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I am 90% combined for a multitude of things. I applied in Jan 2015 and was awarded June 2015. On the advice of my C&P examiner, I filed a secondary claim for other conditions. Basically, the examiner said "why didn't you file for xxx and xxx? Your medical records certainly support that." So, shortly after the award in June 2015, I filed another claim, this time a FDC. I logged onto ebenefits on Friday to help my brother answer a couple of questions he was having prior to his C&P appts about the same time (on Friday). I was "pleasantly surprised" to notice that my claim had moved from "gathering evidence" to "preparation for decision" with a note of "development letter sent". I said I was pleasantly surprised because I filed on 6/20/2015 and it changed to prep for decision on the 16th or 17th of July. However, I didn't have any C&P exams for any of the "newly claimed" conditions. My first claim (stated above) was not a FDC, so I wasn't sure if the difference between the two was because this one was a FDC and I wouldn't be getting any C&P appts?
It is possible to be awarded without going through a C&P. Depending on the situation, perhaps your most recent C&P contained enough information. Other factors include how recent the exam was, is it presumptive, filing an increase vs. a secondary, etc... "Development letter sent" could mean they are needing more information to be 'developed', such as a C&P, tests, etc...
Good luck and congrats on your 90% award!
Sometimes the VA can rate off of a recent exam if the diagnosis is there and exam isnt old. What are you claiming on this claim? This could help in seeing if what they could be doing or asking from you.
90% is broken down as 70% PTSD, 20% for each shoulder, 10% for asthma, 10% for tinnitus.
My new claims are knee condition (both knees) and irritable bowel syndrome - both of these issues are what my C&P examiner told me I should have filed for. My initial C&P exams (for those outlined above) was done on 6/3 and my new claim was submitted on 6/20. So, it is very possible that they are using that exam?
Also, I have a few other conditions that I claimed that they may attach to my PTSD (anxiety and depression) as well as some "new" conditions that I wanted to get a C&P apt for (ED; reopen on sinusitis/rhinitis as IMHO my record indicates but was denied the first time around; shin splints).
I understand the development letter sent may be meaning they want to do a C&P, but what was different about this one was the status was prep for decision, development letter sent. To me, that read as they sent their "thoughts" to the rater.
Thanks all, and I will update when I hear more.
What an unexpected blessing that the claims examiner actually provided you with a suggestion that may result in an award for secondary conditions you didn't claim. Definitely over the top.
My recent experience with FDC's are that after you file and state you have no more evidence, your claim is automatically moved to prep for decision. This to me is nothing more than a gimmicky computer generated automatic response from the VA when a vet chooses to have thier claim decided now. Once they actually start working on the claim with real hands, you are more than likely to move back to gathering of information and get those C&P's in question.
Update (sort of). The claim moved from gathering evidence to prep for decision on the 16th of July. Today is the 15th of Sep. It's still in that "stage". My estimated completion timeline was 8/2/2015 - 9/12/2015. Nothing has happened yet and I haven't received anything except a letter about a month ago that said they were still working on it.
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