Myths about VA
There are numerous "myths" about VA circulating throughout the veteran population! Below are some of the more common ones out there;
"Deny, Deny until you die"
FALSE! This is probably one of the oldest ones out there. Contrary to popular belief VA is not out to simply deny your claim, and keep denying it, until you pass on. At VA the RVSR (the rater) is required to decide a certain amount of claims in one day, and to deny a claim requires more work than granting one does. When a RVSR denies a claim they must explain why in the "reason and basis" portion of the rating, which requires more work and ultimately more time to do so than granting a claim. Granting a claim only requires a short statement stating so along with the reason they are assigning a such and such evaluation. So in other words the RVSR is looking at a way to grant as many claims as they can so they have an easier time reaching their daily quota of claims completed. Further, each decision must pass quality review (a review by the quality control folks) as to whether the claim was decided accurately based on the evidence of record if it is randomly selected for this review.
"Any disability diagnosed within one year after separation will be awarded service-connection"
FALSE! This is another one that is making its rounds through the veteran community. Only specific disabilities listed under 38 C.F.R. §3.309 that are diagnosed, or manifested themselves, within the different presumptive periods can be awarded service-connection on this basis. This is not an all inclusive list!
"Every time when one submits something to support their claim, the claims goes back to the 'bottom of the stack'"
FALSE! Every claim is decided by the 'Date of claim' at VA. This is the date it is received by VA. Now, this doesn't mean that if VA receives your claim February 1rst, 2014, and your friends claim is receive by VA on March 1rst, 2014, that your claim will be decided before theirs. This means that after all the needed development (gathering of all records and evidence sufficient to decide the claim) has been completed and has been deemed 'Ready to rate," or "Ready for a decision," the claim will be decided by the oldest coming first.
"When the RVSR grants a claim they purposely 'low ball' the evaluation assigned to save the VA money"
FALSE! The RVSR doesn't give a hoot in Hades whether they grant a 0% or a 100% evaluation! For the most part they aren't even aware of the final compensation amount authorized to the veteran. They are simply trying to make the most accurate decision based on the evidence as a whole that will stand up to a Quality review! Further, the amount of disability compensation isn't a part of the VA's yearly authorized budget. Things such as manpower, office supplies, and overhead are, but disability compensation isn't. Disability compensation is an entitlement program, and whatever VA decides in a rating decision, the Congress must pay it.
"Everyone at VA is purposely screwing the veteran out of their due benefits"
FALSE! There is no conspiracy theory at VA to purposely screw any veteran out of their benefits. VA is the second largest Government agency (over 300,000 employees) and to imply that everyone is in lock step with each other to secretly deny most claims (or to only approve a certain percentage of them) simply defies logic. Also many, many veterans, themselves, work at VA too and to imply that a veteran would purposely screw their fellow breathen out of their compensation is simply ludicrous. This isn't to say that mistakes don't happen, or that maybe one lone employee with a personal agenda hasn't done something devious; mistakes of course happen, or of course there have been isolated cases of employees being less than honest, but this certainly isn't the norm.