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Dro Or Trad Appeal


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11 replies to this topic

#1 oddairman

 
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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:22 AM

Okay so I get this letter in the mail. Oh dont you love getting VA mail.

This is in reference to the NOD that I filed a couple of months back. They say I can have a DRO look at or just continue the tradtional appeal process. hmmmmmmmmmm. Idk what to do. Then they have something called Clear and unmistakable error - de novo review. Im starting the think that I will need a BA in Veterans Law to understand thses letters along with the process.

Anyway, I have to respond to this letter. Do I take the DRO and risk them denying the case and then have to go and wait on the tradtional appeal or to I just go straight to the tradtional appeals process?

Anyone go straight to the appeals process?

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#2 deanbrt

 
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Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:37 PM

I did. I regarded anything done at the VARO as a dead end. I won at BVA....

#3 broncovet

 
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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:13 PM

Its controversial but most Veterans advocates recommend DRO. Reasons "for" and against follow.

DRO pluses
1. You get "another bite at the apple". That is, it is before another decision maker who may just approve your claim. If you skip the DRO, you lose THIS bite at the apple.
2. DRO is likely faster than BVA...DRO could happen in months, while a BVA appeal will likely take 4 years.

DRO minuses
1. If you do go the DRO and you are denied again, you wasted about 6 to 8 months, while your claim could be on its way to the BVA.
2. Some say the DRO's "rubber stamp" what the rating specialist did. I have personally been awarded benefits AT the DRO level.


Bottom line: Skipping the DRO will save you time IF you have to go to the BVA ANYWAY, that is, if the DRO appeal is denied.
Opting for the DRO will save you time if you get the benefit you want.

My personal recommendation is to go with the DRO IF you have new and material evidence not considered. If you do NOT have new evidence, then I favor skipping the DRO and go to the BVA. My reason. You see because of "stare decisis" (link: http://www.merriam-w...y/stare decisis

the judge wont go against what another judge said, and you will have to go to a higher tribunal to over rule that judge. But, if you have new evidence the judge can say...well Judge Brown said x but he did not know about evidence Y, so I am changing the decision. Stare decisis does not apply.

#4 Bigred122

 
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Posted 02 August 2012 - 04:11 PM

I hope I don't confuse the situation more, but I just got back a similiar response from Iris as Oddairman did and it has me confused. Hoping someone can clear this up in my mind as well. Some history I filed my NOD and asked for a DRO review back on 12/16/2011. I've been under the thoughts that a DRO Review was a Hearing with a Senior DRO that we would go over my claims either in person or in a tele-conference. I recently wanted to find out a apprioxiamate date that the hearing would take place and how much advance time would they give me prior to the hearing date.Thanks to Bank of America and a no interest Visa for 15 months, I wanted to see if I could get some IMO/IME to bolster my claims. Anyway I got an email back today that has me totaly confused.They gave me the impression that the DRO Review was done by a supervisor who would notify me of their opinion and that there is no meeting with me present.They made it seem like it was an either or situation. When did they split the DRO process into two types? The IRIS person seemed to think there is no hearing with me present.They said the Portland office is running around 420 days till most DROs are done. So I do have some extra time to do what I planned on doing.If I am not apart of the DRO process, whos to say that anyone even looked at it again.(Trust Us!!) I think NOT!! If this is the new process, I would have been better off going straight to the BVA. I have never in my life seen anything so confusing in my life.They seem to change the process everytime you show them you are starting to understand what they want.They know I come from a flakey state and I can't find any good representation.They know my health is bad and that time is not something I have alot of.I've been just hoping that some of this interest back east would spill over and that maybe some of us western states might be able to get some representation thru osmosis.Doesn't matter what letter is behind our congress critters names here, they are all anti-war hence not pro vets

#5 jvretiredvet

 
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Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:15 PM

When you filed my(your) NOD and asked for a DRO review back on 12/16/2011 , did you specifically ask for a hearing?

Generally speaking though, a DRO reviews your claims file before any hearing (if you had requested it). If the DRO can grant, there generally will be no hearing. If there is no grant (or only a partial grant), a hearing will be scheduled - if you had requested one.

In any event, I wouldn't wait any longer to submit any new evidence you have.

If you did not specifically request a hearing and the DRO does not find for you, the DRO will issue a Statement of The Case (SOC), and you have 60 days to return your Form 9 to the RO to have your claim sent to the BVA.

I hope I don't confuse the situation more, but I just got back a similiar response from Iris as Oddairman did and it has me confused. Hoping someone can clear this up in my mind as well. Some history I filed my NOD and asked for a DRO review back on 12/16/2011. I've been under the thoughts that a DRO Review was a Hearing with a Senior DRO that we would go over my claims either in person or in a tele-conference. I recently wanted to find out a apprioxiamate date that the hearing would take place and how much advance time would they give me prior to the hearing date.Thanks to Bank of America and a no interest Visa for 15 months, I wanted to see if I could get some IMO/IME to bolster my claims. Anyway I got an email back today that has me totaly confused.They gave me the impression that the DRO Review was done by a supervisor who would notify me of their opinion and that there is no meeting with me present.They made it seem like it was an either or situation. When did they split the DRO process into two types? The IRIS person seemed to think there is no hearing with me present.They said the Portland office is running around 420 days till most DROs are done. So I do have some extra time to do what I planned on doing.If I am not apart of the DRO process, whos to say that anyone even looked at it again.(Trust Us!!) I think NOT!! If this is the new process, I would have been better off going straight to the BVA. I have never in my life seen anything so confusing in my life.They seem to change the process everytime you show them you are starting to understand what they want.They know I come from a flakey state and I can't find any good representation.They know my health is bad and that time is not something I have alot of.I've been just hoping that some of this interest back east would spill over and that maybe some of us western states might be able to get some representation thru osmosis.Doesn't matter what letter is behind our congress critters names here, they are all anti-war hence not pro vets



#6 Bigred122

 
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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:15 PM

When you filed my(your) NOD and asked for a DRO review back on 12/16/2011 , did you specifically ask for a hearing?

Generally speaking though, a DRO reviews your claims file before any hearing (if you had requested it). If the DRO can grant, there generally will be no hearing. If there is no grant (or only a partial grant), a hearing will be scheduled - if you had requested one.

In any event, I wouldn't wait any longer to submit any new evidence you have.

If you did not specifically request a hearing and the DRO does not find for you, the DRO will issue a Statement of The Case (SOC), and you have 60 days to return your Form 9 to the RO to have your claim sent to the BVA.

I have to admit on my original request, I did fail to use the word "Hearing". I didn't receive any form from them to choose a hearing or just a DRO Review.On the letters to them where I have submitted more evidence to them, I used the word "Hearing" several times in correspondances. Even my last one in June of this year when I asked them if they wanted paper or CDs on my DRO Binders that I organized specifically for the "Hearing"! I am attaching their email to this post for your viewing.It shows that they will be addressing the Hearing part with the Portland RO. So that should clear up that part. Searching the internet this afternoon there just doesn't seem to be a standard way of doing the DRO Review.It's kinda like Dealers Choice type of thing.So unless they move up the process,I'm looking at around February of 2013 for the DRO Review. My IMO/IME should be finished by either end of this month or first week of September. So I should be safe. I will be so glad when this process is over with. (if it ever will truly will be over) Mike

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Edited by Bigred122, 02 August 2012 - 08:19 PM.


#7 jvretiredvet

 
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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:18 PM

asked them if they wanted paper or CDs on my DRO Binders that I organized specifically for the "Hearing"! Yeah, that'll make 'em just ecstatic.

A DRO Review is supposed to be a review of the evidence that was used to make the original decision. Anymore, it routinely has become submission of new evidence. Kinda makes one wonder what the original decision would have been, if that new/additional evidence had been made available to the RVSR.

I have to admit on my original request, I did fail to use the word "Hearing". I didn't receive any form from them to choose a hearing or just a DRO Review.On the letters to them where I have submitted more evidence to them, I used the word "Hearing" several times in correspondances. Even my last one in June of this year when I asked them if they wanted paper or CDs on my DRO Binders that I organized specifically for the "Hearing"! I am attaching their email to this post for your viewing.It shows that they will be addressing the Hearing part with the Portland RO. So that should clear up that part. Searching the internet this afternoon there just doesn't seem to be a standard way of doing the DRO Review.It's kinda like Dealers Choice type of thing.So unless they move up the process,I'm looking at around February of 2013 for the DRO Review. My IMO/IME should be finished by either end of this month or first week of September. So I should be safe. I will be so glad when this process is over with. (if it ever will truly will be over) Mike



#8 Bigred122

 
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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:13 PM

asked them if they wanted paper or CDs on my DRO Binders that I organized specifically for the "Hearing"! Yeah, that'll make 'em just ecstatic.

A DRO Review is supposed to be a review of the evidence that was used to make the original decision. Anymore, it routinely has become submission of new evidence. Kinda makes one wonder what the original decision would have been, if that new/additional evidence had been made available to the RVSR.

Unfortunatelty the veteran doesn't always get to see what BS was written by the C&Pexam Drs before a decision was made by the RVSRs.Since the decision, I have acquired a Medical IMO by a specialist,a buddy statement and had to show evidence disputing the non factual biased opinions of the C&P Drs. As well as address their specialist opinion based on only half of the evidence available to her.And address her observations that documents were obviously removed from my medical files. So evidence to disput their Drs. amounted up to #40 lbs of paper in 6 binders addressing 13 disabilities or if they choose all neatly placed on 2 CDS. One containing all 6 binders info and one with updated medical evidence from a surgery that should have been done 4 years ago. I think you MIGHT agree it is hard to dispute opinions that have NO medical facts on record prior to being aware of the lies. But that is how they drag the process on and clog the system.The vet is always having to try and read their minds.Just like I'm still trying to get records they had in 2011,had to jump thru hoops to get and once thru hoops records have now disappeared.Didn't forsee that happening.lol Kinda the type of things Class Actions are made of Medical malpractice followed by altered records,failure to do Administrative Duties, Denying Due Process,removal/destroying of medical evidence in favor of veteran,failure to notify and treat veteran for emergency surgery.And the list goes on!! If they would do their jobs correctly and fairly the first time, the veteran and the system won't be clogged with redos. Now because of false information, I am forced to spend thousands of dollars I don't have to get Honest Drs to dispute VA Drs in IMOs that I shouldn't need, but have to get because thats how the game is played.Just like one usually doesn't get SSD until they turn you down and you get a lawyer then you win. No lawyer, you keep losing even with the same evidence.Because thats how it is played!.Va plays same type of game, just different rules, THEIR RULES(subject to change at any given moment).I'll keep on Keepin On until they realize I'm in the game till the end.If they keep submiting lies, I'll keep submiting the truth until the last tree or last CD is produced.Should it go all the way to the CAVC, I already have a WINNING attorney who has offered to represent me for it. Until then,like always, it's me against them until the end.I may be an old dog, but I promise you my last breath will be attached to a BIG BITE!! Mike

#9 broncovet

 
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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:41 PM

There are two types of DRO's:

1. DRO HEARING. This takes longer, as a DRO must schedule the hearing. You meet face to face, and get a chance to tell your side of the story. Good if you are a good "talker", not so good if you are less skilled or not comfortable with words.

2. DRO Review. The DRO "reviews the evidence" and makes a (new) decision. There is no hearing,and this is the fastest.

Again, if you have new evidence, then opt for the DRO, (a hearing if you are good with words or have a rep who is good with words). If you do not have new evidence, my advice is to skip the DRO and go to the BVA.

#10 Bigred122

 
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Posted 04 August 2012 - 03:03 PM

There are two types of DRO's:

1. DRO HEARING. This takes longer, as a DRO must schedule the hearing. You meet face to face, and get a chance to tell your side of the story. Good if you are a good "talker", not so good if you are less skilled or not comfortable with words.

2. DRO Review. The DRO "reviews the evidence" and makes a (new) decision. There is no hearing,and this is the fastest.

Again, if you have new evidence, then opt for the DRO, (a hearing if you are good with words or have a rep who is good with words). If you do not have new evidence, my advice is to skip the DRO and go to the BVA.

I did all the talking at my SSD hearing, fighting off vocational specialist as well as neurosurgeons opinions. My attorney only gave his name. With every talking point they had, I countered with my own opinions at the end they both agreed with me as well as did the judge. While in the Business world, I have done several sales presentations, sales training and seminars.I do much better at speaking than I do at writing, so I have no problems facing off the challenges and giving my perspective on things. Many times during this process, I have had to explain medical situations than normally have been over looked on my claims. My surgeon has learned over the years to have joint conferences with me concerning what direction we should be taking on my medical treatments. She has stated that my involvement makes her job easier and we can come to the right solution the first time.No one knows my body better than I do.If the DRO follows the law and grants the claims that the C&P Drs based their opinions on biased opinions and not medical facts in record and a couple claims were records were withheld from me, they will have to grant about 80% of my claims.The Drs IMOs I will be getting should help with the other 20%.But we already know that they don't always do what or how they are suppose to. When the RO Director had a DAV employee harass me to give up because Presidents staff was asking questions, it just made me plant my feet deeper.The DAV employee admited not looking at my record, not a smart move on his behalf. So when I told him I had a nexus letter and a Buddy statement to be added to claim,he backed down a bit. Then it just turned into a grunt vs marine snow writing contest. So bring on the Steel cage I'm ready, walker in one hand and cane in the other.Mike

Edited by Bigred122, 04 August 2012 - 03:06 PM.


#11 john999

 
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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:03 PM

If I have new evidence I would ask for a DRO Hearing or a Reconsideration before I went to the BVA. Take all the bites at the apple you can get before getting in line at the BVA. In the last 11 years I have won all but one claim at the VARO.

#12 deanbrt

 
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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:21 PM

So many differing opinions on this. Mine is the DRO is at the same site that just turned you down and may be friends with them.I see no sense to pursing that avenue unless you have dramatic new evidence... Everything I won I won at BVA. Your call....




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