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Nod For Dic


4ransom

Question

I need your HELP PLEASE !!

I have received a letter from the VA requesting how I would like for the appeal on my NOD to be handled.

After reading the letter I'm more confused than ever. What do you think is the best way to go ?

I can go DRO , or the Traditional appeal. I would also like to know how I need to fill out the form 21-4138 ?

DO I need to do a brief summary of why i disagree with their decesion , or just only put how i would like for my

appeal to be handled ?

Thanks to all , I don't usually ask the questions but I sure do alot of reading from the board. This is such a great

way to learn . Most of the time I think we all learn the hard way which is the best way we can. I'm glad I have

you guys out there for backup support. Thanks again I appreciate you all.

Vets wife and widow B)

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I need your HELP PLEASE !!

I have received a letter from the VA requesting how I would like for the appeal on my NOD to be handled.

After reading the letter I'm more confused than ever. What do you think is the best way to go ?

I can go DRO , or the Traditional appeal. I would also like to know how I need to fill out the form 21-4138 ?

DO I need to do a brief summary of why i disagree with their decesion , or just only put how i would like for my

appeal to be handled ?

Thanks to all , I don't usually ask the questions but I sure do alot of reading from the board. This is such a great

way to learn . Most of the time I think we all learn the hard way which is the best way we can. I'm glad I have

you guys out there for backup support. Thanks again I appreciate you all.

Vets wife and widow B)

I went DRO as I think most do.

Cavman

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I need your HELP PLEASE !!

I have received a letter from the VA requesting how I would like for the appeal on my NOD to be handled.

After reading the letter I'm more confused than ever. What do you think is the best way to go ?

I can go DRO , or the Traditional appeal. I would also like to know how I need to fill out the form 21-4138 ?

DO I need to do a brief summary of why i disagree with their decesion , or just only put how i would like for my

appeal to be handled ?

Thanks to all , I don't usually ask the questions but I sure do alot of reading from the board. This is such a great

way to learn . Most of the time I think we all learn the hard way which is the best way we can. I'm glad I have

you guys out there for backup support. Thanks again I appreciate you all.

Vets wife and widow B)

You received a Statement of case from the RO asking you to choose between a DRO hearing or a traditional appeal.

It depends on how much time you are willing to wait. If you get a DRO and win, it can be around 2 years, maybe less, However if you lose at the DRO, then you appeal to the BVA and it adds up to 2 more years to be heard.

I consider Berta the DIC expert here at Hadit and I think she will jump in and give you some ammo for you to decide.

Edited by jstacy (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I stongly recommend the DRO review.

Apparently, you have submitted a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) regarding a decision from the VA. What you received from VA isn't a Statement of the Case (SOC) as Jstacy stated, it was just a simple letter asking you to choose what route you would like to have your appeal handled. You have 60 days from the date of that letter to respond with your choice. If you don't respond within the 60 days, the VA will automatically process your appeal the traditional way i.e. sending it to the BVA. A SOC is issued to the veteran when they are continuing a previous denial. If you choose the traditional route, the rating activity at your regional office will produce a SOC explaining more in detail as to why they denied your claim. You then have 60 days from the date of the SOC to submit VA Form 9, and then your regional office will send your claim to the BVA. If you choose the DRO process, the DRO can award the benefit sought or further deny your claim by issuing a SOC. If the DRO issues you a SOC, then you also have 60 days from that SOC to submit VA Form 9 and your claim will be sent to the BVA. Keep in mind that once you receive a SOC, regardless of who issued it (the rating activity or the DRO) you can also submit additional "new" evidence within 60 days of the SOC and the regional office has to consider them and either grant the benefit sought on appeal based on the additional evidence, or they will issue a Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC). If the VA issues A SSOC, you then have 60 days from the SSOC to either submit addtional "new" evidence to be considered, which will then prompt either another SSOC or a grant in benefits, or submit VA Form 9 to have your claim sent to the BVA. Also keep in mind "new" evidence is evidence that the VA did not have in its possession of the time of the previous decision, it can not be redundant evidence.

Vike 17

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I believe I read somewhere on this site that the best response would be to ask for a "non-traditional" appeal. I was under the impression that this would be quicker than the tradtional appeals process.

I have not got to the point of filing an appeal yet so I do not know first hand if this is true, but perhaps Berta or some else could provide answers.

Vike,

Would the DRO review mean the same thing as the "non-traditional" review?

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I agree that DRO review would be the best bet-however-

I found your original post.

It is most unusual for a coroner to put PTSD on a death certificate. I have never seen this done. Even with this listed on the death certificate you have-the VA will want clear cut medical evidence to link your husband's PTSD to his fatal heart disease.

BVA cases have succeeded with PTSD contributing to death but they required strong medical opinions with a full rationale.

Also -for accrued benefits- the claim must be filed within one year of death-and the veteran had to have or be eligible for higher rating in their lifetime- by medical evidence.

What I mean is I re-opened my deceased husband's claim for higher rating after he died.He was 30% SC PTSD at death.

I had medical evidence that warranted a higher rating for him in his lifetime.

Based on the medical evidence they awarded posthumous 100% PTSD.

You need not only medical proof of the higher rating for accrued benefits (assuming you re-opened a claim he had pending) and also definitive medical opinions that his PTSD contributed to his death.

We have had recent discuss here under IMO topics and this will show you what we mean.

At the BVA web site there are claims that awarded DIC based on PTSD contributing to the veteran's death due to heart disease.

They were supported with independent medical opinions that stated the linkage with a full medical rationale.

Do you have all of his medical records? And all old VA decision documents -SOC etc.Did any doctor anywhere in them state a possible linkage?

Reason I ask- in an old SOC I have one of Rod's doctors stated that his SC PTSD had aggravated and excerbated his cerebral vascular disease.(from peripheral arterial disease and contributing to his death)Another VA doc in an old SOC also supported that the veteran's catastrophic PTSD had definitely affected his physical health.

I forget how he put that.It was a linkage.The VA,itself , is re-opening this as a claim for direct SC death.

Yet they also are working on an Agent Orange claim I have there too which is supported by much more medical evidence and 3 IMOs.

You will have to consider getting a good independent medical opinion.(IMO) Did he have any private cardiologist that might give you one for little or no cost?

Unfortunately these IMos can often be costly.

They are also the only way- in many cases- to get a proper award for SC or DIC.

In the IMO topic there is more information on IMOs.

I get DIC under Sec 1151.I proved the VA caused Rod's death. I never even considered getting an IMO and should have.It took me many months of studying cardiology and brain disease to succeed.

It was a long battle. But the evidence of my charges was in the med recs.Yet that was not easy to find.

But it was unmistakable malpractice for 6 years.

After that experience I have 3 IMOs for my present claim and have contacted someone who can prepare another if needed. This is expensive but the only way I have to get VA to admit to another misdiagnosed condition-a service connected condition which directly caused the veteran's death.

The VA in the 1151 claim- stated many times that I was not competent enough to render a medical opinion. But my opinion succeeded and was concurred with by VA Med Team in DC.

They stated this again when I filed my present AO claim.I pointed out my competency by sending them the VACO report and my charges. They never read that.

I also pointed out that since the VA could not provide competency to properly diagnose the veteran's heart disease and numerous strokes, as well as administering improper meds- it was therefore "more than likely" that they did not properly diagnose and treat his diabetes.

They ignored that too.

They also ignored my initial IMos.

Since then they have been working on my claim with ALL of the evidence.Long story as to getting to that point-

They (VA) will be quick to tell a widow that the widow lacks the competency to render a medical opinion on their husband's death.

Only a good independent medical opinion from someone with a full medical rationale can help a claim like this to succeed.

You might need to send a cardiologist all psychological treatment records as well as all other medical records. You might need a psychiatrict statement too but this would also support the accrued PTSD rating claim.

Was the veteran autopsied?

That too might be critical to your claim. It was to my DIC claim.

When you find an IMO doctor I strongly suggest that you ask the doctor to consider if the veteran's PTSD meds or any other facet of his VA medical care could have possibly contributed to his heart disease.

If they make a finding that this is quite possible , you can file a Sec 1151 claim and -if the opinion is strong enough-they could award DIC under Section 1151.

My last DIC claim took over 3 years -this present one- 4 years in January-

I am not saying your claim will take that long- but only strong medical evidence will award you DIC.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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I found one of the few PTSD to heart disease claims at the BVA that was awarded.

http://www.va.gov/vetapp98/files2/9813272.txt

"Based on its review of the relevant evidence in

this matter, and for the following reasons and bases, it is

the decision of the Board that the preponderance of the

evidence supports the grant of service connection for

cardiovascular disability secondary to service-connected

PTSD."

also

"when aggravation of a veteran's nonservice-

connected condition is proximately due to or the result of a

service-connected disability, such veteran shall be

compensated for the degree of disability over and above the

degree of disability existing prior to the aggravation"

The veteran claimed heart disease as secondary to his PTSD-a widow would have to do the same thing-

this veteran had considerable medical evidence, three independent opinions, -to include some VA medical support-whch proved that his PTSD contributed to/aggravated his heart disease.

It seems that he got these opinions from doctors at the hospital that performed heart surgery, which was independent from the VA.

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