Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Importance of Choosing an NSO for VA Claims

There are lots of veterans service organizations who have National Service Officers who are trained to assist veterans with their VA claims.  The VFW, the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America).  And depending on your disability there may be one better for you.  If you or your loved one has a spinal cord injury or illness (Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, etc) then the PVA should be your service organization of choice.

And here is how I know this, for my husbands latest claim we used an NSO from the DAV.  My husband was bumped from 90% with unemployability to 100% with Aid and Attendance and several SMC’s.  His legs were rated at 20% and 40% and that was a bit ridiculous considering he can barely stand and walk.  However he was only bumped up to 40% for both legs.  Our NSO from the DAV told us that there was no need to appeal that rating as there was no difference in payment between 40% and 80% which is more like it.  So we listened to him.

Then we went to an appointment at the SCI Unit at the VA and we met with an NSO from the PVA – they specialize in helping those with spinal cord injuries with their claims.  Unlike our DAV Rep, our PVA Rep tells us that if my husband’s legs were rated 50% or higher that he would INDEED get paid more.  He also is going back through the claim to see if there are any other things that need to be reviewed and appealed..

So choose your NSO carefully it does make a difference!

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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Caregiving


We’re still here and things are moving along.

I’m sorry my posts seem to come in spurts, it is how my life seems to work these days.

While I was missing many positive things happened for us.  I took the bull by the horns and MADE the VA get his fiduciary claim set up ASAP in September.  When our NSO from the DAV told me I just had to wait and that the VA does things at their own time and there was nothing to do about it, I was not willing to accept that so I sent an email to the undersecretary for benefits in Washington DC, yep went straight to the top. I had heard she was very responsive and lo and behold I emailed her on a Friday, I received a reply on a Wednesday that something would be done.  The following Friday we had a call from the Fiduciary Officer to set up an appt and two weeks later on a Monday he was at our house we were filling out paperwork and it was done!  And thankfully as a spouse being named fiduciary is super easy and I did not have to make any changes at all to anything.  It’s life as normal here for us.  🙂

With that being settled we are now free to get going with our plans for the winter!  WooHoo so we are leaving mid Dec and heading south.  We will be arriving back in NY mid March.  3 months in our camper, 2 months in Florida and a month of traveling to and from.  I’m sure there will be challenges BUT we will avoid the coldest two months of the year in NY and that will be a true blessing!   While we are there, a lot of work has to get done meetings with VA peeps, housing office, realtors, and contractors.  Our house is listed here in NY and hopefully will sell before the end of 2016 so we can get back to Florida permanently before next winter.

When we get back home in March we will have  just a few weeks to get ready for Pete’s Winter Sports Clinic trip.  And like I assumed, no one else is willing to step up to the challenge of watching Pete for a eight days and being totally responsible for him and his dog so I will be going to Aspen once again.  Our fundraising is going really well and I am socking away every penny I earn at my 8 hour a week job towards this trip as well.  Also working on funds for the Wheelchair Games in Salt Lake City in June.  Pete really enjoys these trips so much!!!!


Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Caregiving, Daily Living