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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Help With A Nod/ Dro Timeline


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So good afternoon. I've spent some time lurking in the shadows learning what I could from all the great posts on here, and figured maybe I can get some more info concerning my scenario. I was med boarded out of the Army through the (at the time) experimental joint MEB/VA process. In that process the MEB found me unfit for service for my Ankle (lod and SC 20%) and for my "degenerative disc disease" which they determined to be permanently aggravated by service. Well the VA came back in March of 2013 and said that there was no evidence to support a service connected determination for my Degenerative dis disease. Once again on my MEB determination (first page) the army clearly checked the box "permanently aggravated by service" and in its write up states it again. In Dec 2013 I filed a NOD for the claim. At the time I was unaware of what a CUE was so I just stated in the NOD "I disagree with your rating". My NOD status as of Feb 2014 was appeal pending. My appeal was registered in the Roanoke VA office but was transferred to the Baltimore RO. Since then I have received nothing from the VA and quite frankly am not sure if the claim has been lost or not. The supposed average days for a DRO appeal in Baltimore is at 503 days, I'm sitting at 527 days and simply want to know when I should "start shaking trees"? Also how the heck in the case of the VA do I even shake the trees?

Timeline:

Sep 2012 Initial Claim

March 2013 Notification of Decision

Dec 2013 Notice of Disagreement (DRO Selected)

Feb 2014 Appeal pending

Thanks in advance for any help.

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OldmanS2, relax and take a deep breath.

It seems you have properly prepared your NOD and sent medical information in support.

The system is slow, but eventually they will get to it.

Perfect your NOD with further verified medical information and send it to one of the Evidence Intake Centers.

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OldManS2, I agree with Fat in that, while it's hard, relaxing at this point is your best bet.

Baltimore is something like a black hole and has been waved around in Congressional hearings as one of the worst of the worst. My initial claim started there. Actually Roanoke isn't much better per weekly performance stats.

With the current push to clear out the backlog before the end of the year, even less effort is being put toward the appeals process within the ROs. Still, funny things can happen. It also seems like there is a quiet effort to do something about the astronomically huge backlog of appeals.

While this will probably do nothing overall or could even slow down the process, contacting your senior senator has the highest probabily of success unless your junior senator or your congressman is on a veterans oversight committee. However, sometimes contacting an elected rep on the Hill will break something free. Some here have had some success in emailing Bob McDonald or the head of the VBA and pointing out your problem. That approach may work better if you're too frustrated to let it sit.

Personally, I wrote a lot of IRIS inquiries to check on the status. That provided a date/time stamp of written correspondence I could later reference. I still do this because there are various parts still hanging fire within the system somewhere.

Why did your appeal move? Did you move from Northern Virginia to Maryland?

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To everybody:

  I just wanted to update this thread. I finally got fed up enough with the Baltimore VA's process of my NOD DRO that I went around asking the Denver Veterans affairs officer for the county for some help. He had me walk into the regional office here in Denver and I was able to speak with an individual face to face to get an updated status. In this meeting the VA employee saw the length of time since my NOD was entered and the fact that NO movement had been made not even a statement of the case. While I was present he walked over to another office to speak with the Head of appeals for the Denver office. Long story short, the head of appeals for Denver had the NOD transferred from Baltimore to her and expedited its processing.  I was skeptical that this would actually happen. I spoke with her September 4th of 2015. Well that next Monday September 7th sure enough my Ebenefits updates that I have a claim "pending" from the same date I submitted my NOD. As of this date September 16th, the Denver VA office has started to completely re work my initial claim/appeal. They already have all of my military medical file requested, and have me in for two new C&P exams for both my appealed conditions: Lower back fusion, and right knee. I have to say shaking the tree and magically getting out of Baltimore really helped get the ball rolling. According to the Denver office, the longest amount of time before my appeal is completed is this December.

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