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VBM


john999

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If you want easy access to VA rules and regulations get a copy of the Veteran's Benefits Manual.  The VBM has everything you need to know and more.  Some don't want to hear personal accounts of vets struggles.  I think it is useful to read individual accounts because you get information about various pitfalls and success strategies.  You can get a lot of information from regs and rules, but they don't tell you how to actually make a claim.

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Yes I still have my dog eared 2006 VBM manual and companion thick volume manual on Title 38 U.S. Code and 38 CFR.  These manuals have been of tremendous help to me since then in filing and winning many VA Claims and BVA appeals on my own pro se including 7 important ratings.

Even today with all the changes I still refer to these manuals for comparison of information with other sources. Don't leave home without them. Cheers. 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

At my hearing last year, I had a newer copy of VA's M21-1, than the person hearing my appeal.  And the rule had been updated.

Search the innerweb for the "lastest" date, they are out there and not necessarily on the VA's gov site.

Just sayin,

Carl

 

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The VBM is rather pricey, around $240.  HOWEVER, I think they still give a discount for Veterans.  Its available electronically or in print (or both), your choice.  

Its updated every year with new case law.  

You can order it here:  https://store.lexisnexis.com/products/veterans-benefits-manual-skuusSku12734

However, if you call them, you may ask them for a Veterans discount, if that still applies.  

    Its my opinion, that, if you are considering representing yourself at the BVA or CAVC, the $240, if you also invest the time researching your own case (using VBM), is worth it.  My VBM is 2015 edition, if I recall.  

    Its cheaper than hiring an attorney.  If you are very good at researching case law, you might be able to do without it, but, if going Pro Se, its worth it.  (This assumes you have already been denied multiple times.  If its an initial claim, you may not need it yet).  

     If you dont have strong reading/research skills, it may not be of use to you, since its written by attorneys for attorneys who represent Veterans.  You may need a lawyer anyway.  

     I have met Bart Stichman, one of the main authors of VBM.  The VBM is thorough enough that, quoting VBM may actually boost your case.  Or just cite the case law or 38 CFR that VBM cites.  

     The VBM is low on opinions, high on case law interpretations.  

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