As a young Marine processing out of the military, filing a compensation claim was the furthest thing from my mind. I felt young and healthy, and filing a VA compensation claim felt like another item to be added to my never-ending admin checkout sheet. At the time, preparing for college was my top priority so I postponed my claim. Like most college students, I became really good at procrastinating and nearly two years later, I had yet to file my claim. But, as old military injuries began to surface, filing my compensation claim quickly became a priority. Fortunately during college, I worked for VA as a workstudy and had access to the right resources to help me with the process.

For most fellow Veterans, however, access to this sort of help may not be as readily available. You may feel alone in the process or not even know where to begin. For those considering filing their first or even second VA claim, the short video below provides some helpful tips to ease your stress or reluctance.

In addition, you can see some of our other helpful videos:

As always, if you still have questions, a VA representative or a Veterans Service Organization may be able to help, or leave a comment below!

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Published on Dec. 10, 2015

Estimated reading time is 1.2 min.

Views to date: 544


  1. John Al Lantier December 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer back in December 2004 and had
    the surgery in March 2005 with the side effect of ED. I applied for
    exposure to Agent Orange Herbicide. I was denied and the reason
    stated that I had never served in Vietnam or as they called it, had
    “Boots on the Ground in Vietnam.” Later on I read that the exposure
    To Agent Orange Herbicide also included in Thailand., but
    with a specification that the member had to have duty on the Perimeter.
    I served two tours in Thailand at two different Bases. During those
    Tours members had to serve in additional duty role as Security Police
    Augementee’s. I served as a Security Police Augementee during my
    Time in Thailand. I appealed the previous decision for the exposure to
    Agent Orange Herbicide as I had been in Thailand. The appeal went
    on for three years and I received the decision in December 2015.
    I need to re apply a denial before January 15, 2016, if I have a case.
    My appeal was again denied and the reason stated that I was not a
    Security Police. It never occurred to me that I should have ensured
    That this Additional Duty as a Security Police Augamentee needed
    To be in my Personnel Records. That should have been the responsibility
    Of the Security Police Trainer. It is ironic that I found out that if the
    Airplane had made a stop at the Airport in Vietnam and I had gotten off
    The Airplane and stepped on the ground in Vietnam, I would have
    qualified as Boots on the Ground in Vietnam. It also amazes me that
    the Agent Orange Herbicide stopped at the Main Gate or didn’t pass
    the Perimeter and go onto the Bases, surely a miracle. I am asking
    you if there is something else that can be done to give consideration
    to the exposure to the Agent Orange Herbicide, or how can this additional
    duty as Security Police Augementee be used as qualification to duty
    as a Security Police and duty on the Perimeter. Thanking you in advance
    for your advice, information and consideration.

    • Mark Ledesma December 23, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Mr. Lantier,

      I hear your frustration – are you currently working with a veteran service organization (VSO)? They’re more equipped for helping you with your case.

      If you aren’t – here’s some information on the services VSOs can offer

      I hope this helps.


  2. patsy smith December 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    would like more information

  3. December 22, 2015 at 10:16 am

    As good as Ebenefits is, it is much better to get in contact with a Veterans Service Officer and let him/her help you in the claims submission process. As a Veterans Service Officer, I have seen of lot of claims veterans tried to submit by themselves I can tell you from personal experience it is a heck of a lot easier to submit one from the beginning than trying to “unscrew” a cclaim that was submitted incorrectly by the Vet. . I don’t know about other states, but in Tennessee, each county has at least one service officer that is accredited thru TDVA plus many of us are also accredited thru the American Legion, VFW, DVA, Marine Corps League or other organizations and we are here to help ease you thru the process.

  4. Stephen Jenkins December 22, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I’m a disabled veteran,I have filed once and been denied of course it might have something to do with the fact my veterans service officer out of the Birmingham Alabama area didn’t care,or even seem concerned, I signed for him to get my health records from private doctors, considering the VA hasn’t given me any medical care, I didn’t even get my Garaunteed GI BILL even though I was fully vested, I would really appreciate it if I could get some help I’ve had 3 knee surgeries and they are wanting to do a full knee replacement, not to mention my back is shot, I was honorably discharged and even served in the reserves in Alabama,I can’t go to school because of I never received my GI bill, and I am 100% disabled as ruled by a judge in Alabama, so I can’t work and I would be homeless if not for my elderly parents! Could someone please help me get what I obviously deserve, I was never messed up prior to service but ever since I have had back and knee problems! Unemployable should be standard considering, could someone contact me and help me with this ridiculous situation, it’s obvious my VSO has no intention of helping me get it!!!

    • Mark Ledesma December 23, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Mr. Jenkins,

      I’m sorry for your frustration – have you considered other VSOs? This link can help you find VSOs in your area. You can contact a few before appointing one as a representative to see which is a better match for you.

      Have you also considered individual unemployability (IU)? IU is a part of VA’s disability compensation program that assist Veterans who can’t work because of their disability.

      To be eligible:
      •You must be a Veteran

      •You must have at least one service connected disability rated at least at 60%, OR

      •Two or more service connected disabilities at least one disability ratable at 40 percent or more with a combined rating of 70 percent or more.

      •You must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of service-connected disabilities (marginal employment, such as odd jobs, is not considered substantial gainful employment for VA purposes).

      You can read more about IU here

      I hope this helps – if you have more questions, please comment below.

      Semper Fi,

  5. John Smith Jr December 21, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I have a dependency claim pending since March 2014. I got the paperwork in January stating that my son would be removed in June. I filled out said paperwork and it was received by the VA in March, yet in June he was still removed and I provided the proof that he was still in school. Now I have paperwork for my daughter who will be 18 in January to be removed but she is still in high school, I have filled that paperwork out and sent it in and it was received in November but I am betting that she still gets removed in January. Also I requested a personal hearing about a proposed reduction in my rating, got a call 8 months after the request telling me a hearing had been scheduled in Arkansas, yet I live in eastern North Carolina and the hearing was in 3 days. I told the person where I lived and that I had sent all my paper work to my regional office in Winston Salem NC and was told okay someone will call you back; that was 5 months ago with no call back. When I call I always get the same non answer that ebenefits give me. Now I have suffered a stroke that is related to the 2 back surgeries that I had within the last 2 years and I am only 40 years old! I think its horrible how us veterans are treated and I know that there are some out here worse than I am, I just thought I would vent on this platform. I am frustrated with this waiting to get anything done.

  6. moirraine December 21, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    None of this is helping.

    Those with brain damage and ADHD are lost in this “process” that is SO broken.

    VSOs are bullies as much as anyone else these days.

  7. Donald George December 21, 2015 at 8:43 am

    “You may feel alone in the process or not even know where to begin” The real travesty is the VA (doctor, staff, anyone) does not even let you know at your diagnosis or later that you have a compensation condition and need to file a claim immediately for agent orange cancer, the best kept secret in the VA. The other disservice to the Vets is that the claim will not be retroactive to the diagnosis, you snooze you lose! This should be a no brainier to program notification into the system.

  8. Brian Oldham December 20, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I was given an increased benefit last June and still have not started to get it. I could use the money and the health benefits including dental. How can I get the benefit that I was assigned??

  9. Brian F. Jordan December 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Wow acting like you care. MY C-5 is broken and healed wrong. My records of bi lateral sciatica were lost by Tri C
    My T-11 T12 require bed rest constantly. My L-5 through S-2 are crunched and bulging discs abound. MY VA PVP said I am brokemn The VA Compensation Officer on Oahu offered methadone but won’t admit it to SEC /VA. So the VA ignores a D.O and offers surgery that may not work or methadone. LASER SURGERY is a term the VA SHOULD LEARN about. They might listen to their own Doctors. A Hematologist made my neurosurgical decision. I served honorably for over 20 years 5 with a misdiagnosed and ignored broken spine. My reward was I am not eligible for Bethesda when I had paralysis. I was treated and released . The records are not available to the VA. Congressman who have never served can go to Bethesda but retirees get a quick look a pill and the door. Keep up the Good Work Secretary McDonald. Marine are real Special Forces not wanna be. Imagine running 9 miles a day doing 200 sit ups a day and 20 pull ups a day with a broken spine for 5 years. so I can handle pain just not mountains of paperwork and Bull Shit. merry Christmas

  10. Calvin Andre Watson December 20, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Thanks to each an every one of you for your service I served 24 years an am disabled as well, my left knee has been has replaced my right knee has arthritis my right big toe the joint had to be replaced, my doctor has given me a dead man profile most I if you that were in the military know what I am talking about, because my left knee didn’t heal right the scar tissue has caused reduced movement the only thing he says he can do is replace it again an hope I don’t have scar tissue but more than likely I would an could have less movement than I have now, hummm no I am fighting with the VA , I filed for a rate increase April 2009 while living in NC I had a couple of surgery the VFW rep was very good at what he did it took about 2 months to collect my temp 100% in Virginia it took 7 months I got a check for $20,000 back pay yes it was nice but look how long I had to wait oh by the way my wife is a disabled vet an medical retired federal government worker at the time neither of us had enough income coming in to take care of our home getting warning from our loan company that they are getting ready to foreclose on our home, we asked what we could do (VA) we were told to get paperwork together send it in of all your bills an letter from loan companies an they could expedite my claim well there idea of expedite was it could take up to a year to make a decision, how many other of our brothers an sisters an now homeless or heading down this same road loosing,getting ready to ,or have lost there home due to the VA fast work? Well we didn’t loose our home but we were close,we had to refi they saved us all vets are not as lucky, I can barely walk now still fighting the VA my VFW service officer don’t like the army or has a stick up her but on a marine corps base her tude sticks , keep fighting appeal everything I know it’s a tough battle there are going to be others that come after us with the same .:

  11. Thomas Farmer December 20, 2015 at 2:55 am

    How about an article about NOD’s? The VA withheld my military records for 38 years and only provided them after a Senator intervened. My claim was approved quickly then but should have started beginning when I filed originally instead the time I filed again. My first NOD was ignored by the VA using their favorite phrase “we don’t have a record of that” despite them signing for it when I sent it via registered mail. Filing again has not helped, it does not show up on e-benefits. I was told it would take another 3-5 years for the latest NOD to be processed. It has been over 40 years now. What does it take to get these idiots to do their job?

  12. Dale Leone December 20, 2015 at 12:37 am

    I have a dependency claim ( parent ) going in its 2nd year. Why is a simple claim taking do long?

  13. Larry Castle December 19, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    It is remarkable how many of us Vets are all in the same boat. I initially filed my VA Claim in Apr 1993 when I retired, full certified copy of Military Medical records the works. It took 5 months for the first exam from the VA, and what happened really set the stage for what was to come. The medical person (not sure sure what he was) walked in asked about the wounds received in Viet Nam, asked about the bursitis in my joints, accident to my shoulder, the med board for occupational asthma, etc. then he said well you look health to me, that was the end of my examination. I was moving around working so I have no idea if they ever sent a determination or not. But I never received it, either way I could not afford to go and camp out on a VA facility’s door step to be a big enough pain in the ass that they would do their job. So after I completely retired in Aug 2014, 21 years later decided to go after them and get my disability. It took me over a year from the time I started it again, and of course they started a new claim instead of reopening the original claim, but I finally got the disability on my shoulder and hearing. The bursitis that I have had since back in my military career, they now say is not service connected even though they had me on medication for it before I every retired from the military. And was treated for it in military facility’s and civilian Dr. since retiring. When they did the exam for the guns shot wounds all the PA not a MD was concerned with was how big the scars were, he could not care less that the pain in the muscles where the wounds were was why I wanted the disability. so I have to file an appeal and I guess that will probably take multiple years to complete again. This regional VA center in St. Petersburg florida is one of the worst ones to deal with from my perspective, and the clinic in pensacola is like talking to the wall most of the time. One of the other things that drive me nuts is that because I am retired from the military and do not have over 50% disability the only thing that happens is they move the money from my retirement to the VA, but I receive no extra compensation. While if the Vet just got out of the military and get a disability then they draw from the VA in addition to anything else they are receiving. So once again the retired military get a slap in the face. I did file with the US Navy under the combat related special compensation for injury in combat and it only took two months and it came back approved. As for VSO’s I have had DAV VSO’s and in my opinion they have been no help what so ever, I did find a County VSO, and she was very helpful and showed me how to get where I am now in this process, as for me personally in this pensacola area I would not even bother with the DAV, they have not shown me that they are even worth talking to, just my opinion.

  14. Sean E. Kelly, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army (Retired) December 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm


    I’m 100% SC & T&P thru the VA. I retired from the Army in 2007. To make a long story as short as possible, The VA diagnosed me with PTSD, BUT FAILED to service connect it. The airplane (AF C5 Galaxy) was transporting my unit from Fairbanks, Alaska to Davis Field in Muskogee, OK. Needless to say, it was determined to be pilot error and a “hard landing” which destroyed almost all the equipment in the belly. I had a stiff neck and lower back, but being the hard driving Private I was, I self treated with 800mg Motrins. They service connected my cervical and lumbar spine, as I retired with a bunch of medical issues.

    The pain is worse now as my Stimulators aren’t working properly. The 2 in me now, took 3 surgeries and a trial run, then KU Med Spine and Rehab Center replaced the one BAMC implanted in 2006. I go in next month to have both systems removed. Have an MRI done, then implant a different type of neurostimulators that provides area coverage vs pinpoint coverage.

    My VA explanation letter stated they couldn’t SC the PTSD because I can’t provide them proof I was onboard that aircraft. I was able to provide the AF Safety Center’s accident/incident report. I was then told ALL flight manifests are destroyed 2 years after the flight occurs. This happened back in the Summer of 1989. My spine got progressively worse, much faster the last 10-years of my career.

    To top it off, two months ago I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. In the middle of the night got I got out of bed to use the restroom and I fell face first into my ceramic tile floors creating a deep long cut in/thru my right eyebrow. Now I’m on Keppra for epilepsy, which doesn’t completely make me seizure free. I’m going to see my primary doc to see if she’ll increase the Keppra to see if seizures stop all together.

    Is there really any advantage in pushing to have both these (PTSD & epilepsy) service connected since I’m already 100% service connected and total & permanent?

    Thank you for your time and thank you for you service!

    • Mark Ledesma December 22, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Mr. Kelly,

      Have you ever worked with a veteran service organization (VSO)? They would be more equipped to help you make this sort of decision – they’re well-versed on Federal and state Veteran benefits designed to help meet your needs.

      In regards to your crash – did you submit buddy statements? Buddy statements are statements from fellow Veterans you served with, family members or friends who can support your claim

      You should also visit this site for other VA benefits you may qualify for. I hope this helps – if you need further clarification, please comment below.

      Semper Fi and thank you for your service,

  15. Robert H Calrk Jr December 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I have a bad heart, ptsd 2 hearing aids, and purple heart. I got 30 %for my heart 30% for my ptsd and 0% for my ears and I’m not sure why. Also I’m in group 2 and not sure why not group 3 with a purple heart. I filed in 2013 and they didn’t put it in the system so I had to apply again and my case is now as of 2015. But my PTSD is dated 2013. If that is so why is my entire case not 2013. I was treated in a Va Hospital for PTSD shouldn’t they have my claim as 2013? I have a purple heart assistant but he has not returned my e/mail.

  16. Calvin E Moore December 18, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Hello I was in the Marine Corps for 12 years date from 1975-1986 I was station at Camp Lejeune in1977-1978 also in 1985-1986 I was not aware of the water contamination. I left the Marines In 1986. In 2000 the Va medical center in Miami Florida found 2 mask on my left kidney and they did not give me any treatment. They said that they do would follow up, which never happen. in 2012 I was diagnose with kidney cancer. They remove my left kidney and part of my colon. I am having stomach issues. I put in a claim and was denied. they said that there is no document stating that I was treated for my kidney. How could I be treated fro something that possibly wasn’t there. I believed that the water from Camp Lejeune played a big part of my Kidney Cancer. One thing I do know, is when I was discharged (honorable). I can’t remember having a full physical. so how would anyone know if the mast was on my kidney while serving in the military. I have an appeal in but I do not think that it would be in my favor. I was thinking about doing a class action suit against them. I going give them a chance to take care of this. Kidney Cancer is one of the disease from the contaminated water. The Va medical center did not treated me at all. I believed if the Va would have follow up and treated me at the time they saw the mast, I would not have lost my kidney and part of my colon. If anyone have any advice it would be very appreciated.

  17. Mickey Joe Carson December 18, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I have applied several times for benefits and keep getting denied. I was exposed to Asbestos in the Navy in the early 80’s. I filed back in 2008 due to Asbestosis and was denied stating I didn’t have enough evidence. I opened it again this year with the evidence they wanted and because I worked in a factory the woman who made the decision or should I say her opinion said it was due to that. The factory was built after they quit using asbestos but now I have to prove that it wasn’t from the factory. This is crap. I am so sick of the way veterans are treated. We defend our country and get crapped on when we get sick from something they exposed us to. Obviously the government didn’t learn anything from the Vietnam veterans exposed to agent orange. I don’t know where to turn for help now. I have no idea how to prove there isn’t asbestos in the factory. My wife, mother, and sister all worked in the same factory and none of them have this. The exposure happened on the ship. Where do I turn for help?

    • Mark Ledesma December 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Mr. Carson,

      I’m sorry for your frustration – did you seek help from any veteran service organizations (VSO)during your claim process? They can help you with your asbestos claim. Here’s a link for information about them

      Here’s some additional info about asbestos exposure that could be helpful in your case

      I hope this helps – please comment below if you need further clarification.

      Semper Fi,

  18. Grant Chambers December 18, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I am a County Veterans’ Service Officer (CVSO) of 20 plus years experience. Most every county in every state of the US has a CVSO, and they should be your first stop locally to initiate or resolve a VA claims issue. My office is in the county courthouse and I am a county government, not VA employee. I do not have “all answers to all problems” but I can help get you pointed in the right direction to get answers from VA or from national service organization offices (American Legion, DAV, VFW, and others) whose business it is to assist veterans and dependents in dealing with VA. Also, every state has a state department of veterans affairs to assist with getting state specific veteran benefits. Is the VA “perfect”? No. Are claims delayed/denied because the veteran filed the claim improperly, was a no show at a scheduled medical exam, or failed to respond to a VA request for information to help develop the claim? Yes. Be proactive. Contact your local CVSO via phone, email, or in person for help dealing with veteran issues.

    • Thomas Farmer December 20, 2015 at 3:02 am

      It depends on who you meet with. My first experience with a County rep was good. I went in to get help with a hardship letter and was met by an angry and very rude worker who refused to listen to why I was there then told me I had to leave because I kept trying to explain why I was there instead of what she insisted I was there for. She was completely useless and incompetent.

  19. Dave Wilcox December 18, 2015 at 5:13 am

    After reading the previous stories, I guess I should consider myself fortunate. I applied to be re-evaluated in February this year having received compensation since 82. I received a letter stating my case was being closed as requests to my doctor, the hospital where I had surgery as well as the consulate here in Melbourne had not responded. The consulate contacted me in September to organise a re-evaluation which my doctor completed and faxed back to the consulate who advised they had forwarded it on to the VA. In mid November, I logged into IRIS and asked if the records they had received included the results of a scan from June. The auto-reply advised I would get a response within 5 business days. After hearing nothing 2 plus weeks later, I again logged into IRIS and asked for someone to confirm receipt of my request. I still have heard nothing bsck a month later. Your newsletter keeps touting how fast claims are being processed but I’d disagree. If something happens after thus post, I’ll be either surprised or pleased but I doubt this will do any good either. I’ll hope for the best but I’m not holding my breath. I don’t have that long to wait.

  20. Darnell J Edmondson December 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I have been waiting for Dependent claim to be processed, The claim was accepted on June 19 2013 and has not been worked, I submitted a Hardship letter pertaining to this claim and way told Hardship was accepted and was told that the Waco Regional offices can’t process claim for another 3 years. By then I will have already lost my House to foreclose. Can you help please.

  21. ronald f richards December 17, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I have a 10% adjudication since 1967 however my health has deteriorated over the years which I believe could be associated with my service connected case. My attempt to discuss with a service org. was unsuccessful. How can I pursue this matter.

  22. Gene Berard December 17, 2015 at 12:39 am

    I went in service in 1967 to be either an accountant or computer specialist and was”guaranteed” this due to pre-enlisting. after basics, they sent me to tech school for jet engine repair(?), Classed was closed so I got moved to Titan Missile Electronics(?), neither of my promised fields. After being stationed at DMAFB i was switched from Titans to Drone elctonics and had several TDY tours to Vietnam and Thailand. I ordered copies of military records so I could file claims and there is nothing about my TDY or my time in Vietnam on my DD2414. My claim was denied because it was stated that I did not have time in country. I was with the 100th AMMS at Bien Hoa and Utapao with trips to DA Nang. I have subsequently had a motorcy7cle accident with TBI so they are saying my issues are not service related because I don’t have proof or remember specific dates of rocket attacks, mortar attacks or ground fire. .I havwe talked with the Vietnam Service Officer in Tucson, Az as well as three different reps from the state offices who were “supposed” to Help me. My life was DESTROYED by my time in service and nobody gives a darn. I have PTSD, Hearing loss, Acute depression and Anxiety with “suicidal ideations”. I didn’t plan to join the military as I saw what it did to my Dad from WWII. but then there was the DRAFT. I served eight years and was honorably discharged buit was really tossed out on my ass because of the changes in me from the war. Am I sending this for any reason, is there really a CHANGE IN THE VA OR IS IT JUST ALL A BIG HOAX TO COVER UP MORE? oh yeah please check out the website for POPS – past our prime squadron.

  23. AndreaSalantDixon December 16, 2015 at 8:01 am

    My husband served in Vietnam as a Marine. His principal duty involved agent orange. ( I think he sprayed it on foliage and worked on planes carrying it, although my memory is not as sharp as it was when I was younger.) He passed away from lung cancer almost five years ago. I immediately filed a DIC claim with all of his medical records as proof. I was denied because they said his military file does not show he was in Vietnam and something about a fire in a building that housed military ships. His record clearly states he left on ships out of San Francisco, but there is no record of where the ships docked, AND there is no record of any return sailings. The dates of the sailings are completely consistent with the years he was in Vietnam. He was also stationed at Camp Lejuene during the water contamination fiasco. They also denied me saying I make too much money. As I understand the information put out by the VA, the lung cancer is presumptive and the claim should be paid. I have a VSO representative, we have filed an appeal, they denied that as well, and now it should be going to an appeals hearing, although the VA has yet to notify when that will take place.
    What do you think of my situation?

  24. Joe laughlin December 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve filed an request for a small increase in my compensation rate several months ago, haven’t heard back from them, when will they decide about thus? Also, my vision has deteriorated to 20-50, causing my wife to be my only full time caregiver as I can no longer drive myself. Can this help with my need for adaptive housing and increaded compensation? Thanks, Joe

  25. Otis Smith December 14, 2015 at 5:48 am

    I exited the military with a documented torn acl, filed a claim two years afterwards.
    Twenty years later I filed for an increase and VA said my injury never happened, all ligaments was normal.

  26. Randall A Rhoads December 14, 2015 at 5:23 am

    I filed through my regional V A Office in Manila in August 2015 for my C-File under the freedom of information act which requires an answer in 20 days. Been almost 5 months and no answers. I am a Vietnam Vet MOS 11D, combat. Please help me so I can file a fully devloped claim for medical issues. I now live on Leyte Island, Philippines.

    Thank you.

    • Mark Ledesma December 16, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Mr. Rhoads,

      Please call our Pittsburgh Regional Office at (412) 395-6272 for assistance. They handle compensation and pension issues from your side of the world.


  27. DAVID KOSKI December 14, 2015 at 3:20 am


  28. William Garrett December 13, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    this a bunch of BS. Contact VA…what a laugh.

  29. Marc barton December 13, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Is there any way to expedite a compensation claim if 80-90% of the claims are reviewed or do I HAVE to wait until all claims are done? I’m down to the last 1-2 claims (out of a dozen or so), and the appointments and reviews could take a long time.

    Also if I request a review or increase for claims in my initial claim and its approved, do I get compensation from initial claim date or date of review/increase?

  30. Nancy K Rodeghiero December 13, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Informative post.
    I recieve compensation from my husbands service. I’d like to change the direct deposit to another bank. How do I do this. Please advise. Thank you.

  31. Stephan Toman December 12, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I have been trying to navigate the VA claims process for over nine years,from Australia. My initial rating was made based the percentage from my medical discharge. I requested a review via Decision Review Officer, one for a review of my initial rating and a second for all the additional disabilities that were not taken into consideration. Those requests for review were made almost seven years ago, despite receiving so many replies to requests for update stating that the average time is 330 – 580 days. Now I am not getting any replies from VA. I am disgusted at what feels like being ignored because I cannot simply visit a VA doctor, medical center or office. Maybe it’s VA unwritten policy to stall those who will experience obvious challenges until they lose hope and give up, despite having received disabling injuries while serving their country.

  32. Harold Leavitt December 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I have problem with a Issue of a certain C& P doctor. within the VA system. Went in for exam in March 2014, by end of July a decision was granted in my favor ( great news). The Doctor also reduced a existing condition ( which I was NOT there for), on the opinion that the Condition of my health had improved , with NO medical evidence. This was backed up by my primary VA Doctor. Have filed a NOD using American Legion SRO. Have been notified that it will take 3.5 YEARS for DRO to review, and longer if not granted. BROKEN SYSTEM. One could pass away before any help arrives!

  33. Roger Q Mills December 12, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I have been told by a VSO officer and by my congressman that my claim for pension has been approved, and that I would receive a letter in the near future. It has been over 5 weeks. How long does it take to get a letter?

  34. albert reiss December 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    How can find out about my ww2 life insureance Is it still or is it cashed in Do i have any money coming to me

  35. Albert Reiss December 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    How can i find out about my my G I insurance from ww 2 I don’t remember if i cashed in Can you help me

    • Mark Ledesma December 16, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Mr. Reiss,

      Can you please clarify which insurance program you’re talking about? We have several types – which you can find here


  36. Paul Davis December 12, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I think it is time for all veterans who have been denied benefits, or have been waiting for endless years for the VA to act, to band together and file a class action law suit against the VA. There must be thousands of us that would make an impact and get things straightened out. We would share the cost of an attorney or maybe pay a certain percentage of back benefits when the suit is settled. I don’t have any idea how we could get connected with everyone that could benefit from this action.

  37. Karen for es December 12, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    If my husband is already at 100% disabled can be still put in a claim for pstd?

    • Mark Ledesma December 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Karen, yes he can.

  38. ROY E. TOMS JR. December 12, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Vietnam VET, 1ST appeal 2004, 6 appeals later and I won in 2008 but not back to 2004. AND IT WAS A “VA” PAPER ERROR FROM THE START. I’m now on my 11 appeal, 12/3/15…don’t ever give up! The ” VBA” IS NOT on are side, we are guilty for serving country and they will find a way to reject any appeal. God bless and thanks for serving…

  39. Jackie Noel Rubottom December 12, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I have appeals filed in 2012 and have received any response?
    Somekind of response would be helpful!

  40. Gary Clark December 12, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I was exposed to agent orange during a 18 month tour in Vietnam. I now have diabetes 2 with no family history of the disease.
    Diabetes 2 is on the presumed list as being caused by agent orange, and VA is compensating Me for it, if you want to call 30% as being compensated for a disease that is hard to live with. I also have Polycythemia Vera and it is also known to be caused by toxins, but VA wants Me to prove agent orange caused it.

    • Mark Ledesma December 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Mr. Clark,

      Have you considered filing a claim for increase? If you feel your diabetes condition has worsened you can file for one.

  41. miyuki Takehara December 12, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Someone was supposed to register me with the Veteran’s Administration for financial assistance. My husband was Yoshiharu Takehara. He passed away in 1996. I would like to know if I am registered. Please send a reply to my email.

    • Mark Ledesma December 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Mrs. Takehara,

      I’m sorry for your loss. I’d like to help, but can you please clarify who registered you for assistance?

  42. theodore j suranie December 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I tried to get help called and left call so I gave up and did it on my own. Right wrong or otherwise it is filed.t messages and never a return call so I gave up and filed on my own.. Right or wrong it is filed If I waited for help I would still be waiting. I called the 800 number and they gave all wrong numbers to call and information. Good luck to anyone filing a claim.

  43. Delbert W. Allegood December 12, 2015 at 10:03 am

    My experiance is that VA emergency medical care is the worlds finest. tI believe the percentage of patients killed versus patients provided perfect emergency care is better than any other provider.Va compensation,where the veteran is the enemy and doctors are keeping their goulhish jobs as long as they squeeze dollars by rejecting veterans,is shameful to an unspeakable degree.

  44. Delbert W. Allegood December 12, 2015 at 10:01 am

    My experiance is that VA emergency medical care is the worlds finest. tI believe the percentage of patients killed versus patients provided perfect emergency care is better than any other provider.Va compensation,where the veteran is the enemy and doctors are keeping their goulish jobs as long as they squeeze dollars by rejecting veterans,is shameful to an unspeakable degree.

  45. ROCK KENNEWAY December 12, 2015 at 8:06 am

    The VA C&P doctors in Pensacola try to trick you and act like you are faking your injuries when there is documented medical records to back them up. I had one VA Pilipino doctor call me a wiener when I told him about my PTS and other injuries. They even tried to take compensation away from me for trying to have my percentage increased. What kind of a country would do that to a soldier that put his life on the line to protect it?

  46. ROCK KENNEWAY December 12, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Why is that some retired officers are 100% with the VA and working GS12 and higher grades on the base. I barely able to work and the VA C&P says that I have to be unemployable to get 100%.

  47. steve hewlett December 12, 2015 at 7:22 am

    I have several disabilities related to agent orange by V A but catogorized as none service connected. How is this possible as my only exposure to agent orange was during infantry tour in Viet Nam?

    • Mark Ledesma December 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Mr. Hewlett,

      I’m sorry for your frustration. Are you familiar with the presumptive diseases VA has linked to Agent Orange exposure? Dr. Erickson wrote an excellent blog earlier this year explaining the 10 things every Veteran should know about Agent Orange – here’s the link

      If you believe you have a disease caused by Agent Orange exposure not currently listed as a presumptive condition – you should include evidence of actual connection between the disease and herbicide exposure with your claim.

      If you need further assistance – I recommend working with a veteran service organization (VSO). They can help you with your claim. Click here for more information about them

      I hope this clarifies things – if you have questions, please comment below.

  48. Michael A Hernandez December 12, 2015 at 6:42 am

    I wanted to get my Diabetes Med through the VA. I was told that the VA would change my pills ?? but I need to take my prescriptions from my doctor to the VA. No VA doctor has seen me why change my pills with out a check-up first???.The med Januvia would be changed to Saxagliptin ( Onglyza ).
    Thank you Michael A Hernandez

  49. Thomas Farmer December 12, 2015 at 3:34 am

    It has been 40 years since I filed my claim the first time. I have filed numerous times since. The VA always claims “we don’t have a record of that” when I ask about the claim. They withheld my military records for 38 years which held up the claim. They always claimed they did not have the records despite the Army sending documentation they had sent the records in 1975. It took a senator to get them to provide the records. I had my claim approved within a couple of months and benefits started in 2014. The VA agrees the claim should have been backdated and to send an NOD. I sent the NOD which the VA says they did not receive. I provided proof they had signed for the NOD from the post office. They refused to accept the proof. I filed another NOD in their office but it does not show up on e-benefits and the VA says it will take 3-5 years to be processed. What does it take to get the VA to deal with this? I am unable to work full time and my condition is getting worse.I will probably have to file bankruptcy within a year if I can’t get my benefits. Anyone know any good attorneys?

  50. christopher December 12, 2015 at 12:57 am

    I have filed for compensation for heart related problems due to 3 heat strokes but always get denied. They have approved me for chronic bronchitis but refuse the heart related even though studies show that heat strokes can cause serious long term damage if not treated right away. What recourse do I have ? I have suffered for years

    • Mark Ledesma December 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm


      Did you work with a veteran service organization (VSO) during your claim process? VSOs can review your claim to see what kind of additional evidence you need to strengthen your case.

      You can read more about VSOs in this link

      I hope this helps.


  51. James O. Bass December 11, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Yea. Why does it take more than a year to get back benefits once it has been determined that no military retirement is received?

  52. James G. Baccaro December 11, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Claim #XXXXXX continues without VA providing me status of actions pending.
    J. Baccaro

  53. Steve L Butts December 11, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I requested re-evaluation of my disability (currently 70%) in August of 2014. In February of 2015 I was directed to report to Atlanta, Georgia for an exam/evaluation. To date I have not heard anything and my letters requesting an update have gone unanswered.

    The delay is creating a negative financial impact.

    What should I do next? Would a Congressional inquiry be appropriate?

  54. Garry M. Severin December 11, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I have been strung along by the VA. Cleveland since 2012 when I filed a claim . The first year the claim went nowhere the it was sent to New Hampshire for them to process in 2013 .They requested information which I sent them and they managed to screw up . Soon after that the Phoenix scandal hit the news, my claim was disallowed and I had to resubmit it to the arbitrator . I did a little investigating myself ,I checked with my Primary care Physician who I’ve had for over twenty years,My Cardiologist whom I’ve been with over five years and my Gastroenterologist who I”ve had at least ten years . I asked if any of them had received any request for information in my name ,they all showed me my record jackets and none had ever received any request for information as they all marked the jackets and save a copy of requests .My question is how do you deny A claim when you don’t even bother to look into it . My belief is we ( VietNam ) Vet’s are being given the govt runaround
    in hopes we will die before claims are settled ,I already have type2 diabetes ( the first in my family under the age if 85 to be diagnosed with this disease) I am only sixty -six years old.I was showered with Agent Orange on more than one occasion while on convoy escort and everybody knows if you drank the water ( even potable ) you had contact . At Song Be the water was tainted and typhoid was contracted by five soldiers and many more contracted Typhus ( myself included ) I had Montezuma’s revenge for over a month. Garry M. Severin

  55. Curtis Young December 11, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    My non service connected”Disability Pension that that I was receiving was terminated as of January 2015, abruptly, without any warning or any due process. The VA claims my disability pension was terminated because I was employed for part of the same. I received the pension. The VA also stated I now hold them $84,000. I am now addressing eliminating that $85,000 debt. Since I have not reported for mental health appointments in several months however, I have been seeing a psychiatrist at the VA for the past 2 months. I received the disability pension due to a diagnosis of major depression and anxiety disorder. My question is how long should I wait to refile to receive a disability pension, and where should I file the claim, should I do so with the assistance of a benefits claims counselor? Also how would you say my chances are receiving approval for the new claim and how long do you think before I receive a decision. Thank you very much. Feeling abandoned, Mr Curtis young. I appreciate any opinions and experience in helping me to have this questions answered. I thank you again. Signed signed desperate veteran about to become homeless due to no longer having a income due to having my disability pension claim terminated, without any due process and abruptly without any warning. Again I thank you and would appreciate any help, or advice that you could give me.

    Sincerely, desperate veteran about to be homeless due to loss of disability pension. Again I think you.

  56. Glenn Mosher December 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Larry, If you are not getting a letter every 90 days from the Region VA office handling your Claim you need to take any paper work you have that says they had a predetermination with the date on it and Contact a Veterans service officer or State Veterans service officer, They may have to refile but the date you started it will remain the same for back pay if you have it on any paper work, A VSO may be able to fast track your Claim also. Hope this helps I have been thru the system and it dose work but some times you have to do a little extra, We are working with people and some Regional offices are over whelmed.

  57. Sandra Lovell December 11, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    More of a question my husband recent died and I want to apply for a va home loan what are the step I need to take

    • Mark Ledesma December 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Sandra,

      I’m sorry for your loss.

      To apply for a VA home loan:

      1. You first need to establish eligibility.
      2. Following establishment of eligibility – you’ll need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE verifies to the lender that you are eligible for a VA-backed loan.

      Visit for information about the process. The link also includes info on where you need to submit your request for benefits. I hope this helps.


  58. Patsy E. Delligatta December 11, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Simple question. Where and what is handled at the facility in Anaheim, CA. Thank you.

    • Mark Ledesma December 15, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Patsy,

      Anaheim is a community based outpatient clinic.

      2569 W Woodland Dr
      Anaheim, CA 92801
      Phone: (714) 763-5300

      I would call the facility directly for specific questions about their services. I hope this helps!

      Semper Fi,

  59. Michael Avant December 11, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I have been waiting since May 2015. It is now December 2015. I don’t know if I will ever hear from them again. I have filed all my claims but since then then the VA hospital has found more things wrong with me. I wish they would hurry up a little. I retired from the Army with 20 years and 8 days.

  60. Sara Hendrix December 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    What is the backlog time now for VA survivor pension claims? Mine was filed in May 2015, at first they said it would be Jan-Feb 2016, most recent update said March-April 2016. Re: Mr. Hilburn’s comment, did this “computer glitch” affect everyone’s claims? How do I find out?

  61. ARTHUR D KUHN December 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm


  62. Al monroe macklin December 11, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Status of my claim please

  63. Glenn Mosher December 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Larry Ray Hilbum , IF you are not getting letters from you Regional VA claims office ,You need to take any paper work with DATES of your other Claim to a State or VSO Veterans Service officer. You may have to refile it but using the original date, Service officer may be able to fast track your Claim. Hope this helps

  64. Bob Gutsche December 11, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    The best assistance that one can get is from the local County Veterans Service Officer.

  65. Leon Modrowski December 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Now that the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is under enormous criticism, perhaps, just perhaps, thing will change and the agency will live up to its mission statement. But not only was the agency under enormous pressure to reduce the volume of compensation claims pending, but the adjudicators, and members of the Board of Veterans Claims are poorly trained and not familiar with their own procedures, practices, policies, regulations, and statutes. In case you question my reliability allow me to explain that I have decades of experience with a major Regional Office of DVA as an employee supervisor and I have experienced first hand the incompetence of agency personnel. This includes agency attorneys who wrongfully denied my the right to record a hearing by the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). It is my belief that the reduction of claims pending was accomplished by simply denying.frivolous and MERITORIOUS claims.
    Just consider the following: my military health records clearly document the bleeding of my ear, but the agency denied hearing loss claiming there was no evidence of medical care while in military experience. By t he way, I was in Vietnam during the major offenses by the Viet Cong and served in defense of a military compound that was the subject to ongoing mortal, artillery and rocket attacks.
    I am also the father of a son who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) since birth. The traveling board member of the Board of Veterans Appeals claimed that a natural son, not adopted or step, was not entitled to the additional dependency allowance for being helpless and incapable of self-support.
    I am service connected for prostate cancer and ischemic heart disease. I cannot contain my urinary control, and the incontinence has been documented with hospital officials. The heart disease has caused considerable imbalance issues. Yet the agency claims that these conditions are not sufficiently debilitating so as to render my incapable of employment.
    I could go on and on and on, but the fact remains: I have been waiting over five years for a proper adjudication of my claims.
    I wish all veterans with pending claims good luck. But if you lose, appeal from BVA to the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. I believe that the agency hopes that most veterans will simply give up and abandon their claims. DO NOT GIVE UP. Legal representation is available but you need to research the subject on the Internet or with a service organization.

  66. Patrick Ronald Lawler December 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I submitted a form to VA in Sep 2014 to show that I was married and my compensation benefit has still not been upgraded!!! Unbelievable !!!!

  67. Glenn Mosher December 11, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Larry if you are not getting a letter from your Regional VA Office contact a Veterans Service officer and take any paper work you have on your claim

  68. William Arvo December 11, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Am a Vietnam Vet, am rated as 30% service connected due to health issues from agent Orange. My two front teeth were knocked out while on active duty. The VA covered the cost of a bridge, last time replaced was about 20 years ago. Now bridge needed to be replaced due to decay of one of teeth supporting bridge. Had to replace, VA dentist at Detroit VA told me I need to be 60% disabled to have VA cover the cost to replace. I had to pay $5 grand out of pocket to replace. Am on a fixed income, seems not right to me. I showed the dentist my paperwork from VA showing approval for coverage of the two teeth, but must be some change in the riles.

  69. Ronnie d mezzacappa December 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Having trouble with DOD suppling information about radiation levels received in enewetak atoll

  70. Robert F Blair Jr December 11, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    As of today a DRO appeal in St Petersburg is at 725 days in waiting….It’s so much bull
    When I see these things about 125 days or less…. initial claims are being wrongly denied to get
    The claims backlog down… Is this what I and other veterans deserve ?

  71. Robert A. Mitten Jr. December 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    I hear you! I have had a disability claim open now for over 4 years. I finally had a VBA (Veteran Board of Appeals) hearing back in August and now I am being told it will be another year before they can approve my claim or deny it for the fourth time.
    If it is denied again then I will certainly bring a Civil Court Case against the VA. They only seem to respond if a Civil Court Case is brought against them or if you get the News Media involved. SHAME SHAME on the VA.

    • Anon Attorney December 21, 2015 at 5:59 am

      The VA system is complicated. You might want to make sure you have a good grasp of what is going on with your claim.

      VBA = Veterans Benefits Administration (the part of VA that runs the regional offices and administers benefits)

      BVA = Board of Veterans’ Appeals (located in Washington, DC separate from the rest of VA and is not a part of VBA, Hears appeals of VBA decisions). If BVA denies a claim it has to be appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).

      The differences are important. Veterans usually get a BVA decision very quickly after a BVA Travel Board hearing, as the Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) has to review the file before the hearing and usually makes up his or her mind at the hearing and wants to get a decision out before forgetting the facts of the case.

      If your hearing was a VBA hearing (before a DRO) the time it takes BVA to get to your case will depend on the date your Substantive Appeal was filed and the competence of your local RO, as many of them are very far behind in “certifying” appeals to BVA, and this can add years to the time it takes BVA to issue a decision, though it’s actually not BVA’s fault..

      I am a private attorney who works in this field of law, so I did not use my name, as I don’t want to be accused of soliciting clients. Just trying to help out a bit.

  72. david thomasson December 11, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I have been trying to resolve my filing for over 3 years with nothing but denial and disrespect from the va,worst system ever,it should be shut down and rolled in to pentagon controll. I would trust the military commanders much more than the politicians and the presidents nominated buddies.the va should not be under their controll and i use that term loosly.

    • Mark Ledesma December 14, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Mr. Thomasson,

      I want to assure you that VA employees truly care about doing the best we can to serve our nation’s Veterans. Thirty-three percent of us are Veterans ourselves and the rest have some sort of Veteran connection (e.g. Veteran family members).

      Did anyone assist you with your claim?

  73. Ernest Woods December 11, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I received a service related compensation for hearing loss. During the Vietnam era, I flew over 200 combat missions in an EC47 copying morse code. The EC47 Gooneybird was a turbo prop, loud with no insulation inside. So besides the roar of the engines, I also was subjected to unexpected loud bursts of static and interference while copying morse code signals. I submitted justification for combat related disability. However, it was denied because I couldn’t state what day or mission I experienced the hearing loss. I could not state what specific mission caused the hearing loss other than it was the accumulation of noise over time while flying so many combat missions. Is there any way i could resubmit the request for combat related disability?

    • Mark Ledesma December 14, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Mr. Woods,

      I’d like to help you, but can you please clarify a few things for me so can properly assist?

      Are you currently service connected for hearing loss? You state in the beginning that you are; however, you also mention being denied.

  74. Victor E Tavares Sr December 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I am a viet-nam era vet. When i enlisted i was promised the USO because i had been a singer since childhood. But once inducted the closest i got to the USO was seeing the sign. Their reason was i couldn’t read and write music. So i guess you could say, i retalliated. After getting an article 15 for coming back from the beer hall for being a little drunk. I started going Awol. And this was all after basic training. Plus i did a few weeks in LVDC. Which was light vehicle driving course. They tried to finalize my orders to send me to viet-nam. I put in for ham operators school. Which i finished and was a radio operator. So i did have some active duty under my belt. Anyway i think i deserve some kind of compensation. I did get a general discharge under honorable conditions. So If you need my service number. Let me know. I went in May 6, 1963 and i was discharged Jan. 20, 1965. Things are not going too well for me and my spouse so anything as far as compensation would be of great help. Thanks for time. VET

    • Mark Ledesma December 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Mr. Tavares,

      Have you tried reaching out to a veteran service organization (VSO) for some assistance with your claim? It’s probably the best place for you to start since this is your first time filing for service connection. Visit for more information about them.

      You can also visit your nearest VA regional office to speak with our public contact team for assistance.

      Another option would be filing your claim online through eBenefits at

      I would refrain from posting anymore of your personal information here – it’s a public forum and I want to make sure we protect your identity.

      I hope this helps. Semper Fi!

  75. James roger miller December 11, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I went through chemical, biological and radiological warfare training in 1959. I have been told by several doctors that I have scar tissue on my lungs, which they initially thought was the result of active involvement in chemical warfare. Because of that I have problems with any airborne pollutants, even minor types such as dust particles. My ability to perform tasks as mundane as mowing the lawn or sweeping the garage has become increasingly compromised.

    What steps should I take to determine if there is available compensation for this condition?

    • Mark Ledesma December 14, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Mr. Miller,

      You should gather as much evidence as you can to help support your claim. My blog about VA evidence should help answer any questions you may have about the topic

      If you’re currently medically diagnosed with any conditions related to your military service -submit them as evidence.

      You should also consider reaching out to a veteran service organization (VSO) to assist you with your claim process. Visit for more information about them. I hope this helps.

      Semper Fi,

  76. Donna Crowley December 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Contact your state office of Veteran Affairs. not the Federal Office in your State. Her in CT there is a separate office .State of CT, Department of Veterans Affairs that has an Office of Advocacy and Assistance that help veterans fill out and get their Federal claims. Each state may or may not have such an office,

    The Disabled American Veteran
    can help too

  77. Michael Gay December 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I have an Appeal that I requested a DRO review. This appeal has been active since 10/14/2014. I requested the local DRO versus a full blown appell trying to save time. Well that doesn’t work either, The regional VA Office drags their feet. I bet if it was their pay check being held over a review, I bet the review would occur overnight.

  78. Lawrence Freeman December 11, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I am a veteran from Viet Nam I spent 16 years of military service n was proud of it. 5 years Marine Corp 1 tour Viet Nam. N the rest in the Army. I ended up with an other than honorable discharge. I am not proud of it but I had a lot of issues going on at the time I said something to an enlisted female n was busted from an E6 to E1 ended up being discharged. Would like to see what I can do to get an honorable discharge n get any VA medical treatment I can.

    • Mark Ledesma December 14, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Mr. Freeman,

      Generally, in order to receive VA benefits and services, your character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general). However, individuals receiving undesirable, bad conduct, and other types of dishonorable discharges may qualify for VA benefits depending on a determination made by VA.

      The Secretary of a military department, acting through a Board for Correction of Military Records, has authority to change any military record when necessary to correct an error or remove an injustice. A correction board may consider applications for correction of a military record, including a review of a discharge issued by court-martial.

      You must file a request for correction within three years of discovering an alleged error or injustice. The board may excuse failure to file within this time, however, if it finds it would be in the interest of justice. In your file for correction you must provide evidence why filing of the application was delayed and why it would be in the interest of justice for the board to consider it despite the delay. To justify a correction, it is necessary to show to the satisfaction of the board that the alleged entry or omission in the records was in error or unjust. You should include all available evidence, such as signed statements of witnesses or a brief of arguments supporting the correction. Application is made with DD Form 149, available at VA offices, Veterans organizations or visit

      You should also reach out to a veteran service organization for assistance. They can assist you with this process. Visit for more information about them.

      • Don Clayton December 19, 2015 at 2:03 pm

        BS!!!! Or is it this just the Detroit office that is anti-veteran or they all that way<<<<<<<I know of four dishonorably discharged persons who got service connected disability from the Detroit Dept. of Veterans Affairs with in 30 days of applying….. One was discharged for drug 85%. The other for too many blanket parties lost his teeth to a baseball bat 50%!!!!! And honorably discharged people only get the run around from the Detroit Dept. of Veteran affairs … Seems that the people who decides who gets service connected disability dislike veterans that served their country honorably!!!

        • Joe David Walker December 23, 2015 at 12:08 am

          I tried to reply, BVA did NOT like what I wrote, 100% true! Michigan VA is VERY ANTI VET! especially against those of us who served with HONOR!

  79. Joel D. Cloe December 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    My claim for herbicide exposure has been in process for over six years without being resolved. The VA has denied my initial claim and I filed a NOD. I had my travel board hearing over a year ago and my claim was forwarded to Washington DC. It was received and certified nearly a year ago. The VA has not provided one single fact to dispute my claim. Like many other veterans we feel it is the three “D” policy of the VA. Deny, Delay until Dead.

    • William d hallums December 18, 2015 at 12:45 am

      Same here ,I was at ft Mcclean for chemical training and got sick it’s in my records but va has not mention a thing about after I had 2 heart attacks , now I just got word I have a spot on my lung. Been in system sence 2011 or more ,still working on claim .up until here last week they need something from my medical report that they had early on but can’t locate it ,now they need another copy. It’s like they want to beat a dead horse. Seem like a game sometime with them.

  80. Keith m wilson December 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm


    • Don Clayton December 19, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      The Medical system is great up to the point were the Doctors are stop from doing what is right by the Anti-Veteran personal in the Dept. of veterans Affairs>>>>

  81. Larry Ray Hilburn December 10, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I have a predetermination filed by the VA that has been open for more than two years . It is no longer showing up ony ebenefits account. According to the VA there was s computer glich and it was wiped out. I have been waiting more than a year to get it resolved and nothing yet. I have been to two VA town hall meetings where I was promised an answer and have not heard a word from VBA. Please help .

    • Mark Ledesma December 11, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Mr. Hilburn,

      I’m sorry for your frustration. Have you visited your regional office for assistance from our public contact team? Also, do you have an appointed veteran service organization (VSO)? VSOs can help you with your claim process – if you want to learn more about them visit

      • Vincent Neuroth December 18, 2015 at 7:57 am

        e-benefits should not have started until up and ready 100%. Piece meal doesn’t work, and you can not depend on any data on there. Sad.

    • Donahue Golden December 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      same here Larry they send out letter to let u know its delayed but that all, i sitting here wondering why we want to send my children to war when you dont want to take care of the injured soiders u got ..

      • Mark Ledesma December 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

        Mr. Golden,

        I’d like to see if I can help – are you still waiting for the status of your claim? Also, can you please clarify what type of claim you are filing?

    • Richard Steiner December 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      My hopes are with you. In my recent experience it took well over two years for a very clear simple claim to be approved. It seems like the new head of the VA is a strong selection but bureaucracy improvements are slow.
      It seems it matters where you live and file your claim as some regions seem very responsive and others do not seem to care how long you wait.

      • Mark Ledesma December 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

        Mr. Steiner,

        I’m sorry you had a bad experience with us during your claim process. Please know that we’re hard at work trying to improve the process for everyone.

    • Glenn Mosher December 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Larry , if you have a predetermination letter with the date on it and not getting letters every three months from your Regional VA office saying they are working on your Claim. I would contact the nearest VSO or Stare Veterans service officer and talk to them about refiling your claim . Because the current one is dead in the water but if you have a letter dateing back two years saying one was filed you will still get back pay to that date But use a VSO they know how to work this and they may be able to fast track a new claim if they can show the other one was lost

    • Kimberly Daeger December 12, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Hi Larry, I’m a rating specialist at the VBA, and hopefully I can help resolve the issue with your claim. I won’t be back in the office until Monday, so I can’t look you up in our systems until then, but in the meantime, can you please clarify for me what you mean by a predetermination filed by the VA? As a rating specialist, that means that a rater (such as myself) has proposed a change to your benefits (a reduction in evaluation, severing service connection for a condition, etc), and the veteran is given 60 days (the “predetermination” period) to submit evidence showing why the change should not take place. Is that what you’re talking about, and if so, what were the specifics?

    • Anthony Picciano December 12, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      hey brother same I had a claim filed in 2012. Checked status gone like it was never filed. I will just resubmit and start over. This time I will keep records and print everything.

    • Tommy Carroll December 13, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      I too have an appeal that has been open for two years. Please tell me more about this “glitch”.

    • john flynn December 20, 2015 at 3:45 am

      i received a 70% rating on my claim for disfigurement and loss of sensation from mohs surgery on my lower lip the claims process was opened 3 yrs before the award and i recieved 2 mos retro pay shouldnt it be credited back to initial filing date?

    • Stephen Brownell December 21, 2015 at 1:15 am

      It took me 15 years to get my first my increase.

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