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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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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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angryemu

DRO Review Timeline

Question

Sorry if this has been addressed before, but I was not able to find an answer anywhere else. 

After collecting dust for 480 days after filing an NOD with a DRO, my appeal has apparently entered a "Review" phase.  According to the VA rep, the electronic system had a new note entered into my file a few weeks back stating that a DRO had begun to review the file. Can anyone offer insight into how long it could take from here to get to a DRO decision? I understand it depends on what else the DRO has going on and how complicated my appeal is, just wanted to see what others' experience has been. 

Appreciate any feedback.

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I requested a DRO review on a claim that started in 2010. It sat for 3 years before it was ever touched. I was out of the Waco RO which apparently was one of the worst. I met with the DRO finally after 3 years and he asked a few questions. A week later a medical opinion was requested, then four weeks later I got an envelope granting me 30% for my claim. Closed at the tail end of 2015 

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Yo Angry, no Crystal Ball here, you'll know when You Know.             DRO Review Decisions seem to take 12 to 24 most to hit your mailbox. DRO Hearings, on the other hand, in the past and probably still do, can take up to 48+ months just to get the Hearing Date, then another 6 to 12 months for the DRO's  Award/Denial Decision and SSOC to arrive.                                                                                                                                                                                             Could you tell us your reasoning regarding the Review over an actual Face to Face at a DRO Hearing?                                                                                                                                                                When did you last submit to the VA, the DRO Required "New & Material Evidence" that was not available to the original VA Rater that decided your Denial?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Submitting N & M Evidence Later, rather than SOONER, can add substantial time to your DRO and could even result in an Administrative Denial of your DRO Review if not provided prior to the DRO starting the Review.  On the other hand, with a DRO Hearing, you could actually submitt your N & M Evidence at the time of the Hearing.                            Semper Fi

 

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Guest L

Angry: My DRO which was PTSD-MST took 370 days ( Awarded Dec 2016) at the Houston RO.

Remember claims are on "tracks" now - Backs are one track -  PTSD- MST another , Knees would be another track ( categories) - they break them down to expedite claims, since the repetition with the particular category makes the reviewer faster - ( VA's s thought process) 

Here is the link to the Monday Morning Reports, issued weekly by the VA. Look for the "Region" that you identify with, " visually scan the line to the right" , it will give you the total claims and the days - this is fairly accurate within a degree. 

http://www.benefits.va.gov/reports/detailed_claims_data.asp

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Appreciate the feedback. 

Gastone, I filed an NOD for a number of different issues based on what I felt were errors in their analysis of evidence (e.g. I had documentation from specialists showing evidence of condition, service connection and level of disability that was flat out ignored). Based on advice I submitted for DRO review as this would still leave the other options open should this one fail. There was no new evidence to submit, so I just included a statement directly siting the medical evidence and CFR language that dictates how they should be review and offer and a judgment.

L, thanks for the info and link. Hadn't seen it before! Also didn't know about the "tracks".

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16 Jun 17

My NOD is still pending and as of 11 June is approaching 1000 days old and was sent to Houston TX VA office requesting a DRO.

It took 2 years and 4 months for the Houston office to look at the NOD. As Relayed to me by VSO, Houston VA Office then decide they could not manage in a reasonable time and outsourced claim to Newark, NJ.

As I understand, this allows the VA to restart the average processing time (records keeping time). Per VA Houston VSO, the average processing time is 289 days to make a DRO decision. Per VSO again, I was told that all information is on hand and DRO (would not tell me who) is pending decision 26 October 2016. Still no decision.

VA current completion date estimate is June 2018 to September 2021.  This means a 5 to 8 year decision time for my DRO then the appeal can go forward. 

I hired Hill and Ponton to assist in November who went out and got a new C-File. No visible or mentionable improvement or assistance at this time. 

Allen

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