Unfortunately, many veterans pass away before a decision can be made on his or her claim for benefits or before an appeal is completed. In such circumstances, survivors of the deceased veteran may, in some circumstances, take the place of the veteran and continue the claim or appeal. 39 U.S.C. § 5121A provides, in part, that if a veteran claimant dies on or after October 10, 2008, while a claim or appeal is pending:
The National Institute of Mental Health describes Post-traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD") as the following:
This week's passing of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams is tragic. Tragic as it may be, Robin Williams' death brings a serious issue facing many of our country's veterans to the forefront. Depression and suicide do not discriminate and can affect anyone. Veterans across the country are suffering from depression and having suicidal thoughts on a daily basis. Help is available.
President Obama is set to sign a $16.3 billion bill benefitting veterans today. The bill is in response to reports of veterans dying while waiting for appointments with VA doctors while VA employees covered up those long wait times. This measure allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire thousands of doctors, nurses, and other medical and health professionals at the VA hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the United States to more quickly serve veterans.
President Obama announced that he would nominate Robert McDonald to head the VA. McDonald is a West Point graduate and a former Procter & Gamble chief executive. Though the Senate has not yet scheduled a hearing to consider McDonald's nomination, lawmakers are already contemplating tough questions to ensure that McDonald has the management experience and expertise needed to drastically overhaul the troubled VA.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has opened a registry for veterans who believe they have been exposed to fumes from trash burned in open pits or to toxins inhaled with dust in Iraq and Afghanistan. The registry is open to veterans who fought in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, were stationed in Djibouti after September 1, 2001, and to veterans of the Persian Gulf War. Veterans may request a free medical examination after signing up for the registry.
Survivors of military sexual trauma ("MST") not only face physical injuries as a result of MST, but also suffer devastating emotional and mental injuries as a result of undergoing such a traumatic event at the hands of their military brothers and sisters. The battle does not end with the injuries, however. Survivors of MST then have to undergo the arduous and often-times unsuccessful task of securing compensation for their injuries through the VA. The VA offers MST screening and medical care for mental health conditions related to military sexual trauma. Care, however, without compensation, is not enough for the men and women subjected to MST and the residual effects of MST.
AUTOMATIC WAIVER OF REVIEW OF NEW EVIDENCE BY AGENCY OF ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
VA Fast Letter 14-02 is intended to increase efficiency in the appeals process. Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 7105(e), evidence submitted by the veteran or veteran's representative at the time of or after receipt of the Substantive Appeal(VA Form 9) is subject to initial review by the Board. 38 U.S.C. § 7105(e) provides that the Board can initially review any evidence submitted on or after February 2, 2013.
Have you undergone a Compensation and Pension Examination (C&P) with the VA? Was your VA C&P examination adequate?