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About angryemu

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. Late update, received a decision/SOC a while back, and total wait time was around 600 days. Granted 1 of my appeals (hooray!) but denied all of the others (boo!). What's funny is that I had IMO from multiple specialists (MDs) using VA forms, but VA says that they don't have to accept their opinion just because they are medical professionals, citing some previous case. The weird thing is that they could apply this rule to essentially any appeal, and it looks to overrule the veteran even when the burden of evidence is equal or in favor of the vet. Appealed to the board, current status says "Administrative Case Processing" at The Board, and that a decision will be made once any required administrative tasks are completed. Not sure what this means, or where this falls in the process. Any ideas?
  2. FYI the (202) 530-9470 number is going out of service in September and all calls will be handled through the 1000 number.
  3. Six, appreciate the response. You validated the reason I took the NOD approach. Since NOD is time sensitive, decided to pursue that path with CUE as another option if things don't work out. In the meantime I'll just stand in line with everyone else and try to be patient.
  4. Quick update, was told that VA is prioritizing claims and mine just got kicked down the road. So, the "any day now" guidance has been replaced with "hopefully within the next year." I think I'm approaching 600 days right now. Gastone, I did file an NOD DRO Review based on CUE. The only additional evidence I provided were statements that directly cited specific parts of my C-file showing the conditions, along with the CFR verbiage on how to weigh the evidence. My understanding was that DRO would review was the best since the file gets a fresh review and then, if not favorable, could pursue further action. But perhaps this was not the best approach? And 6-18 months could be right.
  5. jfrei, I called the 202 number and they were helpful. Told me a decision could be made any day, and to call back in a week if nothing happens. They mentioned that they typically won't take action until an appeal is over the 500 day mark.
  6. I tried to get a VSO to assist, but they would never return my numerous phone calls or emails. I then tried getting a lawyer to assist but they wouldn't take the case. Ended up going at it alone on my initial claims and managed to get 60% (using what I learned on this site). They gave me the things I thought were a long shot and denied the claims I thought were a slam dunk. It's baffling. Just going to continue going at it alone.
  7. Appreciate the feedback. Gastone, I filed an NOD for a number of different issues based on what I felt were errors in their analysis of evidence (e.g. I had documentation from specialists showing evidence of condition, service connection and level of disability that was flat out ignored). Based on advice I submitted for DRO review as this would still leave the other options open should this one fail. There was no new evidence to submit, so I just included a statement directly siting the medical evidence and CFR language that dictates how they should be review and offer and a judgment. L, thanks for the info and link. Hadn't seen it before! Also didn't know about the "tracks".
  8. That's awful. I automatically multiply any estimated time by 2 to get a more accurate timeline. I wonder how quickly the DRO can turn over a case once it lands in their lap?
  9. Houston. I think they're a little quicker than some other VAROs (but still abysmally slow).
  10. Sorry if this has been addressed before, but I was not able to find an answer anywhere else. After collecting dust for 480 days after filing an NOD with a DRO, my appeal has apparently entered a "Review" phase. According to the VA rep, the electronic system had a new note entered into my file a few weeks back stating that a DRO had begun to review the file. Can anyone offer insight into how long it could take from here to get to a DRO decision? I understand it depends on what else the DRO has going on and how complicated my appeal is, just wanted to see what others' experience has been. Appreciate any feedback.
  11. angryemu

    Gw Exam

    Howdy, I've got a GW exam in a few weeks, and was wondering if there's anything I should know before going in? Also, does bringing in pre-filled DBQs help? I know they'll use their own, but I've read on here from multiple posters that the VA often skimps on these and doesn't always accurately document the conditions. By bringing in pre-filled forms I was hoping to just hand them a copy as we went through the questions so that there's no room for miscommunication. Thanks
  12. I think the GW presumptive service connection is exclusive to certain undiagnosed illnesses, or clusters of illnesses. From what you've told me, my gastro issues could be service connected based on the diagnosis in my records (gastroenteritis), but since there are other undiagnosed related gastro issues (as a cluster) it could also fall under GWI as functional gastrointestinal disorder. If the VA rates both service connected and GWI connected, do you get both or just one? Also, does the VA interview you to discuss what's in my service record medical files? There's some inaccurate information in there that I'd like to clarify.
  13. Thanks USN for clarifying the difference between GW illnesses and SC. Looks like my claims will be split, gastro stuff is GW, tinnitus and scar is SC. My worry is that my MSR and civilian records attempt to diagnose the gastro issues. There's a few mentions of gastroenteritis, and they even performed an appendectomy, with results stating the appendix was not the problem (at least now I don't have to worry about my appendix rupturing on me, haha). Service connection to GW shouldn't be problem since I deployed there three times with my ship. Sailed every inch up and down the Persian gulf, Gulf of Oman and spent lots of time in port at Bahrain, UAE, and Oman. I have to say it's a pain in breaking out a lot this medical stuff into specific conditions, given how interdependent a lot the issues are. It's like a cascade of events often triggered by something small, and then all hell breaks loose.
  14. Great information. I'm still a little confused - what is needed to establish GW presumptive opinion? I've got gastro problems in my service record, and several civilian records including hospital and surgery for gastro issues. Do I need a diagnoses like IBS, or do the records and GW service suffice? I've scheduled an appointment with a civilian gastro doc, but what exactly do I need from him?
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