We are believers in Do It Yourself...DIY.​​  We're pretty sure that most veterans will be able to manage their claim best if they DIY.  If you managed to get a DD 214 you're smart enough to manage a claim.

If you DIY you don't have to sign a  POA,  you don't risk signing on with a  Veterans Service Officer (VSO)  (sometimes called a 'VA rep') who is too busy and you'll have greater control over your records.  If you do need help with forms and understanding the process, ask a  state or county veterans service officer  to help you. These folks are government employees and usually have a good understanding of how the process works. They'll also be able to help you to determine your state benefits...those can add up! 

You aren't allowed to use a lawyer unless you're appealing a denied claim but even the very best claims are often denied so there may be a  veterans law attorney  in your future. 

To file a claim you should prepare to present and explain the 3 elements of a well grounded claim. 1) An event or some occurrence that happened while you were active duty, 2)  A record of a diagnosis or some form of treatments of the event that caused you injury or illness and 3) an ongoing record of treatments of the named and medically diagnosed disabling conditions have affected you over time. When you  file your claim  you can do it electronically, print the form and fax it in or print the form and mail it using certified mail, return receipt requested. I don't think one is better than the other, just remember to keep good copies for yourself. 

When you make the decision to file a claim, stop what you're doing and  file an Intent To File A Claim form right now.  That will

set the effective date  and now you can take up to a full year to develop and perfect and file your claim.

But don't take that long...get to work.

Once your claim is received in Janesville, you'll be notified of that. Then you'll eventually get notice you're scheduled for a  C & P exam  that you must attend. Your claim is electronic and may be worked on at any of the  VA Regional Offices.  You'll more or less be able to see the progress of your claim by following it in your  eBenefits account.  I say 'more or less' because the  eBenefits report  isn't as accurate as we'd like it to be with all kinds of lag time delays and update malfunctions. But it's a pretty useful tool if you're patient. You'll need it as you go along so get used to how it functions.

That brings to mind the topic of access to the Internet. You really aren't going to want to do this on your phone. There's a lot of reading and forms and a PC, a laptop or even a pad will be better. You need a reliable and fast connection. Nothing is more frustrating than a dropped connection when filling out a form on the VA site. Public libraries are often the best access you'll find but of course, here we are in 2020 and access may be a challenge.

Whatever it takes...these are your benefits, you earned them...file the claim now!

When You Hit A Dead End

​White House Hotline

855 - 948 - 2311    

< Denis.McDonough@va.gov >

Yes, this really works. No, it doesn't ring in the White House.

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. Don't rant​​

Tell them you read about this at The VAWatchdog Dot Org...they know who we are.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The VA Watchdog

Accredited Legal Referrals

This Is The Home Of

The Expert Nexus Letter Provider


​​​​The VAWatchdog is here to help you receive the benefits you earned.

/End/​​​​

Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney
 Graduate of the US Military Academy West Point, 20 years of active Army service, multiple deployments,

XVIII Airborne Corps, and Third Army, Airborne and Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal badges. 

Free Case Assessment - Nationwide Representation

Hey Jim:  This Court of Appeals decision is a bit of a smack-down for VA’s implementation of the Appeals Management Act. VA will need to relook what they are doing under AMA - although this case only speaks to three specific regulations, a broader relook of their overall implementation of AMA would probably be prudent. /s/ Drew

Decided: July 30, 2021

​Congress enacted the AMA in 2017 to reform the exist-ing VA administrative appeals system, which was,

by all accounts, “broken,” marked by lengthy delays, and plagued with a formidable backlog of cases. 

More problematic, however, was the “continuous evidence gathering and readjudication

of the same matters”that caused appeals to “churn” in the system.

​MILITARY-VETERANS ADVOCACY, Petitioner v. SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

​V A Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

Veterans Psych Evaluations
 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. 

How To File A Claim For VA Disability (and many other) Benefits


The NPRC
Military Records

Independent Medical Opinion / Nexus Letter

In a November 2011 nexus statement, the Veteran's neurologist opined that that the Veteran's progressive supranuclear

palsy is most likely caused by or a result of his exposure to Agent Orange. The neurologist explained that PSP is a

movement disorder very similar to Parkinson's disease. The neurologist further explained that PSP affects the same areas

as Parkinson's disease and is possibly causally related to chemical exposure such as Agent Orange. 
The Board finds that the evidence is at least in equipoise regarding service connection for progressive

supranuclear palsy and will resolve reasonable doubt in favor of the Veteran.

​​​​C&P Service Clinician’s Guide

This is your C & P examiners guide.

The language used in this guide is very much in effect at your VA. When you have a nexus letter, it should conform

to the phrases you'll find here. For example, your doctor should write "More likely than not" when talking of service connection.

That phrase wins claims, anything less may not.

See Page 14  Section 1.16  How do I give an opinion for nexus (relationship to a military incident?

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

TDIU

VA unemployment benefit would be protected under this plan

​​A new House proposal would make the Department of Veterans Affairs Individual Unemployability program

permanent even for elderly veterans, following attempts in recent years to pare back the benefit. President Donald

Trump’s administration, which proposed cutting back on the benefit for veterans after they reach retirement age.

How to file a VA

disability claim
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation

or increased disability compensation.

Government leaders to their workers: Get vaccinated or get tested

​“Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything

in our power to protect them from COVID-19,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement Monday.

“With this mandate, we can once again make — and keep — that fundamental promise.”

"It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired.

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

Roger Hale, Esq.

​Veterans Law Attorney        Personal Injury Law

Nationwide Representation        Free Veterans Consultations
Workers Compensation  -  Social Security Disability  -  Pain & Suffering  -  Emotional & Mental Anguish​​

​​Alabama

Gregory Rada  Veterans Law Attorney

Military Veteran - Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom

VA disability appeals, TDIU claims, MST, PTSD, other mental health disability claims, appeals and veterans disability claims processes.

Attorney Rada offers free telephone case evaluations and nationwide representation.

Get Started
Two options explaining the

Benefits you've earned.

Veterans Struggle to Get Copies of Needed Service Records Due to Pandemic
Access to some VA benefits, services delayed as backlog of requests hits 500,000

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)

The Government Attic.org

​Fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities and fun stuff and government bloopers, they're all here.

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

Nexus Letters

Independent Medical Opinions

Nationwide Representation

Hodes Milman LLP

Veterans Medical Malpractice

1151 Claims​​

Helping Veterans Harmed By The VA Medical System

Nationwide Representation

Download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter proving their status. 

Jim Strickland

jim912@gmail.com

I'm in Florida, up in the  NE corner near Jacksonville.

Are you close? The coffee is on me.

<jim912@gmail.com>

Let's File A Claim

Filing your claim for VAbenefits isn't as hard as some want you to believe. Let's set the effective date of any claim you file in the next year. This one is easy so let's do it right now.

Intent To File A Claim Form

About the Nexus Letter

The professionally written   Nexus Letter   is often the single most valuable tool we have at our disposal to win claims. If you doubt any of that please go to the  Board of Veterans Appeals and use their search  to look for cases with Nexus Letters or IMOs. You'll find, "...the Board finds the September 2019 Independent Medical Evaluation Report to be probative even though the Veteran’s service treatment records are silent...". I've referred vets to a small handful of reliable doctors for years. I've received hundreds of positive messages that tell me that the IMO/Nexus Letter works for you as well as it did for me. If you're caught up in an appeal and you aren't sure what else you need or if you want to file a new claim and prevail without a lot of fuss...talk with these doctors and make a plan to win.

Good luck!  /s/ Jim

Independent Medical Opinion / Nexus Letter

The Board assigns significant probative weight to the September 2019 independent medical opinion of D.B.M., M.D 
finding it is at least as likely as not that the veteran’s present left knee condition is the direct result
​of his motor vehicle accident injuries that occurred while on active duty.

Jim's

                     Mailbag

VA Online Scheduling (VAOS) lets eligible Veterans request community provider appointments

(​This looks simple enough. There are only 4 different links you have to click-through to get to ever more complex instructions.

I'll try to use this today. I have no hopes I'll be able to get any appointments. /s/ Jim)

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!

Are Social Security Disability Benefits Set for Life?

Once SSDI begins, is there any way to increase the benefit amount?

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

Intent to File

Too many of us skip this important

step.Spending a few minutes taking care of this may give you months

of additional benefits.

You may file claims on  eBenefits  or you can mail them in using certified mail or you can even fax them in. 

 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