2332 Croix Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451


Recent Blog Posts

Why You Should Personally Appear at Formal Hearings

While many services offer you the opportunity to appear at formal hearings by speakerphone or VTC, this is normally not a wise course of action.  Why, you may ask?  Quite honestly, appearing in person provides the board members with the chance to see you and observe your physical or emotional limitations in person. For example, […]

Critical Navy Election of Options Timelines

For all Navy and Marine Corps cases, the current timeline for submitting your Election of Options or Petition for Relief is 15 calendar days from the date of receipt. In other words, if the 15h day is a Friday, your EEO or PFR must be in no later than 2359 that day- otherwise, it will […]

Separating Migraine Headaches from Fibromyalgia

As with my previous post regarding fibromyalgia and mood disorders, your military rheumatology providers are likely to attribute chronic migraines- even if longstanding in nature- to your fibromyalgia diagnosis.  To overcome this tendency, you will need to have your treating neurologist prepare an addendum that specifically addresses how your prostrating migraines differ from the tension […]

Separating Mood Disorders from Fibromyalgia

If you are going through the disability process and are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there will be a natural tendency for military providers to lump all your symptoms under this diagnosis- even if the other conditions arose much earlier than the fibromyalgia itself.  This is particularly true with mood disorders like anxiety and depression.  In order […]

Unique Way to Increase Rating for Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a recent case, my client had received a 40% disability rating for Rheumatoid Arthritis (“RA”) under the VA Code 5002.  While this was a good initial rating, it did not reflect the real impact of this disease upon him.  Sadly, he didn’t have the significant weight loss, anemia or severe incapacitating episodes 4 or […]

What Changes to DOD IDES Timelines Mean to You

In July of 2018, the DOD Secretariat unveiled major changes to the timelines for processing IDES cases.  The goal of these changes is to complete 80 percent of all active duty and Reserve/Guard cases within 230 days.  Each service is taking its own unique approach to implementing this mandate, but most of these changes will […]

Coast Guard Rolls Out Pilot IDES/VA Program

Until this year, unlike the other armed services, the Coast Guard had not participated in the Joint DOD/VA IDES program and has retained the traditional legacy PEB structure.  This structure will begin to change in 2019, as the Coast Guard rolls out its own version of the IDES process at its pilot test sites at […]


For decisions issued after 14 Feb 19, the VAIMA appeal system applies and you will no longer be able to reopen claims with new and material evidence.  Instead, you will have to file a supplemental claim if you wish to revisit a previously denied claim.  While this will require the agency to issue a new […]


In many cases, you may be well-advised to initially filed a supplemental claim as opposed to going directly to a higher-level review or filing a Notice of Disagreement (“NOD”) with the Board of Veterans Appeals (“BVA”).  You can file a supplemental claim seeking benefits previously denied on higher-level review or by the either the BVA […]


A higher-level review on the Regional Office (“VARO”) level is done by an experienced adjudicator and is essentially a de novo review of the claim. However, the reviewer will only the evidence in the record when the decision under appeal was made.  This means that you cannot submit new evidence to the higher- level reviewer […]


Contact Form

We will respond to your inquiry in a timely fashion. Thank you.

Quick Contact Form