Most Recent Blog Posts
Veterans Law Blog Periscope Up.
While proof-reading a post the other day, the thought occurred to me that I should publish a “Law-a-Day” Desktop Calendar…you know, to help members of the BVA have ready access to key concepts of Veterans Law.
But that would run counter to the mission of the Veterans Law Blog – to help YOU, the Veteran, become more familiar with the practical use of Veterans Law.
In other words, I want to show YOU how to use the law, not the BVA how to properly apply it.
So, I’m going to test a new feature on the Veterans Law Blog.
The New Feature is called: “Veterans Law Blog Periscope Up”
Here’s how it will work:
1) Each day of the week at 2:30pm Central Time I will post a 1 sentence snippet of crucial or important Veterans Law. on The post will appear on the Veterans Law Blog Facebook Page
Sometimes it will be a holding of a key case. Maybe a reference to the US Code or the CFR. And sometimes, I will pick something from the M21-1MR.
2) Every Monday I will pick the most popular snippet – by adding the total likes, comments and shares.
3) The following Friday (time TBD), I’ll broadcast a 10 minute video explaining that rule of law – giving you some real practical advice on how and when to use it in your VA Claim or Appeal.
I will broadcast the session live on Periscope – where anyone that follows the Veterans Law Blog on Twitter will be able to follow along and ask me questions – LIVE.
Periscope is a live broadcast app owned by Twitter – the broadcasts will be announced on Twitter, but you will have to have Twitter and Periscope apps on your smartphone or desktop to watch the live broadcast.
After the broadcast, it will be available for 24 hours, and then only the Annual Premium Members of the Veterans Law Blog will be able to view the prior broadcasts.
Sounds a little complicated, right? Honestly, it sounds like Social Media on steroids. But I’ve talked to a couple tech savvy folks, and I think we can make this work – and it might be kind of fun.
We’ll give it a shot for a few weeks and see how it works.
I’m new to Periscope, and I’ve never really understood Twitter (at least not for a law firm), so it’s a learning curve for me too. If it isn’t popular, I won’t keep doing it.
But what I will keep doing is this: every day at 2:30pm (Central) for the next 365 days (through August 17, 2016), I will post a 1 sentence statement of key Veterans Law on the Veterans Law Blog Facebook Page
So, at the very least, make sure you are following the Veterans Law Blog over on Facebook.
And, here’s a sample video on a case that recently came out of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Agent Orange Korean DMZ effective dates…. .
“I’ve Won – Now What?”: 8 Things Vets need to do after winning a VA Claim.
Winning a VA Claim is an exhilarating experience – after years of fighting, when you finally see those past-due benefits in your bank account, the sense of relief is palpable.
Unfortunately, many Veterans let the money burn a whole in their pocket – for someone struggling to make ends meet, a 5 or 6 figure past-due payment can seem like an endless fortune.
It’s not. Trust me on that – money is a weird thing….I watch my clients and Veterans around Social Media after a big win against the VA, and sometimes it seems like $100,000 disappears a lot quicker than $40,000.
On top of that, many Veterans tell the world how much the VA paid them. “Friends” and “family” come out of the woodwork, and often guilt Veterans – natural caretakers – into helping with gifts of money.
And unfortunately, a lot of Veterans fail to make sure that their VA claims and appeals are truly complete and leave a lot of benefits “on the table”….. (the VA often forgets Special Monthly Compensation, Aid&Attendance, TDIU and other follow-on benefits).
To help combat these problems, I’ve put together a list of 8 things Veterans (and their survivors) should think about after winning a VA claim.
The VA Office of General Counsel and its $21,000 Sentence.
When I took on the Veterans Law Blog in 2007, I had no idea what could be accomplished in the next 8 years.
The blog has helped many thousands of Veterans recover the benefits that they are entitled to – often without having to pay a penny to an attorney.
On the down side there are a lot of problems in the VA Benefits System needing to see the light of day….and I won’t pull any punches.
I’ve called out judges on the Court for words that demean the work of so many great attorneys that have helped so many Veterans.
I don’t have any problem pointing out how VSOs (like this VFW rep) sell Vets “up the river”.
Now, I am seeing evidence that the VA Office of General Counsel is fleecing the American taxpayer. Today we are going to learn how the VA’s attorneys made taxpayers pay $21,000 for a single sentence… .
This Veterans Benefits Appeal Went Back…Again, and Again, and Again….
Remember the Energizer Bunny? This Veterans Benefits Appeal is a lot like that….it kept going back on remand….again, and again, and again
Who’s the New Chief of the Veterans Court?
In August 2015, the Veterans Court appointed a new Chief Judge.
Outgoing Chief Judge Kasold – the Chief since August 7, 2010 – stepped aside and made way for Judge Lawrence B. Hagel.
This type of thing is often more important to the lawyers of the Veterans Advocacy Community than it is to Veterans.
I don’t believe this should be the case: over time, it is part of my larger agenda to introduce you to the Veterans Court:
I want to show you how its decisions affect – good or bad – the administrative claims process, and how important this Court is to the future of Veterans Benefits law.
For starters, the role of the Veterans Court is not really clear to most Veterans.
After all, when most Veterans think of a Court, they think of discovery, jury trials, cross-examination….
That’s not the Veterans Court.
It’s a different kind of Court. There is no jury. No Discovery.
No, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims was a welcome “watch-dog” … an Article I Court (i.e., a court created by Congress under its Article I powers, not by the Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which is the font of judicial authority in our system.
It’s primary function is to review the final decision of the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
And thank God for that!
With an error rate approaching the fielding percentage of the 2013 Baltimore Orioles, its good to have someone keeping an eye on the BVA.
The so-called Veterans Court is authorized 7 permanent active Judges – in addition, some temporary expansion provisions allow for 2 additional Judges.
All of the Court’s Judges are typically appointed for 15-year terms.
The Court only has one “Chief Judge” at a time.
The landscape of American politics and culture can change dramatically depending on which Supreme Court Chief Justice is leading the Court through the controversial issues of the day.
And because the CAVC is a “niche” court – it only affects about 21 million Veterans (less than 10% of our population) it’s not going to dramatically shape American values and culture.
But it how the Court comes down, on the issues of the day facing Veterans Benefits Claims, will have a major impact on anyone disabled by or injured in military service.
So let’s get to know what kind of Chief Judge we might be looking at here by taking a look at 3 Court Decisions that I think best represent the man who is our new Chief…..
4 Ways the Veterans Surviving Spouse May be Walking Away from BIG VA Benefits.
I’ve seen cases where the Veterans Surviving Spouse almost lost out on a quarter-million dollars in past due benefits. Don’t let that happen to you!
The VA’s Notice of Intent to File a VA Claim Form – the Silliest Thing Since Ski Golfing.
There’s no good reason – that I know of – to use VA Form 21-0966 Notice of Intent to File a VA Claim. Just file a VA Claim form instead.
VA Claims Reduction Defense Field Manual (eBook Coming Soon)
I want to make sure that I answer all of your questions about defending against a VA Proposal to Reduce your VA Disability Compensation...... If you have specific information that you would expect to find out in a VA Claims Reduction Defense eBook, please tell me...