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FAQ

Who are the best people to see, in regards to helping a disabled veteran getting his disability claim at the VA processed?
California has a Veterans Affairs Department. Many cities have offices, and generally, the staff will complete the paperwork and send all information to the appropriate people.After you file your claim, you may keep track of its status:Check Your VA Claim Or Appeal StatusIt takes time to process and investigate claims, so you have to wait in line, so to speak.Another avenue is to go directly to a VA Hospital in your area. There you apply for medical benefits. It does take a month or so to process your application. This is because it is important to weed out fake veterans. However, once you are in the system, from my experience, you will get very good service. Again, this is from my experience at Jerry Pettis Veterans Hospital in Loma Linda, CA.Once you have been accepted into the system, you will be assigned a unit and doctor. From there, your primary care doctor will arrange appointments with specialty clinics.If the veteran is already in the system, he/she may be able to process claims through his primary care provider. There are also patent advocates on staff to help.When you file a claim, part of the process will be for you to be evaluated by a doctor who specializes in whatever your disability claim is for. Recommendations will be forwarded, and it is not uncommon for a second opinion. Your disability will be given a percentile, which affects the amount of disability you will receive. If you disagree, you may file an appeal through the same system in the link above.You will receive compensation retroactive to the date you filed your claim, unless there extenuating circumstances.The process is rather lengthy, because there are a lot of veterans to process.
If a soldier served during the war, but saw zero combat, are they considered a veteran?
I am ex military, I was a combat medic, also called a field medic, I have seen things both in and out of the military that would make most liberal democrats sick, It is easy for people who live behind locked gates to say what is and what is not or what you should and should not do. When it is someone else doing it for them.I am going to answer this and any other true veteran who saw action or not im sure will agree with this. its not a competition to see who can get glory or get shot at first. some of the answers I have read on here, I think are BS. your theater of conflict has nothing to do with being a veteran, It makes no difference if you were in Vietam or the Korean War, or if you are somehow still alive and served in the revolutionary war against England freeing this awesome country. Your still a vet.A veteran is someone who served on active or inactive duty after active or in the reserve military,under any branch, Airforce, Army, Navy, Marines, I Put the Branches in the order of Highest Asvab requirements first, Some will not appreciate that. lolI don't exactly like the state of CA having its own California Guard, I may draw the line there as calling them a veteran. But National Guard as well as Coast Guard are veterans and also sign the same contract as all the main branches.one thing all have in common, every Veteran from every branch officer and enlisted, signed the same contract, that they are willing to give their life for the service of the country against all threats Foreign and Domestic.If you signed and made it through boot camp, your a veteran when you get out. active inactive, to the person who say he is only familiar with WW-1 nothing has changed as far as this answer is concerned, what your mistakenly confusing is MOS and Theater of deployment They give you hats and ribbons for that info. you either are or you are not a veteran. There is no GrayOnce your in, as I am sure some older Vietnam Korea and WW2 vets will tell you . anything can change in an instant. Boot camp can be shortened and your shipped to a war zone for on the job training. I just turned 17 when I went to boot camp,Anyone who thinks that because a veteran was lucky enough not to see action and they dont deserve the title of veteran. is an idiot. And most likely never served anything but themselves, Real life is much different than the books read in college or google, Most Civies do not know and should not confuse people unless they are close enough with a vet in their family to answer this question.Anyone who ever signed that line giving the military ownership and control over your life, If they didn't see action it was because of luck and circumstance.There is no job in the military that would ever prevent you from having to pick up the gun you were trained to use in basic, and kill someone in defense of this country. If your ordered you go. just because it didn't happen. doesn't negate the fact that it could have And that is the bravery behind joining the military, there is no distinction in my mind and most likely any other former service member of any difference except military specialty.Military Veteran From Any Branch MOS action or no action,If you signed that line, and you didn't desert your position or AWOL, then your a Veteran after your discharged. I’ve seen awesome guys get dishonorable discharged for stupid things but they would cover you while I saved another mans life, I didnt get Dishonorable but I picked up article 15s for coed violations and tech school fights, But sometimes you have a dick CO and he kicks you out for something like I mentioned. only leaving your brothers or your country in their time of need is the only reason I think any man should be stripped of the title of Veteran.Just my thoughts..Rusty USAF Field Medic
What can we do to help veteran soldiers as far too many live on the streets and are trying to live with the torment of mental illness? Should NATO have a special pension for veteran soldiers?
I can only answer for the US. NATO countries SHOULD have programs in place to provide help to injured soldiers, even when the wounds aren’t visible, but I have no idea what they do good or bad.In any case, the truth is that not every homeless vet exactly gets to claim the title Veteran with honor. They are justifiably cut out of the system designed to help the men and women that served their country without being awful human beings. However, with the recognition of cognitive damage through trauma or physical impact, it’s not so easy to write off the veterans who received Other than Honorable, bad conduct or even dishonorable discharges.Currently, there are ~40,000 homeless vets. This is down from near 74,000 in 2010. As a portion of the homless population, they are over-represented (9%) and most are in their 30s. Only ~15k of those 40k are actually unsheltered.Many have serious mental illnesses or brain injuries, often lack family supports and suffer from substance abuse issues. They lack treatment options, support structures and transferable skills (e.g. I spent my entire service in combat arms positions. There is surprisingly little need for trained killers in the civilian workforce). They are also more likely to have negative discharges, that made it impossible to get help despite many of their problems being service-relatedOn the plus side, discharge status matters a lot less. In 2015, the Obama Administration ordered a review of negative discharges to identify whether or not, combat-related mental illness or injury played a role. The GAO published its findings in May, 2017, stating that action needed to be taken to ensure that PTSD and TBI be taken into account when considering a discharge. Late last year, the Trump administration expanded certain VA services to include veterans with negative discharge status that would otherwise exclude them.The change in rules was a big one. The effort to upgrade negative discharges started in 2014, but was applied unevenly. Now, the Army Review Boards Agency has been directed to be extremely lenient when appeals for negative discharges related to PTSD and TBI are brought. That could mean thousands of previously ineligible veterans can have partial or even full benefits restored.Want to do something? Support organizations like the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans or check Veteran’s Affairs Non-VA resources page for federal, state and non-governmental organizations devoted to ending veteran homelessness.But what can we really do? Be a bit less judgmental when we encounter homeless people. A great many of them are there for reasons beyond their control. Mental health problems and poor support structures often lead to the substance abuse issues that a great many people focus on. Pressure your representatives to actually do something about the lack of mental health resources and support your local organizations with time and/or money.Interesting reads -NCHV Statisticshttps://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/docs...https://www.hudexchange.info/res...Drop in LA’s homeless vets may signal good news nationwideGAO: Thousands discharged for military misconduct had mental health diagnosishttps://www.gao.gov/assets/690/6...Pentagon expands policy to upgrade vets’ bad paper discharges
How long does a VA claim take to process, on average now?
The VA Claim Process after You File Your ClaimThe VA Claim Process after You File Your ClaimFind out what happens to your claim after you file for disability compensation.How long does it take VA to make a decision?125.7 days Average number of days to complete disability-related claims in February 2019The amount of time it takes to review your claim depends on:The type of claim you filedHow many injuries or disabilities you claimed and how complex they areHow long it takes us to collect the evidence needed to decide your claimWhat should I do while I wait?You don’t need to do anything unless we send you a letter asking for more information. If we schedule any exams for you, be sure not to miss them. You can check the status of your claim online. The time frame you see there may vary based on how complex your claim is.Track the Status of Your ClaimWhat happens after I file a claim?Claim ReceivedWe’ll let you know when we receive your disability claim.If you file your disability claim on eBenefits, you’ll see a notice from us in your claims list within about 1 hour of applying.If you file online for increased disability compensation, you’ll get an on-screen message from us after you submit the form. If you mail your application, we’ll send you a letter to let you know we have your claim. You should get this letter about 1 week, plus mailing time, after we receive your claim.Initial ReviewA Veterans Service Representative (VSR) will review your claim. It’ll move to step 3 if we don’t need any more evidence to support it.Evidence Gathering, Review, and DecisionDuring this step, the VSR will do 3 things:Ask for evidence from you, health care providers, governmental agencies, or othersReview the evidenceMake a decisionIf we need more evidence during the review, your claim may return to this step more than once.Preparation for NotificationWe’ll get your entire claim decision packet ready to be mailed.Claim CompleteWe’ll send you a packet by U.S. mail that includes details of the decision on your claim. Please allow 7 to 10 business days for your packet to arrive before contacting a VA call center.What should I do if I disagree with your decision on my claim?If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal it.If you received your decision before February 19, 2019, you can start the appeals process by filing a Notice of Disagreement. Learn how to appeal your decision.If you received your decision after February 19, 2019, you’ll need to follow our new process for getting your decision reviewed. Learn how to get your decision reviewed.
Is there a Democratic version of American Crossroads?
This is actually a really tricky question. In short, no, there is no Democratic version of American Crossroads.As to why though... now that's an answer that's fun to explore. First off, let's go back to April 2010. American Crossroads gets its first mentions as Karl Rove pledges to spend $50M in the 2010 election cycle. (See: http://www.alternet.org/news/146...) The first thread to consider based on this initial framing is the collapse of the RNC as the national clearinghouse for Republican funding, due to Michael Steele and his radioactive reputation among reputable Republicans. These power brokers are seeking to punish Mr. Steele for his poor handling of the RNC. During the 2009 cycle, the largest beneficiary was the RGA, the Republican Governors' Association, headed by potential 2012 Presidential candidate Haley Barbour. In particular, the Republican candidates in NJ and VA benefited heavily from RGA money.After Rove announced the existence of American Crossroads, he quickly followed up by saying that he had raised $30M in pledges (see: Ibid.). This signaled a viable vehicle to deliver political funding aside from the official organizations, and with the advent of Citizens United allowing corporate sponsors to remain undisclosed, the money came pouring in.As a background, the Citizens United case (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cit..., http://www.seeingtheforest.com/a...), as Wikipedia puts it, was "a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment." Political Action Committees, or PACs, became much more appealing when donating corporate money into elections.One major source of this funding is from health insurers, banks, and other financial institutes. Another source is groups like energy conglomerates and large non-unionized corporations like Wal-Mart. For the former, they are already affected by large Democratic initiatives, like the health insurance and financial regulations reforms. They seek to defeat Democrats to repeal or defund these reforms and return to the status quo. For the latter, the threat of the cost of bills like Cap-and-Trade and the Employee Free Choice Act are worth funding the defeat of Democrats to prevent these bills from becoming reality. As a result of Citizens United and the antipathy of various sectors of the corporate world towards Democrats, American Crossroads was able to access streams of cash to influence the coming elections.That's the long answer about why American Crossroads exists the way it does. To explain why the Democrats don't have an equivalent, I'll check off the various points in reverse.First and foremost, the DNC and the associated Democratic election organizations have been quietly effective this cycle, repeatedly out-raising their Republican equivalents most months, with the notable exception being the DGA, due to the previous mention of the RGA's success in directing funding from the RNC to itself.Second, as perception of the likely Republican wave has built, large Democratic donors are looking at the sunk cost fallacy and deciding not to ante up in the end game. (see: http://www.politicsdaily.com/201...)Third, the Democrats have positioned themselves as 'for the people' against 'Big Business,' and now that corporate money has been unrestricted for use in political campaigns, there really aren't many organized sectors of business to defend the Democrats. Instead, Dems are left to rely on their usual union support, which can now easily be matched and exceeded by corporate cash.That's my explanation for the success of American Crossroads and the lack of an equivalent on the Democratic side of the aisle.Update: Looks like Politico is also interested in this quesiton: http://www.politico.com/news/sto... tl;dr version - Obama for America is the closest equivalent, and they demanded that Democratic money go through them rather than outside infrastructure, resulting in the dismantlement of any sort of direct American Crossroads equivalent.
How do I get a soldier an honorable discharge or a medical discharge?
I am not sure I understand the question you are asking. Here is what I think you are asking and I will answer accordingly. How do I get an Honorable or Medical Discharge?Check this out.A List Of Military DischargesHonorable dischargeGeneral Discharge Under Honorable ConditionsOther Than Honorable (OTH) dischargeBad Conduct discharge (issued by special court-martial or general court-martial)Dishonorable dischargeEntry-level SeparationMedical SeparationSeparation for Convenience of the GovernmentThe various branches of the United States Military may have terms for these discharges that are unique to that service, whether used formally or informally.In the Air Force, for example, the Administrative Separation process for military discharges that do not require a court-martial is sometimes referred to shorthand-style as an Admin Sep. Some may refer to entry-level separations as Basic Training separations or a Basic Training discharge.Military Discharges ExplainedHonorable DischargeThis is the highest discharge a military member can receive. It indicates the service member performed duties well, faithfully executed the mission, and was an asset to the branch of the military where the member served.General Discharge Under Honorable ConditionsThis type of military administrative discharge is motivated by different things, depending on the branch of service. The overall conduct of the military member may have been exemplary in some areas, but other areas of misconduct or failure to adapt to the military environment may have resulted in such a discharge.The separation paperwork for these military discharges may be quite specific about the reasons for the discharge, so while it’s not stigmatized the same as a Dishonorable discharge, the General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions may still hurt the veteran in some ways where a DD Form 214 Report of Discharge is required for employment or other reasons.Depending on the severity of the problems mentioned in the DD Form 214, the veteran may receive a reenlistment code that determines the service members eligibility for any future military service.Other Than Honorable (OTH) DischargeThis is the most severe of the administrative discharges (which do not require a court-martial). Reasons for the OTH discharge may depend on the severity of the offenses, how a particular branch of the military has traditionally handled such issues, and other variables.Security violations, trouble with civilian authorities, assault, drug possession or various degrees of drug violations or other problems could all potentially motivate an Other Than Honorable Discharge. The OTH should be considered to be a barrier to future military service.Bad Conduct DischargesA Bad Conduct Discharge comes as the result of a court-martial and may be followed by prison time depending on the nature and severity of the conduct. This type of military discharge is not considered an administrative one and is a barrier to future military service.Dishonorable DischargeThis is the most punitive of all military discharges and is given as the result of a court-martial. Desertion, murder, fraud, and other crimes performed in uniform can result in court-martial proceedings that lead to a Dishonorable Discharge.No military benefits or future military service is possible with a military discharge characterized as Dishonorable.Other Military DischargesA new recruit that cannot complete Basic Training, adapt to the military environment while in Basic Training or Tech School, or otherwise is unable or unwilling to complete the initial phases of training before moving out of training and into “permanent party” status would be given an Entry-Level Discharge or Entry-Level Separation depending on the branch of military service.These separations generally happen before the new recruit has served more than 180 days. These are not considered “good” or “bad” discharges, the recruit is not considered a veteran, and those receiving Entry Level Separations are not eligible for benefits.Sometimes, depending on the branch of military service, a situation may require the separation of a new recruit or permanent party military member “for the convenience of the government”. This type of discharge is done at the discretion of the branch of service involved and is not considered a common or routine practice.A Medical Discharge may be given to service members who become sick or injured to the point where military duty no longer possible based on a medical evaluation of the medical condition. This process can be lengthy and may or may not be appealed depending on a variety of factors.Military members who receive Medical Discharges should apply for VA compensation for service-connected medical issues, especially those that resulted in the discharge.Read more: Types of Military Discharges | Military BenefitsIf you are facing one of the types of discharges you were asking about, the Honorable is the best and you can return for more service depending the circumstances like Re-Enlistment codes. Medical discharges are good and can get you medical benefits once applied for, through the VA. Depending on the board outcome and severity of injury, further military service may not be possible. However, employment may still be possible in the civilian sector, and also in the civil service with the government. You will also receive preference points for protected veterans when applying for government and some government contractor jobs. To determine the discharge, you should talk to Career Counselors or Admin Staff, and should try to hire a lawyer for your particular case.Keep in mind that there are numerous ways to get particular discharges and can be categorized in common ways. I think the soldier needs to speak to the NCO or Officer in charge of his case, or in your case if this is you, assuming this is not hypothetical. I take it that the person in question may not be ready to separate yet, but may need to clarify his status asap as there might be deadlines in place. Hope this helps and good luck.Troy Lawson
What does it take to get into the University of Chicago?
I asked a friend who currently attends Chicago to help out here. Below is her answer, hope it helps!If you are currently a CO 2023 U Chicago applicant, join the group chat for applicants now! Here’s how - download Mascot, search “Chicago” and join the group!Current college students: welcome to start your own group and help answer questions about your college!-To get into the University of Chicago is no easy endeavor. It takes determination, passion and a lot of hard work. You need to put 100% effort into everything you do. With that said, some of the stereotypes your counselors or advisors tell you aren’t necessarily true. You’ve probably been told you need to be a well-rounded student and have interest in diverse topics. This is not entirely true. UChicago likes students who excel in specific subjects/topics and show genuine passion in that field. When you’re in college, you choose a major and that topic is what you study for most of your college experience. UChicago wants students who will go on to accomplish amazing successes in their respective fields. I have personal experiences with this concept during my freshman year. Throughout high school, I dedicated all my time to physics and STEM related clubs, my friend taught herself to master French, another specifically pursued biology, another history, and another poetry during their high school careers and while we didn’t do poorly in other subjects, we were merely average in other subjects compared to our peers but mastered our passions. To get into UChicago you need to be passionate about a specific subject and dedicate your high school classes, extracurriculars and letters of recommendation towards that subject.Another misconception you may have is the importance schools place on standardized tests. While you should study for them and put in your best effort, this score will not automatically get you rejected from the University of Chicago. I understand our school’s average is high and seems intimidating, but I have friends with scores all over the board. The college looks at your application and merely takes this score as one test on a Saturday morning. Your GPA, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation are far more important.In my opinion, one of the most important aspect into getting in to UChicago would be your application essays. There’s a reason UChicago has four essays; this is your chance to showcase who you really are. In these essays your voice needs to come through. You need to show your passions, uniqueness and individuality. The admissions office reads hundreds of essays each day. Your voice needs to come through in your writing and make the admissions remember you. The admissions office isn’t looking for your essay to be a literary masterpiece (they can tell when you’re trying too hard) it just needs to represent you. They want you to manipulate the questions and showcase you. Put your own twist on the question. Shown your own interpretation. Stand out by being you.For my last comment on what it takes to get into UChicago, I would like to explain the ED 1, ED 2, EA and RD applications. As you probably know, UChicago’s application pool is extremely competitive. If you have a strong desire to go to UChicago and know it is the school for you, one of the early decisions applications would help your application immensely. The University of Chicago wants to know they are your number one school. An early application would show your dedication and desire to attend our school.