Not sure I am following you but my DRO informal hearing sucked A$$. So regardless of having one I am still back at square one. My face to face was a bold face lie regarding the DRO. I agree that having one is better than a review but still you should be sure you get an honest one at that!
I never needed or wanted IU. I am fortunate enough to not need it and I am glad I don't b/c so many Vet's do need it and have to fight just to survive and live month to month.
Well if nothing else, any and all Vets reading your Topic, should come away with an understanding of the importance of the actual DRO Hearing as opposed to the Review.
The Hearing definitely takes longer, but the opportunity to plead your case, face to face with the person making the RO Final Decision, is worth it.
With your stated Earned Income, IU is currently off the table.
Try and stay safe.
Haven't see any Retro pay yet but IU was back dated to July 11 2015 to March 8, 2016 per the DAV than I became 100% scheduler after that date.
I'm thinking its gonna be in the 15k range I was 90% prior to this decision.
I have direct deposit set up to send an alert for any deposits.
I plan to file for the property Tax and life insurance once I get the official word.
Just seems to be dragging along, I live in NC and was told that my Claim was now in Baltimore under final review, its been close to 80 days since a decision was made on June 16,2016 now a new decision was made on Aug 19,2016, fearing I'm going to be stuck on a ferris wheel to nowhere fast.
1. Get your records fixed.
2. File the I9, timely even if you can not get the records fixed in time. If the VA has not responded to your request to amend records, per 3.1579, then so state in your I9. Later, if the VA does amend the records (or if they refuse), then submit that as new and material evidence, per 38 cfr 3.156.
3. Get help as you may be too emotionally involved in the outcome. Even lawyers get lawyers. "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool as a client.". Alex could probably fix this mess for you, probably John Dorle could also, but you have a short time fuse, so file the I9 in 60 days no matter what, even if you have to amend it later.