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Maximizing Psychiatric Disability VA Claims
By: Kristina L. Derro
Fausone Bohn, LLP

The most recent estimate is that one third of all U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq need mental health treatment. Many will seek VA disability compensation upon their return and join the thousands of veterans from other conflicts that have mental health claims already pending before VA. Obtaining service connection from VA for a mental health disorder is a high hurdle… Read More

Effective use of Medical Opinions and Treatise information in VA disability cases
For years Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) have been instrumental in helping Veterans obtain compensation for disabilities arising from their active duty. Now a Veteran has a right to hire an attorney. Often the veteran should not engage an attorney but use a VSO. However, when the claim involves intricate legal and medical issues the use of an attorney may be well-justified. Attorneys are trained to focus on the legal issues in the case and present those issues to the VA in a persuasive manner. In addition, attorneys commonly obtain medical opinions or supply medical treatise information in order to bolster a claim… Read More

Insanity For Purposes of the Department of Veterans Affairs
JAMES G. FAUSONE
LEGAL HELP FOR VETERANS, PLLC
Northville, Michigan

The definition of insanity for purposes of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently became at issue in a VA compensation benefits case. Henry Gardner v Shinseki, US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (March 13, 2009). In that case, the VA used the wrong legal standard and concluded a veteran was ineligible for benefits because of the type of discharge he received. The VA used a criminal definition of insanity rather than the broader statutory definition… Read More

Ann Arbor VA Settles Marine Suicide Case
Randen Harvey was discharged from the Marines in November 2005 after serving two tours of duty in Iraq. Mr. Harvey returned home a shell of the person he once was—suffering from three psychiatric disabilities: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, and Polysubstance Abuse. All were the direct result of his military service… Read More

Effective use of Medical Opinions and Treatise information in VA disability cases
For years Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) have been instrumental in helping Veterans obtain compensation for disabilities arising from their active duty. Now a Veteran has a right to hire an attorney. Often the veteran should not engage an attorney but use a VSO. However, when the claim involves intricate legal and medical issues the use of an attorney may be well-justified… Read More