Jim's

                     Mailbag

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.

Get Started
Two options explaining the

Benefits you've earned.

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)

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. 

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.

"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

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

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.

Question: Sir, Can they consider my VA Disability compensation as income for child support?

Jim's Reply: Yes, absolutely. Your disability income is awarded to you so you can support yourself and your family. Divorce doesn't end that responsibility and your VA disability income will be counted toward the total of your yearly income as the divorce court makes decisions. There are many rumors on-line about how VA disability income is protected and such, none of it true. If you don't report your disability income to the court you may be sanctioned for that. If you fall behind on child support or alimony payments your VA disability payment may be apportioned (garnished) to pay arrearages.
The simple fact is that you owe your children all you can give, the child support is only the start. Pay it proudly. Good luck.

​Question: Hi Jim, I’m currently going through a divorce and I’m at a loss as to where to look for denial of paternity paperwork I signed for eons ago in Texas. I don’t have a lawyer and am doing all the foot work myself. Would you have any idea where to get this paperwork? P.S. I’ve tried the hospital, vital statistics, and attorney generals child support office. They can see the paperwork, but they can’t give it to me.

​Jim's Reply: This is a new one on me and I've done just a bit of research and it appears that the Texas Department of Vital Statistics isn't required to provide you with any data. See Sec. 160.412.  at  https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.160.htm#160.307
That's about all I have to offer. You really need to speak with an attorney before you get over your head with a DIY divorce.

I'm all for no fault and DIY until a complication is known and then you need to bring in an expert.

Hey Jim: Let's say a disabled veteran who already collects VA compensation gets a divorce.  When it comes to USC, Title 38, §5301, the court NEVER took into account the difference in VA disability monthly payments from a disabled veteran that is a single (less amount) from a disabled veteran with children (higher amount).  That difference is the only thing that should be treated as income and not the full amount, because the higher amount difference was meant to take care of the disabled veteran's dependent children.  NOTE:  Obviously, the amount is lessened when the VA compensation is lessened (income level) when the disabled veteran is no longer married, therefore it should apply to depend children as well.

My Reply: The 5301 theory you present has been floating around on the Internet for at least 15 years...that's how long I've been aware of the rumor. The thought process that 5301 protects you from paying some money to support your progeny is thoroughly debunked time and again.
Veterans disability compensation is counted as income in divorce and every other means test I can think of. In this  
American Bar Association Fact Sheet, "Are VA benefits subject to levy, seizure or attachment?"  you'll learn that your benefits are part of your income in divorce court. If you don't believe that, note that if you don't pay your court ordered support that the VA can and will take the money from you and give it to the obligee.
If you have been ordered to pay child support and you disagree with that order, you are usually allowed to return to the appropriate court and seek a modification of the order. That very much depends on the state the court is located in and you should explore that with an attorney who is experienced in your state.
Unless and until you do this successfully, the best thing for you to do is appropriately parent your children and pay your share for their support. Arguing arcane legal theories on the Internet or worse...to a magistrate in a courtroom...isn't going to reduce your obligation and it takes away from time you could be parenting. Good luck.

Veterans & Divorce, Alimony, Child Support, 

Garnishment, Apportionment, Family Court

I get a lot of communication from divorcing veterans, their spouses, friends, neighbors...everyone has a strong opinion about military divorce, civilian divorce and veterans divorce. In a nutshell, there is only a civilian divorce. The military didn't marry you, the state you were in did. A state will divorce you, the VA wants nothing to do with it. Your status as a veteran carries zero weight in divorce court. Nobody cares what a hero you were and what a tramp she is as your spouse...most divorces are no-fault so the process is pretty simple. When you enter into a divorce court you have your  dignity and credibility  with you and nothing else. Nobody cares about who did what to whom, they just want to follow the formula that state uses and get you out of there.

There are no free veterans divorce lawyers. There are no free divorce lawyers. 

Most divorce courts are set up for pro bono litigants so you can represent yourself.  Often enough you can appear by phone if circumstances merit. Divorce sucks. Divorce is painful for everyone. Do your best to not make a fool of yourself and as time passes, so with all this.

Take a few moments and follow the link below to my compendium of  Questions  and   Answers  about veterans and divorce. Your question or concern is in there somewhere...if not, let me know!

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!

Rates of Parkinson’s disease are exploding.

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

How to file a VA

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

or increased disability compensation.

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

DBQs   Nexus Letters Medical Records Reviews  

Independent Medical Opinions

Nationwide Representation

Jim Strickland

jim912@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

Download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter proving their status. 

Never Stop Reading

Never Stop Learning

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.

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

$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.

You may file claims on  eBenefits  or you can mail them in using certified mail or you can even fax them in. 

 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 

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

I'm Jim Strickland

and ​I approve of this message.

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 NPRC
Military Records

The Government Attic.org

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

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 

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.

​​​​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.

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently

Three Consequences of Using Marijuana After Your State “Legalizes”

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