Information for veterans

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Transcript Information for veterans

Information for veterans
So you can ask better questions
This is NOT claims training.
• This is current information that you can take
back to your chapter members so they can ask
better questions of their service officers.
• This is what is now available; your service
officer can let you know the specifics as to
your eligibility and actual process.
When you say, “the VA…”
1. National Cemetery system
2. Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
3. Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
Always change your address with the hospital
and the Regional Office, separately.
21-526B? or 21-4138?
• 21-526b now used. Just check the chosen box.
• Takes the normal time process, 10mths -1 year.
21-4138 used for all other items, including
filing an informal claim to preserve date.
• DBQ’s---Disability Benefits Questionnaires
• Used for 3 new Nehmer items, soon more.
Fully Developed Claims
• Two pages, with a waiver---instead of 14
double sided pages.
• Can be used to file an --• Increase
• Reopen
• New item
• Secondary condition
New Forms to Use
• 21-526EZ---a Fully Developed Claim for
• 21-527EZ---Fully Developed Claim for NonService Connected Pension
“Re-Open” instead of Appeals
• When you have been denied, determine what
of the trifecta you are missing. Then re-open
with the “new &material” evidence.
• Time frame---5-7 months instead of 18
months to 5 years for an appeal.
• Must physically have more than one page
stapled together, using the above words.
New Item to File for…
• TBI traumatic brain injury (post-concussive
syndrome) resulting from traumatic brain
injury. Explosions, grenades, land mines. Even
from the Vietnam war.
• Especially if there was a loss of consciousness,
request a TBI evaluation.
• If positive, add to claim.
Secondary Items
If a secondary condition is caused by a service
connected disability , or by the medicine or
treatment of the original diagnosis, it can be
service connected with “at least as likely as
Ex: tinnitus from chemo
There are a few that can be secondary to PTSD:
Secondary to sc PTSD
GERD-gastro-esophageal reflux disorder
Bruxism—grinding teeth
Sleep apnea
HTN (sometimes)--hypertension
Conditions caused by self-medication (liver
and or heart)cirrohsis, hepatitis C
Ask Questions
• Always accept any medications or therapies
• If not comfortable, ask questions until you feel
ok about it.
A different kind of war
• The draft, individual replacement, no chance
to grieve, government did not support the
soldiers efforts, enemy looked the same as the
good guys, couldn’t trust a coke can at the
side of the road, couldn’t trust a four year old
Korea & WW II veterans
• Many of our older veterans are in need of Aid
& Attendance, especially if in supervised care
facility. 90 days active service, with one day of
war time, makes them qualified to request it.
• Non-service connected Pension with A & A.
Low income, off set with medical expenses,
make it work.
Relaxed Stressors
• Vietnam could be a terrifying place to be, as is
Iraq and Afghanistan. The 21-0781 still needs
to be filled out to match circumstances.
• Personal PTSD ( resulting from assualt or MST
(military sexual trauma---male & female) also
relaxed. Veterans statement to be used as
evidence, with benefit of the doubt on vet.
How to Get an Increase
• “A day in my life, with my knee”. Notes over a
24 hour period to give your doctor a clear
picture of living with your knee.
• Same idea for PTSD---thoughts and feelings
• Share that with the psychiatrist, in the hopes
it will give him a better idea of your reality. His
notes may be interpreted to get an increase.
Individual Unemployability
• The VBA offers a program for veterans rated
60% for one SC condition, or a combined % of
70, 80, 90 with at least one at 40%. They will
pay you at the 100% rate if your doctor will
enter the following statement.
• “As a result of his combined service connected
conditions, and without regards for other
factors, he is unable to obtain & maintain
substantial employment”.
Additional Benefits at 100% rate
• Apply for SSDI, Social Security Disability
Insurance. You are able to collect both.
• Apply for Independent Living, through Voc
Rehab. They are required to interview you in
order to determine what interests and
avenues to better socialization apply to you.
• (no membership to Hooters, but it might be
fishing equipment, a camera & scanner, etc).
Direct Connection (not on a list)
Three basic requirements, at the least.
1-documentation of an incident of some sort
2-current diagnosis of a disability
3-doctor’s statement connecting the two.
“After reviewing the service treatment records
regarding the stubbed toe injury, it is at least
as likely as not related to the development of
toe cancer”.
• Direct connection require that statement.
Truck loads of evidence won’t matter. VBA
raters are not allowed to draw a conclusion.
• Presumptives were determined by Congress,
and do not require that statement.
Ex: A DD214 showing service in Nam proves A/O
exposure if you are claiming diabetes.