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I'm Going To Appeal, Wondering How To Proceed


Long time since I've posted here, I kinda went into a deep case of the blues after my claim was destroyed in March.

I am going to appeal on 2 or 3 of the most imporatant conditions.

I did not have a VSO, but I just sent an email to a NOVA lawyer near here.

I'm sure if they take my case (and I hire them) they will advise me what to do, but meanwhile:

Should I go ahead and file an NOD? At what point would I request a DRO hearing?

And, so I need additional evidence for a DRO hearing? Or just point out why I feel the denials were unjust? Should I offer to expand on the reasons I think my SMR and my IMO's/Nexus letters (from board certified specialist M.D.s) should outweigh the opinions of the C&P N.P.?

Thanks in advance for the input.

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From all I've seen, probably Yes on file the NOD to get a spot in line, and you can submit any additional evidence later.

"Or just point out why I feel the denials were unjust?"

To be blunt, they don't care how you "feel"; this is a legal case, so ensure all of your statements are in legal form with clear evidence backing them up.

More knowledgeable members should add their points shortly.

Good luck! :smile:

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Thanks, N.K., you have a good point re: the "feel" thing. LOL I don't think the VA cares about feelings.

I am meeting with a NOVA attorney next week, will then decide how to handle the NOD. It is my understanding that they are free, and that they appeal to the DRO.

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Hello Aces,

I think it is wise to use your "legal" right to seek an attorney. A good VA lawyer will cover your bases and level the playing field for you. I personally would not file the NOD if you still have your one year time line in place from your decision letter from VA. If you have time try to get you that lawyer and let him/her file your NOD. That way you may have all your points covered and legal evidence presented in a way that may trigger something positive from the VA in their next decision. Also having a lawyer at this point of your claim , puts the VA on notice that some of their shenanagins will not be tolerated by your lawyer and could actually cut off some time for your decision. The VA could make a very ridiculous SOC on your NOD if you handled it yourself. Whereas the lawyer will close loopholes that maybe you or I might have missed. This could shorten the decision process and put you on the right path to your claim being granted and your award coming quicker.

After you get your lawyer then let the lawyer decide if you need to have a DRO hearing. It may be to your best interest to let the lawyer file the NOD then maybe let the DRO make the decision without the hearing. Especially if the lawyer can do the DRO's work for them and simplify the claim issues for them so they can render a decision favorable to you. It would speed up the process also , perhaps cutting the waiting period and much more correspondance between you and the DRO.

NK brings up the feelings issue and yes it is all about evidence and that would include a good Independent Medical Examination/Opinion from an outside doctor. This is what wins claims. You tipping the scales of the Benefit of a Doubt rule is what legally must be taken into consideration. Any other pertinent evidence would be to your advantage so I would cover all of my bases. I would make sure the Doctor that does the IME attacks the Nurse Prac C and P statements to point out their errors and make your cause stronger. As always though please remember to NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, C.C.

Edited by Capt.Contaminate

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Thanks, yall. I am scheduled to meet the attorney tomorrow morning.

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