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Need Help With Appeal And Info


OnRiver

Question

I was denied tintinitus even though I was a tanker and CIB receptient....they said I denied tinitus but in my appeal I show them where I did infact tell my primry DR. and his nurse that I had problems for years. The techinitian who did my CP exam stated I had tin. and that my hearing loss was due to my military service but that my tinitus was not...go fiqure...what he did was confuse a former techintians examination where my hearing and ringing where affected by belss palsy... aneuropathy.

I have just received an appeal letter staing I can have a clerk reviw it or have a claims guy sit down with me and review it...my appeal seems straight forward as it proves that they misread the primary dr.s statement and I show where the techitian combined two conditions erronauousely...sorry about the misspellings etc. but I don't have my glasses.

My question is what should I do? and how long does it usually take....

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Well, like my old DI told us:

Always take an extra pair of boot laces, you may need them before you get back...............

Sure enough..............we did.

You are dealing with the same bureaucracy.............so, make sure your canteens are full and you got that other pair of boot laces.........you may need them.

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I was denied tintinitus even though I was a tanker and CIB receptient....they said I denied tinitus but in my appeal I show them where I did infact tell my primry DR. and his nurse that I had problems for years. The techinitian who did my CP exam stated I had tin. and that my hearing loss was due to my military service but that my tinitus was not...go fiqure...what he did was confuse a former techintians examination where my hearing and ringing where affected by belss palsy... aneuropathy.

I have just received an appeal letter staing I can have a clerk reviw it or have a claims guy sit down with me and review it...my appeal seems straight forward as it proves that they misread the primary dr.s statement and I show where the techitian combined two conditions erronauousely...sorry about the misspellings etc. but I don't have my glasses.

My question is what should I do? and how long does it usually take....

Did you send in a NOD?

Did you request a copy of your C&P exam yet?

The wait will be awhile, but this gives you time to research the CFR 38, and M2-1 regs pertaining to your disabilities, so you can focus in on your appeal and why the VA is wrong in their decision.

Do you have a copy of your SMR's, and VA MR's yet?

Boondoc

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  • HadIt.com Elder

There are two possible avenues of appeal you can take. The first is to write a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) to your regional office stating why you disagree with their rating decision. Once the the VA receives this, they will send you a Statement of the Case (SOC) outlining again why they denied your claim. Once you receive the SOC, you can fill out and send your regional office VA Form 9. This will prompt your regional office to send your appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeal BVA in Washington, D.C. This is probably at least a two year wait before you hear a decision from them.

The second approach, which I highly recommend, is the Decision Review Office (DRO) review. Write the regional office a NOD stating why you disagree with their decision, and in that NOD request that your claim be reviewed by a DRO. The DRO will then review your entire claim again and either reverse the prior decision in full, continue the previous denial , or in some cases grant a partial claim. The DRO has the authority to do this without having to aswer to anyone else and this will allow a "set of fresh eyes" so to speak on your claim. If the DRO continues the previous denial, you'll receive a SOC outlining the reasons why he/she came to that decision. If the DRO does continue the denial, you still have the oppurtunity to either fill out the VA Form 9 and have your claim sent to the BVA (make sure you do this within the 60 days of the SOC), or you can submit new evidence the VA was previously unaware of at the time of their previous. If you submit new evidence after receiving the SOC, you'll be either granted the benefits sought, or issued a Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC). If you are issued a SSOC, you can continue to add new evidence and the cycle of either being granted the benefits or being issued SSOC's will continue.

Keep in mind, if you choose the first route, you can also add new evidence after receiving the SOC and the cycle just mentioned with the SSOC's will occur just the same.

By choosing the DRO review, you are actually getting another "bite at the apple" and allowing someone who had no influence or anything with the prior decision to look at your claim again. The DRO process takes anywhere from 4 weeks to a over a year, depending how backlogged your regional office is.

Vike 17

Edited by Vike17 (see edit history)
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Guest fla_viking

Dear Veteran

I have been up to BVA several times on differnt issues and its taken me only 5 months. But it can go up to 19 months.

I disagree with the DRO appeal approch. The RO have made a joke out of the DRO process, You can wait 2 years or more just to have the DRO copy the orrigional denial. One of the judges for the court of veterans claims stated the VA is above the law and there is a disconect at the VARO level. You have the right to have the VA get it right the first time, IF the VA refuses, go over there head. Should you decide to use the DRO. Im confident after you wait the 2 years. Your DRO will prove me right.

Terry Higgins

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Guest fla_viking

Dear Veteran

I would like to add. A DRO hearing can add allot of confusion and harm for your claim. Giveing the VA a second bite to change issues, complex your case, take years out of your life just to in the end slap you in the face with there ruling.

You can spend over 2 years with the DRO process, Or immeaditly appeal to BVA, which according to the BVA is 1 1/2 year process. But going to the BVA gives you acess to a more competent, complete ruling which will order the RO what its suppouse to do.

Ask yourself this queston. Do you really trust your RO to take 2 years out of your life and in the end grant your benifits. If you have that feeling of no hope allot of us have about the RO. DOnt waist your time. For less time you can get better results at the BVA level.

Terry Higgins

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If you go the DRO route you can request that the review process begin prior to the DRO letter being sent out; Berta mentioned this from a previous post, and this could knock off the a couple of months of waiting.

You can request that they aslo hold an informal hearing, at their approval, and you also can request a formal hearing once during the appeal process, so I am choosing to wait until I feel the need to have it.

I filed a NOD, and requested a "De Novo Review" and was specific as to what and why I disagreed with.

There is an exapmle on this site showing you how to write a NOD, just plug in your specifics.

Make sure you copy the CFR 38 and M2-1 pertaining to your disabilities, and highlight why you should receive a higher rating. Send in any evidence that you haven't already submitted to them.

I sent in a "Statement in Support of Claim" from my wife, parents, and have one from a former person who worked for my wife to submit later. I had never submitted any of these before because I didn't think that it would do any good, but now I bekieve that everything that you can think of should be tried.

I called an spoke to my congressman's Veterans Liason and then sent him a copy of the NOD Cc, so the VA could see that I had been in contact with them without actually having them send in a inquiry (I thought that might slow things up...but still have that option) it will let them know it's on my mind...may not do any good, but that's how I got my 50% after years of trying on my own.

I copied everything, and saved it on a disk, and sent everything to the VA certified mail.

I really learned a lot on here from everyone, and previous posts. I researched every angle I could think of before sending it in. I tried to make the NOD very specific to the reasons that they gave for denying my claim. I wrote the reasons down, and addressed each one as fully as possable without writing a book on each...I wrote one page total, and quoted the CFR, and M2-1 and other facts that they hadn't addressed in their denial.

I can't say which way to go is best...yet, but from what I see on this site both have worked, and not worked for vets on here. I do know that in the past I quit and didn't do anything, past stating that I disagreed without telling them why, so the VA won. Not anymore!

Boondoc

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I still believe that a DRO review is the best way to go.

Dont go by my bad experience with the DRO- I just found out that my POA does not have a single claim I filed.

My problems were getting a newby DRO and also poor initial POA representation.Apparently my 2003-2004 claims have been removed from my POA files.

I requested and just received a copy of the file they held here at the Bath office where my initial vet rep is the boss. Everything up to 1999 is there and everything after Dec 2005 when I filed a complaint with them- but NONE of my present claims are in that file.

I asked many times for a copy of the file my POA has at their VARO offices(from Dec 2005- to present) To date nothing has been produced from that office either.After filing a complaint with them last year I was directed to send all evidence -etc to both the Bath office and their office at the VARO. There should be significant info there.None of it has turned up yet through my many requests.

I do suggest getting a POA with offices right in your VARO-so they can deal directly with the DRO regarding your claims issues.

Dont go by what happened to me.

The State of New York has to explain why my claims (and significant medical evidence)are not even in my POA folder.

No wonder I had problems with my DRO review-

My vet rep at the VARO didnt have any idea what it was really all about.He didnt even have copies of my claims and was shocked that I had an IMO because my former rep rep never sent it to them.

I feel that-if a veteran satisfies what the VA wants within a proper VCAA letter that is specific as to the evidence they need-there is no reason that 2 years or more should be added to the claim by sending it to the BVA.

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