"Preparation for Decision" actual timeframe?

FeltDispatch

PEB Forum Regular Member
My claim just entered the "Preparation for Decision" phase (within the last week or so; I don't check it too often...usually the same thing). How long should I expect now until I have an award letter?

FYI - I filled a quick-start claim in June 2011 and was retired that month. It seems as though my claim had been in "Review of Evidence" for at least 6 months.

Thanks in advance!
 

joshgo

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I'm not sure anyone could tell you an accurate timeline for the VA anymore, not even the VA. There are so many different factors in play that it is impossible to guess. If you'd like another point of view:
My claim was filed Jan 2011. It's been in preparation for decision phase ever since they changed over to the new phrases at the end of last year (used to just be decision phase). My claim seems very simple: one condition, very well documented and everything that they needed was sent. It's at the Detroit VARO.

As a side note, the phases don't really mean too much. The last time I called the 1-800 # the guy told me he couldn't tell me exactly what those phases mean as they have little relation to the status of your claim.
 

lownslowneon

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
VA website says average time for this phase is like 15-28 days.... I've been in this phase for about 35 days or so (business days), the VA is so full of garbage... I'll be calling tomorrow, although I know it won't help,.
 

FeltDispatch

PEB Forum Regular Member
Thanks for the replies. I know it is dreadfully slow, but I didn't realize it was THIS slow. Between my MEB and the VA I've learned patience.

Let me know how long you are in this phase. I was told by a former boss of mine that he waited 18 months (he just received his claim)...
 

lownslowneon

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I have a thread in this forum on my situation... I'm beyond upset with the VA...

I have over $1,000 more in bills a month than I currently make and they say it's not grounds for financial hardship. (IE: bump my package along the way)

Either way, I filed my claim on April 24th 2011...

I can't wait for this to be over with... =/
 

Jeep Freak

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lownslowneon

The quick start needed to be filed while still on AD. I seen where you posted the day after so I don't think you are in the program.

This whole process s*cks, how do they expect us to live. I was very lucky and I can make it to the end of Dec 2012 but it appears it is taking longer than a year for everyone. I have only been in the Quick Start Program for 3 1/2 months and of course not to worried but... It is time to sit down with the wife again.

Could someone please give me the VA number that you are all talking about.

Thanks
 

Jeep Freak

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
So I found a phone number and called the VA. Eventhough I first filed my VA claim while on AD; the start date isn't until thr day after I'm out or for me 29 Dec 2011 and this is still under the quick start program. The lady stated that Winston-Salem in NC is taking around 226 days/8 months for the first phase, 70 days for decision, and 5 days to wrap it up. This doesn't really follow their format but it looks like 10 1/2 months to me. I don't know why I thought 6 to 8 months, maybe because they told me that. I'm wondering if the people who went through the Legacy Program have priority or if they are pushing us to the side for the IDES people who are still getting paid.
Com-on lottery!
 

Belle

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Jeep Freak...I've got bets with my husband as to who's case will get through the VA first. My IDES case started 28 Sep 11. My husband's Quick Start claim started 7 Oct 11. Right now, VA shows his Quick Start as being in "Preparation for Decision" while my IDES case is in "Review of Evidence" Will be interesting to see which of us wins this race!
 

Jeep Freak

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
If you had noticed, you can't believe the E-Benefits because they don't always update. Mine states Gathering of Evidence but they haven't requested anything. You don't think this means cleaning my desk do you? I think they are pushing the Legacy people to the side for the IDES although I have no proof except looking at timelines here.

It also is interesting that you both broke close to the same time as well, I'm thinking there is a story there. My wife has been falling apart for quite some time but I caught up and passed her. Bad thing is I don't think she will be working much longer and she is 11 yrs younger than me.

I have been putting off sending my SSDI paperwork to the VA but after my phone call and *ss chewing, I will be faxing it off today. That makes 3 different people who told me to do it and I ignored them. Maybe this will speed things up because I really don't want to file bankruptcy. I hate Dayton Ohio and want to buy a house and move and I won't be able to do that for 5 yrs under chapter 13.
 

Belle

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Jeep Freak, yes, I've noticed that e-benefits is slow in updating. But at least it's updated.

Yes...there is a story behind the MEBs for my husband and I. I actually broke first....back in 2004. It took 4 surgeons, two surguries, a third surgery to reverse an unsuccessful surgery, limping in front of my troops while a commander for two years and trying to set the example as "someone who is broke, trying to get fixed, and still staying physically fit while on a profile and not being a couch potato", and finally DQ'd from a deployment tasking before my PCM decided to "call a spade a spade" and recommended an MEB back in Feb 2010. First MEB was perm retirement, then approved for LAS. My husband's injury occurred during squadron intermural sports....and he had about one year of trying progressively more agressive treatment before a DQ'd deployment forced an MEB (legacy) on him.

I, too, am angry at the system because of the position my family is currently in: when my husband was retired in late Summer '11, we were told that my MEB (legacy) would be concluded by Christmas. So, we moved my husband and two teenagers over 1300 miles to our final "home" so that they would not transfer schools mid-year. I moved into a travel trailer in the base's FAMCAMP. Then we learned that my MEB would be under IDES and take up to 295 days! My daughter is special needs and requires a parent be home with her before and after school. That works when two parents are under one roof and can "flex" their duty schedules. We thought a 3-month separation would be do-able. It doesn't work with me 1300 miles away for over 6 months now. So, my husband is unable to work...he's "Mr. Mom" full time right now. Had we known last summer that the IDES process for me would take essentially one school year, we may have made a different choice for our family. I cope with the mantra of "every day I serve, that High-3 pay gets a little bit higher!" I've been forced to get into my teenagers' world of Facebook, Skype, texting, and other media in order to stay a part of their lives and the lives of their new friends at their new home and school.

I can see where the new IDES system was meant to be a good thing...especially for the young troops and those Wounded Warriors from the war. But it's had unintended consequences for folks like you and me. I don't know what to tell you to help you keep your sanity and to deal with the frustration of the waiting game.....
 

lownslowneon

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lownslowneon

The quick start needed to be filed while still on AD. I seen where you posted the day after so I don't think you are in the program.

This whole process s*cks, how do they expect us to live. I was very lucky and I can make it to the end of Dec 2012 but it appears it is taking longer than a year for everyone. I have only been in the Quick Start Program for 3 1/2 months and of course not to worried but... It is time to sit down with the wife again.

Could someone please give me the VA number that you are all talking about.

Thanks
I filed my quick start paperwork before I got out... I had the dav fill it out for me and help me. Then I went to the VA while I was home on terminal leave... 2/1/2011 and tried to give them my VA claim paperwork and medical records. They would NOT take them as they said I could get hurt after I filed and still be military and they want everything in the records....I think it was BS but who knows. So I filed literally the day AFTER
 

Jeep Freak

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
The lady at the VA got very upset when I questioned when my claim started but I told her I didn't understand and everything got better. I faxed of my SSDI and heard nothing but I didn't expect to. My neighbor asked if we were going to sell our house because his daughter moved back home. He wants to buy our house for her and now I'm really confused because I was counting on maybe 2 yrs. I need to do a lot of research fast to make a decision.

I think the IDES system will be a very big help for people leaving the military medically and wished I was under that program. I may be way off base but it seems as if they turned there focus on the IDES people and work on the legacy in their spare time. I do realize that is not a fair they to say, those are just my feelings. I have calmed down from the other day but am still worried about the future, I'm use to the waiting. It has become apparent that backruptcy is out of the question so I'm going to keep the credit cards handy instead of cutting them up and only make minium payments.
 

lownslowneon

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
^--- no doubt, like I said, I HAD a savings before I got out...

Maxed out my credit cards in a year... luckily my income tax return was high enough to pay off the credit cards...and now I'm back to slowly adding to them again...lol.

Heres to hoping my claim is finished before mid year.
 

Jeep Freak

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
When I contacted the VA I was told 10 1/2 months but as you can see Lownslowneon has hit 11 months and is still going. We are both in the Quick Start Program and have gone through the Legacy System. I'm not positive about most of the others and timeframes differ greatly it appears. I was told today by a Dr that when he retired it took 18 months before he got through the VA and I have heard from other VA personnel that it is running anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
 

orbenny

PEB Forum Regular Member
I have a friend who works for one of my members of Congress. I asked him about the Benefits Delivery Discharge program. He said that as of March 16, 2012, the VA in Winston-Salem, NC is working on claims from FEB 2011.
 

Jeep Freak

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I was told to look at the VA Monday Morning Report for referrence by someone and I have no idea what to look at that might help except on page 2 where it breaks down the centers and how far behind they are. Winston Salem lists cases over 125 days as 68.6% on Mar 19th. I doesn't seperate by MEB or left service. It doesn't seperate by BDD or quick start. It really doesn't tell me much except that 60,361 cases pending under entitlement and they measure from 125 days.

Am I missing something? I'm not trying to be mean and try not to dwel on it. It is done when it is done and you do what you have to do to survive, I just remembered my son savings account earlier today. It seems to me just like the E-Benefit site, not much help. I have been waiting through this whole process for 2 yrs now because of the legacy system so please don't think I'm complaining about the wait.

I would really like to know what I'm suppose to take away from that report though. If nobody knows, I will ask when I call the VA in approx 2 to 3 weeks. They told me to call back in a month and I can't remember how long ago that was. They didn't tell me much anyways so I didn"t really plan on calling them again.
 

orbenny

PEB Forum Regular Member
If you are having a financial hardship (i.e. several months late on rent or house payments) then you can submit that documentation to the VA and request an expedite. I would suggest that you contact one of your Congressional members and have them send this request in for you along with a letter from their boss requesting an expedite. http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
 

Jeep Freak

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Who wouldn't want to get this done quickly but we should be able to make it even if it is 18 months. I'm serious about my sons savings because that will buy us 5 months. There are a lot of people under the same situation and I don't want to push ahead. I try very hard not to focus on this just like the MEB, it will get done.

I would really like to know how the VA Monday reort works.
 

FeltDispatch

PEB Forum Regular Member
Eventhough I first filed my VA claim while on AD; the start date isn't until thr day after I'm out or for me 29 Dec 2011 and this is still under the quick start program. The lady stated that Winston-Salem in NC is taking around 226 days/8 months for the first phase, 70 days for decision, and 5 days to wrap it up.
I filed before leaving AD as well. Right now I am at about 280 days (and mine just recently went to "Preparation for decision" phase) - and I am at Winston-Salem office. Hopefully, the numbers you quoted are pretty close to correct as that would mean I should have a decision in mid-April. I'm not pinning my hopes on it though... :rolleyes:
 
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