Initial Response - Philadelphia Center

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by emce48, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. emce48

    emce48 Newbie

    Could others please share experience with the Philadelphia Center. I sent in application for my 86 year old Mother in August09 In September I received letter stating. "We have received your application and apologize for the delay” etc... I receive one of these each moth. There has been no indication the process has gone any further than the initial receiving of application. The letters are signed by
    L. Jackson. I have written to them asking for clarification of what point the application is in, and stressing the need due to my Mothers age and health (86 / Alzheimer’s) but have received nothing other than the same form letter. When trying to call # listed, I have been on hold as long as 20 minuets with no success. I would greatly appreciate any tips, suggestions

    Thank you so very much .......
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Contact your state senator and ask them to get involved ASAP. 9 times out of 10 this gets things done.

    They haven't even made a decision on the award, which is unacceptable.
  3. emce48

    emce48 Newbie

    Thank you for the advice - I'm in Pensacola Flordia - getting in contact with Senator
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Let us know how things go for you.
  5. PMC-Chris

    PMC-Chris Newbie

    Right, that's just an auto-generated letter that essentially says that the VA has received the claim. Writing in generally will not get a response, as those papers will just get stapled to the claim and then they'll work it when they decide to get to it. I can't speak for Philadelphia, but St Paul responds to request from reasonably quickly. As vetadmin mentioned, though, going to a congressman is a legitimate way to get things done too.
  6. emce48

    emce48 Newbie

    I sent inquiry through my State Senators office. they requested permission to investigate due to privacy act. I returned permission letter, waiting for responce. I contacted their respsonce is below. I had sent in from 21-22a "Appoinment of individual as claimant's representative" at the time of orginal application. The phone # given for pension inquires is worthless - I have tried constanly for 2 days - it is always busy.

    Thanks to all on this forum and especially you Debbie for providing a wonderful service who all share this common cause !!

    "Dear Mr. :

    Thank you for your inquiry dated March 23, 2010, regarding the status of your mother’s claim.

    Due to the sensitive nature of the information you are requesting, and in accordance with the Privacy Act, we are unable to provide a specific response to you. We are only allowed to correspond with the claimant or the claimant’s VA-approved power of attorney (POA). The VA does not recognize state-granted or durable POAs. We appreciate your understanding of our security measures, as they are essential in ensuring the integrity of our claimant’s information.

    However, you may contact the pension management center in Philadelphia at the address and phone number listed at the end of this response.

    We hope this information is helpful.

    Thank you for contacting us. If you have questions or need additional help with the information in our reply, please respond to this message or see our other contact information below.

    Sincerely yours,

    E. J. Kruse
    National IRIS Response Center Manager
    How to Contact VA:

    On line:

    By phone:
    (877) 294-6380 (for pension inquiries)
    (800) 827-1000 (for all other inquiries)
    (800) 829-4833 (TDD hearing impaired)[/color]"
  7. emce48

    emce48 Newbie

    And to update - I finallly reached someone at 877.2946380 After countless busy signals and 15 minutes of waiting.Now there is yet another form to be filled out. Depsite the fact I filled out a 21-22a at the time original application was made - I now have to fill out a 21-0845 Authorization to disclose information to a third party and fax that in . I can just imagine endless times of " Sorry Sir " we have not received that fax

    Incredible !!!
  8. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The VA has recently opted for this form 21-0845 authorizing you to speak with them on the vet/spouse's behalf. They are now not acknowledging the 21-22a until they make a ruling on the application.

    Seems like there always has to be change up just to keep things interesting. Just fill out and get it back to them so you can move forward.

  9. Max

    Max Hero Member

    If you fill out the IRIS for your mom and have her info in there, that should work fine. The privacy act is a huge hurdle that a lot of people face.
  10. jpez

    jpez Full Member

    Wow, sounds like the Privacy Act kicked in just last week......... ::)
    Why would the VA use a form 21-22a and then in the last 6 months completely ignore the form and start using a different form?

    Both forms reference the Privacy Act of 1974.......... ???
    21-22a was created in May of 2007
    21-0845 was created in Dec 0f 2009
  11. Max

    Max Hero Member

    My understanding is that 21-22a's are used primarily for accredited service orgs and lawyers. These need to be processed to determine what type of compensation the representative receives for their representation of the veteran. The 0845's are a new tool we can use to side-step this processing by just accepting that the veteran wants us to talk to the named individual on the form.
  12. pattyclarke

    pattyclarke Newbie

    So Max, would you say it is best not to fill out the 21-22a at all if a family member is to be the representative, and just submit the 21-0845 with the application?

  13. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Yes, I suggest the 21-0845.

    Another advantage to this form is that when it arrives, it is immediately separated from the claim and sent to scanning. This means that when you call the call center or if anyone else in VA needs to call the claimant, they also have access to a scanned, PDF format release. The 21-22a's aren't scanned until after the claim is complete, so they are only relevant for the adjudicator working on the claim.
  14. new57

    new57 Newbie


    Your response explains why the 21-22a was not in the system the first time i called on behalf of my father to check on his claim.

    I had to fax over the form to make sure they had it in the system.
    When i called to verify the next day, they suggested the 21-0845 also.

    Thanks for shedding some light on what is happening during the process.
  15. emce48

    emce48 Newbie

    To update on my latest frustration. I finally received a response on 4/12 and that only after enlisting the help of Senator Bill Nelson from my home State of Florida. This is after her application being on someone’s desk since 9/18, finally a response.

    The response is confusing on several levels.
    1. The letter states they need additional evidence on my Mothers claim for “PMC – Initial Death Pension” Is this what the VA officially refers to as process for Aid and Attendance?
    2. They are asking for a death certificate which also shows cause of death. I did not send a certificate which showed cause of death as I did not find any requirement for such on the application. Also, from the official VA documents, the requirement for qualification is: 90 days of consecutive service, at least one day of which was during a period of war OR 90 days of combined service during at least one period of War. My Dad was in continuous service for 1 year and 9 months during WWII

    I will request a death certificate from Florida records immediately. I’m just curious have others going through this process experienced similar circumstances.
  16. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    It sounds as though they are processing the application for the wrong benefit. I would call them and ask what they are processing for.
    The cause of death would normally only be due to the fact they are trying to deny the claim stating that the death was not caused by service related injuries, whereas for Pension Benefit, the fact the veteran is deceased should be sufficient.

    I do recommend calling and getting clarification that the application is being processed for Pension Benefit and NOT Compensation.

    Good Luck and keep us posted.
  17. emce48

    emce48 Newbie

    After sending in Death Certificate showing cause of Death, which I have return recipt showing arriving 4/27. Numerous calls ( they always said an inquiry was being generated ) I received a call yesterday. from the VA indicating they had all documents and my Mothers file was now before their review board. Is this a normal procedure ? They could not give me a time frame for final decision. Congradulations to all I have seen finally reaching the end of their journeys. Hopefully after 9 months mine is nearing a conclusion.
  18. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    There really is not any reason that I can see that would warrant this being before a "Review Board", and that VA rarely if ever gives a timeframe.

    The concern is that they are looking at the cause of death and they only do that when they are processing for DIC. You need to confirm with them that this application is for Improved Pension, which does not look at the cause of death, only verifies that the veteran is deceased.

    I still think this is being processed for the wrong thing, and won't be surprised if the ruling comes back denied stating the veteran's death is not service related. I would not wait on this. Call and confirm it is being processed for the Aid and Attendance level of Improved Pension.
  19. emce48

    emce48 Newbie

    I did call and it was confirmed that the application was being reviewed for Aid and Attendance. I was told that the file was now complete and I should be receving notification within a week. His story was he could not tell if file was approved. When I asked about why certifiacte of Death showing cause had been requested, all I get is " they do no have that information, only that it has been requested.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed .. Thanks so much for the help and support
  20. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Well let's just keep our fingers crossed here that you will have positive news to post in the very near future. Funny how the VA can't seem to ever tell you anything even when they have the file right in front of them.

    You're welcome for the support.

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