"It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired.

You quit when the gorilla is tired."  —  Robert Straus

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Intent To File A Claim Form

HEY!

Yeah you...

Buy some cookies from

my granddaughter.

Her daddy is an 

Iraq war vet.

These are great cookies.

You know you want to.

​​Alabama

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

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

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Spine Pain Independent Medical Opinion

James Shields, MD, MBA...A Board Certified Physician

Veteran   Spine Pain, Weakness, Stiffness, Neck or Cervical Pain, Fibromyalgia,

​Intervertebral Disk Syndrome, Decreased Range of Motion, Degenerative Arthritis

of the Spine, Hip Pain or Weakness, Shoulder Pain or Weakness

Talk With Dr. Shields About An IMO, DBQs

or a Nexus Letter For Your Claim or Appeal

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

Gregory Rada

Veterans Law Attorney

Greg served in the Air Force as a C-17 loadmaster in both Operations Enduring

Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.  Greg's practice includes VA disability compensation

appeals, Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claims, MST, PTSD and other mental health disability claims and appeals and other veterans disability claims processes. Attorney

Rada offers free telephone case evaluations as well as nationwide representation.

Call today!    844-838-7529

Veterans Psych Evaluations
 Brett Valette, Ph.D.

Providing Military Veterans Personalized Psychological and Medical Evaluations. Complete the Contact form, and you'll get a personal phone call from us. We listen, and want to know what you are going through. We provide Independent Medical Evaluations (IME), Independent Medical Opinions (IMO) and nexus letters for ratings reviews, secondary conditions, medical conditions, discharge upgrades, and many types of denied claims.  We also provide Social Security Disability claim reports.

Some Wounds Can't Be Seen        Contact Us Today

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

disability benefits. Jim writes extensively about VA and Social Security disability benefits. 
Jim's Mailbag is a regular column featured at  Stateside Legal  where veterans, servicemembers,

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

Pro Tip:   If you want to be sure the C & P doesn't hurt you, you're gonna need an IMO.

The IMO is how claims and appeals are won.

Compensation and Pension Examinations

The VA C & P Exam

Question: Is there any scientific data to support linking Central Sleep Apnea to DM 2 and or PTSD . Key is central not obstructive.

​Jim's Reply: I'm aware of some data that suggests that CSA may be associated with DM2 and Metabolic Syndrome. However, I don't believe a cause and effect is as clear as it might be in other cases. I'm not aware of any connection to PTSD without associated TBI.
I've discovered BVA appeals that give some insight as to claims and decisions by BVA regarding CSA. 
If you'll click here and then type in <central sleep apnea> in the search field and then select a year or two to search you'll discover plenty of reading on the topic.
If you are trying to make a connection or nexus for the purpose of claiming a secondary condition, you're likely going to need an expert IMO for your claim or appeal. An IMO is the very best way to win a claim or appeal as VA gives these opinions a lot of weight in their decision. Good luck!

Question: When are you allowed to file for 1151 benefits for a secondary condition? Only after you’ve been granted benefits for the primary condition, or immediately upon learning of the secondary condition? Thank you.
Jim's Reply: Title 38 U.S. Code § 1151 isn't a benefit in the way you're thinking of it. This piece of the code comes into play if you're injured by VA medical treatment or voc rehab. I usually think of it as a sort of mini-medical malpractice suit where both the burden of evidence and the award are lower than a tort claim.
I believe that you're asking when you are allowed to file a claim for a secondary condition? The answer to that is at any time after you have the primary condition rated. For example: The Vietnam veteran who is diagnosed with type II diabetes is awarded a presumptive rating of 40% by The Schedule for that condition. Once his service connection and the 40% rating are in place the veteran could then go on to file for conditions like peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease, renal artery disease, coronary artery disease, thyroid disease, retinopathy, and a host of other conditions that DMII is known to cause, contribute to or aggravate.
That same sort of cascading effects may be applied to a service connected injury that causes other disabling conditions. If you lost your lower leg on a mine, you may have hip and back problems over time.
I'll caution that the VA doesn't blindly accept any premise you may offer. There has to be some science to support an allegation and claim of a secondary condition. Overreaching (my active duty broken arm caused my liver cancer 30 years later) will just get you a denial PDQ. If there are doubts, get an IMO.
​​

There is no other part of the Department of Veterans Affairs  disability benefits application and adjudication process that is so intimidating as the Compensation & Pension (C & P) exam. Grizzled veterans who have jumped out of airplanes and confronted the enemy in countries around the planet are known to cower in fear of meeting a C & P examiner. The examiner may be a Veterans Health Administration employee or a contractor with a company like  LHI  and offer  varying exams and services. There are other contractors who perform C & P exams and they may operate at a VA facility or out of private offices where they normally practice. The examiner may be a physician or a physician assistant or a registered nurse practitioner or you may be offered a hearing exam by an audiologist and so on. Most exams are perfunctory and often confusing to the veteran. Your key to success is simple; Speak the truth about your symptoms without embellishing symptoms but not minimizing anything. Make brief notes to yourself of anything you want to say. If you don't have a cheat sheet, you'll forget...you know you will. Don't ever display anger or be a smartass. There is nothing you can do to make this any better but to maintain your cool. Keep reading.

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.

Jim's

                     Mailbag

Veterans Law Attorney Texas

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Specializing in Veterans Law
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The NPRC
Military Records

​​​C&P Service Clinician’s Guide

When the examiner says, “more likely than not”

or “at least as likely as not”, how

does that affect the outcome of your claim?

Build Back Better Dot Gov

Denis McDonough
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Are You Rated For A Spine Condition?

Mistakes Have Been made!

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving
Conditions of the Spine
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Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

When You Hit A Dead End

The Department of Veterans Affairs

​White House Hotline

855 - 948 - 2311    

< Denis.McDonough@va.gov >


Yes, this really works. No, it doesn't ring in the White House. The email address and phone number are staffed by a seemingly serious group of players, many who are veterans, and if you have a legit issue, telling these folks is like bringing in the artillery. Let's prepare  for your call or email. Make some notes before you proceed so you don't forget anything. I prefer email since there's no waiting for someone to answer and I can take my time to prepare the story in just the right detail. Be sure to include your DOB, your last 4, contact info...a couple of numbers, your preferred email and such. Describe the problem as briefly as you can.  Less is more.  Include the necessary components but don't tell your life story.  Don't rant.  Be polite...military courtesy will get you places that hollering  IN ALL CAPS  won't.  Respect!  Don't waste their time with bogus complaints about your feelings being hurt. If you appropriately utilize this service, I'll vouch that this works like a champ. Tell them you read about this at The VAWatchdog Dot Org...they know who we are.

​​​​The VA Watchdog Dot Org

Since 2005, We're Keeping An Eye On Your VA

Because Somebody Has To!​


Welcome  Home!  I'm  Jim Strickland.  I'm an Army vet, I was 91-D20 in USAREUR at ​the

98th General Hospital near  Camp Baumholder 1967 - 1970.  I publish the VAWatchdog

Dot Org to help you obtain the benefits you earned by your service  to our country. 

I'll also share what I'm reading today, the important stuff. An informed veteran

​is a successful veteran.  Feedback  is always welcomed.

Veterans Law Attorney Drew Early
Graduate of the US Military Academy West Point
20 years of active Army service, multiple deployments, tours with 2 Infantry

Division, 10th Mountain Division , XVIII Airborne Corps, and Third Army,

Airborne and Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal badges.

Graduate of the Command and General Staff College Master's Degree in

Strategic Planning from the School of Advanced Military Studies

Get In Touch With Drew Today

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How to file a VA

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Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation

or increased disability compensation.

Thomas J. Seiter, Jr., M.D.

Veteran

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Thomas Grieder, MD PhD

25 Years Service as a VA Psychiatrist

Lead Psychiatrist East Los Angeles

PTSD Clinical Team

Get In Contact With Dr. Grieder 

I'm Jim Strickland

and ​I approve of this message.

You may file claims on  eBenefits  or you can mail them in using certified mail or you can even fax them in. 

Download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter proving their status. 

Jim Strickland

jim912@gmail.com

 Code of Federal Regulations

Title 38 - Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief

​Volume: 1

Date: 2019-07-01

Original Date: 2019-07-01

Title: PART 17 - MEDICAL 

Veterans: Stay Safe

From COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
Criminals continue to capitalize

on coronavirus pandemic

Never Stop Reading

Never Stop Learning

How Can Military Veterans Maximize Their Tax Benefits?
Expert explains 
tax breaks for military members

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities