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I am a noob so please excuse my ignorance if this has been mentioned... I searched several times but have not found a topic on this.
I just received my claim back with a newer version of the NOD, dated Jan 2015. The instructions now state this form is mandatory. Also states you must complete the form to notify your RO that you disagree with the decision.
Just wanted to bring this up to the smart and experienced folks here, don't know if everyone has seen this version yet...
Yep. VA changed the rules March 25th, 2015. No more SF 8.5X11 (white). From now on, everything is on VA stationary. Carlie published that when it was still an option in August 2014.
Do you send it to the Evidence Intake Center or to your Regional Office?
Since March 25th, the only place to submit new evidence are the approved intake centers in Cheeseville, Wisconsin and Newnan's own in Georgia. If you are filing an Extraordinary Writ of Mandamaus, however, the need to inform the pukes at your Regional Office demands you send them an invitation (in duplicate) to the hanging personally. We're going into a whole new world of VBMS litigation. Everything is going to be in a word-searchable .pdf format to help the poor raters find that which you file. For some reason no one has been able to determine, VA raters have poor vision and even poorer sleuthing skills when perusing your c-files. This is why you sometimes have to submit evidence several times for them to catch on and get it.
Anything you file from March 25th on, has to be in their format-i.e. Form 21-526EZ for any claims filing of any sort, the 21-0958 for all Notices of Disagreements, the Form 9 for all substantive appeals after you (finally) get the Statement of the Case asking you what part of "no" you do not understand. To answer a SSOC, I suspect the old standby 21-4128 is still the approved vehicle. If I am wrong, I would appreciate someone's correcting me. Remember, this is new, uncharted territory we are entering. VA considers it Boldly going where no Vet has gone before. I suspect it's simply more of their Boldly going nowhere fast.
I am new here and while doing my homework for my Claim. And filing my Appeal, I have witnessed that since the RO has to do a SOC now that they are contacting me about my Claim and letting me know they are there to help. But when it comes to submitting new evidence that you have for the VBA I did get a letter stating I needed to submit it to the one of the two places mentioned. If it is old evidence or lack of evidence on the PRo's part then they will be asking for your help.
I for one am reluctant to provide the PRo's office with new and material evidence they so just happened to not get by some unforseen act of God on their behalf. I would believe that me or anyone would want to get the information to them as quickly as possible to process. But on the other hand if you can submit evidence that the VA RO had the chance and opportunity to gather but used the old saying that you have to get the information yourself and get it to us for consideration. W
I say this with honesty and sincerity that if I signed the Release forms for them to they the Medical,evidence from the source themselves and they chose to use the "We don't have to help you get evidence" saying. And you can provide that proof to show they did not try to help you and the evidence shows that you were right, then why let them off the hook now. I know they refused help me prove my Claim so if I can turn it around and show negligence on their behalf and the evidence has its own merits. They don't have to get a copy of what I am submitting for evidence.
You can say that I have frustrations and should try to help out by giving them a hand, well I say why help them if they were not willing to help me before it got to the point of have judge or someone review the evidence to see if they did their job.
So I read this as a Schafrath v. Derwinski duty to assist violation, correct? And you are proposing to let them clothesline themselves with their new "If you want to do a FDC, you have to be proactive about obtaining your own evidence for us instead of us doing it."
Further, you propose to let them fail to obtain needed evidence necessary to prove your claim ( that you, yourself, may have in your possession) so that you can spring a failure in the duty to assist later on at the appellate level. The fault with that line of reasoning is that the best it will provoke is a remand from wherever the error is caught (DRO review, BVA decision or CAVC). This will delay the claim for an inordinate time and deprive you of a higher rating while you wait for them to readjudicate it below at the Regional Office level. Remember, neither the CAVC nor the BVA is a Court of Equity and doesn't do ratings. They must remand to the local yokels to do the actual ratings.
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