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.
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
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!
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.
Scheduled For A C & P??? Filing A Claim?
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
There Are Protections...When it comes to debt collection, disability income enjoys special status.
We’re there to provide comfort during difficult times
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.
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.
A lot changed in Medicare
this year with more coming in 2020
Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog
and ask about veterans discounts!
Government Accountability Office
Additional information needed to support claim
Direct Deposit - May I apply by telephone?
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.
Find out how to check the status of a
VA claim or appeal online
Do You Need Medical Care
You are already authorized
to use an urgent care clinic!
Physician - Surgeon - Veteran
Veterans Law Attorney
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.
Create or update your will today – fast and 100% free
We have advance healthcare directives, healthcare proxies, living wills and durable financial power of attorney.
All are free to use.
(Yeah, it is...)
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.
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!
Vets being duped by Social Security rumor mill
Owe VA Money???
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 Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA 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. email@example.com
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
Toll Free Fax:
Military Records DD 214
Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs)
Official Personnel Folders (OPF)
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.
You've Arrived at the VAWatchdog Dot Org!
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.
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.
Department of Veterans Affairs Fiduciary Program Manual
Fiduciary Program Responsibilities
Delegation of Authority
Definitions for Program Purposes
Responsibilities of the Field Examiner (FE)
Responsibilities of the Legal Instruments Examiner
Responsibilities Regarding the Release of Information
Coordination with Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
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???
Talk with one or all of them right now!
Veterans PTSD Assessments
Independent Medical Opinions PTSD DBQs
Thomas Grieder, MD, PhD
Twenty five years service as a VA psychiatrist
Assistant Professor and Associate Clinical Professor
UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Lead psychiatrist for the East Los Angeles PTSD Clinical Team
Contact Dr. Grieder
If you have received notice that VA is considering the appointment of a fiduciary that means they believe you are incompetent to manage your own finances. This probably came about because during a C & P exam you were asked some leading questions about your money management skills and you flunked.
There is little on this page or anywhere else that will help you once VA begins to investigate you. Background checks may be run on family members to see if they have a criminal history. Credit reports are standard for anyone you suggest who may be appointed as your fiduciary. The process isn't at all friendly.
If you want to be rid of the VA fiduciary process, you must stop it BEFORE the fidu is appointed. Once the VA has completed the process and the fidu is a reality, the task of getting rid of the fidu becomes almost impossible.
You MUST take immediate action...right now.
Talk with any or all of the lawyers you'll find on this web site for free. They're waiting to hear from you...this is what they do.
Do not delay. If you want to stop the VA from running and maybe ruining your life...talk with your attorney today!
This article provides field examiners (FEs) guidance on the documentation of fiduciary specific information within the Beneficiary Fiduciary Field System (BFFS) FELux, the generation of field examination FElux letters and forms, and work item FElux documentation requirements.
CREDIT AND CRIMINAL BACKGROUND REVIEW
COMMISSION AND ESTATE PROTECTION (BOND)
ADMIN AND ACCOUNTING
GENERATING FELUX LETTERS AND FORMS
DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS BY WORK ITEM TYPE
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.
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?
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.
This Is Not A Spectator Sport
You Must Act NOW!!!
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.
To get notice that the VA is proposing to appoint a fiduciary is always 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 quickly.
Read this page carefully. Then proceed to help yourself.
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.
Google Tracks You
and we don't.
DuckDuckGo apps block
Google's hidden trackers.
Get unbiased results
outside the Filter Bubble.
Robert Wilkie <firstname.lastname@example.org> 855-948-2311
'How To Lie With Statistics'
You’re still eligible for VA mental health care