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Oif/oef, Irag, Afganistan Soldiers New Nvlsp Program For Those Med Boarded, Stalled In Claims, Denied Disability


Capt.

Question

After a brief discussion with Mr. Ron Abrams, National Legal Veterans Services Program(NVLSP) and the new program designed to help those OEF/OIF , Irag, Afganistan Veterans, I have posted the particulars of the Program below.

Known as the Physical Disabilty Board of Review or PDBR , it is designed to help propel the Veterans claim or decisions faster and with greater chance of being treated fairly with their benefits and awards. As many Veterans know or are soon to find out , VA and DOD use the decision tactics of Lowballed ratings , Med Boarded out, deemed unfit, or outright denial, or facing any of the other tactics VA and DOD used to stall the Veteran , dependents or Widow in granting their claims and awards.

The DOD and VA almost always try to deny or lowball initial decisions just under the minimum requirements by law to help compensate or award those benefits. And as most of us know that the procedure to correct , erronous , faulty or illegal decisions always take a long, and tiring trip thru the "PROCESS".

This program can help end or shorten greatly, those tactics used by VA and DOD that many refer to as the hamster wheel.

Please read the information Mr. Abrams sent me and contact NVLSP if you have any questions.

Once again THANK YOU MR. Ron Abrams for your unselfish service to our nations Veterans, Widows and Dependents .

As always the Veteran must remember to NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, Merry Christmas, C.C.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) provides free legal representation through its Lawyers Serving Warriors® project to veterans applying to the Physical Disability Board of Review to obtain permanent military disability retirement benefits.

Since 9/11, 100,000 of those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have been found unfit for continued military service due to physical or mental disabilities. The large majority of them received a military disability rating of less than 30% -- which deprived them of retirement benefits including monthly retired pay, TRICARE healthcare coverage for both the service member and his or her dependents, and access to military commissaries and exchanges.

Because Congress believed the military often under-evaluated these disability ratings, it created in 2008 a new military board, the PDBR, to review the case of anyone who was medically separated since 9/11/2001 with a rating of less than 30%. The PDBR has the authority to increase the disability rating to 30% or above so that the veteran receives lifetime disability retirement benefits retroactive to the date of separation. To date, nearly 40% of the veterans applying to the PDBR have won an increase in their disability rating so that they are entitled to lifetime military disability retirement benefits.

To apply to the PDBR, a veteran must submit an application and supporting documents proving that the disability rating the veteran received by the military should have been rated at a higher percentage using the VA’s schedule for rating disabilities. NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® project has trained attorneys who can help veterans apply to the PDBR at no cost to the veteran.

To get more info and request free assistance on a PDBR application, go to http://www.lawyersservingwarriors.com. Then “Click for additional PDBR info”.

Edited by Capt.Contaminate (see edit history)
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CAPT. C,

I must ask, are the service only for those who served in Irag, A fganistan, Oif/oef? I was thinking out loud what about us Viet Nam veterans? I think it would sure be a help if there was a service like that for us. If there is, sorry for the question. Just never heard of it.

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Hello Hollis,

Unfortunately for us Vietnam era Vets the program does not include us. Only those soldiers from 2001 till 2009 can qualify. I wish we had a board for our Vietnam era vets. Especially those with chemical exposure issues of Agent Orange, Chemicals, Nuclear, VX and so forth. The key with this program is that with the age of the internet , we are able to reach so many of our Veterans. Unfortunately the internet really missed alot of our Vietnam era Vets in their quest for their benefits. Still today or back in yonder days....NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, C.C.

Edited by Capt.Contaminate (see edit history)
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Hello Hollis,

Unfortunately for us Vietnam era Vets the program does not include us. Only those soldiers from 2001 till 2009 can qualify. I wish we had a board for our Vietnam era vets. Especially those with chemical exposure issues of Agent Orange, Chemicals, Nuclear, VX and so forth. The key with this program is that with the age of the internet , we are able to reach so many of our Veterans. Unfortunately the internet really missed alot of our Vietnam era Vets in their quest for their benefits. Still today or back in yonder days....NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, C.C.

Yes and this is not the only program that us old timers were left out of... the new caregiver program is only for the newest veterans also, when some of us have been on A&A for years and either our spouse or a person takes care of us... The reason we get left out I think, is because they know if they open these kinds of programs to the old timers it will cost tons of money, Just like the recent increase in Disabled veterans insurance, we were left out...Is there any wonder some vets feel like other vets get better treatment?

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At http://www.nvlsp.org/

is this recent ALERT:

"VETERAN ALERT: If you were medically separated from the Navy or Marine Corps after January 28, 2008 and believe that the VA may be wrongly reducing your monthly VA payments to recover the military severance payment you received upon discharge, call NVLSP’s toll-free telephone number at 1-877-345-8387."

The following info as been posted here before but it pays to remind.

http://nvlsp.org/Information/PressRoom/NEWS-RELEASE-010512.htm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 5, 2012

WASHINGTON – The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) announces that Judge George W. Miller at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims gave approval on December 22, 2011 to a historic settlement victory for disabled veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The settlement obtained by NVLSP and pro bono co-counsel Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in the class action lawsuit Sabo v. United States will benefit thousands of veterans who were medically discharged due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) between 2003 and 2008, but were denied the benefits to which they were legally entitled.

In 2008 I posted the new info on the NVLSP Lawyers for Warriors program and the initial info on the lawsuit,which NVLSP won earlier this year.

NVLSP's newest lawsuit on behalf of veterans is in the NVLSP link above:

Class Action Lawsuit Filed to Help Navy and Marine Corps Combat Veterans Receive Disability Benefits Wrongfully Denied by the Navy (7/25/2012) - Read the Legal Complaint filed on 7/25/2012.

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Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program is an off-shoot program from the NVLSP and provides pro bono legal representation before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Information is located at http://www.vetsprobono.org/ and all veterans (regardless of conflict, branch of service) are eligible.

Seth Director

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Hello All,

Teac,,,, EXACTLY..... it is all about the money. They see us older veterans as a burden financially. It is amazing how Congress continues to rewrite the laws to meet the budgets headon. An in most cases, it usually means the Veterans are going to get the burnt end of the stick.

I also have some disgruntled feelings on some of our Veterans Groups that lobby for "Their" service time period but could care less about those Veterans before them. As if they are higher priority than other veterans. But that is exactly what has happened in some cases.I don't want to bring up names because many of us know some of whom I am talking about.

That is why I always say a Veteran is a Veteran. PERIOD. As a matter of fact many of us did not see combat but ended up actually becoming exposed to chemicals that are killing us off by the bushel. Yet alot of combat Veterans did not receive physical wounds and are looked at differently by some groups.

I wonder what would they say if they could step in my shoes or some others as we did not have to dodge the bullets , but could not dodge the chemicals. Maybe they should see that they got lucky but we could not get away. I believe that it is just another example of all Veterans groups not being able to unite and fight for ALL Veterans rights. Not some that are alittle more special than other Veterans.

So you and I Teac are just old wood ready for the discard pile in their minds. Really something wrong with the VA and our elected officials.

Berta ,nice to see you back........ and posting for this cause.

Blue , thank you for posting that also.

NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, C.C.

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Aye, Aye Captain, Berta and Seth. Good advice. I will add this:

In addition to the programs mentioned, the NVLSP takes Veterans pro bono IF:

1. You have a recent BVA decision (that is, less than the 120 day appeal period, but dont wait 119 days!), where at least part of your benefits were denied.

2. The NVLSP identifies "at least one issue of merit".

3. You cooperate with the NVLSP, meaning you are willing to sign POA over to them, as well as any EAJA fees, and, you provide the NVLSP with the records they need to help you.

4. They have lawyers and resources available.

I will add that a remand wont work, because a remand is not final and you simply have to wait for the results of the remand In other words if the Board remands your case to the RO to do a C and P exam, with no issues denied, you simply need to wait until the results of the C and P exam go through the system and it is denied BY THE BOARD. However, the NVLSP will consider representing you if you have some issues remanded but others were denied.

The NVLSP probably has done more good for Veterans than all of the VSO's combined. Ron Abrams and Bart Stichman are the best of the best, in VA law as they have actually co authored the Veterans Benefit Manual.

The NVLSP uses any EAJA fees back "into the pot" to help the next Vet.

I plan on donating money to the NVLSP when I receive retro, so that other Vets may be likewise helped.

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Bronco:

The NVLSP program you mentioned is actually the coordination of four different pro bono veteran service organizations into the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. I'd give the other organizations credit but I can't recall who they are off the top of my head. For those interested, please contact them at the link below if you are seeking their assistance as soon as possible after the Board decision. They'll need time to consider the issues and the 120 day clock is always ticking.

Seth Director

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I agree a vet is a vet, but Vietnam Era vets were treated like &^%$ on the VA's shoes. The military treats them differently also by giving "Combat Action Award" to non-infantry soldiers for OIF/OEF. This is PTSD verification stressor that we non-infantry vets did not get even if we lived through ground attack during tet or rocket and mortar attacks.

There are a host of other areas where Vietnam Era vets have always been on the defensive with the VA and military. However, I still think those young men and women who were in Iraq and Afghanistan did suffer as much as we did from hostile conditions. Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam were different kinds of war, but still war. We made the mistake of being in a losing war and being scapegoated for it.

What is the stereotype of a Vietnam vet in the media?

John

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