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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?
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Are You Rated For A Spine Condition?
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< 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.
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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.
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
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You may file claims on eBenefits or you can mail them in using certified mail or you can even fax them in.
Title 38 - Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
Original Date: 2019-07-01
Title: PART 17 - MEDICAL
Never Stop Reading
Never Stop Learning
How Can Military Veterans Maximize Their Tax Benefits?
Expert explains tax breaks for military members
Schedule for Rating Disabilities
"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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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
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
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.
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Jim Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA
Social Security benefits are often available to the disabled veteran. There are plenty of twists and turns here though and the benefits aren't anywhere close to being the same.
You may be eligible for one but not the other! The VA rates you on the degree of disability that was incurred while you were on active duty. Those 10 point increments are added up with the very strange VA math that's used to determine your overall rating.
The SSA rates you as either totally disabled and unable to work at all or not.
Often enough age will play into it and the SSA will see you as employable until age 55 and then you're pretty much over the hill and the SSA will give you a break.
If you are eligible for both SSA and VA benefits, study them carefully to learn how best to use the services provided.
There is some overlap that you may not need and there are personal decisions you need to make about your overall health care and you need to be aware of all of it.
These are great benefits and it's worth your time to learn all you can about them.
Question: I was granted TDIU for a service connected disability. I am also receiving retirement pay from civil service. I never filed for disability from civil service. As a TDIU would I also be eligible for civil service disability?
Jim's Reply: I don't know. That would depend on the particular rules of the civil service agency you work for. Different business entities will each have their own rules and regs about what is or is not acceptable for their disability programs and ratings so you have to meet their standards.
A good example is the SSDI program from the SSA. If you are rated as totally disabled by VA you'd think that the same would be applied by the SSA but the 2 organizations vary greatly when it comes to apply for disability and having one rating doesn't guarantee eligibility for another.
But...you can certainly look at applying...you never know. Good luck!
Question: I need help with family custody in Mass. Does anyone do pro bono? I'm not working right now.
Jim's Reply: The sad fact of the matter is that there are very few reliable resources to assist anyone, veteran or civilian, with divorce, custody, support or any other marital disputes. Veterans don't get a break in this arena because this isn't a veteran problem, marriage and divorce are strictly civilian issues so like any civilian you're welcome to pay the lawyer you need.
Nobody wants to hear all the stories of your broken marriage and subsequent problems without being paid to do so. There are plenty of resources that can help families who fall on hard times because of illness or disaster and so on, but divorce is a particularly difficult process because of the emotions so nobody jumps in pro bono. Good luck.
Question: Jim, is there a Complaint Dept. for CHAMPVA? I mailed my wife's application to them in July with a receipt showing they signed for it. They say they do not have it. I'm concerned that they lost control of this and it has a lot of personal identity information on it. I have since faxed the same information to them with proof of them receiving this in July. I am still waiting on their process for the 2nd attempt. Seems as though their process of using mail / fax is a stone age process that is contributing to the issue. Please let me know on any suggestions with dealing with this. Thanks, Chris
Jim's Reply: Yes! You're in luck. You've reached the CHAMPVA complaint department. I'm it!!! My wife has been dealing with them for years now and all I can tell you is that...it's the VA! The VA seems to be on a path to try and make America's prison system look caring and efficient.
Patience, persistence and the willingness to perform every task twice...or more...is all that's required. We've spent hours on hold only to be disconnected, certified mail is lost, voice mails are never answered...the list goes on and on.
It gets better. The CHAMPVA offices communicate with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) by what may be one of the earliest fax machines in existence. Other than by fax, I don't believe there is any other communication between them...no email. no phone calls...nothing that I'm aware of.
The moral to this story is the same as everything else VA. You have to put in the time to get the proper result and you have to understand this is how it is and not let it drive you off the deep end. Anger is wasted here, they're herd it all before and until Congress acts. nothing can or will happen.
The good news is that once the insurance is in place, it's as good as anything you'll find on the market today and you aren't paying a monthly premium.
A word of caution...spend time before you accept a service and be sure that CHAMPVA will pay for it and there won't be any surprises. Some preventive services have restrictions but again, if you do your homework you'll eventually be very happy you have the insurance.