Jim's Mailbag

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Jim's Mailbag
December 2, 2013
Jim, My mother has been receiving VA benefits for five years. She is in a wheelchair with MS and I have been her full time caregiver. A few months ago she received a letter from the Paralyzed Veterans of America encouraging her to apply for the Aid & Attendance Benefit. We made the appointment with her Neurologist to fill out the application…
Jim's Mailbag
December 2, 2013
Hi Jim, Great job you are doing. keep it up. I am awaiting for my appeal to heard, about a C/P knee exam, I have heard there are four separate ratings but cant remember them, now will the rater have enough professional dignity to apply them? The results were bony joint enlargement, crepitus, effusion, tenderness and guarding of movement. Also…
Jim's Mailbag
December 2, 2013
Dear Jim, I want to thank you for all your help you give to vets. I follow your site and I recommend it as much as I can. I wrote you some time ago concerning my own claims and I wanted to let you know I have been granted 100% IU. Just some numbers which concern my own case. This email may aid other vets with similar…
Jim's Mailbag
December 2, 2013
Mr. Strickland, I had a dear 100% disabled veteran friend that passed away just a couple a weeks ago. His wife called me last night to see if I could help her file the papers with the VA to continue receiving his disability. I don’t mind helping her at all, but I don’t know which forms to file. Could you give me some insight on how to help her…
Jim's Mailbag
November 7, 2013
Jim, I have talked with a representative in travel three times about my travel pay. The VA now uses a different map- ("military Bing map") which uses the shortest distance between destinations. Totally ridiculous, circuitous routes, which nobody in their right mind would travel. Some of these roads, which I can't even find on…
Jim's Mailbag
November 7, 2013
Jim, Back in early March I tripped over an article on the VA now accepting claims for Ischemic Heart Disease under the Agent Orange qualifier. I had bypass surgery in 1981 and never knew that it was related to AO. I served in Vietnam for a year, Jan. 1966 to Feb 1967. I filed under the Fast Track claims on March 27 2013. I would like to…
Jim's Mailbag
October 9, 2013
Hi Jim, My wonderful veteran partner of 12 years recently passed away in the hospital from "instant cancer". I know that sounds crazy, but true. Despite being diagnosed with T2 Diabetes and PTSD he was given a clean bill of health by his Dr. @ the VA about 6 weeks prior. He died within 10 days of being admitted due to renal failure and…
Jim's Mailbag
October 9, 2013
Hello Jim, I served in the Navy during the First Gulf War with the Seabees. I got out in 1992, in 2005 my friend saw the signs of PTSD and convinced me to go the VA. I was having a lot problems at work and failed relationships, plus nightmares, flashbacks, and difficulty dealing with people in my job as a customer service…
Jim's Mailbag
October 9, 2013
Hi Jim, Recently a friend of ours told us the VA raters are looking for keywords in buddy letters. Could you advise what some of them are? I am the wife of an OIF Veteran and am trying my best to write a good letter without it being a book. There are some key things I want to stress in the letter and give good examples like…
Jim's Mailbag
September 27, 2013
Hello Jim, I'm a VA employee and a rater at a VARO. You recently had a discussion about how "reconsideration" is used instead of going straight to a formal appeal. These are my comments about that. I agree with you and the lawyer, there is no such thing as “reconsideration.” These are duplicate claims with no basis in law to reconsider unless…
Jim's Mailbag
September 27, 2013
Hi Jim, What would you estimate the compensation percentage would be for a veteran whose heart stopped , was revived by EMT's , had 5 stents put in arteries , takes 10 plus pills a day and still contends with chest pain and weakness ? I am 64 years old and earned a CIB in Vietnam in 1970 and a CAB in Iraq in 2005. Thank you for all you do for…
Jim's Mailbag
September 18, 2013
Hey Jim, Sometimes I meet very interesting people at our local VA OPC. Vietnam Veteran took a long time to explain that he travels 50 miles 1 way to come to the clinic and knows for a fact that the $6.00 deductible has been waived for veterans rated 50 percent or more. The poor lady at the window knew nothing about that change. He…
Jim's Mailbag
September 18, 2013
Jim, I now you are no fan of e-benefits and here's a great example of how confusing it can be. As I told you the other day, I received a call from a woman who identified herself as a DRO granting me service connection for sleep apnea and rhinitus. I believe this was based on a Substantive Appeal Form 9 I submitted in May 2013 however, I never…
Jim's Mailbag
September 10, 2013
Jim, My 97 year old mother in law, widow of a WW II veteran, has significant dementia and has just been granted VA benefits on her husband's WW II service. Her doctor states that she is unable to handle her finances. The widow has submitted a request for a competency evaluation in order to obtain 3 months of retroactive benefits, but now the…
Jim's Mailbag
September 10, 2013
Hi Jim, Question: My husband retired in 1996 and since has developed Diabetes, there is not a family history. How can we tell if this is service connected or not? He served in the USCG from 1974 to 1996. Also is there any connection with asthma and Trichloroethylene? Reply: The only diabetes that is automatically (presumptively) service…
Jim's Mailbag
September 6, 2013
Mr. Strickland, I came across your watchdog site after looking for information for my husband. He recently filed an increase for his PTSD claim in November 2012. The claim has finally made it into the "Preparation for Notification" stage as of 8/20/2013. On that same date a new claim appeared on his eBenefits, a predetermination:…
Jim's Mailbag
September 6, 2013
Dear Jim, My family and I were buying a home with a VA mortgage, we made and offer it was accepted, we had an inspection, we had a VA appraisal and that was all so great, we did everything that was asked, we did not renew our lease, we were ready for the move our first home, took me 52 yr I have been married for 28yrs, 3 kids , we were ready to…
Jim's Mailbag
September 6, 2013
Hi Jim, I'm a VN vet.... I've applied for Agent Orange Prostate Cancer and PTSD compensation.... Its been going for a bout a year now.... Yesterday I receive 2 letters from MSLA for an appointment to take a physical exam and a second meeting with a Psychology doc soon. What can I expect from these meeting exams... I am very…
Jim's Mailbag
August 30, 2013
Jim, I had a C&P exam yesterday for prostate cancer. Just a little concerned after leaving. It seemed as if the doctor was trying to say that my cancer had disappeared. Diagnosed in 3/2011 with a low grade adeno carcinoma 2 cores positive from biopsy. I have had three biopsies since all negative which I am happy about but I still have…
Jim's Mailbag
August 30, 2013
Hello Jim, I am currently rated and service connected with ankles, hip and back injuries while doing my job as a paratrooper. I currently am being treated for my knees. What is your suggestion on the best way for me to proceed to attain connection? Reply, You seem to have significant leg injuries from your days as…