Ultimately it didn't even matter she told me I was never even given a SOC in my intial decision so that should have been an easy grant for her but she lacked the authority her words and it had to be decided by the BVA. No upshot :but she did help certify my appeal to the board which is why my appeal only took 5 months to decide and my retro was almost 100k.
Veterans Affairs officials insist it’s only a temporary problem, due to an unexpected rise in the number of new cases that flooded into the system over the last few months. They’re confident the 30,000-case increase in the backlog since last fall will be brought back down again in coming weeks.
Understandable, You really do need to set goals and limitations. At the very least know your own limits and know when the fight is taking more out of you than whatever possible return you may receive if and when you prevail.
John you got that right on your assessment, however, it is not all lost and doomed. There are loopholes and you can use some regulations and laws to your benefit. New and material evidence is a good one, or you know the evidence that the VA had all along but decided to ignore or conveniently lost. Of course I am talking about Duty to Assist and you know the presumed Benefit of Doubt to favor the Veteran. You must learn and research the indiscretions that were used to lowball and deny you and use those to fight your claim. Sometimes it is the simple things that can be of use to you in defense for your claim.
Easier stated and written down, much harder to apply though. Just don't give up. keep fighting, keep appealing. That is just my two cent's worth of an opinion.
Unfortunately you hit the nail on the head with the filing of of I9. Just like the timeline for the NOD, you cannot, absolutely not let those suspense date pass, other wise you claim is in serious trouble and possibly dead in the water.
Make reminders, alarms, notes or whatever mechanism will keep you on task. So very important that this is done.