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Articles written by Ken Cruickshank

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Presumptions for Claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established presumptions for service connection for veterans who were on Active Duty, Reserves or in the National Guard, and served at... — Updated 5/9/2020


CalVet Veterans Homes

In this article, I would like to talk about the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Veterans Homes. Currently, there are eight homes throughout the state with varying... — Updated 4/18/2020


Accrued Benefits

Did you know that veterans’ survivors may continue Accrued Benefits claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)? Accrued benefits are benefits due to a beneficiary on a... — Updated 4/10/2020


Beneficiary Travel

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a Beneficiary Travel (BT) benefit. The benefit is provided to a veteran when there is a need to travel to a VA medical facility. VA is... — Updated 2/19/2020


The Blue Water Act

Recently, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (H.R.299) was signed into law. Last year, the House unanimously passed the bill only to have it stall in the Senate Veterans... — Updated 9/2/2019


Veterans with ALS

In earlier columns, I discussed disabilities that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may consider as presumptive to where and when a veteran served. However, in this edition I... — Updated 8/11/2019


Discharge Upgrades

Former service members might remember hearing: “Just take the General Discharge; it will automatically be upgraded to Honorable in six months.” Most veterans who tried this... — Updated 6/11/2019


New Appeals Process

Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formalized the process to update their appeals process. This process was the result of the Veteran Appeals Improvement and... — Updated 5/28/2019

 By Ken Cruickshank    News

When a Claim is Denied

When a claim is denied, it is usually because the veteran is missing one of the elements for any service-connected disability claim. If the VA denies your claim and you feel there... — Updated 10/9/2017

 By Ken Cruickshank    News

Vet Centers

Congress established the Vet Center Program in 1979 because a significant number of Vietnam veterans had problems readjusting to civilian life. They are community based, and in... — Updated 10/9/2017


Burial Flags

Upon a veteran's death, the Veterans Administration (VA) provides a United States flag honoring the veteran's military service. The flag will drape the casket or accompany the urn... — Updated 7/26/2017


Veteran's Corner - Speeding up Your CLAIM

Want to speed up the processing of your claim? The VA has implemented the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Process, which has significantly decreased the time it takes to process these... — Updated 2/27/2017


The Four Types of Claims

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) identifies four basic types of claims: Original, Reopened, New and Secondary claims. Active duty service members, veterans and survivors of... — Updated 1/1/2017


Agent Orange

Between 1962 and 1972, about 20 million gallons of herbicides were utilized in Vietnam. The primary ingredient in these defoliants was dioxin, which is now a known carcinogen.... — Updated 10/27/2016


Military Service Records

Do you need a copy of your official Military Service Records? Many service members don’t realize the importance of the documents provided upon separation from service, but as... — Updated 8/28/2016


Veteran's Corner

Let's continue our discussion on burial benefits from the last issue. Sometimes a veteran's surviving family members ask us if there is any way to mark the grave of a deceased... — Updated 6/24/2016


Veteran's Corner

We've talked about service-connected disabilities and determining eligibility for compensation. The Veterans Administration (VA) evaluates the extent of the disability and... — Updated 5/2/2016


Veteran's Corner

Welcome to this edition of Veterans Corner! Although you may not think about it, at some time in life, you may need emergency care. If and when that happens, the following... — Updated 1/22/2016


Veteran's Corner

My last column covered Service Connected (SC) compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); another benefit available is Non Service Connected (NSC) Pension. NSC... — Updated 11/22/2015

 By Ken Cruickshank    News

Veteran's Corner

Welcome back to the Veterans Corner. I want to tell you about qualifications for service-connected disability benefits. Applying soon after discharge makes it much easier to prove... — Updated 9/16/2015


Veteran's Corner

Hello, I'm Ken Cruickshank, Veterans Services Officer for Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA). In this column, you can look forward to learning about why the Tul... — Updated 7/18/2015


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