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Wayne TX

3 Quick Q's on NOD's

Question

Q1 -  Is it better to just file a NOD when VA tries to low ball iron-clad evidence that meets the full criteria/regs. for a higher disability increase?  

Q2 -   When filing NOD is it true nothing begins until you receive a Statement from VA first as to their reasons for denial in order to respond back?   

Q3 -  How long is the average time to be granted a DRO Hearing once NOD's is filed? 

Thanks for any advice.  

Edited by Wayne TX

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5 answers to this question

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1.  Yes.  File the NOD and do so within a year.  

2. No.  You file a NOD, and you elect either a DRO or traditional BVA appeal.  If you have not so elected with your NOD, then VA will send you a request for election and your claim will be delayed.  If you file for DRO, then yes, the DRO will either award your benefits or issue a SOC.  After the SOC is issued, you have to "perfect" your appeal by timely filing an I9 form, which is an appeal to the BVA.  

3. "How long" questions are always :  It takes as long as VA wants it to take.  There are different types of hearings.  You can get a "teleconference" hearing, a formal, or an informal hearing.  The longest is an in person hearing, as you have to be put on a hearing officer's schedule.  Teleconference, if available at your RO, can be done quicker.   DRO is controversial.  Some say just skip DRO and go right to the Board, as the DRO will deny it again.  Some say get another bite at the apple and elect DRO.  I say it depends on if you have new evidence or not.  

If you have the same evidence with the DRO as you did the RO denial, an award at the DRO level is failry unlikely.  IN part the reason is res judicata.  The VA wont let you go judge shopping until you find one who will award.   So, if your RO denies, and you submit "o" new evidence, res judicata often means you will be denied also by the DRO.  However, if you submit new evidence, then res judicata does not apply.  You need to order a copy of your cfile and make sure VA had your favorable evidence.   Often VA shreds it so they can deny you.  I did not think VA would do that...but they have shredded favorable evidence on many many many occassions.  

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Bronco.....thank you for the very informative replies.  I am leaning right now towards a DRO Hearing.......as to Q2 -  in the case of say submitting multiple NOD's, can the DRO based on the evidence over-looked prior make decisions on his own and award those then, and if other NOD's evidence to him/her is not as compelling could hold back others for a Hearing? Or, it all of it done regardless as a total package deal at a DRO Hearing?   I am reading this correct?  Thanks.

Edited by Wayne TX

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The NOD Clock is Tic, Tic, Ticking. You can always try the New VA " Denial Reconsideration," no success stories yet. Just don't let the Reconsideration request, which probably won't do any good, cause you to miss your NOD filing window. Has your RO VSO-Rep walked down the hall to discuss your Denial with the VA Rater that made the Decision?

As to your NOD Filing, either DRO Requests Review or Hearing, require the submission of New & Material Evidence, that was not available for review by the original Rater. Failure to supply this "N&ME" will result in an Administrative Denial, not good.

How long for your Appeal? How about, between the next 9 months and possibly 5 years. Recently, here on Hadit, saw a DRO Review Denial due to failure to supply the "N&ME" close out in about 4 months, next stop 4 years down the road to the BVA.

Get VA Appeals Educated, then get busy. Don't miss filing Deadlines, and don't set on any and all "N&ME."

Check your RO's Monday Morning Report for Appeals Stats. Ask your RO VSO MFIC what he thinks your wait time will be. He should be able to give you an idea of the number of DRO Review Decisions and Hearings handled by your RO, on a weekly basis.

You don't get into line, until you file the NOD, right.

Semper Fi

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There is a DRO review, and DRO hearing.  Hearing takes longer as you have to get on the DRO hearing officers waiting list.  

A hearing gives you an opportunity to actually review your file and say, "Gee, where is Dr. X's exam dated Feb. 23, where he said it was at least as likely as not related to service."   ...or other missing information.  

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Good point Bronco....thanks......I like that approach better.

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