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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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


On February 17, 2017 I'd filed for Chronic Pain Symptoms Disorder which falls under Mental Health. I completed a C&P exam on June 9, 2017 that was given by a Psychiatrist at QTC. Today, my claim moved to Preparation For Decision with estimation of completion 7/20/17-8/20/17. I'm hoping for the best as always, but also know that it can go either way. Hopefully, it won't be too long! Also, I have 2 appeals (both DRO Review) that have been on-going for over 600 days and still counting.


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(2) DRO Reviews over 600 Days, something is not right there. have your VSR-POA access your C-File, what's the Diary Dates on your DRO Reviews.

Have you ever given consideration to filing an official request for a DRO "Informal evidence Conference," pertaining to your (2) NODs?

I'd be more concerned regarding the DRO Review hold-ups. Your New Claim, FDC Right, the decision will be whatever, you have no control now.      Semper Fi

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According to this, they sent you a "development letter".  Sometimes, these require a response FROM YOU.  Did you read the Feb. Letter and respond?  Sometimes they ask you if you have any more evidence, and expect a signature, either way.  

While delaying claims is VA's "favorite thing", at least some of the time its our own fault.  Of course, I dont know if you sent the letter back or not, but if you did not, or did not do so promptly, its not a suprise for delays.  

However, lets assume you sent the applicable letter back, along with any other information VA requested.  

One thing, you dont want to count on what ebenefits says.  

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Thank you @Gastone,

Attached are the initial dates. The overall time is over 600 days combined for both NODs. I should've said that in the first posting. I was scheduled for a DRO hearing back in Oct 2016 for both but VA called my POA a week before the hearing and told them to tell me that NO hearing was needed.

Two weeks ago, I called 1-800 to inquire about the DRO reviews and they told me that it had finally made it to his desk and that's all they can say.

Truly, I'm somewhat still trying to grasp how things work. I was fortunate to get a 30% rating for Pes Planus when I did because of the strong evidence that were noted in STR, so I submitted the claim myself.

After receiving the denials for numerous contentions that I felt had undeniable evidence as well, it was taking a toll on my health trying to do the research and gathering the needed material to pursue with no help, so I'd appointed a POA.

I've never heard of an "Informal Evidence Conference" until now. Also, I'm very concern with the DRO Review holdup! This is why I've constantly called 1-800 to see where they're at with it.

Meanwhile, what else can I do at this point?


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Thank you @broncovet,

Yes, I've responded to the February letter. What had happened was not knowing, I submitted that claim as a FDC and they (VA) sent me a letter explaining that it did not qualify for a FDC due to already having an appeal going on. So I can understand those principles.

I can relate to not counting on Ebennie but easy said than done...lol. Especially, when you know how these riff-raffs can screw you over so badly. I guess that's all the more I shouldn't even log on...lol.

Honestly, I've seen certain movements through Ebennie that were due diligence and accurate but I still put my best foot forward and keep on moving. 

I know I've been through this before but it gets to be repetitive at times either due to my mental state at the time or curiosity, either way I know it's not healthy though. I'll try to do better! :)

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Do you have a VSO Repping you? A VSO with your POA can directly access your C-File and should be able to get a grip on the DRO Review situation.

Have you had occasion to visit your RO? Most VSOs maintain an HQ-Office on the same floor as the RO. Call and make an appointment to have a set down with your VSO Honcho regarding the Reviews.

I got the DRO "Informal Evidence Conference" from reviewing the VA M21 section pertaining to "DRO Procedures." It's listed as a "Tool" DROs can opt to use. I figured I'd give it a try myself, filed the Official Request for the "IEC" using a 21-4138 (Stmt in Support of Claim) hand delivered to my RO 01/2014. At that time, I'd been waiting 4 yrs for a DRO Hearing.

The request for the DRO "IEC" showed up on E-Ben the following week a New Claim. Never heard another word about the "IEC" request but I did receive my DRO Hearing Date notification 05/14 for 06/25/14. At the beginning of the DRO Hearing, before being Sworn in, I asked the DRO why I never received the DRO "IEC" that I had requested.

The DRO's response, we could do the "IEC" right then. He told me that at anytime I wanted to stop the "Informal Evidence Conference" and switch to the Scheduled Formal Hearing, he would swear me in and start Recording for Transcription. he also agreed that if he Recorded the Hearing, so could I. My recorder was already on the table.

We discussed my N & M Evidence for about 35 min, after which he informed me he was Awarding all issues from my 2010 NOD. He stated that because we did the "IEC" he was also Awarding my 2012 IU NOD.  At about 3:30 that same afternoon, I had a copy of the DRO Award Letter, VA Award letter arrive about 3 months later. Worked for me.

Semper Fi


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