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Magical Appeal Shows Up On My Nod


DocNyger

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Hi ...hope all is doing well... I was wondering if someone could help me with an issue. I received a letter in the mail stating that they received my NOD dated 31 Jan 2014. This letter doesn't state what the NOD was for.. Just dated for Oct 1-2014. I went to ebennefits and noticed that there is a new appeal dated for October 1-2014 and it appears that it is from my Nod I submitted on 12/9/2013 for a 11/25/2013 Denail for PTSD.. I didn't do anything and this new appeal shows up.... Has anyone seen this happen before? The time frame from the NOD is almost one year in difference. Should I be concerned? Also could this be a good sign for me while I have overwhelming evidence in my favor that was over looked and an Private exam submitted.. One last quest please , even though my attorney requested a traditional appeal, will the VA still do a DRO of my file? Thank you and hope everyone is hanging in there... Thank you in advance ....

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DOC: AHAAA, "Whats Up Doc?" Sorry, had to say it. Once you sign with an attorney and give them your POA, things change regarding your comp claim and appeal with the VA. While you are without legal council, your claim is viewed by the VA as "non-adversarial," you are considered a "Pro Se" claimant even if your using a VSO rep. Once you sign with an attorney the VA appeals Dept must communicate with you via your Attorney. You need to contact your VA Attorney with your questions right away. Don't just call, send him an EMail and a follow up FAX of all your Questions and Concerns. Always lay a "Paper Trail" when dealing with legal matters.

What did your attorney have you do when you signed with his Firm? Around 02/2014 I contacted (3) different VA Certified Appeals Attorneys regarding (2) NOD DRO Hearing requests dated 2010 & 2012. It had been over 3yrs wait time on my 1st NOD and I was starting to 2nd guess my choice of going it alone. After lengthy online interviews with 2 National VA Law firms both said I had a great case and wanted me to cancel both my NODs and let them proceed to court. The (1) local attorney I did a face to face with, agreed I had "Great Case" but advised me to stay with the DRO Hearing. She told me Hearings take longer than just the DRO Reviews and my wait on the 1st NOD was over due. She said if I wasn't comfortable reping myself at the Hearing, she'd do it for 20% of my retro but if I didn't use her for the DRO and got shot down, to remember her for the BVA. She was right, Hearing took place June 26 and I represented myself with a VSO DRO Hearing Specialist in attendance.Both NODs addressed and awarded due to on the spot choice to have an "Informal Hearing."

Semper Fi

Gastone

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Thank you Gastone, I was going to call my attorney Monday. I just received the letter yesterday and was just curios. My attorney stated I have a very good case as well... He has done a lot for me already. He paid for me to get an IMO ( with evealuation) that highly favors me. The case was good because the diagnosis was there in the first place but just over looked. I guess when the VA sends you to a bona fide denial C&p examination..this is the mess you get. My attorney expressed his dislike for the DRO process because of the games and the time line, we went the traditional route because the favorable evidence is over whelming. Even though it's going that route, could and would the DRO make a decision on the contentions anyway or just send out a SOC?

I've been waiting for my other appeal for over 3 years now...still is phase 1... That is sooooo sad...

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Doc: Right after you (or your attorney) filed your NOD, the VA sent you a NOD receipt acknowledgement form, attached was a VA Appeal Form (#?) asking you how you wanted your appeal handled. Your choices were: Traditional appeal handled at the BVA or Local appeal handled by a DRO Review with or without a hearing. It appears that your attorney chose the traditional route of the BVA. I believe once the Traditional BVA Appeal route is made, your controlling VARO and rating staff including DRO's are out of the picture on the appealed claim. If the BVA "Remands" any part of your claim to your VARO (which happens quite often} then the local rating department is back in.

Do some research regarding PTSD BVA Decisions Granted and or Denied. I used the VA.gov link to BVA decisions 2013 for my research. Good info and insight.

Semper Fi

Gastone

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