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Veterans Benefit Manual, Pg 898, Sec 12.8.3, Double Dro Question



For all you guys that advised getting the Veterans Benefit Manual (VBM) - I need some help with it.

On page 898, Section 12.8.3 it discusses "Double" DRO Review which is a question I've had (so thanks to those who suggested getting this resource) and while I am glad to see the answer is yes, you can get double DRO review, I can't locate the supporting documentation they use.

The VBM cites in footnote 288 a "VA Compensation and Pension Service Conference Call, March 8, 2004 (Issue: Double DRO Review)" as the reference.

I have been unable to find that in the VBM, the VA website, or on the web. Can anyone provide me with a link to this reference or tell me what page it's on in the VBM (I've searched but can't find it).



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Yeah- I noticed that too some time ago and could not find the call documented anywhere-

I think the point NVLSP is making is quite clear however-

"Since the DRO process is always available after an NOD, and the issue of effective date and evaluation are separate issues from the issue for service connection,subsequent DRO review is allowed." VBM page 898

What gets me is when they give a De Novo review and it is a sameo sameo review-

I couldn't believe it when I got that- verbatim to the initial so-called review-

I raised a big stink and asked the VSM to CUE that decision-they scrambled and that is when I got the DRO conference with my vet rep-

He called me and said he was sure I would get an award at this conference with the evidence I had (all ignored up to that point)and he would be stressing BOD regs at this conference as well as the critical Section 1151 award factor.

Good thing I made a stink- the local rep never told him I had IMos and he-the rep at the RO office- didnt even know they held my POA-

WHen I got the SSOC from the conference- they again had ignored my medical evidence-and the SSOC did not reveal that the vep rep had offered anything at all in a "lengthy" conference.

As soon as my claim is decided- they say it is close to decision- I am getting copies of my c file from the last copy of it to see what really happened at that conference.

The DRO is supposed to put a detailed report into the c file as to their findings, etc.

My vet rep has no documentation at all of what he said happened and seem oddly unconcerned that the SSOC from the DRO went against what he told me.

Of course I filed a formal complaint with his boss.And discussed this with my lawyer.

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I had a De Novo review which was the same as the one Berta received -sameo, sameo. I had to file my Form 9 due to the time line. I raised so much hell about the improper SOC issued they now have it under review by another DRO and gave me a DRO hearing. So I guess you can have a double DRO review. The only thing that I can think of to support such an action is CFR 38 Part 3 which provides that the vet can have a hearing at anytime during the claims process. The only thing that would keep you from having a hearing at the VARO is if you have a form 9 pending and the VARO has already transfered you file to the board. At that point the hearing would be held by BVA personnel rather than the VARO.

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Neither my dead husband or me would have gotten anywhere unless we raised Hell at times with the VA.

I sure wish it wasn't this way- but it often is---

Good for you! I never accept VA crapola without a fight.

What gets me is my I-9 was passed around to many at thr RO and three signed off- over a six month period.

I had no idea they were going to send the claim to the BVA.

When I got word of that and contacted the BVA -from just a short letter from me, they remanded the claim back right away.

I stated 3 reasons to grant the fast remand and why it had been sent to BVA illegally and I told the BVA I am a veteran's advocates and I sure know my rights.

Since the BVA people are literate- I got my remand in weeks-

after my POA refused to help me- even at their highest level-

if every VCAA violated claimant they had on their POA did this-right away when they get the transfer to BVA notice-(Plenty at the BVA web site) they would actually have to work on some claims.

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  • Elder

I got a De Novo Review within two weeks of my NOD one time. It was a cut and paste job from the original decision. What a Joke. I asked for a personal hearing with a DRO and got what I wanted but it took an additional 6 months.

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I really have to thank you guys/gals for replying to this post. You see, it took over 2 years for the DRO to develop my claim and decide in my favor for service connection and 50%. I think/thought this was horrible (the time it took) - it took the DRO that long to tell me what I needed to give them to prove that the letters I sent in from my active duty shrinks were legit before they would even consider I was service connected and set me up for a C&P exam. It never crossed my mind that a "de novo" review would equal "sameo sameo". So, I sincerely appreciate the perspective you've given me. It makes my long wait not seem so bad because at least the DRO did develop the evidence and once I proved the shrinks really were on active duty when I was and we served on the same post and major command, they accepted their statements and set up the C&P exam.

Also, again, with the perspective of what I've read on this board, I think my C&P exam went remarkably well from the VA standpoint (I blew my part but they did theirs). The examiner was kind and polite and had obviously read my C-file since she quoted some things in it to me. She was also willing to point it out to me in the office when I asked her if she had seen it. From the Decision letter I can tell that at least on some things she did an excellent job of capturing the information I gave her, which may prove important if I ever get to the point where they approve 70% and IU because she noted that I told her I couldn't hold down a job because of my sc disability and that is in the Decision letter. When I asked her if she believed there was a nexus between my active duty treatment and my current treatment not only did she tell me yes, but she read what she wrote in the report to me and while the Decision letter paraphrases what I believe she wrote, she established a clear nexus for me. She was American (no language issues and I don't discern accents very well so this was one of my concerns going into the C&P exam, that I would get a foreign born doctor - I had to deal with many of them at the VA in another state before my father passed away and the language barrier is extremely difficult to deal with sometimes). Also, the exam lasted almost an hour. So, from my understanding, especially after reading hadit now for several months, I got an excellent C&P doctor and fair C&P exam.

This is, of course, a double edged sword because while the VA did a great job with the C&P exam as far as I can tell (now, I reserve the right to change my mind after I get a copy of my C-file and find out what her actual report says) I was so depressed I could barely function. Rather than go down painful rabbit holes that I was afraid I couldn't out of an answer some of her questions forthrightly, I gave answers that did not tell the whole story and in a couple of cases, just said "no" instead of "yes, and this is how it manifests itself." Who wants to spill their guts to a perfect stranger and potentially fall apart and start crying right there in the exam room (answer: a vet who doesn't want to have to get an IMO to prove their increase rating but I didn't realize that at the time - ah, pride is not only the fall of man but of the veteran in a C&P exam as well). That's all on me and there are several of the 70% rating issues that I didn't address in my C&P exam so I believe that based on the information I gave them, the DRO made a fair evaluation (even though there were several symptoms from the 70% category listed and from my understanding they could have gone 70% on that but elected to go 50% - it was a close call and while I would have preferred they gave me the reasonable doubt, highest rating, etc, I accept that they had incomplete information from me and believe they made a decent rating decision based on what they had). Even though I took a list in there of 3 things I needed to talk about (the nexus, not being able to hold down a job, and social impairment) I only covered 2 of them. Plus, in going to a private shrink I have come to understand my disability better and realize there are other questions that I simply did not give the correct information to because I was not self aware. ARRRRGGGGGG!!!!

Sorry to ramble on about the whole C&P exam. It frustrates me no end that I blew it and I hope all goes well for me in appeal.

However, she did note that I had difficulty concentrating so that is part of my argument requesting the VA accept my IMO which was written after 7 sessions with a private shrink.

I wish, given who the C&P examiner was and how promptly the DRO decided my claim after my exam (less than a week) that I had had the wherewithal to have done a better job conveying the salient information to her since I have no idea if I'll be so lucky in a future C&P exam to prove the 70% and IU.

Anyway, I really appreciate everyone sharing their stories, good and bad, because it gives me perspective on my own situation.

I'm still looking for how to find that conference call and if anyone comes up with a link to it I'd appreciate you posting it.



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I haven't looked for Ron's number yet- but he can also be reached via 1-202-265-8305.

It was in old email from him and I forget what file I put that into-

maybe it was just his extension to the main number-I forget-

I got in contact with NVLSP this AM by email as to your question because I remembered-

a few years ago there was discussion here as to how they had presented the VSM in one of the older editions-

I had to contact Bart Stickman about that and they changed it in the new edition-

So- now I think best to contact him-instead-

I will post the NVLSP reply as soon as I hear from them-but you can certainly reach Ron or Bart Stickman thru their main number above.

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