On October 14, 2017, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Middlesex County Bar Foundation and NJSBA Military Law and Veterans’ Affairs Section presented the 2017 Military Law Symposium at Cook College Student Center, Rutgers University. The Military Law Symposium is presented annually. This year, over 200 current members of the armed forces, veterans.. read more →

The New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Middlesex County Bar Foundation and NJSBA Military Law and Veterans’ Affairs Section will present the 2017 Military Law Symposium at Cook College Student Center, Rutgers University on Saturday, October 14, 2017. This annual seminar is designed for current members of the armed forces, veterans and anyone interested.. read more →

A new website has been launched to help veterans appeal a denial of VA benefits on their own or request a free attorney to help with the appeal. The website, at vetsprobono.org, was launched by two organizations: the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, which provides free legal counsel to veterans and their families, and Pro Bono.. read more →

Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the Final Rule establishing a presumption of service-connection for eight diseases affecting military members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The Final Rules establishes that veterans, former reservists, and former National Guard members, who served at Camp Lejeune or New River Air Station (not Cherry Point).. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has launched a number of mobile apps aimed at improving the lives of veterans and making VA more accessible. Currently, VA has 16 apps available through the Apple store and six apps available on Android’s Google Play. These apps help veterans manage their PTSD, pressure ulcers, preconception care and.. read more →

The VA’s Survivor Benefit Plan Program The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides eligible beneficiaries with a monthly annuity payment for the lifetime of the beneficiary. The amount of the benefit is a percentage of the veteran’s retirement benefit. Election to participate in an SBP is generally made.. read more →

VA News Release, Washington, D.C. – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases affecting military members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The presumptive illnesses apply to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served for.. read more →

Government Long-Term Care Benefits for NJ Residents 908-232-7400 The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides comprehensive Government Long-Term Care Benefits Legal Services throughout the State of New Jersey. See: https://vanarellilaw.com/medicaid-public-benefits-planning/ Elder Law topics covered in the video include Eligibility for Medicaid, Income and Resource Limits and Caps, Medicare Coverage, Home Health Aides, Home Health Care, Nursing Home.. read more →

(Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. in the midst of oral argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court. A video of the entire oral argument can be found on the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli website.) ‘Elder and Disability Law Update’ and ‘Veteran Benefits Workshop’ to be presented by leading NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning.. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has amended its regulation governing individuals presumed to have been exposed to a herbicide agent, commonly called “Agent Orange,” during the Vietnam era. Specifically, the VA is expanding the regulation to include individuals who performed service in the Air Force or Air Force Reserve under circumstances in which they.. read more →

On October 31, 2013, proposed changes to the process of filing disability claims and appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register notice can be found here. The proposed changes, which are significant, relate to the filing of informal claims and notices of disagreements. There are.. read more →

Fully Developed VA Claims The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented a new process designed to expedite claims for VA benefits having all information required by the agency and all required supporting  evidence. The new process, officially titled in 38 CFR §20.1509(a) as the “Expedited Claims Adjudication Initiative-Pilot Program,”  is unofficially called the Fully.. read more →

Several months ago, I presented a program on Veterans Benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits at the Elder Law College, a seminar on Elder Law and Special Needs Law presented each year by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. I wrote a blog post summarizing the seminar material  presented at the Elder Law.. read more →

It IS possible for a surviving veteran to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) based on the deceased spouse’s military service as well as a VA Pension Benefit based on the survivor’s own military service, but any DIC award based on the deceased spouse’s service will be.. read more →

(I recently presented a program on Veterans Benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits at the Elder Law College, a seminar on Elder Law and Special Needs Law presented each year by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. A summary of the seminar material is presented below.) VA BENEFITS Veterans and their families should.. read more →

A variety of the benefits sought by disabled veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) require the veteran to establish a connection between the veteran’s present disability and an event that occurred during the veteran’s active duty service. This is called establishing “service-connection.” Following is a list of the types of VA claims that.. read more →

Last year, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “the VA’s failure to provide adequate procedures for veterans facing … delays in the delivery of mental health care violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment [of the Constitution].” In addition, the Court found stark evidence.. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the release of 68 new forms that the agency anticipates will help speed the processing of veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims. These forms can be completed by private physicians, eliminating the need for a VA clinic examination in certain circumstances. “VA employees will be able to.. read more →

Veterans and their families should be aware of the various benefits that may be available to them through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). I.       GENERAL HEALTH AND OTHER PROGRAMS The VA offers many special programs for veterans, among which are the following: Benefits for returning veterans: Health care for 5 years.. read more →

Effective December 1, 2011 The COLA increases for major Pension benefits follow. Charts showing COLA increases for all Pension benefits and for all parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits are attached here. Single Veteran Base Pension: $12,256 annually; $1,021 monthly Supplements: Housebound: $14,978 annually; $1,248 monthly Aid & Attendance: $20,447 annually; $1,703 monthly Veteran.. read more →

Following are descriptions of several of the issues which attorneys at my law office have confronted in recent claims we filed on behalf of veterans and their dependents seeking non-service connected pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which may be of interest to readers. Life Insurance The face value of a life.. read more →

Title 38 of the United States Code. This is the section of the codified laws of the United States that applies to benefits provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The United States Code is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the United States. Section 38 of the Federal Regulations… read more →

In a scathing 104-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “the VA’s failure to provide adequate procedures for veterans facing … delays in the delivery of mental health care violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment [of the Constitution].” Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, _______ F.3d… read more →

In order to receive service-connected compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the usual case, a veteran must (1) be suffering from a current disability, (2) show evidence in his/her military service records of a disease, injury, or event in service, and (3) show a nexus, or link, between the current disability.. read more →

In Freeman v. Shinseki, No. 10-1462 (U.S. Ct. App. Vet. Claims April 26, 2011), 2011 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 906, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims handed a partial victory to a veteran attempting to challenge the VA’s appointment of a third-party fiduciary, instead of petitioner’s sister, to control his finances. The.. read more →