Recent Blog Posts

Armed Forces Day Honors Our Future Veterans

Just as Veterans Day is our occasion to honor all who wore a U.S. military uniform, and Memorial Day is when we remember warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice, Armed Forces Day  — today, May 20 — is our time to celebrate those men and women who currently serve our nation in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,… Read More »

Drug Theft Plagues VA Hospitals

The Associated Press recently reported on federal investigations targeting opioid theft from VA medical centers throughout the country, which has been on the rise since 2009. The culprits are believed to be doctors, nurses, and pharmacy staff at the hospitals, who steal the drugs for their own use, to profit through street sales, or mismanage… 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 »

VA Backlog Growing Despite New Paperless Process

Why has the VA claim backlog grown from 76,000 cases in May 2016 to 101,000 cases this February despite a new paperless process that was supposed to speed claims decisions? At a recent hearing before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Ronald S. Burke, Jr., the assistant deputy undersecretary for… Read More »

Dr. David Shulkin, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs

VA Secretary Shulkin Proposes “Choice 2.0”

In February, Dr. David Shulkin, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, spoke publicly for the first time on his plans to reduce red tape and make the VA more responsive to veterans’ needs. As reported in Stars and Stripes, Dr. Shulkin told an audience at the annual Disabled American Veterans conference in Arlington, Virginia, that… Read More »

Should the Veterans Choice Act Be Extended?

The Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act was considered controversial when it was passed in 2014 and has remained so during its implementation. This year, a key facet of the act, portability for veterans’ health benefits under the Choice program, is set to expire. The question is now whether Congress and… Read More »

Obesity and How It’s Related to VA Benefits

By: Ryan Spencer, Veterans Disability Benefits Attorney  Periodically, I have some veterans who would like to be service connected for obesity because of another service connected condition that prevents them from exercising. For example, being handicapped or having a bad back can substantially impede on the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle for most. Even… Read More »

Phil Roe, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Who Is Phil Roe, the New House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman?

In December, it was announced that Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee would replace Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida as chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Roe is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Medical Corps from 1973 to 1974, including nine months near the demilitarized zone in Korea and three months at… Read More »

What Changes to Expect at the VA Under the Trump Administration

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump made reform of the VA a significant part of his stump speech, vowing to “make the VA great again.” His talking points emphasized the need for change in three key areas: Reducing wait time and raising the quality of care Holding bad actors within the VA system accountable Modernizing… Read More »

Pros and Cons to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Ruling

By: Ryan Spencer, Veterans Disability Benefits Attorney VA published a final interim rule today regarding Camp Lejeune Water Contaminated Veterans, 82 FR 4173. The effective date for this rule is March 14th, 2017 and no earlier. To be eligible for benefits under this new ruling you must meet the below requirements. Valid discharge for Veterans… Read More »