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What Should I Do -Cite-Add Smr Evidence Again?


rootbeer22

Question

Folks:

Recently, I did some C & P exams and a lot of what I said to the examiner, never was considered or mentioned in the exam results? So, I was thinking about submitting a new "statement of support" for my claim to fill in the Gaps for the raters? For instance, on a few of the contentions, even though I had clear SMR evidence for the incident and when/what happened and on the day it happneded, he never mentioned or commented on the actual SMR that was provided to him? Although this is my first claim and an FDC, I'm not sure if I want to delay the entire process again by adding the same evidence in again? But, I figure the SMR evidence needs to be cited again even though it's already contained within the general evidence of the claim anyway? So, is it better just to let it go and hope that the VBA rater catches/sees the SMR evidence for the contention or just file a CUE when I get the results of the final claim if I get denied? Or is it better to risk the claim being taken out of the FDC process entirely and put into the regular claims process to ensure that proper SMR evidence is considered/cited for the claim? The claim is close now to being a year old now?

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I can't believe that you haven't gotten a decision yet... oh wait, it's a Seattle claim :wacko:

I constantly read on here and the other board I'm on about claims being decided within days after the C&P's.

Don't send anything else in at this point, it will probably set you back

6-12 months...

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SeattleShay:

Thanks for the advice, I guess the issue is of risk and futher delays-and if the delay is worth extra time that it would costs? I would prefer to have it done right the first time out if possible? But I'm really concerned that a lot of my SMRs are handwritten by doctors and it does not appear that they are as easy to read as the typewritten notes? So, hopefully, all of the SMR records are getting a closer look to see if they have relevant connection to my contentions? But, even when I had a specific record with a clear nexus to the contention, it was not cited and those were typewritten medical records. Who knows, maybe they are going to catch all of this during the final eveidence review? After all of the reserach I've done, it appears that anything that's not absolutely and easily accessible, has a less chance of weighting on on a contention? Certainly, you can cite it later but everythihg has a cost in terms of time? The new VBMS System and digitization is supposed to solve this issue and my claim will be a very good test of the system? About half of my records and some of the most imnportant records are handwritten and we'll see when I get the final outcome and see which side of the table my claim results fall on.

Edited by rootbeer22 (see edit history)
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Ok. Here is the deal. You send the evidence again, and it delays you a month at the VARO. Or, you can NOT send it and it will take about 4 more years at the BVA. You choose. Theoretically, you should "not" have to send it in again. Was it paper or did you send it to one of the two RO's where it is scanned in? If it was scanned in, can you see it on ebenefits? If its there, then dont bother.

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Dealing with the VA is like mixing a bunch of paint in a bucket, and throwing it against the wall, you never know what you will get.

There is no science to thier shenanigans

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I agree with Broncovet.....a little more time at a RO can save YEARS in the BVA Remand hamster wheel.

If they do not acknowledge probative evidence that they have, it is a violation of 38 CFR 4.6.

ROs often deliberately ignore probative evidence, so they don't have to make a decision that could lead to an award.

This way the vet has to appeal and go to the BVA, and the claim is off someone's RO desk for years.

"I would prefer to have it done right the first time out if possible? But I'm really concerned that a lot of my SMRs are handwritten by doctors and it does not appear that they are as easy to read as the typewritten notes? "

I typed out what handwritten SMRs say for vets years ago, and they sent that with the SMR copies.

I also typed out what an extensive Psyche exam stated for my husband, handwritten by the VA Shrink,years ago as well as extensive handwritten MRI notes and other stuff in the med recs.

Years ago I remember copying and highlighting with magic markers, entries in SMRs they had missed when I did volunteer work for a vet org..

I cannot get any info anymore at ebenefits. I get a message that says there is an error with my application...????

I think maybe this is because my claim is at VACO.

But isn't there a button or something at ebenefits whereby you can submit more evidence on line with them?

"Who knows, maybe they are going to catch all of this during the final eveidence review"

I used to believe that 20 years ago when I first become a claimant.

I had been suffering from an illusion.

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This is a perfect example of where a potential claim problem could be resolved if the claimant and the VA rating official were allowed to meet in person or at least communicate by telephone. If rootbeer had a pending claim at SSA, he could walk in the door at SSA and meet with someone who has computer access to his file or he could call the SSA by telephone and discuss his claim with someone with computer access to his file.

If the VA allowed claimants and VA rating officials the ability to talk in person or by phone, think of how many problems with claims would be corrected at the RO level. I would think this would result in rating decisions being faster and fewer claims going to appeals. For some reason, the VA does not want direct contact between claimants and VA rating officials. I can't figure this out. JMO

GP

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rootbeet22

You may want to wait and see what happens & see if your awarded your claim?, if denied,

NOD , ask for a DRO Hearing at RO & keep copies all your evidence & underline or highlight with color the parts you want them to read.

Also you can tell the DRO how your C&P went about the examiner not mentioning any thing about your SMR's ect,,,ect,,,that you feel he/she should have.

I ask for a DRO Hearing at my RO and it probably was the best thing I ever did I was lucky to have a DRO & Rating specialist at my hearing.

I Believe you can request a rating specialist to be present at your Hearing.

the worst that can happen is they might ask you if you are willing to take another C&P (just say yes ) but this don't NESSARILY mean they will set you up a C&P.

Sometimes the examiner's don't bring up some of the information that we think they need to do, but if its in your claim the rater may read it..we just never know? this could go in your favor.

I agree with broncovet and ms Berta & GP try to keep it at the RO level.

jmo

....................Buck

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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Folks:

As always,,,,great advice and thanks. I guess I was not prepared that this process would be so adverserial in terms of what is said and when it was said? I thought having strong SMR evidence would be key as in any court of law but a lot of it comes down to the examiner and if they listen..which then translates down to an exam that can be used to make a decision? Even with the delays, I'm inclined to provide the information again because unless it's used to make the correct rating decsion then, it's just another piece of paper in the file? It was astounding for the examiner to have the SMR that fully explains my incident - but never mentioned it? Also, to back it up, there was an x-ray that clearly showed the damage to one of my hands -but it was not mentioned at all? Also, it's my right and dominant hand that I use for work and its very important to me. The examiner asked if the injured hand affected me dressing myself and I said -certainly. But the comment says, "no issuses for dressing the veteran -which is just the opposite of what I said? Who knows, maybe the examiners are all right and the raters are going to see everything that they need to see for a proper rating - and there is nothing to worrry about?

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rootbeer22,

Veterans should be permitted to have audio recorders during the C & P exams so there is no doubt regarding the questions asked, responses given, etc. JMO

GP

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IT's just a 50/50 chance another examiner will be the same way?

After you get a decision look up the % in your contentions and see what the normal rating would be...if your claim is awarded but to not what you think is correct...File NOD

I think you were well prepared rootbeer22,

Its just that in some C&P exams unfortunately with some examiners there not so veteran friendly.

Even when a veteran mentions his/her contentions to the examiner they still write what they want to write and the not so veteran friendly examiner usually try's to get the veteran denied. (This you can mention at your DRO Hearing) and present your evidence you had to show the C&P Examiner that choose not to read it or mention your important contentions in his/her report. (The DRO should agree with you) especially when you have the evidence to back it up.

I would sure ask for a DRO Hearing if your denied or disagree with there decision.

if you keep adding evidence N&M Evidence or the evidence you have with complete SMR's your claim'' could'' take years sitting in the mail room at your RO or in the back of some ones desk just sitting there....not saying this will happen but it has to a lot of veterans.

If you feel its better or incline to present the information again that's totally up you bud!

Good Luck!

...................Buck!

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I agree with georgiapapa Thats good Ideal!

................Buck

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Folks:

All..thanks again for your support. Who knows maybe, the system will work as it;s intended to? I'd love to have a DRO to explain what is going on with some of the things that I've seen so far. Usually, when I've actually talked to someone in authority, they are usually helpful. I think a lot of this is just systemic and the cycle of events. As I've said before, it's the "luck of the draw" and who you get that looks at your records? I did a lot of study the disability system and tried to be proactive by doing DBQ's and a lot of extra stuff. But the system is designed to go in one direction only and appears to be adverserial. So, if one takes that approach-that tis; going to be a battle-then it's easier to take.

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