Veterans Benefits Manual

Veterans Benefit Manual by NVLSP attorneys is the practical guide for the veterans benefits advocate, with critical information to navigate benefits issues.

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Print Book :1 Volume, softbound, 2234 pages
2019-2020 Edition
ISBN: 9781522184416
Estimated: November 13, 2019
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2019-2020 Edition
ISBN: 9781522184423
Estimated: October 30, 2019
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$213.00
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eBook :mobi
2019-2020 Edition
ISBN: 9781522184423
Estimated: October 30, 2019
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$213.00
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This exhaustive manual is an indispensable guide for advocates who help veterans and their families obtain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

User-friendly, well-indexed, and packed with practical information, it includes sample forms and briefs, flowcharts, checklists, citations to legal authorities, and other documents designed to streamline the claims process and save you and your veteran client valuable time.
 
Written by practicing lawyers at the National Veterans Legal Services Program, this manual contains valuable insight and analysis from a team of experts on the front line of veterans law. Use their first-hand experience fighting for veterans' rights and their insider's view of the Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain the benefits your client earned.
 
The Veterans Benefits Manual contains dozens of effective, battle-tested advocacy tips for veterans and advocates along with all the latest developments in veterans law.
 
2019-2020 Edition Editors:
National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP)
Barton F. Stichman, Executive Director and co-founder of the National Veterans Legal Services Program
Ronald B. Abrams, Special Counsel and Former Joint Executive Director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program
Richard V. Spataro, Director of Training and Publications of the National Veterans Legal Services Program

The 2019-2020 Edition of the Veterans Benefits Manual has been thoroughly updated with the important developments in veterans law over the past year. Highlights of these updates include advocacy essentials such as:

  • A detailed description and analysis of the Veterans Appeals Modernization and Improvement Act (the AMA) and extensive advocacy advice on how to effectively navigate the new system created by the AMA;  
  • An easy to understand chart summarizing the important changes made by the AMA to the VA claims and appeals system;
  • Foolproof guidance on how to tell whether a pending VA claim is subject to the new modernized system or the legacy system;
  • A discussion of the important documents an advocate will encounter under the modernized system;
  • How to avoid the hidden traps set by the VA in the modernized system on claims for an increased disability rating;
  • The pros and cons of each of the three options a claimant has after a denial of a claim by a VA regional office after February 18, 2019;
  • How to use the fact that VA’s duty to assist does not apply at the BVA level to your advantage;
  • A new section explaining the important October 2018 changes to the VA rules governing pension claims, including the look-back and penalty period for transferring assets and calculating net worth;
  • Expanded advice on how to take advantage of the Federal Circuit ruling involving undiagnosed conditions that manifest as pain and other symptoms;
  • A new section on  proving entitlement to prospective and retroactive disability benefits for Vietnam Veterans who served in the waters off the coast of Vietnam;
  • A new section focused on service connection for diseases associated with exposure to asbestos;
  • An expanded discussion of service connection for diseases resulting from exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan;
  • Updated information on discharge upgrade applications involving PTSD and other mental health conditions, TBI, and military sexual trauma;
  • An explanation of changes to the rules about when an attorney may obtain fees for representing a claimant before the VA;
  • A detailed discussion of and advice regarding developments in the law related to Gulf War Illness; and
  • A discussion of significant new case law related to claims for total disability ratings based on individual unemployability.

 

Authors / Contributors

Table of Contents

 Chapter 1  Introduction And How to Use This Manual

PART I  DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR VETERANS
Chapter 2  Veterans' Basic Eligibility For VA Benefits
Chapter 3  Compensation for Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities
Chapter 4  VA Disability Benefits or Damages for Injury or Death Caused by VA Health
  Care or Other VA Activities
Chapter 5  Setting, Increasing, or Reducing a Veterans' Service-Connected Disability
  Rating
Chapter 6  Pension For Veterans with Non-Service-Connected Disabilities

PART II  VA BENEFITS FOR NON-VETERANS
Chapter 7  VA Benefits For Family Members

PART III  RULES AFFECTING THE AMOUNT OF BENEFITS PAID
Chapter 8  Effective Dates For Awards of Benefits
Chapter 9  Special Issues For Disability And Death Benefits

PART IV  VA HEALTH CARE AND OTHER BENEFITS
Chapter 10  VA Health Care
Chapter 11  Other VA Benefits

PART V  THE VA CLAIMS ADJUDICATION PROCESS
Chapter 12  Adjudication of Legacy and Modernized Claims by VA Regional Offices
Chapter 13  Board Of Veterans' Appeals
Chapter 13A  The New VA Appeals System Starting in 2019
Chapter 14  Common Errors In Final VA Decisions Denying Benefits And the Avenues
  Available To Correct Them
Chapter 15  Court Review of VA Decision-Making

PART VI  ADVOCACY ON BEHALF OF VA CLAIMANTS
Chapter 16  Reviewing VA Claims Files
Chapter 17  Effective Advocacy Before the VA
Chapter 18  Obtaining Military Records And Information To Help Substantiate A Claim
Chapter 19  Attorney's and Agent's Fees Paid By VA Claimants Or By The VA

PART VII  CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS
Chapter 20  Military Records Correction Issues And Military Disability Benefits
Chapter 21  Upgrading Less Than Fully Honorable Discharges

GLOSSARY
TABLE OF CASES
FORMS APPENDIX
INDEX