Service Connected

PTSD; It's not the same for every Veteran

I often like to get up on my high horse and pretend that I know everything about everything. This may explain why I’m so unpopular. Though I pretend to have all of the knowledge in the world, I often get knocked off that high horse when I am proven wrong. One such instance occurred recently when I was talking to a Veteran about his PTSD symptoms. The end result was a valuable lesson about how PTSD is different for everyone. It’s no secret that I love working with Veterans. I really enjoy getting to know individuals who served for many reasons. However, I will confess that it’s not always easy...

What New and Material evidence means for a Closed VA Disability Claim

Long time readers of this blog will tell you that I preach to Veterans about getting medical treatment in order to service connect for VA Disability Compensation. I repeat myself as much as Comedy Central repeats “The Daily Show.” I do it because it is important. While medical evidence is important to any claim for VA disability, it means even more for a claim that has closed. We’re going to examine this in a little more detail later on, but let’s first look at how a claim closes. I get calls all of the time from Veterans who will say something like; “I’m going to get my benefits back to...

What Should You Do if the VA Takes Your Benefits Away?

Imagine logging into your bank account one day to see that your monthly VA Disability Check hasn’t been deposited. You would likely feel anger, confusion, and, depending on your situation, fear because you may be dependent on that monthly check to survive. I know a lot of Veterans experience because I have received several calls just like this since I started working for a VA Disability Attorney. I want to share some knowledge about what to do in this situation. If you encounter this issue in the future you can be better prepared to handle it, and may be able to resolve the issue quicker....

How to Get The Benefits You Deserve (Part Two)

In a previous post I discussed how a Veteran becomes a client of ours. However, like every movie intended for a teen audience, it has to be broken up into two parts. Previously we discussed what it’s like to go through an initial assessment of claims, and we discussed the intake appointment as well as your new client paperwork, but what happens when that paperwork comes back to our office? Part two is what happens. If you sit around our office for a while you will likely hear me say the following: “I wouldn't send you paperwork if I didn't think we could help you out.” In other words, once we...

Migraines and Your VA Disability Claim

When I was just a young fella I recall having severe issues with migraine headaches. I was only about 6 or 7 years old but I recall that they were so severe that I would become nauseous. I was not able to do my homework at night and it really concerned my mother. I eventually went to a doctor about the issue. They performed X-rays, ran multiple tests, and could not figure out was wrong with me. I assumed I was just so smart that my brain was struggling to contain all of the knowledge I was gathering. Sadly this wasn’t the case either. My doctor said that I would eventually grow out of it. I...

Veterans Make Use of Yoga to Reduce PTSD Symptoms

I work with a young lady named Lauren who is quite interesting. Lauren is our operations manager and usually comes in the office perky and ready to work. She is so full of energy and spunk that you have to wonder what’s going on with her. I happen to be quite blunt and simply asked Lauren what was going on in her life to make her so full of energy. Was it some sort of pill? Was it gluten? Is it a new energy drink? I was concerned that she was consuming a case of “5 Hour Energy” before she came to work. (That’s nearly 30 hours of energy.) “Oh Jon,” she replied, “don’t be silly.” Lauren happens...

4 Examples of Non-Combat PTSD

After nearly four years of working with Veterans, and writing this blog for a majority of that time, I can openly say that I know at least a little bit about VA Disability. If you've read my blogs in the past I have often discussed how much misinformation is out there, and how so much of it is believed to be truth. One thing I keep coming back to is the notion that non-combat Veterans can’t service connect for PTSD. If for any reason this were to be the last thing I ever write, I want it to be known that a Veteran does not have to serve in combat to get service connected for PTSD. It’s obvious...

4 Reasons We Won't Take a Veteran's Disability Claim

Personally I think making a New Year’s resolution is as pretentious as buying a pumpkin spice latte in October. I don’t make real ones, and I think blasting about it on Facebook, or for the very lonely, Google Plus, is just a cry for attention. When I set out for change I simply do it. Earlier this year, not so early to be considered a resolution of any sort, I decided to be very upfront with people in my life. Instead of letting something get under my skin and smolder for a while, I’ll simply let someone know they are irritating me. On the other end, if I think you are awesome, I’ll let it be...

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,...

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....