Should I file a claim?

Potential VA claims?

​What am I missing in the VA claims process?

​r/VeteransBenefits

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.​​

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. 

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. ​​

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.

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!

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.

Give veterans more health care options!
Tell your lawmaker

Veterans deserve more choice

Hello Jim...

Can you help me with....

​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

​All these and many more answers to your questions can be found at 

Jim's Mailbag

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

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

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​

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

The NPRC

Military Records DD 214

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

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!

Managing Risks and Improving VA Health Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken

steps to maintain its leadership commitment and develop its action plan, but still needs to demonstrate capacity

and establish metrics to monitor and demonstrate

progress addressing VA health care concerns.

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

November 19th 2019

38 CFR Part 1

​Disclosure of Certain Protected Records

Without Written Consent - (VA) proposes to amend its regulations on disclosure of certain records. now authorize VA to disclose certain protected records to non-VA

entities (including private entities and other Federal agencies) for purposes of providing health care or performing other health care-related activities or functions. ​​

Traveling?

​How to ensure seamless care while traveling

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

Where should we retire?

We get $2,470 a month from Social Security

and want a warm, friendly city near the ocean.

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 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.

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?

Chronic Pain Is an Impossible Problem
A “safe” alternative to opioid painkillers

turns out to be not so safe.

Research Article

Veterans Who Apply for Social Security Disabled-Worker Benefits After Receiving a Department of Veterans Affairs Rating of “Total Disability” for Service-Connected Impairments: Characteristics and Outcomes

A Few Of The Most Common Processes You Need To Know To DIY Your Claim

Medical Malpractice - Veterans 1151 Claims

Hodes Milman LLP

​VA Malpractice Attorneys Helping Veterans Harmed By The VA​
​​Veterans Healthcare Rights - Federal Tort Claims -

VA Medical Malpractice Claims, Misdiagnosis, ​Hospital Negligence, Medical Errors
For a review of your VA malpractice case contact our lawyers today.
Our firm serves throughout the nation, and is one of the few firms to have specialized experience in VA malpractice cases.
Call Now!  (949) 640-8222​​

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.

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.

Found in Gourmet Foods

Sugar-Free

So it's healthy, Right?

How Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support

Affect Veterans' VA Benefits
VA benefits can be garnished only for spousal

or child support, and only under certain conditions.

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

or increased disability compensation.

Be a Volunteer.

I did that for years & it's

the best thing ever. Get 

into the belly of the beast.

VA  loves  volunteers!

Do You Need

Medical Care

RIGHT NOW?
​You are already authorized

to use an urgent

care clinic!

Veterans Benefits on Reddit

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.

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!

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.

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.

Jim's Mailbag

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.

VA launches online patient portal for veterans

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.

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.

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.

Owe VA Money??? 

​​Submit A Waiver Request

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.

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.

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.

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

Website Monitoring Tool

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?