Decision Review Officer (DRO) Appeal

The Decisions Review Officer (DRO) Appeal is a step within VA’s appellate process.  Before you get to a DRO appeal, you must file an initial application for benefits.  Some time after you file that application, VA will issue a rating decision.  This decision will determine whether your disabilities are service-connected.  Service-connected disabilities will be given a percent rating.

How do I start the VA appeal process?

Many veterans disagree with VA’s rating decision that their disability is not service connected.  Other veterans disagree with the percentage rating given by VA.  The effective date of benefits is also an important issue.

If you disagree with anything, it is important to understand that the rating decision can be appealed by filing a notice of disagreement.  You must use VA Form 21-0958 to file a notice of disagreement.  The notice of disagreement must be filed within one year of the rating decision.

How do I select a Decision Review Officer (DRO) appeal?

After the notice of disagreement is filed, you will receive an acknowledgement letter.  This letter allows you to select Decision Review Officer (DRO) appeal or a traditional appeal process.  If you want to select review by a DRO, then you need to respond and select that option within 30 days.  Otherwise, VA will follow the traditional review process.

What happens during a DRO review?

When you select the Decision Review Officer (DRO) appeal process, your case will be reviewed by a Decision Review Officer.  The DRO is supposed to be a senior, more experienced rater within the same Regional Office.

With the DRO process, your case may be heard at a hearing.  This hearing can be formal or informal.  Other times, there may be a phone conference.  You can submit additional evidence, both lay and medical, to the DRO and make arguments about why you should win your case.

Regardless of whether you select DRO review or the traditional appeal process, VA will ultimately issue a decision on your case.  This decision will either come in the form of a statement of the case, a rating decision, or a DRO decision.  If the decision does not grant everything that you have requested, then you should consider filing an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals.

Many people find that it is helpful to have an attorney representing them in the VA  appeal process. If you would like to have a free consultation with one of our attorneys to find out if this would be helpful to you, simply call the phone number or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

Related Posts


Font Size: