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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?

How to Fight VA Debt
Military members know that when DoD gives

you too much money, it will come back for it.

The VA is similar, but the system is worse.

Thinking of Filing a VA Disability Claim?

You need an IMO...Here's why;
We propose that veterans who are filing claims

take charge of the process, avoiding the flawed C & P exam report by having their own Independent Medical Opinion and DBQs completed by expert doctors who

are not employees of the VA. Although this brings about

an expense the veteran must bear, we believe that
any out of pocket expense is an investment
toward

a faster claims resolution and is thus justified.
Keep Reading...

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!

Top Searches

Google Tracks You

and we don't.
​DuckDuckGo apps block

Google's hidden trackers.
​Get unbiased results

outside the Filter Bubble.


​The world needs an alternative

Robert Wilkie  <robert.wilkie@va.gov>  ​855-948-2311

Training book used for VA

'How To Lie With Statistics'

Other-than-honorable discharge?

You’re still eligible for VA mental health care​

The 5 Best Perks of Social Security
Chances are that Social Security has your

back in more ways than you realize.

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.

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. 

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.

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

arrangements planning

What You Should Know about Disability and Debt

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

Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website

We’re there to provide comfort during difficult times

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.

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.

It's Your Right To See Your Medical Records.

It Shouldn't Be This Hard To Do

​​At a time when many insurers and health information technology companies are busily assembling databases

of hundreds of millions of medical records, Americans

find it difficult to get access to their own.

Jim's Mailbag

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!

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.

Medicare Changes

​A lot changed in Medicare

this year with more coming in 2020

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment

Additional information needed to support claim

Direct Deposit - May I apply by telephone?

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.

Check your VA claim or appeal status

Find out how to check the status of a

VA claim or appeal online

Do You Need Medical Care

RIGHT NOW?
​You are already authorized

to use an urgent care clinic!

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!!!

​Create or update your will today – fast and 100% free

Make your will with FreeWill today

We have advance healthcare directives, healthcare proxies, living wills and durable financial power of attorney.

All are free to use.

Halloween Costumes
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.

4 Facts About Your Social Security

Benefits You May Not Know
Arming yourself with knowledge about the

complicated benefits process will

help you better prepare for retirement.

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!

Social Security and You

Vets being duped by Social Security rumor mill

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?

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.

Email Jim your question for a quick and confidential reply.  jim912@gmail.com

Social Security Reinstates

Reconsideration Appeal Level​

​This year Alabama, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, and

Pennsylvania--reinstated the reconsideration.

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

Read Me Please 

The Users Guide
VAWatchdog Dot Org​

VAWatchdog Dot Org

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​

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.

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

Divorce, Child Support, and VA Disability Payments

Julie Glover    Adam Luck   Veterans Law Attorneys​​

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.

Contact us for more information about your case...the consultation is free!

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.

Veterans & Divorce, Alimony, Child Support, 

Garnishment, Apportionment, Family Court


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


Complete this form:

VA Form 21-0788 - Veterans Affairs - INFORMATION

REGARDING APPORTIONMENT OF BENEFICIARY'S AWARD


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.

The Actual Legal Analysis as to 38 USC 5301 and Alimony 

 Willick Law Group‎

3591 East Bonanza Road

Las Vegas, NV 89110

(702) 438-4100

willicklawgroup.com

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.


Read the syllabus & the case here.      

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.

Look for the law in your state by clicking right here.

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. ​​