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.

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!

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.

Veterans Benefits on Reddit

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.

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

Owe VA Money??? 

​​Submit A Waiver Request

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?

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.

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)

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.

Hey Jim...

Can you offer me some advice about;

​Discharge upgrade from "general under honorable", a Statement in Support of Claim, Hypertension and aortic stenosis, Total Knee Replacement, Married only one year and now divorcing, Endoscopic sinus surgery before separation from the USAF, Heart diseases and Agent Orange, Facing eviction from home of 20 years, TDIU and DOD disability, Can't get medical because supposedly get ChampVa, Korean vet and Agent Orange, Mother is VA fiduciary but won't give vet $$, Bad paper discharge for smoking pot, Becoming guardian for son with TBI, Getting service-connected rating for injury, SSDI denial even though 100% P & T for PTSD...

and many other topics that affect your life.


Yes...I'll answer just about any question you have, I'm privileged to have resources that I can ask when I don't know the answer...often enough as it happens.

We publish the messages we get from you anonymously, we won't use your name or give up your email address. We publish your emails exactly as they arrive here otherwise and we share the answer with other vets and their families so we all benefit.

We'll be around...ask us.​

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. 

Vets rapidly losing 2nd Amendment gun rights
Behind the scenes, US military veterans are afraid they are being specifically targeted and are quickly losing their 2nd Amendment rights. According to one group, in over 150,000 instances, they already have.
​​


Has the VA Deprived You of Your Second Amendment Rights? NRA Wants to Hear From You!
VA has been reporting to NICS the identities of its beneficiaries who have been assigned a fiduciary to manage their benefits. VA claims that such determinations constitute an “adjudication of mental defectiveness” under federal law, thereby prohibiting the
beneficiary from acquiring or possessing firearms.

A federal prohibition would exist for any person who:


* Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment ​for a term exceeding one year.
* A fugitive from justice.
* An unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.
* Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.
* An alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or who has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.
* Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
* Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship.
* Subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner.
* Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
* Under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.​

In addition to federally prohibitive criteria, the NICS must delay or deny firearm transfers based on applicable state law.
A delayed transaction will be purged from the NICS within 88 days from creation. The NICS Section recommends that you wait 30 days from the date initiating the check prior to filing an appeal on a delay to give the NICS Section’s staff time to
complete the initial transaction. 
If your original background check is completed, the Federal Firearm Licensee ​will be notified with a final status.

Reasons NICS Background Checks are Denied or Delayed


A Denied message from the NICS indicates the subject of a NICS background check
has been matched with a similar name and similar descriptive information of a record containing a state or federal prohibition.
A Delayed message from the NICS indicates the subject of a NICS background check
has been matched with a similar name and similar descriptive information associated with a record containing a potential state or federal firearm prohibition.
The NICS Section must obtain additional information before making a final
determination of a Proceed or Denied for the firearm transfer.

The NICS Section is afforded three business days in which to conduct this research. If the NICS Section is unable to provide either a Proceed or Denied response to the Federal Firearms Licensee within three business days, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 does not prohibit the Federal Firearms Licensee, or FFL, from transferring the firearm; however, the FFL is not required to do so.

Fiduciary Appointments & Gun Laws


Have you been notified that VA will appoint a fiduciary to manage your financial affairs?

Were you told you would not be allowed to purchase or own firearms?
Read the authority they use:
Mental Illness Prohibition 
(NICS Improvement Act)
Q:  Federal law prohibits people who are dangerously mentally ill from
purchasing or possessing a gun.  Does the NICS Act change who is covered by this prohibition?
A:  No.  The NICS Act does not change the prohibition enacted in 1968 that bars people
who are dangerously mentally ill from purchasing or possessing a gun.  Under federal law, people may not buy or possess a gun if they are “adjudicated as a mental

defective” or “committed to any mental institution.”  ATF regulations define “adjudicated as a mental defective” as a: Determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or
manage his own affairs.


These regulations have not been changed by the NICS Act.  Note that merely seeking
or receiving treatment for mental illness is not sufficient to bring someone within this prohibited class.

The NICS Act does provide that persons who are entered into NICS because of this mental illness prohibition may seek “relief from disabilities” by petitioning that their names be removed from NICS if they no longer suffer from the mental health condition that originally barred them from buying or possessing guns.

Veterans and Weapons-Concealed Carry Permits-PTSD and Other Mental Health Conditions

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Appeals   

Veterans Affairs & Guns and Weapons  

Concealed Carry Permits   NICS

Firearms PTSD and Other Mental Health Conditions


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?

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.

In Future Wars, the U.S. Military Will

Have Nowhere to Hide
New technologies enable Russia and China

to destroy U.S. bases and logistics networks

—including those on the homeland.

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.

Traveling?

​How to ensure seamless care while traveling

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.

Should You Get Medicare

Supplement Plan F?

How about  Medicare Parts A and B?

Maybe Part F+? Part D? 

​Oh, unless you live in

Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin.

​Confused? Just wait until you hear about 

programs such as Medicare

Part C or a Medicare Advantage policy.

Jim's Mailbag
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.

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.

Give veterans more health care options!
Tell your lawmaker

Veterans deserve more choice

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

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​

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.

How Much Can I Earn Without Losing

My Social Security?
The amount you can earn will depend on your

age and through which program you're

getting Social Security benefits.

No-Cost Flu Shot Options for Veterans

This year, enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system have several options to get a flu shot. VA now offers more options, easy access, and seamless records.


​ When and Where to get your flu shot today

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

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!

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!

Found in Gourmet Foods

Sugar-Free

So it's healthy, Right?