​​Are You a Vietnam Veteran?

Help Us Investigate the Impact of Agent Orange

ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot are exploring the ways children of Vietnam veterans may be affected by a parent's exposure to Agent Orange.


​​

​Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

Services for Veterans with Disabilities

​Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) is an employment-oriented program that helps transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans with service-connected

disabilities and employment handicaps to prepare for, find, and keep suitable employment. Services may include employment assistance, short and long-term training, purchase of required supplies and equipment,

and on-the-job training.



Ask Gisela









Gisela Miller is an Accredited Agent for VA Claims & Appeals.

She's also the spouse of a disabled veteran.

Gisela met her husband in her native Germany while

he was ​stationed there during his deployments to the 

Gulf War. She returned to America with him, 

taught herself the English language and became an accomplished paralegal and an American citizen 

as she dueled with the VA to ensure her husband was awarded the benefits he earned. (He was.)

Once his benefits were secure, she embarked on

a year long journey to becomea VA accredited

agent  and now represents veterans and their

families in the VA appeals process.Gisela

will be a frequent contributor to the

VAWatchdogand is available to answer your

questions about the VA claims and

appeals​process now.

Contact Gisela here and

have a look at her Q & A here.

​​​​


Veterans with PTSD at higher risk for sleep apnea

Researchers found that 69 percent of veterans

who were evaluated for self-reported PTSD

symptoms also were at high risk for sleep apnea.



Blue Water Claims Update
The Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims has made a landmark ruling that will help many Navy 
and Coast Guard vets who have been classified as Blue Water Sailors. The case was Gray vs 
McDonald and was decided on April 24, 2015. This will greatly benefit many Vietnam Navy 
veterans effected by Agent Orange.

​​Gray v McDonald 042315 RH_13-3339



​Carney says clinics, Choice card not working for vets

​If the Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinics can’t be adequately

staffed with medical professionals, and veterans have difficulty using a program

designed to give them non-VA treatment options, Congress and VA should consider

easing program rules and getting rid of the clinics altogether, Rep. John Carney said Monday.


​VA whistleblower on reporting wrongdoing: 'Prepare for hell'

​More than a year into a nationwide crisis in veterans health care, the

government whistleblowers who exposed deadly faults in the Veterans

Administration have had lots of experience in what to expect

when speaking out against supervisors.


Local veteran spends last year fighting

with VA hospital to get needed surgery

He’s been fighting to get it approved for a year.
“You can’t get anybody on the phone. You

can’t get anybody to call you back,” 


Lawmaker pushes simple fix to complex VA care problem

The House Republican Conference chairwoman has what she sees as a simple fix to

improve veterans medical care. She also worries that nothing seems easy

when it comes to reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs.



File Your Claim Today

On-Line With eBenefits          Print the Form

​Fax the Form to:

​(Western) 844-822-5246 ​  (Eastern) 844-531-7817


VAWatchdog​

America's Leading Resource For
Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

Ten Years of Service to America's Military Veterans

Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads When They

Want To Learn What They've Been Doing

Welcome Aboard!


​Fla. to speed concealed gun licenses to vets, military

​Amid reports of armed citizens standing guard at military recruiting stations

and recommendations on how best to protect military personnel, Florida

officials announced Monday that they will expedite concealed

weapons permits for active duty military and veterans.


Feds investigating University of Phoenix, popular with military vets

The University of Phoenix, which runs an online college popular among military

veterans, is under federal investigation for possible deceptive or unfair business

practices, its parent company the Apollo Education Group told shareholders Wednesday.


​​Veterans deserve an accountable VA

​Five hundred and fourteen days. That’s how long it took to get the emergency

department at the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center in my home state of Kansas

reopened after it was closed in 2013 due to a staffing shortage. Only after numerous

phone calls, letters, meetings and more were we able to navigate through the

bureaucracy of the Department of Veterans Affairs. For nearly two years,

our veterans in Topeka and across Kansas were left without emergency

facilities in the face of VA immovability, lacking the care they are owed and deserve.



Required Forms​​

VA Form 21-0966 - Intent To File A Claim

VA Form 21-526EZ -  File A Claim

Disability Service Connection

Secondary Service Connection-Increased

Disability Compensation-Temporary

Total Disability Rating -

 Individual Unemployability -

Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151 -

 Special Monthly Compensation -

Specially Adapted Housing/Special

Home Adaptation Automobile 

Allowance/Adaptive Equipment -

Benefits Based on a Veteran's

Seriously Disabled Child

VA Form 21-0958 - NOD

​Notice of Disagreement

The first step to appeal

VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension, 

Change of Address

TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140

VA form 21-686c

Declaration of Status of Dependents



​Veterans Pro Bono Grants Available

​Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is announcing the availability of competitive

grant funds for the Veterans Pro Bono Program for calendar year 2016 and solicits

grant proposals from interested parties.  LSC seeks proposals from: (1) Non-profit

organizations that have as a purpose the provision of free legal assistance to

low-income individuals or the provision of free services to veterans; or (2) private

attorneys or law firms that seek to establish such a non-profit for these purposes. 

Click here for details.



VA has 41,500 open jobs, forcing vets into private care

​The Veterans Health Administration has 41,500 job vacancies for doctors,

nurses and other medical professionals across its sprawling health care

system at a time when it is struggling to provide timely medical care for

veterans, according to records obtained and analyzed by USA TODAY.


Orlando VA Medical Center Faces Nurse Shortage

Officials at Orlando’s VA Medical Center at Lake Nona are struggling with a

shortage of nurses and doctors. The hospital has more than 1,300

vacancies to treat Central Florida’s 400-thousand veterans.


​VA union submits report to McDonald alleging 'hostile work environment'

​Several months into his new job as Veterans Affairs Secretary, Robert

McDonald visited the subbasement in the agency's main

Washington office to meet with the heads of the workers' union.


Denver VA has 600+ unfilled medical jobs

​The Denver VA hospital and its affiliated clinics still need more than 600 medical

workers to be fully staffed, according to records obtained by USA TODAY

and analyzed by 9NEWS. USA TODAY discovered the 41,500 VA medical

staff vacancies nationwide as of late June, according to data obtained through

a Freedom of Information Act request. The full- and

part-time openings include 5,000 doctor jobs.



​Hull man accused of stealing $40,000 from VA
Bradley Swartz, 60, was indicted on the federal charges Thursday and

arrested Friday. The alleged thefts occurred between 2008 and 2011.


Does VA 'Choice Card' really give veterans much choice?

It was supposed to be one of the great fixes following the VA wait time scandal:

A card that allowed veterans who had waited more than 30 days to get

medical care from an outside provider. Now, it looks like more promises have been broken.


Veteran still unsure about VA payment

Rendon lost a tooth Wednesday, and claimed his dentist couldn’t

help him because Veterans Affairs would not pay.


VA Employee Charged With Falsifying Medical

Records Of Numerous Veterans

Grand Jury Returns 50-Count Indictment Against VA Supervisor Who

Falsified Consults at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, GA. Indictment Based on Investigation by OIG Special Agents, Assisted by OIG Healthcare Inspections Clinical Staff.



Dr. Brett Valete provides Military Veterans with psychological

Independent Medical Evaluation, Independent Medical Opinions,

Nexus Letters and Ratings Reviews. For more information visit www.VeteransPsychEvaluations.com



​Sugar and artificially sweetened soda

consumption linked to hypertension

​Our study demonstrates statistically significant associations

between both sugar and artificially sweetened soda consumption and HTN.


Moderate A1c Reduction Lowers Heart Risks for Veterans With Diabetes

The VA’s balanced approach to glycemic control — keeping blood sugar

levels low but not too low — appears to be the best course for

patients seeking to avoid cardiovascular side effects of type 2 diabetes.


Veterans' Compensation for Service-Connected Disabilities​
The Veterans Administration (VA) provides eligible disabled Veterans with

VA Disability Compensation, a monthly tax-free payment whose

amount will depend on the degree of the Veteran's disability. In order to qualify

for this benefit program, you must have a service-connected

disability resulting from injury or disease that was

incurred in or aggravated by your active military service.

Health Care Benefits for Dependents (CHAMPVA)

The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs

(CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care benefits program in which the

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shares the cost of covered health care

services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. The program is administered

by the Chief Business Office Purchased Care located in Denver, Colorado. 

Due to the similarity between CHAMPVA and the Department of

Defense (DoD) TRICARE program (sometimes referred to by its old name,

CHAMPUS) the two are often mistaken for each other. CHAMPVA is a

Department of Veterans Affairs program, whereas TRICARE is a

Department of Defense regionally-managed health care program for active duty

and retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors. In

some cases a person may appear eligible for either program. However,

anyone eligible for TRICARE cannot choose between

the two plans and will not be eligible for CHAMPVA.


VA System ESRD Patients Start Dialysis Later

​Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who initiate dialysis within the

Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are more likely to do so at lower

levels of renal function compared with those who initiate dialysis

outside the system, according to new study.









Dr. David Anaise is a physician

and a veterans law attorney.


Dr. Anaise can manage your appeal,

as well as provide an IMO or IME.

Why not let a doctor AND a lawyer manage your claim?

Contact Dr. Anaise today!



VETERANS’ DISABILITY BENEFITS

VA Can Better Ensure Unemployability

Decisions Are Well Supported



GAO: VA not consistent in

handing out unemployability benefits

The Veterans Affairs Department could be handing out individual unemployability benefits to vets who shouldn't be getting the money, says a July 2 Government Accountability Office report. In fiscal year 2013, the report says 330,000

veterans received individual unemployability benefits, which the VA provides to disabled veterans of any age who are unemployable because of service-connected disabilities.









​The BASH Bulletin

Dr. Craig Bash brings you timely

information about your medical

conditions and VA rules and regulations.
Be sure to check in often and

review the very latest from


The Veterans Medical Advisor.


Social Security Disability

Insurance Benefits

​The following information will lead you to the

next steps to apply for this benefit.

​​


With Prostate Cancer Diagnosed Younger,

Treatment Options Under Fierce Debate

​Since the mid-1980s, six times as many men under 55 now are receiving prostate cancer diagnoses, and the younger patients face considerably higher mortality rates.

With the stakes even greater, the debate continues on whether too much screening is being performed and how aggressively the cancer should be treated.


​​

PTSD may increase heart attack, stroke risk in women

​New research reveals that the effects of PTSD

can go beyond the mind -- and put women's

hearts and brains at risk. Post-traumatic stress

disorder can wreak havoc on a

person's ability to deal with small disturbances,

such as a loud noise or an upsetting story

in the news, and it can keep them from getting

good sleep. In addition to these problems,

and perhaps because of them, PTSD might

also increase women's risk of heart attack

and stroke, according to new research.



Presidential Memorial Certificates

A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is a gold-embossed paper certificate bearing the official signature of the current President of the United States and honors the memory of deceased, honorably discharged Veterans.


Veteran & Dependent Burial in VA National Cemeteries

The National Cemetery Administration honors Veterans and their families with final resting places and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our nation.



Vietnam Veterans Are Declared

Eligible To Receive Long-Denied Benefits

It has taken more than 40 years, but Connecticut veteran Conley Monk has won his battle to have his military discharge

status upgraded and can now receive federal benefits.​

​​


Veterans Affairs publishes new

Agent Orange regulation

​The Department of Veterans Affairs recently

published a new regulation that expands benefits

eligibility for a select group of Air Force veterans

and Air Force reserve personnel who were

exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange

through regular and repeated contact

with contaminated C-123 aircraft used in

Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand (ORH).



From the Desk of

Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney







Read Drew's updates

and early warnings of

what's up in the

Department of Veterans Affairs



Veterans’ sleep disorders–PTSD connection

Improving veterans’ sleep (both quantity and quality) may reduce their risk of developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to afirst-of-its-kind study by the RAND Corporation.


Above are the executives who control your VA benefits and your health care.

​Click on an image to learn more about them.


From the Desk of

Drew Early, Veterans Law Attorney


​https://www.cbo.gov/budget-options/
"Restrict VA’s Individual Unemployability Benefits to Disabled Veterans

Who Are Younger Than the Full Retirement Age for Social Security"

Congressional hearings have been ongoing on this topic, which was a Congressional

Budget Office option offered back in 2013 as part of a budget deficit reduction analysis. 

Basically, the approach would limit VA making a TDIU award to those veterans who are

under the Social Security retirement age, with the thought being that the veterans

over that age can simply draw Social Security and therefore don't need TDIU. One of

my favorite veteran clients is a gentleman well into his eighties.  He was an infantryman

in Korea in 1952 to 1953 (not a good time to be an infantryman--he said he never

saw a Korean, just lots and lots of Chinese) and was combat wounded.  He worked until

his early eighties because he liked working, liked earning an income, and saw no

need to retire.  Only recently, did the nature of his disabilities begin to affect his

ability to work--then and only then he sought TDIU and was granted it.  He's the

classic case of why the potential for TDIU should be available

to all veterans, not simply barred to some age barrier.
/S/ Drew


DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 4 RIN 2900–AP38

Agency Interpretation of Prosthetic

Replacement of a Joint

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.












Robert A Friedman

Veterans Law Attorney


Attorney Friedman has helped more than

15,000 clients obtain Social Security

disability and veterans disability benefits.

More specifically, Robert has helped

more than 1000 veterans suffering from

PTSD win more than $50 Million

in veterans disability benefits.


​Contact Attorney Friedman here.

​​


Agent Orange Act Was Supposed to Help Vietnam

Veterans — But Many Still Don’t Qualify
The 1991 law presumes veterans were

exposed to the defoliant if they have

certain diseases and “set foot” in Vietnam,

but Navy vets and Air Force vets in

Thailand say they were also exposed. Here’s our guide to groups seeking Agent Orange benefits. 



​Veterans Mental Health Evaluations







I’m Dr. Brett Valette, a clinical psychologist

and I’ve specialized in PTSD and

trauma evaluations for over 15 years.

If it’s a combat trauma, or if you were

non-combat but experienced traumatic

events, or if you were a victim of

military sexual trauma, I want to help you

​Contact Dr. Valette Here



​10 Things to Know about the

Americans with Disabilities Act


Heart Failure Is Latest Serious

Health Condition Linked to PTSD

Serious health conditions linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to mount.

Researchers recently uncovered a significant

link between the condition and the risk of

developing heart failure. PTSD already has been

associated with higher rates of

cardiovascular, nervous, digestive,

musculoskeletal and respiratory diseases.

Many of the studies, including this latest, also have

demonstrated higher risks with combat experience, even without the development of PTSD.



​VA ‘Aid & Attendance’ often misunderstood

​Many veterans and family members erroneously

assume the VA’s “Aid and Attendance” (A&A) benefit

is one that will provide actual home healthcare for a

veteran or a veteran’s spouse. In reality, A&A

is simply an additional monetary award

granted under various conditions.



ATF Works With FBI And VA To

Get Veterans’ Guns Taken Away
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,

Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is involved in a 
government effort to disarm America’s veterans

and seniors who may lack the capacity to manage their finances. And it’s not just veterans facing this

scrutiny: now it’s anybody who gets Social Security.

​While Americans Look The Other Way,

Obama Continues To Disarm Military Veterans

​When a veteran, as a result of a traumatic experience abroad, seeks disability benefits and/or counseling, the VA moves to appoint a guardian to manage that veteran’s financial affairs.

Read more about VA fiduciary appointments.

Obama pushes to extend gun

background checks to Social Security

eking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity

to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others. 

The push is intended to bring the Social Security

Administration in line with laws regulating

who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal

Background Check System, or NICS, which is

used to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts,

immigrants in the country illegally and others.



40 Old Photographs of Young U.S.

Soldiers Being Awesome in Vietnam

Young men in Vietnam spent their downtime talking

about women, drinking PBR, and being one

of the bros, not all that different from kids today.

Here's a collection of 40 retro photos of

young U.S. soldiers, who are now our

Dads and grandpas, being awesome over in Vietnam.











Julie L. Glover

Veterans Law Attorney

Dallas, Texas

Attorney Glover represents veterans

in all phases of the disability benefit process,

in tort claims against the VA,

and in estate and probate matters. 

Contact Julie Here.

​​

​​

Disability Benefits 

Questionnaires (DBQ's) 

List By DBQ Form Name

​​DBQ Provider Instructions

DBQ FAQs



How Trauma Shapes The World We Know

Soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — a trauma-induced condition in which individuals experience heightened emotional arousal and

anxiety — see a world full of threat.



Sugary Drinks Linked To Health Problems

Even In Normal Weight People

A new study projects some hard numbers for what many have

suspected in the past – that sugary drinks are linked to diabetes.


Health care coverage options for military veterans
If you're enrolled in TRICARE or the Veterans health care program, you're

considered covered under the health care law. You don't have to make any

changes. If you don’t have veterans or other health coverage,

you can use the Marketplace to enroll in a plan.


VA Halting some Dental Services

​A cash flow crunch is halting some dental services for some Rio Grande Valley

veterans. The VA said they can only handle emergency procedures until October 1.

Veterans Health Administration

Providing Health Care for Veterans
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest

integrated health care system with over

1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million Veterans each year.


VA: Budget shortfall could close hospitals

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced last week that if $3 billion wasn’t

in the federal budget, it would be forced to begin a facility shutdown in August.


New burn pit report: Lung disease, high

blood pressure common in exposed vets

Troops who worked at burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those exposed to

multiple dust storms during war-zone deployments, have higher rates of 

common respiratory illnesses like asthma and emphysema, as well

as rare lung disorders, according to data drawn from the

Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.


Good — and damaged — brains: VA, DoD want both

​If you have post-traumatic stress or a blast-related traumatic brain injury,

two research institutes want your brains.
Not now, of course — when you're done using them.


Many Vietnam veterans still suffer from PTSD decades later

Philip Paolini served four years in the Vietnam War as a marine. In the

years since then, he's faced a number of hardships, including 

post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), substance abuse and homelessness.



MAKING THE CUT
Why choosing the right surgeon matters

even more than you know



What are you waiting for?

Your claim isn't going to file itself.

Use the form above and file your claim today.

The only claim we guarantee you will not win

is the claim you didn't file.

Use this form for a new claim, an increase to an existing claim, TDIU, SMC,

secondary conditions and many more.

Further instructions on how to file a claim are here.

You earned those benefits. 

Don't be denied!



Deadline Nears: VA has About 80 Days

to Clear 128K Backlogged Claims

Just over two years ago the Veterans Affairs Department released a strategy for ending the disability claims backlog. Today, the VA is little more than two

months away from the deadline it set -- the end of Fiscal Year 2015 -- but currently has just under

128,000 backlogged claims.​​










​Adam R. Luck

Veterans Law Attorney

Dallas, Texas


Attorney Luck represents Veterans in all

phases of the disability process, pension

claims, tort claims against the VA, military

discharge upgrades, and estate and

probate matters. He has been accredited

by the VA to represent Veterans in

all claims brought against the VA.

Contact Adam today.​


​​

File ALL Claims Here

The VA Claims Intake Center

Western Region

Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI  53547-5235
Toll Free FAX Janesville – 844-822-5246

(Either of these centers will work if you're unsure)

The VA Claims Intake Center

Eastern Region
Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Newnan, GA   30271-0020
Toll Free Fax Newnan – 844-531-7817


File Your Claim On-Line - eBenefits