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Everything you need to know about a C&P Exam!

Any Veteran who has filed a claim for VA Disability compensation is very familiar with the long list of abbreviations used by the VA for forms and procedures. A C&P exam is often at the top of that list, but you may not be aware of what it is, or how important it is to your VA Disability Claim.

A C&P (Compensation and Pension) Exam is scheduled by the VA after you have filed a claim for service connected benefits or when filing for an increase in a service connected disability. It is the job of the VA to schedule this exam to see if this disability is related to your time on active duty and to what degree it affects your life. Each disability will be evaluated by a separate C&P exam.

In some cases, the VA may call this a C&P Hearing, but it is actually just another name for an exam. It is still a medical visit.

It is very important to attend all C&P exams that are scheduled by the VA. If you are unable to attend you will need to call the VA and reschedule this exam. If you do not show up for the exam, the VA will most likely deny your claim or continue the current rating percentage.

Let’s say you’re pursuing a disability claim for your knee only, it’s likely your knee is the only thing that will be evaluated during the exam.   If you have multiple issues pending, for instance, a shoulder claim and PTSD, then you are likely to have these exams weeks, or even months later. Make sure to be truthful when answering all questions at your C&P exam.

Traditionally C&P exams are performed at a VA Medical Facility, but it is also possible to have them performed at non VA facilities. This occurs when the VA outsources your exam.

Please remember that C&P exams are a very important part of your claim. It is arguably the biggest factor for the VA to make a decision on your claims. Make it a point to go to each and every exam that is scheduled. (There may be several).

A special note for those Veterans who have an attorney representing them for VA Disability Benefits. The VA will not contact your attorney to inform them of your C&P Exam. It is your responsibility to inform your Attorney of this exam. Your attorney will request a copy of this exam so that they may review the results found by the VA. Also, in most cases, your attorney will not be present for this exam.

If you have questions or concerns about C&P exam, call us today for a free phone consultation, 1-877-526-3457, or tell us about your claim now.

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Can I Hire an Attorney for a VA Claim?

Since the VA began granting benefits to disabled Veterans as early as 1917, thousands of Veterans have worked towards getting the benefits they deserve. Many Veterans and their loved ones feel that after fighting for our country, they’ve been fighting for their benefits all alone. Fortunately, there is help.

Many Veterans have relied on their local Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) for aid with their cases. These include Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), AMVETS, and the list goes on. In fact, the VA can supply a Veteran with a list of recognized VSOs for representation when filing for benefits (form 21-0790).

In 2007, the VA allowed attorneys to represent Veterans earlier in the process. Instead of waiting for adenial and filing an appeal known as a Notice of Disagreement (NOD), attorneys could counsel Veterans on their initial application. Not only did Veterans have access to these accredited representatives who could appear with them at hearings, they were also able to receive help when they needed it most.

At Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, we represent Veterans at every level. Our attorneys will work alongside you from the initial application process to appeals to hearings. Please call our office at 1-877-526-3457 where our staff will help you navigate the VA system. Or use our online contact form.

 

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What is a NOD?

When filing an initial application with the VA Regional Office (VARO), you have to wait for them to make a decision on the individual claims that you are filing. Once the VARO makes a decision they will send it to you by mail. This is known as a rating decision. If a rating decision is unfavorable, and you disagree with it, you would need to file an appeal. The appeal is called a Notice of Disagreement or a NOD.  After receiving the rating decision, you have one year from the date on that decision to file the NOD. If the NOD is not filed in a timely manner, unfortunately, your claim could close and you might have to start the process all over again.

A notice of disagreement, or any appeal, is very important if you do not want to start the process over again. Once you file the appeal you will have more time to gather evidence to support your claim. At Jan Dils Attorneys at Law, we understand how confusing the process may be. We have a team of professionals who are compassionate about our Veterans and are eager to help you. If you are interested in legal representation, you may contact our office at 1-877-526-3457. We are more than willing to help you with any questions that you may have. or use our online contact form.

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What is VA Pension?

 What exactly is Pension, you might ask? VA Pension is a cash benefit paid to a wartime Veteran or to their surviving spouses who have limited income and net worth.  Ask yourself these 6 questions and if you meet all of the requirements, then you are eligible: Are you a veteran who served at least 90 days? Did you serve at least 1 day in wartime? Was your discharge other than dishonorable? What is your income and net worth? How old are you? If you are under 65, are you permanently and totally disabled?

Income is deducted dollar for dollar from the maximum amount of benefits a Veteran may be paid. The income from all family members is countable. This will include earnings, social security, disability, and/or retirement benefits, interest and dividends, and net income if self-employed.  The income limit varies between each Veteran. If he/she is a Veteran and is without a spouse or a child, the limit is $11,830. If the veteran has one dependent, the income limit will be $15,493. If housebound and without a dependant, the limit is $14,457, and with one dependent the limit is $18,120. If the veteran is alone and happens to need aid and attendance, the income limit will be $19,736, but if they have one dependant the limit will be $23,396.

A Veteran must fall under one of these dates of wartimes and must have served at least 1 day active duty. World War I (April 5, 1917-September 12, 1918), World War II (December 7, 1941-December 31, 1946), Korean Conflict (June 27, 1950- January 31, 1955), Vietnam Era (February 28, 1961-May 7, 1975), Persian Gulf War (August 2, 1990-Present).

The pension is calculated by adding up all of the household’s income. It can be extremely difficult to figure out and grasp the concept of pension and also can be very confusing at times. That is why so many Veterans seek the legal help of attorneys like the ones at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law. We have the people, knowledge, and resources to help you get the benefits you deserve. For a free phone consultation, give us a call at 1-877-526-3457. Or Tell us about your case.

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What is a VCAA on a VA Disability Claim?

If you are a Veteran who is pursuing a VA Disability claim, there is a good chance that you will receive a VCAA. If you do receive one of these documents, it can be quite confusing. You may find yourself asking: "What is a VCAA?"

The abbreviation VCAA stands for Veterans Claims Assistance Act. This document is sent to the Veteran once the VA has received a claim. This document should be received before there is a decision made on a claim.

The VCAA not only lets you know that the VA has received your claim or claims, but it also lists the claims they have received and lets you know that they are working on them. The VCAA also tells you how to helpthe VA when they are trying to get all the information they need for your claims. This document tells you what evidence the VA has already, and what additional evidence they need, like medical records or statements from people who have seen how your disability affects you. This form also explains what the VA is responsible for getting in for evidence on your claims. They describe what new and material evidence is and what it must show for service-connection or secondary service-connection. Finally, this form explains how the VA determines the disability rating and the effective date of the rating.

The VCAA is a very important piece of the process of filing claims and contains very important information. It not only assists the VA in rating your claims faster, but also explains to you exactly what they need you to send them to help with your claims. Here at Jan Dils Attorneys At Law, we can help with understanding this and many other forms and we can help you get the benefits you deserve. For a free consultation, please call 1-877-526-3457. Or Tell us about your case.

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Can I Collect DIC if my Spouse Committed Suicide?

While widows and widowers of veterans have many obstacles to overcome, one not often discussed is a Veteran committing suicide. VA Disability Benefits may compensate for physical and mental illnesses, but this area is not often discussed.

The process for determining to grant death benefits to a widow or widower of a veteran who committed suicide is much like any claim for compensation. The VA issues a decision based on examined evidence.
And like any other claim, decisions are made on a case by case basis. However, there are guidelines the VA follows that are standard for determining entitlement to death benefits. These are found in 38 CFR 3.302, which is available for review on va.gov.

In this circumstance, the veteran must have had an unsound mind. To be found of unsound mind, the self-destructive act must be performed intentionally. Therefore, the veteran cannot be guilty of willful misconduct. An attempt to take one’s own life demonstrates unsoundness.

A favorable decision often results if the veteran had been granted service-connection under a mental illness prior to the act. Whether the veteran realized the consequences of the action taken or could resist the impulse depend upon medical and lay evidence. Any circumstances that lead a rational person to self-destruction can be considered a valid motive.

Again, like any compensation claim, determining entitlement to death benefits on suicide weighs heavily on evidence. For help in a confusing and difficult process for obtaining VA Disability/Death Benefits, you may contact Jan Dils Attorneys at Law where we fight for those who fought for our country.  Tell us about your case.

 

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How Does the VA Determine a 100% Rating for PTSD?

 

I was sitting here one day just thinking to myself how difficult it is to get service connected at 100% for PTSD. When filing a claim through the VA, your main goal is to try to get the highest rating possible. You must meet the requirements in order to be eligible for a 100% rating through the Veterans Administration.

AlexAccording to the 38 C.F.R. § 4.130, DC 9411, here are the requirements for getting service connected at 100% for PTSD: the Veteran has total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as gross impairment in thought process or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.

Now, let me put this into terms that are easier to understand.  For service connection at 100%, a Veteran’s behavior must be considerably influenced by delusions or hallucinations. He or she has had some danger of hurting self or others, inability to maintain minimal personal hygiene, or serious suicidal act(s) with clear expectation of death, as well as several other factors come into play. Every case is different and every person is different, so it all depends on the Veteran.

 

Also, the VA looks at the GAF or Global Assessment of Function score. This score also impacts what percentage the Veteran is going to receive. Typically, the Veteran must have below a score of 30 to qualify for a 100% PTSD service connected disability.

If you are a Veteran who is suffering from PTSD and would like to seek help with your VA Disability Claims, we are here to help you. We have a highly trained professional team to help you with filing your disability claims. If you are looking for legal representation, please contact our office at 1-877-526-3457 and someone will be more than happy to assist you with all of your needs. Tell us about your case.

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How does the VA Determine a 50% Rating for PTSD?

Frequently, I am asked by Veterans what criteria they need to meet in order to receive a higher number on their PTSD rating and the GAF score that is needed and corresponds with the rating percentage. The VA service connects Veterans at 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. Each percentage has its own criteria for symptoms.

DanielFor instance, I would use 50% as an example. These symptoms usually consist of a Veteran suffering from PTSD at a 50% rating: occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g. retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; and difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships. Also, Veterans who have a rating of 50% normally fall in the 60 – 51 range of the GAF scale.

(Remember, every case is different, and these are just general guidelines.)

If you are a veteran , think you have PTSD, and need help getting service connection, or if you are already connected and want help with an increase, please give our office a call for a free consultation: 1-877-838-3726. Or Tell us about your case.

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What is MST in a VA Disability Claim?

Military sexual trauma (MST) is sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while a Veteran was in the military. This can happen to women and men.

MST includes any sexual activity where someone is involved against their will. This can include sexual activities with threats of negative actions for refusing or with implied advancement or better treatment for sexual favors. This also may include sexual activities when unable to consent, such as when intoxicated. This also may include being forced into sexual activities, unwanted sexual touching, threatening or offensive remarks, or unwelcome sexual advances.

Even if the event was not reported, it may be granted service connection. Information that will help a case is a statement from someone you may have told about or wrote to about what happened. This could be a friend, relative, pastor, etc. Also, your service treatments records will be reviewed to see if there was a change in number or type of complaints of conditions for which you sought treatment. Your personnel record also will be reviewed to see if there is a change in your performance, assignments, and/or transfers.

MST can affect you both physically and mentally when the event happens or many years later. You can recover. The VA provides free, confidential counseling and treatment for conditions related to MST. You do not need to be service connected and may be able to receive this benefit even if you are not eligible for other VA care.

MST is not always easy to talk about. We have a caring and compassionate staff willing to help you through the VA claims process. If you have questions about this, give us a call. Our number is 1-877-838-3726. Or Tell us about your case.

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A lot of Veterans have been told

A lot of Veterans have been told their records were destroyed in a fire in St. Louis in 1973. However, they do not know exactly what happened or exactly what was destroyed. The fire in question occurred at The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), which housed Official Military Personnel Files.

National Personnel Records Center was built in 1956 at 9700 Page Boulevard St. Louis, Missouri, and was the largest in St. Louis–almost two blocks long and a block wide. On July 12, 1973, shortly after midnight, a fire was reported. It took firefighters only 4 minutes to arrive after the first alarm sounded and the entire sixth floor was already raging out of control. Although firefighters were able to contain it to just that area, it took 50 hours to put out the fire. There are a few different speculations, but the exact cause of the fire has never been determined.

The entire sixth floor was destroyed in the fire along with 16-18 million official Military Personnel Files. An estimated 80% of Army records of personnel discharged between November 1, 1912 to January 1, 1960, and 75% of Air Force records of personnel discharged September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964 (with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.) were destroyed.

As part of the reconstruction effort, the NPRC established a "B" registry file (or Burned File) to index the 6.5 million recovered records. Also, the NPRC established a separate temperature controlled "B" file area to protect and safeguard the damaged records. Later, in April 1974, the NPRC established the "R" registry file (or Reconstructed File) to further assist with reconstruction efforts. Since then, staffers have placed all newly reconstructed records into the "R" registry file and stored them in an area separate from the "B," or burned files.

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