Sean Kendall Veterans Law Firm

In attempt to eliminate the backlog before the VA, the President ordered that the VA begin issuing provisional decisions in cases that were older than two years.  A provisional decision would be a temporary decision by the VA, which would be amended later if evidence was received.  These were cases of claims filed by veterans, but were awaiting the receipt of evidence or for a medical examination.  The VAIG essentially found that the provisional rating system was inaccurate, not surprising given that while these claims were old, they hadn't been developed yet.  VAIG concluded that the resources would have been better spent by having the cases go through the "normal" claims system.  The VAIG also found that the system didn't really reduce the backlog, claims were taken off the books after a provisional rating was done, but that in reality, the claim remained open and inaccuracies caused many appeals.  

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Alisha Holley 11/21/2014 12:52 PM
Hello. My VA claim was provisionally rated and recently cleared, but not closed according to the VA 1800 number. I have not received a decision letter because it was cleared but not closed. What are my legal options at this point? -Tx Alisha
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Sean Kendall 11/21/2014 04:47 PM
Thanks for commenting on my blog. Provisional rating decisions should be considered a final after one year, however, VA states that VA will automatically send out a final decision within one year of the original decision.. When the provisional decision becomes final, you have one year to file a notice of disagreement. VA rules require you to file the notice of disagreement appealing the mistakes in the decision on their new standard form, found here: The VA inspector general has found that the VA is supposed to issue a final rating decision within one year of the provisional decision, which obviously was not done in your case. You should ask VA to make the provisional decision final. If a year is passed, you should file the NOD now, however, if the VA gets around to issuing a final decision after you file the NOD, you will have to file it again. In such a case, VA may not feel the first NOD is valid because it pre-dates the final decision. If you would like us to review the decision before you take steps to finalize it, please fax, email, or mail it to us and we will give your case a review, free of charge. Sean Kendall
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