DRO Jurisdiction and Authority--M21-1MR Part 1

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    rainvet New Member

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    DRO Jurisdiction and Authority---M21-1MR Part 1

    12. DRO Jurisdiction and Authority
    Introduction
    The DRO has jurisdiction over several appellant issues. This topic contains information on the DRO’s jurisdiction over appellant issues, and subordinate issues ; issues not under the jurisdiction of the DRO the visiting DRO’s jurisdiction
    the DRO’s decisional authority
    the DRO’s lack of authority in subsequent hearing requests
    how the DRO is bound by a BVA decision, and
    how DRO bargaining is prohibited.
    Change Date; December 9, 2004

    a. DRO Jurisdiction over Appellant Issues
    Once the DRO assumes jurisdiction of a case, he/she works in partnership with the appellant and representative to resolve all issues covered by the NOD in accordance with the laws and facts in that particular case. The appeal remains with the DRO until it is forwarded to BVA.

    The DRO has jurisdiction over a rating issue that the appellant raises during the hearing provided the issue was part of the rating decision being appealed that is the subject of the formal hearing or informal conference.

    Notes: The DRO has
    de novo review jurisdiction only over appeals for benefits governed by
    38 CFR 3, and 38 CFR 4
    limited jurisdiction over a rating issue raised during an informal conference or formal hearing, provided the issue was part of the rating decision that is the subject of the hearing, and no jurisdiction over an appeal on a rating decision made by the DROhim/herself.

    b. DRO Jurisdiction over Subordinate IssuesWhen an issue is favorably decided, the DRO assumes jurisdiction over any subordinate issues, including

    evaluation and effective date, and
    any inferred or ancillary issues that are encompassed by that favorable decision.

    Reference: For more information on inferred or ancillary issues, see
    M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, 6.B.3 (TBD) or M21-1, Part VI, 3.10, and
    M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, 6.B.4 (TBD).

    c. Issues Not under the Jurisdiction of the DRO
    The DRO does not have jurisdiction over

    Committee on Waivers and Compromises (COWC) issues
    loan guaranty insurance, and hearing requests concerning a denial of benefits from a medical determination rendered by a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical activity for clothing allowance
    automobile and adaptive equipment, and
    specially adapted housing.

    d. Visiting DRO Jurisdiction
    If the DRO at the host office participated in the decision being reviewed, a visiting DRO may be requested to hold hearings or conduct de novo review. The visiting DRO will render a decision in such claims, but not maintain jurisdiction of the appeal.

    However, the VSCM at each RO has the authority to grant the issue on appeal based on a de novo review or CUE without referral to the visiting DRO. The VSCM is not permitted to delegate this authority to anyone else.

    Note: Submit a written request to C&P Service when a specific delegation of this authority is necessary.

    e. DRO Decisional Authority; The DRO may
    amend, reverse, or modify a decision based on de novo review
    amend, reverse, or modify a decision based upon new evidence, or
    exercise single signature CUE authority.

    Exceptions: Unless a CUE exists, the DRO cannot revise the decision in a manner that is less advantageous to the appellant than the decision under review. A decision in which CUE is cited requires the signature of the VSCM if the decision would reduce a service-connected evaluation(s), or
    sever service connection for a disability(ies).

    Note: The VSCM’s signature is required on the rating even if the reduction or severance based on a CUE would not cause a reduction or termination of total benefits paid.

    Reference: For more information on DRO decisional authority, see 38 CFR 3.2600.

    f.. No DRO Authority in Subsequent Hearing Request
    The DRO has no authority to participate in a formal hearing if he/she participated in the decision under appeal.

    Example: If the DRO makes a new decision based on de novo review and the appellant subsequently requests a formal hearing, the DRO does not have authority to conduct the formal hearing.

    Reference: For more information on the DRO not having authority in subsequent hearing requests, see 38 CFR 3.103(c)(1).

    g. DRO Bound by BVA Decision
    In the absence of new and material evidence, the DRO is bound to follow a decision of BVA in an individual claim and cannot recommend a change based on de novo review authority.

    h. DRO Bargaining Prohibited
    A DRO cannot make a bargain with an appellant or his/her representative by requesting or requiring him/her to withdraw a claim or take any action in exchange for the granting of any benefit.

    Example: A DRO tells an appellant’s representative that she will grant a 50 percent evaluation for PTSD if the appellant withdraws the claim for secondary service connection for hypertension.

    A DRO is not prohibited, however, from discussing the lack of merit in any particular case or from encouraging the claimant or his/her representative to withdraw a meritless appeal.

    HOW TO RESPOND TO THE VA’S DECISION
    You do not help yourself if you simply dump a pile of loose records on the VA. Organize the records and explain their significance in a letter you and your representative prepare together. Once the VA regional office makes a decision with respect to your claim, you (and your service representative) will receive a notice of that decision which explains the reasons for the VA’s determination. Read the notice carefully and discuss it with your representative. Your appeal should address the specific reasons why the VA denied the claim or awarded a rating that is too low or an effective date that is too late.

    The first step in appealing a claim is to send the VA regional office a "Notice of Disagreement " (NOD). There is no official NOD form. Generally, the NOD can be a written statement on VA Form 21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim) or a letter that states that you disagree with the decision. Be sure to include in your NOD the date of the decision that you disagree with, which issues you disagree with and that you intend to appeal those issues. You have one year from the date of the VA’s notice of its decision to file your NOD with the VA regional office. If you miss this deadline, you can only reopen your claim based on new and material evidence or establishing that the VA denial was the product of clear and unmistakable error (which is very difficult to prove).

    After the VA receives your NOD, you should receive a letter that acknowledges your NOD. You will be asked whether you wish to have your appeal sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) in Washington, D.C., or whether you wish to have your claim reviewed on a de novo basis. The latter refers to the VA’s Decision Review Officer (DRO) program. This is an informal appellate process within the regional office. The DRO has the authority to reverse or modify a VA rating board decision. We recommend that you seek DRO review before you request a BVA appeal. The DRO process is frequently successful and is generally faster than going straight to the BVA. If you do not receive a better decision from the DRO, you can still appeal to the BVA.

    Once the DRO has made a decision or has received your request for BVA consideration, the VA will issue a “Statement of the Case” (SOC). This document will explain the VA’s decision(s) in detail. You have 60 days from the date of the SOC to file your substantive appeal to the BVA on VA Form 9. (VA forms can be downloaded from the VA’s “Compensation” website. You can even apply for benefits online under “Vonapp” (Veterans Online Application)). Your appeal will then be certified and forwarded to the BVA for consideration.

    Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) disability claims processing.

    We come together once again today, as we have so often in the past, to discuss the deplorable delays and lack of quality in veterans’ claims processing. We have heard too many excuses over too many years. We have heard that the Veterans Judicial Review Act, and the Court it created, is the problem. We have heard that single-member boards and computerization are the answers. At the end of the day the problem still remains – veterans must wait an inordinate amount of time for a decision on their claims.

    We polled our Service Officers, the men and women who are on the front line, and asked them a number of questions so that we could provide this Subcommittee with snapshots of their experiences out in the field.

    First, we asked them to list the three most commonly encountered obstacles to a timely and fair adjudication of a benefit claim. They reported that these obstacles are delays in obtaining evidence; improper claims development, and inadequate medical examinations. Other obstacles mentioned were the failure to address all pertinent issues; failure to specify exams needed; and failure to communicate with the claimant.

    We asked them to list the three most common areas which present significant opportunities to improve the Veterans Benefits Administration’s benefits delivery system. They answered that better, and more thorough, training of rating personnel was essential; more accountability for decision-making; and fuller cooperation with Veterans Services Organizations.

    In addition, we asked them to mention any initiative or pilot program in their Regional Office that, over the course of the last few years, has improved the quality or timeliness of the claims adjudication process. They responded that the institution of the Decision Review Officer (DRO) position; the team case management approach; the Veteran Service Representative (VSR) position; and contract medical examinations have been positive initiatives. veterans.house.gov/hearin...opkins.htm

    We believe that the institution of DROs was an important and exciting step forward. We note that the VA has proposed a rule regarding review of benefits claims decisions. Although we believe that the DRO program is working well, we have concerns regarding the VA’s proposed rule. Proposed regulation § 3.2600(a) states, in part, that "[r]eview under this section will encompass only decisions with which the claimant has expressed disagreement in the Notice of Disagreement." Yet the proposed § 3.2600(e) takes away this protection of prior decisions by allowing the DRO to review those decisions rather than referring them to Central Office for review. We believe that prior decisions that have become final for failure to appeal should be subsumed in subsequent decisions when those decisions were advantageous to the claimant. PVA will be submitting comments on this proposed rule. www.hadit.com/glossary.htm

    www.nvo.org/members/ref/MR/M21-1/5_12.htm

    Advance on the Docket A change in the order in which an appeal is reviewed and decided - from the date when it would normally occur to an earlier date.
    ALJ Administrative Law Judge
    AOJ Agency of Original Jurisdiction
    Appeal A request for a review of an AOJ determination on a claim.
    Appellant An individual who has appealed an AOJ claim determination.
    BMAO Board medical advisor opinion
    Board The Board of Veterans' Appeals.
    Board Member An attorney, appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and approved by the President, who decides veterans' benefit appeals.
    Board of Veterans' Appeals The part of VA that reviews benefit claims appeals and that issues decisions on those appeals.
    BVA Board of Veterans Appeals
    BVA Hearing A personal hearing, held at the BVA office in Washington, D.C., or at a regional office, that is conducted by a member of the Board. A BVA hearing can be held by videoconference from some regional offices. Also see Travel Board Hearing.
    C & P Compensation and Pension
    C-FILE VA Claims Folder
    CFR Code of Federal Regulations
    Claim A request for veterans' benefits.
    Claim Number A number assigned by VA that identifies a person who has filed a claim; often called a "C-number."
    Claims File Same as claims folder.
    Claims Folder The file containing all documents concerning a veteran's claim or appeal.
    Court of Veterans Appeals An independent court that reviews appeals of BVA decisions.
    COVA U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals
    CUE Clear and Unmistakable Error
    Decision The final product of BVA's review of an appeal. Possible decisions are to grant or deny the benefit or benefits claimed, or to remand the case back to the AOJ for additional action.
    Determination A decision on a claim made at the AOJ.
    Docket A listing of appeals that have been filed with BVA. Appeals are listed in numerical order, called docket number order, based on when a VA Form 9 is received by VA.
    Docket Number The number assigned to an appeal when a VA Form 9 is received by VA. By law, cases are reviewed by the Board in docket number order.
    DRO Decision Review Officer
    DSM IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition
    EAJA Equal Access to Justice Act
    en banc In the bench. Full bench. Refers to a session where the entire membership of the court will participate in the decision rather than the regular quorum. In the U.S. the Circuit Courts of Appeal usually sit in panels of judges but for important cases may expand the bench to a larger number, when they are said to be sitting en banc.
    File To submit in writing.
    FOIA Freedom Of Information Act
    GAF Global Assessment of Functioning Scale
    Hearing A meeting, similar to an interview, between an appellant and an official from VA who will decide an appellant's case, during which testimony and other evidence supporting the case is presented. There are two types of personal hearings: Regional office hearings (also called local office hearings) and BVA hearings.
    HISA Home Improvement and Structural Alterations Program
    IFP In Forma Pauperis In the character or manner of a pauper. Describes permission given to a poor person (I.e. indigent) to proceed without liability for court fees or costs. An indigent will not be deprived of his rights to litigate and appeal: if the court is satisfied as to his indigence he may proceed without incurring costs or fees of court.
    IG Inspector General
    infra Below, under, beneath, underneath. The opposite of supra, above. Thus we say primo gradu est - supra, pater, mater, infra, filius, filia: in the first degree of kindred in the ascending line, above is the father, and mother, below, in the descending line, son and daughter.
    Issue A benefit sought on a claim or an appeal. For example, if an appeal seeks a decision on three different matters, the appeal is said to contain three issues.
    IU Individual Unemployability
    Local Office Hearing A personal hearing conducted by an RO officer. A regional office hearing may be conducted in addition to a BVA hearing.
    Member of the Board An attorney, appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and approved by the President, who decides veterans' benefit appeals.
    Motion A legal term used to describe a request that some specific action be taken.
    Motion to Advance on the Docket A request that BVA review and decide an appeal sooner than when it normally would based on the appeal's docket number order.
    Motion to Reconsider A request for BVA to review its decision on an appeal.
    New and Material Evidences a. A claimant must submit "new and material" evidence to reopen a previously disallowed claim.

    (1) To qualify as "new" evidence under 38 CFR 3.156, evidence, whether documentary, testimonial or in some other form, must be submitted to VA for the first time. For example, a veteran injured while on duty may not have realized immediately that the condition required medical attention and may have sought treatment later that evening from a private physician. A compensation claim might later be denied if the service medical records contain no mention of treatment for the condition. Should the claimant subsequently submit proof of treatment by the civilian physician, that information would constitute new evidence on which the claim could be reopened.

    (2) A photocopy or other duplication of information already contained in a VA claims folder does not constitute new evidence since it was previously considered; neither does information confirming a point already established, such as a statement from a physician verifying the existence of a condition which has already been diagnosed and reported by another physician. Even though such a medical evaluation is from a different doctor, it offers no new basis on which the claim might be reopened unless it contains new information, such as evidence that the condition first manifested itself earlier than previously established.

    b. In order to be considered "material" under 38 CFR 3.156, the additional information must bear directly and substantially on the specific matter under consideration.

    (1) For example, if VA has previously determined that a back condition claimed by a World War II veteran is not service connected, evidence that the claimant received treatment shortly after release from active duty might be considered new and material if VA had previously been unaware of that treatment. However, information addressing only the current severity of the condition submitted now, over 40 years after service, may not have a bearing on the issue of whether the condition was incurred or aggravated during military service and does not warrant reopening the prior claim.

    (2) Statements and affidavits attesting to the claimant's good character since his or her release from active duty are irrelevant if the issue is the character of the claimant's military service, but any new information offering mitigating circumstances for an action which resulted in an "other than honorable" discharge would address the specific issue under consideration and would warrant reopening the claim.

    (3) A medical opinion is not material if it relies on historical facts which are wholly inaccurate.


    c. A determination by VA that information constitutes "new and material evidence" means that the new information is sufficiently significant, either by itself or in connection with evidence already of record, that it must be considered in order to decide the merits of the claim fairly. It does not mean that the evidence warrants a revision of a prior determination.


    d
  2. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    DRO Jurisdiction and Authority--M21-1MR Part 2 of 2

    Advance on the Docket A change in the order in which an appeal is reviewed and decided - from the date when it would normally occur to an earlier date.
    ALJ Administrative Law Judge
    AOJ Agency of Original Jurisdiction
    Appeal A request for a review of an AOJ determination on a claim.
    Appellant An individual who has appealed an AOJ claim determination.
    BMAO Board medical advisor opinion
    Board The Board of Veterans' Appeals.
    Board Member An attorney, appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and approved by the President, who decides veterans' benefit appeals.
    Board of Veterans' Appeals The part of VA that reviews benefit claims appeals and that issues decisions on those appeals.
    BVA Board of Veterans Appeals
    BVA Hearing A personal hearing, held at the BVA office in Washington, D.C., or at a regional office, that is conducted by a member of the Board. A BVA hearing can be held by videoconference from some regional offices. Also see Travel Board Hearing.
    C & P Compensation and Pension
    C-FILE VA Claims Folder
    CFR Code of Federal Regulations
    Claim A request for veterans' benefits.
    Claim Number A number assigned by VA that identifies a person who has filed a claim; often called a "C-number."
    Claims File Same as claims folder.
    Claims Folder The file containing all documents concerning a veteran's claim or appeal.
    Court of Veterans Appeals An independent court that reviews appeals of BVA decisions.
    COVA U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals
    CUE Clear and Unmistakable Error
    Decision The final product of BVA's review of an appeal. Possible decisions are to grant or deny the benefit or benefits claimed, or to remand the case back to the AOJ for additional action.
    Determination A decision on a claim made at the AOJ.
    Docket A listing of appeals that have been filed with BVA. Appeals are listed in numerical order, called docket number order, based on when a VA Form 9 is received by VA.
    Docket Number The number assigned to an appeal when a VA Form 9 is received by VA. By law, cases are reviewed by the Board in docket number order.
    DRO Decision Review Officer
    DSM IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition
    EAJA Equal Access to Justice Act
    en banc In the bench. Full bench. Refers to a session where the entire membership of the court will participate in the decision rather than the regular quorum. In the U.S. the Circuit Courts of Appeal usually sit in panels of judges but for important cases may expand the bench to a larger number, when they are said to be sitting en banc.
    File To submit in writing.
    FOIA Freedom Of Information Act
    GAF Global Assessment of Functioning Scale
    Hearing A meeting, similar to an interview, between an appellant and an official from VA who will decide an appellant's case, during which testimony and other evidence supporting the case is presented. There are two types of personal hearings: Regional office hearings (also called local office hearings) and BVA hearings.
    HISA Home Improvement and Structural Alterations Program
    IFP In Forma Pauperis In the character or manner of a pauper. Describes permission given to a poor person (I.e. indigent) to proceed without liability for court fees or costs. An indigent will not be deprived of his rights to litigate and appeal: if the court is satisfied as to his indigence he may proceed without incurring costs or fees of court.
    IG Inspector General
    infra Below, under, beneath, underneath. The opposite of supra, above. Thus we say primo gradu est - supra, pater, mater, infra, filius, filia: in the first degree of kindred in the ascending line, above is the father, and mother, below, in the descending line, son and daughter.
    Issue A benefit sought on a claim or an appeal. For example, if an appeal seeks a decision on three different matters, the appeal is said to contain three issues.
    IU Individual Unemployability
    Local Office Hearing A personal hearing conducted by an RO officer. A regional office hearing may be conducted in addition to a BVA hearing.
    Member of the Board An attorney, appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and approved by the President, who decides veterans' benefit appeals.
    Motion A legal term used to describe a request that some specific action be taken.
    Motion to Advance on the Docket A request that BVA review and decide an appeal sooner than when it normally would based on the appeal's docket number order.
    Motion to Reconsider A request for BVA to review its decision on an appeal.
    New and Material Evidences a. A claimant must submit "new and material" evidence to reopen a previously disallowed claim.

    (1) To qualify as "new" evidence under 38 CFR 3.156, evidence, whether documentary, testimonial or in some other form, must be submitted to VA for the first time. For example, a veteran injured while on duty may not have realized immediately that the condition required medical attention and may have sought treatment later that evening from a private physician. A compensation claim might later be denied if the service medical records contain no mention of treatment for the condition. Should the claimant subsequently submit proof of treatment by the civilian physician, that information would constitute new evidence on which the claim could be reopened.

    (2) A photocopy or other duplication of information already contained in a VA claims folder does not constitute new evidence since it was previously considered; neither does information confirming a point already established, such as a statement from a physician verifying the existence of a condition which has already been diagnosed and reported by another physician. Even though such a medical evaluation is from a different doctor, it offers no new basis on which the claim might be reopened unless it contains new information, such as evidence that the condition first manifested itself earlier than previously established.

    b. In order to be considered "material" under 38 CFR 3.156, the additional information must bear directly and substantially on the specific matter under consideration.

    (1) For example, if VA has previously determined that a back condition claimed by a World War II veteran is not service connected, evidence that the claimant received treatment shortly after release from active duty might be considered new and material if VA had previously been unaware of that treatment. However, information addressing only the current severity of the condition submitted now, over 40 years after service, may not have a bearing on the issue of whether the condition was incurred or aggravated during military service and does not warrant reopening the prior claim.

    (2) Statements and affidavits attesting to the claimant's good character since his or her release from active duty are irrelevant if the issue is the character of the claimant's military service, but any new information offering mitigating circumstances for an action which resulted in an "other than honorable" discharge would address the specific issue under consideration and would warrant reopening the claim.

    (3) A medical opinion is not material if it relies on historical facts which are wholly inaccurate.


    c. A determination by VA that information constitutes "new and material evidence" means that the new information is sufficiently significant, either by itself or in connection with evidence already of record, that it must be considered in order to decide the merits of the claim fairly. It does not mean that the evidence warrants a revision of a prior determination.


    d. A decision not to reopen a claim because the evidence submitted is not new and material is an appealable decision. The claimant must be furnished notice of procedural and appellate rights.

    NOA Notice of Appeal
    NOD Notice of Disagreement
    Notice of Disagreement A written statement expressing dissatisfaction or disagreement with a local VA office's determination on a benefit claim that must be filed within one year of the date of the regional office's decision.
    NSLI National Service Life Insurance
    NSO National Service Officer
    per curiam By the court. A phrase used to distinguish an opinion of the whole court from an opinion written by any one judge. Sometimes it denotes an opinion written by the chief justice or presiding judge, or to a brief announcement of the disposition of a case by court not accompanied by a written opinion.

    PL Public Law
    POA Power of Attorney

    PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Regional Office A local VA office; there are 58 VA regional offices throughout the U.S. and its territories.
    Regional Office Hearing A personal hearing conducted by an RO officer. A regional office hearing may be conducted in addition to a BVA hearing.
    Remand An appeal returned to the regional office or medical facility where the claim originated.

    Representative Someone familiar with the benefit claim process who assists claimants in the preparation and presentation of an appeal. Most representatives are Veterans' Service Organization employees who specialize in veterans' benefit claims. Most states, commonwealths, and territories also have experienced representatives to assist veterans. Other individuals, such as lawyers, may also serve as appeal representatives.

    RO Regional Office
    RO Hearing A personal hearing conducted by an RO officer. A regional office hearing may be conducted in addition to a BVA hearing.
    ROA Record on Appeal
    SC Service Connection
    SMR Service Medical Record
    SOC Statement of Case
    SSA Social Security Administration
    SSD Social Security Disability Income
    SSDI Social Security Disability Income
    SSOC Supplemental Statement of Case
    Statement of the Case Prepared by the AOJ, this is a summary of the evidence considered, as well as a listing of the laws and regulations used in deciding a benefit claim. It also provides information on the right to appeal an RO's decision to BVA.

    Substantive Appeal A completed VA Form 9.
    Supplemental Statement of the Case A summary, similar to an SOC, that VA prepares if a VA Form 9 contains a new issue or presents new evidence and the benefit is still denied. A Supplemental Statement of the Case will also be provided after an appeal is returned (remanded) to the RO by the Board for new or additional action.

    TDHR Texas Department of Human Resources
    TDIU Total Rating Based on Individual Unemployability
    Travel Board Hearing A personal hearing conducted at a VA regional office by a member of the Board.

    United States Court of Veterans Appeals An independent court that reviews appeals of BVA decisions.
    USC United States Code
    VA Veterans Administration
    VA Form 9 This form, which accompanies the SOC, formally initiates the appeal process.
    VAMC Veterans Administration Medical Center
    Veterans' Service Organization An organization that represents the interests of veterans. Most Veterans' Service Organizations have specific membership criteria, although membership is not usually required to obtain assistance with benefit claims or appeals.

    VJRA Veterans' Judicial Review Act
    VRO Veterans Administration Regional Office
    VSO Veterans' Service Organization

    Well Grounded A well grounded claim requires three elements: (1) a medical showing of a current medical condition; (2) lay or in certain circumstances, medical evidence of disease or injury in service; and (3) medical evidence showing a nexus between the asserted injury in service and the current disability. Where medical evidence is required, medical journal articles alone will generally not suffice unless they are enhanced by a physician's opinion stating that the current disability was related, is likely to be related, could be related, or even possibly was related to service. A physician's opinion need not be conclusive to establish a well-grounded claim.
    Alternatively, both the second and third elements above can be satisfied by the submission of minimum evidence (a) that the condition was "noted" during service or during an applicable presumption period; (b) that there has been post service continuity of symptomatology (as to which lay opinion can suffice; and (c) medical, or in some rare circumstances, lay evidence of a nexus between the present disability between the present disability and the post service symtpomatology.

    Writ of Mandamus A writ of mandamus is an order issued by a court to compel an agency to act on a decision that has been unreasonably withheld. It is used in the VA context when the VA simply does nothing on a claim after you have asked that it be decided. It cannot be use to compele a particular result -- say, service connection -- only that the VA go up or down on it.
  3. p_owensby

    p_owensby New Member

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    Is there a difference in a dro review and an appeal?
  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    A DRO review is an appeal.

    A DRO review and a traditional review of an NOD are the exact same thing EXCEPT for the fact that the DRO has the authority to make a new decision on the same evidence. Under the traditional review this is not possible unless there was C&UE in the decision under review.

    In either type review, if the appeal is not granted a Statement of the Case is issued. From this point on there is no difference..

    In either type review, if the appeal is not granted a Statement of the Case is issued. From this point on there is no difference.
  5. ellislayne

    ellislayne New Member

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    Dro

    How long does it take to get an answer from a DRO hearing?
  6. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    That seems to be the age old question and no one seems to have a definitive answer. I've seen them in 3 mos and as long as 18 mos. Depends on complexity, necessary development, RO workload and whether you are a GWOT veteran submitting an inital claim.

    Best advice is to get a cane pole and go fishing.

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