Don’t Let a Faulty VA Exam Sink Your Claim

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”

VA “Whole Health” Program To Offer Drug-Free PTSD Healing

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.  

http://www.ktvu.com/news/alameda-nonprofit-provides-yoga-for-veterans-with-ptsd

New Report Slams VA Choice Program

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.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2018/06/05/trumps-readies-new-va-health-plan-as-report-slams-defective-choice-program/?utm_term=.2517b48a5c9f

Veterans Tip: Applying For PTSD Benefits

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”

Shoulder-Fired Weapons Linked to Traumatic Brain Injuries

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.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/30/606142634/report-to-army-cites-concussion-risk-of-weapons-blast-to-the-shooter

TDIU: Increase Your PTSD Rating to 100%

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.  

Katrina Still Affects LA Veterans’ TBI Claims

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”

Recently Discharged Due to a Mental Health Condition?

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.

TBI: What Recently Discharged Veterans Need to Know

Traumatic Brain Injury is an injury to the brain from external force, and it is a common condition among Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  65% of blast-exposed patients from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have been diagnosed with a brain injury. Continue reading “TBI: What Recently Discharged Veterans Need to Know”