District 5 Service Officer, Comrade Joseph (Big Joe) Blasetti out of Bangkok Post 9951 - if you should have any questions or concerns please contact me (see Appointed Officer Page for email-phone number) with the appropriate information and allow me time to look up and research your details or acquire the necessary information from the VA in accordance with my prescribed duties as outlined in Section 218 of the VFW Manual of Procedures.
VA PACT ACT
Death Protocol Making Funeral Arrangements after American Dies in Thailand Give copy to Spouse
Watch the video on the importance of helping Battle Buddies suffering PTSD:
Check back occasionally for new and updated information to be posted here for review:
As of 19 February 2022
The VA is proposing a change in the Rating Schedule for mental health and removing the eating disorder rating and using the new General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders for this.
It appears the idea is become more in line with the DSM-5.
The rating will be based on impairment in five domains: (1) Cognition ( i.e., understanding and communicating), (2) interpersonal interactions and relationships ( i.e., interacting with people and participating in society), (3) task completion and life activities, (4) navigating environments ( i.e., getting around), and (5) self-care.
The domain of "Cognition” would assess a veteran's mental processing involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension. These processes include, but are not limited to, memory, concentration, attention, goal setting, speed of processing information, planning, organizing, prioritizing, problem solving, judgment, decision making, or flexibility in adapting when appropriate.
The domain of "Interpersonal Interactions and Relationships” would assess a veteran's ability to effectively interact with other people in both social and occupational settings and participate in society. This domain includes both informal (social, associational, etc.) and formal (coworkers, supervisors, etc.) relationships.
The domain of "Task Completion and Life Activities” would assess a veteran's ability to manage task-related demands. This domain includes, but is not limited to, the following types of activities: Vocational, educational, domestic chores, social, or caregiving.
The domain of "Navigating Environments” would assess a veteran's physical and mental ability to go from place to place. This domain includes, but is not limited to, the following: leaving the home, being in confined or crowded spaces, independently moving in surroundings, navigating new environments, driving, or using public transportation.
The domain of "Self-Care” would assess a veteran's ability to take care of himself or herself. This domain would include, but would not be limited to, the following types of activities: Hygiene, dressing appropriately, or nourishment.
The levels of intensity for each domain will be none, mild, moderate, severe, or total, generally defined as follows:
"None”—"No difficulties” associated with the domain;
"Mild”—"Slight difficulties in one or more aspects” of the domain that "do not interfere with tasks, activities, or relationships;”
"Moderate”—"Clinically significant difficulties in one or more aspects” of the domain "that interfere with tasks, activities, or relationships;”
"Severe”—"Serious difficulties in one or more aspects” of the domain "that interfere with tasks, activities, or relationships;”
"Total”—"Profound difficulties in one or more aspects” of the domain "that cannot be managed or remediated; incapable of even the most basic tasks within one or more aspects” of the domain; "difficulties that completely interfere with tasks, activities, or relationships.”
As a technical note, the "task completion and life activities” domain uses slightly different criteria to define these levels, and several of the domains consider the effect of accommodations or assistance in their assessment.
After determining the intensity for each domain, VA would address frequency. Frequency refers to the percentage of time, in the past month, that impairment occurs.
If you have comments, this is the link. The comment period ends 04/18/2022.
January 20, 2022 - Newly published POVERTY THRESHOLD for TDIU (Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability)
M-21-1 IV.ii.2.F.7.a. Marginal Employment Based on Income Below the Poverty Threshold
38 CFR 4.16(a) provides that marginal employment is generally deemed to exist when a Veteran’s earned income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Census Bureau as the average poverty threshold for one person.
The new threshold is $14,097/year or $1,174/mo.
If you are IU and work part time and stay under that threshold, you are still considered unemployable.
This is GROSS income and does not change if you have one dependent or ten.
Post Service Officer Training Presentation Part 1
Post Service Officer Training Presentation Part 2
PRIORITY PROCESSING as of September 2021
If you have any of the following, this is the evidence required for expedited processing of claims and appeals:
File a VBA Form 20-10207 if you fall into any of these categories:
• Experiencing extreme financial hardship
• Terminally ill
• Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Very Seriously Injured/ill during military
operations (Defined as a disability resulting from a military operation
that will likely result in discharge from military service.)
• Age 85 or older for claims and age 75 or older for appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
• Former Prisoner of War
• Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Award recipient
The Post Service Officer Guide is now available on the VFW.org website and can be accessed via this link. https://www.vfw.org/assistance/va-claims-separation-benefits Listed as Parts 1-4
All Post Service Officers are required to have this 4 part guide readily available.
There is also a Svc Officer Training Presentation which can be downloaded!!!
New Post Service Officer Report for District/Department 2021-2022
PURPLE HEART DAY - August 7, 2021
Purple Heart Day on August 7 is the kind of day created to give back. It’s a day for Americans to remember and honor the men and women who bravely represented their country and were wounded or killed whilst serving. These people are decorated with a Purple Heart in the name of the President, and this day is for remembering them and their sacrifice.
If you were awarded a Purple Heart or know someone who has, they get PRIORITY PROCESSING of claims and appeals if they submit a VBA Form 20-10207 with their claims or appeals.
New Phone App from the Veterans Affairs click here
New! Gulf War Illness and VA Presumptives
Blue Water Navy Claims Report as of 31 July 2021
When to file a Supplemental Claim? see pdf notice
Possible PTSD Claimants being Reviewed see pdf notice
What do you get if your rated 100% Disabled by Veterans Administration?
Need your Rating Code Sheet (Newly added)
THINK YOUR CLAIM IS TAKING TOO LONG!! pdf sheet
VA to start processing disability claims for certain conditions related to particulate matter
If you have symptoms manifested within asthma, rhinitis or sinusitis that manifested within 10 years after discharge.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin processing disability claims Aug. 2 for asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis on a presumptive basis based on presumed particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas — if these conditions manifested within 10 years of a qualifying period of military service.
The Southwest Asia theater of operations refers to Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the airspace above these locations.
VA will conduct outreach to impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and will provide information on how to apply. Veterans and survivors who believe they may be eligible for the newly established presumptive conditions are encouraged to apply. They should file a VA Form 21-526EZ if applying for the first time or a VA Form 20-0995 if they are reapplying for these conditions.
Example: A Veteran served on active duty in the Air Force from 2003 to 2015 and was stationed at the Karshi Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan in 2004. The Veteran claims SC for asthma and presents medical evidence and a diagnosis in 2020. The criteria for presumptive SC are met because the Veteran has qualifying service in 2004 and the medical evidence shows a qualifying chronic disability manifested within 10 years of separation from an active duty period.
Private Medical Evidence/How To Submit Private Medical Evidence for Your VA Claim
The Department of Veterans Affairs encourages all Veterans to submit their private medical records for consideration during the processing of their benefits claim. VA values evidence from your private treatment providers because they are familiar with your medical history, often over a long period of time. VA appreciates the trusted and special relationship between private treatment providers and their Veteran/patients.
How To Submit Private Medical Evidence for Your VA Claim
Talk to your healthcare provider (family physician, urgent care visits, any Tricare-covered treatment after discharge) and explain that you are filing a claim for VA benefits; discuss the conditions for which you are filing a claim.
If you are submitting a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) to establish the severity of a claimed condition or medical nexus letter to establish service connection or any other non-federal evidence you will need to also send in a VBA Form 21-4142 and 4142a signed by you.
If required, complete your healthcare provider’s release of information form, obtain your records, and submit with your claim, OR
Complete VA Form 21-4142, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and VA For 21-4142a, General Release for Medical Provider Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); submit completed forms with your claim and VA will attempt to obtain your records through our Private Medical Records contract. VA Forms 21-4142 and 21-4142a are used in conjunction with each other and both forms must be completed in order to obtain treatment records.