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You quit when the gorilla is tired."  —  Robert Straus

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my granddaughter.

Her daddy is an 

Iraq war vet.

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James Shields, MD, MBA...A Board Certified Physician

Veteran   Spine Pain, Weakness, Stiffness, Neck or Cervical Pain, Fibromyalgia,

​Intervertebral Disk Syndrome, Decreased Range of Motion, Degenerative Arthritis

of the Spine, Hip Pain or Weakness, Shoulder Pain or Weakness

Talk With Dr. Shields About An IMO, DBQs

or a Nexus Letter For Your Claim or Appeal

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

Gregory Rada

Veterans Law Attorney

Greg served in the Air Force as a C-17 loadmaster in both Operations Enduring

Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.  Greg's practice includes VA disability compensation

appeals, Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claims, MST, PTSD and other mental health disability claims and appeals and other veterans disability claims processes. Attorney

Rada offers free telephone case evaluations as well as nationwide representation.

Call today!    844-838-7529

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 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. 

Hearing Loss Now A Military Epidemic

U.S. soldiers and Marines caught in roadside bombings and firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home in epidemic numbers with permanent hearing loss and ringing in their ears, prompting the military to redouble its efforts to protect the troops from noise.
Hearing damage is the No.1 disability in the fight against terror, according to the Department
of Veterans Affairs, and some experts say the true toll could take decades to become clear.

Hearing Loss, Tinnitus & Secondary Mental Health Ratings   Dr. Brett Valette explains the connection or nexus between profound hearing loss, tinnitus and mental health conditions. Has your hearing loss and tinnitus caused anxiety and depression?  ​​

There's a reason for that. Talk with Dr. Valette today and learn if you may have a well grounded claim.

Discussing hearing problems in veterans  Veterans often suffer brain injuries that impair hearing.

Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

Question:
I served from January 1975 to January 1981. I was in Navy RTC when the VietNam war ended. I know I am considered a VietNam era Veteran. I was awarded a 10% service connected disability for tinnitus and a 100% Non-service connected disability for degenerative disk disease from working for the USPS. Can my 10% be upgraded to 100%. Tinnitus is worsening, I can't focus, it sounds like something is on all the time disrupting my sleep and causing me to drop a statistics class 4 times. What can I do?
Reply:
Tinnitus is rated as 10% maximum for both ears. There won't be any increase of that rating. You may seek a rating for a secondary condition caused by tinnitus, such as depression, anxiety and so on.
You'll likely need an IMO to prevail. 


Question:
I have service connected tinnitus and I've been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. I've seen a lot medical documentation where tinnitus can cause sleep apnea. I remember when I was serving my shipmates use to complain that they couldn't sleep because of my loud snoring, I can get get letters from them stating so. One other thing is that I was also diagnosed with depression in which I've seen plenty of medical evidence where depression can be secondary to tinnitus. My question is what would be the best to file a claim for or what is best for me?
Reply:
Trying to prove that OSA is secondary to tinnitus is a very long reach. "Buddy letters" attesting to your snoring won't help...snoring isn't sleep apnea and your buddies aren't doctors so they can't make a medical diagnosis. You say you have all kinds of documentation that depression may be secondary to tinnitus and I can't find anything like that. There's a lot about depression with profound hearing loss but very little about tinnitus. VA is very aware that veterans are applying like crazy for the OSA benefit since it's a 50% rating. When you file for OSA without really solid evidence like an Independent Medical Opinion (IMO) you annoy the rater who has to slog through the claim and all too often they try to reduce other benefits. There are 3 doctors on my VAWatchdog site who I refer to for IMOs...if you can get one of them to write that it's more likely than not that your SC tinnitus causes or contributes to your OSA or depression...then you've got what may be a claim. Unless you have that IMO, I doubt you have much chance of a supportive adjudication.


The NPRC
Military Records

​​​C&P Service Clinician’s Guide

When the examiner says, “more likely than not”

or “at least as likely as not”, how

does that affect the outcome of your claim?

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Denis McDonough
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Are You Rated For A Spine Condition?

Mistakes Have Been made!

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving
Conditions of the Spine
​​

Veterans Law Attorney Drew Early
Graduate of the US Military Academy West Point
20 years of active Army service, multiple deployments, tours with 2 Infantry

Division, 10th Mountain Division , XVIII Airborne Corps, and Third Army,

Airborne and Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal badges.

Graduate of the Command and General Staff College Master's Degree in

Strategic Planning from the School of Advanced Military Studies

Get In Touch With Drew Today

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How Can Military Veterans Maximize Their Tax Benefits?
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38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

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.

​​​​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 also share what I'm reading today, the important stuff. An informed veteran

​is a successful veteran.  Feedback  is always welcomed.

How to file a VA

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

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 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 

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