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A lot of Veterans have been told

By Jon Corra · January 27, 2012
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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.

Can I Add a Dependent to my VA Disability Rating?

By Jon Corra · January 20, 2012
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SethAre you 30% combined service connected? Do you have a spouse and/or children? Have a dependent parent? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be eligible for additional compensation.

In order to be eligible to add dependent(s) for additional compensation, you must have a combined total of 30% service connection or higher. Once you are eligible, you may add a child, spouse, or dependent parent. A child can be biological, adopted, or a stepchild. The child also must be 18 years of age or under, or be enrolled in school if over 18. As far as the question, “Can there be back pay?”  The answer is yes, if you submit your claim within one year of a birth, marriage, or a parent becoming dependent. You will then receive back pay to the event.

An example of two percentages with the different type of dependents you can claim is as follows:

 

Percentage

Veteran Alone

Veteran and Spouse

Veteran and One Child

Veteran, Spouse and one Child

Veteran, Spouse, Child, and one Parent

Additional Child Under 18

School Child Over 18

30%

$389

$436

$420

$469

$506

$22

$74

80%

$1,478

$1,602

$1,561

$1,692

$1,791

$62

$198

To apply you will need to fill out the VA form 21‐686c. Call our office if you need help or have any questions. 1‐877‐838‐3726.

Why is a C&P Exam Important for my VA Disability Claim?

By Jon Corra · January 19, 2012
CATEGORIES: , ,

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. 

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. These exams are usually performed quickly. For example, if you have a C&P exam for an issue on your knee, your knee is the only thing that will be evaluated during the exam.   Make sure to be truthful when answering all questions at your C&P exam.

Please remember that C&P exams are very important in the VA being able 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). 

If you have questions or concerns about C&P exams 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 claim now.

Why is a C&P Exam Important to my VA Disability Claim?

By Jon Corra · January 19, 2012
CATEGORIES:

AlexAny Veteran who has filed a claim for VA Disability Compensation has heard the endless list of abbreviations for different forms and prodecures for the VA. A C&P Exam is often at the top of this list, but you may not know what this 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.

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. These exams are usually performed quickly. For example, if you have a C&P exam for an issue on your knee, your knee is the only thing that will be evaluated during the exam.   Make sure to be truthful when answering all questions at your C&P exam.

Please remember that C&P exams are very important in the VA being able 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).

If you have questions or concerns about C&P exams 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.

What Happened to Records in 1973?

By Jon Corra · January 16, 2012
CATEGORIES: ,

AlexA lot of Veteran’s 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 being 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 for the fire to finally put out. 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.  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.

 

Jess Post Bio

By Jon Corra · December 19, 2011
CATEGORIES:
Jess

Jess Post-Hacker is a Case Manager at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law. She is approaching her three year anniversary with the firm, and loves every aspect of her job. Jess is becoming a favorite among our clients for her personality and her attention to detail. Jess is also popular within the firm for her humor. Her love for helping Veterans hits close to home as Jess has a brother who is currently serving in the Army Reserves. In addition to her brother, both of her grandfathers are Veterans.

What is an SSOC in VA Disability?

By Jon Corra · December 16, 2011
CATEGORIES: , ,

So you feel like you have been waiting an eternity for a grant on your disability, and now you have finally received a decision in the mail. At this point you have had a hearing with a Decision Review Officer (DRO) at your VA Regional Office and are wondering anxiously about what they have decided. Most likely, the decision you just received is either a Rating Decision or Supplemental Statement of the Case. I would like to discuss with you the importance of a Supplemental Statement of the Case and what it means to you.

A Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC) is a decision that comes after a Statement of the Case (SOC) and a VA Form 9 has been filed on the SOC. At our office, when we file a VA Form 9, we request a hearing with a DRO, if the client has not had one yet on the issue(s), as well as a hearing with the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). (You can also find our bloggers discussing in more detail VA Form 9s and SOC’ on our site). Once a decision has been made on the appealed issues, the SSOC is rendered. Like all other decisions, the SSOC will discuss the issues at hand and how the VA determines service connection and/or increases for them. Near the end, you will eventually find the decision the DRO has made and his/her reasoning for it.

Now, you might be wondering what the next step is. This is the part when things can get a little confusing. If a VA Form 9 was already filed on all of the issues on the SOC that was received prior to the SSOC, then an appeal is not needed. The file will automatically be sent to the BVA for further reviewing and another hearing will be held with a BVA judge, if requested.  If you aren’t sure if you requested a BVA hearing on it and want to go to one, then re-file the VA Form 9. It is better to be safe than sorry in this case because you only have 30 days to file an appeal on the SSOC. If you are satisfied with your claims then it is important to notify the VA that you wish to close your claims or else your file will still be sent to the BVA for review. SSOCs and VA Form 9s can be very confusing. However, our team at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law would be more than happy to help you better understand the process and file the correct paperwork. So please visit us at www.Fight4Vets.com or call us as 1-877-VETERAN.

What is a Rating of Disability?

By Jon Corra · December 15, 2011
CATEGORIES: ,

If you’ve been approved for VA Disability, you will receive a “Rating of Disability.” This will be a percentage between 0 and 100, and will be an increment of 10. A rating of zero percent means the VA has determined that your injury or illness is service-related, but it may not be severe enough to qualify for monetary compensation. However, a zero percent rating also means that if your disability worsens, you may be eligible at a later date to receive compensation. Even if you have a zero percent rating, you can receive medical treatment at any VA medical facility for that disability.

If you have multiple disabilities, each disability will be rated separately. However, your benefit amount will be based upon the combined result of all your disabilities. This combined result is calculated by adding a portion of additional disability percentages to the rating of your most serious disability. However, VA math is not “normal” math, and a 20% disability plus a 30% disability will not equal a 50% disability. Instead, it will be adjusted as a portion. Your notice of eligibility will include your total disability rating, which will always be rounded off to the nearest ten percent (10%, 20%, 30%, etc.).

If you have received a rating percentage that you are not satisfied with, or you are curious about filing for new claims, give our office a call for a free phone consultation. Our Toll Free Number is:1-877-526-3457. Also, you can check us out on line at www.fight4vets.com Or tell us about your claim now.

 

Jan Dils Bio

By Jon Corra · December 9, 2011
CATEGORIES: , ,

Jan

Jan Dils graduated from Marietta College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Marketing and Economics. She then went on to receive her Masters in Business Administration in 1991, and her law degree from West Virginia University in 1994. That same year, she was admitted to the West Virginia Bar, and began practicing in Parkersburg. The focal point of her practice has been helping clients with Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits and Personal Injury Law. Jan is a sustaining member of the National Association of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR).

What is a DD-214?

By Jon Corra · December 9, 2011
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A DD214 “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty” is the form normally issued when a Veteran completes a period of active duty service.

Some of the information this form shows are the entrance and separation dates of active duty, total active duty service, character of discharge (i.e., honorable, under honorable conditions, general, under other than honorable conditions, etc.), narrative reason for separation (i.e., completion of required service, physical disability, retirement, etc.), primary specialty in service, and severance pay.  Sometimes the form will show where and when overseas service was performed.  This form usually lists decorations, medals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons awarded or authorized.  However, the official verified list of these awards is in the Veteran’s military personnel file.

The information on this form helps us to have an idea of benefits for which you may be entitled.       

If you are confused about your discharge, or if you have any questions about the VA Disability process, don’t hesitate to give our office a call. 1-877-526-3457. Or, tell us about your claim now.