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Decision Review Officer Or Traditional Appeal Process



I was awarded 30% 1 year ago. The VA only gave me 6 months back. I filed an appeal for an earlier effective date. In June 2008 the VA Cardiologist prescribed medication for my heart condition because he said it was getting worse. Then in October 2012, I had a heart ablation, by a private doctor and hospital for my PSVT. The ablation was partially sucessful but I am still having episodes of PSVT, but not as severe. My Cardiologist says I will probably be on my heart medication for the rest of my life. Because of this ablation, the VA awarded me 30%, which I am very grateful for.

My appeal stated that I should be considered back to June 2008 for at least 10% because the VA prescribed this medication because my SC condition was getting worse, but I guess the VA doesn't quite see it that way.

Although the VA did not exactly turn my appeal down but instead has given me the option to have a Decision Review Officer assigned to my case or I can follow the traditional appeal process.

My question is :

1. Is this potentially a good thing to have my case looked at by a Decision Review Officer?

2. Approximately how long does this normally take?

3. Should I just wait and let the appeal process take its course?

I have to add that I just sent in my appeal not even 30 days ago, and I am quite surprised that I received an answer back from the VA in such a short period of time.

Any help anyone can give me would be apprecaited.

Thanks in advance, Brian

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Asking for a DRO Review or Hearing gives you one more bite at the apple as they say before you go off to the BVA to wait 3 years. No way to tell how long you will wait at the VARO for your DRO. I waited about a year. I use the St. Petersburg VARO. They are not vet friendly, but I won most of my DRO's except the really big one.

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Thanks for the reply John. The last time I was at the BVA it took over 2 years to hear back from them and then it was remanded back to Oakland. Another 2 years to finally get rated. It sounds like I would at least have a shot at the DRO Review no matter how long it takes. I have 60 days to respond from yesterday.

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