Recent Blog Posts

VA Dentist May Have Exposed 600 Veterans to HIV Infection Risk

Almost 600 veterans who got dental care at the Tomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin may need to be tested for exposure to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C because the dentist who treated them failed to use sterile, disposable instruments during routine exams, as per VA rules. Victoria Brahm, the center’s acting director, explained… Read More »

Our Firm Looks Back on a Successful 2016

The year 2016 featured surprises on many fronts. The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in more than 100 years and a billionaire real estate developer with no political experience won the White House.  However, at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, events were more predictable. We knew going in that reforms to the Department… Read More »

On the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Inspiring Veterans Make Us Pause to Remember

  It was 75 years ago today that a Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor plunged our nation into World War II. At 7:55 a.m. local time on that fateful day, the two-hour assault began. When it was over, more than 2,400 military personnel and civilians had lost their lives, more… Read More »

What Veterans Should Know About Special Monthly Compensation

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is a disability benefit available to certain veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents. Eligible veterans receive a higher rate of compensation for their disability due to special circumstances, such as the need for another person to aid and attend them, or the nature of their disability, such as the loss… Read More »

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Honor Our Nation’s Heroes on Veterans Day

November 11 is the day our nation has designated to honor American veterans of all wars. The history of Veterans Day dates from November 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I, which concluded with a ceasefire the previous November 11. Then, on June 4,… Read More »

VA Proposes Changes to Disability Ratings for Skin Conditions

On Friday, August 12, the Federal Register published proposed rule changes for the Department of Veterans Affairs that would amend the portion of the VA disability rating system that governs skin conditions. These changes are being proposed to “incorporate medical advances…, update current medical terminology, and provide clear evaluation criteria.” If you are a veteran… Read More »

VA Releases Report on Nation’s Largest Analysis of Veteran Suicide

On August 3, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released its report on “Suicide among Veterans and Other Americans, 2001–2014.” The report notes that in 2014, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and that suicide rates are increasing for both males and females in the general population. However, male… Read More »

Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2016 Increases VA Benefits

Is there a doctor in the House? Actually, there are a few, but today we are particularly thankful for one: Representative Ralph Abraham, M.D., representing the Fifth District of Louisiana, whose bill, HR 5588, won bipartisan approval and was signed by President Obama on Friday, July 22. The new law, Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of… Read More »

UPDATE: Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Proposed Presumptive Conditions

On September 9th, The Federal Register issued a “public inspection document” (which it does the day before any rule is published), which indicates VA is proposing a presumptive rule of service connection for eight conditions for those who served at Camp Lejeune for no less than 30 days from August 1, 1953 through December 31,… Read More »

Observing Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law U.S. House of Representatives Joint Resolution 71, which designated each subsequent September 11 as Patriot Day. This resolution went into the books as Public Law 107-89. The protocol for observing Patriot Day then included flying the American flag at… Read More »