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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.
You've Arrived at the VAWatchdog Dot Org!
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.
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.
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 simple...you 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!
Speak with any or all of the doctors here for free
ask how the doctor can help your claim.
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.
Call 925-381-7561 Email email@example.com
Do Your Homework!
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
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
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
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
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 today...call 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.
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
Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog
and ask about veterans discounts!
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.
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Schedule for Rating Disabilities
Owe VA Money???
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 Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA disability benefits
You can browse all of these Q&As here, and search the Jim's Mailbag archives for helpful answers.
Military Sisterhood Initiative to go live February 18
A social platform to build peer
support community for women Veterans
Military Records DD 214
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
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!
Need Help Filing A Claim?
Google Tracks You
and we don't.
DuckDuckGo apps block
Google's hidden trackers.
The world needs an alternative
Robert Wilkie <firstname.lastname@example.org> 855-948-2311
One More Reason You Need An Independent Medical Opinion
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
'How To Lie With Statistics'
Locate information more quickly and efficiently
How to ensure seamless care while traveling
How to file a VA disability claim
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation
or increased disability compensation.
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.
We get $2,470 a month from Social Security
and want a warm, friendly city near the ocean.
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.