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Notice Of Disagreement


5of7Vets
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all i have filed a NOD with the VA back in Dec 2009. I received a letter Feb 09 asking me how to resolve my disagreement.

One box is; Yes, i would like my case reviewed by a Decision Review Officer.

other box; No, i would not like my case review by a Decision Review Officer.

If Yes, it will be process through the Decision Review Officer Process, complete review, new decision.

If No it will be processed through the traditional appeal process, complete review,statement of case....

I haven't talked to my VSO yet but was curious what is the right way to answer this.. thanks

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5,

This is a matter of great debate among members of the board so you will get differing opinions based upon the experience of the individual.

One thing you may want to consider is if you want to reveal which VARO you are using. That seems to have a big impact as some of the VAROs really have a horrid reputation. If you want to keep your location private, that's fine, but you may want to look at the profiles of those who answer to see where they are from to see if any of them are using the same VARO. Of course, having said that, the VA often ships claims to other VAROs so it is not a guarantee that your claim will be decided at your state's VARO.

Here's my opinion based on my experience - I used the DRO process twice. Once when they denied service connection and then again when they low balled my claim. I did it for a couple of reasons - first, I was using a VSO in the building and figured that all those guys work in the same building and would know one another and hopefully the VSOs would be able to talk directly to the VA decision makers. This didn't work so well for me a couple times with the multiple VSOs I was assigned but it did prove out in my final DRO appeal where I was granted 100% P&T.

Plus, the thing that always bugged me about the whole BVA concept is that they can just remand your claim back to the VARO so you're stuck there anyway. Why go through the extra BVA step (though some vets do not believe they can get a fair shake from the DRO)?

I agonized about this myself when I had an active claim and ultimately decided to use the DRO twice and it worked out for me. Ultimately you are simply going to have to do the best you can working with your VSO to understand your own particular VARO and figure out where your odds are best of winning your claim as quickly as possible. Sometimes that's the DRO and sometimes that's the BVA and I don't really think we vets can make a clear determination which is better in any given claim.

Sorry for the wishy washy answer but I really think the whole thing is a crap shoot and ultimately depends on the integrity of whoever it is that rates your claim whether they be a DRO or BVA judge.

Good luck and keep us posted on the outcome of your claim,

TS Snave

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  • HadIt.com Elder
...I received a letter Feb 09 asking me how to resolve my disagreement.

One box is; Yes, i would like my case reviewed by a Decision Review Officer.

other box; No, i would not like my case review by a Decision Review Officer.

Great question "5of7Vets". I don't know what will work for you. However, I'm sure someone, here at Hadit, will give us some feedback soon.

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all i have filed a NOD with the VA back in Dec 2009.

What year did you file your NOD XXXX ?

The NOD was filed on the rating decision dated XX-XX-XXXX ?

I received a letter Feb 09 asking me how to resolve my disagreement.

One box is; Yes, i would like my case reviewed by a Decision Review Officer.

In my opinion it is more adventagious for the claimant to

check box 1 AND on the same form - in writing,request a DRO Hearing.

I feel it is in the claimants best interest to present themself and all of their medical evidence face to face, in clear and concise terms, with a Decision Review Officer.

The decision maker has to face a claimant, person to person.

If you have disabilities that are visually evident such as a cane, a walker

or wheelchair,a tens unit or hearing aid, amputations and/or prosthetics,

shake from medications, have facial scars or scars that are visible due to active duty or secondary conditions, if you use a machine to amplify your voice due to a SC'd condition, if you have foot drop etc, if you have to use an inhaler during the hearing ...

The claimant can submitt additional information,evidence, and sworn testimony by theirself, wittnesses which are usually family, friends,neighbors, doctors, prior or current employers and/or co-workers,

while at the DRO Hearing.

Please note that by presenting information,testimony and/or reading a list of the evidence to the DRO, this is a legal hearing, people will be sworn in and the entire hearing will be recorded.

You are entitled to a copy, in writing,of the hearing transcripts

This is much more difficult to get lost, mis-placed or spoliated etc...

The DRO has full authority to make a decision on any issue contained within the claim, (barring any issue that this specific DRO has previously ruled on).

A rating decision and/or SOC and/or SSOC's will be prepared and issued.

If No it will be processed through the traditional appeal process, complete review,statement of case....

This means that someone at VARO will take a quick look-see and verify the denials are substantiated in the reasons and bases section of the rating decision in question.

The claimant can submitt additional information while the traditional appeal process is active. I very often see these items cross in the mail.

Please note that many times as the claimant is submitting additional information, it may easily get lost, mis-placed or spoliated etc...

The claimant has no opportunity to present sworn testimony either

visual or sworn by themselves and/or others.

A rating decision and/or SOC and/or SSOC's will be prepared and issued.

Hope this helps a vet.

Carlie

Edited by carlie
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I am a Member that thinks the DRO is another bite at the apple and it does not delay that much if you claim has to go up the latter to BVA. I think that Members who are against it are pretty much not happy with their VARO and don't think anyone will help them at that level

So if you do it and ask for a Hearing you have a chance to put a face on the claim and actually talk to someone who may help your claim.

Mr two cents

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  • Moderator

IMHO you should always ask for a DRO because it is one more chance for your claim to get approved.

The order is:

VARO

motion for reconsideration and DRO (optional)

BVA

CAVC

Federal appeal court

Supreme court

I think I have that right, please correct me if someone knows better.

On this list, you move from the top to the bottom until you quit or someone approves your claim.

The only "negative" IMHO of having a DRO appeal is that it takes time. There are 2 types of DRO:

A DRO HEARING

A DRO REview

DRO hearings take much longer. A DRO hearing officer will have a formal hearing and that can take a couple years. In a DRO review, you are not present. You just send a NOD and or staments as to why you disagree with the decision and why you think you should get a higher rating or service connection.

Many Vets feel a DRO is just a carbon copy of the original decision, and, even tho I have had two "negative" DRO decisions, I still think it is a good idea to let as many people as possible decide your claim as that is one more chance to get it approved.

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