How Do You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits?
Information on social security disability benefits

8 Museums You Can Virtually Tour Right Now
Visit famous institutions in Paris, Amsterdam,

and more—without leaving home.

Website Monitoring Tool

Regional Offices' Public Contact Closures

​The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Offices will be closed to the public starting March 19.
Regional offices will remain open, but will no longer accept walk-ins for claims assistance, scheduled appointments, counseling and other in-person services.

Coronavirus distancing: Don't forget about veterans.

For them, loneliness can be deadly.
Legislation already exists to get our service members

the help they need through animal companions.

We must make sure it passes and soon.

Misuse of Certain Nonopioid Analgesics on the Rise
Gabapentin, Baclofen May Be Seen

as Opioid Alternatives

The NPRC
Military Records DD 214

Announcing the Veterans Benefits Banking Program
A partnership between VA and the

Association of Military Banks of America

Your Health

Urgent Care Centers

One of the most important benefits you have today is

the authorization to use an urgent care center

near to you. But first, you have to

print your paperwork

to take with you. Don't wait until you need this

benefit to prepare for it. Read this now,

print your papers and be prepared!

Google Tracks You

and we don't.
​DuckDuckGo apps block

Google's hidden trackers.
​The world needs an alternative

Robert Wilkie  <robert.wilkie@va.gov>  ​855-948-2311

One More Reason You Need An Independent Medical Opinion

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving Conditions of the Spine

Jim's Mailbag

Your 2020 Guide to Social Security Benefits
Whether you’re claiming Social Security in 2020, have been collecting benefits for years, or are still decades away, here’s what you need to know about this critically important retirement program.

Marijuana Accessories

Do You Need Help Right Now?

Your state runs County Veterans Service Offices

for you and they're working today.

An IMO by an expert  often makes the difference!

How To File a VA Disability Appeal
You have the right to appeal any benefits decision made by the Veterans Benefits Administration. The VA appeals process is set in law and is different from other judicial appeals processes. Find out how to file an appeal.

Food Delivery Services

The apps

CraveBox Healthy Care Package

Whole Foods Market

Schwans

​Grocery and Gourmet Food Store at Amazon​

Food Delivery Online - Deliver Near me All-in-one

Medical Malpractice

Download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter

proving their status. 

For Better Brain Health, Preserve Your Hearing
Hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, exceeding that of smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise and social isolation.

Dog Food

Drew Early   Veterans Law Attorney
Graduate of the US Military Academy, West Point

Adjunct Professor - Emory University Law School
20 Years Army Service - Airborne - Explosive Ordnance Badge
Free Case Review - Nationwide Representation
BVA/DRO Appeals - Fiduciary & Caregiver Issues, Trusts, Wills
Appeals of Veterans & Survivor Claims
(770) 939-1939

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

Where should we retire?

We get $2,470 a month from Social Security

and want a warm, friendly city near the ocean.

VA launches online patient portal for veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

announced the launch of an online patient portal

this month that will provide service veterans

with digital access to their patient statements.

Why Getting a Diagnosis Matters

​A diagnosis does so much more than get noted in your medical history. It also can help you apply for programs like Social Security Disability and medical marijuana cards. And maybe even more importantly, it can help you explain yourself to friends, colleagues and family.

The Next, Terrible Phase of This Crisis
After cancellation comes triage

VA Health Care Public Health Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

​What you should know
VA is working closely with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners,
monitoring an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Be a  VA  Volunteer.

I did that for years & it's

the best thing ever. Get 

into the belly of the beast.

VA  loves  volunteers!

Do You Need

Medical Care

RIGHT NOW?
​You are already authorized

to use an urgent

care clinic!

Answers to your questions on stimulus checks

Are seniors on Social Security or

veterans on disability eligible?

Dr. David Anaise

Physician - Surgeon - Veteran

Veterans Law Attorney

The VAWatchdog

doesn't ask for donations, we don't have fees, we don't ask you to register...you can't find a way to give us your money. We're supported by advertising. When you shop via the VAWatchdog,

we'll get a small piece of that.

You get top quality at a good price and you support our mission.

Thank you!!!

​Create or update your will fast / 100% free

Make your will with FreeWill today

Healthcare directives, 

proxies, living wills and durable financial power of attorney.

All are free to use.

Veterans get more banking options,

under new VA partnership

Some veterans may have better access to banking now, through a partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Association of Military Banks of America.

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

Credit Card Payment Due?

​​Which Consumer Lenders Are (and Aren’t) Helping the Most - American Express (cards), Capital One (auto loans and cards) and JPMorgan Chase said they would allow people to skip payments, interest free. 

Owe VA Money??? 

​​Submit A Waiver Request

Untreated Hearing Loss Linked

To Loneliness And Isolation For Seniors

Did you know that hearing loss and tinnitus are the

most commonly rated veterans disabilities? Did you

know that hearing loss and tinnitus can cause

other secondary conditions, particularly mental

health problems like depression and loneliness?

Chronic Pain Is an Impossible Problem
A “safe” alternative to opioid painkillers

turns out to be not so safe.

Jim's Mailbag

Jim Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA disability benefits

and a member of the Stateside Legal Website Advisory BoardJim's Mailbag, is a regular column where veterans,

servicemembers, and family members can  ask Jim their questions about VA and Social Security disability benefits.  

You can browse all of these Q&As here, and search the Jim's Mailbag archives for helpful answers.

​Roger Hale,  Veterans Law Attorney​​

​Personal Injury Lawyer - Free Consultation For Veterans​
​​Industrial Accidents   Nursing Home Negligence   Car Accidents   ​

Workers Compensation   Veterans Law​     

Pain & Suffering     Emotional & Mental Anguish

(​405) 531-9983

Amazon Is Putting Book Deliveries Into the

Slow Lane Thanks to the Coronavirus
The retail giant is prioritizing household

and medical supplies, and pushing

everything else to the back of the queue.

AT WAR
40 Stories From Women

About Life in the Military​   

"Not Many Women Get

to Do What I Do"

Medical Malpractice - Veterans 1151 Claims

Hodes Milman LLP

​Malpractice Attorneys Helping Veterans Harmed By The VA
​​Veterans Healthcare Rights - Federal Tort Claims -

VA Medical Malpractice Claims, Misdiagnosis, ​Hospital Negligence, Medical Errors
For a review of your VA malpractice case contact our lawyers today.
Our firm serves throughout the nation, 

and is one of the few firms to have specialized experience in VA malpractice cases.
Call Now!  (949) 640-8222​​

PAPER Evidence Records

and Claims All Go Here

​V A Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

Key findings about America’s military veterans

​​The experiences of post-9/11 veterans differ from

those who served in previous eras. Post-9/11

veterans more likely to have been deployed,

seen combat, experienced emotional trauma

Should I file a claim?

Potential VA claims?

​What am I missing in the VA claims process?

​r/VeteransBenefits

Best way to check on a supplemental claim online?

​Confused on what to do with claim.

​Dependent status with education benefits.

​Suing the VA for negligence and malpractice.​​

Veteran Proud

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed

By All The Pandemic News???

Call and talk about

it right now!

You've Arrived at the VAWatchdog Dot Org!
​Welcome Home
We've been keeping veterans informed of news and events important to them since 2005.
You'll find all you need to file your claim and referrals to professionals who can help you when things don't go well. 
What you won't find here is unending chat or opinions from strangers who like to think of themselves as experts. 
Our goal is to ensure that you are awarded the benefits you earned with your service to our country. 

We're here to help you take charge of your benefits, and that is all.

Extra Schedular Rating

​Extra schedular ratings under

38 C.F.R. § 3.321(b)

​How can I get an extra schedular rating?

​To receive an extra schedular rating the veteran

must first show that the veteran’s

conditions result in a disability picture

that is not covered by the schedule of ratings. 

Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Benefits

Trump: “We’ll be cutting” entitlement programs

White House: He didn’t really mean that.
Following his Fox News town hall, Stephanie Grisham and Kellyanne Conway denied that Trump said what he said.

​C&P Service Clinician’s Guide
Scheduled For A C & P???    Filing A Claim?
This is a must read for you!!!​
I've been posting this again and again over the years 
and it's still one of the best ways I know to win 
your case. Published in 2002 the principles and much of 
the verbiage still applies and is in daily use at the VA. 

VA Urgent Care Pharmacy Locations
Find VA-approved urgent care/retail location

pharmacies near a specific

address or ZIP code, or search by VA Facility.

The Law Offices of David Anaise, MD JD
Board Certified Physician/Surgeon    Accredited Veterans Law Attorney    

Military Veteran​
DRO, BVA, CAVC Appeals     Nexus Letters    

Independent Medical Opinions
Has Your Claim Been Denied?   Do you need an IMO or a DBQ?
You'll need to speak with an expert physician and then a veterans law attorney.
Why not speak with both at the same time?


(520) 219-7321    Free Case Evaluation    (520) 219-7344

§4.2  Interpretation of examination reports.
Different examiners, at different times, will not describe the same disability in the same language. Features of the disability which must have persisted unchanged may be overlooked or a change for the better or worse may not be accurately appreciated or described. It is the responsibility of the rating specialist to interpret reports of examination in the light of the whole recorded history, reconciling the various reports into a consistent picture so that the current rating may accurately reflect the elements of disability present. Each disability must be considered from the point of view of the veteran working or seeking work. If a diagnosis is not supported by the findings on the examination report or if the report does not contain sufficient detail, it is incumbent upon the rating board to return the report as inadequate for evaluation purposes.

Gregory M. Rada - A Veteran for Veterans
​​Focusing on appeals involving psychiatric conditions
and/or individual unemployability (TDIU)
​Proven Results • Direct Communication • No Fees Unless You Win

Nationwide Representation 


Free Phone Consultations - ​(844) 838-7529

Thomas J. Seiter, Jr., M.D.
Independent Medical Opinions

Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQ's)
Service & Civilian Medical Record Reviews
Nexus Letters


Get In Touch With Dr. Seiter

Compensation and Pension Examinations

The VA C & P Exam

APRIL 2020...VA Announces that the DBQ Form is history to you.
Of course VA will still continue to saddle their employees and sub-contractors who have to slog through all the

unnecessary C & P exams that VA metes out with completing the DBQ but at least you don't have to deal with it.
The DBQ form was the least useful and most disliked bit of the entire claims process so good riddance. 
VA will still rely on the C & P exam to make decisions about your claim. The C & P exam will continue to be given to you by

people who do not have the necessary credentials to render an opinion about your physical and mental health.

VA is using nurses in place of doctors and technicians to replace nurses...you are not going to get a great C & P exam

if you allow VA to have the last word. In the not-so-distant past we urged veterans who were denied a benefit

to get and pay for an Independent Medical Opinion to support their claim. The IMO wins cases.

There is just no way to dispute the fact that if you go in with a well written IMO you will win your claim with little fuss.
Today we urge veterans to get the IMO done now, before you need it. If you go into your claim with an IMO that

supports what you are claiming, you have increased your chances of winning by a huge margin.

If you have been denied and you're facing an appeal, an IMO is almost mandatory.


The expert IMO is an investment into the rest of your life. What are you waiting for?

Veterans Psych Evaluations
 Brett Valette, Ph.D.

As an expert in psychological evaluations, Dr. Valette
provides Independent Medical Evaluations (IME),
Independent Medical Opinions (IMO), nexus letters,
ratings reviews for all psychological conditions. 


Some Wounds Can't Be Seen
Contact Us Today

The C & P Clinician's Guide

​INTRODUCTION TO COMPENSATION AND PENSION

Purpose of the Clinician’s Guide
This guide is designed to assist clinicians when performing compensation and pension (C&P) examinations. Since C&P examinations differ markedly from traditional medical examinations, special clinician guidance is required. This guide provides information for performing examinations that meet the requirements of the federal law.
Since the federal law (rating schedule) is written in legal language, it is often misinterpreted by clinicians. This guide, therefore, bridges this gap and explains the law in clinical terms.
Both this Guide and the worksheets should be utilized when performing C&P examinations.​

Craig Bash M.D., MBA
The Veterans Medical Advisor

​If you are an honorably discharged veteran, you served your country well and

you earned certain benefits.​ Sad to say, sometimes it can be difficult for the

veteran to obtain the earned benefits guaranteed by law.​ Veterans need a

recognized medical expert who knows the VA system. As a disabled veteran himself

and a respected, board certified physician, Dr. Bash fits the need—and adds

even further insight as a VA-accredited service organization representative. 


​​Call 925-381-7561    Email drbash@doctor.com

Veterans PTSD Assessments
Independent Medical Opinions    PTSD DBQs​
​Thomas Grieder, MD, PhD
​Twenty five years service as a VA psychiatrist
Assistant Professor and Associate Clinical Professor
UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
​Lead psychiatrist for the East Los Angeles PTSD Clinical Team​

Contact Dr. Greider

You're going to need an IMO

The C & P exam is changing in April 2020 because of the Corona virus and some changes that were

already in progress when the pandemic was identified. The C & P exam will be mostly a video conference

Q & A sort of encounter and we predict that more errors will be made than ever before. Since the C & P exam

has always been the weak point in getting your claim fairly adjudicated we urge veterans to have an IMO

done prior to completing your claim so that you can go into the process armed with the evidence you'll need

to prevail. Yes, an IMO will cost you money out of your pocket that you probably don't have at the moment. However, you must look at this as an investment for your future. That's what I did almost 20 years ago...

I took a loan on my house to pay for my IMO and it has paid me back 100 times since. Go for it.

Spine Pain Independent Medical Opinion
​James Shields, MD, MBA, is a Board-Certified Physician with over 25 years clinical experience in pain management, anesthesiology and emergency medicine. The Spine & Chronic Pain &  Nerve Injuries
Are Our Focus: Spine pain, Weakness, Stiffness, Neck or cervical Pain, Fibromyalgia, Intervertebral Disc Syndrome, Decreased Range of Motion, Degenerative Arthritis of the Spine​, Hip Pain or Weakness, Shoulder Pain or Weakness...PAIN!

Get In Touch With Dr. Shields

 The C & P Examiner does not make the decision about your claim!


The Ratings Veterans Services Representative (RVSR) is a primary decision maker of the outcome of your claim for VA disability compensation benefits. Once the veteran has filed for the compensation benefit a folder or file is created and data (called evidence) is added to the file for consideration by the RVSR.

The condition you claimed will likely have some past evidence in the form of a Service Medical Record (SMR) or records of diagnosis and treatment from civilian providers.

No matter the amount of evidence you have, it's likely that the Veterans Service Representative (VSR) or the RVSR will request that a VA contractor perform a C & P exam on you.

The C & P examiner will not treat you or order any medications. Lab work, x-rays and other such studies may be ordered by the C & P examiner.The depth of the examination is determined by order of the VSR or the RVSR and is included in the request for examination. When you have filed a claim or VA has decided to review the status of your condition, the VSR completes an order to have you attend a C & P exam. The order is very specific as to exactly what the VSR believes should be examined. If you have claimed a condition of your left leg, the C & P examiner will only address issues about your left leg.

The examiner has no authority to go beyond what is ordered by the VSR. Frequently the examiner will not have your medical records or any other history available. That is often the case when the VSR only wishes to determine the degree of function of a joint, as in a knee injury.In that instance, the examiner won't consider that the history or treatments over time is of any particular importance. She or he will only be looking for the physical effects that are observable and measurable at that moment. The knee may be flexed and

rotated so that the examiner can record those motions for comparison to the norm.

If there is scarring, crepitus (joint noise), swelling or redness, all of that will be noted in a report. In other cases, the VSR or RVSR may request that the examiner give the medical record a very thorough review to determine whether or not a condition originated in the time of military service. A claimed back injury may have a reference of a similar injury in the SMR of 30 years prior to the date of the claim. The examiner will be asked for an opinion that will state that the condition of today is or is not likely to have resulted from the injury in the SMR or if it is a condition that is of different origin and likely happened long after the ETS.

This is sometimes referred to as a nexus letter and may connect the condition you allege today with an event that happened many years ago.

QTC is a contractor that does C & P exams for the VA.

QTC is the largest private provider of government-outsourced occupational health and disability examination services in the nation. 

More about QTC here.

Avoid the Fiduciary Trap
Be aware that during any C & P examination you may be asked about how you handle your finances.
The examiner may seem casual as you're asked about who pays the bills at your house. The wrong answer will see VA proposing to appoint you a fiduciary because of your "incompetence". If you are capable of managing your money and paying your bills, say that clearly. If the examiner has any reason to doubt you, you may be caught up in the VA fiduciary web.

Separating Fact From Fiction

The Must Do & Must Not Do of the C & P Exam


* The examiner does not make the decision about your claim.

* You may take records with you but the examiner may refuse them.

* The examiner won't treat you or prescribe medicines.

* NEVER try to fake any symptom. If you aren't prescribed a neck brace, don't wear one.

* The examiner will only perform the task assigned by an order of the regional office.

* You do not have to allow the examiner to cause you pain or discomfort during the exam by manipulating joints, etc.

* The examiner does not have any insight about how your claim will be decided. Don't ask.

* You may request that a family member or friend join you during the exam. The examiner may agree or refuse your request.

* DO NOT attempt to secretly record any part of the exam.

* DO make notes for yourself before you go. This is the only way you'll be sure to tell the examiner all the details you want to share.

* DO NOT over-exert yourself trying to please the examiner. This exam is about your worst symptoms, not the best.

* DO be courteous at all times. Don't complain to the examiner about all the indignities you've suffered. Focus on the reason you're there.

* DO use your common sense. This exam probably won't make or break the decision about your claim but it can help.

Help fight Medicare fraud

​Con artists may try to get your Medicare

Number or personal information so they can steal

your identity and commit Medicare fraud.

INN TO THE FOREST

​Lodging & Camping in southern Illinois with access to the Shawnee National​

We offer lodging, camping,

​stabling, corral, pasture,

access to a hunting lease and

discounts for America's

military veterans!

Call before visiting your VA facility

Free Veteran resources through PATRIOTlink

and Coronavirus updates

What You Should Know about Disability and Debt

There Are Protections...When it comes to debt collection, disability income enjoys special status.

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently

Traveling?

​How to ensure seamless care while traveling

How To Get Urgent Care For Free

If you have any symptoms

DO NOT DELAY

You are authorized urgent care but you must be prepared!

How Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support

Affect Veterans' VA Benefits
VA benefits can be garnished only for spousal

or child support, and only under certain conditions.

How to file a VA disability claim
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation

or increased disability compensation.

John Prine, One of America’s Greatest Songwriters, Dead at 73
Grammy-winning singer who combined literary genius with a common touch succumbs to coronavirus complications


His song, Sam Stone, is one of the most poignant and touching war stories ever told.

Written about the Vietnam era soldier, the message affects every veteran.

RIP

You Ready???

Are you aware that Amazon will deliver groceries to you? And often enough they beat in-store prices?

Don't worry that you forgot the dog food.

Shop on!

A coronavirus outbreak aboard an aircraft carrier is one of

the possibilities facing the US military

How would the Navy react if a sailor aboard a large ship such as an aircraft carrier tested positive for the coronavirus?

Training book used for VA

'How To Lie With Statistics'

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide
Reference guide to help during final

arrangements planning

Florida veterans health centers moving to virtual appointments to combat coronavirus

The goal is to allow veterans

to stay home and avoid exposure