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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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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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Guest L

Houston is rocking this.... mine was 370 days start to finish. Not bragging - Just a thought to give you HOPE. 

I think the answer to the turnover for the DRO ... is 1. How complicated is the claim 2. How many issues are involved & pending return from the other areas. jmo

 

Edited by L
added info

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nod dro iu claim 678 days in florida..thats messed up....

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Angry, still in limbo, no real "DRO Review" Status?

I missed your answer to my prior post. You filed your NOD DRO Review based on what you considered to be the Raters failure to properly evaluate "Evidence of Record" already in your C-File. I think that is considered a "CUE" (Clear Unmistakable Error) Claim. Probably should have Filed it as New CUE Claim rather than a NOD DRO Review.

The problem you have, as I see it, is the "DRO Review" process. You filed the "Review" request, it goes to the BOTTOM of the RO DRO Review Request PILE. First Come, First Served!

You could be facing an Administrative Denial for failure to supply the VA Mandatory New & Material Evidence which is required for either the DRO Review or Hearing. Did you send copies of the respective "EOR" Medical Evidence that was either erroneously consider or missed altogether?

As I view my Crystal Ball, I see you either receiving a Retro Deposit or a Denial SOC sometime in the next 6 to 18 mos.

Semper Fi

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Quick update, was told that VA is prioritizing claims and mine just got kicked down the road. So, the "any day now" guidance has been replaced with "hopefully within the next year." I think I'm approaching 600 days right now.

Gastone, I did file an NOD DRO Review based on CUE. The only additional evidence I provided were statements that directly cited specific parts of my C-file showing the conditions, along with the CFR verbiage on how to weigh the evidence. My understanding was that DRO would review was the best since the file gets a fresh review and then, if not favorable, could pursue further action. But perhaps this was not the best approach? And 6-18 months could be right.

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As to the CUE. I often run into situations where CUE's are discussed by many veterans. However, in many if not most of the cases mentioned there was not actually a valid CUE claim. This is NOT saying that a reason for a formal NOD did not exist, just that a CUE claim is a VERY specific claim.

CUE stands for a "Clear and Unmistakable Error" as I am sure you know. This mean that an error has been made such that a non-expert can look at the claim and easily see it. For example: A rater made a decision and failed to take into consideration or even note that the veteran had lost all control of bowl and bladder, although it was clearly stated in both the initial claim and the evidence provided. (This actually happened in a case I know of).

Personally I think (I do not KNOW but think) that a CUE claim must in some way make a rater look bad if it is validated. Raters get performance evaluations, and I would think (again I do not know) that this would be something they track because it is such a huge error.

Again, please understand that I am NOT saying that your CUE claim is invalid. Just that many such claims should have been filed as regular NOD's because in my experience CUE claims seem to take longer and have been denied even when the underlying claim is actually valid (though that too was very rare). I have helped to file hundreds of claims over 15 years and I have seen two CUE claims actually validated and recognized as valid by the VA. In both cases the VA rater personally called the veterans involved and basically said "we are awarding you everything we possibly can".

There's a really good article here talking about CUE claims and their complexity. Link: 

http://www.lawyers4veterans.com/veterans-disability-blog/2014/05/14/clear-and-unmistakable-error-cue-in-a-va-decision/

 

I wish you the best of luck with your appeal and if I can be of help please feel free to give me a yell.

Six

Post Script - angryemu, after reading you reply as to why you filed your claim the way you did... without looking at the evidence etc. I think you did the right thing. Understand that a CUE is NOT time sensitive. You can file it 50 years from the date of decision that you are alleging an error was made on. If you are found to be correct, the VA has to back pay you to that initial date of claim. Now you might have gotten a faster decision with a CUE claim, but honestly I don't know. There are several factors that determine that like specific VARO backlog, specific rater backlog etc. So honestly I just don't know... but it is something that you can still do if the NOD rating is not found in your favor. 

Six

Edited by sixthscents

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