PACT Act ITF deadline: August 9th


The deadline to submit an intent to file under the PACT Act is this Wednesday, August 9, 2023. Any Veterans that may meet the qualifications of the extended coverage granted through the PACT Act should submit their intent to file a VA disability claim now in order to take advantage of the full extent of this program.

The PACT Act is an important piece of legislation that expanded the VA benefits to cover more presumptive conditions and locations for the large number of Veterans who may have been exposed to burn pits and toxins — including Vietnam Vets exposed to Agent Orange, Gulf War Vets, and post-9/11 Veterans that were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and surrounding areas.

While the PACT Act will remain in effect, Veterans who file within one year of the date that the bill was signed into law will be granted a claim backdate of August 10th, 2022.

Why the August 9th ITF (Intent to File) deadline matters:

  1. A higher potential payout: Your claim effective date will be backdated to the day the bill was signed into law, rather than the date you submitted your intent to file. Any benefits granted by the VA after reviewing your claim would be retroactively backdated to that effective date. Use our disability rating calculator to add up the potential benefits.
  2. Avoid future changes: Submitting your intent to file before the deadline could protect you from potential future changes to the law that may impact your eligibility or benefits.
  3. Allow time to get your documentation in order: Submitting your intent to file can give you more time to gather supporting documentation, including military and medical records. The more thorough your medical records and the links back to your service, the easier it is for the VA to reach an accurate disability rating decision.

The PACT Act has provided a more streamlined path to submitting VA benefits claims for conditions that may be related to exposure to burn pits and toxins while on deployment. Even with this law in place, some REE Medical clients have expressed encountering difficulties with obtaining an accurate rating due to incomplete medical evidence.

Veterans wanting to ensure that they have the thorough and accurate medical evidence needed for their claims can reach out to our REE Medical team to inquire about support in obtaining supplemental medical documentation.


To learn more about the PACT Act and how it might affect your VA benefits, visit the official VA resource page at (

Take the first step. Submit your intent to file before the August 9, 2023 deadline.


Request a call with our team here.

Schedule a consultation at this link.

For immediate assistance, please call us directly at: 866-996-3485

the top five myths about va disability benefits debunked

Common misconceptions around disability benefits can deter Veterans from submitting claims, leaving them without the benefits and compensation they deserve. 

At REE Medical, we think it’s important to uncover the truth behind the disability claims process, starting with the essential task of distinguishing reliable information from misleading or inaccurate statements.

Let’s review – and debunk – the top five most common myths around VA disability benefits.


Myth 1: It’s too late to file a disability claim.

Because some physical and/or psychological injuries may not present themselves for years after leaving military service, such as time spent as a POW or disabilities caused by contact with hazardous materials, there is no deadline for a Veteran to file a disability claim. This is referred to as a postservice claim. While there is no deadline on when to file a claim, it’s important to understand that the longer you wait, the more complex the process can be.


Myth 2: VA disability benefits are only available to combat Veterans.

VA disability benefits are available to all Veterans, regardless of the form of service. This is crucial because non-combat Veterans are just as susceptible to mental health disorders from their time in service, including depression, substance use disorder, and PTSD. 

Myth 3: A disability rating will affect my chances of employment.

A Veteran with a disability rating, even at 100%, can legally be employed full-time. However, if you receive Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability, or TDIU, working can make you ineligible for those benefits. What’s the difference? A TDIU provides compensation and benefits to Veterans with a 100% disability rating, even if their disability does not equal 100%, because they cannot maintain gainful employment. In contrast, a 100% schedular VA rating does not limit your ability to work, meaning you can receive benefits and still maintain employment. 

Myth 4: Another Veteran deserves benefits over me.

There is no cap on the number of Veterans entitled to disability benefits. This means that no matter the extent of your injuries, as an active or retired member of the Armed Forces, you are entitled to disability compensation benefits. It is important to note that the VA does assign claimants to priority groups, which ensures that those Veterans who need immediate care get it quickly. 


Myth 5: I can’t change my disability rating once I’m assigned one from the VA.

If you feel that your rating doesn’t accurately reflect your service-related disability or it has gotten worse, you can submit paperwork to request an increase in your disability rating. 


To receive a VA disability rating increase, a Veteran must submit an application for a rating review and provide evidence of their worsening disability, such as medical records and treatment notes. Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) and detailed Nexus letters, which are evidence-based documents prepared by qualified and credible medical experts, are essential to a Veteran’s claim. The Department of Veterans Affairs ultimately makes the final decision on all claims submitted.


Reach out to our team to see if REE Medical’s services are a fit for you.


Discover the financial, educational, and healthcare benefits offered to eligible spouses and dependents of disabled united states military veterans from the department of veterans affairs

Spouses and children of disabled Veterans are entitled to important benefits, including income, health care, and educational programs. A dependent’s eligibility to receive these benefits is correlated to a Veteran’s disability rating.  

REE Medical strives to offer unbiased information to Veterans and their dependents, empowering them with the information they need to successfully access the benefits they are entitled to.

Income Benefits for Disabled Veterans, Their Spouses and Dependents

Veterans who have a disability rating of at least 30% and have a spouse and/or dependents will receive an increase in VA compensation. 

Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans’ Spouses and Children: VA’s DEA Program

Through the VA’s Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program, spouses and children of Veterans with a 100% disability rating can receive up to 36 months of educational benefits. Spouses can use these benefits for up to 10 years from the date the VA deems the Veteran permanently disabled. Unmarried or married children between the ages of 18 and 26 are eligible.

The DEA’s monthly payments can help cover the cost of the following:

    • Under and graduate degree programs
    • Career-training certificate courses
    • Educational and career counseling
    • Apprenticeships and on-the-job training

Benefits by state can vary. To find your state, view our blog posts here for more information. 

Those eligible need to fill out the Dependents’ Application for VA Education Benefits and submit it to the VA Regional Office where you plan to attend school or training. 


Enhancing Healthcare Coverage: CHAMPVA Benefits for Families of Disabled Veterans

Spouses and dependents of Veterans with a 100% disability rating are eligible for health care benefits through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).

A fee-for-service, secondary insurance program, CHAMPVA allows caregivers to access VA health care services and private doctors who contract through the program. Eligibility requirements include:


    • The spouse or child of a Veteran who has been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by a VA regional office.
    • The surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who died from a VA-rated service-connected disability.
    • The surviving spouse or child of a Veteran who was at the time death rated permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability.
    • The surviving spouse or child of a service member who died in the line of duty, not because of misconduct (in most of these cases, these family members are eligible for TRICARE, not CHAMPVA).
    • The approved primary family caregiver of a Veteran, participating in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.


To enroll in CHAMPVA, participants must fill out a VA Form 10-10d

Having the most accurate rating is not only beneficial to you but for your dependents as well. Reach out to our team to see if REE Medical’s services are a fit for you.

The importance of medical evidence in va disability claims ree medical can connect you with veteran friendly doctors near you

Strengthening Your VA Disability Compensation Application with Comprehensive Medical Documentation

One of the most critical factors in determining the success of VA disability claims is the quality and extent of medical evidence provided. We’ll explore the importance of medical evidence in the VA disability claims process and provide guidance on how to effectively gather and submit the necessary documentation to support your claim and obtain an accurate VA disability rating.

Understanding VA Disability Compensation

VA disability compensation is a tax-free monthly benefit provided to veterans who have a service-connected disability. The amount of compensation is determined by the VA disability rating, which ranges from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. The rating reflects the severity of the disability and its impact on the veteran’s ability to work and perform daily activities.

The Role of Medical Evidence in VA Disability Claims

Medical evidence plays a crucial role in the evaluation of VA disability claims. It helps the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to:

    • Establish Service Connection: To qualify for disability compensation, a veteran must prove that their disability is connected to their military service. Medical records and other documentation can provide vital evidence linking the onset or aggravation of a disability to a specific event or condition experienced during service.
    • Determine the Severity of the Disability: Comprehensive medical evidence can help the VA accurately assess the severity of a veteran’s disability, which directly impacts the assigned disability rating and the amount of compensation received.
    • Support Claims for Secondary Conditions: If a veteran’s service-connected disability leads to a secondary condition, medical evidence can help establish the causal relationship between the two, potentially increasing the overall disability rating.

Gathering and Submitting Medical Evidence for Your Claim

To maximize your chances of success, it is essential to gather and submit thorough medical evidence for your VA disability claim. Here are some steps to follow:

    1. Obtain Service Medical Records: Request copies of your service medical records, which may contain crucial information about injuries, illnesses, or other medical issues that occurred during your military service.
    2. Gather Private Medical Records: Compile records from private medical providers, including doctors, specialists, and hospitals that have treated you for your service-connected disability. These records should provide a comprehensive overview of your medical history, treatments, and the impact of the disability on your daily life.
    3. Seek a Medical Nexus Opinion: A medical nexus opinion is a statement from a qualified healthcare professional that establishes a connection between your military service and your disability. This expert opinion can significantly strengthen your claim.
    4. Include Lay Statements: Lay statements or buddy statements are written accounts from friends, family members, or fellow service members who can attest to your condition and its effects on your life. These personal accounts can provide valuable context and support for your claim.
    5. Stay Organized: Keep all your medical records and supporting documentation organized and accessible. This will make it easier for you to submit a complete and well-documented claim to the VA.

Medical evidence is the cornerstone of a successful VA disability claim. By gathering comprehensive medical records, seeking expert opinions, and including personal accounts, you can bolster your application and improve your chances of receiving a fair VA disability rating. By understanding the importance of medical evidence and being proactive in collecting and submitting the necessary documentation, you can navigate the VA disability claims process with confidence and secure the compensation you deserve for your service-connected disabilities.


REE Medical is here to help. If you’re a Veteran in need of help with Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQs), Nexus Letters, or an accurate and thorough disability exam, schedule a consultation with us. 

a male patient in a red shirt smiling at his doctor blog title image regarding the use of Nexus Letters to increase your VA Disability Rating and CompensationThe purpose of a Nexus letter is to help a Veteran seek service-connected compensation in opposition to the Veterans Affairs’ rejection of a recently or previously submitted claim. 

In this blog post, we’ll break down what a Nexus letter is and share how REE Medical can help you obtain one.

What is a Nexus letter?

The word Nexus simply means “connection” or “link,” and that’s exactly what a VA Nexus letter is.  

Drafted by a neutral, third-party doctor, a Nexus letter is a detailed report that explicitly links a Veteran’s disability or current medical condition to one or more events that occurred during their military service. 

 A Nexus letter can be submitted to the VA in any of the following circumstances:

      1. If a claim was denied due to insufficient, inaccurate or lack of medical records with the initial application for a VA disability rating if a submitted claim was rejected by the VA
      2. While the VA is evaluating benefit eligibility
      3. After an unsuccessful Compensation and Pension exam, or C&P exam. 

While a Veteran isn’t required to submit a Nexus letter when applying for disability benefits, it can increase your chances of your application being approved.

What’s in a Nexus letter?

The Nexus letter should include:

      • A statement from the physician indicating that your entire VA and medical files, as well as DD214 forms, have been viewed and notes from any recent examinations. 
      • Supporting evidence, such as private medical records, that provides additional information about the disability. 
      • References to relevant medical research such as scientific studies and medical journal articles that support the author’s key points. 
      • A strong conclusion that definitively states the connection, such as “is due to” or  “at least as likely as not” due to the veteran’s military service. These conclusions support the medical findings from a credible source.

How to obtain a Nexus letter?

To be credible and acceptable as a legitimate part of a claim or appeal proceedings, a Nexus letter for VA disability such as sleep apnea, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and other conditions, must be written by a certified medical provider. 

Who can’t write a Nexus letter? 

      • A VA doctor, as that can present a conflict of interest
      • Yourself 

The REE Medical Nexus Letter Process

At REE Medical, we work with licensed medical practitioners who have the knowledge and experience necessary to write effective Nexus letters for Veterans that will help them obtain the benefits they deserve. There are a few simple steps we take to ensure that you are receiving the best services for your Nexus letter.

Action plan: We assess your prior claims and then develop an action plan that outlines the documentation we would need to provide a strong Nexus letter.

Nexus letter draft: After completing all action plan items, we will work with a licensed medical practitioner to prepare a Nexus letter and have it reviewed by a VA-licensed and accredited disability attorney.

Letter delivery: REE Medical will send the finalized Nexus letter to the veteran that they can then submit to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Reach out to our team to see if REE Medical’s Nexus letter services are a fit for your claim.

Disabled veteran in a wheelchair fishing off a dock with companionsPost-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is a condition in which a person has difficulty recovering from a traumatic incident or events. The symptoms of PTSD can be both mental and physical and may include insomnia, anxiety and/or depression, flashbacks, hallucinations, and panic attacks. These symptoms can impair relationships, hinder your ability to socialize, and interfere with employment. 

Serving in the military is one of the highest risk careers for PTSD and among Veterans, the condition affects 7 in every 100 people. Unfortunately, there remains a stigma around mental health in the military, with recent data showing that less than 50% of Veterans with a mental health condition do not get the services they need.

Accessibility to these important resources is sometimes a barrier, and a disability rating can make a difference in the level of benefits you may be qualified to receive. 

PTSD Disability Ratings 

A VA PTSD disability rating is rated at 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. Let’s break down what each of these ratings mean and the compensation you may be qualified for:

      • 10% PTSD Disability Rating: The symptoms of PTSD are sporadic, and the use of medication may control or even eliminate them.
      • 30% PTSD Disability Rating: This is the most common PTSD rating. While the symptoms are more severe and may interfere with your ability to interact socially or work, you can perform these functions at a satisfactory level. 
      • 50% PTSD Disability Rating: Ratings of 50% or higher start to focus on specific symptoms and not just the overall effects of those symptoms. For example, you may receive a 50% disability rating if your symptoms include lethargy, speech impairment, regular panic attacks, or difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. 
      • 70% PTSD Disability Rating: This rating is given if you are unable to hold down a job. Symptoms associated with a 70% rating include suicidal thoughts, constant panic attacks, irrational anger and emotional outbursts, or intense obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s important to note that if you have a 70% disability rating and are unable to work, you may be able to claim a Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability. This still keeps you at a 70% disability rating, but you are paid at the 100% level due to the inability to work. 
      • 100% PTSD Disability Rating: If you are unable to leave your house or need around-the-clock supervision, you may be qualified for a 100% PTSD disability rating. These symptoms can include hallucinations, disorientation of your surroundings, being a danger to yourself and/or others, and near-complete memory loss. 

How to Increase Your Disability Rating 

If you feel that you received a low PTSD disability rating, it’s important to have documentation to prove how your condition has impacted various areas of your health and life, especially your ability to be employed. This documentation should also include statements from family and friends who can attest to the impact of your PTSD .

REE Medical is also able to help you navigate the PTSD disability rating process. Reach out to our team to see if REE Medical’s services are a fit for your case.

Understanding a VA Disability Rating blog title over Image of injured veteran adjusting prosthetic legA VA disability rating can significantly impact a Veteran’s financial situation, so it’s important to understand what a rating is, the metrics used to determine that rating, and what benefits you might be entitled to based on your VA disability rating.

REE Medical is dedicated to helping Veterans understand all areas of the disability claims process. In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about a VA disability rating.


What is a VA Disability Rating

A VA disability rating is a determination made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that rates the severity of a Veteran’s service-related disability. That rating determines your disability benefits, including monthly compensation and access to healthcare and other VA programs.

The ratings scale, based on increments of 10%, starts at 0% as the least severe and goes to 100% as the most severe.


Combined Disability Rating

Under the VA’s disability calculations, ratings are not additive and cannot exceed a 100% total disability rating.

If it has been determined that a Veteran has more than one disability, the VA uses a Combined Ratings Table to calculate a combined disability rating.


How is a VA Disability Rating Determined

The following are used to determine a VA disability rating:

      • An in-service event that proves an injury, toxin exposure, or traumatic experience took place while serving. 
      • Medical evidence that details your disability, including those related to your symptoms, medical records, hospital records, and a medical diagnosis.
      • A medical diagnosis by a doctor.
      • A Compensation and Pension, or C&P, exam. This exam is performed by a VA physician to determine if there is a service-connected disability.

Without these critical documents, a VA disability claim can be denied, or you may not receive the most accurate rating. 

Compensations Based on Ratings

The 2023 Monthly VA Disability Payments are:

      • 10% disability: $165.92 per month
      • 20% disability: $327.99 per month
      • 30% disability: $508.05 per month
      • 40% disability: $731.86 per month
      • 50% disability: $1,041.82 per month
      • 60% disability: $1,319.65 per month
      • 70% disability: $1,663.06 per month
      • 80% disability: $1,933.15 per month
      • 90% disability: $2,172.39 per month
      • 100% disability: $3,621.95 per month

While Veterans with a 0% disability rating are not eligible for monthly compensation, they may be eligible to receive VA health care and other benefits. A veteran assigned a 0% rating can also file later claims for an increased rating.


Increasing a VA Disability Rating 

If you believe you may be eligible for an increased VA disability rating, you need to start by providing the VA with certain documentation to support your claim. These can include:

      • Medical records: You need to provide the VA with copies of your medical records, including treatment notes and test results. These records should be current and provide evidence of the worsening of your rated condition.
      • Nexus letters: Statements from your treating physician: It is helpful to have a statement from your treating physician explaining the current severity of your disability and how it impacts your daily life. This can provide valuable information to the VA when determining your service connection or in reviewing an assigned rating that may underrepresent how it affects your everyday living.
      • Military records: If your disability is related to your military service, you should provide the VA with copies of your military records, including any awards, performance evaluations, and separation papers.
      • Other supporting documentation: Depending on your specific situation, you may need to provide other types of documentation to support your rating increase request. This could include statements from family members or friends, school records, or employment records.

 As a neutral third party, REE Medical connects Veterans with impartial third-party physicians for thorough medical exams and robust documentation to support their claims. 

 Contact our team to learn how REE Medical can help you with the appeal process.

As a Veteran in Oregon, you have access to benefits that can have a significant impact on your financial future. And the level of benefits in which you are entitled is directly related to your disability rating, with the higher the rating, the greater the benefit.  Let’s examine those benefits that could result in the greatest gains: 

  • Property Tax Exemption: Disabled veterans with a 40% or higher service-related disability rating can receive a property tax exemption of $29,753. That amount increases by 3% each year. Source: Veteran’s Tax Exemptions | Clackamas County
  • Veteran Home Loans: The OrVet Home Loan Program offers Oregon veterans home loans up to $726,200 for the purchase of owner-occupied, single-family residences. Eligible Oregon veterans can access this benefit up to four times during their lifetime and require a service-connected disability. Source: rate sheet flyer.pdf (
  • Education Programs: Children and spouses of Oregon military veterans who have a 100% disability rating or were killed in the line of duty may be eligible for the Oregon Veterans Dependent Tuition Program. This program provides a full tuition waiver, except for fees, for a bachelor’s or master’s degree at an Oregon public university or college. The waiver is for the total number of attempted credit hours equal to four years of full-time attendance for a bachelor’s degree, or the total number of attempted credit hours equal to two years of full-time attendance for a master’s degree. Source: Oregon Military and Veterans Benefits | The Official Army Benefits Website

As a Veteran, you’ve already invested so much in our country. By partnering with REE Medical to obtain a Disability Benefits Questionnaire or Nexus Letter for your disability rating review claim, you can save valuable time and resources and focus on the things that matter most to you. 

Reach out to our team to see if REE Medical’s services are a fit for your case. 

VA disability benefit information for veterans in floridaFlorida is home to almost one and half million Veterans, and it’s a state that provides important benefits that extend beyond the national compensation and VA care available to disabled Veterans. Your VA disability rating can impact the extent of the benefits that you and your family can receive, which can have a direct and immediate impact on your financial health.

Let’s examine those Florida Veteran benefits that have a connection to a disability rating:


  • Education: The Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans, a program offered through the Florida Department of Education, provides higher education scholarship opportunities for dependent children and spouses of Veterans with a 100% disability rating. This scholarship may be received in addition to the VA’s Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance, which is also available to Veterans with a 100% disability rating. (Sources: FDVA-Benefits-Guide.pdf ( and VA Education Benefits For Survivors And Dependents | Veterans Affairs




At REE Medical, we specialize in providing Veterans with accurate and complete Disability Benefit Questionnaires (DBQs). Our benefit consultants are ready to get you started on the path to obtaining the documentation you need to support your claim. Reach out to our team to see if REE Medical’s disability rating review services are a fit for your case. 

Texas is not only home to the highest number of Veterans in the country, but it also boasts a substantial list of financial benefits all Veterans deserve, especially those who were wounded or disabled as a result of their service to our country. A VA disability rating can greatly impact the extent of the benefits you can receive, which can have a direct and immediate impact on your financial health.

Taxes, housing, and education are some of our highest national expenses. If you have been injured while serving our country, you could be eligible for more extensive benefits within these areas. Let’s examine the benefits each of these provide to our Veterans and how a disability rating can impact your eligibility.

Property Tax Exemption: In Texas, there is a direct correlation between a Veteran’s disability rating and the amount of property tax exemption they can receive. Depending on the percentage of disability rating, the amount of exemption can vary.

For instance, Veterans with a 100% disability rating receive a total property tax exemption. Those with a rating of 70% and higher receive a $12,000 property tax exemption; from 10% to 69%, property tax exemptions range from $5,000 to $10,000. Source: Property tax breaks, disabled Veterans exemptions (

These dollar amounts significantly fluctuate based on disability rating and can have a tremendous impact on your financial future. .

Veteran Home Loans: With skyrocketing mortgage rates, improving your disability rating could help ease some of that financial burden.

Through the VA and Texas Veterans Loan Program, disabled Veterans can access low-interest home loans with little-to-no money down, and these benefits vary based on disability rating. For example, Veterans with a 10% or greater service-connected disability rating are exempt from the VA funding fee when the loan is underwritten as a VA loan. Veterans with a 30% or greater service connected-disability rating receive an interest rate discount of an additional 0.5%. Sources: and Mortgage Loan Benefits for Disabled Texas Veterans (

Education Programs: The average cost of a four-year Texas public college is estimated to be $8,600. Through the Spouse/Dependent Hazlewood Act, the spouse or child of a Veteran with a 100% disability rating, or one who is declared as Missing in Action (MIA), or Killed in Action (KIA), provides tuition exemption for up to 150 hours — or five years of higher education — at public colleges and universities in Texas. It does not cover living expenses, books, or supply fees. Source: Hazlewood and Education Services – Texas Veterans Commission

As a Veteran, you’ve already invested so much in our country. By partnering with REE Medical to obtain a Disability Benefits Questionnaire or Nexus Letter for your disability rating review claim, you can save valuable time and resources and focus on the things that matter most to you.

Reach out to our team to see if REE Medical’s disability rating review services are a fit for your case.