Have You Ever Heard the Term "Learned Helplessness?
It is a state of mind where a person is taught they are powerless to change their circumstances, that there is no way to succeed in a certain aspect of their life, that what "has always been" is "what will always be".
We Veterans have been taught "Learned Helplessness" in VA Claims.
We are told we can't make the VA move any quicker. That we can't get better results in our claims.
We are denied access to real help by those who tell us we must use free VSOs who may not be trained to properly handle our claims, or who may not have the skillsets to move large case-loads rapidly through the VA Hamster Wheel.
We are told we have to hire attorneys and pay 20% or more of our hard earned benefits to get results.
These are the messages I heard - loud and clear - when I filed my first VA claim back in 2007.
And these messages of Helplessness and Powerlessness conflicted with everything I learned about myself in Basic Training, Ranger School, Airborne School and 11 years of Army service as a Field Artilleryman.
The Army taught me the exact opposite.
The Army taught me that with discipline, practice, persistence and optimism I could conquer any obstacle laid in front of me.
So, let me be absolutely clear:
I categorically reject the notion that we Veterans cannot Take Back the Power in our VA Claims.
I categorically reject the notion that we are Helpless, Powerless Victims of the VA.
I categorically ACCEPT the idea that it is possible to cut through the Fog of VA Claims and get better results ... in shorter time-frames.
When the VA took 8 years to handle my simple VA Claim, I got mad.
When they lied and told my grandmother that the widow of a WWII Combat Veteran could not get survivor benefits, I "declared war" on the VA.
Every day, I focus my energy on the Best and Highest Use of my time: teaching Veterans how to Take Back the Power in their VA Claims, and lead them through the FOG of the VA Claims Process.
Captain, US Army Field Artillery (1993 - 2004)
Graduate, US Army Airborne School
Attended, US Army Ranger School
Selected (but did not attend), US Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS)
Admissions & Courts
Accredited VA Attorney (September 2008)
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (Currently Inactive)
U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
Board of Directors, National Organization of Veterans Advocates (NOVA)
Licensed to Practice Law: Texas & Maryland
J.D., South Texas College of Law (2003)
B.A. History, University of Scranton, PA (1993)
HOW Exactly Do Veterans Take Back the Power at the VA?
I have spent 9 years studying the VA Claims process.
I've worked hundreds of cases for Veterans and studied thousands more C-Files.
I read and analyze several hundred Board and Court cases. Every year.
In doing all that study, I have learned certain "tried-and-true" principles and practices that, when applied to a VA claim or appeal, will produce dramatically different results than we have been trained to accept.
I'd like to tell you about those principles.
But I'll be honest - there are some of you that I cannot help.
So if ANY of the following sound like you - stop reading right now.
Close this web page and go back to doing things the same old way, expecting different results.
Are You Here to be Entertained?
If you cannot roll up your sleeves and do the work - and instead are here to be entertained by rants against the VA and its incompetency - I cannot help you.
Do You Think Veterans are Entitled to Anything in the Civilian World?
If you believe you are entitled to an easier life in the civilian world, or are entitled to any privilege merely because you served in the Armed Forces - peacetime or combat - I cannot help you.
Are you a "Know-it-All"?
If you "know-it-all" already, or aren't willing to learn methods that are dramatically different from what you've been taught about VA Claims, I can't help you.
Look at yourself in the mirror, and ask if any of these descriptions match your core beliefs.
Because if that is the case, close out this page - I cannot help you.
If, however, those traits are the OPPOSITE of your beliefs, read on....
I Can Lead You Through the Fog of Your VA Claims.
If you are going to build a better VA Claim - and get better results from the VA - you are going to need to learn a few CORE Principles:
REAL Change Should be Expected.
You can't change the VA - but you CAN change your VA Claim.
You Have MORE Power over the VA Than You Realize.
There are some very common reasons that the VA keeps screwing up your VA claim - almost every one is in YOUR POWER to fix.
It's less about WHAT you say then HOW you say it.
Clear and Concise arguments, resting on 5-Star Evidence, will get results from the VA much faster than you thought possible.
There IS a Path through the Wall.
There are 3 ways to deal with walls that the VA puts up in Claims or Appeals - through them, over them, or under them.
There are no shortcuts or quick fixes.
Anything worth doing is going to push you to your physical and mental limits.
Always Maintain Dignity in your Conduct.
Being polite, civil and persistent - no matter how outraged you are - will keep your claim moving through the process.
These Veterans Learned these Lessons - and had these Results:
Do You Want Experiences like Those?
If so, Follow these 3 Steps: