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14 Questions about Veterans 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 when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.









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diablogun

Nod/dro Processing Time?

Question

Hi all,

I filed my NOD at the Phoenix VARO with a date of March 10, 2009, and am wondering how long you all have waited for a SOC after this point. My case is pretty clear cut and should result in a favorable outcome, but one can never be certain.

I would love to hear from you all how long it took in your experiences; I know that some have had a nightmare experince, but I would appreciate all outcomes. I have sent several IRIS inquiries but don't know how long my chances are for resolution. Thank you in advance :-)

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19 answers to this question

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"I currently have an lawyer representing me and is very fimiliar with the VA system. I currently have  DRO assigned to my case. I had a hearing with the DRO on (Aug 29, 2016). I had a QTC Exam for PTSD on (Nov 16, 2016) with the word "EXPEDITE" in Big Bold Red Letters." 
 
Now that the Exam is done, how long before you think I recieve any papers on the decision. Its Now Been Exactly 5 weeks.
 
This the response I received. "No one can tell you how long the DRO will take, but based on your information about expediting it, a guestimate of within 3 weeks may be sound. Once the DRO makes the decision, internal preparation to prepare your paperwork, any retro pay (if you are not retired) etc have to be completed because you will be issued a Rating Decision. If only a partial grant of sought benefits occurs, then the DRO would also have to prepare and issue you a Statement of the Case (SOC) explaining the reason and bases for the decision(s) which you received. Keep in mind that mailing time could result in about a week for a SOC, and about 2 weeks for a Rating Decision" 
 
Does this sound about right ???  Ive recevied nothing yet and no changes on eBenefits.
 

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Did that response come from the VA or from your lawyer?

Unfortunately we cant get QTC exam results until a decision is made ( unless maybe they would release the C & P to a lawyer?)

It is possible that VA fully expedited the claim and hopefully something will show up at ebenefits soon.

The odd thing about VA is that sometimes ,when an award is made with retro, the $ shows up in the vet's checking account before the actual award letter arrives.

If you see something at ebenefits that appears to be an award ,then if I were you I would start checking  the bank account, if they have your direct deposit info.

 

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You might do an Iris Inquiry or ask your VSO to look on the computer.

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You could check them out as to their workload on their Morning Reports-

http://www.vba.va.gov/REPORTS/mmwr/index.asp

These are the weekly stats on the status of every RO workload.

The info can be difficult to interpret-

It is almost impossible to say how long a DRO review could take.

Filed NOD early 2005,got DRO review late 2005-but DRO couldnt read.(I assume that because all of my medical evidence was ignored)- Raised hell and got another DRO review,early 2006- my rep was there-he presented my IMOs to DRO, but DRO still didn't know how to read (she told the rep she didn't know how to read independent medical opinions).She got a VA opinion and somehow could read that.

Transferred to BVA in 2006, got an award April 2009.The BVA can read.

The best thing you can do-=because no one knows how long a claim will take to get to a DRO is to make sure you were able to comply with any evidence the VCAA letter requested and then check to make sure they have this evidence.

In the 6 years plus my claim took at VA - I had 6 years plus to gather more and more evidence.My feeling (after past experiences with my other claims) was even if a rater or DRO only considered one single piece of my evidence-each piece I sent to them was solid enough to award the claim.

My IMOs were the best evidence of all however- and they were continually ignored by the VA.

My neighbor filed a claim at same VARO in 2006 and in 8 months got an award letter.

I didnt even get a proper VCAA letter.

As the BVA web site reveals many many remands occur because VAROs fail to send a proper VCAA letter and response form to the claimant.It has happened so often that it must be a deliberate act on VA's part.

Without the VCAA letter stating exactly what evidence they need- the vet doesnt have a clue as to what evidence to send to them.

If they fail to list a Response form with the VCAA letter and fail to send it-

the VA has stalled countless claims because then they can deny and tell the vet they failed to respond- to the letter the VA failed to send them to respond with.

I have griped to H VAC and to the Sub Committee last year about this and told them that even my POA reps tried to pressure me to believe my VCAA letter was proper.

The BVA clearly saw it wasn't.

Any improper VCAA letter is highly prejudicial to any claimant and has caused thousands of VCAA remands at the BVA.

Things have perhaps changed.The remands over VCAA violations have decreased considerably as it appears at the BVA web site in the last year.

Check your VCAA letter ,make sure you responded to it and make sure you tried to comply with the evidence they requested in the letter.As miserable as it is to wait for a DRO review- this gives us time to secure more evidence.

Edited by Berta

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That is some good information you posted. Looking at the SOC column on a weekly basis, it looks like they may be doing 50 a week or so.

I will die if I have to wait as long as you for resolution on something that is so obvious :-) 6 years is insane.

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I filed an NOD in January of '09, and it was processed in February of '09, at the Regional office in Waco. My wife received a phone call in Aug. '09 stating they would review my case during that month. In Sept. I received a phone call from the VA asking martial questions. To date (Sept 26) I have yet to receive anything else.

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