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You can write to us about anything. If you have questions about benefits, we’ll get the correct answers for you. Our resources include our own experiences as well as all the people who contribute to the VAWatchdog.

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Go ahead, drop us an email. We’ll be here and we look forward to hearing from you.


The chain of command for Voc Rehab conflicts

Dear VetsSpouse,

Thank you for taking the time to write very useful information on how to navigate the VA and their benefits. I’m almost overwhelmed of the useful resources. However, I am unsure which is the next step to resolve my issue with Vocational Rehabilitation. How can I find out who supervises VA Cerifying Officials or the chain of command? No one is willing to give me that information.

Response:

The chain of command, as we are taught to use in the military while we’re active, is non-existent at VA. Rather, there is a process that we must use.

For example…when you apply for a benefit there is an application procedure. You must complete the appropriate forms, supply any required documentation or evidence and properly submit all of this to the correct authority. Then you wait. And wait. And wait.

When you eventually get a reply, if there is a denial of the benefits you wanted, you appeal. The appeal requires that you file a Notice Of Disagreement (NOD) via the same channels that you used for the original application. In the NOD you state the reasons you disagree with the denial of benefits…and then you wait.

Most of us will attempt to find someone in authority to speak with and we’re sure that person can resolve our problem if we can just talk to the one person who will listen.

VA benefits are a process. Nobody really cares about the outcome to the veteran just as long as the process is adhered to.


Apportionment

Dear VetsSpouse,

I am writing you in hopes to gain some info or some insight to help me further pursue the VA. To give you some background, I was married to a veteran for almost nine years. During this time I became disabled (but not by social security standards) and lost my job, unable to work without restrictions. My knees are totally bone on bone and I was in law enforcement for 14 years. Social security felt that my education could garner me a job elsewhere. In 2004, I lost my job and my now ex husband decided I was a loser, user, and other things. When I met him he was at 75% disability and the VA was dropping him to 50%. Me being great at documentation and feeling that I could help began the road to fighting the VA for his disability.


Apportionment

Dear VetsSpouse,

If an appointment is denied, does the claimant lose all entitlement to the benefits received by a veteran for child support? Where I am familiar with Rose v. Rose (1987) that said veterans benefits can be used for child support, I am also familiar with the 1988 enactment of the veterans judicial review process, the 1989 establishment of the DVA cabinet and the court of veterans affairs which states “all decisions regarding benefits and the entitlement to such benefits is governed by the DVA and any decision made cannot be overruled by a state court” please let me know. it seems the rose case was ruled because “there were no laws at the time that said money received were governed Wiley by the DVA”. The law was established twice over the following two years.”


Divorce

Dear Vetsspouse,

I am in need of a lawyer, in Chicago, IL, who offers care to veterans with custody issues. Neither I nor the father resides there, but the case is there. I called many lawyers, but it is so expensive and when they understand I don’t live there in the area, I am told my case is too complex. I told my baby I won’t give up on her. Please if you can assist me or refer me. Thank you.

Response:

You didn’t provide me with much information. I’ll assume that you’re the veteran, that you’re divorced, you’re the mother and that your ex-husband was awarded custody of the child or children. You have a misunderstanding of how the system works…common to many veterans. The fact that you are a veteran has absolutely no weight in a divorce or child custody case. In the family court, the status as a vet who was honorably discharged isn’t considered. If the veteran has income from VA disability compensation or retirement pay, the court will consider that on the financial statement and that pretty much ends it.