VAWatchdog Dot Org

Medical Malpractice - Veterans 1151 Claims

Hodes Milman LLP

​VA Malpractice Attorneys Helping Veterans Harmed By The VA​
​​Veterans Healthcare Rights - Federal Tort Claims -

VA Medical Malpractice Claims, Misdiagnosis, ​Hospital Negligence, Medical Errors
For a review of your VA malpractice case contact our lawyers today.
Our firm serves throughout the nation, and is one of the few firms to have specialized experience in VA malpractice cases.
Call Now!  (949) 640-8222​​

PAPER Evidence Records

and Claims All Go Here

​V A Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:


Key findings about America’s military veterans

​​The experiences of post-9/11 veterans differ from

those who served in previous eras. Post-9/11

veterans more likely to have been deployed,

seen combat, experienced emotional trauma

Should I file a claim?

Potential VA claims?

​What am I missing in the VA claims process?


Best way to check on a supplemental claim online?

​Confused on what to do with claim.

​Dependent status with education benefits.

​Suing the VA for negligence and malpractice.​​

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.

Extra Schedular Rating

​Extra schedular ratings under

38 C.F.R. § 3.321(b)

​How can I get an extra schedular rating?

​To receive an extra schedular rating the veteran

must first show that the veteran’s

conditions result in a disability picture

that is not covered by the schedule of ratings. 

Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Benefits

​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. 

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

Independent Medical Opinions
Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQ's)
Service & Civilian Medical Record Reviews
Nexus Letters

Get In Touch With Dr. Seiter

An IMO is an Independent Medical Opinion. The opinion is usually a report that describes the experts review of pertinent records that include service and civilian medical records and any other records that may have an impact on the opinion.

The IMO is based on records provided to the reviewer by the client. There is rarely a face to face meeting as there is no physical exam required. The veteran client must provide adequate documentation for the expert to render an opinion.

An IME is an Independent Medical Examination. This is a less frequently used option as face to face scheduling is required and the review of records and completion of DBQs is still required so the IME may add time and expense to your case. But if you don't have an accurate or clear diagnosis of a medical condition to claim as a disability, the IME may help you sort that detail out.

DBQs are Disability Benefits Questionnaires and a DBQ is required for every possible condition that you may seek disability benefits for. Your choice is pretty can have a DBQ completed by your IMO doctor and get it done right or you can wait until the inevitable C & P exam and hope the examiner will do you a favor and pay attention.

I'll let you guess which DBQ will help you the most.

There is no substitute for a medical opinion that is accurate and completed by an expert with significant experience and credentials. 

Veterans PTSD Assessments
Independent Medical Opinions    PTSD DBQs​
​Thomas Grieder, MD, PhD
​Twenty five years service as a VA psychiatrist
Assistant Professor and Associate Clinical Professor
UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
​Lead psychiatrist for the East Los Angeles PTSD Clinical Team​

Contact Dr. Grieder

2019 Update regarding Independent Medical Opinions/Examinations/DBQs

An IMO costs you money you may not have. You have to pay the doctor up front and out of your pocket because insurance won't help and neither will VA. This is an investment in your future but nonetheless, it can be expensive.

In the not too distant past we recommended that veterans wait to seek an IMO until they were denied a benefit. We figured the best use of your money was to wait and hope you were awarded the benefit you applied for so that you wouldn't have to deal with an appeal and the expense.

We've changed our thinking on this and today we believe that the IMO is the single best way there is to win your claim while avoiding a lengthy appeal. The appeals system has become more onerous and convoluted than ever before so it becomes more important that we avoid it altogether.

​When you submit an expert IMO and appropriate DBQs along with your original claim, you increase your chances of winning to almost 100%. We have to say "almost" because this is VA we're dealing with and they can FUBAR anything. But if you go in fighting, you've probably already won.

This includes getting the correct DBQ completed before you file your claim or as you file your claim. A DBQ is required for everything and if you have yours completed by your IMO doctor, that's the one that is more likely to help you prevail. If you don't go in with your own DBQ, the VA will have their employee or contractor complete it for you and you can guess how that will go.

The bottom line is that you really need to get the IMO done up front and early on if you're serious about winning your claim with as little fuss as possible. Here's a little secret I don't tell everyone...if I hadn't had an IMO done 15 years ago, I'd still be fighting with VA about my rating. I took a loan against my house to pay for 2 IMO exams as I was going through appeals. That was one of the hardest decisions I ever made and it was one of the best.

The IMO works and it works well for you. Talk with one of these doctors and get serious about your claim!

/s/ Jim

Speak with any or all of the doctors here for free

ask how the doctor can help your claim.

Veterans Psych Evaluations
 Brett Valette, Ph.D.

As an expert in psychological evaluations, Dr. Valette
provides Independent Medical Evaluations (IME),
Independent Medical Opinions (IMO), nexus letters,
ratings reviews for all psychological conditions. 

Some Wounds Can't Be Seen
Contact Us Today

Craig Bash M.D., MBA
The Veterans Medical Advisor

​If you are an honorably discharged veteran, you served your country well

and you earned certain benefits.​ Sad to say, sometimes it can be difficult

for the veteran to obtain the earned benefits guaranteed by law.​ Veterans need

a recognized medical expert who knows the VA system. As a disabled veteran himself and a respected, board certified physician, Dr. Bash fits the need—and

adds even further insight as a VA-accredited service organization representative. 

925-381-7561    Email

Do Your Homework!

Search The Board of Veterans' Appeals Decisions

When you arrive at the landing page for the BVA search function, use words like 'IMO' and 'IME' and 'medical opinion' along with your claimed condition to learn how the court  views an IMO tied to a condition like yours.

For example, if you are researching how the BVA views the opinions of expert disability doctors on degenerative arthritis of the hips, type in 'hip arthritis IMO medical opinion' and choose the years you want to search.

Remember that BVA decisions do not establish

precedence and just because a veteran prevailed in an appeal similar to yours doesn't mean a chip shot for you.

What does it cost?

GREAT question. Only the doctor you choose can answer that directly. Here's how it works...

Prices for work are set by each doctor for his or her own practice. There are no rules or regulations governing these fees, insurance doesn't play into the equation so the doctor can charge as much or as little as they wish.

You can barter, you can negotiate and in the end you'll have to pay for the work you need up front. Why do you have to pay in advance? Well, some people aren't as honest as you are and they'll try to stiff the doctor even if they win tens of thousands of dollars.

There is no refund if you lose. If the IMO doesn't seal the deal, then you have no recourse but to continue your appeal with the help of a lawyer. The IMO greatly improves the odds that you'll prevail but guarantees absolutely nothing.

We trust that the doctors you'll meet here are offering fair prices for their work product. Having said that, an IMO and the appropriate DBQs can mean that the doctor has to invest hours of time reading your records and writing reports and filling out DBQs. You already know that the time a doctor spends on you doesn't come cheap...of course there's a reason for that but that's another discussion.

How can you afford it? If you're like most of us, you can probably get a loan that covers medical procedures. There are finance companies out there that will help you pay for medical procedures and if your credit isn't totally broken, this may be what you need.

OK...I never recommend credit. I don't have a credit card and I don't borrow money. But I have when it was the right thing to do and getting your claim resolved with as little angst as possible is one of those moments.

If we assume that getting an IMO will help you to prevail and get there faster, we can plan that you'll use any new money to pay off the loan that you took for the IMO and you're a winner!

Should we have to do all this to be awarded the benefits we worked so hard for? No, of course not. But it is what it is so you may as well accept that and move ahead with your claims...and consider an IMO today!

The Law Offices of David Anaise, MD JD
Board Certified Physician/Surgeon    Accredited Veterans Law Attorney    

Military Veteran​
DRO, BVA, CAVC Appeals     Nexus Letters    

Independent Medical Opinions
Has Your Claim Been Denied?   Do you need an IMO or a DBQ?

You'll need to speak with an expert physician and then a veterans law attorney.

Why not speak with both at the same time?
(520) 219-7321    Free Case Evaluation    (520) 219-7344

IMO/IME   Independent Medical Opinions   Independent Medical Examinations

We recommend that every veteran consider seeking an Independent Medical Examination (IME) or an Independent Medical Opinion (IMO) for their VA disability benefits claim. The VA has become increasingly difficult to navigate.

Because of the difficulty in receiving a fair decision from VA, we at VAWatchdog have recognized that veterans who have even the simplest claims can no longer rely on a fair decision. Every veteran should prepare to have expert help as they develop their claim. This includes legal representation by a VA accredited attorney as well as expert opinions from highly skilled and well qualified physicians.

There is a difference in the IME and the IMO. The IME requires your physical presence
in front of the examining physician. The IMO is based on the opinion of the physician after he has thoroughly reviewed your records. It is our opinion that the IMO may

be the better choice in most cases.

To write an acceptable IMO is not a simple task. The physician must first understand the law that applies to the claim.

The physician must know the details of how disabling conditions may affect the overall quality of life of the veteran patient. Disability law is not something that most physicians are trained in. Each of the doctors featured here is expert in the arena of

disability medicine. We urge veterans to review their claims with one of these physicians and to seek the help of an attorney.

How Do You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits?
Information on social security disability benefits

Website Monitoring Tool

Misuse of Certain Nonopioid Analgesics on the Rise
Gabapentin, Baclofen May Be Seen

as Opioid Alternatives


​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!

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

Social Security Scammers Are Trying a New Trick
These criminals have added fake emailed documents to their repertoires -- often using the official SSA letterhead.

VA Releases Survivors Quick Start Guide
Reference guide to help during final

arrangements planning

What You Should Know about Disability and Debt

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

An IMO by an expert  often makes the difference!

How To File a VA Disability Appeal
You have the right to appeal any benefits decision made by the Veterans Benefits Administration. The VA appeals process is set in law and is different from other judicial appeals processes. Find out how to file an appeal.

Has VA medical care caused you an injury or other harm?

You can sue the VA for medical malpractice but it's a complex process and you'll want lawyers who have

done this successfully in the past. There are strict time limits and draconian regulations to follow. 

​Get some advice now!

Download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter

proving their status. 

For Better Brain Health, Preserve Your Hearing
Hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, exceeding that of smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise and social isolation.

Hello Jim...

Can you help me with....

​Family Medical Leave Act problems after husband's deployment

Vet being harassed at work

VA doctor malpractice

Child support arrears create hardship

68 year old veteran with cancer

When did the Vietnam era start

Radiation treatment for prostate cancer and now C& P exam

Diabetes claim secondary to OSA

Revisiting child support order

Gulf War veteran behavior found to be willful misconduct

​All these and many more answers to your questions can be found at 

Jim's Mailbag

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

Why Getting a Diagnosis Matters

​A diagnosis does so much more than get noted in your medical history. It also can help you apply for programs like Social Security Disability and medical marijuana cards. And maybe even more importantly, it can help you explain yourself to friends, colleagues and family.

Be a  VA  Volunteer.

I did that for years & it's

the best thing ever. Get 

into the belly of the beast.

VA  loves  volunteers!

Do You Need

Medical Care

​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 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!!!

​Create or update your will fast / 100% free

Make your will with FreeWill today

Healthcare directives, 

proxies, living wills and durable financial power of attorney.

All are free to use.

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

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?

Chronic Pain Is an Impossible Problem
A “safe” alternative to opioid painkillers

turns out to be not so safe.

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.

40 Stories From Women

About Life in the Military​   

"Not Many Women Get

to Do What I Do"

Military Sisterhood Initiative to go live February 18
A social platform to build peer

support community for women Veterans

Military Records DD 214

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!

Google Tracks You

and we don't.
​DuckDuckGo apps block

Google's hidden trackers.
​The world needs an alternative

Robert Wilkie  <>  ​855-948-2311

One More Reason You Need An Independent Medical Opinion


Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving Conditions of the Spine

Training book used for VA

'How To Lie With Statistics'

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently


​How to ensure seamless care while traveling

How Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support

Affect Veterans' VA Benefits
VA benefits can be garnished only for spousal

or child support, and only under certain conditions.

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

or increased disability compensation.

Jim's Mailbag

Your 2020 Guide to Social Security Benefits
Whether you’re claiming Social Security in 2020, have been collecting benefits for years, or are still decades away, here’s what you need to know about this critically important retirement program.

Marijuana Accessories

Where should we retire?

We get $2,470 a month from Social Security

and want a warm, friendly city near the ocean.

VA launches online patient portal for veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

announced the launch of an online patient portal

this month that will provide service veterans

with digital access to their patient statements.