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DRO Hearing Aug. 6 in WACO, need advice


Hello all, 

A few years back I posted a couple stories regarding the VA losing my claims from 2007 to 2012. (Awarded 90% on May 2016 for claim filed July 2014, NOD Filed May 2017 for EED of 12/04/2007 (Date of Discharge) First claim filed Nov. 1, 2017. VA Requested my STR on Nov. 19, 2007).  It's been a very long road. TO summarize, through the VARO and my VSO, we discovered that not only are my claims missing, but ALL RECORDS from my C-File from 2007-2012, even records from my treatment at the Dallas and Fort Worth VAMC during the time period in question. The only claim they have prior to 2014, is an Intent to file on Jan 3, 2012, but they can't find the formal claim.  The DRO called for an informal phone hearing in May 2018, indicating that they found the file box that my paper c-file was stored, along with the c-files of 6 other vets. The DRO said his supervisor would allow him to go through the 6 vets' files to look for my missing paperwork, but only if I would accept the Informal Hearing as my DRO formal/final. I rejected it, because it felt like a trap and extortion. I consulted with the a Dallas Veterans law firm, and they pretty much confirmed my suspicion. I thought that perhaps I should retain an attorney, given the complicated nature of my Appeal. I submitted everything I have to the attorney for review. The attorney's I have been speaking to said they would go through everything and make a decision on whether they would represent me.

On July 6th, I received a letter that my DRO Hearing has been scheduled for August 6th, at 1000 in WACO. I immediately contacted the law office, left several messages, voicemails, and emails, and they've never returned my call. I did speak to their receptionist/paralegal last week, and they indicated that my messages have been forwarded to the attorneys. It is now 9 days until my  hearing, and I can't get a hold of ANY attorney. (I've called 4 in the DFW area, no one has returned a call). I haven't resorted to panicked phone calls yet, as I don't want to appear like I'm a lunatic, but I am getting extremely worried.

As it is, I feel like I'm going to have to represent myself in the hearing, but I don't have a report with anyone at the Waco VARO, and I don't know what I should or shouldn't bring up during the hearing. My TVC VSO here in Dallas has been pretty useless in advisement, he said I shouldn't even use an attorney, but he didn't have any advise as to how to prepare my evidence or what to do once I'm at the table. 

Edited by firemoth
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You're at the 11th Hour, way to late for FOIA Filings. As to the Twins at the Legal Team, don't count on them if you've had no contact or request to sign a Retainer. Probably not enough estimated

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Just from what you have posted  not sure how this will turn out?

During this Hearing if you see and feel this Hearing is going South ( meaning not good)

if you don't have adequate records just request you need more time to get records that you don't have to help with your claim ( it will buy you more time.)

..I am thinking the DRO will send you for another C&P  (if your willing)and Reschedule you for another hearing.

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Heres my advice, if your farting around with any of the major service organizations you are not in good hands. MY OPINION.. They  they have " free rent" inside the RO.s  that should tell you something, and the VA recommends them, to the vet. that should tell you something else. Ive had Texas vet, VFW, DAV, they all wasted my time. Thier system is somewhat compartmentalized. They seemed to want to decide what my rating should be. I think the VA tells them to tell the vet, to be happy with what theyve got, and suck it up and drive on.

Now for service connection. a spine injury can garner so many claims its amazing. really.

radiocapathy. cervogenical headaches,  nerve pain, depression due to constant pain.sleep problems, tiredness,  and on and on and on.

usually though the quickest path to the promised land is TDIU. get yourself at least 50 for your spine, file for TDIU PERMANENT AND TOTAL. 

Try to get treatment for your spine outside the VA system thru the choice program.

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a hearing is just a hearing, its not an end all final anything, I would show up and pull as much info out of them as you can.   

you could start like this... Ok in order to avoid redundancy, I would like to know what evidence you have in your possession in my C file that is rellevant to my claims. Also what is it exactly that is needed to win my claim.. (by law they are supposed to tell you)..  You can keep things very generalized and dont fall for leading questions that could harm your claims. only submit evidence to them that you know is beneficial to you. if you cant pull any info out of them, you can request to end the meeting and reschedule to a later date.

Dont tell them you cant get ahold of your attorney or your service org guy is ate up and has checked out, . just tell them you are in the process of gathering  additional evidence.

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On 7/27/2018 at 3:40 PM, Buck52 said:

Do you happen to know the Name of the DRO that sent you the date for the Hearing? 

All I know is he said his first name was “Joe”. He wouldn’t give me his last name. 

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