USAFacts

Our nation in numbers

USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s

finances, and government’s impact on

society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this

information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining

and expanding it in the future.



Contact VAWatchdog

Email Jim Strickland

<jim912@gmail.com>

Fax us toll free

1-888-658-5058

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Things You'll Need














Mail your forms, documents
and evidence here...
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI 53547-5235


Toll Free Fax: 844-822-5246


We recommend that you mail a copy
and then fax a copy!  Yes, it's twice the
work but maybe VA will only lose one
and the other will be processed.
Remember: Use Certified Mail!

Forms to File Claims

VA Form 21-526EZ
For...
Disability Service Connection
Secondary Service Connection

IncreasedDisability Compensation

Temporary Total Disability Rating
 Individual Unemployability
Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151
 Special Monthly Compensation
Specially Adapted Housing

Special Home Adaptation

Automobile Allowance/Adaptive Equipment
Benefits Based on a Veteran's
Seriously Disabled Child


VA Form 21-0958 - NOD
​Notice of Disagreement

VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension
Change of Address​

TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140
Declaration of Status
of Dependents
VA form 21-686c


How To

How To Apply For SSDI

How To Apply For

TDIU Unemployability

How To Use

Disability Benefits Questionnaires

(DBQ's)

How To Apply For A Disability Rating

How To Apply For An Increase

to an existing rating

How To Retrieve Your

Military Personnel Records


Research Your Claim

The M21-1MR
The CFR
TDIU
SMC

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities




Veterans Benefits

Administration

(VBA)

Fact Sheets

Standard Claims and

Appeals Forms Update

Disability Compensation Benefits

C-123 Aircraft and

Agent Orange Exposure

DBQ's

TDIU

Unemployability

MST

Presumptive Benefits

Special Monthly

Compensation

(SMC)








Many VA Benefits aren't.


Read why and what you

should do about


Permanent & Total (P & T)




C & P Exams & the

Claims Process

New data sheets from VA

http://www.benefits.va.gov

/compensation/claimexam.asp.
If you’ve already been scheduled for a VA

claim exam, but need to reschedule the date

and time, be sure to change your

appointment using the phone number

given to you as soon as possible. For more

information about the claim process, go to www.benefits.va.gov/compensation


VA Claim Exam Factsheet

VA Claim Exam Tips

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

VA Claim Process Step-by-Step

Mental Health Exam Factsheet

Review Exams Factsheet



Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Veterans Administration [VA]

(DTRA)

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

VA Payment for Emergency Care

Patient Record Flags



OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

VA Benefits for Sleep Apnea

as a service

connection to PTSD
Brett Valette, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist



Speak With A

Veterans Law Attorney

An Expert Physician

or a

Veterans

Clinical Psychologist

TODAY!

Case Evaluations Are

Always Free!



PROCEDURAL Guidance
requests to Add Dependents

Legislation will help Pacific veterans

exposed to Agent Orange
How To Leak To ProPublica

Tech Q&A

Finding veterans' records online
MRI twice as likely as biopsy to spot

prostate cancer, research shows
Become a Freedom Fighter

Join the ACLU
VA starts domestic violence program

Department of Defense Extends

Online Military Exchange

Shopping Privileges to Veterans

Here's What Medicare Part A

Costs and Covers in 2017



Veterans Benefits

Administration

(VBA)

Benefit Brochures

The Fully Developed Claim

eClaim Disability

Compensation Brochure

eBenefits

Your VA & DoD Benefits. Online

Summary of VA Home Loan

Guaranty Benefits

Summary of VA Benefits

Summary of VA Benefits

for Disabled Veterans



The Veterans Voice

International


Opinion   Editorial

News & Views


(Under Construction)




VA SPOTLIGHT

Brett Valette, PhD


UPDATED...April 2017

This is a series of stories

bringing light to the dark side of the

VA’s treatment of some Veterans

applying for disability.  Whether out

of frustration, desperation, anger, or

‘just to make it right” they contacted me, and together, we fought the injustice. 

These are actual cases and claims. 

I have changed names and identifying

information for confidentiality reasons.


Spotlight March 2017

This is the first in a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability. 


Spotlight April 2017

Claim Killer DBQ Questions.
VA Spotlight is a series of stories bringing

light to the dark side of the VA’s treatment

of some Veterans applying for disability.

Whether out of frustration, desperation,

anger, or ‘just to makeit right” they contacted

me, and together, we fought the injustice.


Click Here To Contact Dr. Valette


VAWatchdog​

America's Leading Resource For
Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

Over Ten Years of Service to America's Military Veterans

Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads When They

Want To Learn What They've Been Doing

Welcome Aboard!

Veterans Medical Malpractice Attorney
Veterans Law Attorney
Veterans Law Attorney
Veterans Law Attorney



Do You Take Opoid Pain Medicine?
​Listen up!

​Have you had prescriptions for Codeine, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone,
​​Meperidine, Morphine, Oxycodone or Tramadol to treat your pain? Have you been
notified that your doctor isn't going to refill your prescription?
We are being inundated with emails and messages from you about how VA won't refill your
pain medicine prescriptions. Most of you are very angry. Some of you have already started
calling your Congressperson or a local VSO for help getting a refill on your Vicodin. Quite
a few want me to tell you who you can complain to at VA to ensure that your refills of narcotics 
continue uninterrupted, just like always. You all blame this on the damned VA.
The facts aren't all that elusive. This is happening to you because the law has changed. The VA
didn't change the law, the push for the change happened at the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The DEA decided the potential for abuse and risks required tighter restrictions than in the past.
This affects every doctor across America, not only VA doctors. When you tell me that your 
civilian doctor always refills your narcotic prescriptions, that lets us know you haven't been to
a civilian doctor lately. The DEA controls their license to prescribe. If the doctor doesn't
follow the new rules, he or she may quickly lose that privilege. Many doctors have decided
they will no longer write any narcotic prescriptions. The narcotics prescriptions of the future
will be written mostly by surgeons for short term treatment of pain caused by operative
procedures. Chronic and long term pain relief won't generally be treated with narcotics.
One problem you're confronting is that the more you ask for your narcotic prescription to be
refilled, the more you appear to fit the profile of "drug seeking behavior". Once you display 
anger because you ran out of Vicodin, you get that label and you're even more unlikely to
get any sympathy. Our advice? Talk with your primary care doctor. Be open about it if you 
may be dependent on narcotics and you need some help to leave them behind. Don't get angry.
The VA isn't putting up with your anger these days. Before you raise your voice, look around. The VA
police are serious in their work and will have you on the ground before you can say much.
If you want to complain, give the DEA a call. Tell them that you have the right to get narcotics free
from VA. Get really pissed with the agent. They'll be happy to hear from you.

This is the reality...deal with it.


The Pain Contract  
Your VA and many civilian providers today will insist that you sign a "Pain Contract" if you

are on any sort of pain medicines for more than a very brief period.
The reasoning behind this is controversial.
There is a common misconception that veterans who receive any sort of pain

medicine are likely to resell it at a very high profit. Like most of the rumors

that are published about the American "War On Drugs" there is little truth to this.
The majority of veterans who receive pain medicines from VA are just like you and

they have no reason to want to sell their medicines. The bulletins would have

you believe that every pill is worth an enormously inflated price

and that vets can get rich by selling their medicines.
The result of all this is that you are likely to be tested to ensure that you're taking

your medicines. Once you sign the pain contract you give VA the authority to test

you at any time. They are not required to tell you that you're being tested for drugs.
If you aren't taking your drugs at the time of the test, your provider may not

extend any more refills.
If other drugs (such as marijuana) are seen during the test, you may or may not be

counseled. That depends on the individual provider.


Pain contracts threaten the doctor-patient relationship 
Pain contracts can undermine patient trust  
The VHA Directive on Pain Management



Drug Tests

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_test 

Much of the testing in both civilian and VA and military settings is done with a

standardized 4 drug detection kit. The test of your urine would show the presence

of narcotics (Vicodin, Oxycontin, morphine, etc.). marijuana, cocaine (or crack) and

amphetamines. In some tests benzodiazepines (Valium and similar) may be detected.

Therefore, if you are tested to ensure that you are taking your prescribed medication

and you have been smoking marijuana, you'll likely get a call from your doctor.  

Some VA doctors won't tolerate your marijuana use at all. Others don't pay it any attention.



The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn't

care much about you smoking marijuana.


You won't lose a benefit if you're smoking marijuana.


The only people who are concerned are in the health care arena of the VA...your doctors.

Most enlightened physicians recognize that marijuana has some medicinal benefit

and that there is no evidence of harmful side effects other than the obvious...inhaling

hot smoke. Most agree that the single most devastating side effect of recreational

marijuana use is that it remains illegal and you may be arrested for it.

Having said that, your doctor may feel differently. If your doctor makes a decision

that you shouldn't be smoking, he or she has the right to ask you to stop. Few people

will try to help you with that sort of problem as the doctor is the

clinical authority and makes those decisions.


Most mental health providers will ask that you refrain from all recreational

substance use. If you are diagnosed with any mental health problems, your doctor

will want your head to be as clear as possible during treatment. You should comply.

Doctors who treat your chronic pain with narcotics may also tell you to lay off the

recreational marijuana. They want to be able to judge the effects of the

treatments they offer you without any other substances interfering.


Orthopedic doctors today are often refusing such surgery as hip and knee replacement

unless the patient gives up tobacco and marijuana. They believe that smoking

anything will displace vital oxygen and interfere with the critical healing process.

Doctors who do transplants like kidneys or other organs also frequently tell the

patient to quit smoking marijuana. This is as much a matter of discipline as anything else.

They know that if you refuse to follow their orders, you may not do as well with your

transplant and they can offer the organ to another patient who will be more compliant.

Although society is undergoing some positive changes in how we view

recreational substance use, marijuana remains an illegal drug. Federal laws

are strict and in some states, even a small amount can earn you jail time.

You do not have any "rights" to smoke pot. If you're smart, and you want to

keep your health care provider happy, you'll pay close attention to what the provider tells you.


Marijuana Use and the

Department of Veterans Affairs