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Dro De Novo Review


vern2

Question

Recently I sent Ms. Allison Hickey an email on 11 March 2015 on my backlogged NOD and claims.

This is part of one email that the Director sent me. My claim has been ongoing since 2003. I am currently rated 30% SC for hypertension. I filed 11 new contentions, including request for increase in my HTN rating in July 2012. The VA rater also added three more contentions to my list.

extract from email from St. Pete Director today-13 March 2015

VA examinations were previously requested for the claimed conditions,
however, additional information is needed before a Decision Review
Officer decision can be rendered. A request for five aggravation
opinions, a request for reevaluation of his service-connected
hypertension with pulmonary hypertension, and a request for 1
secondary/aggravation opinion was submitted to the Pensacola VA
Outpatient Clinic on March 11, 2015.
When we receive this information
back, we can review and make a decision on your appeal.

I am sure it is just a coincidence, but this happened the same day that I emailed Ms. Hickey. What exactly does the highlighted statement mean?

I have another C & P exam next Wednesday, which would be #7, all for basically same thing, HTN, heart disease and secondary conditions caused by HTN and heart disease.

I have nothing new to tell the C & P examiner, just re-state same information that i gave on 8 August 2013. I have some new info, such as DBQ's by two cardiologists, and several tests results. I did complain to Ms. Hickey about the sheer number of C & P exams. I have disputed every C & P exam with data to counter act the misstatements by the VA examiner.

Oh well, can anyone enlighten me as to the highlighted statement?

Feeling depressed again, time for more Prozac :sad:

Vern2

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Hi Vern,

Aggravation can mean that a condition existed before service and was 'aggravated' during service. However, it could also be interpreted as a new claim secondary to an existing (or proposed) SC conditon. Based on what you mention about secondary condition, my opinion is that is could be just that.

The DBQ's might help.

Yeah, the VA loves C&P exams. I have had some instances where one doc did several, but others where I had them all strung out on different days with different doctors. Don't worry about having too many of them. Some of us had to fight tooth and nail just to get them.

You are doing the right thing by contesting them if you feel you got the short end of the stick. Please keep in mind that even if you feel they did do them correctly, the raters could still screw up. I had a rater misread the ROM mm measurement, but when I pointed this out to the DRO, they corrected it.

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Went to C&P exam yesterday, but only for facial scars, nothing about heart. What a bummer! More delays.

repeat after me, delay, delay and hope they die, or refrain, deny, deny and hope they die.

feeling depressed

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Well maybe mine was kind of weird. It went well and I am glad I brought my wife in with me I about lost it a couple of times. But wifey enhanced my calm. At the very least 3 of my conditions on appeal are going up and the sleep apnea is either being service connected or at the very least getting a new examination. Her last statement was leaning towards service connection. So a positive experience at the hearing, whether it yields the results I'm looking yet remains to be seen, however, I should get a response within 30 days. At least this part is done.

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Just an update. I am not sure that my email to Ms. Hickey accomplished anything except to make me a target since I "complained". The audacity of a Vet to complain after he has only been on the hamster wheel since 2003! Heck we keep some Vets on the wheel until they die! I have had the C & P exams, but no movement. Strange that I have been "re-evaluated" three times for my SC HTN (rated 30%) Hmm! wonder if trying to screw me. Repeat: NEVER BELIEVE OR TRUST ANYTHING THE VA STATES TO YOU. Ah, feel better. Back on the WHEEL. Maybe I should wait another year and then check again??

Just kidding! :sad: :sad: :tongue:

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Trying to screw you vern2? I think most of us can interject our thoughts on that one. Most definitely. This is just my opinion from what I've seen in my claims and my cases. To me it seems that some attorneys add to the vicious length of time on the hamster wheel. I mean I get it. I don't like it but it is what it is. Attorneys have a stake in keeping the wheeling and dealing going for future cases,changes, and to get down to the nitty gritty, their profit margin. These are just my paranoid thoughts and they are not completely unfounded but mind you just my thoughts. I have a hard time now days trusting most people, while I still have some faith in some, it appears the agreements under the table are never going to go away. Concessions to drop this and get that in return. "quid pro quo"

IMO, from what I experienced in the DRO hearing, it was a waste of time for me. It added time that could have been spent dealing with people in the BVA that can read and wouldn't ignore evidence so easily. Or my favorite, stating and treating absence of evidence being negative evidence, and for giggles, the credentials of the C&P doctors rendering their BS opinions compared to my private doctors and specialist in their field. RRRRRRrrr

I'm in a mood today, so my apologies. I specifically told my rainmaker not to go the DRO route for any of my remaining claims and he filed the paperwork like that any ways. Well let me be correct, his legal aide filed it, he just signed it. I can't help but think some people are part of the problem. But heh, what the heck do I know, I'm just paranoid. Or maybe just to high on the pain scale today.

I'm gonna state this as well though, there are some instances, where the DRO process can be helpful, however, I must emphasize you really need to know your stuff. The regs, the law, and your evidence. Bring paper records, and a witness. My next go around, I am going formal. I want the shenanigans they pull to be on record. It may take me years to get to the people that will make the right decisions according to the law and evidence but I am not going to stop until I do.

I need to pop off a few rounds or a few pills or maybe both ,this is not a good morning. Dang I wonder if I can even load it. Damn surgeries, damn VA, damn Workers comp. Enhancing my calm. :wacko::wacko::wacko:

Keep the fights going folks, till your last breath. Also try to keep your wits about you, it does wear on you after time.

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ArGN11, a lot of veterans feel your pain.

We all do what we think is correct for the claim to be approved, but really no one knows but the VA raters.

And they ain't sharing their secrets.

Its beginning to seem the VBA is the correct path due to all information being considered. And lawyers being involved in the process.

Hang in there man!!!!!!!!!!!

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Well, I had some success going the DRO route in 2007, went from denied to 30% SC for HTN, BUT in hindsight, the DRO person really screwed me, as ignored my heart condition, enlarged heart, CAD, DD stage I, etc. Should have been 60% for heart and 30% or more for HTN. Have been fighting this since 2007, thought DRO was way to go, but having second thoughts. I have no faith in VBA either-just review the CAVC, over 60% of cases remanded back to do over. In other words, put that VET back on the hamster wheel!

Maybe some other the elders can enlighten me as to % of cases CAVC remands back due to error on part of VBA. I read the CAVC decisions every day just get a sense of what is happening in VA Compensation process. :ohmy:

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ArGN11, a lot of veterans feel your pain.

We all do what we think is correct for the claim to be approved, but really no one knows but the VA raters.

And they ain't sharing their secrets.

Its beginning to seem the VBA is the correct path due to all information being considered. And lawyers being involved in the process.

Hang in there man!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks. Today is just one of those days. But I will keep going and share what has worked for me.

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