"It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired.

You quit when the gorilla is tired."  —  Robert Straus

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Meeting With A Family Law Attorney

Let's File A Claim

Filing your claim for VAbenefits isn't as hard as some want you to believe. Let's set the effective date of any claim you file in the next year. This one is easy so let's do it right now.

Intent To File A Claim Form

HEY!

Yeah you...

Buy some cookies from

my granddaughter.

Her daddy is an 

Iraq war vet.

These are great cookies.

You know you want to.

​​Alabama

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

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

7 Myths About the Coronavirus Vaccine

​Don’t be fooled by bad information or irrational skepticism. Get your shots as soon as possible.

Spine Pain Independent Medical Opinion

James Shields, MD, MBA...A Board Certified Physician

Veteran   Spine Pain, Weakness, Stiffness, Neck or Cervical Pain, Fibromyalgia,

​Intervertebral Disk Syndrome, Decreased Range of Motion, Degenerative Arthritis

of the Spine, Hip Pain or Weakness, Shoulder Pain or Weakness

Talk With Dr. Shields About An IMO, DBQs

or a Nexus Letter For Your Claim or Appeal

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

Gregory Rada

Veterans Law Attorney

Greg served in the Air Force as a C-17 loadmaster in both Operations Enduring

Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.  Greg's practice includes VA disability compensation

appeals, Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claims, MST, PTSD and other mental health disability claims and appeals and other veterans disability claims processes. Attorney

Rada offers free telephone case evaluations as well as nationwide representation.

Call today!    844-838-7529

Veterans Psych Evaluations
 Brett Valette, Ph.D.

Providing Military Veterans Personalized Psychological and Medical Evaluations. Complete the Contact form, and you'll get a personal phone call from us. We listen, and want to know what you are going through. We provide Independent Medical Evaluations (IME), Independent Medical Opinions (IMO) and nexus letters for ratings reviews, secondary conditions, medical conditions, discharge upgrades, and many types of denied claims.  We also provide Social Security Disability claim reports.

Some Wounds Can't Be Seen        Contact Us Today

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

disability benefits. Jim writes extensively about VA and Social Security disability benefits. 
Jim's Mailbag is a regular column featured at  Stateside Legal  where veterans, servicemembers,

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

Marijuana, Drug Testing and VA​​

Question:
If my Psychology find marijuana in my urine, what will he most like say or do to me concerning illegal marijuana in my urine?
Reply:
In a very broad sense, VA doesn't care if you smoke pot...you won't lose any benefits because you burn some rope. Your mental health provider may object, though, since marijuana is a psychoactive substance. The provider may think that it interferes with other therapy so don't be surprised if you're advised to quit.

Question:
I'm a 100% T&P Vietnam vet. My wife has CHAMPVA. At age 59, she has no other health insurance. Does CHAMPVA have deductibles and co-pay? When she sees a doctor who accepts CHAMPVA, does the doctor file a claim with CHAMPVA or does my wife have to pay the bill first and then file with CHAMPVA for reimbursement?

Jim's Reply:
My wife and I are in your situation. She has used CHAMPVA as her only insurer for years and we're very happy with it.
CHAMPVA health insurance is at once one of the best insurances available and simultaneously the most difficult of the VA's different divisions to deal with. Rather than answering your questions, I think it best to refer you to one or two of the dozens of web sites that CHAMPVA folks have posted to guide and/or confuse you. 
You can start here https://www.va.gov/health-care/family-caregiver-benefits/champva/ for example and then head to 
https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/docs/pubfiles/factsheets/FactSheet_01-04.pdf  to learn how CHAMPVA pays.
It may be helpful for you to use your Google search engine to look for more of the many bits of info out there that may be helpful. The trick to using CHAMPVA successfully is patience and then some more patience. Phone calls will be put on terminal hold, voice mails will be ignored, faxes will be lost as will certified mail. If you need to call CHAMPVA, get a coffee, find something to distract you while you wait and prepare to sit a while. Once you accept that it is what it is and that getting angry and wanting the system to respond to you won't help, you'll learn that many providers are happy with the payments, pharmacy is really simple and her choice of physicians is pretty great.In fact, she now has better access to health care than you do. Good luck!

For the first time, U.S. panel recommends screening adults for illicit drug use
“We have a pretty high prevalence of adults using illicit drugs and we’re seeing harms every day from that. This is a big change that we’re really excited about. Effective treatment is where we will finally begin to move the needle on the epidemic.”

Substance use, substance abuse, smoking marijuana in a legal state...the rumors and the controversy rage on.

Here are the facts.

VA could care less that you burn rope whether it's legal in your region or not. There is no penalty for using marijuana, you will not lose any disability benefits for abusing any substance. If you test positive during a not-so-random drug screen, your provider may tell you that there won't be any more pain meds prescribed but other than that, there is no penalty. If you test positive for opiates or cola or speed or whatever, you'll get a referral to a rehab program...maybe. That's it, nothing more. Your rights are not being violated by drug screening you. Get over it. Drug abuse, particularly opioids, is a huge health problem in our country and VA is treating that like a health problem...not a criminal issue...and that's a good thing!

I support drug screens of all adults at every encounter. It entertains me when my lab result for marijuana says HIGH.

No, you do not have to submit to

a drug test at VA. 

You can tell your provider you do

not want to be screened for drug use...

but that raises the question...why? What are you afraid of?

You may file claims on  eBenefits  or you can mail them in using certified mail or you can even fax them in. 

Download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need a letter proving their status. 

Jim Strickland

jim912@gmail.com

 Code of Federal Regulations

Title 38 - Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief

​Volume: 1

Date: 2019-07-01

Original Date: 2019-07-01

Title: PART 17 - MEDICAL 

Veterans: Stay Safe

From COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
Criminals continue to capitalize

on coronavirus pandemic

Never Stop Reading

Never Stop Learning

How Can Military Veterans Maximize Their Tax Benefits?
Expert explains 
tax breaks for military members

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

Veterans Law Attorney Texas

When You Hit A Dead End

The Department of Veterans Affairs

​White House Hotline

855 - 948 - 2311    

< Denis.McDonough@va.gov >


Yes, this really works. No, it doesn't ring in the White House. The email address and phone number are staffed by a seemingly serious group of players, many who are veterans, and if you have a legit issue, telling these folks is like bringing in the artillery. Let's prepare  for your call or email. Make some notes before you proceed so you don't forget anything. I prefer email since there's no waiting for someone to answer and I can take my time to prepare the story in just the right detail. Be sure to include your DOB, your last 4, contact info...a couple of numbers, your preferred email and such. Describe the problem as briefly as you can.  Less is more.  Include the necessary components but don't tell your life story.  Don't rant.  Be polite...military courtesy will get you places that hollering  IN ALL CAPS  won't.  Respect!  Don't waste their time with bogus complaints about your feelings being hurt. If you appropriately utilize this service, I'll vouch that this works like a champ. Tell them you read about this at The VAWatchdog Dot Org...they know who we are.

I'm Jim Strickland

and ​I approve of this message.

Specializing in Veterans Law
GloverLuck began with one goal in mind —

to help our veteran community get

the benefits and legal services they deserve.

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

Veteran

Independent Medical Opinions

DBQs   Nexus Letters

Service & Civilian Medical Records Reviews

Get In Touch With Dr. Seiter

Build Back Better Dot Gov

Denis McDonough
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Are You Rated For A Spine Condition?

Mistakes Have Been made!

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving
Conditions of the Spine
​​

Veterans PTSD Assessments

Independent Medical Opinions  Nexus Letters

Thomas Grieder, MD PhD

25 Years Service as a VA Psychiatrist

Lead Psychiatrist East Los Angeles

PTSD Clinical Team

Get In Contact With Dr. Grieder 

Veterans Law Attorney Drew Early
Graduate of the US Military Academy West Point
20 years of active Army service, multiple deployments, tours with 2 Infantry

Division, 10th Mountain Division , XVIII Airborne Corps, and Third Army,

Airborne and Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal badges.

Graduate of the Command and General Staff College Master's Degree in

Strategic Planning from the School of Advanced Military Studies

Get In Touch With Drew Today

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Because Somebody Has To!​


Welcome  Home!  I'm  Jim Strickland.  I'm an Army vet, I was 91-D20 in USAREUR at ​the

98th General Hospital near  Camp Baumholder 1967 - 1970.  I publish the VAWatchdog

Dot Org to help you obtain the benefits you earned by your service  to our country. 

I'll also share what I'm reading today, the important stuff. An informed veteran

​is a successful veteran.  Feedback  is always welcomed.

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When the examiner says, “more likely than not”

or “at least as likely as not”, how

does that affect the outcome of your claim?

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