That is always the question, "What could they be doing NOW?"
Regardless of DRO Review or Official Hearing, not unusual for the actual DRO to take 3 to 9 mos to mail out the Decision Letter. Take into consideration the possible size of any Retro Award. Anything over a certain figure, I think $25K, has to be signed off on by the Rating Dept MFIC.
Plus or minus, I think your in the $24K range for SMC S back to 09.
Then, there's always a possible Denial lurking around, which would require a SSOC be prepared to accompany your Denial Letter.
Not much you can do at this point, just try to relax, the old "It is what it Is."
I trust you have your Direct Deposit Bank/CU account set up for Immediate Txt/E-Mail notifications of all Financial Transactions. Retro Payments, in my experience (9 over past 6 yrs), always hit the bank well in advance of the actual Award Letter arriving.
E-Ben is actually starting to show fairly Real Time Award Info. My last 2 Awards 12/15 & 6/22/16 were reference within a couple days of the Decision, followed closely by Retro Deposits. 12/15 Award letter didn't arrive till mid 04 and 06 award letter followed Retro Deposit by 1 day.
Does your State have and are you getting the State DAV 100% or IU Property Tax Exemption?
A couple of weeks ago, I was informed by the Nashville VR&E Regional Office that I was finally assigned a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) in Memphis. After calling and getting the wrong departments for an hour and a half, I finally was able to talk to him. From the beginning of the phone call he was extremely rude, because I must have interrupted his afternoon siesta. I explained that I was trying to re-enter the VR&E program to beome trained in a career that I could work in. He flat out lied and stated that the VR&E program is NOT for education, and I had to use GI BILL or VEAP benefits to go to college, and that the VR&E program does NOT provide any equipment either. So I asked him if his statement was his official position, despite the fact that the VA Website and 38 USC Chapter 31 state that training is available, provided you meet the criteria. He repeated that NO education is available through the VR&E program. He also stated that his office is under-staffed, overworked, and he has appointments until October. I asked him if that meant my initial appointment with him wasn't going to be until November, but that he was already telling me my request was going to be denied? At this point, he asked my name and last four. He told me I already have a Bachelors degree and nothing more is needed. He then told me goodbye.
I did not contact him to start a war, but he has drawn the line in the sand. I have sent certified letters detailing his disregard for U.S. Code (Federal Law) to the Nashville VR&E office, and Washington VR&E office, apprising them of the situation. I also contacted my Congressman, and have been assigned a Congressional Aide to follow this through at the Washington D.C. level. I refuse to see the Memphis VRC or even be processed by that office. So what should have been routine procedure, has now turned into a war with a tenured Government employee, who doesn't have a clue on the regulations of performing their job.
Why didn't you go outside on the Choice program if over 30 days? That is always my choice, if I have time. But now I have several appointments per week and it's more economical time wise, knocking out requirements in the VA hospital. It's so much easier having my personal tbi MSW priority schedule for me: she is smart and fast unlike me :-)
It doesn't sound like your dental is doing too good. We don't have a real swift one either. The dentist talked a good game, cried about how busy she was, and was dead wrong on my diagnosis for Chapter 31 dental care I should have received that cost me on my bill. After 2 years wasted trying to get my $400 back after insurance I had to buy ($75/mo!), I just said screw it when the head of the hospital started delaying me. I thought it poor leadership.