This is a correction to the instructions I gave as Suggestions for Filing Blue Water Navy Claims

I have been contacted by several VSO's who suggest that the veteran SHOULD NOT use a Request for Reconsideration when filing a claim at the Regional Office (R/O). Veteran should instead file a standard Notice of Disagreement (NOD).

There are several reasons for this, including time, what VA Form to use, what exact wording, etc. But I think the reasons for not doing so can be best summed up as:

  1. The VBA is not required to accept or consider a Request for Reconsideration. It is an instrument used at the BVA level, and is not treated with consistency throughout the R/Os.
  2. If your R/O ponders the request and then decides not to accept it, you have lost that time in the window of ONE YEAR to appeal the claim with an NOD. So go ahead and just file an NOD as an initial appeal. Include all the same New and Material Evidence with your NOD.

These changes have now been made in the "FILING SUGGESTIONS..." document, and they only occurred in the first two pages.

I apologize for leading you astray. If you've already sent in a Request for Reconsideration, discuss this with your VSO and the R/O, or just file an NOD now. It is the appropriate and safest way to file your claim.

John Rossie
Jan 7, 2016

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