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Decision Review Officer

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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

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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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