Citation Nr: 18160652
Decision Date: 12/28/18	Archive Date: 12/27/18

DOCKET NO. 16-54 707
DATE:	December 28, 2018
ORDER
Entitlement to the reissuance of checks the Veteran asserts were not received is denied.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.  Checks dated December 1, 2009, December 31, 2009, February 1, 2010, March 1, 2010, April 1, 2010, April 30, 2010, June 1, 2010, July 1, 2010, July 30, 2010, September 1, 2010, and October 1, 2010, were mailed to the Veteran’s address of record; there is no evidence that any of these checks were returned as undeliverable.
2. The Veteran filed his claim for the reissuance of the above checks on August 12, 2015, which is more than one year following the date of the issuance of the indicated checks.  
CONCLUSION OF LAW
The Veteran’s claim alleging non-receipt of checks was not timely filed and he is therefore barred from seeking entitlement to replacement or re-issuance of these checks.  38 U.S.C. § 3702(b).
REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
The Veteran served on active duty in the United States Air Force from October 1954 to April 1958.  
In July 2017, a videoconference hearing was held before the undersigned.  A transcript of that hearing is of record.    
In December 2017 and September 2018, the Board remanded the Veteran’s claim for the reissuance of checks that he asserts were not received so that the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ) could issue a statement of the case (SOC).  This was completed in December 2018.  Ordinarily, following the issuance of an SOC, the appeal must then be perfected with a timely filed substantive appeal (VA Form 9).  However, in this instance, the Veteran was advised in the December 2018 SOC that he had previously “filed an appeal (Form 9) regarding VA’s decision to not reissue the requested checks,” and that his case would be returned to the Board.  Accordingly, the Board will proceed in this matter.  
Entitlement to the reissuance of checks the Veteran asserts were not received
The Veteran has been in receipt of VA benefits since February 2008.  From February 2008 to October 2009 and from November 2010 to the present, his payments have been directly deposited into checking accounts.  See March 2016 SHARE print screens.  For the period from December 2009 to October 2010, the Veteran’s benefits checks were mailed directly to his residence.  Id.  Eleven checks were mailed during this time period, dated December 1, 2009, December 31, 2009, February 1, 2010, March 1, 2010, April 1, 2010, April 30, 2010, June 1, 2010, July 1, 2010, July 30, 2010, September 1, 2010, and October 1, 2010.  Id.  There is no indication that any of these checks was returned as undeliverable.  
The same personal mailing address is listed on the front of each of the eleven checks issued between December 2009 and October 2010.  This address is identical to the address listed on VA correspondence sent to the Veteran in December 2009 and September 2010.  A February 2011 report of general information also bears this address.  There is no indication that the December 2009 correspondence or the September 2010 correspondence was returned as undeliverable.  
On August 12, 2015, the Veteran contacted the AOJ by telephone to report that “he has not received a VA check since February 29, 2008.”  That statement is the basis of the current claim, in which the Veteran alleges that he never received the eleven checks dated between December 2009 and October 2010, and that the AOJ should reissue these checks.  
In February 2016, the AOJ informed the Veteran that it had reviewed his file, verified that he was receiving his pension award, and determined that no pension checks had been returned.  In March 2016, the Veteran provided the AOJ with a document containing multiple copies of his signature to send to the Treasury Department for tracer verification.  
In August 2016, the AOJ informed the Veteran that it had received a response from the Treasury Department.  Based on the signature samples provided by the Veteran, the Treasury Department determined that the back of each of the eleven checks bore “the specimen signature of [the Veteran].”  The final Treasury Department finding was: “Indications may have written.”  The AOJ denied the Veteran’s claim on the basis of this response from the Treasury Department.  The Veteran timely appealed.  
“Any claim on account of a Treasury check shall be barred unless it is presented to the agency that authorized the issuance of such check within 1 year after the date of issuance of the check or the effective date of this subsection, whichever is later.”  38 U.S.C. § 3702(c)(1).  The effective date of § 3702(c)(1) is January 6, 2006.  The date of the last check at issue is October 1, 2010.  The Veteran submitted his claim to reissue this and earlier checks on August 12, 2015, which is more than one year later than the date of the last check.  The Veteran’s claim to have checks reissued is procedurally barred because it was filed more than one year after the date of issuance of the checks.  
Furthermore, there is no evidence that any of the checks was returned as undeliverable and there is uncontroverted evidence from the Treasury Department that the Veteran’s signature is identical to the endorsement signature on the back of the eleven checks that were allegedly not received.  The preponderance of this evidence is against a finding that the Veteran did not receive the checks that were issued between December 2009 and October 2010.  For this reason also, the Veteran’s claim must be denied.  
 
A. ISHIZAWAR
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	B. Cannon, Associate Counsel 

For A Complete Guide To VA Disability Claims and to find out more about your potential VA disability case and how to obtain favorable VA Rating Decision! Visit: VA-Claims.org

For More Information on Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits! Visit: DisableVeteran.org ~ A Non-Profit Non Governmental Agency

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