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Reason for DRO review AFTER SOC??

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McRay

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Checking VA.gov and I see my Form 9 has been received and now it's being reviewed by DRO before certifying and sending on to BVA. Why does the DRO have to certify they've finished reviewing a case before they certify sending it to the BVA? I understand it's VA policy, but it seems like just another delaying tactic. Shouldn't the DRO have reviewed all the evidence when they made their decision and then sent a statement of case? Thoughts?

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

That's interesting. It might be a good thing or just another example of how the VA doesn't follow their own regulations and policies. I really don't know. I'm not a BVA expert despite dealing with them a couple of times.

Speculation below
Since there is not 100% transparency in how the VA actually does things, I speculate that the VAROs have been getting blasted so much for bad decisions that they decided to pass Form 9  appeals back through the DRO one last time in hopes they can address it at their level. If they can't resolve it in your favor, maybe they will then pass it on to the BVA.

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The DRO review is supposedly a "de novo" review, meaning that it is being reviewed by someone who has had nothing to do with the first decision.  A fresh set of eyes, they are suppose to review the whole claim and evidence.

For a better understanding read the following:

https://asknod.org/2016/06/18/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-de-novo-review/

Edited by toddt
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Yes, its a delay tactic, and it has been eliminated with RAMP, now known as AMA.  Its no longer necessary to do a SOC, as long as you opt in to RAMP. 

It sounds like you opted to stay into legacy appeals, where it takes a year or so for the VARO to do a SOC, and another 2 more years to "certify" your appeal to the board, also pretty much a waste of time.  (Some attorney's disagree, they indicate the 3 year delay for legacy appeals is necessary.   However, I can not name a single claimant who has benefited from a SOC.  Its a formality where the VA is "supposed" to write a "Statement of case".   However, the SOC does not voice the VEteran's opinions as to why he should get a higher rating, its pretty much legal mumbo jumbo, and unnecessary in my opinion.  Someone else shares my opinion, other wise we would not have RAMP (AMA) if everyone thought the SOC was necessary.  I dont.  

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I believe that Vync is spot on about why they are doing these reviews.  They usually amount to time wasted but sometimes they prevent the veteran from having to go to the BVA.  That is a plus if it happens to you as it cuts off years from your case.  My last BVA journey was a ten year fiasco.  The BVA reversed all of the local decisions and awarded what I should have already had.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder
1 hour ago, vetquest said:

My last BVA journey was a ten year fiasco.  The BVA reversed all of the local decisions and awarded what I should have already had.

I initially filed in 1995 and the BVA helped bring them to a close in early 2000. Had a DRO interceded back then, they might have saved some time.

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