PAPER Evidence Records
and Claims All Go Here
V A Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444
Toll Free Fax:
Military Records DD 214
Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs)
Official Personnel Folders (OPF)
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.
Why You Need An IMO!
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
The OIG determined that VBA incorrectly processed more than half of the 62,500 veterans’ claims.
Processing errors included improper evaluations, missed secondary conditions,
and evaluations based on inadequate exams.
You've Arrived at the VAWatchdog Dot Org!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Get unbiased results
outside the Filter Bubble.
Robert Wilkie <firstname.lastname@example.org> 855-948-2311
'How To Lie With Statistics'
You’re still eligible for VA mental health care
The moment that you file a claim someone will be waiting to schedule you for a Compensation and Pension (C & P) Exam.
The C & P exam is the precise point where so many claims go south. The C & P examiner is often not qualified to render an opinion of the condition in front of them. I recently received an email from a veteran who I had advised to file a claim for his carotid artery disease as secondary to his service connected diabetes. His claim was denied because the C & P examiner opined that there was no medical evidence that diabetes caused or contributed to carotid artery disease. That it is well known that diabetes is a leading cause of atherosclerosis didn't phase anyone at VA and now we have to have a doctor and a lawyer get involved in a lengthy appeal.
Think about it...the veteran was denied service connection because the VA examiner reported that there is no medical evidence that diabetes causes carotid artery disease. Now read this.
Months ago when I first advised the veteran to file the claim for a secondary condition, I didn't advise him to get an IMO. I couldn't have believed that VA would deny a vascular condition as secondary to DMII...it defies all logic. But here we are and it's become very apparent that if you want to avoid an appeal, you'll get an IMO as you file the initial claim.
The report above is a confirmation of this...the VA does a very poor job of C & P exams. Avoid the fuss of an appeal...get an IMO.
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.
Medical Marijuana Card
Tell the doctor you saw it on VAWatchdog
and ask about veterans discounts!
Government Accountability Office
Additional information needed to support claim
Direct Deposit - May I apply by telephone?
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.
Have you been denied a claim for a condition of the spine (Or any condition???)
Inadequate (lowball) rating?
Create or update your will today – fast and 100% free
We have advance healthcare directives, healthcare proxies, living wills and durable financial power of attorney.
All are free to use.
(Yeah, it is...)
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.
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!
Vets being duped by Social Security rumor mill
When you claim that a disabling condition is caused by military service, you have to prove that allegation.
Or do you?
How to Fight VA Debt
Military members know that when DoD gives
you too much money, it will come back for it.
The VA is similar, but the system is worse.
It Could Reduce Your Social Security Benefits
Think twice before taking on certain loans.
Getting Social Security disability benefits when you’re unable to work can be challenging. Last year, more
than 2 million people applied for Social Security
disability benefits, but two-thirds of them
were denied, because most applicants fail to prove
that they’re disabled and can’t work. Here are some
steps you can take that can help improve your odds.
Answers to the top five questions about urgent care
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.
Scheduled For A C & P??? Filing A Claim?
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.
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.
There Are Protections...When it comes to debt collection, disability income enjoys special status.
We’re there to provide comfort during difficult times
Find out how to check the status of a
VA claim or appeal online
Do You Need Medical Care
You are already authorized
to use an urgent care clinic!
Physician - Surgeon - Veteran
Veterans Law Attorney
Owe VA Money???
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?
Jim Strickland is a Vietnam era Army veteran and nationally recognized expert on VA disability benefits
You can browse all of these Q&As here, and search the Jim's Mailbag archives for helpful answers.
Email Jim your question for a quick and confidential reply. email@example.com
The Users Guide
VAWatchdog Dot Org
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