i just got an approval on my claim. it dates back to june 1980. it took over 28 years for me to get va to answer one question,which was the deciding factor in my claim. there is no doubt in my mind the va adjudicator's and administrative law judges, can LEGALLY award or deny ANY claim they receive. it will continue to be that way until the adjudicator's and administrative law judges are held accountable. right now they do just about what they want to. the only thing a veteran can do is follow the appeals process. save yourself a lot of time and trouble, hire a lawyer. don't be mislead by people that tel you to get dav, or american legion to help you. i have had both. they are good for your initial claim, that is american legion is. they say they are free, but i doubt if dav has ever represented anyone who did not pay their membership fees. none of them are lawyers. think about it, can you imagine how many powerful lawyers va has? lawyers write the laws and especially va law is understood by lawyers only. take a look at title 38 us code of federal regulations, and others. HIRE A LAWYER!