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Last month the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the testing of a new procedure to obtain veterans’ medical records more quickly. Secretary Eric K. Shinseki stated in a news release that the VA is exploring a procedure that employs a private contractor to obtain veterans’ private medical records and transmit them to the offices […]


On June 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day, which was formerly known as Armistice Day. Veterans Day was established to recognize and honor the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Although Veterans Day marks a day in which we remember […]

Wrestling benefits out of VA is usually a battle of attrition. While a few claims sail efficiently through the system, this is by far the exception. Most claims are a matter of wearing VA down through slow development of the claim and repeated challenge of decisions and correction of errors. The nature of this system […]

A question we often hear from our clients regards what happens to a claim that has not yet been decided or is still pending at his or her death. Fortunately, Congress recently changed the rules regarding how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles such claims. The rules are less clear for claims that are […]

UPDATE The proposed new PTSD regulations are now in effect. VA’s fact sheet about the changes can be found at Keep in mind that this does not entirely remove the requirement that PTSD stressors be corroborated – only in specified circumstances, involving situations of hostile military or terrorist activity. The asserted stressor must be […]

In late May 2010, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki prepared a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate requesting that his draft legislation entitled “Veterans Benefit Programs Improvement Act of 2010” be considered and enacted. The purpose of the draft bill is to improve (1) VA’s compensation and pension programs, (2) the timeliness and […]

You may have heard that VA had proposed new rules recently to allow veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and B-cell Leukemia, to get service connection automatically if they were exposed to Agent Orange. These rules have now been put on hold while Congress looks at whether or not to allow them to go […]

VA has proposed extending presumptive service connection to veterans who have served in Southwest Asia Theater of Operation on or after September 19, 2001 and who develop one of the following infectious diseases: 1. Brucellosis 2. Campylobacter jejuni 3. Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) 4. Malaria 5. Mycobacterium tuberculosis 6. Nontyphoid Salmonella 7. Shigella 8. Visceral […]

President Obama is scheduled to sign the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 today, May 5, 2010. The law addresses a number of issues related to veterans’ health care, including assistance to family caregivers of disabled veterans, expanded health care services for women veterans, greater outreach to rural veterans, and enhancements to […]

The attorneys of Goodman Allen Donnelly’s Veterans Benefit Group attended the annual judicial conference of the Veterans Court held March 4-5, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The conference draws attorneys from around the country who represent veterans, the VA, and those who work for the court itself, as well as the judges and other court staff, […]