Service Connected

Double Dipping: Why You Can't Get VA Disability and Workers Compensation For The Same Issue

I often get asked by friends what it’s like working at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law, and I can honestly say that it’s pretty great. However, while my coworkers are awesome, they like to remind me of my increasing age. This comes up a lot when I reference television shows from the past. One such show that I referenced recently was the classic coming of age comedy, “Seinfeld.” Sadly, this show debuted before some of my coworkers were born, and when I quoted the episode in which George double dips his potato chip at a party, few of my coworkers knew what I was referencing. You might be wondering why...

Up in the Air: Are Veterans who flew above Vietnam Qualified for Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions?

Alyssa is a case manager for our Veterans in the office. I hear her speak to clients about different aspects of the VA Disability process every day. As a result of our close proximity in the office, her conversations often spark ideas for blogs. She claims that she is my blogging muse, and that is not too far from the truth. Recently Alyssa came to me with a question that I could not answer. I did what I always do when I don’t know the answer to something…I blog about it. The question Alyssa asked was something I had not thought of before. She asked if a Veteran who served during Vietnam in...

Recent Poll Profiles Soldiers Returning Home From Conflict

I’ll be honest; I really don’t like the Family Feud. This may be an unpopular opinion, but it is mine, and I have the right to have it. My displeasure with the show is not with the host, the families on it, or the format; it’s with the survey they use for the answers. They only Survey 100 people for these questions! Are you really trying to tell me that 100 people can really represent the entire country when it comes to something as important as naming something you bring on a picnic? This is really the problem with surveys and polls as a whole, at least in my opinion. As a country, we are...

Sleep Disturbances and Sleep Apnea in Veterans

I’ll be honest, if I found a magical lamp randomly on one of my many misadventures to my local flea market, I would wish for the three following items: First, money, because I am human. Second, I would request that the Kardashians be allowed to keep their show, but it’s now a crossover with “Deadliest Catch,” and third, I’d wish for a guaranteed eight hours of sleep every night for the rest of my life. In fact if the genie was a new age hipster genie and only granted me one wish, I’d take the sleep over the money. It would be a tough call between sleep and the Kardashian show though. In all...

Military Sexual Trauma Information for Veterans

Military Sexual Trauma, or MST, is in the news a lot right now. In fact, the second season of the hit show "House of Cards" dealt with a subplot involving this subject. It's obviously a big issue for the military right now. While it is a big topic in the mainstream media, a lot of Veterans don't know where to turn for help. A look at the VA website actually has some helpful information on the topic. For instance, did you know that a Veteran does not have to be service connected to receive treatment at a VA facility for MST? In fact, there is no need to present evidence in order to...

(Almost) Everything You need to know about VA Effective Dates

Will I get back pay from the time I was injured in the military? This question is one I encounter with a lot of Veterans, and it is something that is met with a lot of confusion. There are actually a ton of misconceptions about this topic, and I wanted to take time to clear something up. In a perfect world it would make sense that if you have a back injury while in service, the VA would back pay you until then. However, we can tell by the fact that Wendy Williams gets to be on TV, that this world is not perfect. How does the VA determine this? Back pay has to do with your effective date, and...

Some Veterans to get Social Security Claims Expedited

I have just learned that the Social Security Administration is implementing a change in the way in which Veterans who are 100% Service Connected via the VA apply for Social Security benefits. According to the Social Security website, Veterans who meet these criteria may receive expedited processing of applications. According to Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin, in order to receive the expedited service, Veterans must tell Social Security they have a VA disability compensation rating of 100% P&T and show proof of their disability rating with their VA Notification Letter. When the SSA says P&T...

VA Disability Percentages...by the numbers

I’ll be honest with you; I really hate numbers. I’ve never been great with math, and figuring out percentages for me requires the use of an online tool. On the other hand, the VA must really love numbers because every aspect of a disability claim has numbers attached to it in some manner. For instance, you have 365 days to appeal your first decision, or the rating on your knee is determined by a range of motion. The most important number of course is your disability percentage. Most Veterans fresh out of the service, or those who have simply never applied before, aren’t aware that VA...

When Your Back Pay Comes Before Your Decision

I really like planning things out. In fact, I can say that I love logistics more than UPS. I like having control over when things happen, and try very hard to make everything go smoothly. A psychiatrist would likely say that something occurred when I was young that makes me have an opposition to uncertainty, but I feel this is very normal behavior. If something unexpected comes up, I get severe anxiety. Why am I telling you this story? Well, I am trying to show that I can relate to you when the following happens. A Veteran will often call us and explain that he received several thousand...

OEF/OIF Veterans among the highest unemployed

The main reason I write for this blog, and have worked so hard on it for the past two years, is that I want to get quality information to Veterans. I hate to sound like a corrupt mp3 file (broken record for our older readers,) but there is a ton of misinformation circulating about VA Disability benefits. I find that there are a lot of programs out there that Veterans aren’t aware of, and we are going to talk about one of the big ones today, Individual Unemployability. It is often referred to as IU, and Google will think that you misspelled “employability,” if you search for it. While there are...

Are Sailors and Airmen eligible for Gulf War Illness?

Gulf War Illness is an issue affecting a lot of Veterans. As we stated before, the VA has a list of presumptive conditions in which Veterans, who served in specific areas, can service connect. Headaches, Joint Pain, Fatigue, and several other issues, are on this list. When discussing Gulf War Illness, many people think of Marines and Soldiers as the Veterans affected by it, but are Sailors and Airmen affected too? Granted, if you stepped foot on any of the countries listed in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, you are eligible for the presumptive conditions. This is often...

How to guarantee your VA claim is approved…seek treatment

Ok, in reality there is no way to 100% guarantee your claim gets approved. You could have video evidence of your injury as well as hand written buddy statements from 30 Marines, The Secretary of Defense, and God, and the VA would still find a way to deny your claim. However, your VA claim is a lot more likely to get approved if you seek treatment. Let’s look into to this topic a little deeper. Heather, our lead VA attorney, was discussing chronic issues recently, and we asked her to go into a little more detail. Heather explained that in order to get service connected for most physical...

How the friends you make in service can help your VA Claim

I’m probably the next to last person who should be writing a blog about how important friendships are. (Pretty sure Judas was worse at friendship than I am.) I tend to hold people to high standards, and this means I have to go to movies by myself a lot. However, from my experience working with VA claims, I know how important it is to stay connected with the people you served with. From a mental standpoint, it’s always great to connect with people who have shared experiences. This is especially true when it comes to combat situations. A lot of PTSD counseling involves group therapy as it tends...

GERD is the Word...Service Connecting for a Common GWI Condition

I recently met a Veteran outside of the office, and the conversation naturally turned back to what we do for a living. (For the record, defending the freedom of millions of Americans really is a lot cooler than blog writing and Tweeting.) When the discussion turned to VA disability, he informed me that had no need for it as there was nothing wrong with him. I naturally asked follow up questions, and determined that he actually had several of the presumptive conditions of Gulf War Illness. This young male served in Iraq and admitted that he sought treatment for joint pain, fatigue and something...

PTSD; Why Your Spouse Isn't (Usually) Qualified to Diagnose You

When it comes to PTSD, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about it, and I hope to clear a few of those up over the next series of blogs. Today I want to tackle the very first step, getting a diagnosis. The reason I thought of this topic was a conversation I had with a potential new client last week. The Veteran in question is a non-combat Veteran who served just shy of two years. He was medically discharged for a problem with his ankle. I was going over his issues just as I normally do with all of our new clients when the subject of PTSD came up. I always ask follow ups for PTSD as I...