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per·ma·nence

The state or quality of lasting or remaining unchanged indefinitely.

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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.

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

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

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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.

PTSD Evaluations and Veteran Medical Opinions

Brett Valette, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

If you have served in any war from Viet Nam to Iraq and Afghanistan, and if you’ve had

any traumatic experience that is affecting you today, then you need to talk to me as

I can do a compassionate record review and Independent Veteran Medical

Opinion (IMO) based on your psychiatric issues.

I’m Dr. Brett Valette, a clinical psychologist and I’ve specialized in PTSD and

trauma evaluations for over 15 years. If it’s a combat trauma, or if you were

non-combat but experienced traumatic events, or if you were a victim of sexual trauma,

I want to help you because VA often mis-categorizes these serious PTSD

related issues as personality disorders.


If you were previously denied benefits, or you were labeled as “not fitting criteria” or if you

have not had a service connected condition, I can help you as I have 15 years

worth of experience with these types of veteran medical opinion related benefits.

Maybe you felt pressured upon your return to fill out your forms stating “I’m fine,” and now your

wife is going to leave you because you’re ‘acting crazy’ and your parents say,

“You aren’t the same person anymore.” So, in your records you have denied

any problems and there is no paper trail of treatment or symptoms.

You now feel you are ‘left out to dry’; abandoned by the military. I can help you.

Some Vets have worsening of their condition after they’re home for a few years. Suddenly

they find themselves living in isolation, sleeping with their gun, having angry outbursts at

their partners and even their children. The people who are important to you are now afraid

of you. When you leave your house you scan for danger, you plan escape routes

(even in McDonalds), ‘stupid drivers’ should be run off the road, and disrespect for

you is all around. You need to talk to me.

Maybe your service connected disability rating is too low. Things change.

Symptoms change. Stress and life pressure changes. Let me help you.

Some Vets have waited for months or years to get an evaluation. Then the doctor they see

is pressured and gets them “in and out.’ The interview was short and shallow, the final

report was incomplete and inadequate. And who has to live with the outcome? You do.

This will never happen if you want an evaluation with me.

I have been providing Independent Medical Opinions and Evaluations for over 15 years.

I specialize in PTSD, TBI, Post Concussive Disorder, Cognitive Impairments, and

Mood Disorders (depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety;

many of these symptoms are part of PTSD).

Call or email me and let’s talk. I want to help, and I can help. An effective, specialized

evaluation with a complete, compassionate, compelling, and clinically supported

report will absolutely positively impact your claim. I charge one flat fee for my

evaluation (phone, or computer), full review of your medical records, and a VA c

ompliant report that identifies the issues correctly so that the VA can rate your

benefits appropriately in the most advantageous way for you. ( n.b. The VA rules

state that the most advantageous rating is supposed to be assigned for each

patient based on the patient’s records and a veteran medical opinion.)

I also work with Dr. Bash who can also provide a collaborative and integrative

veteran medical opinion, physical exam, IME and expertly detailed report.


Thank you for your time and your trust in me,

Brett Valette, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist National Register Psychologist #54029


My web sites: www.globalhealthevaluations.com and www.Shrink911.net

My Email: bvalette@aol.com

Office: 303 465-3147


Dr. Craig Bash has been helping veterans with

independent medical opinions for over 20 years.  

In that time, he has helped over 4000 veterans with over 40,000 claims with a high

success rate.  He has hundreds of cases at the BVA, which can be searched under

the BVA search engine or found on his web site at www.veteransmedadvisor.com.   

He has over 1000 name mentions at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).

He is an assistant Professor and invited lecturer at the Uniformed Services

University of the Health Sciences. He has been an expert witness for world class

medical systems such as the the VA and Johns Hopkins medical centers.  

Additionally, he has 15 years of research experience at the National Institutes

of Health  (NIH) where he studied experimental MRI imaging of neurologic disease.

He was previously a deputy doctor of medical services at the Paralyzed Veterans

of America (PVA) and he has done over 50 sites visits to the 

VA's largest hospitals for quality of care purposes. 

Dr. Bash has been 100% VA disabled since his 1984 spinal cord injury which

required a 5 month VA inpatient rehabilitation stay.  Thus he is familiar with VA

care and rating system from a users prospective.

He also professional knows the private and government sector issues in quality 

of care and how these care issues/diseases interface with the VA rating system. 

The key to his success is his training, credentials, thoroughness and

experience with VA cases. 

Craig N. Bash M.D., M.B.A.
Neuro-Radiologist and Associate Professor


Dr. Bash works hard to get veterans the Maximum Available

Benefits (MAB) for their disabilities. Some examples of his work are at the links below...


http://www.theskanner.com/news/northwest/9088-doctor-helps-

disabled-veterans-settle-benefits-claims-2010-12-22


http://www.theskanner.com/news/usa/18088-expert-says-biggest-

delay-in-va-backlog-lies-with-wasteful-appeals-management-center-2013-04-05


http://salem-news.com/articles/march282009/quad_doc_3-29-08.php


http://www.theskanner.com/?searchword=craig+bash&option=com_

search&searchphrase=exact&limit=50&ordering=newest


Radio:

http://www.svr-radio.com/archives.html


Veterans Affairs Disability Benefits

IMO/IME   Independent Medical Opinions

Independent Medical Examinations    Nexus Letters

Medical Records Review

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.


Dr. David Anaise is a physician and a lawyer.

In interviews with Dr. Anaise we've asked and learned much about him.

In discussions with Dr. Anaise he's told us:
"In addition to being a lawyer, I am a surgeon with almost thirty years of medical experience.

I was Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery and Attending Surgeon in Transplantation at

SUNY at Stony Brook. I served as President of the New York Transplantation Society

and as Assistant Editor of Transplantation Proceedings.
I have authored three book chapters, three patents and 106

research papers published in peer reviewed medical journals.
My background in medicine and research makes me well qualified to thoroughly

review and present your disability case. I obtain, study and analyze all your medical

records and perform independent medical research relevant to the issues of your case.

I then present an analysis presenting your medical history in a way that best supports your claim.
The submission all the medical report  which does not contain an actual physical

examination or even the submission of a medical treatises requires the board to

address the reports or  the medical treatises. In a decision rendered by

Judge Bartley In Bowers v Shinseki NO. 11-3022  Judge Bartley was critical of the BVA’s

failure to address a medical treatises provided by the veteran.
The BVA held that such report was merely laypersons opinion. Judge Bartley held,

'As a layperson, the Veteran is not competent generally to render a probative opinion on a

medical matter. Mr. Bowers, however, was not offering his own subjective opinion as to the

growth rate of gallstones; he was repeating the data reported in professional

medical treatises he submitted. Certainly, a layperson is competent to report information

provided by a medical professional. Cf. Jandreau v. Nicholson, 492 F.3d 1372, 1377

(Fed. Cir.2007) (holding that a veteran is competent to repeat a

medical diagnosis and report observable symptoms).
In labeling the veteran's report of the growth rate of gallstones as incompetent lay

opinion, the Board avoided addressing the substance of the medical treatise

evidence Mr. Bowers submitted, just as the Board failed to address those treatises

directly. Thus, the Board's failure to address the medical treatise evidence that

was favorable to Mr.Bowers was not harmless. See Sanders and Caluza, both supra.

As such, remand is warranted.'"
You may learn more about Dr. Anaise
by visiting his web site here.

Contact VAWatchdog

Email Jim Strickland

<jim912@gmail.com>​​

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VA has three RPOs that handle GI Bill claims.

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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 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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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.

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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.

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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.