A veteran recently contacted us about a decision from a Decision Review Officer (DRO). The decision denied the veterans application for an increased rating. The decision focused on a specific test and measurements that had been performed at a VA C & P exam. It said that the results of that test meant the veteran had the same disability rating as before.
As we reviewed the veteran’s paperwork, we noticed that the veteran had the same testing performed at a VA medical center. The testing performed at the VA medical center was performed about six months after the C & P exam. This VA medical center testing showed that the veteran’s condition has worsened substantially. This worsening should have entitled the veteran to a much higher rating.
However, the DRO decision did not mention anything about this other testing. In fact, it appeared that the DRO had not reviewed the testing from the VA medical center at all. The DRO decision did say that some VA medical center records were reviewed, but the records for the date that the veteran had the additional testing were not included. It appears that VA did not even review all of the VA treatment and testing records when deciding this veteran’s case.
Unfortunately, many VA decisions contain errors. Sometimes the errors are as straightforward as not reviewing all the medical records. Other times, the errors are more difficult to find.
It is very important for veterans to review all decisions they receive from VA and consider appealing them. Appealing a decision allows a higher court to correct errors in a decision, but veterans have a limited time to appeal the decisions they receive from VA. Failure to appeal a decision on time often results in the loss of thousands of dollars or more in back due VA benefits.
Since the errors in a decision may be difficult to understand, it is often helpful to have an attorney review your VA decision for potential errors. The attorneys in our firm will do this for free. To find out how to get this set up, simply call the phone number at the bottom of this page or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.