetwife Full Member

    Suse, pretty much every letter they send that has anything to do with a decison of any kind includes that standard statement informing the veteran of their appeal rights. It comes with the good news as well as the bad.
    I sure understand your feelings...I have been there. Keep the faith...

    Sounds promising from the way the rep spoke. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a good outcome.

    NANAPATOK Newbie

    Suse, those blanket statements are so confusing and often seem contradictory, but I really think you're finally in the "Final Phase" and have been approved. You will probably still have to read the benefits approval letter several times when you get it to decide if Va is really saying what you think they're's kind of like deciphering a code. When my dad was approved for 12-months prior, there were about 10 pages of small print explaining exactly what they approved and why they approved it, in detail. There was also a page of "what we didn't approve and why not". On ours, they explained that I had submitted incorrect information regarding the Social Security amount and why they could not approve it. I admit I had a brief moment of panic fearing VA would think I had plotted to defraud! They sited dates and amounts and statistics to prove that I was off on the yearly amount I turned in by a whole $1.00! I had checked and double checked and knew for a fact I had sent in the correct amount and finally figured out that since the application had been lost in their system for almost a year, the amount had in deed changed by the yearly amount of $1.00 during that time. Dang, they're precise! I was just so glad I finally found those all-important words "your application has been approved" some where in all those pages. My sister and I did a HAPPY DANCE, and I added the Approval Letter to the duplicate binder I made with copies of everything I sent to VA and all correspondence I've received from them.
    I'll save the HAPPY DANCE until it's official, but I'm almost certain you will be receiving your Approval Letter in the mail very soon! Pat
  11. maralina1

    maralina1 Full Member


    Just read your latest post. Apparently all award/decision letters say you have a right to appeal even if the full amount was awarded. My dad's did.

    Sounds like you will be receiving good news next week!

  12. suse

    suse Jr. Member

    YEAAAAAA!!!!! I am doing my "happy dance". The pension was approved effective 4/1/13. if I am understanding it right that would mean we would get it on 5/1/13. They are of course holding the retroactive due to the fiduciary process.It isn't for the full amount but I was pretty sure it wouldn't be. Medical will go up this year so I will do the change of status form when that happens.

    Thank you Debbie for this website because without it I would never have made it through the process. I will make a donation when I receive the first check but will be able to make another once the retroactive is received. I profited from the experience and knowledge of so many...Maralina, Pat, vetwife, & so many more. I know I left some other names off but please know you are in my heart.

    A couple of questions:

    What form do I use concerning requesting to be named fiduciary?
    What form do I send letting VA know we do not want to appeal the incompetency decision?
    What form do I use & when for reimbursement on prescriptions etc that they didn't count but said we could apply for

    For anyone hesitating to contact their senator please know that we would still be waiting if I hadn't contacted Senator Cornyn in Texas. It took about 45 days after doing so but there is no doubt in my mind that is what got things going. Don't give up. Also i followed the specific instructions on this website from Debbie & so many others & was not asked for any additional information. I was fortunate to be able to include information on exwives & even their new married names. I thought for sure that would be an issue of wanting documentation but it wasn't. They even returned my husband's original dd214 w/ the seal on it & they returned it to us!!! I don't recommend doing that however.

    I am nervous about the fiduciary meeting but it is just 1 more hurdle. I am still reading & rereading the packet. It is pretty overwhelming.

    Thank you for the well wishes through out this ordeal & especially last week when I had a meltdown. You are all in my hearts & prayers.

  13. newpenny

    newpenny Jr. Member

    I am very happy for you.
  14. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Well I have on my tap shoes and am doing the Happy Dance with you!! What awesome news, and I am happy that we could all be here for you.

    Regarding not contesting the incomptency decision and Fiduciary appointment:

    Once you receive notification from the VA that they find it necessary for a fiduciary to be appointed you should submit Form 21-4138 and include the following statement:

    Please be advised that (applicant's name) and I have no issue with the VA finding of incompetence and wish to proceed with the appointment of a fiduciary. We wish to appoint myself (her/his insert your relationship to the veteran) as fiduciary. I understand that I must be interviewed prior to that appointment and would appreciate such an interview be scheduled as soon as possible.
    At this point both (whoever is asking to be appointed) and the applicant will have to be interviewed by a VA Field Agent who will determine if you are an appropriate person to assign fiduciary to.

    Note: Due to the overwhelming needs for interviews such as this, it can take months before you are contacted to schedule an appointment. You may need to be proactive in calling and "requesting" that an appointment be scheduled. You should allow at least 30 days before following up with contact.

    Again, CONGRATULATIONS - Best news of the day, and I am so happy for you both!

    NANAPATOK Newbie

    Suse, Congratulations!!! Finally Happy Dance Time!!! Pat
  16. vetwife

    vetwife Full Member

    So happy for you and your husband, Suse! :)
    Life is so difficult when your spouse is ill.
    At least this benefit helps us to better care for them.
    They deserve it!!

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