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

DAVIS Relief Carvings

Custom carvings by a veteran.

I do military themes, sports logos,

business logos, Bible boxes,

occasional canes and much more.

These make great gifts!

(I ordered the Big Red One you see above

as a gift.  First class work and service!)

/s/ Jim Strickland

Army Vet Loses Limb After VA Treatment
Husband and father of four struggles with life-changing trauma

and disrespect after bravely serving his country

Why VA Health Care Is So Lousy

The VA can’t avoid scandal because it’s designed to be unaccountable

Vets Face Long Waits To Leave VA For Private Care

Frustrated veterans who ask to leave the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system

because of lengthy treatment delays are now forced to wait even longer for a

government scheduler to provide private healthcare alternatives,

according to internal data reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

VA needs leader who will enforce safety rules

As Department of Veterans Affairs facilities nationwide continue to struggle

in finding good leadership, the veterans of Ohio anxiously awaited

a new director for the Cincinnati VA Medical Center.

Houston woman files $40 million lawsuit

against VA for husband's death

Clara said her husband trusted that the VA wouldn’t let him down when he went in to the

VA Medical Center for what was supposed to be a routine procedure to

remove a small tumor from his Adrenal gland. But there was

one problem, Larry had had an allergic reaction in the past to general anesthesia.

Dr. Brett Valette provides Military Veterans with psychological

Independent Medical Evaluation, Independent Medical Opinions,

Nexus Letters and Ratings Reviews. For more information visit

Contact VAWatchdog

Email Jim Strickland


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Jim's Mailbag

Dear Jim: I have been rated as 100% IU. My basic rating is 80%.

I understand that this rating isn't permanent because I have

a future exam scheduled for about 4 years from now. I want to increase

my rating to 100% permanent so that I can get the dependents education

and healthcare benefits that come with a real 100% rating.

Is there a form for me to do this? Thanks.

Reply: There are a couple of 100% ratings. The veteran may be

rated as 100% TDIU (Total Disability, Individual Unemployability) or

the vet may be rated as 100% disabled by the Schedule

For Rating Disabilities.The TDIU 100% rating occurs when the veteran

has disabilities that don't add up to 100% but that interfere with

his or her ability to retain gainful employment.

Either the schedular 100% rating or the TDIU 100% rating may be

temporary or permanent. Interestingly, when a 100% rating

is designated as 'permanent', that implies access to dependents benefits

but it doesn't mean the rating is permanent in the way you may

understand the word. Even a permanent rating may be reviewed

by VA. Just because the award may say "no future exams are scheduled",

it doesn't say there will never be a future exam or review.

Many 100% ratings, either TDIU or schedular, are temporary...with

future exams scheduled. This means that VA believes that over time the

veteran is likely to experience measurable improvement in the rated

disability during and after treatment.

Most mental health conditions, all cancers, and many other disabling conditions

will be assigned the rating as temporary with a future exam scheduled.

If the veteran is under age 55 the likelihood of a temporary rating increases as

the VA (and many other disability rating agencies) believe that the benficiary

should be given the opportunity for reeducation and a place in the American

workforce. Once over the age of 55 the opportunities for career development

are marginally less than before so the permanent designation is more frequent.

Why do you believe that you want or need the designation as permanently disabled?

The most often cited reasons are for the dependents benefits; CHAMPVA health

insurance and Chapter 35 Dependents Education Benefits (DEA). Yes, you can

apply for a permanent rating using the standard forms and making your request

clear but before you do that, consider the perspective of the VA.

VA doesn't award benefits because you and your family need them. VA awards benefits

because you have disabling conditions that are rated by the schedule. If you apply for the permanent designation on your 100% rating, you'll get a complete review and a new C & P exam. Once that happens, your entire file is exposed and ratings are sometimes

lowered based on the review. Is it worth the risk?

We usually tell veterans that applying for the permanent designation

is not worth the risk. Our advice is to wait out the process and attend that

future exam on schedule. During the exam you can speak

with the examiner about the probability of any sustained

improvement in your disabling conditions. The examiner can then

make recommendations regarding your future status.

There are always circumstances that may call for an application

for your 100% benefit to be permanent rather than temporary.

Before you stir up that hornets nest, think it through carefully.

Be careful what you ask of the VBA, you never know what they may deliver.

Got a benefits question? Ask Jim.


Parcheeya-Picchione v. McDonald,

NO. 15-2124, CAVC, July 11, 2016


This is a very recent decision involving the presumption of exposure to tactical

herbicides for those veterans who may have served in Thailand.  The Thai

presumptive rules are a little different than those for Agent Orange and Viet Nam;

the case is a good refresher as to the Thai-specific rules. Of greater interest

is the examination of VA’s reasons and bases in initially denying the claim and

appeal and the Court’s determination that prejudicial error was committed by VA. 

The Court examined the putative reasoning that VA engaged in and found issues in

VA’s description of where a small base camp associated with a larger Thai air base

was located.  The VA description contrasted with other descriptions of record of the

camp’s actual location and this called into question VA’s reasoning.  This set up a

situation similar to that of Gray v. McDonald, 27 Vet App 313, where VA’s reasoning

as to “brown water” determinations was found to be arbitrary and irrational. 

Deference is typically given to VA in decision making on the facts of a case, but not if

such decision making is considered “arbitrary or capricious”.  If that’s the case, the

veteran can typically bring up the “arbitrary and capricious”

argument and its very, very powerful.

/s/ Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney

How To &

Frequently Asked


How To...

Apply For SSDI

How to apply for Social

Security Disability (SSDI)

The Schedule For

Rating Disabilities

How to determine just what

your rating should be

38 CFR Book C, Schedule

for Rating Disabilities

Apply For TDIU

How to apply for

the TDIU benefit

Disability Benefits

Questionnaires (DBQ's) 

How to use DBQs
List By DBQ Form Name
​​DBQ Provider Instructions

Apply For A Disability Rating

How To Apply For A Disability Rating

Apply For An Increase to

an Existing Rating

How To Apply For An Increase

Replace Service Records
How to Replace military
service records and awards


Frequently Asked

Voc Rehab​
What is Voc Rehab and
how can it help me?

What is CHAMPVA?
Home Primary Care
Am I eligible for Home
Based Primary Care?

P & T

Permanent & Total
What exactly is P & T?

Where Do I Submit
ALL Paperwork?

Remember: Use Certified Mail!
Fax Is Preferred!

Click Here
For Addresses and Fax
Numbers Where to
Deliver Forms
& Documents

Where's  My "C-File"  ???

Did you know that VBA has over 81,000 pending requests for c-files

and other documents pertinent to the resolution of your claim?

Were you aware that the average time to complete a single

request for a copy of the file will take 254 days?

If you haven't been able to get a complete copy (on disk or otherwise) of your c-file,

you need to talk with a veterans law attorney about filing a

writ of mandamus. Has your claim not moved forward at all in the last year?

The Writ of Mandate (Mandamus) is a court order to government agency or another

court to correct its previous illegal behavior in order to comply with the law.

Your attorney can file the writ easily enough. Once the court reviews the writ

and subsequently agrees with you that the VA has failed to do its job, the court

will issue the order to get the work done right now.

The VA responds quickly to writs of mandamus every time...they have no

real option but to get to work under a court order.

Talk with your lawyer today.

Don't yet have a veterans law attorney working for you?

Click here to learn how to hire a veterans law attorney.

Your VA Claim
If you haven't figured it out by now,
it's time to realize you're involved in a giant paper shuffle
and this IS NOT a spectator sport.
Put down your gun
and pick up your keyboard.
The battlefield has changed.

Speak With A

Veterans Law Attorney

An Expert Physician

or a


Clinical Psychologist


Case Evaluations Are

Always Free!

Vets, retirees will see a 0.3% COLA hike in 2017

Military retirees and individuals receiving veterans benefits will see only a 0.3 percent

cost-of-living increase in their federal benefits next year, a nominal increase

matching 2016’s hike. On Tuesday, officials from the Social Security Administration

announced the small raise, the third consecutive year the benefits adjustment

will be under 0.5 percent. Since 2009, the cost-of-living hike has

been more than 2 percent only once, when it reached 3.6 percent in 2011.

VA extends deadline for Gulf War illness benefit claims to 2021

For the next five years, veterans will have an easier time seeking benefits for illnesses

linked to service in the Gulf War because of an extension issued Monday by the

Department of Veterans Affairs. Since 1994, the VA has automatically presumed a connection

from Gulf War service, which included a toxic environment of oil fires and chemical weapons,

to an increased risk for several illnesses. The connection enables

veterans to receive a disability rating and benefits more quickly.

Veterans suicide hotline disaster is appalling

The crisis hotline for America’s veterans is in crisis. The Department of Veterans

Affairs admits a suicide hotline it runs is failing to answer the phone.

How can that be, when about 20 veterans commit suicide every day?
Fix it. Now.

VA Employee Who Exposed Problems Now

Rolling In Cash, But Problems Remain
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials tried to destroy their employee Brandon

Coleman for exposing their incompetence, but he got the last laugh: after a legal

settlement with the agency that wronged him, he’s bought a house and multiple cars,

including a 1968 Mustang he rides into work with the license plate “THX VA.”

VA Secretary Bob McDonald seems

fuzzy on the phrase new management

Fact checkers have already determined that Barack Obama was tossing out

some pants on fire material when he said that “a whole bunch

of people” had been fired at the Veterans Administration

Exclusive: VA shuffles managers, declares ‘new leadership’

Although Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has asserted that more than “90%”

of the VA’s medical centers have “new leadership” or “leadership teams” since

he took over the troubled agency in 2014, a USA TODAY investigation

found the VA has hired just eight medical center

directors from outside the agency during that time.

Mystery surrounds Wilmington VA director reassignment

The director of the Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Elsmere has

been reassigned after a tumultuous two years in Delaware. Robin C. Aube-Warren

has been moved to a VA management office in Pittsburgh, said David Cowgill,

communications manager for a VA hospital network that includes the Pittsburgh office.

The Elsmere center will be managed by acting director Robert Callahan,

director of the Lebanon VA Medical Center in Pennsylvania, Cowgill said.

VA Clinic Leadership ‘Reform’ Really Just

Shifting Managers Around
Reupholstering the deck chairs on a sinking ship

According to a USA Today investigation, The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is

solving its management crisis the way government institutions have since time

immemorial: They're moving staff around rather than

dumping people and replacing them.

San Antonio clinic part of VA leadership shuffle

An investigation by USA Today discovered that instead of hiring new leaders as

promised, the Department of Veterans Affairs simply reshuffled its staff between

medical clinics across the country. It’s the latest fallout from the VA

scandal that rocked the nation and cost veterans their lives –

and the clinic here in San Antonio is in the middle of it.

Making Excuses: Good Enough for Government Work

By Glen Sturtevant

As with most bureaucratic failures, the typical excuse is usually that the problem 

du jour could easily be solved if only there was more money.  Trying to explain away

long lines at the DMV because of funding is one thing, but making such excuses in matters

of life-and-death, like the delivery of healthcare, is another altogether.Not surprisingly,

that’s the excuse offered by the VA in response to a recent GAO report about the

increase in the number of doctors and nurses who are leaving the VA system. 

According to The Washington Post, nearly 6,000 providers left the VA in 2011. 

That number increased to almost 8,000 providers who departed the VA system in 2015.

Continue Reading This Article Here.


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