When the Rating Board denies a veteran’s claim, the veteran has the option of having his appeal handled in the “traditional” fashion or by the Decision Review Officer (DRO).
Under the traditional appeal procedure, an employee from the Rating Board reviews a denial and makes a determination whether the claim should continued to be denied.
Under the DRO appeal, a senior rating officer at the Regional Office, reviews the decision. In that review, the DRO is required to make a decision without any deference to the first decision by the Rating Board. In other words, the DRO reviews the evidence and makes a decision without considering the Rating Board denial.
In our practice we normally request the DRO process. It normally gives our veterans an experienced rating officer who has the ability to set aside a bad decision made by the Rating Board.