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!

No-Cost Flu Shot Options for Veterans

This year, enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system have several options to get a flu shot. VA now offers more options, easy access, and seamless records.


​ When and Where to get your flu shot today

Marijuana Accessories

Upload evidence to support

your disability claim
If you’ve filed a claim for disability compensation, you can continue uploading more evidence for up to one year to support your claim. Evidence may include supporting documents like medical test results, doctor’s reports, and other records. Upload your evidence online now.

An IMO by an expert  often makes the difference!

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.

Do You Need

Medical Care

RIGHT NOW?
​You are already authorized

to use an urgent

care clinic!

​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.

Social Security and You

Vets being duped by Social Security rumor mill

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.

​Compensation & Pension Examinations

When you are ordered to attend a C & P examination, you must attend.  Failure to show up is likely to terminate your application for benefits immediately or cause significant delay.

Don't reschedule the exam, even if it isn't convenient for you! It doesn't matter if you don't understand why you are scheduled for a C&P exam. That isn't important.

You must attend and you must understand how the process works. The C & P exam is usually done by a health care professional who works for a company that is a contractor to the VHA. We call these people C& P Examiners.

 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.

If you are scheduled for a C & P exam, you must attend.

If you believe that a mistake has been made in scheduling your exam, you may argue that with VA after the exam is finished.

If you don't attend an exam, VA will default to whatever action was being considered when the exam was scheduled. That is rarely going to be in your favor.

Even if it's a surprise and very short notice, we advise that you show up promptly regardless. If you don't go to your exam, be aware that you may quickly lose benefits.

Compensation and Pension Examinations - All you ever wanted to know about the C & P exam. 
VAWatchdog knows that the C & P exam produces more anxiety than any other of the steps during the claims process. Understanding how the C & P exam works is vital to winning your claim. You must take time from your schedule to read this page
carefully...and then read it again. What you'll learn here today may make the difference in winning or losing.

Nobody will do this for you. DIY and win your claim.

AT WAR
40 Stories From Women About

Life in the Military​   

"Not Many Women Get to

Do What I Do"

Everything you ever wanted to know about how

the VA benefits system works but were afraid to ask.
Welcome to the

KnowVA Knowledge Base

VAWatchdog Dot Org

The NPRC

Military Records DD 214

Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs)
Official Personnel Folders (OPF)

Can VA Disability Compensation Be Used

to Calculate Child Support or Income?


​Veterans' disability benefits are compensation for

the veteran's impaired earning capacity and are intended to "provide reasonable and adequate compensation for disabled veterans and their families." They are not supposed to be for the sole support of the veteran, but can be counted in child support calculations to provide for the veteran's dependents as well. If the veteran wasn't disabled, he would be earning an income upon which the court would base child support; since disability benefits replace that income, child support can be based upon it.

Hey Jim...

Can you offer me some advice about;

​Discharge upgrade from "general under honorable", a Statement in Support of Claim, Hypertension and aortic stenosis, Total Knee Replacement, Married only one year and now divorcing, Endoscopic sinus surgery before separation from the USAF, Heart diseases and Agent Orange, Facing eviction from home of 20 years, TDIU and DOD disability, Can't get medical because supposedly get ChampVa, Korean vet and Agent Orange, Mother is VA fiduciary but won't give vet $$, Bad paper discharge for smoking pot, Becoming guardian for son with TBI, Getting service-connected rating for injury, SSDI denial even though 100% P & T for PTSD...

and many other topics that affect your life.


Yes...I'll answer just about any question you have, I'm privileged to have resources that I can ask when I don't know the answer...often enough as it happens.

We publish the messages we get from you anonymously, we won't use your name or give up your email address. We publish your emails exactly as they arrive here otherwise and we share the answer with other vets and their families so we all benefit.

We'll be around...ask us.​

Why You Need An IMO!

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving

Conditions of the Spine

​The OIG determined that VBA incorrectly

processed more than half

of the 62,500 veterans’ claims.

Veteran Proud

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

​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. 

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.

Have you been scheduled for a C & P exam? 
This may be the most important information you'll read today. Take your time, read everything here carefully. Then read it again.
We have tried to arrange this in a way that it will make a very complex topic easy to understand. However, it remains a complex topic and you must put a lot of effort into understanding how the C & P process works.
You will find links to other pages. Follow those and learn all you can. Many of the links you see will take you to the definition of that word. Other links may take you to pages where you can read the federal regulations that support the C & P exam.

Understanding the complex jargon is important. Take your time and read these things thoroughly. The C & P exam may make the difference between a high rating and a smoother path to the benefit you deserve.

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

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

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

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​

November 19th 2019

Training book used for VA

'How To Lie With Statistics'

Forms

Nothing happens until

you complete the

form. Get over it.


Submit your claim ​21-526EZ


Other-than-honorable discharge?

You’re still eligible for VA mental health care​

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!

How Much Can I Earn Without Losing

My Social Security?
The amount you can earn will depend on your

age and through which program you're

getting Social Security benefits.

Veteran Disability Claims: Nexus and IMO Letters

To meet the nexus requirement, the veteran must have an evaluation by a physician that will establish that the veteran is indeed disabled and also that his disability is as likely as not caused by his military service.  There are two methods used to establish such a nexus; one is independent medical examination and the other is independent medical opinion.

Be a Volunteer.

I did that for years & it's

the best thing ever. Get 

into the belly of the beast.

VA  loves  volunteers!

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!!!

Veterans Benefits on Reddit

VA Launchpad for Veterans

​The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Launchpad

App for Veterans (VA Launchpad) contains select VA applications (apps) for Veterans and their Caregivers.

New apps will automatically appear in the VA Launchpad when they become available. Organizing VA health information and resources into five categories, it quickly accesses and launches the VA app of your choice. With VA Launchpad, VA intends to save you time and help you better integrate available VA apps into your life.

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities

If you're thinking of filing a claim or initiating an appeal of a denied claim, this is your new best friend. The details of exactly what you need to meet a rating are here and in use every day. Yes, it's complex. Yes, it's cumbersome. Yes, knowing how to use The Schedule is a necessity if you want to file a successful claim. Go for it!

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?

Found in Gourmet Foods

Sugar-Free

So it's healthy, Right?

How to download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter proving their status. Access and download your VA Benefit Summary Letter (sometimes called a VA award letter) and other benefit letters and documents online.

Should You Get Medicare

Supplement Plan F?

How about  Medicare Parts A and B?

Maybe Part F+? Part D? 

​Oh, unless you live in

Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin.

​Confused? Just wait until you hear about 

programs such as Medicare

Part C or a Medicare Advantage policy.

Jim's Mailbag

Presumptive Benefits...what are they?

When you claim that a disabling condition is caused by military service, you have to prove that allegation.

Or do you?

Get your VA medical records online
Our online tools can help you view, organize,

and share your VA medical records and personal

health information. Find out if you’re eligible

and how to sign in to start using these tools.

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

arrangements planning

Overpayment? VA proposing to claw back

money from your benefits? Submit a Compromise Offer to the Debt Management Center. 

This is the only thing that works.

In Future Wars, the U.S. Military Will

Have Nowhere to Hide
New technologies enable Russia and China

to destroy U.S. bases and logistics networks

—including those on the homeland.

What You Should Know about Disability and Debt

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

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

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

The Google IT Support Professional Certificate
The IT Support Professional Certificate, developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, can help you become ready for an entry-level job in IT support in under six months. No experience is necessary.

Traveling?

​How to ensure seamless care while traveling

Give veterans more health care options!
Tell your lawmaker

Veterans deserve more choice

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

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