"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

How To

When you deal with your VA benefits there are dozens, maybe hundreds of resources on the Internet, usually way too complex

to read or they want your money to open their secrets...how do you choose where to take advice and council?  I think I have

the answer. When you want to deal with your VA, whether you're filing a claim or trying to get along with your health care providers,

you need to hear the voice of a veteran who actually uses the VA. I'm in the process of providing that resource for you...for free.

No sign-up, no registration, instant access to reliable information. It's your VA, use it effectively.

This is a Work In Progress throughout 2021. Check back every now and then for updates.

Jim’s Everyday Guide to Veterans Benefits

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

American Rescue Plan Helps Veterans
As part of the American Rescue Plan, the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP)

provides financial aid to help you recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn if you're eligible and how to apply!

Medical Experts For Veterans Disability Claims 

Serving Veterans, Service Officers, & Attorneys since 2015 

Nexus Letters / Medical Opinions  -  Get Started Now

Roger Hale, Esq.

​Veterans Law Attorney        Personal Injury Law

Nationwide Representation        Free Veterans Consultations
Workers Compensation  -  Social Security Disability  -  Pain & Suffering  -  Emotional & Mental Anguish​​

Veterans unemployed due to pandemic now eligible for VA job training funds

​VRRAP covers education and training programs approved under the GI Bill and Veteran Employment

Through Technology Education Courses, or VET TEC, that lead to high-demand jobs.

These include associate degrees, non-college degrees, and certificate programs.

​​Alabama

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

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

Gregory Rada  Veterans Law Attorney

Military Veteran - Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom

VA disability appeals, TDIU claims, MST, PTSD, other mental health disability claims, appeals and veterans disability claims processes.

Attorney Rada offers free telephone case evaluations and nationwide representation.

Interest rate reduction refinance loan
If you have an existing VA-backed home loan and you want to reduce your monthly mortgage payments—

or make your payments more stable—an interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) may be right for you.

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. 

Type your paragraph here.

SCRA​​
Question:
Good Day, I have bought a car through a Chevrolet dealership and it was financed through Credit Acceptance. For the past two months,  I have been trying to get the SCRA on my financed car through Credit Acceptance. They keep telling me they are unable to do so unless they get my Active Duty orders, which I sent to them.  And when I call,  they are telling me I should speak to the Chevrolet dealership n order to get it.
Reply:
The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) covers many financial legal actions that can happen when you're called up for active duty or suddenly deployed from your home. I'm not sure how it is that you believe that SCRA should be in effect for you but I have to point out that the SCRA provision doesn't provide you protection from paying your debts. If you don't meet the specific eligibility requirements for SCRA,  then actions like repossession can and do happen and then you're left to sort it all out in court later. If you feel that an auto dealership has caused you financial harm and that SCRA applies to your situation, you should consult a JAG or a civilian attorney.

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.

Presumptive Veterans Disability Conditions

Question: Service connected prostate cancer is temporarily rated 100% disabling until veteran receives surgery treatment. Approximately six months following treatment, VA evaluates 100% rating and if PSA is considered undetectable at time of evaluation, VA reduces rating to applicable % for any secondary conditions. Reason for rate reduction is VA considers veteran cured of prostate cancer due to undetectable PSA. Five years hence of rate reduction, veteran diagnosed with biochemical prostate cancer recurrence and is treated again, this time with radiation therapy and adjuvant hormone deprivation therapy. The VA increases disability rating to 100% due to active cancer recurrence. Again, 100% rating is temporary and subject to VA evaluation approximately six months following treatment. Likewise, if PSA level is again undetectable, VA will reduce 100% rating because the veteran prostate cancer is considered cured once again. So how many times must the prostate cancer recur and be treated before the VA rates the disability permanent?

Answer: Great question. The answer...maybe never.
The VA stance on whether or not any cancer is permanent is in need of an update by Congress. For that matter, the entire VA disability rating system is ancient and doesn't serve anyone well today. Attempts have been made to get the system updated and failed.
The 
Dole Shalala Commission was probably the most thorough analysis and recommendation update I've seen. It was complete, workable, understandable and affordable so it was promptly shelved by VA.
Let your Congressional representatives know how you feel and maybe some day we'll have a system that works.

Vaccine Eligibility Expanded at DoD Sites

All eligible and authorized TRICARE beneficiaries and Defense Department personnel

can now get vaccinated for Covid-19 at DoD sites.

Get Started
Two options explaining the

Benefits you've earned.

Dependents & Survivor Benefits    Specializing In Veterans Law  Federal Tort Claims  Disability Claims

Free Veterans Case Reviews     Nationwide Representation

Veterans Struggle to Get Copies of Needed Service Records Due to Pandemic
Access to some VA benefits, services delayed as backlog of requests hits 500,000

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)

The Government Attic.org

​Fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities and fun stuff and government bloopers, they're all here.

Were you hazed while serving in the military? GAO may want to hear from you

​The Government Accountability Office is looking for service members who were victims of hazing while they served.

The office is collecting the information for a study on the Defense Department’s efforts to prevent and respond to hazing.

The Government Accountability Office

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

discounts for America's

military veterans!

Veteran Disability Claims 

Nexus and IMO Letters

Welcome to the KnowVA Knowledge Base

Locate information more quickly and efficiently

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans

Where did your claim disappear to?

Veterans hit by huge pandemic-related records backlog
National Archives estimates it will take 18 to 24 months to clear the backlog once the records center is fully staffed

How to file a VA

disability claim
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation

or increased disability compensation.

CDC updates guidance on how COVID-19 spreads

​The CDC updated its guidance on COVID-19 transmission May 7,

underscoring that the virus spreads via small respiratory droplets and particles in the air.

 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 Affairs:Use of Additional Funding for COVID-19 Relief

​As of April 14, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported 224,538 cumulative 

COVID-19 cases among veterans, with 11,366 deaths.

Never Stop Reading

Never Stop Learning

Rates of Parkinson’s disease are exploding.

A common chemical - trichloroethylene (TCE) - may be to blame

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

​Fraud Alert: COVID-19 Scams

COVID-19 fraud is rapidly evolving. This page is frequently updated.

38 CFR Book C 

Schedule for Rating Disabilities

Do you need some help with your claim?

I'm accepting limited appointments to talk live on the phone or to videoconference with you. There is no fee for this service.

If you'd like to talk, provide me with some information about who you are and what's up and I'll be in touch.  /s/ Jim

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.

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 

I'm Jim Strickland

and ​I approve of this message.

Three Consequences of Using Marijuana After Your State “Legalizes”

​1. Marijuana users will fail future NICS firearm background checks. 

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

New financial tool provides Veterans more control and transparency

Any Veteran with a debt related to VA benefits can now access their debt information online

The secret truth of the student debt crisis

Most student debt will be canceled sooner or later, because an ever-growing share

of borrowers cannot possibly repay their loans. Ever. 

Jim's

                     Mailbag

The NPRC
Military Records

​​​​The VA Watchdog Dot Org

Since 2005, We're Keeping An Eye On Your VA

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 share what I'm reading today, the important stuff.  Feedback  is always welcomed.

​NO DIGITAL ADVERTISING means no ad-trackers. Nobody is looking at your data here.

Drew Early

Veterans Law Attorney
 Graduate of the US Military Academy West Point, 20 years of active Army service, multiple deployments,

XVIII Airborne Corps, and Third Army, Airborne and Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal badges. 

Free Case Assessment - Nationwide Representation

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

DBQs   Nexus Letters Medical Records Reviews  

Independent Medical Opinions

Nationwide Representation

$113.1 Billion Discretionary VA Bill for ’22 Submitted

​The Biden administration’s proposed $113.1 billion spending bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs addresses delivery of health-care services, homelessness, suicide prevention, support for caregivers, and technological improvements.