Jan Dils Veteran Disability

New Veterans Health Care Bill May Actually Benefit Veterans

There’s a good chance that you've heard about a new Veteran’s health care bill being signed into law. I’ll admit that it can be kind of confusing to read. If you turn to a 24 hour news channel for information regarding what this means for you, then you are likely just going to hear a lot political non-sense about how this favors one party over the other or some other commentary that doesn't really help to explain what is going on. Well, we really don’t pay too much attention to politics with this blog, so here is what we found out about what changes are going to occur, and how this will really...

MST, Social Media, and Establishing Service Connection for Veterans

If you read my most recent post on Veterans using the social media application Whisper to discuss PTSD, then you know that it’s not the only condition Veterans are making use of the app for lately. Posts regarding Military Sexual Trauma, which is closely associated with PTSD, have been appearing a lot more often. A lot of Veterans who have been sexually assaulted or raped while serving are taking to Whisper to discuss these situations. In my post regarding Whisper and PTSD I stated that I believed using this platform to discuss traumatic events was a great first step in seeking treatment. The...

PTSD: From a "Whisper," to a Roar

As a person working in social media I often try to stay connected to current trends. A relatively new social networking site called Whisper is becoming quite popular. Whisper is a place in which you can confess thoughts or life events anonymously. Simply, you create text that is posted over an image of your choosing. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, you don’t have to use your real name. The application takes great lengths to make sure your real identity remains hidden. (If you want it to be.)  Personally I am not a fan of anonymity, but this service isn’t really geared towards me. While a lot of...

Can I get service connected for a flatfoot condition?

When I was just a young lad I remember having a conversation with someone who was told he couldn't join the military because he had flat feet. Years later I would realize that there were many other reasons for him not being qualified for military. As a tween, I remember that conversation, and for some reason it stuck with me. As an individual who now works with Veterans, imagine my surprise when I would hear Veterans talk about filing claims for flat feet. I immediately would wonder how they got into the military with their flat feet. Well, it’s something that has been in the back of my mind...

5 Tips for getting through the VA Disability process from someone who knows

When I joined the Jan Dils team nearly four years ago I had no idea how frustrating working with the VA would be. Granted, I am not a Veteran, nor have I served, but I can honestly saw working on the legal side can be frustrating. I am the kind of person who prefers to see things as either black or white. The VA however likes to view things in multiple shades of gray. (Please note that this is a reference to how individuals interpret and make judgments on issues, not a reference to that awful book.) If it were up to me, a Veteran with a diagnosis for PTSD would simply be granted that. However,...

Receiving VA Disability and working full time is absolutely fine!

I try not to get too personal on this blog. I also try to make it stand out by injecting some humor and my experiences dealing with the VA as a person who works for a law firm. Honestly though, I write this blog because I sincerely enjoy interacting with Veterans and active duty service members. While my Facebook page and Twitter feed may be filled with posts about Miley Cyrus or JJ Watt, I actually get more excited when I meet someone who has served. For the most part, I think they are pretty great. It’s not just because of the work that I do, or that I am trying to get more people to read...

Making the rank; Does your rank help your VA claim?

When I was studying criminal justice in undergrad, or as it is more popularly known, wasting four years of my life, we learned about ranks within police departments. I really wish I would have paid more attention during that lesson because it likely would have helped me when doing intakes with Veterans. The reason is that I have to know what rank a Veteran was at when he or she was discharged from the military. One might think that it is a simple as asking them and then jotting down their reply, but like going to the DMV, things get complicated fast. Most of my research came from the...

Modern Veterans' Organizations offer Alternative to alcohol-based socialization.

Full disclosure, I am not much into drinking. It’s never really been a hobby of mine. I remember celebrating pretty heavily when I turned 21, then revisiting some nachos I had consumed earlier that evening, and not too much after that. I am now nine years removed from that day and I can’t really recall any other time in which I was intoxicated. Honestly I saw a lot of cautionary tales growing up that have really stuck with me. Also, I simply can’t stand the taste of most forms of alcohol. Before we get too far along, I want to make it clear that this is not the judgment express. I am flawed....

Recent Combat Veterans Can Receive 5 Years of Free Health Care

Let me start this blog off by stating that I don’t know much about healthcare. In no way is this blog post meant to serve as a “how to” guide for VA health care. However, yesterday while I was messing around on Facebook I noticed that the VA posted an update about combat Veterans being able to receive 5 years of free health care. I decided to look into more information on this, and it was not easy to find. Several clicks through the website and I believe I have found the information I need. According to the VA: “Combat Veterans who were discharged or released from active service on or after...

More than just raising money for Veterans

In my line of work I often catch things that I may have missed if I were simply a paralegal or other legal professional. While the world of social media isn't quite as glamorous as something like ice road trucking, it can lead to some great experiences. Late last fall I noticed that a local race track I follow on Facebook had open spots for fundraising nights in the upcoming season. Without hesitation I contacted the track to request approval for our Walk4Vets.  They quickly got back to me stating that they had a few spots left and that they were happy to have a Veterans charity on hand. Last...

Recent Report Sheds Light on VA Mistakes

When I am asked by a Veteran if the department of Veterans Affairs makes mistakes, I automatically feel as if I am in “The Hunger Games,“ and I think to myself “VA today, VA tomorrow, VA forever!” However, like in "The Hunger Games," I should not be afraid to criticize the VA. Besides, they have a lot more to worry about right now than a snarky blogger. I then realize that they are a government agency, and they are subject to occasional audits. Recently a report surfaced from one of those audits showing how severe those mistakes actually are now. As you may already know, every state has at...

Why is the VA Denying all of those Gulf War Claims?

Last month the Department of Veterans Affairs released a study showing that 80% of Gulf War related claims get denied by the VA. For some this information may seem like a shocking number. For others however, this seems like a regular occurrence with the VA. Why are all of those claims getting denied though? While I personally can’t go in and look at every decision, I can provide some insight from my own experiences. Let’s examine an issue like headaches for instance. This issue is on the Gulf War presumptive list. In other words, the VA assumes that if you served in the Gulf War, and have an...

Walk4Vets Fundraising in Full Force This Weekend

With the Walk4Vets fewer than two months away, our fundraising efforts are in full force. This weekend presents two great opportunities to support this great cause. This Friday night in Ripley West Virginia, members of the Jan Dils staff will be selling 50/50 tickets at the I-77 Raceway Park. Come join us for a night of family fun as the Ohio Valley Sprint Car Association hits the track for some great racing action. Starting at 5:00 pm Friday the Jan Dils crew will be selling the tickets for $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. We appreciate the fine folks at I-77 Raceway Park for allowing us to raise...

What is a C&P Exam really like?

Often times when talking to Veterans the subject of Compensation and Pension Exams comes up. While I do know what a C&P exam is, I struggle to tell them what to expect because I have personally never had one. Luckily we have a Veteran on staff that is willing to talk to me for the price of a pepperoni roll. For our third conversation Bill sat down with me to discuss his personal experience with C&P exams. For those who may be going to their first Compensation and Pension exam, let’s review what they are first. One thing to keep in mind for a C&P is that it’s a medical exam, not a hearing. Your...

Tips for Combat Veterans regarding Fireworks on Independence Day

With Independence Day coming up I am reminded of how much I don’t like fireworks. I can recall two situations that led me to dread public firework displays. When I was sixteen I was a part of a youth program to prepare kids for the workforce. One of my jobs involved cleaning the local city park. It happens to be where they set off the fireworks for our annual celebration. One cold and wet July morning 15 years ago led to 8 hours of picking up cardboard casings on my hands and knees. The 2nd incident happened more recently. I was driving home from Athens during the evening on Independence Day....