Tackling the Veterans Affairs (VA) can be a mind-numbing experience. Especially if you are not familiar with the process of applying for benefits. I know I delayed putting in a disability request to the VA for my tinnitus (ringing in the ears) for years because I didn’t want to deal with the bureaucracy. Finally, at the very strong recommendation from my wife, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge and get the rating. It was a process, but after some phone calls, paperwork, and a doctor’s appointment I finally received my benefit. It’s not much, but I’ll take it.
Now my situation was easy, but what about those veterans who have more issues than just ringing in the ears? How much is a rating for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)? Can one get compensated for bad knees due to all those jumps at Ft. Bragg? More importantly how do I start the process to make these claims to the VA?
Thankfully here at the Regiment we have our very own VA Officer who can steer you in the right direction to get the help you need. Regiment member Blackjack_DVC, the DVC stands for Disabled Vets Corner, has multiple contacts within the VA and a lot of experience dealing with the issues of Veterans Affairs claims.
In a recent interview, I asked Blackjack how he became the VA Officer within the Regiment. “I reached out to Chris and said, ‘Hey man, listen, I would love to do a video or something like that, you know, to clear up some stuff with the VA.’ And Chris said, ‘We actually are trying to get this whole VA help channel rolling and everything else.’ Well heck, I’ll be more than happy to help out with something like that.” Blackjack said.
When you join REGIMENT's Discord, you will have access to the VA Help channel within the Discord server. Blackjack has pinned several resource links to help anyone with their journey through the maze that is the Veterans Affairs. This information is directly pulled from VA resources to make sure the information is accurate. If that isn’t enough, Blackjack also answers questions members may have along the way. Each month, Blackjack helps nearly 100 Veterans navigate through and better understand the VA.
Blackjack not only helps out Regiment members with their issues, but he himself has been through the process several times. “I’m about to reapply with the VA for a fourth time. I’ve been through this, through hell and back, the entire process. I’ve gone all the way. I’ve contacted state representatives. I’ve contacted directors of VA, stuff like that, so I’ve been through the entire thing.” Blackjack said.
He advised one of the key things one should do is get with his or her Veteran’s Service Officer (VSO). “I absolutely push 110%. If people are doing a claim, they should honestly use a VSO because they can do so much for you, especially if you have any type of murky claim or anything that is slightly weird or anything, period. Because they can get you so much more than trying to go through and do it yourself.”
It is this reason, among others, that Regiment is so important and why this channel is so popular. In fact, the VA Help channel averages more than 440 monthly views and is a main resource for Veterans Affairs. Having a member of the server that has this valuable VA experience and Veterans Affairs contacts is a huge advantage and a valuable asset to the Regiment community. “I have a lot of contacts within the VA to help, they know what I’m doing with it, so I’m literally trying to make the whole process simpler for everybody. Because I’ve been through it all and so I’m trying to make it a little bit easier for the average vet that’s trying to go through it.” Blackjack said.
Blackjack is always eager to help and you can reach out to him via the Regiment Discord server in the VA Help channel. He also has a website called DisabledVetsCorner.org where he lists the resources used from the VA.
I’m glad I finally went through the process of getting the rating, but it was a struggle. I definitely wish I had this information prior as it would have saved me a lot of time and money.
For more information, click the links and check out BlackJack_DVC socials below.
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Note: Images and article used with permission from BlackJack_DVC.