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Certification and Docket Number


Fat

Question

My Form 9 was submitted about 19 months ago.

I spoke with Charlie (1-800-827-1000) and he indicated my appeal is awaiting for certification before going to the BVA.

However; he indicated the appeal has a docket number.

Is this uncommon to have a docket number before the appeal is certified?

Also, what is the length of time for an appeal to be certified? 

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Is yours show at intake center at board.  That is what my husbands shows.  We still have not gotten a docket number.  Going to send in lab results ect.  If we ever get the docket nu

mber.  

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Very interesting.

Strictly my current understanding, Docket Numbers are assigned by the BVA, after the Appeal has been certified by the RO, transferred and actually received by the BVA. Does the physical File actually get transferred or just a Digital Copy, especially since all recent and  most aged C-Files have been Digitized.

After the Docket number is assigned, on a 1st come basis, you won't get your actual Hearing until the expiration date listed on your "90 day New & Material Evidence Cut off Letter" expires. No telling how long that will take. It's also my understanding that you have to wait your turn in the Hearing Line, unless you have a Qualifying Hardship.

A friend of mine says he was just notified by the RO VA Claims Coach, that his BVA Video Hearing is scheduled for mid 08/2016. His DRO Review Denial was about 08/13 or 14. As of last week, he is not Aware Of an Assigned Docket Number, nor has he received the BVA 90 Day Evidence cutoff letter. His VSO, DAV, has no information as of yet.

Semper Fi

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What would a hardship be.  My 31 yr old daughter was diagnosis end with ms  about 2yrs ago.  She had eyes to cross and they stayed that way for about six months.  She has had a couple of relapses, but they were not has bad.  She did have to have a nurse come out and do infusions a couple of months back.  She has fibro to.  She applied for disability was turned down once appealed it and is still waiting.  She is single and no kids.  But she did have to move in with us.  And we are having to help with her Jed's and doc bills.  It is starting to cause us to get behind on bills.  Would that qualify has a hardship.  I think her sister lawyer is dragging it out.  She is on obamacare?  But it does not cover everything.  Thos meds ar expensive too. She has put in for bet card but since she doesn't have kids, does not qualify.  We are also helping with her other bills.  Car payment.

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Treys

You mention her sister is a lawyer and might be "dragging it out." Who is actually representing her on her Appeal. Did she give her POA (Limited Power of Attorney) to her non-VA approved Lawyer, sister?

If an actual BVA Docket number has been assigned to her Appeal, a Regional Office DRO had to sign off, certifying the Appeal to the BVA.

Has she ever used a VSO (Veterans Service Organization) VFW, DAV etc as Representation in the past? Even if she hasn't, any VSO-Rep at her RO could pull up her Claims/Appeal information and status.

As to what constitutes "Hardship," short time to live, Homeless or on verge of Bankruptcy. Could be others but as I recall these were the main (3). Living with parents, probably won't cut it, as far as Homeless.

Fat

When was the last time, you supplied any type of N & M Evidence regarding your Appeal? The RO DRO has to be certain that all your N & M Evidence has been processed, prior to Certification of your Appeal to the BVA.

N & M Evidence submitted to the BVA prior to the expiration date on the BVA New Evidence Cut-off letter, would probably get a Remand back to the RO for Review, unless you filed a RO Waiver.

You might want to take a look at the BVA Decisions for 2016, fairly accurate gauge, of Hearing Wait Time.

Semper Fi

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The most likely reason for such a confusing result, is that someone is lying to you or uninformed.  The board wont assign a docket number until its certified.  This said, if this is a RE remand, you could get the old docket number.  In other words, if the BVA remanded it in 2012, and the RO denied it again, and you appealed the RO denial, then you could get the "old" docket number, like I did.  

However, unless he gave you the docket number and you looked it up, its likely that  someone is lying or uninformed. 

Naturally, tho, there are glitches everyone in this broken VA, so what isnt supposed to happen, happens all the time.  For example, the RO isnt supposed to shred evidence anymore.  

Edited by broncovet
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This may help explain the process

If an appeal was certified to BVA and additional evidence was subsequently received, the Regional Office had to either obtain a waiver of jurisdiction from the Veteran or his Representative, or the appeal had to be removed from certified status and another SSOC issued.  Following the 30 day reply period, if no additional evidence was added to the claims file, the appeal could be re-certified to BVA.

This is the stage where many delays occurred because many Veterans have multiple appeals pending in various stages of the appeals process.  Additionally, they will also have new claims pending in various stages of initial development.  Therefore, every time additional evidence was added to the claims file, the Regional Office Appeals Team had to review all of the appeals to determine if an SSOC was necessary.  If so, then any appeals already certified to BVA had to be removed from certified status, and the process continued to repeat itself until such time that all evidence in the claims file had been considered in a decision at the Regional Office level.  It was only then that RO could physically transfer the file to BVA jurisdiction.

Effective February 2, 2013, Section 501 (Automatic waiver of agency of original jurisdiction review of new evidence) of Public Law 112-154 took effect.  This change in law established an automatic waiver of Regional Office (agency of original jurisdiction) review of evidence received after receipt of the substantive appeal.  The evidence is subject to initial review by BVA unless the appellant specifically requests, in writing, initial review by the Regional Office.

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