This is a collection of eight presentations from the 2017 Spring Conference. Please scroll down the page, below the presentation descriptions, to purchase this collection.
Member Price: $425.00
NonMember Price: $475.00
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C&P Exams - How to Prepare the Veteran & What to Expect - Robert Goss, Law Office of Robert B. Goss
Learn how to prepare your client for their compensation and pension (C&P) examination, whether at VA or through a contractor. This session covers what a veteran should expect during the examination, how to confirm the questions the DRO is asking for VHA C&P exams, and what to do after the examination, e.g., addressing an inadequate examination or requesting a copy of the report.
Evaluating Mental Disorders and Traumatic Brain Injuries - Dr. Douglas Brady
Dr. Brady brings a unique perspective because he has worked as a VA examiner, both as a VA employee and contractor, and is now in private practice. This presentation focuses on the use of Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) in claims for mental health disorders and traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Brady also discusses the issue of malingering.
How to Prevail In A Claim for Service Connection for PTSD Based On MST - Christine Clemens, Finkelstein & Partners & Sara Huerter, Carpenter Chartered
This presentation focuses on establishing service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on military sexual trauma (MST), with an emphasis on the development of lay and medical evidence, utilizing the presumption of soundness effectively, and strategies to combat VA's denial based on a lack of in-service markers to corroborate the stressor. The presenters also discuss important case law in this area.
VA Medical Malpractice - An FTCA and 1151 Primer for Advocates - Brewster Rawls, Rawls, McNeil & Mitchell
Like many things government-related, taking action after a medical malpractice event at a VA hospital can be a complicated process. This presentation explains two methods of recourse when a veteran has been injured at a VA hospital: federal tort claims and 1151 claims. It examines the intricacies of both administrative tort claims and claims filed for 1151 benefits, the timelines for these processes, how awards are made, and what you might generally expect when searching for accountability on the part of the VA healthcare system.
Obtaining Records From VA: The Impact of the Conversion From Paper to Electronic Files and Recent Litigation - Zachary Stolz, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick
This presentation focuses on the legal changes in the past year regarding access to VBMS for representatives and their staffs. Such access is vital for successful representation of disabled veterans and their dependents. The lecture also includes discussions of recent case law and ongoing petitions for VA rulemaking.
VBMS - Glenda Herl, NOVA President
The Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) is an electronic paperless system used by VA to process claims and appeals. VBMS is intended to improve adjudication by replacing the paper-based claims process. This transformation is ongoing as VA continues to develop and implement additional system functionality and enhancements. This session defines the terms needed to navigate in this system, describes the process to request remote access for advocates, and provides insight into how VBMS works.
Navigating The Path to Accreditation - Michelle DeTore, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick
This session addresses how to apply for accreditation, and discuss the different OGC criteria for accreditation based on whether you work in a law firm or on your own. The session also covers other requirements and potential roadblocks before taking the test, such as background checks, character references, lost applications, and VA’s resistance to accredit individuals working in a law firm. The presenter will break down time frames, contacts, and each step of the process. Finally, this session addresses getting scheduled for the test, what to study, what materials to use, how long it takes to get results, and how often someone can take the test if he or she fails.
Maximizing Schedular Ratings for Musculoskeletal Disabilities - Amy Odom, National Veterans Legal Services Program
This session provides guidance for maximizing your client’s disability ratings for service-connected orthopedic disabilities. Specific topics include (1) the relationship between VA’s duty to maximize benefits and the rule against pyramiding; (2) the difference between painful motion and functional loss, with discussion of relevant regulations; (3) proving and rating functional loss; (4) maximizing ratings for the knee; (5) separate ratings for objective neurological manifestations associated with the spine; (6) loss of use; and (7) rating reductions.
The price for members is $425.00 and the price for Non-Members is $475.00.