​​​​Speak up about VA

​Is it not worth an hour or two of

your time to voice your opinion?

Cash-Strapped VA Debates Withholding

Treatment From Some Vets

​The slippery slope of health-care rationing, fueled by a gaping budget shortfall, is now an issue at the Veterans' Administration. 

Vietnam Veterans Are Declared Eligible To Receive Long-Denied Benefits

It has taken more than 40 years, but Connecticut veteran Conley Monk has won his battle to have his military discharge

status upgraded and can now receive federal benefits.​

Unsanitary conditions at Tampa VA hospital

​A hospital infested with roaches and rats is the latest in a series of problems for Veterans Affairs.
An email reveals dead rats and roaches turned up at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.​

"Could it get any worse?"

(It's the VA. You ain't seen nothin' yet!!!)

​The Department of Veterans Affairs is still recovering

from the scandal which erupted in 2014

over manipulated waitlists. 



​Editorial: Rooting out problems at VA hospitals

​When dead rats start falling from the

ceiling, that should be a sign. 

Veterans Affairs publishes new

Agent Orange regulation

​The Department of Veterans Affairs recently published a new regulation that expands benefits eligibility for a select group of Air Force veterans and Air Force reserve

personnel who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact

with contaminated C-123 aircraft used in Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand (ORH).

Millions of dollars for veterans sat unspent for

three years — and now it may be too late

​For three years, more than $43 million the Department of Veterans Affairs had set

aside to inform veterans about their benefits sat in

an account, not a penny spent, until an agency financial manager happened to notice.

Consultant expects longer Omaha

VA hospital funding delay

​Federal funding to build a replacement for Omaha's aging

Department of Veterans Affairs hospital may be even

further away than expected, according to a consultant's report released Monday.

VA heart program to close — again

Oklahoma City VA hospital to temporarily close heart surgery program summary:

The VA hospital in Oklahoma City will stop heart procedures and surgeries starting July 1.

VA braces to bust its budget

The Veterans Affairs Department is bracing to bust its budget this year, partly because it has under­estimated the demand

for care in places like Las Vegas,

a House panel was told Thursday.

Veterans want apology from

Sheriff’s candidate Mark Garber

​Garber told The Daily Advertiser , “I have never, ever claimed to be a military veteran.”But the website for his private legal practice with attorney C. Ray Murry recently stated: “Mr. Garber and Mr. Murry are military veterans.”


History or...?


From the Desk of

Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney







Read Drew's updates

and early warnings of

what's up in the

Department of Veterans Affairs



Blue Water Claims Update
The Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims has made a landmark ruling that will help many Navy 
and Coast Guard vets who have been classified as Blue Water Sailors. The case was Gray vs 
McDonald and was decided on April 24, 2015. This will greatly benefit many Vietnam Navy 
veterans effected by Agent Orange.

​​Gray v McDonald 042315 RH_13-3339


VA faces criticism over wait times, purchase cards

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The department is

facing a nearly $3 billion budget shortfall. VA officials are expected to testify in front of

Congress on Thursday and will make the case that more money is needed to solve the problem. 

Senator asks VA chief about ‘continuing

culture of chaos’ that fails veterans

​In the five weeks since an explosive memo from the top procurement official at

Veterans Affairs went public, the major contracting abuses the document alleged

are pervasive throughout the agency have angered veterans and members of Congress.


VA spending $279k a month to lease Wilmington clinic

​ $279,000 a month. That's how much the VA is paying to lease its health care

clinic near the Wilmington airport. They are still paying that rent in full, even

though the building has been partially shut down for months due to internal water contamination.


Infestation found in VA kitchen

​Dead rats and roaches have been found at a Veteran Affairs hospital in Florida.
The infestation was found in the kitchen of the James A. Haley VA hospital in Tampa.

An internal email last week noted three large rats fell through the ceiling during

construction work. The kitchen area had a roach problem

so bad that some of the insects may have ended up on patients’ trays.


Veterans' federal health program under fire due to health care delays

​A new program designed to streamline access to health care for military

veterans is coming under fire as veterans

say they’ve been stymied by federal health care program.



Presidential Memorial Certificates

A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is a gold-embossed paper certificate

bearing the official signature of the current President of the United States

and honors the memory of deceased, honorably discharged Veterans.


Tester introduces new VA bill

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced a bill Thursday aimed at easing

workforce shortages in the Department of Veterans Affairs that would, among

other things, set up mental health residency programs in rural and underserved areas.


Healthcare Inspection Alleged Improper Maintenance of

Reprocessing Equipment Huntington

VA Medical Center Huntington, West Virginia

We did not substantiate the allegation that staff responsible for cleaning gastrointestinal endoscopes failed to perform required maintenance on reprocessing equipment by not replacing filters. 


Military veterans report limited use of sun

protection while deployed, study finds

​Despite working multiple hours per day in direct sunlight, U.S. military veterans

who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan reported

limited use of sun protection, found a new study from Vanderbilt University.


Veteran & Dependent Burial in VA National Cemeteries

The National Cemetery Administration honors Veterans and their families

with final resting places and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our nation.



Sen. Murray aims to block VA policy that would

cut off benefits to some former troops

​Sen. Patty Murray on Monday visited Tacoma to announce a new bill that would

force the Department of Veterans Affairs to help former troops regardless of

whether they left the military with an honorable discharge.


Light-emitting robots help keep VA hospital patient rooms germ-free

Thor went to work as a bright light filled the blinds-covered window. Or maybe it was Xena.

The names of the two new germ-zapping robots have yet to be

stenciled on the front of the R2-D2-shaped gizmos whose job it is to kill invisible bugs.


Review of Alleged Mismanagement of Medical Supplies

at the VA Medical Center East Orange, New Jersey 

In September 2014, the Office of Inspector General received an allegation that Logistics

Service at the East Orange VA Medical Center (VAMC)1 purchased excess medical

supplies resulting in mismanagement of government resources. The complainant

alleged that the Medical Supply Distribution Section (MSDS) was responsible for the

mismanagement. The complainant also alleged that a Logistics

Service employee was misusing official time by leaving early every Friday.



Spouses of all veterans in same-sex

marriages now eligible for earned benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday it would extend earned benefits to

spouses and children of all veterans in all same-sex

marriages following the Supreme Court decision Friday legalizing the unions nationwide.


Raleigh hospital concealed doctor’s misconduct from VA, suit alleges

In January, the Beckley Veterans Affairs Medical Center offered a job to a doctor who was being investigated for performing unnecessary heart procedures, after Raleigh General Hospital concealed details about the ousted physician’s troubled past, according to a revised lawsuit.


Homeless veteran found living in VA Medical Center in Lake Nona
Vet was living in unoccupied part of center


VA hospital refutes claims of rodent infestation around cafeteria

Officials at James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa are refuting claims

of an infestation of rodents around the cafeteria.
"There is no safety concerns," said Jana Boehmer, Chief Nutrition and Food Services.


Alabama VA needs fixing before agency gets more funding

Before Congress approves of a transfer of funds that the Veterans Affairs

department says is needed to hire staff to help with scheduling appointments

for veterans, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery,

wants to know what the VA is doing with its money.


Is this Green Beret the last Vietnam vet on active duty?

​He is not the Most Interesting Man in the World.
But with 42 years in uniform, 59-year-old Michael Jarnevic is likely the saltiest

sergeant major serving in the U.S. military. And when he retires July 8,

he'll likely be the last person in uniform whose

service record includes a tour during the Vietnam War.


​​

The Forms You Need

Are Right Here


VA Form 21-0966 - Intent To File A Claim


VA Form 21-526EZ -  File A Claim

Disability Service Connection

Secondary Service Connection-Increased

Disability Compensation-Temporary

Total Disability Rating -

 Individual Unemployability -

Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151 -

 Special Monthly Compensation -

Specially Adapted Housing/Special

Home Adaptation Automobile 

Allowance/Adaptive Equipment -

Benefits Based on a Veteran's

Seriously Disabled Child


VA Form 21-0958 - NOD

​Notice of Disagreement

The first step to appeal


VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension, 

Change of Address


The VA Claims Intake Center

Western Region

Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI  53547-5235
Toll Free FAX Janesville – 844-822-5246


The VA Claims Intake Center

Eastern Region
Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Newnan, GA   30271-0020
Toll Free Fax Newnan – 844-531-7817


File Your Claim On-Line - eBenefits


Disability Benefits 

Questionnaires (DBQ's) 

List By DBQ Form Name

​​DBQ Provider Instructions

DBQ FAQs


TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140


VA form 21-686c

Declaration of Status of Dependents



VA Responds To NPR Story On Broken Promises

To Vets Exposed To Mustard Gas

"The NPR story rightfully points out the sacrifices that Veterans and their families have

gone through during the years when they were sworn to secrecy. VA is prepared to assist

any Veteran or survivor who contacts us in determining their entitlement to benefits.

Additionally, if NPR is willing to share with us the list of 1,200 or so Veterans who they

have been able to identify as having been exposed, VA will attempt to contact them to ensure they are receiving all the benefits and services to which they are entitled under the law."

How NPR Located More Veterans Exposed To Mustard Gas Than The VA


Give VA benefits to same-sex couples

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) is pressing the Department of Veterans

Affairs (VA) to grant benefits to same-sex couples in the wake of a historic Supreme Court decision.

​​

VA grilled on budget shortfall, urged to sell boutique hotel

​Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida, said at the agency's 2015 budget hearing on Thursday that he was frustrated that VA Secretary Robert McDonald did not mention the budget shortfall during previous recent hearings in which he testified. 


Miller to VA: Agency has ‘a management issue

far more than … a money issue.’

Despite a tense hearing, a House oversight committee said it will give the Department of

Veterans Affairs more “flexibility,” to help ease a $2.5 billion budget

shortfall the agency said it is facing to treat millions of former troops.


The Veterans Administration aims for a fresh betrayal

Considering the Department of Veterans Affairs’ recent scandals,

you’d think VA top brass would show some humility.
Think again.
Instead of cleaning up its act, the VA’s trying once again to

sabotage the Choice program, which was

supposed to allow vets to see a doctor outside the delay-plagued VA system.



Disability Payments to Veterans

​It is sad that one week after Memorial Day, The New York Times saw fit to run an essay lamenting the cost of compensating veterans for their disabilities. As Jon Stewart

has said, if the government cannot fairly care for

and compensate our disabled veterans, maybe it should stop creating so many of them.

VA still playing loose with the facts

Question: A year after we lost Eric Shinseki, probably the best Department of Veterans Affairs secretary we’ve ever had, what’s been accomplished at the VA?
Answer: Not much.

Honor vets: Abolish the VA

Americans have no faith in socialized medicine, a system in which the federal government owns the hospitals, employs the doctors and nurses and pays the bills. Yet the

United States has a vast system of socialized medicine. Its name is the VA!

In effort to fix woes in VA care,

Moulton taps own experience

​Seth Moulton had earned two medals in Iraq for his valor. He’d witnessed brutal combat in four tours with the Marines. But none of that mattered when he showed up at the Veterans Health Administration hospital in Washington, D.C., where staff could not find records.
“We’ll consider taking you as a humanitarian case,” a hospital staffer told Moulton,
unaware that the would-be hernia patient was also a newly elected Massachusetts congressman.

After Divorce, Losing Veterans’

Support Along With a Spouse

After all I had been through with him, I was now faced with another reality. Once you are divorced from a veteran, resources such as counseling go away. I even asked for help to tell him to leave the house but was told no, even though I worried for my safety. I was told their services were to provide a safe place for the veteran.

Veterans’ sleep disorders–PTSD connection

Improving veterans’ sleep (both quantity and quality) may reduce their risk of developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to afirst-of-its-kind study by the RAND Corporation.



​​Are You a Vietnam Veteran?

Help Us Investigate the Impact of Agent Orange

ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot are exploring the ways children of Vietnam

veterans may be affected by a parent's exposure to Agent Orange.


VA changes must not affect vets' medical care

We can take no chances with the health and well-being of our military veterans,

those who sacrificed to protect and defend the liberties

that we cherish, the core freedoms that make America what it is.


Kennewick veteran mistreated at a Seattle VA hospital

The mistreatment of a Kennewick veteran at a Veterans Administration hospital

in Seattle is one of several incidents around the country

that have spurred members of Congress to call for changes to VA care.


Deported Marine vet gets access to VA medical care ‘too late’

“I served in the United States Marine Corps,” were some of Jose Solorio’s final words,

recorded in a cell phone video, before he was able to get access to the care his family

believed he deserved and did not get since he was deported.
Solorio is a retired Camp Pendleton Marine.

​​

Vets, Lawmakers Irate over New VA ‘Choice’ Program

​When the scandal erupted last year over long wait lists at the Phoenix VA, Alaska

was found to have quite short wait times.  The Alaska VA has for years

been buying care for veterans outside the VA, at community and

private-sector clinics, and especially through the Native health care system. 


​​

​Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

Services for Veterans with Disabilities

​Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) is an employment-oriented program that helps transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans with service-connected

disabilities and employment handicaps to prepare for, find, and keep suitable employment. Services may include employment assistance, short and long-term training, purchase of required supplies and equipment,

and on-the-job training.


​​

Man who stole veterans’ data at

Tampa VA hospital sent to prison

A man who was supposed to shred documents from a Tampa veterans hospital but instead used them to steal veterans’ personal information is headed to federal prison.​​

Behavior of Military Lawyer in

Boondoggle HQ Inquiry Under Scrutiny
Several U.S. Senators and military lawyers say they are concerned by
Col. Norm Allen’s attempts to thwart an investigation into why the U.S. Military built an unneeded luxury headquarters in Afghanistan.

Problems ongoing with VA service

Unfortunately, a year after the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, there are few signs things are better at the overwhelmed agency. Shinseki resigned last May amid a scandal in which employees throughout the VA’s medical system conspired to hide months-long wait times that veterans faced when seeking care.



Ask Gisela









Gisela Miller is an Accredited Agent for VA Claims & Appeals.

She's also the spouse of a disabled veteran.

Gisela met her husband in her native Germany while he was

​stationed there during his deployments to the Gulf War. She returned to America with him,taught herself the English language and became an accomplished paralegal

and an American citizen as she dueled with the VA to ensure her husband was awarded the benefits he earned. (He was.)

Once his benefits were secure, she embarked on a year long journey to becomea VA accredited agent  and now represents veterans and their families in the VA appeals process.Gisela will be a frequent contributor to the VAWatchdogand is available to answer your questions about the VA claims and appeals​process now. Contact

Gisela here and have a look at her Q & A here.

​​​​


Veterans with PTSD at higher risk for sleep apnea

Researchers found that 69 percent of veterans who were

evaluated for self-reported PTSD symptoms also were at high risk for sleep apnea.



VA Secretary coming to Columbus for VA Town Hall Meeting Thursday

The Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations

Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs will be

accompanied by Robert McDonald, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. 


Panel Urges Ex-Green Beret Hero out of Army With VA Benefits

​An Army officer who was accused of tracking down and killing an unarmed

bomb-making suspect in Afghanistan is being recommended for an honorable

discharge even though a military panel that looked into the case

determined his conduct was unbecoming an officer.


VA whistle-blowers urge Obama to fire inspector general

A group of whistle-blowers from Veterans Affairs facilities across the country is

calling for the replacement of interim VA Inspector General Richard Griffin,

arguing in a letter to President Obama that the VA's chief

watchdog is "unable to fulfill the responsibilities and duties" of the job.


VA deputy: Accountability push is making a difference

The Veterans Affairs Department's top deputy is confident that his months of

accountability efforts are helping to clean up operations throughout the agency,

even if firings have been fewer than what most outsiders have wanted.



Tip Of The Week

Do you believe that you should file a disability claim

but you may not be quite ready with your evidence?

​Not a problem.  File the new

VA Form 21-0966 - Intent To File A Claim

Once you have this completed form in your record, you'll have

up to a year to complete the rest of the paperwork.

The Intent To File form preserves the early effective date.

Remember: The only claim we know you'll lose is the one you don't file.



File Your Claim Today

On-Line With eBenefits          Print the Form

​Fax the Form to:

​(Western) 844-822-5246 ​  (Eastern) 844-531-7817


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Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

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