how to change a claim after DRO hearing?

Discussion in 'Appeals' started by whiskeymedic, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. whiskeymedic

    whiskeymedic New Member

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    went to DRO hearing November 2008 with state VRO representative to appeal 2 claims. Increase from 50% to 70% for PTSD, and a denied claim for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The OSA claim was denied because it did not occur in service. Discussion between VSO and DRO was that it should be changed to being secondary to ptsd. My VSO was arrested the very next day (turns out he wasn't a decorated Vet). I spoke with 2 VSO's who said nothing needed to be submitted other than medical opinion linking osa secondary to ptsd. I now have this medical opinion and wish to submit it; but how is the VA going to know to change the claim to being secondary? Also - does this count as new claim, or does it continue from the original?:confused:
  2. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Send the evidence along with a cover letter explaining what you want to do to the RO. Makesure your name and SSAN are on each sheet.


    FWIW, the office/service agency that provided your VSO should assign another one.
  3. whiskeymedic

    whiskeymedic New Member

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    tanks tincan !

    Thanks Tincan - to describe the VSO they tried to stick me with, hmmm, let's see - number one, he's a civilian number two, he was "laterally transferred" from a $75,000 job at the DMV. number three, if you look up the word SLUG or WORTHLESS in the dictionary you'll probably see his picture !
  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    A good Service Officer (SO) can be a god send, On the other hand, a bad one can be a nightmare. Typically, the DAV reps are better than most because of their opportunity for training but that doesn't mean they are infallible. All SO's are not cut from the same cloth.

    Part of the problem is the various orgs have no single standard for training and there's often no testing. I know former decision makers now working as SO's, but I also know noobs who's only qualification is they paid to join the ole boy drinking club. It would be helpful if the VBA would require each rep to pass a certification test.

    When choosing a SO, get references from other vets. interview several, see who returns your calls but understand, they are not going to hold your hand. Some SO's are simply overwhelmed with the amount of claims they have to process. Get rid of any SO you have trouble working with. Finding a good SO can be a crap shoot without a recommendation from someone you trust.

    Even if you have a good rep, you need to stay in control of your claim. Maintain a file at home with all the originals. Send the SO only copies. Some get really upset when you start calling the toll free number or making IRIS inquiries. Say goodbye to them.

    I know of some geographic area's their performance is absolutely abysmal and the vet simply needs to get smart about the process. Forums like VRO can help you understand the process and perhaps point you in the right direction.

    You aren't required to stay with a state agency. Look to the Veterans Service Organizations in your area DAV, VFW, AL, MOPH, PVA and hundreds of others. Find someone you can work with or learn the system yourself but it's a steep learning curve.
  5. Sgt D

    Sgt D New Member

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    Before I ever go to see my VSO I have already asked on here and other forums and know the answer to what I'm trying to do and then if he says something that is not correct I point him in the right direction. If we still disagree I go home and type it up myself and send it in. This may not be the correct way to do things but it works for me. Sgt D
  6. whiskeymedic

    whiskeymedic New Member

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    Heard loud and clear, I found another highly recommended VSO and am going through him now. Sad thing is, the guy I had was the Director, and he was the "go to" guy here in NJ - he was even the "official" VSO of the VVA for the area - so losing him was a BIG blow! And I could not agree more with TinCanMan about some sort of certification program - ah well, you need a license to drive, you need a license for your dog - go figure!

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