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FAQ

How long does an appeal to the VA take?

It depends on many, many, factors. I wish I could give a straight answer, but perhaps I can give some insight into how the VA appeals process works.Here's the thing, once your claim is filed and denied and you decide to appeal it there are many stages that it must go through until finalization.First, you must decide if you would like a traditional review or Decision Review Officer (DRO) review. A traditional review is selected by default if you don't elect anything. A traditional review means that all evidence previously provided will be reviewed for errors, however, A previous decision can not be reversed merely by a review of evidence on record if there was no error in the original ruling. A DRO review will allow for new evidence to be submitted by the claimant in order to provide a new decision. I tell you this because it takes a lot of time. It can take days and days for just one record to be reviewed completely and accurately. It's a process that cannot be rushed. Now, imagine that each office has thousands of appeals pending at any given time. It is difficult for us to open just one appeal and decide how long it will take, now we're talking about estimating how long it will take given the thousands of appeals pending (can you see how it is difficult to estimate how long it will take?). Typically this process takes 1-2 years, however. If your appeal is not granted at this stage, then you'll have to file a form 9 to continue your appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) in Washington, DC. This is when the process becomes really time consuming. The appeal may either be denied or approved by BVA or sent back to the regional office for additional development of evidence. There's no way to tell how long this process will take, but it's typically 3-5 years based on current backlog. If your appeal is denied by BVA, it can again be appealed to the Court of Veterans Appeals (COVA). This is typically the last station for your appeal. Your appeal may either be granted, denied, or sent back to the regional office for further development for evidence. I've seen this process take 5-7 years and up to 20 years.

What’s the most frustrating thing about applying for VA disability?

As a successful benefits recipient I can offer that the most galling part for me has always been the requisite three-year wait to receive their latest version of “No”.It’s like dealing with a rabid Trump-troller online; you work your butt off tracking down and submitting “required” evidence, so they can simply reply; “So what? Doesn’t matter.”As of this month there is supposed to be a great sea-change implemented in their claims and appeals processing, and they’re promising responses more in the timeline of 90 days.Veteran VA benefits applicants (in both senses of the term) are wont to cynically reply;“Great. We’ll get their “No” so much quicker now!”and/or“I’ve had an appeal pending since 2016; contact me 91 days from now and I’ll render my opinion then…”You want to know what works best and most assuredly? Get an attorney. They work on “spec.”; no cost to you until & unless you gain monetary benefits. They don’t get danced around and thrown “under the bus”; not the one who gained mine for me anyway.You get what you needed, and then you pay the man his fair share, one time only, and then go live your improved life. You still will need to provide relevant documents, they can’t “magic” up the things you need.They will tell you exactly what you need to provide, no more no less no guessing. They’ll make sure the doc’s are recorded as received by the VA, to prevent the VA’s favorite “Never got it!” gambit. They’ll set up for you all necessary tests and exams by third-party experts at no cost to you and preserve the reports and findings.They’ll tell you what to expect at every stage of the process, tell you what is and is not reasonable about the things you are seeking, and the most productive ways to present them, based on their own track record of working many similar claims. Often multiple disabilities are best relegated to sub-topics of one major claim.Often what might not clearly make sense to you turns out to be what makes perfectly actionable sense to the VA. A good attorney will be familiar with all such peculiarities.(“Why the VA really really hates VA attorneys…”)

What is the expected wait time for SSDI benefits in 2018?

Typical 2018 wait time for SSDI benefits?The national average is 18 months upwards of 24 months from/including initial rejection (65%-70%) through the appeal hearing stages and approval depending on SSA office and processing of initial claim takes three to six months. [1]Philadelphia, Buffalo, Chicago, Long Island, and San Juan have the longest wait list until a hearing is held.[2]Source: What are the steps in the disability evaluation process?SSA lacks sufficient support staff and administrative judges to deal with an aging population more likely to become disabled .SOURCE: Ranking Member Larson Opening Statement on Social Security Subcommittee Hearing on Eligibility for Social Security Disability BenefitsSource: Social Security Disability - Fairfax VA Attorney Sheri R. AbramEditorial: Shorten waits for disability benefitsAverage Wait Time Until Hearing Held ReportAverage Wait Time Hits 596 Days For Social Security Disability Hearings Across The U.S.10,000 people died waiting for a disability decision in the past year. Will he be next?SOURCE: Hearings and AppealsI edited original answer for clarity:Length is jurisdiction-specific;time is 18- 24 monthsfrom/including initial rejection;3–6 months initial processing;your extreme 3 year example;Timeline, infographicJurisdiction approval and denial ratesFootnotes[1] Social Security Disability - Initial Application[2] http://@Caryn Montague provides ...

NASA has released evidence that climate warming is both “compelling“ and “unequivocal.” How much longer will climate change deniers in Congress, the White House, oil company boardrooms, and fundamentalist Christian churches hold sway?

The professional deniers knows that AGW is happening, but they will continue to deny for profit. Their creationist friends and allies are on the same team. Wherever there is climate denial, the creationists are never far away.The links between Trumps aministration, the denier think tank The Heartland Institute and creationist Cornwall Institute is striking.Trump’s EPA Pick Blends Conservative Christianity With Anti-Environmental ActivismThe "scientists" who support Trump’s choice to run the EPA are creationists with opaque funding sourcesDeniers number one “scientist”, the blogger Roy Spencer is a natural brigde between climate denialism and creationism:Roy Spencer has signed the The Cornwall Alliance creationist petition - declaring that "God" would never allow global warming / climate change to happen."We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history."http://cornwallalliance.org/2009...http://cornwallalliance.org/2009...https://www.realskeptic.com/2014...Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate scienceRoy Spencer has essentially made up his mind about global warming. His research is not to consider if global warming is natural, it’s to show that global warming is natural. This completely changes how one should assess his research and anything he writes about global warming and climate change. Many accuse climate scientists of being biased but this seems like a classic example of explicit bias. Essentially it seems that Roy Spencer’s research is aimed at confirming his view that global warming and climate change are simply a consequence of some natural process and are not anthropogenic. I think everyone should bear this in mind when considering Roy Spencer’s views on global warming and climate change.In the book The Evolution Crisis, creationist Spencer denies evolution:"I was finally convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, because the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexities of the world. [...] Science has scared us with its many discoveries and advances, but it has hit a brick wall in its attempt to get rid of the need for a creator and designer.http://theevolutioncrisis.org.uk...How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God(Evangelical organization) The Cornwall Alliance “believes that American environmentalism is a “native evil,” and “one of the greatest threats to society and the church today.” Its founder, Calvin Beisner, holds a PhD in Scottish History and has called environmentalism “the greatest threat to Western civilization,” comparing it to jihad. Deres offisielle holdning til klima er som følger (ikke le):“Cornwall declares that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.”The Cornwall Alliance does not disclose its funding, but it is a project of the James Partnership, which reported that half its income in 2012 came through the Donors Trust, a funding group Mother Jones described as the “dark money ATM” of the conservative right. Among its major contributors? Foundations funded and controlled by the Koch brothers, Mother Jones reported." La oss se litt på The Cornwall Alliances forbindelse til den Exxon-sponsede organisasjonen CFACT og andre tette bånd til oljeindustrien: «CFACT and the Cornwall Alliance, according to disclosures filed with the Washington State Secretary of State’s office, share a common fundraising firm, ClearWord Communications Group. ClearWord has helped raise millions of dollars not only for CFACT and Cornwall, but also for infamous polluter front groups like FreedomWorks, the Institute for Energy Research, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Last year, Cornwall produced a video with former Sen. George Allen (R-VA) attacking clean energy legislation as part of a campaign by the ExxonMobil-funded “American Energy Freedom Center.”How the 'Kochtopus' stifled green debateThe Cornwall Alliance is an enforcer, stifling dissent in the evangelical community, smothering environmentalist tendencies before they gain a following.“Throughout the history of the church, people have always found ways to use God and scripture to justify empire, to justify oppression and exploitation,” Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, an organizer with a pro-environmental Christian group called Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), told me. “It’s a convenient theology to hold, especially when we are called to drastic, difficult action.”Many of these soothsayers are gathered together in an organization called the Cornwall Alliance—formerly known as the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, the same group that mobilized against Cizik’s environmental proposal—a network with ties to politicians and secular think tanks across the conservative landscape.For almost 20 years, Beisner and members of the Cornwall Alliance have worked with establishment conservatives to bolster opposition to climate change: The Heartland Institute identifies him as a policy advisor on its web site, and he speaks regularly at the institute’s annual conference on climate change (though in an interview he curiously denied ever actually giving any policy advice to Heartland). The Heritage Foundation hosted the 2015 premier of Where the Grass is Greener, a documentary produced by the Cornwall Alliance. In May, Beisner and senior executives from Heartland, Heritage, and a slew of other billionaire-funded political entities like Americans for Prosperity and the Competitive Enterprise Institute sent a letter to Donald Trump urging him to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and asking him to stop funding United Nations global warming programs.Freedom Partners is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The organization, which was founded in 2011 under the name Association for American Innovation, is purposed to promote "the benefits of free markets and a free society." It is partially funded by the Koch brothers, and sponsors various Republican politicians and conservative groups.https://assets.documentcloud.org...Creationists are naturally in on the war on science. Just like their petroleum friends:The anti science league are all the same:For some strange reason, NASA is a popular target for many fringe cult conspiracy drivlers:The polluters of America have kept America polluted for over 100 years:America the pollutedTobacco and Oil Industries Used Same Researchers to Sway Public“They did everything that becomes known as the signature of the tobacco industry,” said David Rosner, who has helped anti-lead lawsuits and co-wrote the 2013 book “Lead Wars.” “In fact, they were really pioneered by the lead industries. … The (Lead Industries Association) can take credit for creating this giant doubt industry.”While evidence about the harmful effects of asbestos continued to grow, so did the influence of the asbestos companies. Between 1940 and 1980, the business expanded into a multibillion dollar industry that employed more than 200,000 people.The success of these companies hinged on keeping the health risks of asbestos a secret — but it was asbestos workers and consumers who paid the price. In order to keep the industry alive and prosperous, many companies took steps to ensure miners, factory workers and the public knew nothing about the true dangers of asbestos.http://theweek.com/captured/7307...Jeremy Grantham, the longtime investor famous for calling the last two major bubbles in the market, is urging capitalists and "mainstream economists" to recognize the looming threat of climate change."Capitalism and mainstream economics simply cannot deal with these problems. Mainstream economics largely ignore [them]," Grantham, who co-founded GMO in 1977, said Tuesday in an impassioned speech at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago. "We deforest the land, we degrade our soils, we pollute and overuse our water and we treat air like an open sewer, and we do it all off the balance sheet."This negligence is due in large part to how short-sighted corporations can be, Grantham said. "Anything that happens to a corporation over 25 years out doesn't exist for them, therefore, as I like to say, grandchildren have no value" to them, he said.- Fred Imbert, CNBC, June 13, 2018https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/13/...The polluters industry - a timeline:1900-2000: LEADLead is good for us and not dangerous to children and if you dont bend over and enjoy it youre attacking our industry and our desire to make shitloads of money by ruining public health and your campaign to demonize LEAD is based on junk science and you are probably a leftist government communist out to tax and regulate us out of businessOIL COMPANY DUPONT AND GENERAL MOTORS KNEW LEAD GAS WAS A KNOWN POISON WHEN THEY PUT IT IN GASOLINE AS AN ANTI-KNOCK AGENT.(Ethanol couldn’t be patented and offered no viable profit for GM, so they were on the lookout for new additives to use. Marketing tetraethyl lead or TEL under the name “Ethyl” (because lead was already known to be poisonous), GM expected to rake in massive amounts of money.)For decades auto and oil companies denied that lead posed any health risks.1930s-1990s ASBESTOSAsbestos is good for us and if you dont bend over and enjoy it youre attacking our industry and our desire to make shitloads of money by ruining public health and your campaign to demonize asbestos is based on junk science and you are probably a leftist government communist out to tax and regulate us out of business."As is often the case with environmental scares, the asbestos “cure” was pushed well ahead of a complete diagnosis. Research has confirmed that asbestos workers who do not use protective breathing apparatus suffer increased health risks. For the remaining 99+ percent of the U.S. population, however, asbestos health risks are virtually nil."https://www.heartland.org/news-o...Massive Asbestos Cover-Up by World's Industrial Giants1940s-1960s: DDTDDT is good for us and if you dont bend over and enjoy it youre attacking our industry and our desire to make shitloads of money by ruining public health and your campaign to demonize DDT is based on junk science and you are probably a leftist government communist out to tax and regulate us out of business.Ruthless Power and Deleterious Politics: From DDT to Roundup1950s-1980s: NICOTINENicotine is good for us and is not addictive nor related to lung cancer and if you dont bend over and enjoy it you're attacking our industry and our desire to make shitloads of money by ruining public health and your campaign to demonize smokers and all forms of tobacco is based on junk science and you are probably a leftist government communist out to tax and regulate us out of businessTobacco industry intentionally manipulates cigarettes to make them more addictive."A federal court has ordered Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard and Philip Morris USA to make this statement about the health effects of smoking."Then the bad news begins to flow."Smoking causes heart disease, emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, lung, stomach, kidney, bladder and pancreas."Heartland Institute 2018:"The public health community's campaign to demonize smokers and all forms of tobacco is based on junk science".1990s-2018: C02C02 is good for us and not related to pollution and climate change and if you dont bend over and enjoy it you're attacking our industry and our desire to make shitloads of money by ruining public health and your campaign to demonize fossil fuels is based on junk science and you are probably a leftist government communist out to tax and regulate us out of business.The US supreme court ruled that carbon dioxide IS a pollutant is 2007.Exxon Knew about Climate Change Almost 40 Years AgoShell Knew Fossil Fuels Created Climate Change Risks Back in 1980s, Internal Documents ShowTobacco and Oil Industries Used Same Researchers to Sway PublicAnthony Watts - SourceWatchDeniers favorite fossil fuel think tank front group, the Heartland Institutes view on tobacco and tobacco smoking. Sound familiar?Heartland Institute 2018:"The public health community's campaign to demonize smokers and all forms of tobacco is based on junk science".Heartland Institute 2018:"The anti-smoking movement is hardly a grassroots phenomenon: It is largely funded by taxpayers and a few major foundations with left-liberal agendas."Heartland Institute 2018:“The association between (second hand) tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.Heartland Institute 2018:"There are many reasons to be skeptical about what professional anti-smoking advocates say. They personally profit by exaggerating the health threats of smoking and winning passage of higher taxes and bans on smoking in public places."More:Anti-smoking activists give smokers a stark choice: Stop smoking or die! In fact, there is a third path: reduce the harm by shifting to less-hazardous products that provide similar enjoymentLitigation against the tobacco industry is an example of lawsuit abuse, and has “loaded the gun” for lawsuits against other industries.Smoking bans hurt small businesses and violate private property rights.Appeals to “protect the children” don’t justify the war being waged against adult smokers.Smoker's Lounge | Heartland InstituteWhat the oil giants knew:http://iopscience.iop.org/articl...Shell Knew Fossil Fuels Created Climate Change Risks Back in 1980s, Internal Documents ShowALL SUMMED UP IN THIS MY RANT:The hysterical, polemic, paranoid conspiratorial and desperate feigned "us against them" conservative alt-right wingnut ideological free marked fundamentalist libertarian Ayn Rand anti-government anti-regulation tax alarmism demagogy junk with its mandatory and predictable attacks on unwanted (climate) science and smear against scientists and competing green energy, filtered through think tanks and astroturf orgs by their wolf pack attackers, Opinion Piece writers, fake experts and their media-accomplices, all recycled by echo chamber denier blogs and You-Tube-videos by amateur deniers and boys room conspiracy drivlers and web-trolls,-are really only asewer stream of cynical polluters industry self interests,camouflaged as a political right / left struggle -drag queened in a convulsively socialist witch hunt, posing like its about the "people on the street", the workers (their gullible sheeple) and "the poor people of the world",but the real agenda isto legitimize the right to pollute for oil, gas and coal companies, and to argue for ever more tax cuts for the free marked fundamentalists who created them so they can continue to make shitloads of money by ruining public health and add to the damages of CC.Private corporations take the profit while the environment and public health takes the bill.Roger Fjellstad Olsen's answer to Why is opposition to climate science more common in the United States than other countries?;"";""
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