Disability Service Connection
Secondary Service Connection-Increased
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
Notice of Disagreement
The first step to appeal
Application for DIC, Death Pension
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
The VA can’t avoid scandal because it’s designed to be unaccountable
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.
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.
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
Fax us toll free
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.
AGENT ORANGE UPDATE
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.
How To &
Apply For SSDI
The Schedule For
Apply For TDIU
Apply For A Disability Rating
Apply For An Increase to
an Existing Rating
Replace Service Records
How to Replace military
service records and awards
Permanent & Total
What exactly is P & T?
Where Do I Submit
Remember: Use Certified Mail!
Fax Is Preferred!
For Addresses and Fax
Numbers Where to
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?
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
Case Evaluations Are
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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