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.
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.
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
Military Records DD 214
Announcing the Veterans Benefits Banking Program
A partnership between VA and the
Association of Military Banks of America
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
to take with you. Don't wait until you need this
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print your papers and be prepared!
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Robert Wilkie <email@example.com> 855-948-2311
One More Reason You Need An Independent Medical Opinion
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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
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.
Do You Need
You are already authorized
to use an urgent
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Schedule for Rating Disabilities
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???
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 Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA disability benefits
You can browse all of these Q&As here, and search the Jim's Mailbag archives for helpful answers.
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Just who do you think
Stats about veterans.
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For a review of your VA malpractice case contact our lawyers today. Our firm serves throughout the nation,
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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?
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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.
You've Arrived at the VAWatchdog Dot Org!
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.
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
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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.
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
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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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.
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.
Con artists may try to get your Medicare
Number or personal information so they can steal
your identity and commit Medicare fraud.
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There Are Protections...When it comes to debt collection, disability income enjoys special status.
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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.
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.
How would the Navy react if a sailor aboard a large ship such as an aircraft carrier tested positive for the coronavirus?
'How To Lie With Statistics'
Nexus and IMO Letters
VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide
Reference guide to help during final
to stay home and avoid exposure