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

as Opioid Alternatives

The NPRC
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  <robert.wilkie@va.gov>  ​855-948-2311

One More Reason You Need An Independent Medical Opinion

VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving Conditions of the Spine

Training book used for VA

'How To Lie With Statistics'

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

An IMO by an expert  often makes the difference!

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.

Dr. David Anaise

Physician - Surgeon - Veteran

Veterans Law Attorney

The VAWatchdog

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​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

VAWatchdog Dot Org

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

Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Benefits

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

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities  defines the disabling conditions you're filing claims for
and gives you the details of what your ratings will be if you meet these standards.
To successfully file a disability claim and avoid the appeals trap, learn the rules of how
your condition is rated and  
coordinate that with your IMO doctor.

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

Gulf War Presumptions  Gulf War Service
For VA benefit purposes, Gulf War service is active military duty in any of the following areas in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations any time during the first Gulf War starting August 2, 1990 through the current conflict in Iraq.  
This includes Veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010 and continuing).
Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea & the airspace above these locations.

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.

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently

Traveling?

​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.

Florida Veterans

Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog

and ask about veterans discounts!​

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.

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.

AT WAR
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

Should I file a claim?

Potential VA claims?

​What am I missing in the VA claims process?

​r/VeteransBenefits

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.​​

​Veterans' Diseases Associated with Agent Orange
VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to a Veteran's qualifying military service. We call these "presumptive diseases."
VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. 
Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for benefits for these diseases.

Presumptive Veterans Disability Conditions

WHAT IS “PRESUMPTIVE” SERVICE CONNECTION?
VA presumes that specific disabilities diagnosed in certain veterans were caused by their military service. VA does this because of the unique circumstances of their military service. If one of these conditions is diagnosed in a Veteran in one of these groups, VA presumes that the circumstances of his/her service caused the condition, and disability compensation can be awarded.

DISABILITY COMPENSATION  “PRESUMPTIVE” DISABILITY BENEFITS
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment and other important benefits. Ask your VA representative or Veterans Service Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors’ Benefits. 

Agent Orange

Parkinson's Disease - A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement
Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset - A nervous system condition that causes numbness,

tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be

at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.
Porphyria Cutanea Tarda - A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and

blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations,

it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
Prostate Cancer - Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men
Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer) Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma,

or mesothelioma) A group of different types of cancers in body tissues

such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues

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   drbash@doctor.com

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

Website Monitoring Tool

INN TO THE FOREST

​Lodging & Camping in southern Illinois with access to the Shawnee National​

We offer lodging, camping,

​stabling, corral, pasture,

access to a hunting lease and

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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.

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.

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

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

RIGHT NOW?
​You are already authorized

to use an urgent

care clinic!

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.
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PAPER Evidence Records

and Claims All Go Here

​V A Claims Intake Center
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JANESVILLE, WI

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

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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. 

​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. 

Presumptive Conditions
A "condition", in the language of the VA, is any disease, illness or injury that occurs during active duty military service. To be service connected and eligible for a disability compensation rating, the condition must be caused or contributed to by an event that 
occurred during service. If the condition existed prior to service, it must be shown to have been aggravated (made worse) by military service.
To achieve a disability compensation rating, the veteran must prove that he or she had appropriate military service, that an event that caused the claimed condition occurred and that a medically diagnosed condition that is disabling exists today.
The regulations that govern presumptive conditions only eliminate the requirement to prove that an event caused the condition. For example, a Vietnam veteran does not have to prove that agent orange caused the diabetes he has today. It is presumed that he was  exposed to agent orange and also that agent orange is at the root of the diabetes.
While agent orange and the Vietnam veteran are the best known of all presumptive conditions and ratings, atomic veterans, certain Korean veterans and other veterans may also be eligible for presumptive ratings of certain conditions.
The regulations are complex. Some veterans who have a Vietnam Service Medal aren't eligible for presumptive ratings because they didn't set their boots on the soil of the country of Vietnam. Many Korean veterans don't realize that they may be eligible for service  connections due to exposure to the herbicide agent orange.
If you believe that you may be eligible for any presumptive condition and rating, the best way to find out is to file a VA disability claim. The process of adjudication is the only sure way to know.

​Medically Unexplained Chronic Multisymptom Illnesses
A prominent condition affecting Gulf War Veterans is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.
VA does not use the term “Gulf War Syndrome” when referring to “medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses” reported by Gulf War Veterans. Symptoms vary widely and therefore, do not meet the definition of a syndrome. 
A syndrome is a group of symptoms that usually occur together and characterize a certain disease or abnormal condition. That is why VA uses the term “medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses” instead of “Gulf War Syndrome.”
Gulf War Veterans who meet the criteria below do not need to prove a connection between their military service and medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses in order to receive VA disability compensation. VA presumes certain chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for 6 months or more are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause. These "presumptive" illnesses must have appeared during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or by 
December 31, 2016, and be at least 10 percent disabling. 
These illnesses include:
Chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition of long-term and severe fatigue that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions. 
Fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread muscle pain. Other symptoms may include insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory problems.
Functional gastrointestinal disorders, a group of conditions marked by chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Functional condition refers to an abnormal function of an organ, without a structural alteration in the tissues. 
Examples include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, and functional abdominal pain syndrome.
Undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to: abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.
VA’s final rule specifying that functional gastrointestinal disorders are covered as presumptive illnesses took effect on August 15, 2011.

38 CFR 3.309 - Disease subject to presumptive service connection.
§ 3.309 Disease subject to presumptive service connection.

(a) Chronic diseases. The following diseases shall be granted service connection although not otherwise established as incurred in or aggravated by service if manifested to a compensable degree within the applicable time limits under § 3.307 following service in a period of war or following peacetime service on or after January 1, 1947, provided the rebuttable presumption provisions of § 3.307 are also satisfied.

Agent Orange

Hodgkin's Disease - A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement

of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia
Ischemic Heart Disease - A disease characterized by a reduced supply of

blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain
Multiple Myeloma - A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue

A Brief History of Presumptive Disability Decisions for Veterans
Presumptions have played an important role in both the conceptual basis for service connection and the actual administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation program. Presumptions are used to bridge gaps in scientific and medical knowledge, as well as to resolve complex policy questions and simplify determinations of service connection for VA (VA, 1993a). This chapter offers a brief history of the presumptive disability decisions established for veterans since 1921. It is not intended as a comprehensive or exhaustive account of all presumptive decisions; rather, it provides background on presumptions—it explains how they operate, why they are used, and their role in making disability compensation available to veterans. The chapter focuses on presumptions for health outcomes rather than administrative presumptions. For a comprehensive review of presumptive decisions, the reader is referred to Analysis of Presumptions of Service Connection (VA, 1993a), Presumptions of Service Connection (Zeglin, 2006), VA Disability Compensation Program: Legislative History (Economic Systems Inc., 2004a), and VA Disability Compensation Program: Literature Review (Economic Systems Inc., 2004b).

Agent Orange

AL Amyloidosis - A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs
Chronic B-cell Leukemias - A type of cancer which affects white blood cells
Chloracne (or similar acneform disease) A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure

to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating

regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels

resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin