USAFacts

Our nation in numbers

USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s

finances, and government’s impact on

society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this

information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining

and expanding it in the future.



Contact VAWatchdog

Email Jim Strickland

<jim912@gmail.com>

Fax us toll free

1-888-658-5058

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Things You'll Need














Mail your forms, documents
and evidence here...
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI 53547-5235


Toll Free Fax: 844-822-5246


We recommend that you mail a copy
and then fax a copy!  Yes, it's twice the
work but maybe VA will only lose one
and the other will be processed.
Remember: Use Certified Mail!

Forms to File Claims

VA Form 21-526EZ
For...
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​

TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140
Declaration of Status
of Dependents
VA form 21-686c


How To

How To Apply For SSDI

How To Apply For

TDIU Unemployability

How To Use

Disability Benefits Questionnaires

(DBQ's)

How To Apply For A Disability Rating

How To Apply For An Increase

to an existing rating

How To Retrieve Your

Military Personnel Records


Research Your Claim

The M21-1MR
The CFR
TDIU
SMC

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities




Veterans Benefits

Administration

(VBA)

Fact Sheets

Standard Claims and

Appeals Forms Update

Disability Compensation Benefits

C-123 Aircraft and

Agent Orange Exposure

DBQ's

TDIU

Unemployability

MST

Presumptive Benefits

Special Monthly

Compensation

(SMC)








Many VA Benefits aren't.


Read why and what you

should do about


Permanent & Total (P & T)




C & P Exams & the

Claims Process

New data sheets from VA

http://www.benefits.va.gov

/compensation/claimexam.asp.
If you’ve already been scheduled for a VA

claim exam, but need to reschedule the date

and time, be sure to change your

appointment using the phone number

given to you as soon as possible. For more

information about the claim process, go to www.benefits.va.gov/compensation


VA Claim Exam Factsheet

VA Claim Exam Tips

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

VA Claim Process Step-by-Step

Mental Health Exam Factsheet

Review Exams Factsheet



Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Veterans Administration [VA]

(DTRA)

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

VA Payment for Emergency Care

Patient Record Flags



OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

VA Benefits for Sleep Apnea

as a service

connection to PTSD
Brett Valette, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist



Speak With A

Veterans Law Attorney

An Expert Physician

or a

Veterans

Clinical Psychologist

TODAY!

Case Evaluations Are

Always Free!



PROCEDURAL Guidance
requests to Add Dependents

Legislation will help Pacific veterans

exposed to Agent Orange
How To Leak To ProPublica

Tech Q&A

Finding veterans' records online
MRI twice as likely as biopsy to spot

prostate cancer, research shows
Become a Freedom Fighter

Join the ACLU
VA starts domestic violence program

Department of Defense Extends

Online Military Exchange

Shopping Privileges to Veterans

Here's What Medicare Part A

Costs and Covers in 2017



Veterans Benefits

Administration

(VBA)

Benefit Brochures

The Fully Developed Claim

eClaim Disability

Compensation Brochure

eBenefits

Your VA & DoD Benefits. Online

Summary of VA Home Loan

Guaranty Benefits

Summary of VA Benefits

Summary of VA Benefits

for Disabled Veterans



The Veterans Voice

International


Opinion   Editorial

News & Views


(Under Construction)




VA SPOTLIGHT

Brett Valette, PhD


UPDATED...April 2017

This is a series of stories

bringing light to the dark side of the

VA’s treatment of some Veterans

applying for disability.  Whether out

of frustration, desperation, anger, or

‘just to make it right” they contacted me, and together, we fought the injustice. 

These are actual cases and claims. 

I have changed names and identifying

information for confidentiality reasons.


Spotlight March 2017

This is the first in a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability. 


Spotlight April 2017

Claim Killer DBQ Questions.
VA Spotlight is a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability.

Whether out of frustration, desperation,

anger, or ‘just to makeit right” they contacted

me, and together, we fought the injustice.


Click Here To Contact Dr. Valette


VAWatchdog​

America's Leading Resource For
Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

Over Ten Years of Service to America's Military Veterans

Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads When They

Want To Learn What They've Been Doing

Welcome Aboard!


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 Law Attorney


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 aoofice 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 Medical Malpractice Attoreny


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 papers

to 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.



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.



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 jeapordize 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.


The veterans law attorney you retain will guide your VA case,

anything else is up to you.


Veterans Medical Opinion Doctor


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 theeffective 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 the

issues. If you are rushed or if the conversation is interrupted by other calls or people barging

into 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.