I fought with the VA for 2 years prior to retaining an attorney and had two prior denials. I think I have provided a solid case as I included orders, maps, performance reports etc. Proving I was there may not be the issue but being on the perimeter might be, but I think I proved that through a performance report. The problem is that with both denials the VA did not state why I was denied but only to state "Not Service Connected"..... Short and sweet.
You are correct about having strong representation. Before retaining legal assistance I went through three VSO's. Out here in CA anyway, the gov't cut way back on VSO's so now a VSO has so many clients they can not function the way they would probably like to. Appointments are long waited and the first thing they want to do when you get in is to get you out as there is a room full of other appointments impatiently waiting.
One VSO I had stopped responding to my emails altogether. After 3 months of no responses to my emials I discovered she had not been working there for the past two months. No notice to me what so ever, no referrals, no letters, phone calls, nothing. So I start over after searching for another VSO at a different location and I finely located one, but he seemed to have no interest nor the time to efficiently handle my case as he was tied up taking up the slack from other short handed VSO's. So I took the attorney route 21 months ago and the struggle still continues on.
Thanks for the maps Larry, I certainly appreciate them. These maps are the best that are around.
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