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Experiences With Request For Reconsideration @ Varo Level


K_C

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Hi All,

I recently received my decision letter and, although I'm grateful for the decent rating, there's more clear error than there is accuracy and reasonable decision making. There's evidence missing from the evidence list, evidence with incorrect date ranges, and failure to tie some of the decisions to the actual evidence in the decision reasoning given. Additionally, there was error in the C&P exam that went unresolved but and addendum was filed by the C&P examiner for me in my favor after a complaint was filed with the VAMC. I have some new-to-the-VA evidence, apparently overlooked evidence, and what I would call some CUEs.

Where they've granted me service connection, even if it was low-belled, I'm making no request for reconsideration. What I am requesting reconsideration for are the non-SC'd decisions, except where there is no currently rateable level of disability. I've essentially finished the letter and am in the process of obtaining the medical evidence directly from physicians so I can submit it with the package.

My question is to those who have experienced or have something to say about using this method. Are there pitfalls? Is this going to have any negative impact or delay upon a bonafide appeal, should it come down to that, if they haven't yet responded to the request for reconsideration at the VARO? My reasoning for requesting the reconsideration rather than jumping right into appeal is that it might save me time, it's another layer of potential re-decision in my favor, and it might happen quickly--I have no idea how they handle this sort of request, and, finally, it gives me time to establish more medical evidence with my physicians and obtain IME nexus and letters.

All thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you.

KC

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K_C: It appears to me that you are a prime candidate for the "Traditional VARO Review" of your recently denied claim, based on the submission of "New & Material Evidence" that could change the VA's recent decision. I'm waiting for input from ASKNOD regarding my recent research, but my understanding is the following. Once a VA Decision or Denial is made, all post decision N&M evidence that is obtained or submitted pertaining to the original claim, immediately triggers a "Traditional VARO Review" of the Denial/Award in question and a new supplemental statement of case is required This review is done by a Senior VA Rater or a DRO. This "Traditional Review" is not the same as a NOD requesting a DRO Review with or without a Hearing. It doesn't appear to even be remotely connected to the much maligned "Request for Reconsideration." In order for the "VARO TR" to be triggered, You or someone must present POST Decision, New and Material Evidence. Unlike a DRO Review, no NOD is required. Another difference is the VARO "TR" gives deference to the prior decision, whereas the DRO Decision is supposedly Pro SE (No deference to the original raters decision). Please keep in mind the 12 month NOD filing deadline, don't miss it. If my understanding is correct, even after filing your NOD requesting a DRO review with personal hearing, all the way up to and including the last day of the VA New Evidence 90 day cut off letter, any new "N&M Evidence" received by the VA triggers the "VARO TR." This last and final review must be completed before your VARO can Certify your Appeal and transfer your C-File to the BVA for your hearing.

Semper Fi

Gastone

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I personally would forgo the "reconsideration route" and file a NOD.

I once asked for a reconsideration for a denied knee issue and after nine months still ended up filing a NOD.

I didn't get any correspondence regarding the reconsideration request and I didn't want the 12 month period to expire.

I would file the NOD and perfect my claim with good medical evidence.

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Fat: I agree regarding requesting the often "Maligned Request for Reconsideration." However the "VARO Traditional Review" has nothing to do with your timely filing of a NOD or you and/ or your VSO requesting "Reconsideration" of your claim because of a minor oversight. It is all about what the VARO is required to do regarding post Denial/Award receipt of New and Material evidence, I've jerked around for the past 4 yrs handling my own claim and for whatever reason I never heard or read about the "VARO Traditional review." I didn't even know that the DRO Review Process was only added in 2001 to help cut down on BVA Appeals. As long as your claim is "Alive" and you haven't run out the "90 Day Limit on N&M Evidence," your VARO must perform the "Traditional Review" before it can Certify your Appeal and transfer your C-File to the BVA. Each time the VARO completes a "Traditional Review" they must complete a "Supplemental Statement of Case" regarding the "N&M Evidence's" affect on the original Denial/Award de3cision that is on appeal. You can see how a trickling of N&M evidence, sent in over a year or more, could add numerous VARO Traditional Reviews. My understanding is that approximately 4 months before a Vets BVA appeal is scheduled to be heard, the VA must Certify and forward the Vets C-File to the BVA. Prior to that transfer, the C-file remains in the custody of the Vets VARO, and is subject to the "Traditional Review" upon receipt of"N&M Evidence. I guess the Take Away is, VA Traditional Review based on receipt of N&M evidence is not the same thing as "Request for Reconsideration."

Semper Fi

Gastone

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I am pretty sure my 1998 DIC award was based on a reconsideration request.

Because they had failed to consider my FTCA settlement papers in the first or 2 denials. That claim never left the VARO.

My last Recon request they stalled on and I had to file a NOD.(Recon request on SMC CUE denial)

The Nehmer people awarded that claim (it was a CUE) in a mere 3 weeks.

We have had others here whose reconsideration requests did garner them an award but the VA these days probably just sits on these requests hoping our NOD time frame will run out.

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