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What is a Decision Review Officer (DRO)?

After your claim is denied in full or part, meaning that the VA has refused to give you everything that you’re asking for, you can ask that your claim be looked at again by a Decision Review Officer (DRO) instead of appealing directly to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).  A DRO will review your claim new and the DRO does not give any weight to the original examiner’s opinion.  The legal term for this is de novo review.  The DRO is a more experienced examiner at your local regional office.

Although it depends on the details of your case, you should consider having a DRO look at your case.  A DRO cannot rescind the benefits that the original examiner awarded you unless the original examiner committed Clear and Unmistakable Error.  A DRO is also more likely to make a decision much faster than an appeal to the BVA.  On the other hand, if your case revolves around a legal issue, the BVA, where an attorney will review your claim, may be the best place to go.




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