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.

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

"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:
How to get Legal assistance on family law concerning child custody court order for a disabled veteran.
Reply:

There isn't much free legal help for a divorcing veteran. I should rephrase that to say that there isn't much free legal help for anyone getting a divorce, veteran or civilian. When divorcing, veterans or disabled vets aren't held up as deserving of any particular privileges, you're just another in a very long line of divorce cases that judge will deal with.
The harsh fact is that even though your divorce is the most emotional and life changing event ever for you, others really don't want to be involved in the drama. Divorce lawyers can be very expensive because it's not a particularly pleasant job. You can use the Stateside Legal site to search for legal aid in your region and if you're eligible and if they'll help with divorce you can give that a try. 
Otherwise you have to either retain your own attorney or represent yourself. The family court is uniquely geared towards litigants who represent themselves as most divorce these days is no fault. The court really doesn't want to listen to stories of treacherous behavior since that won't make any difference and if there isn't a whole lot of money or property involved the court will demand a financial statement and then use a formula to determine who owes what to who.
It sounds as if you may be seeking assistance to help you change an order of child custody already in force. It's my experience that can be a terrifically challenging thing to accomplish. In other words, retaining a great family law attorney won't come cheap.
​​

Department of Veterans Affairs

Fiduciary Appointments

Your Department of Veterans Affairs worries about you and how you spend their...er-uh...your money. If you are about to win a claim and there is a lot of retroactive pay due you (over $20,000.00 or thereabouts) your file will get a look to see if you are competent to manage that money for yourself. If  VA determines that you are incompetent,  not only will you not see your retroactive pay, you won't see much of anything in the future once the VA appointed fiduciary takes over your money.

Even if the VA appointed your Mom as the fidu, you still won't see the money because Mom has to get approval from the VA to spend anything and if they don't like how she wears the fidu hat, they fire her and appoint someone else...a stranger.

VA isn't likely to appoint anyone you like to be your fiduciary. VA will do background investigations and credit checks on anyone who volunteers to become your fiduciary and even speeding tickets may be used to disqualify them.

How does VA determine whether you are competent to manage your finances? During a routine C & P exam the examiner will ask you a few questions about your finances; How much money does VA deposit for you each month? How much is your rent? What are your utility bills running recently? What do you pay for your car insurance? If you can't answer, you lose. You can't just say, "Well, my spouse handles all that so I'm damned if I know." You'll see a fidu PDQ.

It's easier to appeal and interrupt the process as soon as you receive notice of a potential fidu appointment. Once the fidu is appointed and the deal is done getting rid of one is cumbersome and challenging. 

You don't lose only the control of your money, you lose  your 2nd Amendment Rights  too. Incompetent veterans can't own or even be in the same house as firearms.

You guessed it. If you can avoid the appointment of a VA fiduciary, you should.

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.

Contact A Veterans Law Attorney For Help

3) Complete a Notice 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 and contact a veterans law attorney.

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) But first...  
Contact A Veterans Law Attorney For Help

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 

I'm Jim Strickland

and ​I approve of this message.

Rates of Parkinson’s disease are exploding.

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

​​​​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.

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

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.

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

Three Consequences of Using Marijuana After Your State “Legalizes”

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

Never Stop Reading

Never Stop Learning

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.

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

Jim's

                     Mailbag

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

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

DBQs   Nexus Letters Medical Records Reviews  

Independent Medical Opinions

Nationwide Representation

Get Started
Two options explaining the

Benefits you've earned.

The Government Attic.org

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

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

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 NPRC
Military Records

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

How to file a VA

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

or increased disability compensation.

 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 

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.

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

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)

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!

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

$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.