Get your VA medical records online
Our online tools can help you view, organize,

and share your VA medical records and personal

health information. Find out if you’re eligible

and how to sign in to start using these tools.

C&P Service Clinician’s Guide

Scheduled For A C & P???    Filing A Claim?

This is a must read for you!!!

I've been posting this again and again over the years

and it's still one of the best ways I know to win

your case. Published in 2002 the principles and much of

the verbiage still applies and is in daily use at the VA. 

How to download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter proving their status. Access and download your VA Benefit Summary Letter (sometimes called a VA award letter) and other benefit letters and documents online.

What You Should Know about Disability and Debt

There Are Protections...When it comes to debt collection, disability income enjoys special status.

Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website

We’re there to provide comfort during difficult times

Should You Get Medicare

Supplement Plan F?

How about  Medicare Parts A and B?

Maybe Part F+? Part D? 

​Oh, unless you live in

Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin.

​Confused? Just wait until you hear about 

programs such as Medicare

Part C or a Medicare Advantage policy.

It's Your Right To See Your Medical Records.

It Shouldn't Be This Hard To Do

​​At a time when many insurers and health information technology companies are busily assembling databases

of hundreds of millions of medical records, Americans

find it difficult to get access to their own.

Jim's Mailbag

The moment that you file a claim someone will be waiting to schedule you for a Compensation and Pension (C & P) Exam.

The C & P exam is the precise point where so many claims go south. The C & P examiner is often not qualified to render an opinion of the condition in front of them. I recently received an email from a veteran who I had advised to file a claim for his carotid artery disease as secondary to his service connected diabetes. His claim was denied because the C & P examiner opined that there was no medical evidence that diabetes caused or contributed to carotid artery disease. That it is well known that diabetes is a leading cause of atherosclerosis didn't phase anyone at VA and now we have to have a doctor and a lawyer get involved in a lengthy appeal.

Think about it...the veteran was denied service connection because the VA examiner reported that there is no medical evidence that diabetes causes carotid artery disease. Now read this.

Months ago when I first advised the veteran to file the claim for a secondary condition, I didn't advise him to get an IMO. I couldn't have believed that VA would deny a vascular condition as secondary to DMII...it defies all logic. But here we are and it's become very apparent that if you want to avoid an appeal, you'll get an IMO as you file the initial claim.

​The report above is a confirmation of this...the VA does a very poor job of C & P exams. Avoid the fuss of an appeal...get an IMO.

Marijuana Accessories

Upload evidence to support

your disability claim
If you’ve filed a claim for disability compensation, you can continue uploading more evidence for up to one year to support your claim. Evidence may include supporting documents like medical test results, doctor’s reports, and other records. Upload your evidence online now.

Overpayment? VA proposing to claw back

money from your benefits? Submit a Compromise Offer to the Debt Management Center. 

This is the only thing that works.

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment

Additional information needed to support claim

Direct Deposit - May I apply by telephone?

Check your VA claim or appeal status

Find out how to check the status of a

VA claim or appeal online

Do You Need Medical Care

RIGHT NOW?
​You are already authorized

to use an urgent care clinic!

Dr. David Anaise

Physician - Surgeon - Veteran

Veterans Law Attorney

The VAWatchdog

doesn't ask for donations, we don't have fees, we don't ask you to register...you can't find a way to give us your money. We're supported by advertising. When you shop via the VAWatchdog,

we'll get a small piece of that.

You get top quality at a good price and you support our mission.

Thank you!!!

Have you been denied a claim for a condition of the spine (Or any condition???)

Inadequate (lowball) rating?

You're going to need an IMO sooner than later

​Create or update your will today – fast and 100% free

Make your will with FreeWill today

We have advance healthcare directives, healthcare proxies, living wills and durable financial power of attorney.

All are free to use.

Halloween Costumes
Veterans Benefits on Reddit

VA Launchpad for Veterans

​The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Launchpad

App for Veterans (VA Launchpad) contains select VA applications (apps) for Veterans and their Caregivers.

New apps will automatically appear in the VA Launchpad when they become available. Organizing VA health information and resources into five categories, it quickly accesses and launches the VA app of your choice. With VA Launchpad, VA intends to save you time and help you better integrate available VA apps into your life.

4 Facts About Your Social Security

Benefits You May Not Know
Arming yourself with knowledge about the

complicated benefits process will

help you better prepare for retirement.

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities

If you're thinking of filing a claim or initiating an appeal of a denied claim, this is your new best friend. The details of exactly what you need to meet a rating are here and in use every day. Yes, it's complex. Yes, it's cumbersome. Yes, knowing how to use The Schedule is a necessity if you want to file a successful claim. Go for it!

Social Security and You

Vets being duped by Social Security rumor mill

Owe VA Money??? 

​​Submit A Waiver Request

Untreated Hearing Loss Linked

To Loneliness And Isolation For Seniors

Did you know that hearing loss and tinnitus are the

most commonly rated veterans disabilities? Did you

know that hearing loss and tinnitus can cause

other secondary conditions, particularly mental

health problems like depression and loneliness?

Jim's Mailbag

Jim Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA disability benefits

and a member of the Stateside Legal Website Advisory BoardJim's Mailbag, is a regular column where veterans,

servicemembers, and family members can  ask Jim their questions about VA and Social Security disability benefits.  

You can browse all of these Q&As here, and search the Jim's Mailbag archives for helpful answers.

Email Jim your question for a quick and confidential reply.  jim912@gmail.com

AT WAR
40 Stories From Women About

Life in the Military​   

"Not Many Women Get to

Do What I Do"

Everything you ever wanted to know about how

the VA benefits system works but were afraid to ask.
Welcome to the

KnowVA Knowledge Base

Read Me Please 

The Users Guide
VAWatchdog Dot Org​

VAWatchdog Dot Org

PAPER Evidence Records

and Claims All Go Here

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

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

The NPRC

Military Records DD 214

Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs)
Official Personnel Folders (OPF)

Can VA Disability Compensation Be Used

to Calculate Child Support or Income?


​Veterans' disability benefits are compensation for

the veteran's impaired earning capacity and are intended to "provide reasonable and adequate compensation for disabled veterans and their families." They are not supposed to be for the sole support of the veteran, but can be counted in child support calculations to provide for the veteran's dependents as well. If the veteran wasn't disabled, he would be earning an income upon which the court would base child support; since disability benefits replace that income, child support can be based upon it.

Why You Need An IMO!

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving Conditions of the Spine

​The OIG determined that VBA incorrectly processed more than half of the 62,500 veterans’ claims.

Processing errors included improper evaluations, missed secondary conditions,

and evaluations based on inadequate exams. 

Veteran Proud

You've Arrived at the VAWatchdog Dot Org!
​Welcome Home
We've been keeping veterans informed of news and events important to them since 2005.
You'll find all you need to file your claim and referrals to professionals who can help you when things don't go well. 
What you won't find here is unending chat or opinions from strangers who like to think of themselves as experts. 
Our goal is to ensure that you are awarded the benefits you earned with your service to our country. 

We're here to help you take charge of your benefits, and that is all.

Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Benefits

Thinking of Filing a VA Disability Claim?
Think Again. 

We Have A Proposal For You To Consider.

Claims, Denials, NODs & Appeals
The Wheel Just Keeps On Turning
We propose that veterans who are filing claims take charge of the process, avoiding the flawed C & P exam 
report by having their own Independent Medical Opinion and DBQs completed by expert doctors who are 
not employees of the VA. Although this brings about an expense the veteran must bear, we believe that 
any out of pocket expense is an investment toward a faster claims resolution and is thus justified.

​Keep Reading...

How To Win Your VA Claim

Step Five

Do it right the first time

Give VA everything they need to adjudicate your claim.

Overwhelm them with accuracy and evidence.

Be Patient!

You've submitted your claim properly.

VA has notified you that they're working on your claim.

DON'T DO ANYTHING ELSE!

Don't start thinking of the stuff you coulda shoulda woulda done

and start submitting new evidence.

Be patient. Wait to hear from VA and let your claim go through the process.

You're done until you get the letter of approval. Or a denial.

Step Four

Do it right the first time

Give VA everything they need to adjudicate your claim.

Overwhelm them with accuracy and evidence.

Wait for it!

VA should soon notify you that they have received your paperwork

and they should schedule a C & P exam(s) for you.

DO NOT MISS OR RESCHEDULE A C & P EXAM!

Rescheduling never works!

Missing an exam is a default to losing.

Step Two

Do it right the first time

Give VA everything they need to adjudicate your claim.

Overwhelm them with accuracy and evidence.

You must support what you tell VA about the conditions you're claiming with evidence.

If you broke your arm during an evacuation exercise in 2012 and it

hasn't healed properly, you should seek the military records of that event here;

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)

The best evidence is in your military and veterans and/or civilian medical records.

Your military records should be at the NPRC.

Your VA records are in your VA electronic health record.

Any civilian medical records you may have are with that provider.

You should seek your military records.

You do not need to gather VA health records.

You MUST gather your civilian records yourself.

VA will not do this for you even though they are supposed to.

Step Three

Do it right the first time

Give VA everything they need to adjudicate your claim.

Overwhelm them with accuracy and evidence.

When you apply, follow a few basic rules.

Organization is important!

You know what happened to you better than anyone else.

Now you have to explain it to a rater and make that rater

understand why you're filing a claim.

Your application, all forms and all evidence must be

accurate, neatly organized and presentable.

Ultimately, everything you submit will land on the desk of a human being who

will have to look it all over. Make it easy for that person to approve your claim.

If you submit less than adequate evidence or if you say things you can't prove,

you aren't going to win any sympathy from the rater.

Make and keep copies of everything!

​​

Pro Tips

These are a few of  the little details that we've learned over the years.

Consider getting an Independent Medical Opinion (IMO) before you go to the C & P exam.

Although you'll have to pay for an IMO out of your pocket,

think of it as an investment in your future.


The IMO is often the key piece of evidence that wins your claim.

We do not trust the C & P examiners to be experts in diagnosing your conditions. 


Don't rely on "buddy letters" from friends or family to help you establish your disabling

conditions. These statements in support of your claim don't carry much weight unless

they are from people who you served with and they witnessed an event that caused

your disabling condition. You need solid evidence.


Talk with a veterans law attorney. Although you may not be able to retain an attorney

to represent you unless and until there is a denial of a claim, the attorneys you see

featured on VAWatchdog will be happy to speak with you at no charge.  The lawyer

you speak with may have some really good ideas for your claim.

Step One

Do it right the first time

Give VA everything they need to adjudicate your claim.

Overwhelm them with accuracy and evidence.

You must clearly state what it is you're after.

For example:

"I broke my right arm during an evacuation exercise in May 2012.

Surgery was done and the arm hasn't healed properly.

I am seeking a 30% rating for this disabling arm condition."

Repeat for each disabling condition that you're claiming.

Be precise.   Be brief.

How To File & Win Your Claim For Disability Compensation - 2019-2020

The following are the steps to take to file & win your claim.

Following these steps in order doesn't guarantee you'll win

but it will increase the chances of a positive outcome.

Think about it. What are you going to claim?

The more precise you are, the better.

Find your condition in The Schedule For Rating Disabilities.

Use the VA language when you can.

Register for and familiarize yourself with eBenefits.

Gather your records for your own use.

If there are civilian medical records, get those yourself. Do not rely on VA to get them for you.

If you only have VA medical records, they will be accessible to the raters.

Military records and DD-214 replacements are here.

Get your records (evidence) organized.

Make copies, collate them in good order. If you plan to upload them on-line, start scanning.

If you want to mail them in, the address is

:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax: 844-531-7818


Pro Tip

Organizing your records for presentation and review is critical. Eventually a VA employee

(a rater) will sit down at a desk and review your claim submission. If you have given

the rater little to work with, you'll get little in return. If you've given the rater good

evidence, presented neatly and in order, your claim is more likely to win.


File the claim

It's time to formally file

your claim for disability compensation benefits.

You may use the 

electronic claims forms available on line at eBenefits.

You'll be completing the VA Form 21-526EZ


You're done! 

Congratulations. You've filed your claim for VA disability compensation. Now you wait.

VA will notify you that you'rescheduled for a C & P exam.

 Once that step is completed, you wait for the notification that you've won your claim.


How hard was that?

You Must Understand the New Rules

No Form - No Benefit

​The Federal Register

Standard Claims and Appeals Forms
A Rule by the Veterans Affairs Department on 09/25/2014

Website Monitoring Tool

Google Tracks You

and we don't.
​DuckDuckGo apps block

Google's hidden trackers.
​Get unbiased results

outside the Filter Bubble.


​The world needs an alternative

Robert Wilkie  <robert.wilkie@va.gov>  ​855-948-2311

Other-than-honorable discharge?

You’re still eligible for VA mental health care​

How to get Social Security disability

benefits when you can’t work

Getting Social Security disability benefits when you’re unable to work can be challenging. Last year, more

than 2 million people applied for Social Security

disability benefits, but two-thirds of them

were denied, because most applicants fail to prove

that they’re disabled and can’t work. Here are some

steps you can take that can help improve your odds.

VA MISSION Act

Answers to the top five questions about urgent care

Training book used for VA

'How To Lie With Statistics'

Presumptive Benefits...what are they?

When you claim that a disabling condition is caused by military service, you have to prove that allegation.

Or do you?

How to Fight VA Debt
Military members know that when DoD gives

you too much money, it will come back for it.

The VA is similar, but the system is worse.

Drowning in Debt?

It Could Reduce Your Social Security Benefits
Think twice before taking on certain loans.

Top Searches

Your Health

Urgent Care Centers

One of the most important benefits you have today is

the authorization to use an urgent care center

near to you. But first, you have to

print your paperwork

to take with you. Don't wait until you need this

benefit to prepare for it. Read this now,

print your papers and be prepared!