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Pending Decision Approval

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That is the "Golden Question" that we all ask at some point in the process! The standard answer is that it depends upon too many variables to really count or say? Mostly, it depends upon the # of contentions claimed, is it an FDC or regular claim, complexity of your case, your Service Medical Records and how good your evidence is, how much home work you did to prepare and organize your case for submission, finding out if you or someone else owes the VBA information about your case, are you using a VSO or doing it yourself, the VBA rater that was assigned your case and their experience, the nexus that you have provided for the rater to make a decision easily or not, and mostly the amount of patience that you can pull together to get thru this emotional roller coaster with your sanity intact at the end. But mostly because each case is so unique, you will get an answer when you get it. That said, the VBA is clearing a bunch of backlogged cases right now as we run up to the end of the government fiscal year. Congress wanted the VA Claims Backlog down by the end of this FY and they are working really hard to get there. So, that bodes well for you if you claim has already been in for a year and a half or so?

Frankly, at the end of the day, it's going to happen when it happens and there's not a lot you can do but wait? I'm sorry as I know that that is a harsh reality. My claim moved mainly and quickly right after CP Exams were completed and the results were sent to my VBA rater. I kept track of that thru "ebenefits" and if you don't have a "premium account" then get one. That way, you can see in "ebenefits if you our someone else owes something on your claim that you can help get it in. Usually, ebenefits will show what is owed and if not you can call the VA 1 800 and ask the reps what's needed. Also, keep in mind that "ebenefits is not always updated or greatly reliable sometimes but they can be a good tool. Recently, I had to call the vendor CP Exam QTC and they gave me a full run down of what was still missing to complete one portion of my claim. The young person on the other end of the line was very helpful and gave me an excellent update? Frankly, I'm not sure about the VES CP Exam contractor will do the same because they are fairly new... Also, the VA 1-800 # can be hit an miss depending upon the personality of whom you get on the other end of the phone.

Also, keep in mind that your claim can move back to gathering evidence a few times or once VBA goes into a final review for your claim they may order new CP Exams. For me, I call the VA 1800# an the rep said, "Sir, the VA signed off on your claim 11 weeks ago"? So ,what I found out was that any retro over 25K requires a 2nd signature of a higher up so that was the reason for the delay..which was good news. But after almost 3 months, I'm yet to see the first again patience is very important.

One big issue is to make sure that if you have sent absolutely all of your records to VBA and you have no more records to send, make sure your send a letter to the VBA or and email thru IRIS that "you certify that all of your records have been sent in to finalize your case". Some folks have gotten tripped up by that issue including myself......I think they can it a 5103 Waiver?

So, don't hesitate to call those sources to see if something is owed and once "you" don't owe anything else, it's out of your hands....

Anyway..goodluck and godspeed..I hope that you hear real soon and that you get what you deserve the first time....rootbeer22

Edited by rootbeer22
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rootbeer, your my brother, but I refuse to accept that standard fatalistic approach to life. We can all affect a change. You do it with your right to vote, starting at the lowest levels and refusing to re-elect anyone who does not hold true to their promises. It really is that simple if everyone; holds the politicians accountable and demand integrity in positions of authority. (maybe). We are simply to lazy as a society to make that commitment to improving things, I guess. Think back to when you were growing up: Would your parents and grandparents accept our current society and governmental 'latitudes'? I think we all know the answer to that question, so why do we?

Edited by TALON II FE
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Thanks, perhaps I wasn't clear enough with my question. I do have a premium account on eBenefits and the current status is pending decision approval. The decision has been made. The claim was for increase in compensation for both knees (10% each), both shoulders (10% each), cervical spine (20%), thoracic spine (0%), and GERD (10%). The decision notification gave me 20% for cervical radiculopathy, left upper extremity (should have been right upper extremity - see another post under C & P examinations) secondary to cervical spondylosis and degenerative disk disease. Increased right shoulder to 20%, increased thoracic spine to 10%, left both knees and cervical spondylosis the same. The GERD and left shoulder were deferred. I had another C & P exam for GERD and left shoulder on 8 July 2015. I have been told verbally that the left shoulder was increased to 20% and the GERD remains 10%. Those are the two remaining disabilities that are "pending decision approval". The original decision notification gave me 70% combined and if the left shoulder was increased to 20% as I was told, the combined rating should increase to 80% if I calculated it correctly. So, any ideas on how long it takes for decision approval after the decision is made. It seems that the original decision went from preparation for decision to pending decision approval to preparation for notification in about two days. The first C & P exam was on 20 June 2015 and the decision notification letter is dated 30 June 2015. I guess the ten days from exam to notification gave me false hope that all processes are moving more quickly.

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I think rootbeer22 has explained the VA battlefield or mad house process for you better than any VSO ever could or would even have time to do after submitting your claim. He offered his personal,experiences and insight about his time of survival in the Claim Trenches including his up and down times before the final decision and the BBE arrived.

You did not let us know if the 70% decision effective date goes back 2, 3 or 5 years, and if it does so that could means two signatures are needed for your two remaining disabilities. Factor in the rush to clear the backlog you may see Notification Sent in a few more weeks. I believe in being proactive throughout the entire process because it pays off in the long run...just like Talon II FE, said don't accept the fatalistic approach. We all can affect change.

I think you've already reached that point. Your last C&P on July 8th for the shoulder and Gerd may have slowed things down some but your hamster wheel should start spinning again mid-August. JHMO.

My last C&P /opinion was May 15, 2015. I received my VA phone alert June 16th and the first partial retro-deposit July 8, 2015 ahead of the BBE. Still waiting for my DFAS finish, and I want to share a note for (military y retirees) until last night in the message section of my retiree account statement (RAS ) online it reads based o information received from the VA your CRDP is $XXXXXX, so it may be that DFAS did their job but someone inside the local are slow releasing withheld CRDP and retro-bennies.

gs106 I'm also new to Hadit but I want you to know the seasoned expert veterans here have battled the VA for years. They're standing behind you for back-up support and offer life experience tips, that will guide you across the VA minefields, and encourage you to stay proactive and not drown in the backlog.

Keep your chin up, stay health and share your next success and God bless you. Jumpmaster

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I personally like how Rootbeer handles his claims.

The VA process has several pitfalls we cant prepare for (having to resend medical information etc); however veterans need to be as prepared as possible going into the process.


Understanding the rating process and providing undeniable medical proof is paramount.

Also understanding the appeals process is good too.

I waited for a decision for years while waiting for the issue to go to the BVA.

I didn't know when you submit information with the Form 9 the new evidence has to be developed.

And subsequentially, every piece of information afterwards adds to the time frame while its being developed at the Regional Office.


Getting the case to the BVA involves three things:

a. Form 9

b. Waiver of regional office reconsideration

c. Form 8 (certification of appeal)

Once these are done , you get a docket number.

I become frustrated with parts of the claims process, resubmitting information multiple times, however getting yourself into the ball game takes a little hard work and diligence.

Remember: To be in the game you gotta have these steps to start with. Without these three initial steps, you are not gonna be successful.

a. Service related incident or similar/ like symptoms.

b. Current diagnosis of a chronic disability. The diagnosis has to be by a verifiable means (VA mental health, CT Scan, x-ray, blood test, nerve test, etc)

c. nexus statement or show continuous care since leaving active duty.


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