'Gardberg & Kemmerly Blog' Category Archives



New Presumptions added to Agent Orange List as of January 1, 2021

The Vietnam War officially ended in 1975, but the fight for benefits related to exposure to Agent Orange still continues.  And with the passage of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the fight has been won for Veterans suffering from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson’s-like symptoms. H.R. 6395-116th Congress: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal […]

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VA Disability Pay for Troops with Debilitating Cases of COVID-19

On December 16, 2020, Congress passed the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020.  (You can read the full text of the Bill here:  https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7105/text).  The legislative package, which lawmakers described as an end-of-year omnibus bill for veterans, is over 340 pages long and includes numerous […]

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Veteran Legal Community Celebrates Victory for Discharge Upgrades for Army Veterans

The Veterans Legal Service Clinic at Yale Law School is celebrating a legal victory in the form of a class action lawsuit against the Army. Specifically, the lawsuit sought to remedy the Army board’s mishandling of discharge upgrade requests that involved implications of mental health conditions or disorders that contributed to the Veteran’s character of […]

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Special Monthly Compensation for Aid and Attendance

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is a benefit established through statue that is paid in addition to the basic rates of compensation payable under the Schedule for Rating disabilities. SMC is paid to compensate veterans for service-connected disabilities that involve anatomical loss or loss of use, such as loss of use of a hand or a […]

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SAME-SEX SURVIVORS’ BENEFITS GET AWARDED

In a big win for the LGBTQ+ community, a federal district court in Washington state ruled on September 11, 2020 that a woman was eligible for survivor’s benefits on the record of her late partner, who died before same-sex marriage was legal (Thornton v. Commissioner of SSA No.C18-1409 JLR (W.D.Wa. Sept. 11, 2020)). The plaintiff […]

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