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Decision Review Officer


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#1 bootstrap1

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 12:43 PM

I've been service connected since '96 and as some of us know that with every decision letter that the va returns to us, they state that a higher evaluation is warranted if certain evidence is present. Based on the VA's own criteria for higher evaluation because I have these issues present, I am now in a appeals process and have been offered to elect an decision review officer or continue the traditional process. I have been advised by a veteran help organization to elect the DRO, but was looking for more advice. Can anyone offer any insight? thanks and thank you for serving

#2 Wings

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 07:07 AM

I've been service connected since '96 and as some of us know that with every decision letter that the va returns to us, they state that a higher evaluation is warranted if certain evidence is present. Based on the VA's own criteria for higher evaluation because I have these issues present, I am now in a appeals process and have been offered to elect an decision review officer or continue the traditional process. I have been advised by a veteran help organization to elect the DRO, but was looking for more advice. Can anyone offer any insight? thanks and thank you for serving


One more shot at the RO level may be better than an appeal the the BVA. Your evidence needs to show that the "issues present" represent a higher rating. Your evidence needs to be undisputable. IMO. ~Wings

#3 john999

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:38 AM

Any claim you have can be resolved at the RO level. Often the VA, being the gutless types they are, will deny a claim and force you into appeals. You try the DRO process first and if that fails then go to the BVA. I have had better luck at the DRO, but when the appeal involves a lot of money you probably will end up at the BVA because the RO people will just deny it and kick it upstairs. They hate responsibility and accountability. What VA employee wants to sign off on a claim that will cost the VA many thousands of dollars?

#4 yoggie2

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:41 AM

I've been service connected since '96 and as some of us know that with every decision letter that the va returns to us, they state that a higher evaluation is warranted if certain evidence is present. Based on the VA's own criteria for higher evaluation because I have these issues present, I am now in a appeals process and have been offered to elect an decision review officer or continue the traditional process. I have been advised by a veteran help organization to elect the DRO, but was looking for more advice. Can anyone offer any insight? thanks and thank you for serving


DRO review Hearing is your best bet, as I have heard this and done this before its your second bite at the apple. When you set down and drill your case home with a face to face meeting and a transcript they are more apt to follow the laws as they are written. I took this process and I recommend you do the same. The traditional is nothing more than the RO parroting the same decision but with the Hearing everything is documented plus you can add evidence and perfect your claim in the process and if you elect to get a lawyer to attend you can do this also. Good Luck...........Yog

Edited by yoggie2, 30 March 2009 - 10:43 AM.


#5 carlie

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:05 AM

bootstrap1,
There are 2 types of DRO.

1) DRO - De Novo Review

2) DRO Hearing - a face to face meeting

I reccomend requesting a DRO Hearing.

jmho,
carlie

#6 bootstrap1

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 03:24 PM

DRO review Hearing is your best bet, as I have heard this and done this before its your second bite at the apple. When you set down and drill your case home with a face to face meeting and a transcript they are more apt to follow the laws as they are written. I took this process and I recommend you do the same. The traditional is nothing more than the RO parroting the same decision but with the Hearing everything is documented plus you can add evidence and perfect your claim in the process and if you elect to get a lawyer to attend you can do this also. Good Luck...........Yog


Ok thanks. Do you reccommend any legal representation? What kind of a time-line am I looking at before I submit my decision to elect the DRO the va, before any meeting(s) with them? Also all of my medical records are with the va, do you reccomend I consult outside physicians for their opinions? And I know this wont happen but still even after 13 years of service connected rating, I still have negative thoughts of one day sitting down with, or receiving word of reducing my rating based on one guys opinion or personal judgement. I don't figure at this point that would ever be the case because I've gone through multiple c and p appointments with numerous increases through the years but am I the only one to sweat this? After all it is the government were talking about.

#7 bootstrap1

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:17 PM

Ok thanks. Do you reccommend any legal representation? What kind of a time-line am I looking at before I submit my decision to elect the DRO the va, before any meeting(s) with them? Also all of my medical records are with the va, do you reccomend I consult outside physicians for their opinions? And I know this wont happen but still even after 13 years of service connected rating, I still have negative thoughts of one day sitting down with, or receiving word of reducing my rating based on one guys opinion or personal judgement. I don't figure at this point that would ever be the case because I've gone through multiple c and p appointments with numerous increases through the years but am I the only one to sweat this? After all it is the government were talking about.

#8 Shark

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 08:19 PM

I am using Mark Lippman at The Veterans Law Group (www.veteranslaw.com), they are in San Diego but handle cases all over the US and only do VA cases. They will evaluate your case and if they think that you have a shot, they will take it on. They charge 20% of the back pay you get and that is it. They will even advance the costs for medical opinions if they are needed.

#9 bootstrap1

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:02 PM

I am using Mark Lippman at The Veterans Law Group (www.veteranslaw.com), they are in San Diego but handle cases all over the US and only do VA cases. They will evaluate your case and if they think that you have a shot, they will take it on. They charge 20% of the back pay you get and that is it. They will even advance the costs for medical opinions if they are needed.



thanks. should I go with the dro officer first and see happens? If it's not favorable to me then consult them? I'm not sure what to do first

#10 Wanderin

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:47 AM

I really have some questions on a DRO review and not sure where to post on this but have seen some answers to questions that would have been greatly appreciated a few years ago so here goes the situation.

After receiving a partial rating, my husband appealed a portion of the declined conditions. And, we sat and waited and waited and waited. Waiting for an appointment at a local VA hospital he sat next to a congressman's brother. Thus, it was suggested he contact the senator. Which he did and within a few weeks had appointments set up for an increased rating plus a hearing with a DRO for the appeal. An appointment was set up with a doctor in September for the increase. And, he attended a hearing in November with the DRO. The DRO indicated he needed specific wording in the report from a compensation exam and would be setting up two new appointments. One was in December on one issue and January on the other. The neurologist in December disagreed with the original determination and indicated so and the reason in his report with the "specific wording". It looked great!! We know because we picked up the report and provided it to DAV and to the hearings officer. This was the end of January. Supposed the review board has everything now.

Originally, we were told the VA internal date guideline for finishing the claim was March 30, then it was moved to April 3rd. Now we have no clue. We used to contact DAV but that is almost a joke. The service officer never (and I do mean, never) returns phone calls. Never returns emails. Since we are out of town for a few months, it is difficult to find someone willing to provide answers. We finally discovered the VA phone line and most of them have been the best. I read a post here where determination should have already happened.

Does anyone know anything?

Anyone have a clue what to do next or how to get any answers? Thanks. B)

#11 halos2

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:48 PM

When it comes to the VA decisions they do not have timelines. the vet has to adhere to timelines for claims, dro's appeals, etc, but the VA operates on their own time lines as we will do it when we get to it!

You might discover you will get different answers when you call the toll free number, as the answerer reads from a screen. Some people do like IRIS, but that was non functional in my opinion looking for info in my cases.
Good luck. Stay healthy while away too.




I really have some questions on a DRO review and not sure where to post on this but have seen some answers to questions that would have been greatly appreciated a few years ago so here goes the situation.

After receiving a partial rating, my husband appealed a portion of the declined conditions. And, we sat and waited and waited and waited. Waiting for an appointment at a local VA hospital he sat next to a congressman's brother. Thus, it was suggested he contact the senator. Which he did and within a few weeks had appointments set up for an increased rating plus a hearing with a DRO for the appeal. An appointment was set up with a doctor in September for the increase. And, he attended a hearing in November with the DRO. The DRO indicated he needed specific wording in the report from a compensation exam and would be setting up two new appointments. One was in December on one issue and January on the other. The neurologist in December disagreed with the original determination and indicated so and the reason in his report with the "specific wording". It looked great!! We know because we picked up the report and provided it to DAV and to the hearings officer. This was the end of January. Supposed the review board has everything now.

Originally, we were told the VA internal date guideline for finishing the claim was March 30, then it was moved to April 3rd. Now we have no clue. We used to contact DAV but that is almost a joke. The service officer never (and I do mean, never) returns phone calls. Never returns emails. Since we are out of town for a few months, it is difficult to find someone willing to provide answers. We finally discovered the VA phone line and most of them have been the best. I read a post here where determination should have already happened.

Does anyone know anything?

Anyone have a clue what to do next or how to get any answers? Thanks. B)