Were you hazed while serving in the military? GAO may want to hear from you

​The Government Accountability Office is looking for service members who were victims of hazing while they served.

The office is collecting the information for a study on the Defense Department’s efforts to prevent and respond to hazing.

The Government Accountability Office

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!

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

Do you need some help with your claim?

I'm accepting limited appointments to talk live on the phone or to videoconference with you. There is no fee for this service.

If you'd like to talk, provide me with some information about who you are and what's up and I'll be in touch.  /s/ Jim

Let's File A Claim

Filing your claim for VAbenefits isn't as hard as some want you to believe. Let's set the effective date of any claim you file in the next year. This one is easy so let's do it right now.

Intent To File A Claim Form

American Rescue Plan Helps Veterans
As part of the American Rescue Plan, the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP)

provides financial aid to help you recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn if you're eligible and how to apply!

Medical Experts For Veterans Disability Claims 

Serving Veterans, Service Officers, & Attorneys since 2015 

Nexus Letters / Medical Opinions  -  Get Started Now

Roger Hale, Esq.

​Veterans Law Attorney        Personal Injury Law

Nationwide Representation        Free Veterans Consultations
Workers Compensation  -  Social Security Disability  -  Pain & Suffering  -  Emotional & Mental Anguish​​

Veterans unemployed due to pandemic now eligible for VA job training funds

​VRRAP covers education and training programs approved under the GI Bill and Veteran Employment

Through Technology Education Courses, or VET TEC, that lead to high-demand jobs.

These include associate degrees, non-college degrees, and certificate programs.

​​Alabama

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

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

Gregory Rada  Veterans Law Attorney

Military Veteran - Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom

VA disability appeals, TDIU claims, MST, PTSD, other mental health disability claims, appeals and veterans disability claims processes.

Attorney Rada offers free telephone case evaluations and nationwide representation.

Interest rate reduction refinance loan
If you have an existing VA-backed home loan and you want to reduce your monthly mortgage payments—

or make your payments more stable—an interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) may be right for you.

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. 

Type your paragraph here.

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.

The Government Attic.org

​Fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities and fun stuff and government bloopers, they're all here.

 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 

Rates of Parkinson’s disease are exploding.

A common chemical - trichloroethylene (TCE) - may be to blame

Three Consequences of Using Marijuana After Your State “Legalizes”

​1. Marijuana users will fail future NICS firearm background checks. 

How To

When you deal with your VA benefits there are dozens, maybe hundreds of resources on the Internet, usually way too complex

to read or they want your money to open their secrets...how do you choose where to take advice and council?  I think I have

the answer. When you want to deal with your VA, whether you're filing a claim or trying to get along with your health care providers,

you need to hear the voice of a veteran who actually uses the VA. I'm in the process of providing that resource for you...for free.

No sign-up, no registration, instant access to reliable information. It's your VA, use it effectively.

This is a Work In Progress throughout 2021. Check back every now and then for updates.

Jim’s Everyday Guide to Veterans Benefits

Veterans PTSD Assessments

Independent Medical Opinions  Nexus Letters

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 

"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

Jim's

                     Mailbag

Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney
 Graduate of the US Military Academy West Point, 20 years of active Army service, multiple deployments,

XVIII Airborne Corps, and Third Army, Airborne and Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal badges. 

Free Case Assessment - Nationwide Representation

$113.1 Billion Discretionary VA Bill for ’22 Submitted

​The Biden administration’s proposed $113.1 billion spending bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs addresses delivery of health-care services, homelessness, suicide prevention, support for caregivers, and technological improvements.

New financial tool provides Veterans more control and transparency

Any Veteran with a debt related to VA benefits can now access their debt information online

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

​Fraud Alert: COVID-19 Scams

COVID-19 fraud is rapidly evolving. This page is frequently updated.

​​​​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 share what I'm reading today, the important stuff.  Feedback  is always welcomed.

​NO DIGITAL ADVERTISING means no ad-trackers. Nobody is looking at your data here.

Jim Strickland

jim912@gmail.com

Veterans Affairs:Use of Additional Funding for COVID-19 Relief

​As of April 14, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported 224,538 cumulative 

COVID-19 cases among veterans, with 11,366 deaths.

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

The NPRC
Military Records

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

DBQs   Nexus Letters Medical Records Reviews  

Independent Medical Opinions

Nationwide Representation

Get Started
Two options explaining the

Benefits you've earned.

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

CDC updates guidance on how COVID-19 spreads

​The CDC updated its guidance on COVID-19 transmission May 7,

underscoring that the virus spreads via small respiratory droplets and particles in the air.

Vaccine Eligibility Expanded at DoD Sites

All eligible and authorized TRICARE beneficiaries and Defense Department personnel

can now get vaccinated for Covid-19 at DoD sites.

I'm Jim Strickland

and ​I approve of this message.

Never Stop Reading

Never Stop Learning

Where did your claim disappear to?

Veterans hit by huge pandemic-related records backlog
National Archives estimates it will take 18 to 24 months to clear the backlog once the records center is fully staffed

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.

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. 

The secret truth of the student debt crisis

Most student debt will be canceled sooner or later, because an ever-growing share

of borrowers cannot possibly repay their loans. Ever. 

Dependents & Survivor Benefits    Specializing In Veterans Law  Federal Tort Claims  Disability Claims

Free Veterans Case Reviews     Nationwide Representation

Veterans Struggle to Get Copies of Needed Service Records Due to Pandemic
Access to some VA benefits, services delayed as backlog of requests hits 500,000

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)

How to file a VA

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

or increased disability compensation.