You're at the home page of the VAWatchdog.

Welcome Aboard!

We've been keeping an eye on VA since 2005

Because somebody has to!

Email Jim Strickland (Who's that?)

<jim912@gmail.com>

Email VA Secretary Robert McDonald (Who's that?)

<robert.a.mcdonald@va.gov>


Click A Topic Below

To Go To That Page


The Latest BASH Bulletins

TBI & Cervical Spine Injury

​​

This is your one-stop spot

for required forms!


The Forms

Beginning 2015 everything has its form!


VA Form 21-0958

Notice of Disagreement (NOD)


​VA Form 21-534EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension, 

and/or Accrued Benefits


VA Form 21-526EZ

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


Proposed VA Form 21-0966

Intent To File a Claim For Compensation, Pension, Survivors Pension, Or Other Benefits

The 21-0966 can't be used until

03/24/2015


Change of Address


The VA Claims Intake Centers
These are the places you'll mail

or fax forms and evidence to:


Western Region

Department of Veterans Affairs

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


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


Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQ's) 

List By DBQ Form Name

​​DBQ Provider Instructions

DBQ FAQs


VA Form 4140


VA form 21-686c

"Declaration of Status of Dependents"



​Whistleblowers say VA mismanaged veterans' benefits for years

​Whistleblowers at a Veterans Administration office in California say that veterans are

not just being denied benefits they can rightfully claim – they’re also passing

away before even getting a response from federal officials.


Senators urge VA chief to fix ‘choice card’ woes

A bipartisan coalition of 41 senators is pressing Veterans Affairs

Secretary Robert McDonald to remedy the

implementation of a program that allows veterans to seek private medical care.


Veteran stuck with $5,000 bill after VA overpayment error

"He does not want to show his face, but a veteran wants to show you what he said is

proof of a VA problem. "The saying goes, once a marine, always a marine," said the veteran.


​VA Payments for Physicians in New Program Fall Short of Expectations

​"Simply put, any public or private payer health plan contract that does not at least meet

the Medicare payment rate will remain financially impossible for most medical

practices that already operate on extremely thin margins,"


VA Mismanagement is Ripping Off Our Veterans

“Widespread,” blatant mismanagement at the Veterans Benefits Administration was

found to be the cause of veterans being denied benefits or, even worse, creating such a

backlog that many vets died before even receiving any VA benefits, reported CBS News.



VA Secretary Caught Making Big False Claim About His Military Service

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald falsely claimed he served in special operations forces during an exchange with a homeless military veteran that was caught on video earlier this year. McDonald’s spent most of his five-year military career with the 82nd Airborne Division, the Huffington Post reported on Monday.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald has done what many think is unforgivable. Some are

calling it "Stolen Valor" and they aren't at all happy about it.

I asked some Facebook veteran friends for their opinions.

I've posted a few of those opinions here.


VA seeks budget help to beat back backlog of disability claims appeals

​While VA has made a fair amount of progress dealing with its claims backlog, the appeals

backlog has grown over the past year. It stands today at more than 285,000 and it

takes on average more than 1,000 days to settle an appeals case.



Hello Jim,

The following story may piss off VAROIC Philly and I don't care:

Drew Early, Veterans Law Attorney


VAROIC Phila returned a piece of medical evidence to my client--was faxed to

VAROIC on 11/8/2010 and date stamped by VAROIC on 11/9/2010. 
               -The returned evidence was mailed to my client on 2/19/2015 with a cover letter

advising of the return because VA cannot identify the proper record, some 4 years

and 4 months later!  The actual fax clearly has the veteran's complete name and address,

as it reads in VA records.  The return was mailed to the same address of record as in the

C-file and on the fax....  (so we know VA had the right information in regards to the

veteran's contact info). The veteran had passed away and his wife made a DIC claim in 2010,

which was appealed and subsequently awarded by BVA in November of 2014. 

VAROIC Phila handled the original DIC claim and had the record.  I am baffled that:
a.  VAROIC was the custodian of the record until jurisdiction was transferred to BVA. 

Why couldn't they find the record or know where it was?
b.  Why did it take them 4 years and 4 months to determine they couldn't find the record

and subsequently send the submitted evidence back?
               - Where was the evidence all this time? 
               - What if it was probative to my client's appeal?    
               - Who's in charge at VAROIC Phila and holding their staff accountable

and to standard?  What is the standard? 
               - Why does VA central leadership allow performance of this type by the VAROIC? 
Maybe we bid out this kind of work in order to demand superior performance. 

I'll bet you Social Security is able to associate medical evidence with the appropriate

file in less than 4 years as they have to, all the time.  Maybe, just maybe, VA gets

bids out to contractors....  Why not, VA bids out C&P exams already.
We have to demand better performance from the Nation's second largest Cabinet Agency. 

Conduct such as I describe above is reprehensible, at best, and I suggest it rises

past the level of simple incompetence to outright malfeasance. 
(By the way, I ultimately prevailed on my client's appeal for DIC--but should she

have had to wait and work for four years for the very entitlement she was entitled to? 

In this case, this elderly widow needed the benefit all along.  This is the 2nd occurrence

of explicit idiocy by VAROIC Phila I have come across-- I sent correspondence to a

previous Director there advising of the great work of one of his employees

(note:  yes, I do acknowledge good work by professional VA staffers). 

The response I got back was that VAROIC was unable to identify the

named veteran (who was their very own Director at the time)! 


/S/

Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney

Atlanta, GA


Available on Amazon


The New Claims Intake Centers (CICs)

Your VA regional office (VARO) is no longer the place to send your claims!


If you are western region, mail claims to;

Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center

PO Box 5235 Janesville, WI   53547-5235

Better yet, fax it toll free to;
FAX Janesville – 844-822-5246


If you are eastern region, mail claims to;

Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center

PO Box 5235 Newnan, GA   30271-0020
Even better,

Fax Newnan – 844-531-7817


If you mail claims or evidence, use certified mail only!


For the best service, use the eBenefits site.


​​

VA employee reforms, good or not, could be road map for other agencies

​Miller said he hopes his colleagues use his legislation “as a template to look

into other agencies within the federal government.”


Criticism of senator's war record rankles veterans

"This kind of stuff has been going on for generations," said Phil Carter, director of veterans

programs at the Center for a New American Security. "We've seen conversations about

peacetime service as opposed to wartime service. We've seen veterans

from different wars trade stories about who had it tougher.


A Disease Doctors Refuse to See
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Needs Effective Treatments


VA's 2016 IT budget focuses on health care delivery, veterans
More than half of the proposed 2016 IT budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs will go toward delivering better outcomes for vets.



Blue Water? Heads Up!

​​​Many Blue Water VN Navy vets are left in a quandary when it comes to claims. 

They aren't afforded the Agent Orange presumptions under 38 CFR 3.309 unless

they can show "boots on the ground" or duty aboard as part of the "Brown Water"

Navy.  So, they are left with claims based on direct service connection, not presumptive.
               However, 38 CFR 3.313 does afford them one presumptive claim.  Look at the

CFR and it provides for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, to include service in

waters off-shore.  That can make for a very simple and

straightforward claim and is often overlooked by VA.

Drew Early
Veterans Law Attorney