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Raybob

Best Place To Hold Bva Appeal?

Question

I am in the process of completing my VA Form 9 to do a BVA Appeal of a claim.

My questions for the group are:

1. Would it be worthwhile to do my BVA Hearing at the Philly VARO which is about an hour away from me? Or would it be better just to go have my hearing in Washington DC which is 3 hours away from me? I know there is no compensation to travel to the hearing location. I am not in a big hurry -- it probably wont affect my overall comp rating of 90%. But having to only drive 2 hours roundtrip is certainly better than 6+ going into DC!

2. Do you think it will be OK to get Am. Leg. involved after I send in my Form 9. I need to get the Form 9 sent now since it has already been 30 days. I plan to send in, and then go to Am.Leg. to ask for assitance with the hearing. They are at the Philly VARO so its hard to go to them frequently to review paperwork, etc. I think my Form 9 is pretty clear to justify the request for BVA hearing.

3. I need to send the Form 9 in now to continue my claim, but I noticed at the bottom of the instructions that I might also be able to request a hearing at the Philly VARO in addition to filing the Form 9 to request a BVA hearing. I'm thinking the VARO hearing might be able to be processed faster than than the "out of DC" BVA hearing and it just might get me what I need. Is it possible to "double dip?" Any suggestions on that?

Thanks for any suggestions --- and especially for the many benefits this forum provides!

Cheers,

Raybob

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I am in the process of completing my VA Form 9 to do a BVA Appeal of a claim.

My questions for the group are:

1. Would it be worthwhile to do my BVA Hearing at the Philly VARO which is about an hour away from me? Or would it be better just to go have my hearing in Washington DC which is 3 hours away from me? I know there is no compensation to travel to the hearing location. I am not in a big hurry -- it probably wont affect my overall comp rating of 90%. But having to only drive 2 hours roundtrip is certainly better than 6+ going into DC!

2. Do you think it will be OK to get Am. Leg. involved after I send in my Form 9. I need to get the Form 9 sent now since it has already been 30 days. I plan to send in, and then go to Am.Leg. to ask for assitance with the hearing. They are at the Philly VARO so its hard to go to them frequently to review paperwork, etc. I think my Form 9 is pretty clear to justify the request for BVA hearing.

3. I need to send the Form 9 in now to continue my claim, but I noticed at the bottom of the instructions that I might also be able to request a hearing at the Philly VARO in addition to filing the Form 9 to request a BVA hearing. I'm thinking the VARO hearing might be able to be processed faster than than the "out of DC" BVA hearing and it just might get me what I need. Is it possible to "double dip?" Any suggestions on that?

Thanks for any suggestions --- and especially for the many benefits this forum provides!

Cheers,

Raybob

The quickest way to get a Hearing scheduled with a BVA - VLJ is for the claimant

to travel to DC.

The second quickest way is to request a Video hearing with a BVA - VLJ, to be held at your VARO.

The last and slowest way is to request a hearing be scheduled with the

BVA - VLJ - travel board hearing, to be held t your VARO.

No matter which way you go - my crystal ball shows 2 - 5 years before your substantive appeal

(Form 9) has any VBA / BVA action, taken on it.

I believe your opportunity to request a DRO hearing may have already passed

but perhaps not.

You can request a hearing be scheduled at your VARO, at any time -

keep in mind tho that it may not happen, in a timely manner.

JMHO

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Do you have documented medical evidence for the hearing that VA has not opined on yet, that overcomes their Reasons and Bases for the denial?

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Do you have documented medical evidence for the hearing that VA has not opined on yet, that overcomes their Reasons and Bases for the denial?

Yes, I believe I do... here is what I am putting into my Form 9:

38 USC Section 5107 "The Secretary shall consider all information and lay and medical evidence of record..."

§3.102 "When... a reasonable doubt arises, such doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant."

I previously offered to attend informal hearings with my DRO and SOC officer which was never afforded.

A. The VA has failed to consider all evidence provided to the VA and has not given precedence to statements made by physicians who have physically examined me and documented my skull loss on multiple occasions in service medical records, on DD Forms 2607, 2808 and 2697, and in VAMC C&P exams between the period 2009 and 2012 (including statements made by the surgeon who used a drill to cut through my skull).

B. The "Evidence" listed in the Statement of Case only includes a VA C&P X-ray taken in Jan 2010 which is not able to show additional skull loss as a result of a second surgery conducted 5/7/2010 and documented in service medical records and on DD Form 2797 dated 5/19/2010.

C. The "Evidence" listed in the Statement of Case does not include the CT Scan (X-ray) dated 8/31/2010 and sent to the VA 12/27/2010 (Statement in Support of Claim VA received 2/4/2011?) along with service medical records which document my skull loss “consistent with a mastoidectomy” along with service medical records from my surgeon indicating a “cortical defect secondary to mastoid surgery with a diameter of approximately two (2.0) cm.”

D. The "Evidence" listed in the Statement of Case does not include my C&P Exam at the Lebanon VAMC conducted for this issue on 3/2/2011 which documents “concurrent underlying bone loss measuring 2 cm. in diameter.”

E. The "Evidence" listed in the Statement of Case does not include photos taken during the 3/2/2011 C&P Exam at the Lebanon VAMC conducted for this issue, where one can visibly see the sunken area of my skull where muscle tissue was used to cover the hole resulting from the mastoid surgery skull loss.

F. The VA has not provided a C&P Medical Examination Questionnaire which adequately covers an exam for a claim for skull loss (rating schedule code 5296). In being processed through two C&P Exams in early 2011 which were scheduled based on my claim for skull loss, the VAMC medical examiners were provided C&P

Medical Examination Questionnaires for “Scars.” Nowhere in the questionnaire are there specific steps to examine or validate a claim for skull loss. Therefore, the VA has never provided me with a specific C&P examination for my issue.

G. The SOC “Reasons and Bases” cites a VA C&P skull X-ray taken on 01/29/2010 as the only “objective” evidence submitted and does not cite the more detailed CT Scan which was submitted on 12/27/2010 as new evidence (and presumably received in Jan 2011) along with surgeon and radiologist medical notes confirming my claim. This CT Scan is not listed under SOC “Evidence.”

Does this sound reasonable 9toa reasonable person) even though it has not seemed "reasonable" yet to the VA?

Thanks a bunch!

Ray

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I'm not Berta, but that's an awful lot of evidence to be of record

but not yet considered, especially CAT scans, X-Rays and C&P exam/s.

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