If so, you are not alone. Attorneys who represent veterans have a difficult time in getting the Veterans Administration to acknowledge a change of address, leading to hours of frustrating telephone calls and letters to the VA. The Court of Appeals For Veterans Claims has started to take notice. In a recent case, VLAG v. McDonough, an attorney complained that the VA was not sending mail to the attorney’s correct address. The Court made an order to ensure that all future mailings would go to the current address. The Court ordered that: the VA Secretary must provide an affidavit, signed by the VA General Counsel, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals Chairperson, and the Acting Under Secretary for Benefits of the Veterans Benefits Administration, explaining: 1. Whether VA uses the addresses within the VA central database for all correspondence related to veterans’ benefits, to include correspondence from the regional offices, Board, and General Counsel’s office; 2. whether the attorney’s correct address is within the VA central database and associated with all attorneys identified in the petition and all clients identified by the attorney in its response to this order; and 3. the policy purportedly developed by VA to be published on its website as guidance to ensure that attorneys generally, and the petitioner’s attorney specifically, have the information necessary to update their addresses in a manner that VA will implement agency-wide, including the exact process for attorneys to update their addresses to ensure that VA properly updates an address for all agency purposes.
We look forward to the VA publishing guidance on its website describing how to change an address with the VA. It is truly unfortunate that someone had to bring litigation simply to change an address with the VA. This case highlights the frustrations inherent in dealing with a large bureaucracy. It requires persistence on the part of an advocate to effect any kind of change.