38 CFR Book C, Schedule for Rating Disabilities   tells you the standards you must meet to be awarded a % rating for

a given condition. Below we've selected

a few of the most frequently 

needed sections of   The Schedule

Federal Tort and

Section 1151 Claims
When something goes wrong and

the veteran suffers an injury or

death due to the negligence of

a federal employee, the veteran

or his/her spouse may pursue

claims under the

Federal Tort Claims Act


Military Health

History Pocket Card

Did you see combat, enemy fire,

or casualties? Were you or a buddy wounded, injured or hospitalized?​ 

Do you have a claim pending for illness or injury related to your military service?

​Do you have a service-connected condition?

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The VA Watchdog Dot Org

Let's Talk About The Benefits You Earned via Your

Honorable Service To Our Country​​​​​​​

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

You Are Not Alone!

Right now is the time for you to

connect and begin to heal.

Right. Now.

The reports of American decline

are greatly exaggerated
America is wealthy, influential, powerful,

and increasingly equal.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

A veteran is entitled to disability compensation if he or she were

(1) discharged or released from the military under conditions other than dishonorable,

(2) their disease or injury was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and

(3) the disease or injury was not the result of the their own willful misconduct

or abuse of drugs.

Budget Projects Employment Growth

at VA, Agriculture, Other Agencies

​​Some 29,000 of those

positions would be at the VA

​​How to apply for VA health care

Find out if you’re eligible for

VA health care benefits.

C & P Exams unemployability

tdiu benefit

I forgot to tell the examiner some things, ​now what should I do?


Clear & Unmistakable Error

The CUE Claim

Justices to consider scope of “clear and unmistakable error” review of Veterans Affairs decisions.

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. 

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veterans law attorney

Depriving Our Veterans of Their Constitutional Rights

An Analysis of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Practice of Stripping

Veterans of Their Second Amendment Rights and Our Nation’ s Response 

What We Need to Understand About Veterans and Firearms
A culturally informed consideration of military veteran gun ownership

What you think you look like with your weapon...you badass you!


And...what you really look like.

Awards & Denials

My spouse has a VA decision letter that was sent by his attorney. It states he was awarded 100 percent rating and back dated to 2015. The decision is taking a long time to become final and I'm wondering if the VA can change it to a denial. Have you heard of other cases where this had happened?

Jim's Reply:
No, I haven't heard of VA changing an award this soon after it's made. The delay is probably due to the numerous tasks that have to be done since the retroactive award will be large.
VA will send the entire file to be reviewed by a quality check team to insure that all t's are crossed and i's are dotted. Then the big labor, it goes to finance to determine just how much he's owed. The retro calculation involves adding the 100% rating to his record and backdating, updating and balancing the account since the rates change each year. 
Add the labor challenges that VA has had during the pandemic and there's your delay. Although you don't tell me that this was remanded from a higher authority (BVA) if that's the case the regional office will have more work to do. 
This is a great question for the lawyer who represents him...get in touch! Good luck.


Can a disabled veteran refuse a general blood work at the va clinic/hospital? (Non drug related)

​​Jim's Reply:
Refuse lab testing? Sure you can.
It doesn't matter if you're dodging a drug screen or just don't want your blood drawn for whatever the reason, you won't lose any benefits because you aren't getting the full range of health care provided for you by the VA. Even if a drug screen popped as positive, no benefits will be lost.
In reality though, if you're going to decline lab testing there really isn't much reason to continue to see a care provider. Your provider can't offer you much, if anything, without the results of the usual panel of blood work and testing. Those blood and urine tests are a window into the mechanics of how your system is running and without that your provider is blind.
If you plan to refuse lab work as recommended by your primary care provider, I'd suggest that you simply decline any future health care appointments in the system and make room for a vet who wants the full compliment of care. Good luck!

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veterans law attorney

Preexisting Conditions?

Can you confirm to your viewers that the Military can not discharge a serviceman for a preexisting condition after he/she have served on active duty for more 180 days. There is the presumption of soundness once you complete boot camp and if you are honorably discharged for preexisting condition after a year on active duty you can file a CUE for that injury dating back to when you were discharged example 1978.

​​Jim's Reply:
Can I confirm that an active duty soldier can't be discharged after 180 days because of a preexisting condition? No, of course not. You say, "the Military can not discharge a serviceman for a preexisting condition after he/she have served on active duty for more 180 days". Using that logic we'd have a lot of people who can't perform military duties sitting around in uniform.
If a preexisting condition that was either unknown or known and thought to be of no consequence on entry to the armed forces should become worse during active service, it must then be evaluated as to how it will affect the soldiers MOS duties.
Let's consider a known preexisting condition...this soldier had a badly broken bone in the left ankle that happened during high school athletics. The injury was repaired with routine surgical procedures and the individual returned to athletics and physical normalcy for 4 years before entering service. The well healed injury with surgical scarring was noted during the intake process and the soldier went on to complete 2 1/2 years of service with no issues. Then during normal and routine military duties the previous injury was reinjured (during a fall from a ladder) to a point that the ankle was surgically fused, limiting all motion of that lower leg and foot and requiring orthopedic footwear in the future. This soldier will be medically discharged and receive a disability rating by VA as having aggravated a known preexisting condition.
Then we consider the soldier who has an unknown intracranial aneurysm. An aneurysm (a swollen artery) in the brain is very rarely identified before it bursts and causes a significant hemorrhagic stroke or often enough, death. In this case the soldier entered active duty after college and was fast tracked to OCS and a bright military future as an officer. She was in outstanding health and had completed Airborne training before going to a more permanent station in remote Alaska. After arrival at her duty station she served 13 months before she had a sudden severe headache, collapsing to the floor. She was evacuated to the closest facility that could manage a brain injury where the diagnosis was grim and the long term prognosis was poor. This soldier will be medically discharged because of a preexisting condition and she will receive a VA disability rating for aggravation of the unknown preexisting condition.
The rules and regs regarding presumption of soundness are flexible in many ways, particularly with recent advances in genetic sciences. There are few absolutes in these adjudications.

16 Military and Tactical Expressions That Confuse Civilians
​Getting the ‘Green Weenie’


The laws that govern the sales and purchases of weapons and ordnance very wildly across America with the federal government, each state, every municipality and some private communities each developing their own laws, rules and regulations.

The Mother Ship for all enforcement is National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICSIn 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.

If you're denied for any reason, you'll have to appeal.

Read Firearm-Related Challenge (Appeal) and Voluntary Appeal File (VAF) and the Federal Categories of Persons Prohibited from Receiving Firearms ​​

Veterans Guns and Weapons   Concealed Carry Permits   

What You'll Find Here

​Up-To-Date News About Your Benefits,  Headlines Important To You, How-To  Articles  & Links to Pros Who Can Help. 

detailed claims data veterans administration

Entitlement to service connection

for bilateral foot disability claimed

as secondary to

carbon tetrachloride exposure.

What You Won't Find Here

 User Fees, Hidden Fees, Rumors,​ 

Requests For Donations, Mailing Lists

or Registration Requirements.

Are You Scheduled For

C & P Exams??

You should read:

C&P Service Clinician’s Guide

Veterans Benefits Administration Reports

​Detailed Claims Data    Status Reports
Reports contain data covering claims inventory, claims
backlog, claims accuracy, and Fully Developed Claims. 

U.S. Code: Title 38


Disability benefits can enhance your independence and help you care for your family
​​Veterans’ Benefits Rating and Rates   Disability Compensation
Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service —

no matter when or where they served — may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits.

Are You Having A Claims Crisis?

Delays? Misinformation?


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Or Email


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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. 

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Many service members use industrial solvents in regular military tasks

​Benzene   Tetrachloroethylene

(PCE or PERC)   Acetone    Trichloroethylene (TCE)   Xylenes​