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Dro Hearing - What's It Like? Plan Of Attack?


K9MAL
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Question

I have a DRO hearing on the 6th. I've read a few different things online but was wondering who else might have some input? Just curious, do you argue your case or just present facts? Is it a back and forth type conversation or just cut & dry? What's it like?

Do you lead off with questions? As an example: Why was my increase denied? What evidence do I need to prove my claim?

Or, do you just lay out the evidence that contradicts their "reasons and bases" for denial and call it a day? Are they typically pro-veteran and understanding or can I expect to have my blood pressure rise?

Happy New Year!

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K9: Had a very good DRO Official Hearing 06/27/14. 1st and only one I've had since filing my First NOD in 2010. Get there early and plan to stay late. They schedule quite a few Hearings for same date and time due to failure to appear of many Vets, hard to believe Vets don't show after waiting so long. After you sign in, report to your VSO's office to meet with the VSO Hearing Rep. I spent about 20 min with him reviewing my position before we were called for my Hearing. Turned out my Rep was a Retired DRO who had worked with the DRO that was hearing my case.

Hearing started off with intro's all around. DRO explained this was a official Hearing that would be Recorded and Transcribed and that I would get a copy of the transcription in about a YEAR and be informed of his Decision sometime in "Near Future." At that point I asked about my official request that I had made in early 14 regarding an informal DRO conference. His reply was, "I could have an Informal Hearing or the Standard Hearing, up to me." He also told me that in the Formal, he would state the Issues covered by the NOD, I would present any New Evidence that wasn't in my file, he might ask some questions and then I would have to wait for his official ruling which could be appealed to the BVA. He told me if I chose the "Informal Hearing," he and I would discuss my case without the Recording and Transcription and I would probably have a Decision before I left. I chose the Informal Hearing. Best move I ever made! Not only did he hear my Scheduled 2010 NOD, he decided a 2012 NOD for IU. After about 35 min, I left knowing he had Awarded all major $$ issues from both NOD's. A Very Good Day for Me. One other thing, he said that if at any time during the "Informal Hearing" I decided I wanted to go Back on the Record, he would start recording for transcription and the Hearing would become the Regular Type Hearing. I asked him if he started recording, could I and placed my recorder on the table. He said "No Problem." At 3:30 that afternoon, I received a call from my VSO-Rep, He had the Official DRO Award Decision on his desk. Retro check hit my bank around 07/22/14 a couple days before the Big Brown VA Award Envelope arrived.

Good Luck

Semper Fi

Gastone

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I agree with Gastone good advise!

When I had my DRO Hearing it was not bad I was nervous at first but after we got going it was not bad at all

This is your chance to tell them in person about yourself and present your evidence and anything favorable to your claim

Remember to Thank the DRO for allowing you to be there and state your case/issues.

Always be well Mannerd

I was also luckly and got a great understanding DRO and a Rating Specialist at my Hearing.

Also remember a DRO can make his/her decision then and expedite your claim.

DRO hearings are usually good.

Hang in there buddy you will do fine!

Good Luck

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After you sign in, report to your VSO's office to meet with the VSO Hearing Rep. I spent about 20 min with him reviewing my position before we were called for my Hearing. Turned out my Rep was a Retired DRO who had worked with the DRO that was hearing my case.

I called my VSO's office last week and have yet to hear a reply. I'm assuming I just speak to the person when I get there as you did.

Hearing started off with intro's all around. DRO explained this was a official Hearing that would be Recorded and Transcribed and that I would get a copy of the transcription in about a YEAR and be informed of his Decision sometime in "Near Future." At that point I asked about my official request that I had made in early 14 regarding an informal DRO conference. His reply was, "I could have an Informal Hearing or the Standard Hearing, up to me." He also told me that in the Formal, he would state the Issues covered by the NOD, I would present any New Evidence that wasn't in my file, he might ask some questions and then I would have to wait for his official ruling which could be appealed to the BVA. He told me if I chose the "Informal Hearing," he and I would discuss my case without the Recording and Transcription and I would probably have a Decision before I left. I chose the Informal Hearing. Best move I ever made! Not only did he hear my Scheduled 2010 NOD, he decided a 2012 NOD for IU. After about 35 min, I left knowing he had Awarded all major $$ issues from both NOD's. A Very Good Day for Me.

It sounds like the informal hearing may be the way to go for myself as well. I have the issues I need addressed in my NOD and I also have another earlier effective date I'd like to argue that I neglected to enter into the NOD. Funny thing is I have until February to file the EED NOD, if he doesn't want to address it, due to emailing Bob and getting a DRO in record time.

I appreciate you laying this all out for me. I've been reading, reading and documenting, laying out a brief, etc. trying to get everything dialed in before I get there. I'm really stressing about it because if my NOD is approved it'll put me at 100% schedular. And, if you combine the NOD with the EED, if both are successful, I'll be looking at $50k plus in retro which would really save my bacon at this point in time.

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When I had my DRO Hearing it was not bad I was nervous at first but after we got going it was not bad at all

This is your chance to tell them in person about yourself and present your evidence and anything favorable to your claim

Remember to Thank the DRO for allowing you to be there and state your case/issues.

Always be well Mannerd

I was also luckly and got a great understanding DRO and a Rating Specialist at my Hearing.

Also remember a DRO can make his/her decision then and expedite your claim.

DRO hearings are usually good.

Thanks for your input as well. This DRO is HUGE for me and I'm very anxious and nervous about the whole ordeal. I've spent hours and hours researching, gathering documents and writing my explanations, briefs, etc... I feel like I could be a frickin' attorney at this point in time and I haven't heard squat from the VFW.

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K9: The DRO will only address those specific issues that were NOD'd. My 1st NOD had an issue of Peripheral Neuropathy that my VSO Rep listed as in my hands. Never was, but due to the fact that the original claim & Denial stated upper Extremities, the DRO couldn't address my PN of my feet. Said I should have filed a new claim for the PN Lower Extremity as soon as I realized the error. No big Retro $$ issue so I canceled my NOD of that issue and immediately refiled another claim when I left the Hearing. That's with full knowledge that I had just been awarded All major $$ issues from 2010 an IU from 2012.

Semper Fi

Gastone

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I wonder if I should shoot the NOD off today in hopes that I could have it addressed on Tuesday...

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