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New Vet Spouse Site


Berta

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You might have noticed that VAWatchdog.org has a new section in progress called The

Veterans Spouse.

http://www.vetsspouse.com/Home_Page.html

Welcome aboard!

This site is about veterans families and spouses. We know that often enough it's the spouse of the veteran who does the work of filing for benefits. We're designing this site to help you.”

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Jim Strickland's wife and her daughter in law have done a remarkable job already in putting excellent info at the site to help spouses help their veteran spouse to prepare and support their claims.

I didn't know where to post this info here- but I feel it is an important point this site has stated above and this info should be of interest to our veterans as well as their spouses.

It is true that many disabled veterans definitely need the help of their spouse in dealing with the VA and we have seen at hadit the help these spouses , as members here,over the years, have provided towards the eventual VA awards.

Spouses benefit in many ways from successful claims too so it makes sense that they would try to be as proactive as the veteran.

The very first VA claim I got involved with was when the VA proposed to reduce my husband's comp. We had only been married for less then 2 years and I knew nothing about the intricate VA disability claims process.

It took me quite some time to digest the proposed reduction letter and the 2 factors VA used to propose this. The letter came on Christmas Eve (Of course) and my husband was so upset he threw our Christmas tree out the door.

They had used his recent acquiring of a VA job as well as one semester of Voc Rehab to say he no longer had PTSD at a 30% level.

He didn't know what to do about the letter.

(It is ironic and very sad to even think about it because by this time the VA had already malpracticed on him, as documented in my FTCA case)

I read up all VA regs I could find (not easy in those days with no internet) but relied mainly on the regs they used for the proposed reduction.

and I prepared a NOD which used medical and other evidence as well as plain common sense.

Actually when I think of that NOD ,it was very abrupt--I made the point to VA that one does not become a rocket scientist with one semester of Voc Rehab college and the VA job he got was NOT substantial employment compared to his qualifications and past work history, because it was only a part time job the VA director got him when he threatened to file an EEOC case.

We had PLENTY of documentation already on the potential EEOC case ( I sure studied those laws too) as he had been found by OPM as qualified for a full time Fireman's position at the VAMC but they gave that job to a relative of the fire chief and he never even got an interview. Their personnel director had been canned too because we made a big stink.

My point here is sometimes a spouse sees things in a different way than a veteran spouse might. A spouse is also a witness at times too. Also, some spouses are better at raising a stink than their vet husbands are and the squeaky wheel does get results.

The fact that my husband knew I was determined to get the reduction dropped meant everything to him ( particularly after the fiasco involved in even getting the PT job)

Between the PT job at VA and the college courses (involving about 2 hours of daily travel time) he sure didn't have time to fight this reduction crap and it excerbated his PTSD just thinking about it.

I know spouses of vets who don't really have a clue on what SC their spouses get and many spouses of vets are not computer literate as well.

These are significant factors to deal with, if the vet spouse dies, and certainly these factors don't help to support any veteran spouse with a claim in progress.

The VA intends to go paperless so this is one BIG reason all vet spouses need to learn to use a computer.

If a vet dies, I don't see how many surviving spouses could possibly support many types of DIC claims without a computer and the internet.

The fact that many vet reps are not always too DIC savvy makes it imperative for a spouse to be aware of the sites on the net like hadit ,that can provide help and advice.

I saw last week somewhere that VA had 905,000 pending claims.

That figure might have gone down by now or even gotten much higher.

Claims often take more then one set of eyes to develop them properly. Although there are many good reps out there, they are the ones who are always overwhelmed and could still miss something critical to a claim. Your spouse could give your claim or any denials you are appealing, a sort of De Novo review themselves (new look) which could reveal where other evidence might be found or a different way to support the claim.

I hope this new site that Jim Strickland's wife Polly and her daughter in law have started will be very successful for spouses of veterans because ,along with the newly disabled veterans of Iraq and Afganistan, there are many other veterans aging by the day , and most disabilities get worse in time.

I always say here the best vet rep you can get is who you see in the mirror every morning but the reality is the best rep you can get,at some point, might instead be your spouse.

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