Permanent & Total   P & T

What does that mean for you?

per·ma·nence

The state or quality of lasting or remaining unchanged indefinitely.

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<jim912@gmail.com>​​

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PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax: 844-531-7818

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Contact your VARO


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Education and Training
Regional Processing Offices

VA has three RPOs that handle GI Bill claims.

Find your region here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Veterans deserve cannabis freedom to combat PTSD

America’s veterans are in crisis.

Life Insurance
VA provides Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families with $1.3 trillion

in insurance coverage each year. VA also offers a variety of life insurance options

VA Benefits for Your Child

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several benefits for the children of veterans:

(1) education benefits — servicemembers may transfer the GI Bill to their dependent

children before leaving service; (2) health care — CHAMPVA provides coverage to eligible

dependent children; (3) life insurance — family coverage is available to members insured under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI); and (4) memorial benefits — minor or unmarried adult children may be eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. Also, specific benefits are available for children of servicemembers who died or were seriously injured in the line of duty.​​

SMART INSIGHTS FROM PROFESSIONAL ADVISERS
The Alphabet Soup of Disability Income: SSDI, LTD and WC
When you can't work, there are three programs that can help: Social Security

Disability Insurance, long-term disability and workers' comp. You may even

qualify for more than one, but that can also cause issues.

Agent Orange Newsletter
Hepatitis C Treatment

What Additional Benefits

Are YOU Eligible For?
VBA  Derivative Benefits Eligibility​ 

There are additional benefits that you may be eligible for that are based on a favorable decision for a VA benefit and/or based on special circumstances. 

These are known as derivatives.

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VA Home Loans and Housing-Related Assistance
VA Assistance to Veterans Who Are Severely Disabled

​Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities may apply for grants to build an adapted home or install ramps, widen doors, or make other modifications to live more independently.

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The lawyers and doctors you'll find at the 

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claim / appeal for free

Disability Benefits
Apply for disability compensation and other benefits for conditions related to your military service.

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Apply for VA health care, find out how to access services, and manage your health and benefits online.

Education Benefits
Apply for and manage benefits that help you pay for college and training programs.

Housing Assistance
Find out if you qualify for a VA home loan. If you have a service-connected disability, find out if you qualify for a housing grant to help you live more independently.

Careers and Employment
Find out if you're eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services, get support for your Veteran-owned small business, and access other resources to help build your career skills and find a job.

Life Insurance
Explore VA life insurance options, manage your policy online, and file claims.

Pension Benefits
Apply for monthly pension benefits for wartime Veterans and survivors.

Burials and Memorials
Get help planning a burial or memorial service, and find out how to get survivor and dependent benefits.

Family and Caregiver Benefits
As the family member of a Servicemember or Veteran, find out if you qualify for benefits like health care, VA-backed home loans, life insurance, or money to help pay for college. If you’re caring for a Veteran with disabilities, find out if you can get added support.

Who's Running This Show?

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BENEFITS

Disability, Survivors, SSDI,

Dependents, Pension

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CHAMPVA

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Billing Issues
1-877-881-7618      9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

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Everything You Need To Survive

Contact Your Representative
Discharges & Military Records

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DENIED!!!   How To Appeal

DIC  CHAMPVA

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Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Drudge

DIVORCE

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Benefits Garnishment

My HealtheVet Website
ebenefits

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IMO  IME  DBQs   Nexus Letters

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Marijuana   &  VA  DRUG TESTING & VA

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M21-1 Adjudication Procedures Manual
National Personnel Records Center

New York Times
Mother Jones

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Patient Record Flags

New Outreach for Vets Regarding
Discharges & Military Records.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Politico

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Records of the Veterans Administration [VA]

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TIME

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USA Today

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Veterans Benefits Administration
Fact Sheets

The VA App Store

VA urges veterans to be
screened for hepatitis C

VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn
Pit Registry for Veterans and Servicemembers

VA Payment for Emergency Care

The Veterans Law Library

Ventusky Weather Wind Map

Veterans Benefits Administration
Benefit Brochures

Veterans injured by service wait
years for compensation hearings

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vets.gov
va.gov

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Pinups For Veterans

FORMS


VA Form 21-526EZ

Disability Service Connection
Secondary Service Connection

IncreasedDisability 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
VA Form 21-534 EZ
Application for DIC,

Death Pension
Change of Address​

Add Your Dependents

Declaration of Status of Dependents

TDIU Annual

VA Form 4140

The VAWatchdog Dot Org VA Disability Benefit Guarantee We guarantee that the only benefit

you will not ever win is the

benefit that you didn't apply for.

What are you waiting for?

Apply today...we will help!

I am a Veteran

Veterans of the United States Uniformed Services may be

eligible for a broad range of

programs and services

provided by the

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Benefits from Other Federal Agencies

A general list of other Federal agencies that

offer benefit programs and resources for

Service members, Veterans, and their families.

Veterans Legal Help Navigator
Welcome to the Veterans Legal Help Navigator. This online tool helps veterans' caseworkers and advocates across the country find the right fit legal help for veterans.

The Shocking Health Effects Of Agent Orange 
Now A Legacy Of Military Death

Veteran Proud




Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads

When They Want To Learn What They've Been Doing​

Veterans Psychologist
Veterans Law Attorney

Need a DBQ or an expert opinion?

Talk with The Veterans Medical Advisor

Veterans Law Attorney

Yes, you can sue the VA for medical malpractice!

What Now?​

OK Jim, I get it. Hiring a veterans law attorney isn't difficult and won't

cost me any money up front or out of my pocket, I understand all that now.

But...how do I hire a lawyer who is right for me?

Veterans Question and Answer

What Are You Waiting For?

Get started right now.

The lawyer can't help you if you don't make contact right now.

All it will cost you is a little of your time.

Go for it!     Find your lawyer now.

Contact​

You have to make the first move.

Attorneys are there for you but they can't help if you don't reach out to them. Look around on

the pages of the VAWatchdog and you'll see a select group of veterans law attorneys who

are featured here. By clicking on those banners you'll be taken to that lawyers web site

where you can learn more about the attorneys in that office and who they are. Many offices

will ask you to complete a contact form. Those forms send priority messages to the attorney so

they can get right back to you. Using the contact forms helps to prevent spam emails and such

getting to the lawyer...your message goes to the top. Others publish toll free phone

numbers or email address for you to use. No matter HOW you contact the attorney, it's

important that you proceed now and get the process started.

Click the banners you see. Study the details about that attorney. Make contact. 

Repeat as you think is necessary until you find the attorney who is right for you. 

Speaking with these attorneys is always free. Nobody will ask you for money.

Veterans Disability Doctor

Dear Jim:

What is the wait time between the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC)?

​How much will I receive on DIC when my spouse passes? How do I keep my Tricare when I'm not eligible for Medicare?

How do I modify a child support order?​​

What will your attorney do for you?

A lot -  but you may not see most of it.

There isn't much hand holding in VA appeals. The lawyer won't call and update you regularly and you aren't encouraged to call in and check frequently. Once you and the lawyer agree that he or she will take your case, you have more papersto complete and sign. The lawyer will need a fee agreement, a POA (power of attorney) and other documents that will be filed with VA. Once the papers are filed and your appeal is in the process, you and the lawyer have nothing else to talk about until VA acts. There is nothing your lawyer can do to speed up the process. While retaining an attorney  means that your appeal is being done by a professional, it doesn't mean the lawyer can get it done any faster than the VA will allow. There is no reason for you and your chosen lawyer to maintain regular contact untill VA makes a move. Be patient, once the process begins, patience really is a virtue.

Jim Strickland is a nationally known advocate for veterans and a member of the  Stateside Legal Advisory Board.

Veterans Law Attorney

This Isn't A Spectator Sport

You have to be intelligently engaged.

This means that you must be able to provide the lawyer with details of your claim that was

denied. You should have copies of all the correspondence you've had with VA. You should

know dates of claims and denials. You are responsible for getting your attorney the evidence and supporting documents to use when appealing your case.The bottom line is that if you can't convince

the lawyer that you have a well grounded case for appeal, how can that lawyer convince the VA?

Be involved from the beginning.

You are your own best advocate
The lawyer can't help you unless you help the lawyer.
Once you find a lawyer who you like and trust, you have to provide that person with the evidence needed to prevail with you claim or appeal. This means that you're the best person to gather medical records, get your personal military records together and to get organized. If you just hand it over to a lawyer and then hope for the best, you're cutting the chances of a win down a lot.

We'll take the time to repeat this: Your lawyer can't make VA move any faster than they are going to. Your lawyer wants your case resolved just like you do. No, your lawyer isn't stalling the case to build up retro pay and fees. That's a common rumor and it just doesn't make sense. Lawyers make money on volume and successful appeals. Holding back on decisions would just delay payments.

Your lawyer won't do any hand holding while you wait. You don't need to call or email every day, your lawyer will let you know if VA makes a move. Your lawyer is as anxious to get this settled as you are.
Calling, emailing, texting...none of that helps. At some point during the initial process you and your lawyer should settle on what seems reasonable for you to check in. Is it once a week? Once a month? Never, we'll call you? Knowing what to expect is reasonable...ask the lawyer.

Don't do anything else without the approval of your lawyer. Don't go to veterans service officers asking questions. Don't participate in on-line forums where other veterans will tell you that you don't need a lawyer. Don't second-guess your attorney. That's easy to do and always a mistake.

Your lawyer doesn't get paid unless you win. Your lawyer accepted you as a client because she thought
there was a good chance that you will prevail in the appeal. You may think that the lawyer isn't acting aggressively enough for you but that's rarely the case.  Hang tight, wait it out.

What will your attorney NOT do for you?

These are lawyers, not magicians.

The lawyer can't help you if you don't have a well grounded claim or appeal. The lawyer won't

fabricate evidence or stretch the truth. Veterans law attorneys are perhaps the most regulated professionals there are and they have any number of professionals licenses and certifications

required to practice their trade. Your lawyer won't Jeopardize all that by putting forth anything

that is less than accurate. The lawyer you've chosen can't help you with other problems that

you may encounter while you wait for your claim. Your veterans law attorney is accredited by

VA to represent you for that claim or appeal only. Other life problems you may run into won't be

addressed by your veterans law attorney while you wait for your appeal.

Veterans Medical Malpractice Attorney
Veterans Law Attorney
Veterans Law Attorney

Every Attorney & Every Doctor You See Featured On The VAWatchdog

is waiting to hear from you. Talking with one or all of them won't cost you a dime...

there is never a charge for a case evaluation. These professionals have been standing 

up for veterans for many years. Many are veterans and disabled veterans themselves. 

They all understand what a challenge it can be waiting for VA to act.

​Give yourself the best chance you'll have to prevail. Hire a pro...you deserve the best!

Attorney Fees

The most common type of fee is the percentage or contingency fee, which is the most favorable fee structure for most veterans in most veterans benefits cases.  This is because the attorney is only paid if (1) an award is made and (2) there is an amount owed to the veteran at the time of the award.  The attorney is then paid a percentage (usually between 20% and 33%) of the amount owed to the veteran when an award is approved.  This amount, also known as a “retroactive” award, is the amount of due to the veteran from the effective date of the award up to the date of the award.  If the award was made following an appeal to the Board and the effective date is the date the claim was originally filed (as it is in most cases), the retroactive amount could be 3 or 4 years of benefits.  If the case goes up to the Veterans Court and back, the retroactive period could be ten years or more. As an example, assume a veteran filed a claim on January 1, 2004, and enters into a 20% contingency fee agreement with an attorney.  On January 1, 2008, the veteran is awarded a 100% disability rating.  The retroactive amount is the 100% monthly payment for the period between January 1, 2004, and January 1, 2008 (four years), which is approximately $120,000 at current rates. 

The attorney’s fee would be 20% of the $120,000 or $24,000.

How To Hire A Veterans Law Attorney

When do you call a lawyer?

To hire or "retain" an attorney to guide you through a VA disability benefits appeal, you must first  have a denial of an application that you submitted. The lawyer usually can't help you before that  happens. About 70% of original claims are denied. It's very likely you'll have something denied so  you can start thinking about an attorney now. Hiring a lawyer isn't difficult.  The first thing you need to know is that you probably won't find a lawyer who is local to you. Veterans law attorneys work at the federal level so as long as they are certified by VA to represent veterans, you can choose a lawyer who lives anywhere else away from you. You may never meet your lawyer face to face. He or she will do all the work for you by mail, electronic mail and filings and on the phone. There isn't much hand holding to be done in VA cases, the evidence and the law will take care of itself with your lawyer guiding things. To find the lawyer who is right for you will require that you pick up the phone or send some emails. The attorneys who are featured on this web site are known  to be reliable and committed to winning for veterans. I urge you to talk to at least 2 or 3

prior to signing up with any attorney. Look for an attorney who is prompt in getting back to you to discuss your case. If you are shuffled from one "paralegal" to the next and you aren't able to speak with the lawyer, move on to someone else. The lawyer should seem interested in your case and spend enough time with you that you believe that he or she understands all theissues. If you are rushed or if the conversation is interrupted by other calls or people barginginto their office, you'll want to move on to the next person on your list. Next up...the expense of hiring a lawyer. I hear it a lot, "Jim. I don't have any money. I can't afford a lawyer!" You're about to be pleasantly surprised when I tell you that

even if you're dead broke, you can afford a great lawyer.​

Reasons to Consider Hiring An Attorney

First things first.  The only reason for a veteran to hire an attorney is because the veteran

believes that an attorney can help achieve a more favorable result than the veteran alone

would otherwise obtain. That’s it. There is no other good reason.

My personal reasons on why to hire a lawyer...

I get a lot of email telling me that hiring a lawyer is a waste of money when a VSO will

help a veteran for free. I hear all the talk about rich and greedy lawyers who feed off

the proceeds they earn from the poor disabled veteran who needs the money.

"Use a VSO", they tell me. Loudly, over and over again.

But I always think back to my career in health care. I was a medic in the Army, a 91D20

in an operating room.  I was a technician and I assisted board certified doctors in

complex surgeries and highly technical radiology procedures. I was damn good at my job.

I enjoyed my work and I worked hard for the patients who I cared for. I made

a good civilian career of that, my skills were in demand everywhere.

But I wasn't a doctor. I knew a lot and I even shared my skills teaching a number of

doctors what I'd learned through experience. But when push comes to shove and

you're sick and need help, you don't call a medic, you call a doctor.

Your VA benefits deserve an expert every bit as much as your health does. What

happens with your application or appeal is a major financial process and you want to

have someone who is a part time volunteer VSO manage your case? Seriously?

If that's OK with you, call me when you need your hernia fixed or you have chest pain.

I think I remember how and I don't charge much.

/s/ Jim