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Recent Blog Posts

Guide to Major Changes Starting in 2018 to Expedite VA Appeals

va_ramp_report.pdf File Size: 2877 kb File Type: pdf Download File ​Starting this year, the VA will be unveiling its new RAMP system for more rapid processing of both legacy and appeals filed under its new process. By February of 2019, all requests for review of VA rating decisions will be processed under a new, multi-lane […]

Focus on Symptoms, Not Just Diagnoses

​When the MEB process begins in your case, you will often be asked what conditions impact your ability to perform your assigned duties. When answering this question and developing your case, think about your symptoms as well as your primary diagnoses.   For example, many people come to me with a clinical diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis […]

Important Update for Nonmedical Evidence Letters

​If you are providing your counsel with nonmedical evidence letters supporting your contentions for a pending PEB case, please be sure that these letters are not substantially identical to each other.  Letters that appear to be similar or identical will not be given much weight by board members.  I realize that many prospective witnesses may […]

Why You Should Document ALL of Your Upper Extremity Injuries

​When you suffer an injury to your arm, be sure to adequately document all the injuries to this extremity as it is possible for injuries to the elbow, forearm, and wrist to each be assigned separate disability evaluations.  That is because the VA views the various planes of motion of these joints to be clinically […]

Obtaining Two Distinct Ratings for Knee Injuries

Many service members do not know that it is possible to receive two distinct ratings for knee injuries without it being viewed as pyramiding.  The VA Office of General Counsel has determined that you may receive separate disability ratings for both limitation of flexion and limitation of extension in the knee joint as these conditions […]

Key Tip for Ankle Injuries

​Most service members (and attorneys) do not know how the VA evaluates loss of motion as either “marked” or “moderate” under DC 5271.  It is actually very straightforward. Marked limitation of motion in the ankle is found when you have less than 5 degrees dorsiflexion or less than 10 degrees plantar flexion.  Moderate limitation of […]

Effectively Using Nonmedical Evidence Witnesses in Formal Hearings

In order to illustrate for board members how your various service-disqualifying medical conditions adversely impact you both at home and in the military workplace, you should employ a combination of nonmedical evidence letters and witness testimony at your formal hearing.   While the interaction between you and your counsel will be critical to establishing your symptoms […]

For Health Care Providers Placed onto the TDRL

​If you are a health care provider being placed on the TDRL, it is imperative that you do not take a position at an MTF or VA facility in which you appear to be working in the same capacity as when you were medically retied from your branch of service.  While I realize that it […]

Confirming Receipt of Your Election of Options with the PEB

One of the most important things that you can do when making your election of options regarding your PEB findings is to obtain independent confirmation that it was received by the board. If forwarded electronically through your PEBLO, ask them to confirm by e-mail that it was received by the PEB admin staff.   If you […]

Major Navy PEB Policy Change

2017-2_cancelling_corb_policy_letter_2012-12.pdf File Size: 388 kb File Type: pdf Download File ​On 1 Oct 17, the Navy PEB system will no longer process formal reconsideration requests submitted by counsel.  These “formal recons” were essentially a pre-hearing brief outlining what you were seeking as an outcome and the evidence that supported this request.   The brief was accompanied […]


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