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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Agreed DRO is faster, mine was 370 days start to finish -October 5, 2016. I did lay my claim out in an organized manner, focusing on what I needed for the rating I was seeking.

I was nervous about the reviewer bias,but it is with any other process, I had no control.

I did as Buck52 said- evaluated the pros /cons based on the merits of my claim. 

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They(DRO) are required to review my appeals before they are certified for the BVA.

Glad some of our vets were successful at the DRO level.

I personally have ZERO confidence in getting a fair decision from my VARO.

One of my appeals is a 1151 based on medical negligence by the VHA.

No DRO would grant my 1151 at the VARO IMO.

I know it will be a wait, but as it stands, I will never give up


Edited by 63Charlie
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Its too bad that VA does not keep statistics on DRO reviews, so we could make a more educated decision.  The statistics at the BVA are well known, and the BVA chairmans report talks about them every year.  

We simply do not know what percent of cases are granted at the DRO level.  Personally, I was awarded benefits at a DRO review level, but there were special  circumstances.  

Alex has opined that, especially if it involves large retro, you want to get this to the CAVC ASAP, since GS7 or GS9 raters probably can not authorize 6 figure retro's, so they simply deny them.  

However, if your claim involves a smaller retro, especially if you submitted new evidence, I think a DRO review is a good option.  

You should take into consideration whether or not you are gonna hire an attorney.  If you are adverse toward attorney's, then you had better go for the DRO, because you got just one chance at the BVA, and, if the BVA is denied, you really need an attorney at the CAVC.  You really should not consider going to the CAVC pro se, EXCEPT for a writ of mandamus.  

Edited by broncovet
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In my opinion if there's a large retro involved  a veteran needs to do what it takes to win. 

As long as he has good probative favorable medical evidence and good reports from Specialist Dr's HE NEEDS TO DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO WIN HIS CLAIM.

 If denied at the DRO Level  then hey  look out BVA here I come.... BVA the only thing about waiting  or even waiting to get a docket #  it depends on how bad the veteran condition is  and he may not live long enough to see  his award  but his family can keep the claim going...there should be some type of expedition for veterans with S.C. chronic conditions  to speed up there claim or put them at the front of the line.

I hope with this new administration the back-log will speed up. 


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Been on the DRO roller coaster for a while and unfortunately I feel my evidence hasn't been fully read and comprehended.

Strongly recommend sending a evidenced based/organized claim initially and if denied BVA is the next step.

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Anytime the phrase "Don't Do," is used, a Vet "Must Do" their own due diligence before making a Decision to DRO Review, DRO Hearing or get on the Long A$$ BVA Traditional Appeal Train Ride.

DRO's take less time, Reviews less than 18 mos, Hearings up to 3 to 4 yrs. Just getting a BVA Docket number can take 4 to 5 yrs, then there are the Remands, no actual Guarantee of success at the BVA. Check out  2014, 15 and 16 BVA Decisions.

A Vet can, for the most part, handle their own appeal at the DRO Level, keeping in mind the absolute need for the VA Mandatory New & Material Evidence being provided pre-Review or Hearing.

A Vet deciding to go the BVA route would be wise to consult with a couple VA Attorneys. I think VA Attorney's have better success Stats than Vets using VSO Reps, but maybe not.

Your Claim, Your Decision. Ignorance is said to be Bliss, the Bliss goes away with the Denial Letter.

Semper Fi



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