VA Benefits NewsJune 6, 2017by seth-old
VA Secretary Announces Plan to Upgrade the VHA Electronic Health System
On June 5, 2017, DVA secretary David Shulkin announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs would adopt the same electronic health records management system as the Department of Defense, called MHS GENESIS (https://health.mil/mhsgenesis). The primary motivation is to permit the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to communicate and exchange information between the DVA and DoD health...
Elder Law NewsVA Benefits NewsDecember 14, 2016by seth-old
VA National Cemeteries Pre-Need Eligibility Press Release . . . A Really Good Idea
On December 8, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs ( “VA” or “DVA”) issued a Press Release allowing veterans and dependents to file an application for eligibility for interment in a VA national cemetery “prior to time of need” through the Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility Program. The Press Release can be viewed at va-press-release-burial-benefits....
VA Benefits NewsDecember 5, 2016by seth-old
VA Publishes New Compensation Benefits Rate After .3% COLA Increase
In October 2016, the DVA announced that a .3% increase in DVA benefits rates for 2016-2017. This increase is a reflection of the cost-of-living adjustment for this fiscal year based upon the Consumer Price Index. Last week the DVA updated its website to reflect this increase and the new compensation benefits chart can be found at the link below: New Compensation Benefits Rates Chart
Elder Law NewsVA Benefits NewsOctober 21, 2016by seth-old
Concurrent Title 38 Disability Compensation and DoD Retirement Benefits for Retirees
A few days ago, I was speaking at an assisted living care facility regarding Title 38 benefits (Department of Veterans Affairs). These discussions usually involve the adult children of World War II and Korean War veterans so they can have a basic understanding of what benefits their mother/father may be entitled to through the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). The elderly spouse of a...
VA Benefits NewsOctober 19, 2016by seth-old
Veterans Affairs Extends Presumption Period for Persian Gulf War Veterans to December 31, 2021
Beginning in 1994, Congress implemented a statutory provision, 38 U.S.C. 1117, for a presumption of service connection for undiagnosed chronic multi-symptom illnesses for veterans who served in the Southwest Area theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War. Because the Persian Gulf War is still considered a statutorily defined period of war, 38 U.S.C. 1117 applies to more recent...
VA Benefits NewsSeptember 27, 2016by seth-old
VA Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 and Related Bills
There are a number of bills that have been introduced both at the House and Senate to modify the procedure by which veterans or claimants can dispute a decision from the Department of Veterans Affairs . H.R. 5620: VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 was recently passed before the House of Representatives and will be voted on at the Senate. The link to GovTrack above...
VA Benefits NewsSeptember 9, 2016by seth-old
Camp Lejeune Presumption of Service Connection Proposed Regulation
On September 9, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) proposed regulation governing the presumption of service connection for veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. A link to the PDF copy of the proposed regulation can be located at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-09-09/pdf/2016-21455.pdf The DVA set a thirty (30) day...
VA Benefits NewsFebruary 29, 2016by seth-old
VA Hearing Loss Evaluation – Self-Created DBQ (Disability Benefits Questionnaire)
On numerous occasions, veterans have expressed frustration to me concerning discrepancies between their VA-conducted Compensation and Pension Examination (C&P) and private audiologist-conducted hearing evaluation. Normally, disputes between level of disabilities can be resolved with the private physician completing a VA-published Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) for the condition in...
VA Benefits NewsFebruary 15, 2016by seth-old
VA Blog Explains the VA Appeals Process (VA Form 21-0958)
Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ own blog posted an article regarding the VA appeals process. The article provides a good overview of the VA appeals process (after submission of the VA Form 21-0958) and offers a well-constructed diagram that is easy to understand and succinctly explains the timelines involved. Link to the VA article can be found at the following link: The...
VA Benefits NewsFebruary 11, 2016by seth-old
Veteran’s Health Care, Predictive Analytics, and RAND Reports
Recently, the RAND Corporation released three reports regarding the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). These reports were previously submitted to the VA and House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees as mandated by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146). The summary of all three reports can be found at RAND Reports – Summary. The report...