Health & Safety

A photo of a golden retriever service dog wearing a vest with several service dog patches. The most prominent reads 'Disabled Veteran with Service Dog.'

"Service Animals" and "Assistance Animals:" What Are My Rights?

Learn about the federal laws that support people in need of a service animal.
VA pension

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Surviving Spouses and Children

Learn about Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) which is a tax-free monthly benefit paid by the VA to certain eligible survivors of military service members and veterans.
FAQ

COVID-19 & Rights of Renters: CDC Eviction Ban FAQ


Is there a nationwide eviction ban?

The CDC has issued an order banning many, but not all, evictions through December 31, 2020.

 

How do I know if I qualify?

You might qualify if the following is true for you:

A photo of a stethoscope on a white surface.

TRICARE - Health Care for Service Members and Others

TRICARE provides health coverage for active duty and retired service members, their families, and survivors. TRICARE is run by the Department of Defense (DoD). CHAMPVA is a VA health program.
A photo of a family, taken from the back. A man in a green shirt pushed someone using a wheelchair, while walking with a small child.

VA Caregiver Support

VA has changed its rules to provide additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who want to be cared for at home from a primary family caregiver.

Under the new rules, eligible caregivers can receive a financial stipend, training, mental health services, and access to health insurance if they are not already under a health care plan.

A young black girl in a hospital bed sticks out her tongue at a middle aged white man in scrubs and a surgical cap who is crouched next to the bed.

Your Rights Under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (video)

View this video to learn the basics about how the federal law provides extra leave for some workers, including time to care for injured servicemembers.

A modern engineer compass open on top of a wooden table.

The Homeless Veteran's Resource Guide

Many organizations provide support to homeless veterans.  These services include housing, food programs, educational opportunities, counselling and legal help. Open the attached document to find a comprehensive listing of resources and links. 

Red text in a red box on a white background reads 'DENIED.'

Was your MST-Related VA Benefit Claim Denied? Learn about Special Review Process

How to get your previously denied VA Compensation claim reviewed.

Tinnitus

Question:

Greetings Jim, I actually suffered from depression and anxiety under PTSD . I often get very anxious from ringing in my hear or not being able to hear my family at times. How do I get checked for tinnitus?

 

Jim's Reply:

There is no exam for tinnitus. You simply state that you have it as you make the claim. VA will review your records to learn if it is a reasonable assumption that you were exposed to acoustic trauma and rate you with tinnitus at a max of 10% if they agree that it is more likely than not that your hearing was damaged during service.

For example, if you worked on a flight line or if you have been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge or equivalent VA will cede that you were exposed to acoustic trauma. In other circumstances you may have to offer more evidence and all too often this claim is won on appeal...be prepared. Good luck.

 

Amendments to the Ratings Schedule

Question:

Jim, as you may know, urinary stress incontinence is ongoing with leakage throughout the day and minor or little to no leakage at night during sleeping hours. However, the VA will use the same eligibility criteria "number of pads usage during the course of the day" and "number time you wake during the night to void", as the eligibility criteria for veterans with no prostate and veterans with a functioning prostate. Do you feel these eligibility criteria should be amended within the code of federal regulations?

 

Jim's Reply:

"Do you feel these eligibility criteria should be amended within the code of federal regulations?"

Yes. Absolutely. But Congress has shown no interest in tackling this as the Congress continues to meet the dictionary definition of dysfunctional. The Dole-Shalala Commission was the best attempt to correct how veterans are cared for in my memory and if a recall correctly not one single item was ever adopted for use by the VA.

More on that is here