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    • Killemall, The Regional office used the examination for re-evaluation as the C&P.  I discovered this as it was annotated in my medical notes that I was able to view via Blue Button in MyHealEVet. The rating ended up being:
      50% Bi-Lateral Hearing Loss / Word Recognition
      10% Tinnitus
      =VA math 55%, rounded up to 60%.
      This is a fair and accurate representation of my SC hearing loss and how it effects my life and work. However, the PTSD-MST claim was denied without the use of a C&P, as I did not officially report the crime while in the Army back in 1984.  The rater simply made an incorrect decision, which was absolutely devastating to me.  I don't expect the rater to fully understand how this could happen to a man and not be officially reported. No one deserves to understand that first hand.  It took me a few months to write up a short statement of disagreement as instructed by my VSO.   Interestingly, the VA (Medical / Physiological) division of the US Government, consisting of Clinical Psychiatrists and other experts in the field, believe I need intensive and specific treatment for my PTSD-MST.  So on November 6th, I will be heading to another VA inpatient PTSD facility located in Virginia for seven weeks.   This particular program is a tertiary referral center which has a division that specializes specifically on male MST cases like mine, which the Regional Office rater said does not exist due to lack of documentation. This matter will now last for many more painful years and I vow to never give up, just like when this unthinkable crime against me was committed.  I apologize for going off topic. BTW, this is the place I am headed to in November:  http://www1.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?ID=116    
    • I recently learned how donating blood was good for (many people, not everyone)  Men, especially, tend to have too much iron.  (Women lose Iron from menstration, so its rarely a problem for women to have too much iron)  If you have too much iron, its bad for your health, it can even be life threatening.   http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemochromatosis/home/ovc-20167289 I was a bit suprised they would "take" my blood after I read about the health benefits of donating blood.   I answered all the questions honestly, and they took my blood.  They did a iron test, first, to see if my iron was low. (finger poke).    I donated blood locally, NOT through VA.   Remember, VA has to get you to sign a consent form to get medical information about you other than the VAMC's.      Here are a few health benefits of donating blood:  It reduces cancer risk, is heart healthy, and can be good for other organs also, especially for men with hi iron.   I read where "old blood" is "sticky" and tends to clot.  When you give blood, your body makes more "new" blood, which is slicker and is less likely to form blood clots.   Of course, you dont want to donate blood too often.  My area only allows you to donate whole blood every 56 days.  (2 months).    http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-donating-blood-good-your-health-246379
    • http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/copy-machine/n10022 "making copies", the Richmeister the copy machine guy, FWIW, Hamslice    
    • We dont know your PCP, so we dont know if she will help.  But, you need to seek treatment for ED for 2 reasons. First, for your wife, and secondly for the money.  (SMC K).  If you could do the Wild Monkey before the PTSD meds, and the Wild Monkey Dance is gone now, then that is a pretty obvious link.   If you want compensation for SMC K, you need it documented.  So you should start with your PCP.  If your PCP does not have experience/does not treat ED, then you should ask for a referral to someone who does.  
    • I like the ideas of how to safeguard your medical and service records.  I still employ a paper/electronic system.  I like the combo approach with redundancies.  Believe you me it has come in handy several times already and once BVA hearing approaches, well I have a few green cards with the Regional Office and Evidence Intake Centers signature all over it.  Can't deny an item wasn't received if you have a signature to prove it.  Not to give cudos to the VA but the e-filing of claims through e-benefits has not failed me yet, well other than consistent access but you can see and load both ways on submitted evidence.  Confirmation of submission and acceptance are a nice facet.   Still even in this digital world, I would suggest the same in regards to records.  Keep a hardcopy, have one on a drive, jump drive, online server, and for kicks throw a media copy in a safety deposit box.  You never know. The one thing I would suggest with the online methods is to make sure the encryption and back up redundant systems are to your satisfaction and meet new technological standards.





bootstrap1

Decision Review Officer

11 posts in this topic

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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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.

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