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Hello All,

Can someone please help me to understand what is going on!

I had two appeals going. One was from Aug 2015 and the other was Aug 2016. Well, it shows on Ebennie that both appeals were decided by the DRO on November 15th. 

Appeal number one (2015) - increase for 0% Migraines and service connect Conversion Disorder

Appeal number two (2016) - service connect Cervical Radiculopathy

On November 17th, I received a SOC stating the DRO had awarded me 10% migraines from September 2013 to June 2017 and 30% respectively. The SOC also mentioned: "Entitlement to an increased for migraine headache disability, and service connection for depressive disorder for the period September 26, 2013 to February 15, 2017 was awarded in the rating decision dated November 15, 2017. You will receive separate correspondence regarding that decision."

So, after receiving this SOC, a few days later I called 800-Peggy and a guy said, he would mailed the other SOC.

OK, after a couple of weeks not receiving anything, I called them again on December 5th and another guy said,  "it was mailed out on November 27th and should receive Saturday, Dec 9th. But, he was wrong because I see on my screen that these issues are in Preparation for Notification."

So today, I called and another guy said, "You're have to understand that the VA combined these issues (migraines, conversion disorder and cervical radiculopathy) together. 

How can they combine these issues? My conversion disorder has nothing to do with my headaches, but rather my depression and the cervical radiculopathy is from pain of neuropathy throughout my neck, shoulders, arms, fingers and hands.

Can they do this? I did some research and each one mentioned nothing about headaches as symptoms.

Are did they make them secondary to the migraines? I understand that nothing is concrete until I get the BBE/BWE, so why haven't I received a decision letter along with the SOC or is the SOC actually the decision letter.

At this point I'm clueless and frustrated!


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I know the VA is frustrating.  First hand.  In my case, yes, the BVA "combined" several appeal issues and decided them all in one BVA decsion.  

However, my most recent BVA decision seemed to do just the opposite and seperated the issues.  Someone at the Va apparently decides whether or not to "merge" the issues into one appeal, or decide them seperately, and no one apparently knows what criteria they use to make that decsion.  

The whole BVA and VA is a mess right now, frankly.  There is new legislation which, in a nutshell, requires VA to shorten the 5 year or longer BVA decision process.  Its implementation is rather willy nilly, and some VARO's are implementing while others are doing it the old way.  

Part of this is the "Ramp" program.  Also, the VA is trying to keep so many decisions OUT of the BVA, since the BVA really does not have the resources to just clear up a 5 year old backlog quickly.  

The VA can "combine" these issues rather easily.  Many, if not most of my Board decisions have had multiple issues.  If yours is combined, here is what your decision would look like (example):

1.migraines   The issue of migraines is denied.   Reasons:::etc. 


2 conversion disorder  The issue of conversion disorder is granted at the 50 percent rate effective (date).  

3 cervical radiculopathy.   This issue is remanded to the VARO for a c and p exam.  

    In other words, you can have a board decision that is all 3:  Remand, denial, and award on seperate issues.  I know because I had one such board decision which was all 3.  

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