Service Connected

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....

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...

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...

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...

Let's get real about the VA backlog

I like to be blunt as well as very honest in my everyday interaction with people. It’s what people love and fear about me. The reason I am this way is far too long and complicated to discuss in this blog. However, I find that it is very effective when communicating with Veterans regarding their VA disability claims. Generally, the Veterans I speak to want to be communicated with honestly about their cases.They have often lost trust with the VA, and just want to be told honestly what to expect. If we can’t help a client get service connected, I prefer to let them know right away rather then...

Phoenix Veterans Hospital Being Investigated: What Veterans Need To Know

You may be aware of some recent news regarding a VA Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. If you are not aware of what is happening, we will cover that later on. Though we are based in West Virginia, we actually have a lot of clients in Arizona. Our thoughts are with all of the Veterans who are affected by this story, and those who are now concerned about receiving quality healthcare. While our firm mainly corresponds with VA Regional Offices, we do have to request medical records from VA Medical Facilities, including the one in Phoenix Arizona. We want to shed as much light on this as possible for...

How effective communication can help you win your VA Disability Claim

Toyotas are boring cars. This is so much of an issue for the auto manufacture that they are trying desperately to make you believe driving a Toyota Camry can be fun. (Evidence is provided in the form of a commercial posted below.) It’s not. It’s simply not a fun car to drive. Toyota should settle down though. People don’t buy Carmys because they are fun; they buy them because they are reliable. You can buy a Camry, put gas in it, and never really have to worry about the car until you sell it a few years later. Some individuals believe that if they hire a VA Disability Attorney they can simply...

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...