USAFacts

Our nation in numbers

USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s

finances, and government’s impact on

society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this

information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining

and expanding it in the future.



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Email Jim Strickland

<jim912@gmail.com>

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1-888-658-5058

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Things You'll Need














Mail your forms, documents
and evidence here...
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI 53547-5235


Toll Free Fax: 844-822-5246


We recommend that you mail a copy
and then fax a copy!  Yes, it's twice the
work but maybe VA will only lose one
and the other will be processed.
Remember: Use Certified Mail!

Forms to File Claims

VA Form 21-526EZ
For...
Disability Service Connection
Secondary Service Connection

IncreasedDisability Compensation

Temporary Total Disability Rating
 Individual Unemployability
Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151
 Special Monthly Compensation
Specially Adapted Housing

Special Home Adaptation

Automobile Allowance/Adaptive Equipment
Benefits Based on a Veteran's
Seriously Disabled Child


VA Form 21-0958 - NOD
​Notice of Disagreement

VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension
Change of Address​

TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140
Declaration of Status
of Dependents
VA form 21-686c


How To

How To Apply For SSDI

How To Apply For

TDIU Unemployability

How To Use

Disability Benefits Questionnaires

(DBQ's)

How To Apply For A Disability Rating

How To Apply For An Increase

to an existing rating

How To Retrieve Your

Military Personnel Records


Research Your Claim

The M21-1MR
The CFR
TDIU
SMC

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities




Veterans Benefits

Administration

(VBA)

Fact Sheets

Standard Claims and

Appeals Forms Update

Disability Compensation Benefits

C-123 Aircraft and

Agent Orange Exposure

DBQ's

TDIU

Unemployability

MST

Presumptive Benefits

Special Monthly

Compensation

(SMC)








Many VA Benefits aren't.


Read why and what you

should do about


Permanent & Total (P & T)




C & P Exams & the

Claims Process

New data sheets from VA

http://www.benefits.va.gov

/compensation/claimexam.asp.
If you’ve already been scheduled for a VA

claim exam, but need to reschedule the date

and time, be sure to change your

appointment using the phone number

given to you as soon as possible. For more

information about the claim process, go to www.benefits.va.gov/compensation


VA Claim Exam Factsheet

VA Claim Exam Tips

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

VA Claim Process Step-by-Step

Mental Health Exam Factsheet

Review Exams Factsheet



Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Veterans Administration [VA]

(DTRA)

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

VA Payment for Emergency Care

Patient Record Flags



OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

VA Benefits for Sleep Apnea

as a service

connection to PTSD
Brett Valette, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist



Speak With A

Veterans Law Attorney

An Expert Physician

or a

Veterans

Clinical Psychologist

TODAY!

Case Evaluations Are

Always Free!



PROCEDURAL Guidance
requests to Add Dependents

Legislation will help Pacific veterans

exposed to Agent Orange
How To Leak To ProPublica

Tech Q&A

Finding veterans' records online
MRI twice as likely as biopsy to spot

prostate cancer, research shows
Become a Freedom Fighter

Join the ACLU
VA starts domestic violence program

Department of Defense Extends

Online Military Exchange

Shopping Privileges to Veterans

Here's What Medicare Part A

Costs and Covers in 2017



Veterans Benefits

Administration

(VBA)

Benefit Brochures

The Fully Developed Claim

eClaim Disability

Compensation Brochure

eBenefits

Your VA & DoD Benefits. Online

Summary of VA Home Loan

Guaranty Benefits

Summary of VA Benefits

Summary of VA Benefits

for Disabled Veterans



The Veterans Voice

International


Opinion   Editorial

News & Views


(Under Construction)




VA SPOTLIGHT

Brett Valette, PhD


UPDATED...April 2017

This is a series of stories

bringing light to the dark side of the

VA’s treatment of some Veterans

applying for disability.  Whether out

of frustration, desperation, anger, or

‘just to make it right” they contacted me, and together, we fought the injustice. 

These are actual cases and claims. 

I have changed names and identifying

information for confidentiality reasons.


Spotlight March 2017

This is the first in a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability. 


Spotlight April 2017

Claim Killer DBQ Questions.
VA Spotlight is a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability.

Whether out of frustration, desperation,

anger, or ‘just to makeit right” they contacted

me, and together, we fought the injustice.


Click Here To Contact Dr. Valette


VAWatchdog​

America's Leading Resource For
Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

Over Ten Years of Service to America's Military Veterans

Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads When They

Want To Learn What They've Been Doing

Welcome Aboard!


The VA fiduciary program is the most dangerous and corrupt
offering from a dangerous and corrupt system. If VA approaches you about
a fidu appointment, 
call a lawyer...quickly!


VA Identifies Additional Beneficiaries in Need of Fiduciary Assistance
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that an information
technology system that it deployed in 2014 and enhanced in 2015, the Beneficiary
Fiduciary Field System, allowed it to identify claim processing errors
affecting approximately 14,000 Veterans and survivors.  These Veterans’ and
survivors’ claims were initially filed over many years, with some going back
as far as 2000. The errors concern cases in which VA had proposed that
due to disability or age the beneficiary was unable to manage his or her VA
benefits without assistance, but did not complete the action by transferring
it within VA for appointment of a fiduciary. 
These cases represent approximately four percent of such proposals since 2000.

GOP targets veterans gun ban
​The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reported more than 257,000 former
members of the military who cannot manage their finances to the
FBI’s list of people who are not allowed to own guns,
Republicans claim, even though "it has nothing to do with regulating firearms.”
​The VA is responsible for appointing a fiduciary to help veterans
who it determines cannot manage their own finances, but the agency
is also taking the additional step of reporting these veterans to the
“mental defective” category of the FBI’s background
check system, even if they do not pose a danger to society, the senators allege.​


Fiduciary Appointment Questions???


These accredited veterans law attorneys will answer your questions for free.


Talk with one or all of them right now!



By The Numbers

How This Works-What To Do


1) You receive notice that VA is proposing to appoint a fiduciary.

You are shocked and you do not agree. This is only a proposal, not a decision.

​You have the right to appeal.


2)DON'T PANIC! Sit down and read the letter very carefully.

Read it again. There is valuable information in the letter you received.


3) Complete aNotice of Disagreement (NOD)form. 


4) Mail the form using Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.

Do not use anything other than Certified Mail!


5)Do not delay! Don't run around asking everyone what to do.

Don't try to collect statements from anyone like family or friends.

Don't do anything but get the letter in the mail.


6) Once VA gets the NOD form, they will reply to tell you that you can't

file a NOD yet because no decision has been made.

Don't worry about that.  Your NOD has notified them that they have made a mistake. 

You are now on record with the disagreement.


7)Wait patiently. After VA receives your NOD they will probably 

schedule you for another C & P exam. During this C & P exam you will

be asked about how you manage your finances.

Answer truthfully and completely.


8)You're done. That wasn't hard, was it?


While you do all the above, read this fact sheet.

Need help? Have an IMO done by a professional.

Then contact a veterans law attorney


VA will ask to set up a meeting with you in your residence.

This meeting will be with a VA Field Agent (or examiner) who will ask you about your

finances, do background checks on people in your home, perform credit rating checks

and so on. He/she will tell you that as an incompetent veteran you can not have guns

in your house and you will not have the right to purchase firearms.
Ostensibly, the VA field agent will try to determine who in your family may be appointed

as your fiduciary. Many times the agent will find that nobody in your family has a

good enough credit record so he/ she will appoint a  paid fiduciary.
In either case, you will lose control of the money you have earned from VA.

The paid fiduciary will take their cut of the money each month and if you want

any of it, you must go through a complex process of asking for it.
Often, your request for money is ignored or denied.


If you have a fiduciary today and you're unhappy about it or if you have just been

notified that VA is thinking of appointing a fiduciary, you may appeal.


We urge every veteran who is unhappy with their fiduciary

appointment to talk with a veterans law attorney.


The veterans law attorney will provide a free case assessment

and let you know what can be done.


If you're having issues with a fidu appointment

talk with an accredited veterans law attorney today!!!




Far too many veterans get this sort of notice

and then they don't respond appropriately.


If the appropriate response doesn't happen in a timely manner, the VA will act on

the proposal and appoint a fiduciary.

The fiduciary is then free to act to control the finances and the result is often a major

problem for the veteran.

The following will apply to actions the veteran must take when he/she is first

notified that a fiduciary appointment is being considered.

These steps must be done as soon as possible after the letter arrives. Time spent

calling a Congressperson, consulting a VSO and so on is usually time wasted.

Note that all these steps must be conducted in writing.

There should be no phone calls and no emails. Faxes are not a good idea.

This is a very serious matter and the veteran must initiate a strong defensive plan of action.

Letters must be as brief as possible and state all the facts.

Mailing must be done via USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested.

When you write to VA you must not display anger or emotion.


Ultimately, you must get involved quickly if you do not

believe that appointing a fiduciary for you is warranted.


What to do when the fiduciary letter arrives
Most veterans do not understand the VA fiduciary appointment process. When a letter

arrives telling the veteran he or she is incompetent to handle their VA award money,

it's usually a shock. Very few Veterans Service Officers or advocates within a Congressional Representatives office are usually of little help.
VA will often try to appoint a fiduciary when the veteran is rated at 100% for a mental

health problem and there will be an award of retroactive pay that is greater than $20,000.00.

There is often no particular reason for the proposal to appoint a fiduciary.
VA should always try to appoint a close family member although that doesn't usually happen.

In any case, whoever is appointed will be required to complete paperwork and clear any

expenditures by the veteran through the VA.
If the appointment of a fiduciary can be avoided, it should be.


The process usually works like this:

(1) The veteran has a C & P exam where the topic of finances is brought up. The examiner may

write a brief note that "Veteran is incompetent to manage his finances." This may or may not

be true. I've observed cases where the veteran said "My wife handles our checkbook"

and that has been interpreted by VA as enough to declare the veteran incompetent.

(2) A letter will arrive that is a "proposal" to begin an investigation and to appoint a fiduciary.

(3) If the veteran does not properly and timely respond to this proposal, an appointment is

made for a VA Field Examiner (or Agent) to come to the veterans home

to discuss the proposal to appoint a fiduciary.

(4) If the Field Examiner does come to the home they will soon after begin to run credit

reports and other background checks to determine whether the spouse,

parent or perhaps a sibling may act as fiduciary.

(5) If no approval is made for a family member, the FE will see that a VA appointed

"professional" fiduciary is appointed. That person may be a banker, lawyer or other

VA approved person and they will then take over the veterans VA money.

The veteran will then have to seek any funds through the appointed fiduciary.

Veterans Administration Fiduciary Appointments



To get notice that the VA is proposing to appoint a fiduciary is

usually an unpleasant, unwelcome surprise.
The veteran may or may not need help and guidance with the award money he or

she has earned. The VA fiduciary appointment program is one of the more mismanaged

and poorly understood problems of your VA.

If you disagree with the appointment of a fiduciary in your case, you must act

in your own interests and  you must act right now.
Read this page carefully. Then proceed to act to help yourself.



Fiduciary Appointments
Overall, many of the processes at your VA are badly broken. The fiduciary

appointment system is mismanaged and often abusive to the targeted veteran.
While many veterans do need help to manage their financial affairs, there are a lot

of you who get caught up in the process through a series of errors.

Once you are in this quagmire, it is often very difficult to get out.
In 2011 there was a major decision by the CAVC  that is beginning to help change

things. That's usually called The Freeman Decision and you should read it now.

This is a complex legal document but it will help to to develop your appeal.
In VA terms, a fiduciary is a legal guardian who will manage the money that VA

has awarded to you for your service connected condition(s).
VA may attempt assign a fiduciary to manage your financial affairs if you are determined to

be incompetent to do that for yourself. In theory the VA fiduciary will only have authority to

manage VA funds but if you have other income mixed with the

money from VA, they will often seize it all.

Many veterans aren't aware that they're being examined for incompetence.

During a routine C & P exam the examiner may ask you

"How do the bills get paid around your house?" or a similar question.
There are a lot of us who would innocently reply; "My spouse writes all the checks.

We find it easier to let her do all the banking stuff and she's better at it than I am. It works for us."

To most C & P examiners that means you can not handle your own finances.  

They will make a brief note, "Veteran is not competent to manage his finances."
Once that little remark is in your record, you have a world of

problems coming your way.
You will then be notified that there is a "proposal" to appoint a fiduciary for you.

The first contact may be by mail or by telephone.