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!

Managing Risks and Improving VA Health Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken

steps to maintain its leadership commitment and develop its action plan, but still needs to demonstrate capacity

and establish metrics to monitor and demonstrate

progress addressing VA health care concerns.

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

November 19th 2019

Training book used for VA

'How To Lie With Statistics'

Forms

Nothing happens until

you complete the

form. Get over it.


Submit your claim ​21-526EZ


Other-than-honorable discharge?

You’re still eligible for VA mental health care​

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!

Get your VA medical records online
Our online tools can help you view, organize,

and share your VA medical records and personal

health information. Find out if you’re eligible

and how to sign in to start using these tools.

Found in Gourmet Foods

Sugar-Free

So it's healthy, Right?

How to download VA benefit letters
To receive some benefits, Veterans need

a letter proving their status. Access and

download your VA Benefit Summary Letter (sometimes called a VA award letter) and

other benefit letters and documents online.

The Google IT Support Professional Certificate
The IT Support Professional Certificate, developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, can help you become ready for an entry-level job in IT support in under six months. No experience is necessary.

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.

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!

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.

Give veterans more health care options!
Tell your lawmaker

Veterans deserve more choice

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

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.

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.

Be a 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!

Dr. David Anaise

Physician - Surgeon - Veteran

Veterans Law Attorney

The VAWatchdog

doesn't ask for donations, we don't have fees, we don't ask you to register...you can't find a way to give us your money. We're supported by advertising. When you shop via the VAWatchdog,

we'll get a small piece of that.

You get top quality at a good price and you support our mission.

Thank you!!!

​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.

Veterans Benefits on Reddit

VA Launchpad for Veterans

​The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Launchpad

App for Veterans (VA Launchpad) contains select VA applications (apps) for Veterans and their Caregivers.

New apps will automatically appear in the VA Launchpad when they become available. Organizing VA health information and resources into five categories, it quickly accesses and launches the VA app of your choice. With VA Launchpad, VA intends to save you time and help you better integrate available VA apps into your life.

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities

If you're thinking of filing a claim or initiating an appeal of a denied claim, this is your new best friend. The details of exactly what you need to meet a rating are here and in use every day. Yes, it's complex. Yes, it's cumbersome. Yes, knowing how to use The Schedule is a necessity if you want to file a successful claim. Go for it!

Social Security and You

Vets being duped by Social Security rumor mill

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.

Research Article

Veterans Who Apply for Social Security Disabled-Worker Benefits After Receiving a Department of Veterans Affairs Rating of “Total Disability” for Service-Connected Impairments: Characteristics and Outcomes

A Few Of The Most Common Processes You Need To Know To DIY Your Claim

AT WAR
40 Stories From Women About

Life in the Military​   

"Not Many Women Get to

Do What I Do"

Everything you ever wanted to know about how

the VA benefits system works but were afraid to ask.
Welcome to the

KnowVA Knowledge Base

VAWatchdog Dot Org

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.
Call Now!  (949) 640-8222​​

PAPER Evidence Records

and Claims All Go Here

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

53547- 4444
Toll Free Fax:

844-531-7818​

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

The NPRC

Military Records DD 214

Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs)
Official Personnel Folders (OPF)

Can VA Disability Compensation Be Used

to Calculate Child Support or Income?

​Veterans' disability benefits are compensation

for the veteran's impaired earning capacity and are intended

to "provide reasonable and adequate compensation for

disabled veterans and their families." They are not

supposed to be for the sole support of the veteran, but

can be counted in child support calculations to provide

for the veteran's dependents as well. If the veteran wasn't disabled, he would be earning an income upon which the

court would base child support; since disability benefits replace that income, child support can be based upon it.

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.​​

Why You Need An IMO!

Accuracy of Claims Decisions Involving

Conditions of the Spine

​The OIG determined that VBA incorrectly

processed more than half

of the 62,500 veterans’ claims.

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. 

Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Benefits

​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. 

Medicare & VA Continued

Medicare hospital or doctor visits will cost you a copay. In broad terms, Medicare sets a rate that they will pay a doctor or hospital no matter what they bill in charges.  Whatever that rate is you'll owe 20% of it. For example, I recently had a colonoscopy. My share of my doctor's bill under Medicare Part B was $44.00. I wouldn't have had to pay that at VA but my drive would have been 2 1/2 hours each way whereas keeping it at home was a 10 minute trip. There will be other bills associated with that (anesthesia, lab, etc.)  but I estimate my entire out of pocket share will be less than $300.00. 

No, I don't use supplemental insurance. That stuff is expensive. I expect that this year (2015) I may spend $1500.00 out of pocket to cover Medicare copays. That's 1/2 of what a supplemental policy would have cost and it wouldn't have paid all my expenses.

​What happens if you need emergency care at a civilian hospital? Who do you tell them to bill? What can you do if you're unconscious 

or unable to speak?

Medicare & VA Continued

You can and should plan in advance. Tell your spouse or family member you want to go to VA first. Be sure your VA emergency room is capable of handling your emergency before you need it. Some VA emergency rooms aren't full service. If you go to a civilian emergency room, stress (or have your family stress) that you must transfer to VA as soon as possible. If the civilian hospital gets your Medicare number,they will bill Medicare every time. VA health doesn't act as supplemental ​so you'll be stuck with the copay. 

Veterans: Pay Attention To Medicare At Age

65 Or Face Problems Later
Some veterans choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B because they’re going to use VA healthcare for life. 
But, then life happens and things change.

Veterans Social Security Disability Benefits

​Are you a veteran who has Medicare and VA care benefits? 

Do you understand how to use both to your advantage? 
Using your Medicare benefits along with your VA health benefits is more a matter of individual choice than anything. I can only tell you what I do. What I do may not be ideal for you so you'll have to put some thought into this.
I like my VA doctor and clinic. It isn't always convenient for me though. Because of that I sometimes see civilian doctors using my Medicare Part A and Part B.  Medicare Part A pays for hospital care, Medicare Part B pays for doctor and most outpatient services. Part A is required when you collect your Social Security retirement, Part B is elective and you'll pay an additional premium.  Part D covers pharmacy prescription medicines and most experts tell us that if we get VA pharmacy, we do not need Part D.

Continued below...

Medicare & VA Continued

If you enter a civilian hospital and you aren't quickly transferred to VA you or your representative must persistently call the VA facility of choice to tell them you want to transfer there. DO NOT depend on the civilian hospital staff to do this for you.  You must document when you called the VA facility and who you spoke with or what voice mail you reached. If you don't follow these steps you'll soon be billed for your portion of the Medicare payment and you'll be in a tussle with VA to try and get payment.

Not every veteran is eligible for emergency civilian care. Not every situation will be deemed as eligible because it's life threatening or a true emergency. If you go to a civilian ER for a bad flu or a broken toe, VA isn't likely to pick up the tab for you.

The bottom line is to think of your plan before a health emergency arises. Know the hospitals you want to use and be sure they can provide the services you want.

Should You Get Medicare Supplement Plan F?
How about  Medicare Parts A and B?
Maybe Part F+? Part D? 

An Early Look at Social Security's 2020 COLA
Here's how much of a raise seniors (and veterans)
might receive next year.

What Happens When You Don’t Pay a Hospital Bill
As Americans sink under medical expenses, debt collectors go to great — and sometimes strange —lengths to collect.

Social Security disability: game plan to get benefits
How you can increase the odds of getting the benefits you deserve.

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

Website Monitoring Tool

Presumptive Benefits...what are they?

When you claim that a disabling condition is caused by military service, you have to prove that allegation.

Or do you?

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.

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

or increased disability compensation.

Marijuana Accessories

An IMO by an expert  often makes the difference!

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.

38 CFR Part 1

​Disclosure of Certain Protected Records

Without Written Consent - (VA) proposes to amend its regulations on disclosure of certain records. now authorize VA to disclose certain protected records to non-VA

entities (including private entities and other Federal agencies) for purposes of providing health care or performing other health care-related activities or functions. ​​

Traveling?

​How to ensure seamless care while traveling

Veteran Disability Claims: Nexus and IMO Letters

To meet the nexus requirement, the veteran must have an evaluation by a physician that will establish that the veteran is indeed disabled and also that his disability is as likely as not caused by his military service.  There are two methods used to establish such a nexus; one is independent medical examination and the other is independent medical opinion.

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.

Upload evidence to support

your disability claim
If you’ve filed a claim for disability compensation, you can continue uploading more evidence for up to one year to support your claim. Evidence may include supporting documents like medical test results, doctor’s reports, and other records. Upload your evidence online now.

Overpayment? VA proposing to claw back

money from your benefits? Submit a Compromise

Offer to the Debt Management Center. 

This is the only thing that works.