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    • NOD / DRO or TARP?
      Have you googled the doctor who did the C & P? He/she might have no background at all in MH issues.      
    • NOD / DRO or TARP?
      Sometimes I think I have seen it all and then VA surprises me. This is a ridiculous decision. All I can think that happened was that they focused on the wrong thing as stressors.Not only is a TBI a stressor , but you have the CAR on your DD 214. I feel you should ask for a new C & P. The new 2010 PTSD regs focus on "fear of" and/or "close proximity to hostile activity". It is as likely as not you were in fear of and in close proximity to that activity. What did the C & P doc diagnose you with?    
    • Denied!! Hip Service connection. Guess what? Their is HOPE!
      Great! If they do award on this info, then time to consider a 38 CFR 3.156 claim to gain more retro, on the 2014 denial.... Did both denials say the SMRS had been lost? Are you still employed ,with the 80%?
    • Denied!! Hip Service connection. Guess what? Their is HOPE!
      In my past threads i posted that in 2014 i put in a claim for hip pain, and after x-rays and C&P was denied service connection.I did not put in a NOD. Fast forward to 2016. Put in claim for hip pain secondary to knee, sacroiliac joint and back arthritis. Two weeks later BBE came. Denied service connection,states lost med records.  Well after some fuming i gathered my evidence in my copy of my service medical records and made an appointment with my VA PCP. I showed her where in 1984 a had a bad auto accident that involved my entire left side.  After showing this to her i explained that i was denied service connection for my hip and asked her if she would write me a statement explaining that this could have resulted in my hip pain.  She said no problem!!  WOW. Ok  Went on e-benifits this morning and low and behold here is the letter.....  to whom it may concern vetern ------ is DOB- -------, is under ,my care since June 2011. Review of record shows , vet had a MVA in 1984, while in service, that affected -------  his left side, left knee, left side of back , & hip, His hip pain has increased since then x ray shows degerative arthritis, which in my opinion is as likely as not is a result of trauma to his left side including hip in 2008 while in service if you have any question or concern, please feel free to contact me /es/ SAROJ B SHARMA MD STAFF PHYSICIAN Signed: 05/02/2016 16:35.  I think that this should be enough evidence to include my emergency record of the accident that they conveniently lost to RE-OPEN my 2014 claim for service connection of left hip.  What do you guys think?  I just wish that everyone of us vets had a great PCP like i do that actually cares for us vets and will go beyond what is required to help....    
    • CUE? Not using SMR?
      I love it AskNod. Thanks for the input!!! I will talk to him about it today. I do appreciate the time you all put in to give us advice. It's priceless. 
    • Temporary 100% post surgery/convalescense pay
      Whats up guys, hopefully someone out there can help me out here. Ok I had surgery on my right knee (service connected) on 4-13-16 at the VA hospital in Phoenix. I applied for convalescense pay the day before which was 4-12-16. My surgeon wrote a statemwnt saying I would be out of commission for 8-10 weeks or more if "desired strength in leg is not met" how long does the VA take to process something like this? And my understanding is the VA doesnt pro-rate meaning my convalescent start date is 5-1-16 and for 8 weeks will that be from 5-1-16 until 7-31-16? I currently am at 40% so i get $699.36/month. With convalescense do they pay 100% per month (in my case its $3187) or will they pay one lump sum for both months? Thank you     Quote   Edit
    • Ankylosing spondylitis. Rheumatologist diagnosis
      Hi all. Got a good one for you again. I saw my rheumatologist today and was diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis. It affect both my feet and my right hand. Apparently this condition is related to rheumatoid arthritis and when i start treatment i will have to take shots for the rest of my life. I just got low balled at 30% for bilateral plantar fascitis which i just found out is related to to ankylosing spondylitis. My question is do you think i should file a claim and will this get services connected??? So internet research i have seen said RA is easier to get service connected but this is another new road i must go down so i would apperciate some Knowledgable feedback. This condition also affect my neck and back and i did have some back issues in my service medical records. Thanks all and i look forward to youtlr replies. 
    • CUE? Not using SMR?
      What I see missing here is any mention of 38 CFR 1154(b) Combat enhancement. VA did not give  him enhanced credibility in 1983. In fact, they didn't even mention it which they would be required to discuss by law (and then discount as not being probative). That is CUE. VA is required to take any testimony about his feet in the combat environment as Gospel. It's clear they had the STRs when they made the 1983 decision. Presumption of Soundness at entry on the physical sets the injury metric.  If he had flat feet when he left, then it occurred in service -38 CFR 3.303(a). If he says he got flat feet and he has a PH and CIB, VA cannot argue otherwise. Having proved CUE, all he has to do is show that the error manifestly changed the outcome. The 2015 grant is proof of that. The only thing that could poke a hole in this balloon would be an unappealed BVA decision which would have rendered the subject closed. No appeal up to the BVA on any of those reopens following 1983 means a CUE  claim is still viable for 1983 as well as any follow on denials in the interim. Personally, I'd go for it. I'd get an atty. because it's going to be a cat fight for that many dineros. Sorry about that sugar. Your email didn't mention the medals and the CIB. That's a whole different ballgame. Anyone who would die in combat for their country gets a bye on their testimony as being credible without corroboration. 
    • NOD / DRO or TARP?
      Also, I want to point out that my husband returned from his 2nd tour in October of 2008. I do not believe I would have said that I was that concerned with him returning when he had just got back as was stated in the decision. He usually has at least a couple of years between deployments.  I could be wrong, I don't remember. I do recollect saying that when he was gone, a lot of the memories of what we did and seen during the invasion returned or bothered me more..?.  Sorry, I can't be sure.
    • Dr Ellis IMO
      Thanks for the info Flores.  I actually called the clinic this morning.  I am in the process of gathering my records and will be sending them out hopefully by Monday.  They said that they are currently scheduling for the end of June, beginning of July.  The lady sounded very nice.  I am looking forward to meeting Dr. Ellis soon.   Good luck on your claim. Travis  

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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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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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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.

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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

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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)

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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)

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