Here's the buzz on the attorney wire. All contributors' names are redacted but are brand name VA law dogs. Should you desire their names, please private message me and I will divulge them. I normally do not share emails but this is an exception:
If you haven't seen VA's newest form for a NOD, take a look at it (I'll send it to you if you want...). See page 2, where VA asks if they can call the veteran. I weighed in on it on VAWatchdog.org this morning too.
VA's unannounced but revised policy to call represented veterans makes total sense now... I hope NOVA is doing something about this as well (since my petition challenging it got denied last month...).
My two cents on this issue: in addition to the curious phone "contact" issue, the form far exceeds the regulatory requirements for a NOD and to the detriment of the claimant.
Indeed, it contorts those requirements and creates a new burden on the claimant to identify every issue on appeal AND the rating for those issues. There is no ability to simply state "I disagree with all decisions in the rating decision" (even the VA Form 9 has this), so claimants will clearly be held to ONLY the issues/ratings identified in the NOD. It is also unclear to me where/how you can identify a disagreement with an effective date or anything other than a rating.
Claimants need to be advised NOT TO USE THIS FORM -- the form itself states that it is NOT mandatory.
In my view this is a substantive change to the NOD regulation and it should be subject to formal rulemaking.
And a new low for VBA and the VSO’s.
I agree, the NOD form should have been the subject of rule making.
But a form that the computer can recognize is not a bad thing.
Use the form, just type in “see attached” and use your normal pleadings.
A form closer to the VA-9 with an “all issue” default would be more appropriate.