In Saunders v. Wilkie, 886 F.3d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned prior precedent holding that pain alone (without an identifiable condition) does not constitute a disability upon which service connection may be granted. Continue reading “Federal Circuit Rules That Pain Alone Can Constitute a Disability”
VA issues tens of thousands of payments each month; and sometimes, the payments are miscalculated. If a Veteran is paid more than they are owed by the VA, the VA will claim that the Veteran is indebted to the VA in the amount of the alleged overpayment. Continue reading “What to Do When VA Claims an Overpayment is a Debt”
It is not uncommon for a VA disability claim to be awarded five, ten, or even twenty years after it is originally filed. It’s no secret– VA claims often take a very long time. However, so long as the “claim stream” is kept alive by meeting all time deadlines for filings and appeals, upon service-connection, a Veteran will receive a back benefits award equaling the monthly payments owed since the time they first filed for benefits. Continue reading “Don’t Let a Faulty VA Exam Sink Your Claim”
The Veterans Yoga Project works in concert with the VA, coordinating yoga and meditation classes across the country. Yoga and mindful resilience training is moving into mainstream mental health treatment programs at the VA, which is rolling out a national “whole health” program for veterans, offering tai chi, yoga and other alternative mental health therapies….Please click the link below to access the full article.
About one-third of VA outpatient medical appointments now take place outside VA facilities, but a new report shows that private referrals still involve lengthy wait times….Please click the link below to access the full article.
Veterans commonly apply for PTSD benefits without specifically identifying additional mental health diagnoses and symptoms. Even if certain symptoms among PTSD, TBI and other mental health conditions overlap, the VA is required to consider the additional mental health diagnoses and symptoms; meaning that a claim for PTSD is rightfully a claim for any mental disability that is supported by a Veteran’s symptoms. Continue reading “Veterans Tip: Applying For PTSD Benefits”
Military personnel may be endangering their brains when they operate certain shoulder-fired weapons, according to an Army-commissioned report released recently. These bazooka-like weapons pose a hazard because they are powered by an explosion just inches from the operator’s head… Please click the link below to access the full article.
Veterans suffering from severe PTSD are often assigned a 50 or 70 percent rating, as the criteria for a 100 percent rating is a very high bar. However, if a Veteran is unable to work, or maintain employment due to their service-connected PTSD, the VA must consider entitlement to individual unemployability (TDIU). Where a Veteran is determined to be unemployable (and meets certain ratings thresholds) due to the symptoms of their PTSD or another disabling condition, they will receive VA benefits at the 100 percent rate. If you receive PTSD benefits and cannot hold a job, call (504) 235 4075 to ensure you’re awarded full TDIU benefits.
From 2007 to 2015, nationwide, the VA performed thousands of TBI examinations with examiners lacking proper qualifications. As Louisiana Veterans know, in the years following Hurricane Katrina, VA regional offices and medical centers in metro New Orleans lacked infrastructure, paper files, computer systems, civil servants and medical staff. Continue reading “Katrina Still Affects LA Veterans’ TBI Claims”
Under 38 C.F.R. § 4.129, when a Veteran is released from service due to a mental health condition caused by a highly stressful event, the VA is required to assign an evaluation of no less than 50 percent; and the Veteran must be examined within 6 months of discharge. Veterans initially rated under § 4.129 should retain an attorney if they are notified the VA seeks reconsideration, i.e., a reduction/elimination of the rating, as the VA has that ability under certain circumstances.