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Important Brown Water Navy Update

The VA Office of General Counsel published a summary of its key opinions affecting BrownWater Navy veterans and their survivors in today’s Federal Register.  While this summary is useful, it is critical for any Brown Water Navy veterans or their survivors to review the full text of these opinions to effectively use them in support […]

The End of the Feres Doctrine?

On January 1, 2020, the SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019 became law. This law effectively overturns the Feres Doctrine and allows you as a service member to sue the federal government for any harm that you may have suffered due to medical malpractice at a military treatment facility. The statute of […]

URGENT- CONFIRMING SEIZURE DISORDERS WITH A VIDEO EEG

I had recently posted about a seizure disorder case in which the individual had been mistakenly labeled with a conversion disorder by a neurologist based upon his subjective observations and without objective confirmation by a video EEG.  I am reposting this information as I have been made aware of several other individuals who were misdiagnosed […]

WHEN TO START PREPARING A VARR IN IDES CASES

If you are my client, we will start preparing a VA One-time Reconsideration Request (“VARR”) immediately after reviewing the initial results of your VA C&P exam- if it contains errors or inaccuracies.  I tend to discuss these errors at length in a rebuttal to the MEB Narrative Summary to raise any issues early in the […]

APPEALING “V” CODES IN ARMY PEB CASES

If you agree with your Army IPEB findings but wish to contest whether your unfitting conditions are combat-related, you may wish to submit a written appeal regarding this issue via your counsel with supporting exhibits vice going to a formal hearing.  Why? Because Army FPEB members may revisit the unfitting nature of your injuries during […]

SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT YOUR FRIEND

If you are entering the PEB process or are undergoing a TDRL review, please be advised that PEB staff from the various armed and uniformed services often check your social media posts to determine whether you are engaging in activities that might contradict your previous statements, profiles or your testimony during formal hearings.  Sometimes, the […]

Why You Need Civilian Counsel for PEB Cases

Whenever prospective clients ask why they should hire me as opposed to the “free” JAG attorneys, my answer is very straightforward. As a former JAG and disabled veteran myself, I can confirm that most judge advocates and MEB Counsel are great attorneys but have enormous caseloads that severely limit the time that they can spend […]

How to Rate the Same Joint Multiple Times

Under the guidelines established by of 38 CFR 4.25 (b), all disabilities arising from a single entity or diseases may be assigned separate ratings, except as otherwise provided.  This allows a veteran or service member to pursue multiple ratings for hip and knee injuries under the applicable rating codes.   For example, there are three possible […]

Why You Should Read Your PEB Findings Carefully

Over the course of the past six weeks, I have reviewed several decision issues by the various PEBs in which the ratings assigned by the VA D-RAS were not properly correlated and reflected in the service member’s PEB findings.  Example: I recently reviewed two cases in which the members were assigned 0% ratings for bilateral […]

Updated DOD IDES Timelines

In July of 2019, the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness issued Change I to DTM 18-004 promulgating revised IDES timelines goals. As you read the attached policy memo, please bear in mind that these are goals and will not always reflect the reality of case processing.  For example, Section 3(b)(7) of this document […]

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