We are all about
educating veterans. We do that by providing a headline news aggregation
service for veterans and their families. We believe that an informed
veteran will fare much better in life.
The benefits we earned
through our dedicated and honorable military service can often be
complex and not easy to obtain. VAWatchdog provides you with simple
instructions that you can use to manage your VA benefits.
believe that most veterans should take a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach
to handling VA benefits claims. VA does not require that you have a
The fact is that VA would rather work directly with
the veteran to adjudicate a veterans disability claim. Veterans
disability claims are often challenging but once the veteran understand the Veterans Administration rules, the process of managing your benefits is much easier.
Nobody cares about your claim the way you do.
may be filing a disability claim about obstructive sleep apnea,
prostate cancer, agent orange related benefits or you may want
information about any of the hundreds of other VA benefits that are
available to you. You'll find an extenisve list on our index page.
don't shy from the more controversial topics like marijuana and the VA
or your rights as a veteran to own a gun, pistol or to be given a
concealed weapons carry permit.
We avoid rumors. We aren't here
to bash the VA. We publish the facts that we believe are the most
correct and of the most use to
you. That's all.
You're now at the most informative veterans disability benefits site anywhere.
What you won't find here are people who disguise their identity with funny names.
other veterans benefits sites introduce you to "experts" who won't tell
you who they really are. They use fake identities like "The Old Gunny"
or something equally silly.
We don't do that. I'm Jim Strickland,
the webmaster. I'm a vet and if you read the site regularly, you've met
my family and you know where I live.
You won't hear us asking for donations or membership fees.
You can't give us your money...we won't accept it.
rely on facts, not rumors. We aggregate and publish headlines you
should be reading. We publish how to win your benefits. We play by the
rules. There aren't any tricks or shortcuts here but if you'll carefully
read our stuff, you'll win your well grounded claim.
So...if you got here by accident, we're glad to see you.
Now that you're here...
Since 2006 the VAWatchdog has been keeping an eye on VA...because somebody has to.
primary goal of VAWatchdog is to educate veterans. It's our philosophy
that a veteran should understand the reality of what he or she faces
when dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other, similar
Rather than handing your Power of Attorney (POA) over
to a stranger who may or may not have any particular skills, education
of training, we believe that you are equipped to manage your own VA
claim. All you lack is the information
about how the system really
works. You'll find that here in the pages of VAWatchdog.
site grows, navigation becomes more of a challenge. Finding what you
need on any busy site can be a problem. We're working hard to try and
make it simpler for you.
You must devote some time to the task.
Many veterans believe that they can hand their benefits issues over to a
representative and that the rep will take care of it for them. Nothing
is further from the truth. The vet who expects a representative to
handle their claim is in for a disappointing adventure.
DIY...Do It Yourself. A new veterans claim begins with a VA Form 21-526.
Completing that form isn't rocket science. We tell you how on this
The quality of your outcome is largely up to you. The time
you devote to learning how this works will impact the result when
get the award letter.
If you, the veteran, don't feel capable of
DIY, perhaps your spouse can help. We manage another site just for the
spouse who wants to be involved. Click over to www.vetsspouse.com
Are You A First Time Visitor?
If you've just arrived for the first time, welcome aboard. If you're an old friend and long time reader, welcome back.
VAWatchdog is known as a reliable source of "How To"
data on working
with VA and others to secure those benefits
you earned. We're also known
to provide the latest intel about what your VA has been up to lately.
the site is a blessing. Your support has enabled us to reach out to
tens of thousands of veterans who write to tell us that after years of
battling with VA, they finally have the benefits that they deserve. Our
old friends will tell you that VAWatchdog cuts through the hype and
fluff to present you with dependable, decisive and proven methods of
pursuing your claims.
Our contributors have fueled the rapid
growth of VAWatchdog. We rely on veterans attorneys, physicians,
accredited agents and VA employees to provide us with the data we
publish here for you.
We present the news about VA without any rants or bluster. All you'll find here are the facts.
find what you need, look left. Read the major topics in the navigation
bar on the left. They're in alpha order for the most part.
goal is simple. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to
understand and deal with a system that's as complex as anything else on
the planet...the federal government. If you'll do your part and spend
the time necessary to read what we provide here for you, we'll do ours.
Together, you and VAWatchdog will ensure that you will receive every
dime of every benefit that you sacrificed for...nothing more, nothing
Thanks for checking in with us. We hope we'll be a daily stop
on your Internet surfing.
No Membership or Fees
VAWatchdog dot Org does not require you
to register. There is no membership to use the site. There are no
mailing lists. There is no fee. VAWatchdog is provided as a service to
We don't ask for nor will we accept donations.
the VAWatchdog site has helped you, we ask that you pass it forward.
Help one other veteran. The veteran who directly helps one other veteran
is the best benefit we have. Pass it on.
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believe that we strictly comply with all copyright and trademark laws,
rules and regulations in accordance with accepted fair use policies. We
believe that all photographs and other artwork are in the public domain.
If you believe we have violated any of your rights to your work
products, please let us know immediately.
Your communications to VAWatchdog by email and fax are
as secure as we can make them. We will never disclose your
contact information to anyone other than by an order
of a court.
use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when
you visit our
website. These companies may use information (not including your name,
address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this
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VAWatchdog dot Org is in compliance with such privacy
policies as Google.
VAWatchdog dot Org doesn't
dispense legal advice. There are no attorneys working here. The passages
you read here are compiled from the experiences of other veterans and
the administrative processes in place at your VA. You should
consult with a trained attorney for legal advice. We can not be
responsible for any outcome you may experience as
you work with your VA
to settle your claim.
VAWatchdog dot Org was the brainchild of Larry Scott. It opened in 2005.
goals and the mission of the VAWatchdog was simple; He set out to
provide veterans with important news and benefits information that
weren't being broadcast anywhere else.
While there are many
veteran-centric sites on the Internet, Larry saw that too many of them
were populated with "experts" who remained anonymous as they gave out
information about what veterans should or shouldn't do.
this information veterans were being told was incorrect. Rumors and hype
were the standard and Larry decided to avoid all that. He published
facts that were supported by evidence.
I joined forces with Larry
in 2006. I was appealing my claims with VA, unemployed and unable to
work. I'd started blogging and teaching myself how to build web sites
while I waited on the VA to make a decision on my claim.
unhappy with the process and even more disillusioned with the Veterans
Service Organization that (mis)represented me. I wrote to Larry seeking
his advice. Not long after that we established a friendship via our
email communications. Larry read some of my writing and invited me to
send him a column about how to seek benefits.
In 2007 we started a
partnership that lasts to this day. I wrote "Jim's Mailbag", a popular Q
& A feature published twice each week. As Larry became busier with
the politics behind VA and the workings of Congress, I was his point man
for benefits issues.
The VAWatchdog site grew in popularity and
fame. The reputation was solid...VAWatchdog was the most reliable source
of intel for veterans on the Internet. No hype, no BS...just solid data
presented in an easy to understand format.
In 2010 Larry became
ill. Late in the year he decided that he couldn't carry on the crushing
schedule of updating the site, investigating the stories and all the
other duties required to run a world class web site.
for a new owner. Many readers encouraged me to take over. I was
reluctant. I'm not the skilled professional journalist that Larry is.
But finally, after months of thought, I agreed to carry on the web site.
It took a while to transition the ownership of the site to me. Larry
was seriously ill and at times wasn't able to participate in required
Technology stood in our way as we transferred
terabytes of stored data from server to server, and host to host. We
lost much of the 2005 - 2010 data. You can see some of it on The Wayback
Today, as I write this in November of 2011, we have
finally settled all the technology down to make it serve us as it
should. The VAWatchdog dot Org site is running again.
We are committed
to serving veterans with the news and information that they need to work
with their Department of Veterans Affairs. There is no personal or
Thanks for joining us and reading the VAWatchdog dot Org.
Most topics are listed in alpha order in the column to
the left of your browser. Depending on the size of your monitor and the
web browser you are using, pages may display differently or be somewhat jumbled.
Our pages are updated frequently.
pages have numerous links that take you to other places within
VAWatchdog. A link may take you away from the VAWatchdog site. Once you
leave the site we can't be responsible for the destination web site.
a lot of data on VAWatchdog. Finding precisely what
you need will take
effort by you. The VA system can be difficult to find your way around
in. If you're willing to take the time to learn how, you'll soon enough
understand how to effectively manage your own VA benefits.