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Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Veteran Cultural Competency 2017 (Free)

Released on: Nov. 20, 2017
Running Time: 06:09:55
There are over 21 million veterans in the U.S.; many of them are not aware of the benefits to which they are entitled. Medical and financial assistance are available to those who have served in the military, but many veterans most in need are not receiving VA benefits. Navigating the VA claims system and applying for discharge upgrades before the Department of Defense are difficult and complex processes. Attorneys play an essential role in removing barriers to VA benefits, such as:
  • Lack of evidence to “service-connect” their injuries or disabilities.
  • Lack of current medical or mental health evidence documenting severity of symptoms for accurate disability ratings.
  • VA eligibility determinations for those given less than fully honorable discharges for behaviors that were related to minor disciplinary infractions or symptoms of Post- Traumatic Stress or other service-related disabilities.  

IMPORTANT! If you get accredited by the VA before you attend this training, the first three hours will satisfy the VA’s CLE requirement.

Attorneys and other advocates must be accredited to practice before the VA. To obtain accreditation you must complete this form:www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA21a.pdf.

  1. Accreditation by the VA may take several weeks, so do not delay filing your application.You can speed up the process by emailing the form to: OGCAccreditationMailbox@va.gov.
  2. Within 12 months after accreditation you are required to complete three hours of qualifying CLE. The morning session of this program satisfies that requirement, but only if you have already received your accreditation from the VA. If you have not received it, you should still watch this program, but keep in mind that you will need to complete three additional hours of CLE within 12 months after receiving your accreditation.
  3. Attorneys and other advocates who become accredited will be listed on a national VA list, and are entitled to represent veterans in their claims for benefits, on a pro bono basis, and for attorney’s fees on appeals, where they are available.

Lecture Topics [Total time 00:06:45]

Segments with an asterisk (*) are available only with the purchase of the entire program.

  • Program Overview and Introductions* [00:08:44]
    Michael Blecker, Barbara Saavedra, Elizabeth A. Hom
  • Introduction to Benefits for Veterans with Disabilities [01:00:19]
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • VA Service Connected Disability Compensation [01:00:37]
    Devin Bissman, Cathy Wong
  • Special Disabilities, Interaction between VA Benefits and Other Public Benefits [01:00:50]
    Rose Carmen Goldberg, Nicole M. Perez
  • Veteran Cultural Competency: Combat to Community; Demographics, Cultural Characteristics, Myths and Stereotypes about Veterans; Legal Interviewing Tips [01:00:10]
    Shannon Kissinger, Barbara Saavedra
  • Military Discharge Upgrade and Review I [00:59:40]
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Military Discharge Upgrade and Review II [00:59:35]
    Margaret Kuzma

 The purchase price of this Web Program includes the following articles from the Course Handbook available online:

  • COMPLETE COURSE HANDBOOK
  • VA Accreditation FAQ, How to Apply for VA Accreditation as an Attorney or Claims Agent
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • VA Benefit Fact Sheet—Dependents and Survivors, Burial and Plot Interment Allowance
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • VA Benefit Fact Sheet—Education and Training, Post-9/11 GI Bill: Factors to Consider
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • VA Benefit Fact Sheet—Home Loan Guaranty, VA Guaranteed Loan
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • VA Benefit Fact Sheet—Home Loan Guaranty, Homeless Shelter Program
    Cathy Wong, Nicole M. Perez
  • VA Benefit Fact Sheet—Life Insurance, Veterans Group Life Insurance
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • VA Benefit Fact Sheet—Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services, Education and Career Counseling
    Cathy Wong, Nicole M. Perez
  • VA Benefit Fact Sheet—Claims for VA Benefits and Character of Discharge, General Information
    Cathy Wong, Nicole M. Perez
  • Eligibility Determination, Amended on July 27, 2017, VHA Directive 1601A.02, Department of Veteran Affairs
    Cathy Wong, Nicole M. Perez
  • Underserved: How the VA Wrongfully Excludes Veterans with Bad Paper, March 2016
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades, and Veteran Cultural Competency Program Introduction (PowerPoint slides)
    Cathy Wong, Nicole M. Perez
  • Introduction to Benefits for Veterans with Disabilities (PowerPoint slides)
    Cathy Wong, Nicole M. Perez
  • Sample VA Applications
    Cathy Wong, Devin Bissman
  • VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation (PowerPoint slides)
    Cathy Wong, Devin Bissman
  • §4.130—Scheduling of Ratings—Mental Disorders
    Rose Carmen Goldberg, Nicole M. Perez
  • §4.124a—Schedule of Ratings—Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders
    Rose Carmen Goldberg, Nicole M. Perez
  • VA Statement Form—Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    Nicole M. Perez, Rose Carmen Goldberg
  • VA Statement Form—Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Secondary to Personal Assault
    Nicole M. Perez, Rose Carmen Goldberg
  • Evan R. Seamone and David M. Traskey, Maximizing VA Benefits for Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma: A Practical Guide for Survivors and Their Advocates, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law
    Nicole M. Perez, Rose Carmen Goldberg
  • Battle for Benefits: VA Discrimination Against Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma
    Rose Carmen Goldberg, Margaret Kuzma, Nicole M. Perez
  • Special Disabilities, Interaction Between VA Benefits & Other Public Benefits (PowerPoint slides)
    Nicole M. Perez, Rose Carmen Goldberg
  • Veteran Cultural Competency: Combat to Community Resources
    Shannon Kissinger, Barbara Saavedra
  • Veteran Cultural Competency: Combat to Community (PowerPoint slides)
    Shannon Kissinger, Barbara Saavedra
  • Veterans and Bad Paper: The Facts
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Unfinished Business: Correcting “Bad Paper” for Veterans with PTSD, The Defense Department’s Adjudication of Discharge Upgrade Applications One Year Since Its September 2014 PTSD Directive
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Discharge Upgrade Resources
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Veterans Discharge Upgrade Manual, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Applying for a Discharge Upgrade When You Have PTSD: A Supplemental Guide to the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center’s Veterans Discharge Upgrade Manual
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Military Discharge Upgrade and Review I (PowerPoint slides)
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Naval Discharge Review Board DD293 PTSD Based Cover Letter, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
    Margaret Kuzma
  • Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments (Hagel Memo), Re: Supplemental Guidance to Military Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records Considering Discharge Upgrade Requests by Veterans Claiming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Secretary of Defense, September 3, 2014
    Margaret Kuzma
  • Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments (Carson Memo), Re: Consideration of Discharge Upgrade Requests Pursuant to Supplemental Guidance to Military Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records (BCMRs/BCNR) by Veterans Claiming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), February 24, 2016
    Margaret Kuzma
  • Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments (Kurta Memo), Re: Clarifying Guidance to Military Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records Considering Requests by Veterans for Modification of their Discharge Due to Mental Health Conditions, Sexual Assault, or Sexual Harassment, August 25, 2017
    Margaret Kuzma
  • Military Discharge Upgrade and Review II (PowerPoint slides)
    Margaret Kuzma

 Presentation Material

  • Program Overview (PowerPoint slides)
  • Introduction to Benefits for Veterans with Disabilities (PowerPoint slides)
    Nicole M. Perez, Cathy Wong
  • VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation (PowerPoint slides)
    Devin Bissman, Cathy Wong
  • Special Disabilities, Interaction Between VA Benefits & Other Public Benefits (PowerPoint slides)
    Rose Carmen Goldberg, Nicole M. Perez
  • Combat to Community: Veteran Cultural Competency (PowerPoint slides)
    Shannon Kissinger, Barbara Saavedra
  • Military Discharge: Upgrade and Review I (PowerPoint slides)
    Margaret Kuzma, RoseMarie Maliekel
  • Military Discharge: Upgrade and Review II (PowerPoint slides)
    Margaret Kuzma
Co-Chair(s)
Elizabeth A. Hom ~ Program Developer, Office of Legal Services, The State Bar of California
Barbara Saavedra ~ Senior Staff Attorney/Interim Legal Director, Swords to Plowshares
Speaker(s)
Devin Bissman ~ Staff Attorney, Swords to Plowshares
Michael Blecker ~ Executive Director, Swords to Plowshares
Rose Carmen Goldberg ~ Skadden Fellow, Swords to Plowshares
Shannon Kissinger ~ Policy Associate, Institute for Veteran Policy, Swords to Plowshares
Margaret Kuzma ~ Staff Attorney, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
RoseMarie Maliekel ~ Staff Attorney, Swords to Plowshares
Nicole M. Perez ~ Directing Attorney, Veterans Justice Center, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Cathy Wong ~ Staff Attorney & Pro Bono Manager, Swords to Plowshares
General credit information about this format appears below. For credit information specific to this program, please choose your jurisdiction(s) in the Credit Information box on the right-hand side of this page.

PLI’s live and on-demand webcasts are single-user license products intended for an individual registrant only. Credit will be issued only to the individual registered.


U.S. MCLE States

Alabama:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “online” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of online programs per reporting period.

Alaska:  All PLI products can fulfill Alaska’s CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Arizona:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “interactive CLE” credit. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via interactive CLE programs.

Arkansas:  PLI’s on-demand web programs are not approved for Arkansas CLE credit.

California:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “participatory” credit. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via participatory programs.

Colorado:  All PLI products can fulfill Colorado’s CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Connecticut: Effective January 1, 2017, all PLI products can fulfill Connecticut’s CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Delaware:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “eCLE” credit. Attorneys are limited to 12 credits of eCLE per reporting period, no more than 6 of which may be audio-only.

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Hawaii:  All PLI products can fulfill Hawaii’s CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Idaho:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 15 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Illinois:  All PLI products can fulfill Illinois' CLE requirements for experienced attorneys. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Indiana:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “distance education” credit. Attorneys are limited to 9 credits of distance education per reporting period.

Iowa:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “unmoderated” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of unmoderated programs per reporting period.

Kansas:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “prerecorded” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of prerecorded programs per reporting period.

Kentucky:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “non-live” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 non-live credits per reporting period.

Louisiana:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 4 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Maine:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 5.5 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Minnesota:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “on-demand” credit. Attorneys are limited to 15 on-demand credits per reporting period.

Mississippi:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “distance learning” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of distance learning per reporting period.

Missouri:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Montana:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 5 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Nebraska:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “computer-based learning” credit. Attorneys are limited to 5 credits of computer-based learning per reporting period.

Nevada:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via self-study programs.

New Hampshire:  All PLI products can fulfill New Hampshire’s CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

New Jersey:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “alternative verifiable learning formats” credit. Attorneys are limited to 12 credits of alternative verifiable learning formats per reporting period.

New Mexico:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 4 credits of self-study per reporting period.

New York

Experienced Attorneys:  All PLI products can fulfill New York’s CLE requirements for experienced attorneys. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Newly Admitted Attorneys:  PLI’s transitional on-demand web programs can be used to fulfill the requirements for New York newly admitted attorneys. Only professional practice and law practice management credits may be earned via transitional on-demand web programs. Ethics and skills credits may not be earned via on-demand web programs.

North Carolina:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “online” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of online programs per reporting period.

North Dakota:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 15 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Ohio:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 12 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Oklahoma:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “online, on-demand” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of online, on-demand programs per reporting period.

Oregon:  All PLI products can fulfill Oregon’s CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Pennsylvania:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “distance learning” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of distance learning per reporting period.

Puerto Rico:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “non-traditional” credit. Attorneys are limited to 8 credits of non-traditional programs per reporting period.

Rhode Island:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “on-demand” credit. Attorneys are limited to 3 on-demand credits per reporting period.

South Carolina:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “alternatively delivered” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of alternatively delivered programs per reporting period.

Tennessee:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “distance learning” credit. Attorneys are limited to 8 credits of distance learning per reporting period.

Texas:  All PLI products can fulfill Texas’ CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Utah:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 12 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Vermont:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 10 credits of self-study per reporting period.

Virgin Islands:  All PLI products can fulfill the Virgin Islands’ CLE requirements. There is no limit to the number of credits an attorney can earn via PLI products.

Virginia:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “pre-recorded” credit. Attorneys are limited to 8 credits of pre-recorded programs per reporting period.

Washington:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “A/V” credit. Attorneys are limited to 22.5 credits of A/V programs per reporting period.

West Virginia:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “online” credit. Attorneys are limited to 12 credits of online instruction per reporting period.

Wisconsin:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “repeated, on-demand” credit. Attorneys are limited to 15 credits of repeated, on-demand programs per reporting period. No ethics credits can be earned via on-demand web programs.

Wyoming:  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Attorneys are limited to 6 credits of self-study per reporting period.


CPD Jurisdictions

British Columbia (CPD-BC):  PLI’s on-demand web programs are not eligible for CPD-BC credit unless viewed with at least one other attorney or an articled student. In this case, the credit must be recorded as a “study group.”

Ontario (CPD-ON):  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “recorded” credit. If viewed without a colleague, attorneys are limited to 6 credits of recorded programs per year. If viewed with at least one colleague, there is no limit to the number of credits that can be earned via recorded programs.

Quebec (CPD-QC):  PLI’s on-demand web programs can fulfill Quebec’s CPD requirements.

Hong Kong (CPD-HK):  PLI’s on-demand web programs are not approved for CPD-HK credit.

United Kingdom (CPD-UK):  PLI’s on-demand web programs can fulfill the United Kingdom’s CPD requirements.

Australia (CPD-AUS):  PLI’s on-demand web programs may fulfill Australia’s CPD requirements. Credit limits for on-demand web programs vary according to jurisdiction. Please refer to your jurisdiction’s CPD information page for specifics.


Other Credit Types

CPE Credit (NASBA):  Select on-demand web programs qualify as “QAS Self-Study” credit. Please check the Credit Information box on the right-hand side of this page to verify CPE credit availability.

IRS Continuing Education (IRS-CE):  PLI’s on-demand web programs may fulfill IRS-CE requirements. To request IRS-CE credit, please notify PLI at plicredits@pli.edu of your request and include your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).

Certified Fraud Examiner CPE:  PLI’s on-demand web programs may fulfill Certified Fraud Examiner CPE requirements. To request CPE credit or find out which programs offer CPE, please contact PLI at plicredits@pli.edu.

IAPP Continuing Privacy Credit (CPE):  PLI’s on-demand web programs may fulfill Privacy CPE credit requirements.

HR Recertification (HRCI):  PLI’s on-demand web programs may fulfill HR credit requirements.

SHRM Recertification (SHRM):  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as "self-paced" credit. SHRM professionals are limited to 30 credits of self-paced programs per recertification period.

Compliance Certification Board (CCB):  PLI’s on-demand web programs qualify as “self-study” credit. Candidates are limited to 10 self-study credits per 12-month period, and certification holders are limited to 20 self-study credits per 2-year renewal period.

Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists Certification (CAMS):  PLI’s on-demand web programs are not approved for CAMS credit.

New York State Social Worker Continuing Education (SW CPE):  PLI’s on-demand web programs are not approved for SW CPE credit.

American Bankers Association Professional Certification (ABA):  PLI’s on-demand web programs may fulfill ABA credit requirements.

Certified Financial Planners (CFP):  PLI’s on-demand web programs are not approved for CFP credit.

 

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Outstanding presentations for a very technical area of very important law.  Thank you!

Thank you for providing this important information for free to empower the legal community to serve as veterans advocates.

This was an excellent seminar - both materials and presentations.


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