Choosing a Rep
Before you file a claim you should choose a Representative to sponsor your claim or in reality present your claim. Just keep in mind that once you choose a rep that is pretty much it, that is the organization who will represent you for all future claims and appeals. Although you can switch one time which I did. I started off with the State Rep in MA and he was useless as far as I was concerned but it was my own fault since I failed to check or put down who I wanted. I just plain missed it since I was so concerned on making sure I put all the info I wanted on the form. I did check and found out that I could change within a certain time frame which I did. I switched to the DAV for all future Filings and appeals. Was the smartest thing I ever did. More on that later. Reps to pick from are AMVETS, VFW, State, American Legion, and the DAV. Write one down whoever your preference is. Up to you but as I said I prefer the DAV. Reason is one my former Sgt in the Nam did his 30 plus years got out and chose to go with the DAV. They paid his way to go to college to learn the law to represent VETS who file claims for compensation for illnesses. They take your claim and go before the VA board to argue and fight for you to receive fair compensation and treatment. Look at it from this perspective; they are your LAWYER who is fighting for your compensation period! You want some smuck who knows as much as you arguing before the VA medical review board your right to compensation?? Not much different then you represent yourself in a criminal court of law. You know what they say about that!! Don’t get me wrong not all of the other Reps are Morons either so don’t be jumping up in arms and pulling your guns on me, I just have a strong faith in the DAV. The other reason is I was at the Boston VA Hospital one day for another Exam for another Claim I filed and thought I would talk with the DAV rep after. I went to the information desk to ask where his or her office might be. The gentleman behind the desk looked to be a WW2 VET, with all of his old unit insignia’s on etc but was talking at length with another guy so I politely waited and waited and then it dawned on me. The information guy was trying to avoid me completely. So to make sure I got even closer to him trying to make eye contact with him but they just kept right on talking as if I was invisible. Then I actually stepped in front of the one who he kept talking with and they moved around me, and that did it. So I said excuse me, Can you tell me where the DAV reps office is! They abruptly stopped their conversation, the one guy walked off and the information guy turned his back on me. I thought about slapping him in the back of the head but then thought what if I hurt the old Fart so didn’t. A guy behind me asked “Did you want to find the DAV reps office? Yes I do, you know where it is? Sure right down the end of this hall last door on the left, but probably not in right now since he does his hospital rounds about now. Hey thanks I’ll check it out anyway, thanks for the help. Sure enough he wasn’t in but left a message with his secretary anyway. Walked back to the information desk and the rude WW2 guy. I smiled real broad as he turned pale with a look of oh crap he’s back. Just wanted to thank you for your help. I was going to see If I wanted the DAV as my rep but you convinced me that I should go with the DAV. WHY?? Because you’re a rude old fat Bastard and I hope you get a shit stuck up your ass and they have to perform surgery to get it out and without pain meds! Have a nice Day Prick!! Took me about 7 years of filing new claims and appeals but in April 2012 I was awarded 100% Service Connect Disability by the VA. They also back paid me to the tune of $47000 and change. After almost 20 years of fighting and filing it paid off. That is why I always say don’t throw in the towel just keep on trying. When I was forced to retire in September of 2005I made up my mind that my new job would be trying to garner 100% VA Dis, not so much for me but for my wife. I put her thru total hell and I felt I owed it to her since she earned it as much as I did if not more. I really thought with all of my health issues I would probably never see 100% from the VA but I was sure as hell going to die trying. Keep in mind that the spouse of a 100% VA Dis Vet at his or her death gets 63% to 65% of his or her 100% for the rest of their life. That is also tax free so coupled with her SS she will be rather set and sides after I am gone she can relax and really enjoy life and not have to baby sit my wild ass!! HA! HA!