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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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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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cryingbear

Do DRO reviews even work?

Question

I read somewhere that the average success rate for a DRO review is 2%, what is the point of waiting 2-3 years for a DRO review if it's going to be denied? If you DRO review was successful please reply.

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Having used the DRO "Official Hearing Request," which took 4.25 yrs as of 06/2014, I'd advise the following, based on my "Limited Experience."

1st and foremost, do you currently have in your possession, irrefutable "New & Material" Medical or other Specialist's  Evidence that was not available to the Original Rater at the time of the Denial Decision? This is a MUST, without it, the Review or Hearing is Doomed. VA Regs require submission of N & M Evidence for either DRO Process, without it, your DRO Appeal will receive an Administrative Denial, next stop 3+ yrs to a BVA Hearing.

I personally, can't imagine any Vet opting for a DRO Review, I wanted a Face to Face, to plead my case. Ended up opting for "Informal Hearing," all Major Issues from 2 NOD's Awarded after 35 min. Had a copy of the DRO Award Letter in my hand, that afternoon by 3:30.

A friend, Nam Vet, thought his VSO requested a DRO Hearing back in 12. He was planning on presenting his N & M Evidence at the "Official Hearing."

Imagine his surprise when he received mid 2013, a SSOC from a VA DRO Review, Administratively Denying his Appeal due to no "New & Material Evidence," being submitted. He's still in the "Wait Line" for the BVA.

Request the DRO Hearing. Then send in your "N & M Evidence." There is the oft chance, your "New Evidence" might trigger the VA Reg Required, Automatic Review of your Denial by a Sr Rater or actual DRO, upon receitp of the "New Evidence."

This process could result in a faster Review Decision, only problem, it's not a De Novo Review. The Sr Rater or DRO, will give the original Raters Decision deference.

Semper Fi

 

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What happened to your friend is what is wrong with the VA.  They screw up and miss evidence that causes months and years of wait for veterans.

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Excellent information.

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I was denied service connection for Bipolar Disorder several times in claims with VA. There was adequate evidence in my medical records to support service connection which was ignored. In order to get the VA to read and accept the evidence I got a DRO review (no hearing) and submitted the evidence through my congressman. I won last year!

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I had success with my DRO review but a different kind of success. At the review this is were you can introduce new evidence and get it put into to your file. As opposed to waiting for the BVA to say wait this has to go back to the regional office to get reevaluated and put into claim. Also I spoke with my DRO to have my claim certified and submitted into the BVA to await for my appeal in under a month another problem most vets say they are waiting on the RO to certify your appeal. The DRO will and can help with that time delay if you ask them to help speed the process mine even told me this is something I cannot grant but can help get your appeal moving to the board. So I don't think your chances of winning are high but I think even if you don't you can use the DRO review to speed up the process to the BVA. I am still curious why people say 3 to 4 years for a DRO hearing I waited 7 months but that was with the help of Ms Hickey not to sure who if anyone is still helping Vets with wrongfully denied claims.

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