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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
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Potential VA claims?
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Best way to check on a supplemental claim online?
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Dependent status with education benefits.
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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.
Divorce, Child Support, and VA Disability Payments
Veterans in the midst of a divorce often question how their VA disability compensation will be treated in the process. They are often surprised to find out that their VA disability benefits will likely be considered determining how much child support he or she should pay. Although some individual states may have exempted VA disability benefits from consideration in child support, the Supreme
Court in Rose v. Rose (1987) found that disability payments could be considered when determining child support obligations.
The Court noted that “children may rightfully expect to derive support from a portion of their veteran parent’s disability benefits.” This means that federal law does not prevent a state court from ordering a veteran to pay child support in an amount that necessarily
would require the veteran to use VA disability benefits to satisfy the obligation.
From the Desk of Drew Early - Veterans Law Attorney
Retired and divorcing? Believe in 5301 protection?
Hey Jim, This is the latest case (and it’s a Supreme Court case) about VA benefits and how they are considered when a military retiree is in a divorce situation. This will serve to further clarify (or cloud, depending on perspective) an already contentious area for some veterans.
Howell v. Howell, Docket #15-1031 . The Court unanimously held that a “state court may not order a veteran to indemnify a divorced spouse’s portion of the veteran’s retirement pay caused by the veteran’s waiver of retirement pay to receive service-related disability benefits.”
Although the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act allows a state to treat a military veteran’s retirement pay as community property, it “exempts from this grant of permission any amount that the Government deducts ‘as a result of a waiver’ that the veteran must make ‘in order to receive ‘disability benefits.’”
The Court therefore held in Mansell v. Mansell, 490 U.S. 581 (1989), that if a veteran waived a portion of his retirement pay by electing to receive disability pay and later gets divorced, a state court may not treat the waived retirement pay as community property. The Court held here that the same result obtains when the veteran makes that waiver after his divorce — a divorce in which he
agreed to pay his former spouse 50% of his military retirement pay each month.
/s/ Drew Early, Esq.
Can VA Disability Compensation Be Used to Calculate Child Support or Income?
BY ROB JENNINGS J.D.
In addition to child custody, separating couples with children must figure out how to handle child support. While the law on child support varies from state to state, courts generally calculate child support according to their state's guidelines. Child support guidelines typically take both parties' incomes into account. For purposes of calculating child support, income usually includes disability benefits from Veterans Affairs. Although the law typically protects VA benefits from garnishment, this doesn't always apply to child support.
The apportionment process - how to apply
Using certified mail, send the form to:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547- 4444
You should also fax a copy to:
Toll Free Fax: 844-531-7818
Wait patiently for VA to reply.
Willick Law Group
3591 East Bonanza Road
Las Vegas, NV 89110
Rose v. Rose - 481 U.S. 619 (1987)
U.S. Supreme Court
Rose v. Rose, 481 U.S. 619 (1987)
Rose v. RoseNo. 85-1206
Argued March 4, 1987
Decided May 18, 1987 481 U.S. 619
Appellant, a totally disabled veteran whose main source of income is federal veterans' benefits, was held in contempt by the state trial court for failure to pay child support, the amount of which had been fixed by the court after considering appellant's benefits
to be income under a Tennessee statute. The State Court of Appeals affirmed, rejecting appellant's contention that the Veterans' Administration (VA) has exclusive jurisdiction to specify payments of child support from the disability benefits it provides. The court determined that Congress intended disability benefits to support the beneficiary and his dependents, and held that the trial court's
order directing appellant to pay a portion of those benefits as child support or be held in contempt did not undermine a substantial federal interest.
Garnishment & Apportionment are very serious matters.
Your VA disability payment can't be garnished under most circumstances.
It can be "apportioned". The dependent who is owed money by the order of a family court is allowed to seek apportionment
through the VA.
The dependent must complete the VBA Form 21-0788.
Don't ever try to hide or disguise any income (like VA benefits).
Your credibility is your only asset in a family court.
If the judge discovers that you aren't reporting all of your income, including your VA disability income,
that won't go well for you. Don't argue the law with the judge. The family court judge has heard it all.
The family court is run by the state you're in.
They follow the law that is in effect in your state. Most states require that a financial statement be completed for the court to review.
Each state says that "income" must be accurately listed so that the court understands the financial status of each party.
How "income" is defined may vary from state to state. Most use language like "total income from all sources" or something similar.
In most of these on-line references you'll see that the state lists "disability income" or similar language. The judge wants to know how much your overall, total income is.
The question we're asked on an near daily basis...
"Do I have to pay child support or alimony with my VA disability money? I'm told that the law protects me from that. I can barely manage now with the disabled veterans benefits I receive."
The answer is almost always, "Yes, your VA disability money will be used by the family court to determine your obligation to pay child support or alimony." It is viewed as part of your total income and the law allows it to be used in every state. The court can not garnish the money from the VA. But once you have it in your checking account, the court can order you to pay the amount they have determined to be your obligation. If you don't, you may be held in contempt of court and you may go to jail. Is this fair? I can't answer that. I don't usually try to address whether or not it's a fair system. I just report to you the reality of what's happening in our veterans world and this is the reality we face. If you don't pay, the obligee (the custodial parent or the spouse owed alimony) may ask VA to apportion your VA disability payment. While this isn't called garnishment, it works the same way. If you are behind on payments, VA will determine what they believe you can afford and send it to the obligee. Once apportionment starts, you will face a steep hill in challenging it to get away from it. Your only real option is in the family court.
You have the right (this varies state to state) to ask the family court judge to lower your obligation.
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One More Reason You Need An Independent Medical Opinion
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
'How To Lie With Statistics'
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Social Security Scammers Are Trying a New Trick
These criminals have added fake emailed documents to their repertoires -- often using the official SSA letterhead.
VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide
Reference guide to help during final
There Are Protections...When it comes to debt collection, disability income enjoys special status.
Locate information more quickly and efficiently
How to ensure seamless care while traveling
How to file a VA disability claim
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation
or increased disability compensation.
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.
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.
Has VA medical care caused you an injury or other harm?
You can sue the VA for medical malpractice but it's a complex process and you'll want lawyers who have
done this successfully in the past. There are strict time limits and draconian regulations to follow.
Get some advice today...call now!
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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Family Medical Leave Act problems after husband's deployment
Vet being harassed at work
VA doctor malpractice
Child support arrears create hardship
68 year old veteran with cancer
When did the Vietnam era start
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer and now C& P exam
Diabetes claim secondary to OSA
Revisiting child support order
Gulf War veteran behavior found to be willful misconduct
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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.
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Schedule for Rating Disabilities
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.
Military Sisterhood Initiative to go live February 18
A social platform to build peer
support community for women Veterans
VAWatchdog Dot Org
Misuse of Certain Nonopioid Analgesics on the Rise
Gabapentin, Baclofen May Be Seen
as Opioid Alternatives
Military Records DD 214
How Do You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits?
Information on social security disability benefits
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Urgent Care Centers
One of the most important benefits you have today is
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to take with you. Don't wait until you need this
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print your papers and be prepared!