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To File Or Not To File, That Is The Question?


Rockhound
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I guess this has been a question, at one time or another, that is, does one file a new claim that will reopen another, but seperate claim, to reopen with new and material evidence, while you have another claim that is still being evaluated. (at the regional office appeals level and before a DRO hearing is convenend?)

I have a claim for conditions that are the result of a SC condition. this claim has already been denied and is now in the appeals process. It stands somewhere between a general appeal being re-evaluated and/or going on to a DRO hearing on this matter and before it proceeds to the BVA, if the claim is denied again. If I win this claim, I do not espect to recieve more than an additional 10% or 20% added to an already SC claim, that is at 10%.

This new claim has been an a claim I have been fighting off and on ever since my first original claim for it was refused. Also, this new claim could possibly find me sufficently disable to either be intitled to be found both SC with IU (individual unemployability) or hope beyond hope, 100% disabled, on its own merits.

While in line at a food bank for Veterans, that I get much needed help with my grocery needs, a representative from the Regional Veterans Office was their, answering any questions and offering any assistance, with in their relm of ability to do so. I explained that I had an ongoing claim in the process of being reviewed prior to a DRO hearing,, but that I had another claim that I wished to have reopened with new and material evidence, but that I was concerned that it would slow down or stop the claim I have in the works at this time. This rep seemed addiment that I proceed with the new claim, that since both claims are still at the regional level, that their would not be any problem that she could forsee that would slow or stall my claim in the works now. Basically the rep stated that if I wished to start the clock on the new claim, I should do it now and not be concerned with how it might or night not affect my claim already in the works. Its better to gamble on slowing or stalling any other claim, so that I can get my effective date started, so as to not loose out on any entitlement now, once and if this new claim wins out. If I wait, then I loxe anything I migh have been entitle to during the time I waited for the now and ongioing claim is eating up and if it should have to go on to the BVA, It could be more time/years before I get an answer back also.

It's better to have two in the bush, than to have one eating up everything, when both could eventually end up on your table.

I'm open to all input, suggestions, and/or opinions.

Rockhound Rider :cool:

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I am also fighting a claim on and off since 2008, but keeping it alive for EED purposes. In Dec 2009, I filed new claims for increase and secondary to SC condition. To my surprise, one of the new increase claims was granted quickly. I had C&P exams for the other and they also did one for my old 2008 claim, which was a surprise.

I have talked with my county VSO and the DAV, but get different answers. I have been told to go ahead and file anything I was anytime I want and they VA will treat it separately. I have also been told to weigh my options carefully because they will add it onto the existing claim and it could add extra time to get it finished. I did notice that my old 2008 claim was classified as 'administrative review', but they also added it to the list of my recent claim submissions.

Regarding the clock, I have been told I can submit an informal claim to reserve the EED and send in evidence later, but they also said it could be rolled up into any existing claim too.

I have dealt with claims from 1995-2000 (5 year appeal that went to BVA twice) and then recently from 2008 and 2009, so I am still learning how the system supposedly works.

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I've asked the same question of my VSO, who has yet to answer the question. I have a claim in appeal as well, and a claim for increase for a related issue. Still no word on either, of course, and have been waiting since Oct 09. I agree, any advise would be helpful.

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I use Waco RO. I Put a NOD in on March 2010, filed a claim for acid reflux in Feb 10, filed another claim in May 2010. They just completed my Acid Reflux and it's in the mail. The May 2010 claim is moving along the process and I'm getting ready to send the VCAA letter back to them. The NOD is in line with the others. It did not stop any of my claims. Waco seems to be speeding up though. could be a good or a bad thing. I'll see in the mail this week. I file everything as soon as I can to secure the date if compensation is awarded. If you wait, you loose the effective date and money if you are successful.

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I use Waco RO. I Put a NOD in on March 2010, filed a claim for acid reflux in Feb 10, filed another claim in May 2010. They just completed my Acid Reflux and it's in the mail. The May 2010 claim is moving along the process and I'm getting ready to send the VCAA letter back to them. The NOD is in line with the others. It did not stop any of my claims. Waco seems to be speeding up though. could be a good or a bad thing. I'll see in the mail this week. I file everything as soon as I can to secure the date if compensation is awarded. If you wait, you loose the effective date and money if you are successful.

my VSO said don't pile on any more claims until mine are decided, he said they will just add it tot he pile and start over..

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Wow, Waco really is pressing along. I go through Atlanta. I've had a GERD claim pending since March - eBenefits says it was closed July 7th and I still haven't received a letter. I sent an IRIS request in - still no response. Count yourself lucky, and best of luck with your claims.

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When I added my GERD to the list in Feb 10, the VA didn't even send me to a C&P exam. They sent it to the rater and decided the claim. I just called the 800 # and asked for a breakdown of current SC and they let me know 10% for GERD. You may get held up at another RO, but Waco is moving quick in my case.

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Wow, Waco really is pressing along. I go through Atlanta. I've had a GERD claim pending since March - eBenefits says it was closed July 7th and I still haven't received a letter. I sent an IRIS request in - still no response. Count yourself lucky, and best of luck with your claims.

Give the 800 number a call and ask for a breakdown of current SC disabilities. It really does work.

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In order to protect your date of claim you can send in a letter stating that you intend to file a claim for the condition.

3.155 - Informal claims.

(a) Any communication or action, indicating an intent to apply for one or more benefits under the laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, from a claimant, his or her duly authorized representative, a Member of Congress, or some person acting as next friend of a claimant who is not sui juris may be considered an informal claim. Such informal claim must identify the benefit sought. Upon receipt of an informal claim, if a formal claim has not been filed, an application form will be forwarded to the claimant for execution. If received within 1 year from the date it was sent to the claimant, it will be considered filed as of the date of receipt of the informal claim.

(b) A communication received from a service organization, an attorney, or agent may not be accepted as an informal claim if a power of attorney was not executed at the time the communication was written.

© When a claim has been filed which meets the requirements of 3.151 or 3.152, an informal request for increase or reopening will be accepted as a claim. Cross References: State Department as agent of VA. See 3.108. Report of examination or hospitalizationas claim for increase or to reopen. See 3.157.

Read more: http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/3-155-informal-claims-19776246#ixzz0veZPcrXg

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