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Service Medical Records Request During Appeal


USMC2311

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2311: You will get all kinds of advice regarding doing just about anything after filing your NOD. I just had my DRO Hearing 6/27/14, from 1st NOD Filed 2010. My advice based strictly on my own experience is, DON'T Half STEP. Hopefully your NOD requested a DRO Review and a Personal Hearing. If you used a VSO, verify that a "Hearing" was requested, don't wait till you get a DRO Decision, to find out a "Hearing" wasn't specified in you NOD Filing.

My Time-line: 1st NOD 11th hour 09/2010, Multi additional SC Clms filed 2010, 2011 & 2012 NOD 09/2012. Finally got around to requesting C-File aprox 10/2012, recieved it 01/2014. Was getting edgy regarding 1st NOD, filed for "Informal Conference" hoping to get info from Horses Mouth at VRO DRO. Received VA Letter with DRO Hearing Date 05/26/14. No one at VSO I was going to use at Hearing, could get any info regarding what the 06/27 Hearing was going to cover. I decided to be prepared to address both of my pending NOD's. As it turned out, my 2010 NOD was on deck. However, because I opted to have an "Informal Hearing" after a preliminary discussion with the DRO, the DRO agreed to address both my NOD's. After approx 35 min, I was done, the DRO advised me what his decisions were. I was out of VRO by 915am and VSO called at 330pm, he already had the Officail DRO Decision granting all important issues, to include IU.

It appears that NOD Hearings are taking about 2+yrs and VBA Court 3-5yrs depending on remans.

Good Luck

Semper Fi

Gastone

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Not really a good time but I recommend that you go to VARO and review their file. It should have most of everything.

Good Luck

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Filed NOD requesting a DRO review in June 2014 two months prior to one year due date. Late July 2014 VRO sent letter acknowledging my NOD. I did not specifically request a DRO hearing, I hope this doesn’t negatively affect my appeal. I am currently working for the Department of Defense overseas and have no access to a VRO, however I am continuing ankle and shoulder appointments to gather additional medical evidence which I plan to submit as I received it, in support of the appeal. In May 2014 I received a copy of my C-File but failed to also request a copy of my service medical record which I think has valuable information pertaining to my ankle surgery. Going back to my initial question; would requesting my SMR, while going through the appeal make the process anymore lengthily?

Many thanks for your input

Semper Fi

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Your SMR should be at the archives in St Louis. Requesting a copy will not impact the processing of your NOD, which will happen at your servicing VARO. These are totally separate entities.

http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/

If you do not have a copy of your SMR, you need to get it from the archive and review it ASAP.

There is a lot of value in reviewing your C-file as well, which *should* have a complete copy of your SMR. The problem comes when the copy in your C-file is either incomplete or has parts from someone else's records. Sounds like your C-file was way too light if you're still looking for a copy of your SMR.

I was strongly encouraged to make a copy of my SMR before leaving active duty, which I did. In fact, I was encouraged to make two copies by a very squared away National Service Officer. One copy I gave to the VARO with my initial claim. The second copy is in our personal files here at home. It's come in handy for follow on care not related to disability compensation. In fact, I just pulled an old test result out earlier this summer to show some specialists.

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