Category Archives: Veterans Benefits

Will Vets Finally Get College Credit for Military Training?

Will Vets Finally Get College Credit for Military Training

Despite the rigorous learning demands in our contemporary armed forces, few veterans receive academic credit for military training. Therefore, they waste time and incur unnecessary expenses repeating unnecessary classes simply to gain required credits. To address this problem, senators, Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa have introduced the Military Learning… Read More »

VA Updates Schedule for Disabling Skin Conditions

Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs updated portions of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities that evaluate skin conditions. The VA website describes the VASRD  (also called the rating schedule) as “the collection of federal regulations used by Veterans Benefits Administration claims processors to evaluate the severity of disabilities and assign disability ratings.” Disability… Read More »

VA Issues New Spanish-Language Healthcare Benefit Application

VA Issues New Spanish-Language Healthcare Benefit Application

In August, as part of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ effort to simplify and improve healthcare enrollment, the VA issued a new Spanish-language version of its application for health benefits. The new version of the application grew out of a recommendation from the VA Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans to address the growing number of Hispanics… Read More »

Has Your Military Service Earned Special Credits for Social Security?

Has Your Military Service Earned Special Credits for Social Security

If you are a service member or a veteran planning for retirement or applying for Social Security disability, you should be aware that your active duty service earns you extra wage credits. Since wage credits are used to calculate Social Security benefits, your retirement and/or disability benefits may be higher than you think. Not all… Read More »

Agent Orange Benefits Granted for Vietnam Vets Stationed in Thailand

Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban recently received an award for Agent Orange benefits for a veteran stationed in Thailand. This veteran was stationed at the Nakhon Phanom Air Force Base. Based on the presumptive conditions laid out by the VA, Vietnam veterans who served along the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February… Read More »

Former U.S. Army Captain and Efficiency Expert Nominated as VA Benefits Boss

On Wednesday, February 21, President Trump nominated U.S. Army veteran Paul Lawrence to be the next Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits, filling a seat warmed only by interim officials since October 2015. Lawrence, who retired from the service as a captain, would seem to be a strong choice based on his background as a… Read More »

VA Secretary Suggests Cut to Unemployability Benefit

VA Secretary Suggests Cut to Unemployability Benefit

Asserting that it doesn’t make sense to average Americans to pay unemployment benefits to persons 80 years of age and older, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has proposed cutting the Individual Unemployability benefit for disabled veterans once they qualify for Social Security. According to the Daily Courier, the mere suggestion of cuts to IU has… Read More »

Veterans Line Up on Opposite Sides of H.R. 2288 — Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

On May 23, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 2288 — the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. This came weeks after DAV (Disabled American Veterans) national service director Jim Marszalek appeared before Congress to call for the bill’s passage. As Mr. Marszalek testified, “The new appeals framework developed… Read More »

Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 Blog Series: Part 1: Options for Appealing a Rating Decision

On Sunday, May 21st, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs (HVAC) passed H.R. 2288, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. If passed into law it will mean many changes for the VA and for our veterans. One notable revision is the options in which veterans may appeal their rating decision. The bill… Read More »

Veterans Continue to Wait Years for Claims Hearings

Veterans appealing a denial of VA benefits are currently waiting about five years for a determination, and if the present pace continues, vets 10 years from now could be waiting as long as 25 years for an answer. That’s the bottom line from a recent article by Luanne Rife of The Roanoke Times. Ms. Rife… Read More »