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Delays? Misinformation?


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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. 


Military Health

History Pocket Card

Did you see combat, enemy fire,

or casualties? Were you or a buddy wounded, injured or hospitalized?​ 

Do you have a claim pending for illness or injury related to your military service?

​Do you have a service-connected condition?

Welcome Home​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The VA Watchdog Dot Org

Let's Talk About The Benefits You Earned via Your

Honorable Service To Our Country​​​​​​​

Budget Projects Employment Growth

at VA, Agriculture, Other Agencies

​​Some 29,000 of those

positions would be at the VA

​​How to apply for VA health care

Find out if you’re eligible for

VA health care benefits.

C & P Exams unemployability

tdiu benefit

I forgot to tell the examiner some things, ​now what should I do?

Secondary Conditions are disabling injuries, illnesses or diseases that may be caused or aggravated by your existing service connected conditions. Nomenclature is very important when working with VA so it helps for you to understand  the language.

The term "condition" is used to describe any physical or mental health problem you may have.  A condition is an injury or an illness that occurred during your military service. The condition may be disabling or not. 

You may have had a condition like a fungal infection that was treated and cleared up with treatment. That isn't disabling but it may be rated as service connected at 0% disabling.

Or you may have had a significant injury such as a gunshot wound. Even though it was treated, that wound may have left you with only a partial use of the affected limb and a big scar.

That's a disabling condition and will likely be awarded an appropriate rating for purposes of compensation.

Vietnam Vet?

When a soldier considered a Vietnam Era Vet, is it correct in putting "Vietnam Veteran" on the grave marker? Or is it disrespectful to the "Vietnam Veteran" who actually fought?

​​Jim's Reply:
I personally draw a bright line between those who served in direct combat or in the combat zone as opposed to those like myself who never got close. I'm Vietnam era, it was only by the luck of the draw that I went to Germany, I was headed to Vietnam when my orders changed to Germany. I did what we all did, I went where I was told to go. For what it's worth I don't have any 'survivor's guilt' either. Part of doing a good job as a soldier is to go where you're told when you're told to go and to do an exemplary job of it when you arrive. 
I understand the difference and I have a deep respect for anyone who has served in a region where others are actively trying to kill him/her 24x7. Nobody fired a shot at me at my hospital in Germany. A drunk guy threw a beer bottle at me one evening at the local gasthaus but he missed. My service was different than my brothers and sisters who went to Vietnam.
Others like to embellish what they've done and act like they were tough guys back in the day so any association with Vietnam gives them some sort of legitimacy in their mind. I don't pay that much attention other than it's embarrassing. I've had the honor of meeting real heroes...WWII POWs and such. My father was a USMC gunny who earned his first Purple Heart landing on Iwo Jima....then came Korea.
The wannabes don't get on my radar often.
How your
VA National Cemetery Services sees it is here. Thanks for your interesting question.

Veterans Personal Injury Lawyer


Hello Jim. I filed a claim 6 years ago for lung granulomas and severe obstructive air flow from the lungs due to asbestos. I use inhalers and have shortness of breath. The VA conceded asbestos exposure during yard periods on my old ship and on my last decision, but came back saying they couldn’t fully grant my claim. They are now sending it back to the BVA in D.C. Does this sound like I’m getting any closer to getting the granted decision I feel I’m due? Thank you for your time.

​​Jim's Reply:
I wish I had the power to tell you that you're getting closer to prevailing in your claim. Unfortunately, my crystal ball is out for repair. What I can tell you is that if you don't have a veterans law attorney representing you, your chances of winning are less than if you had professional representation.
It's proven year after year that 
attorney representation is the edge when it comes to your BVA appeal. Good luck!

Second Cancers After Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors may develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.

Secondary Conditions

Veterans Lawyer

Veterans Benefits Administration Reports

​Detailed Claims Data    Status Reports
Reports contain data covering claims inventory, claims
backlog, claims accuracy, and Fully Developed Claims. 

U.S. Code: Title 38


Need Help?

This is who we recommend

Many service members use industrial solvents in regular military tasks

​Benzene   Tetrachloroethylene

(PCE or PERC)   Acetone    Trichloroethylene (TCE)   Xylenes​


Veterans Lawyer

The best way I know

of to learn

how VA views your condition and rating is to search for similar cases and their outcomes when appealing various issues about them.

If you'll 

 use the BVA search engine...

it's'll learn

just how others have

managed their similar

claims and appeals.

Veterans nexus letters IMO DBQ

Service Connection

Service connection may be granted for a disability resulting from a disease or injury incurred in or aggravated by active service. See U.S.C. §§ 1110, 1131; 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(a). To establish a right to compensation for a present disability, a Veteran must show: (1) the existence of a present disability; (2) in-service occurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and (3) a causal relationship between the present disability and the disease or injury incurred or aggravated during service. Holton v. Shinseki, 557 F.3d 1362, 1366

What is thyroid disease?

​Thyroid disease is a general term for a medical condition that keeps your thyroid from making the right amount of hormones.

Is there a higher risk of developing thyroid disease if I have diabetes?
If you have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease than people without diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. If you already have one autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one.
For people with type 2 diabetes, the risk is lower, but still there. If you have type 2 diabetes, you’re more likely to develop a thyroid disease later in life.

​Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can include:
Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
Having trouble sleeping.
Losing weight.

​More Symptoms

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can include:
Feeling tired (fatigue).
Gaining weight.
Experiencing forgetfulness.

More Symptoms

Hearing loss can affect more than just your hearing.

The mental and emotional effects of hearing loss include changes to your self-esteem and the way that you interact with others.

Hearing loss is a great example of how a rated condition can cause, contribute to or aggravate your mental health.

Talk with Dr. Valette today  to learn if you have a claim for conditions secondary to your hearing loss, tinnitus or other physically disabling conditions.​​

Federal Tort and

Section 1151 Claims
When something goes wrong and

the veteran suffers an injury or

death due to the negligence of

a federal employee, the veteran

or his/her spouse may pursue

claims under the

Federal Tort Claims Act

What You'll Find Here

​Up-To-Date News About Your Benefits,  Headlines Important To You, How-To  Articles  & Links to Pros Who Can Help. 

detailed claims data veterans administration

Entitlement to service connection

for bilateral foot disability claimed

as secondary to

carbon tetrachloride exposure.

You Are Not Alone!

Right now is the time for you to

connect and begin to heal.

Right. Now.

The reports of American decline

are greatly exaggerated
America is wealthy, influential, powerful,

and increasingly equal.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

A veteran is entitled to disability compensation if he or she were

(1) discharged or released from the military under conditions other than dishonorable,

(2) their disease or injury was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and

(3) the disease or injury was not the result of the their own willful misconduct

or abuse of drugs.

Clear & Unmistakable Error

The CUE Claim

Justices to consider scope of “clear and unmistakable error” review of Veterans Affairs decisions.

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. 

national cemetery administration veterans affairs

Types of VA disability claims and when to file
Find out when you can first file a claim for service-connected benefits—and what to do if you

want to request more benefits or have new evidence to support a claim we denied in the past. 

You can file a secondary claim to get more disability benefits for a new disability

that’s linked to a service-connected disability you already have.

Diabetes Overview - Complications

​Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems. The conditions listed below may be caused or aggravated by your service connected diabetes and are thus disabling conditions that may be rated as secondary to diabetes.

​DKA (ketoacidosis) & ketones


​Skin complications

​Eye complications

Foot complications

​​Kidney disease (nephropathy)

​​Cardiovascular disease (CVD)

High blood pressure


Hearing loss can affect more than just your hearing.

The mental and emotional effects of hearing loss include changes to your self-esteem and the way that you interact with others.

Hearing loss is a great example of how a rated condition can cause, contribute to or aggravate your mental health.

Talk with Dr. Valette today  to learn if you have a claim for conditions secondary to your hearing loss, tinnitus or other physically disabling conditions.​​

C & P exam?

I am a
Camp Lejeune contaminated water survivor. In Feb. 2022 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which is on the CLCW presumptive illness list for compensation. I meet the requirements as set forth by the VA. My VSO filed a claim in the middle of March. Now a week ago the VA notified me I will have to attend a C&P exam. My question is: since I qualify as a contaminated water survivor and have a diagnosis, which is the 2 requirements for this to be service connected, why is the VA requiring me to attend a C&P exam? Thank you for your time. 

Jim's Reply:
As you read through this keep in mind that I'm a professional cynic, a curmudgeon by nature.

I'm also a Lejeune survivor, I was a child when dad was stationed there...we lived at Tawara Terrace so we had the full benefit of the contamination. Both parents passed with bladder and kidney diseases, I'm being worked up for mine in the coming weeks.
There is no good reason for you to have a C & P exam. Nada, zip, zero...not a single good reason for you to show up for an exam, period.
However, the businesses that make up the providers for those exams are owned by retired VA executives. Their businesses are paid by the exam so if they can schedule you for 2 unnecessary exams, so much the better.
Believe it or not, VA even has thought this through and 
they have a process in place that will keep most of us from needing an exam. The ACE process makes a lot of sense and would reduce processing time and save a lot of taxpayer dollars so you can bet you'll never hear of it!
In the end there's not a thing you can do about it. If you fuss or choose to skip an exam, VA will default to denial and call you a no-show. Once that happens your records will forever reflect that you're a no-show and thus not profitable to the company.
Yes, you're correct, this is an outrage and shouldn't happen. However, it is what it is and the best I can tell you is that this time you embrace the suck and enjoy your visit with your examiner. Good luck sir.

38 CFR Book C, Schedule for Rating Disabilities   tells you the standards you must meet to be awarded a % rating for

a given condition. Below we've selected

a few of the most frequently 

needed sections of   The Schedule

What You Won't Find Here

 User Fees, Hidden Fees, Rumors,​ 

Requests For Donations, Mailing Lists

or Registration Requirements.

Are You Scheduled For

C & P Exams??

You should read:

C&P Service Clinician’s Guide

Disability benefits can enhance your independence and help you care for your family
​​Veterans’ Benefits Rating and Rates   Disability Compensation
Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service —

no matter when or where they served — may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits.

Stateside Legal Help For Veterans