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The VAWatchdog has published trustworthy and accurate information about your Department of Veterans Affairs and your VA and Social Security benefits since 2005

If you want the complete and correct ratings for each of the benefits you've earned, you must do most of the work to get there for yourself. Nobody will do it for you. This is not a spectator sport. You have to get in the scrum.

We will provide the intel for you to manage your benefits, you do the rest. Nobody cares about your benefits the way you do.  Nobody.

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You'll find that and many free legal resources at Stateside.

Don't rely on what some alleged expert tells you about the law.

DIY...Do It Yourself.

Click on that CFR banner and head to Title 38. You'll find the real law there.

Jim's Mailbag


Hey Jim,

I am trying to find the most current manuals on what the VA must include in a SOC; in particular what they must list and include about evidence.  Can you point me in the right direction.  Thanks.


From the M21-1MR, VA defines a Statement of the Case (SOC) as;

"A statement of the case(SOC) is an explanation of the decision made on the appellant’s case.

An SOC provides the appellant with a complete understanding of the decision so the appellant can prepare an effective substantive appeal with specific allegations of errors of fact or law."

The M21-1MR further instructs the rater;

"Issue an SOC if the appeal cannot be satisfied after review of the claims folder and all necessary development when the notice of disagreement (NOD) has not been withdrawn, or when the appropriate response time has passed."

The SOC is a required step that is intended as a sort of quality review before the service center passes the appeal upward in the chain of command.

You can read more about BVA appeals by clicking this link; Board of Veterans' Appeals.

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American Military Veterans VA & Social Security Disability Benefits

Transitioning Veterans Fly Free for Job Interviews


VA once again makes it almost too easy.  It just issued a report on an investigation into the Department's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Title:Administrative Investigation, Failure to Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act and VA Policy, Veterans Health Administration Report Number: 13-02649-120    

Issue Date: 4/14/2014

City/State: VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Report Author: Office of Investigations

Report Type: Administrative Investigation Release

Type: Restricted Summary

Notice the "Release Type" is "restricted."  That means that no one can get the report.  A report by a public agency on the public agency's compliance with a public law intended to assist the public in accessing public facilities. Hmmmm, you don't suppose there are one or two embarrassing findings in that report . . . or is VA just trying not to brag about its spotless compliance???


Doug Rosinski

Veterans Law Attorney

Quick Facts

Guns and Veterans

A diagnosis of PTSD doesn't mean you can't own weapons.

The federal NICS system is often more liberal than gun control laws in your home town or county.

If you have ever been committed to a psychiatric treatment facility, you may not be able to purchase or own weapons.

If VA declares you incompetent for fiduciary reasons, your incompetence will be reported to NICS and will restrict your rights to own a weapon.

Appeals to any denials by the NICS system are routine and fairly simple.

For more intel about your rights to own weapons, click here