NVLSP assistance for CRSC

landmine

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I have seen a lot of threads regarding CRSC wait times, calculations, and other questions. This whole application process confuses me so I reached out to NVLSP for assistance. After filling out their application for determining whether or not I would qualify for their assistance, I was sent an email stating I qualify for their services and they requested all the paperwork to submit the application.

Keeping it short, once they reviewed all my documents I was sent another email stating they determined my case is strong enough to expedite. It also mentioned it may take a few weeks before an attorney is assigned to my case.

Pretty much just wondering if anyone has used the NVLSP for a CRSC claim? And also if anyone has a timeline for having their case being expedited. I have seen long wait times in previous threads. Just hoping it doesn't take 10+ months. I have a pretty good idea of what should be coming as far as the compensation after doing the funny math.

One more note, NVLSP also assists veterans with many other things granted they meet their requirements for representation. Something to look into if anyone is having trouble with CRSC, VA claims, awards, discharge upgrades etc.

Thanks for any feedback!
 

RonG

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Some thoughts concerning your situation...

--The NVLSP is a worthy organization that has helped many veterans.

--Most retirees do not need a lawyer to assist them with an application for CRSC; the application process is not complex in my opinion. The guidance provided by the services usually suffices.

--To qualify for CRSC assistance from the NVLSP, one must "...be eligible for free legal assistance through NVLSP's Lawyers Serving Warriors® program, (1) a veteran must have been medically retired for disability (including those who were placed on the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL)), and (2) be entitled to service-connected disability compensation from the VA, and (3) believe that one or more of the disabilities that have been service connected by the VA are combat-related."

--I have never heard or read of "expedited" CRSC processing. I can understand the NVLSP facilitating your application submittal, but how do they intend to encourage the Army to process your application faster than others who submit their applications this month or next? Additionally, do you know of their success rate of having applications expedited by the service concerned?

--I understand that the VA will consider expediting a claim due to the applicant's age, the severity of his/her condition (i.e., life expectancy) or hardship. I did not know such a program exists with the Army's CRSC board.
I am not against it; it is just a new consideration if the CRSC board does process some applications out of order from "first in, first out". Note: I inferred you will be dealing with the Army since you indicated a 10 month CRSC processing cycle.

Thank you for sharing the information.

Ron
 

landmine

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Thanks Ron. I am not sure how they plan on expediting anything as well as I assumed it was a first come first served basis. Part of the documents I provided was an application just to see if I had things right. They never said anything about that, just not to submit an applications during this process as they will handle things from here on out.

As far as their success rate, I am not sure. I didn't see anything on their website with actual numbers.

And yes this is going to be with the Army. My big concern was having everything correct and everything they required so it wouldn't be kicked back. But they said everything I provided was all they needed and would handle the process from here.

I'll add a timeline and results once everything is completed. Probably looking at sometime next year considering the fact I don't think they will be able to achieve setting my packet on the top of the pile to be expedited.

Thanks for the input!
 

RonG

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Landmine,

I am glad there are organizations that assist veterans with esoteric material. Until I read you post, I did not know that the NVLSP assisted retirees with CRSC applications. I have seen cases where the NVLSP assisted with denied applications and other matters, but the information concerning the actual packaging of the application by them is new to me.

You mentioned, "But they said everything I provided was all they needed and would handle the process from here." The peace of mind that comes with their confirmation was worth using their services I suspect.

Here is a final word (from me) about the potential expediting of your application. I don't doubt there are deserving cases; however, there are so many applications backlogged in the Army's processing cycle that it seems it would take a significant amount of time to triage the applications, especially when considering all of the applications involve combat related disabilities (as defined in the CRSC law). I mentioned a month or so ago that I am surprised more congressional representatives are not contacted by retirees about the disturbing delay in Army processing.

Ron
 

sadb14

Registered Member
Landmine,

I was in the process with using NVLSP to file my CRSC. Same boat you are in, I was confused about filing out CRSC form, wanted help and saw there page pop up with searching. I wrote them and with the same response my case would be expedited. So with high hopes I felt my form would be filled out in a couple of months and bam sent to HRC. No that is not the case. I was assigned a lawyer, thought everything was great. I sent him paper work, great communication from him. I really felt that it would be expedited. So time frame.

Jan 2018 contacted
Feb 2018 received email asking for papers
Feb assigned a lawyer
Mar nothing
April nothing
May received new rating from VA contacted lawyer
Jun nothing

July, notice my VA claim was reopened and didn't know why. I am where I want to be in the VA system. Contacted lawyer to see if he made any changes, contacted Texas Veteran Services also to see if any changes where made. Both denied. In fact the lawyer assigned told me I would have to wait for the VA to make a decision before he can continue. Seriously, I didn't open it and it should matter and I am not going to wait till 2020 for the findings to be done with. Asked TVS if they could help with CRSC and yes they can, DAV and American Legion can also assist. I asked what all do I need, basically the same records I sent my lawyer, asked how long it would take they said set up an appointment, we will help you file and that I can send it off the next day. Unbelievable, it was like music to my ears about it. Why am I waiting months on end for a form that can be filled out in a hour.

I am not saying that NVLSP is not a good service, it may help others achieve what they want. I just don't have the patients to wait around a year to get a form to sign and then wait another year for HRC to approve or disapprove. To me it sounds good with this whole expediting service they claim, but I didn't see it personally. After reading threads from here I noticed alot of other people have done it themselves and or used other services at a faster rate. I have asked to withdraw from them and go with Texas Vet service. I am sure there are other organizations out there that can help at a faster rate. I was also informed to contact Fort Hood retire services and they could help also.

Maybe if I was in a different situation like trying to change a discharge or fighting a claim, but to fill a form come-on NVLSP it shouldn't be a process like this especially with Vets who have there paper work in hand. It may seem like a couple of months but when you hear of people waiting a year for an approval those months matter. I waisted my time using there services. Hope this helps
 

landmine

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
sadb14,

Thank for the info. Sucks to hear of the tie frame and problems with VA claims being reopened and not by you. Hopefully the Texas Vet service will work much faster. I have read time lines for others and seems like the process is fairly simple but for some reason it get dragged out. Not sure whose side is responsible, but I have a good idea, especially when vets like yourself have all the paperwork in hand ready to go.

The only other person I was given a contact for hasn't replied back to me. This info was provided when I did my brief with the retirement officer. I'm in Arizona and all though they couldn't assist they provided a name and number of another retired member who said could help. For now I am going to let this ride out with NVLSP and see how it goes. I'd like for there to be more information out about their process and a better idea of time frames with them. At this point I don't mind waiting.

I am at the same point you were now. I was assigned a lawyer out of Washington and they have everything they need at this point. This is all pro bono work they do in their time off so I know priority comes to their actual workload for whoever employs them. I will update as much as possible until this is finished.

Let me know how the Texas Vet service works out for you. I'm curious if working with other organizations can help to produce quicker results.
 
Lawyers Serving Warriors, the division of NVLSP responsible for reviewing and placing CRSC cases, is sorry to hear of the above confusion. To help clarify, our normal process when a veteran applies for CRSC is to obtain all relevant paperwork from the VA and/or DoD. Waiting for documents adds several months to a veteran's wait for CRSC benefits. In instances where a veteran has all of his or her paperwork ready, NVLSP will internally expedite the case, placing it with pro bono counsel without waiting for further records. However, the military's review of the application is not expedited as it outside of NVLSP's control. As for why NVLSP's CRSC application process may take longer than the process at other non-profit organizations is NVLSP provides two unique services: 1. Every CRSC application is accompanied by a brief written by a pro bono attorney to help ensure that CRSC is obtained; and 2. Where CRSC is denied, the pro bono attorney stays on the case to assist with an appeal. In light of these unique services, NVLSP has been able to successfully obtain CRSC benefits for hundreds of veterans.
 

landmine

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Lawyers Serving Warriors, the division of NVLSP responsible for reviewing and placing CRSC cases, is sorry to hear of the above confusion. To help clarify, our normal process when a veteran applies for CRSC is to obtain all relevant paperwork from the VA and/or DoD. Waiting for documents adds several months to a veteran's wait for CRSC benefits. In instances where a veteran has all of his or her paperwork ready, NVLSP will internally expedite the case, placing it with pro bono counsel without waiting for further records. However, the military's review of the application is not expedited as it outside of NVLSP's control. As for why NVLSP's CRSC application process may take longer than the process at other non-profit organizations is NVLSP provides two unique services: 1. Every CRSC application is accompanied by a brief written by a pro bono attorney to help ensure that CRSC is obtained; and 2. Where CRSC is denied, the pro bono attorney stays on the case to assist with an appeal. In light of these unique services, NVLSP has been able to successfully obtain CRSC benefits for hundreds of veterans.
Thanks for the clarification Lawyers Serving Warriors. This really helps to understand the difference with your organization compared to others. I look forward to giving my account of how your services helped me once things are said and done.
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I think CRSC is perhaps the most complex than many think, especially for MH issue. PTSD for example. Connecting MH issues to combat service is not as easy as many think.
 

Lee81

Registered Member
I think CRSC is perhaps the most complex than many think, especially for MH issue. PTSD for example. Connecting MH issues to combat service is not as easy as many think.
I don't buy that for one second. Now, if there's a backlog and too few people working the cases, then I can understand that. But my PTSD claim was submitted with retirement orders saying it's combat related "as defined in 26 USC 104", DA 199 saying it's "direct result of armed conflict" and has the "combat codes", DD 214 showing all my combat deployments, Army retirement tax free due to combat related, VA ratings, etc. I mean come on. How many more people with PhDs have to say it's combat related? That should take someone 10 minutes... unless their job is just to find ways not to award the CRSC.

I submitted my CRSC request to Army HRC a few weeks ago and very quickly received a letter back letting me know that they have received it, which I thought was impressive. However, they say "please allow 12 months for your claim to be reviewed and processed." So again, if it's a backlog, no big deal, I can wait. But if what you are saying is true... then that's bs. In most cases (not all), with all that it takes to go through a med board process, MH issues should be black and white to CRSC, and all the work is already done for whichever service department is making the decision.
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
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I agree if your paperwork at discharge so annotated a combat code. Unfortunately, many people with PTSD from the service don't have that annotated.
 

Lee81

Registered Member
Sorry, new to this forum. I'm still reading through other people's issues and it's frustrating, I thought I left all the bureaucracy behind. I can see what a pain it would be to have to go back after discharge and get things like that changed.
 

RonG

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
If the documentation furnished the CRSC board includes adequate evidence that a disability is combat related, then an approval will result. Additionally, the CRSC boards do have the ability to obtain additional information from the VA prior to a determination.

CRSC boards have no reason to deny a well-documented application that supports a combat related determination.

The Army’s CRSC processing is done by a contractor. A 12 month wait is unacceptable; my first CRSC application in 2005 was approved in less than 30 days. On the other hand, I had to wait nine months to receive retro CRSC from DFAS.

Ron
 

Lee81

Registered Member
I know it's apples and oranges, but I've seen TS clearance investigations go from start to finish sometimes in less than 12 months. And that process is actually complicated, with local units submitting the paperwork, contractors doing the investigations, service adjudication agencies making determinations and kicking it back for more info... Anyway, I agree 12 months is unacceptable for CRSC, but not much I can do about it.
 

hmv88

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
RonG nine months ! I was just approved for my CRSC! I hope retroactive Pay hasn't gotten better!
 

RonG

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
RonG nine months ! I was just approved for my CRSC! I hope retroactive Pay hasn't gotten better!
That was long ago...expect a retro pmt within 1-3 months from DFAS.

Ron
 

Howie12

PEB Forum Regular Member
I don't buy that for one second. Now, if there's a backlog and too few people working the cases, then I can understand that. But my PTSD claim was submitted with retirement orders saying it's combat related "as defined in 26 USC 104", DA 199 saying it's "direct result of armed conflict" and has the "combat codes", DD 214 showing all my combat deployments, Army retirement tax free due to combat related, VA ratings, etc. I mean come on. How many more people with PhDs have to say it's combat related? That should take someone 10 minutes... unless their job is just to find ways not to award the CRSC.

I submitted my CRSC request to Army HRC a few weeks ago and very quickly received a letter back letting me know that they have received it, which I thought was impressive. However, they say "please allow 12 months for your claim to be reviewed and processed." So again, if it's a backlog, no big deal, I can wait. But if what you are saying is true... then that's bs. In most cases (not all), with all that it takes to go through a med board process, MH issues should be black and white to CRSC, and all the work is already done for whichever service department is making the decision.

I have been denied CRSC twice!!!! PTSD, incurred In line of Duty in Iraq. Went through joint VA/DOD IDES in 2013, retired and put on PDRL, had already made 20 good yrs by the time the board met. Retired Army Medical Specialist Corp Officer. Treated thousands of soldiers throughout the years, and exposed to combat trauma during deployment, and now they stated I failed to show a combat related cause for the PTSD?? The US Army already made this determination of PTSD "combat related", otherwise I would have never been retired !!! I sent LODs, Narsum, everything in my record, even the determination by the IDES and Dept of Army!!
 

sadb14

Registered Member
Landmine,

Today is 15 Nov 2018. As stated above, I started my CRSC claim with NVLSP back in Jan of this year. By June I was frustrated that I haven't heard any real solid feedback from them. I had seen the form, it seemed easy enough to fill out and wondered why it was taking so long. By June I wrote my lawyer and told him I no longer wanted his services. I am not saying that NVLSP isn't a good program. It just wasn't for me.

With that being said I went a different approach and looked locally at Texas Vet services. I made my appointment and filled out the paper work right there on the spot. Was told by the Rep. that it would be a couple months before I heard anything. I asked about paper work, they informed me non was needed that everything was in my file. Fast and easy process. The rep made me a copy and I was on my way.

I checked my file HRC weekly to see if anything was input into my records. As of today I just saw that I was approved. I never received any letter from HRC saying that they got my paperwork and would be 12 months. I don't know exactly the percentage but it does state that I was approved by CRSC. So July till now is how long it took for my claim to come back. So about 4-5 months. The same amount of time my rep told me it would take. I wasted time waiting on NVLSP to gather paper work I had already sent them. I would have had my claim back already.

I would look locally for someone to help you file your paper work. I know some military post offer services that will help you and what exactly you need to send. I hope this helps and good luck.
 

RonG

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Re: "I would look locally for someone to help you file your paper work."

That is excellent advice.

Having worked on CRSC "cases" (computation) since 2012, my opinion is that most retirees develop their own applications by following the instructions on the applicable service's CRSC web site.

Service CRSC Web Pages:
Army: https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/CRSC (Combat-Related Special Compensation)

Air Force: https://www.afpc.af.mil/Benefits-and-Entitlements/Combat-Related-Special-Compensation/

Navy/USMC: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/mra/CORB/pages/crscb/default.aspx

Coast Guard: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/ppc/ras/

DFAS CRSC Information: https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/disability/crsc.html


There is a discussion regarding CRSC on PEB Forum at https://www.pebforum.com/resources/supplement-to-crsc-information.103/

Ron
 
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