Jan Dils Veteran Disability

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....

What it's like to apply for VA Disability

I can go on and on about the VA disability process until Taylor Swift finds a man that is good enough for her, but sometimes it’s great to hear about it from someone who has been through the process before. Plus we don’t have that much time…Ms. Swift tends to be quite choosey. Our new weekly feature continues this week with Bill from our VA department sharing his personal experience. Since this is our 2nd blog with Bill I decided it would be interesting to see how he found out about VA disability in the first place. As I sat down with Bill he reminded me that he was discharged in 2009. It’s...

If I get Social Security and VA Disability, am I "Double Dipping?"

Recently I posted a blog about a practice I referred to as “Double Dipping.” It’s what happens when you try to get the VA to service connect you for something that you have filed for on Workers Compensation. In other words if you filed a workers compensation claim on your back, and then try to file a VA Disability Claim on your back, one will negate the other. The reason is that you are trying to get the government to pay you for an injury that occurred at both places. In the VA’s eyes, it has to be one or the other. The reason for this is that one is for injured workers; the other is for...

Why I'm not jealous that the new guy knows more about VA Disability than I do

I am excited to announce that after almost three years this blog, which is dedicated to helping Veterans, will now have a Veterans perspective. In May of this year our firm hired a new employee in the VA Department. It turns out this individual was very well qualified to assist Veterans with the VA disability process because he's actually been through it himself. In fact, he is currently in the appeals process. I decided that he is such a valuable resource that he needed a weekly feature. This is the first in a series of blogs shedding light on a Veteran’s perspective of the VA process. Let’s...

What is the difference between a diagnosed and an undiagnosed illness?

Have you ever struggled to understand something that so many people you know grasp so quickly? I will admit that I find myself in this type of situation often. For instance, when I competed in speech and debate in high school I struggled to remember my speeches. Every tournament I would lose because I had pauses in my speeches as I forgot the lines I wrote. One day my coach had a private conversation with me. He informed me that the judges don’t know what I know. If I forget something, they are never going to realize it because they didn’t have a copy of my speech in front of them. It all made...

Don't fall into the treatment gap

I know I can often sound like a corrupt MP3 file-that’s a broken record for my older readers-but I can’t stress how important medical evidence is for any Veterans Disability claim. While a lack of treatment as a whole is bad for your case, a gap in treatment can be just as bad. Granted, this isn’t as much of an issue for Veterans who are returning home from recent conflicts. We see this problem mostly in Veterans who served in Vietnam, the 80’s or even the early 90’s during Desert Storm. A classic scenario I hear all of the time from Veterans is that they were hurt while serving, chose not to...