Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
Just type your query:
- va disability calculator
- agent orange symptoms
- va form 21-0958
- development letter sent
- moved to pending decision and so on…
The search engine is powered by Google so the same queries you would use in Google will work in our search.
Second option is to ask your question in our VA Claims Research Forums
Here are some great tips from one of our members
Posting in the forums
- Post a clear title like
- ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or
- “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.
- People scan titles very quickly so posting a clear question will elicit more responses.
- Most folks don’t reall all posts everyday and tend to gravitate to those topics that are familiar to them or interested them.
- Putting the right Topic Title will make it easier for those familiar with your question to quickly spot it and respond.
- Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story.
- Please don’t type in ALL CAPS it makes it difficult to read. This is all about readability we are sensitive that some poster’s disabilities make typing difficult and we are not talking about them.
- If you are not sure where paragraphs go just break you post into short readable chunks.Leading to:
Post clear questions and then give background info on them.
- Example: Too little information.
- I was previously denied for apnea – Should I re-file a claim?
- Clear concise background with question, excellent.
- I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
- Too little information.
- I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
- Clear concise background with question, excellent.
- I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?
This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.
Interested in the power of search? Become a search expert:
Want more tips and tricks to help you search like a pro? Check out the links below to learn more advanced search techniques.
Choosing search terms
Choosing the right search terms is the key to finding the information you need.
Start with the obvious – if you’re looking for general information on Veterans, try Veterans.
But it’s often advisable to use multiple search terms; if you’re looking for veterans benefits information, you’ll do better with veterans benefits than with either benefits or veterans by themselves. And veterans benefits dental may produce even better results.
You might also ask yourself if your search terms are sufficiently specific. It’s better to search on veterans hospital California than on veterans hospitals. But choose your search terms carefully; Google looks for the search terms you chose, so veterans hospitals California will probably deliver better results than “where can get veterans get medical care in California“
Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for george washington, George Washington, and gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN will all return the same results.
Automatic “and” queries
By default, Google only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include “and” between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results. To restrict a search further, just include more terms. For example, to find veterans compensation information, simply type veterans compensation.
Automatic exclusion of common words
Google ignores common words and characters such as “where” and “how”, as well as certain single digits and single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. Google will indicate if a common word has been excluded by displaying details on the results page below the search box.
If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a “+” sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before the “+” sign.)
Another method for doing this is conducting a phrase search, which simply means putting quotation marks around two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., “where are you”) are included in the search. Example “Vietnam veteran” will return results where those two words appear together without the quotes results would reflect pages that included both Vietnam and veteran but not necessarily together.
Word variations (stemming)
Google now uses stemming technology. Thus, when appropriate, it will search not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms. If you search for pet lemur dietary needs, Google will also search for pet lemur diet needs, and other related variations of your terms. Any variants of your terms that were searched for will be highlighted in the snippet of text accompanying each result.
Sometimes you’ll only want results that include an exact phrase. In this case, simply put quotation marks around your search terms.
Phrase searches are particularly effective if you’re searching for proper names (“George Washington”), lyrics (“the long and winding road“), or other famous phrases (“This was their finest hour”).
If your search term has more than one meaning (bass, for example, could refer to fishing or music) you can focus your search by putting a minus sign (“-“) in front of words related to the meaning you want to avoid.
For example, here’s how you’d find pages about bass-heavy lakes, but not bass-heavy music:
Note: when you include a negative term in your search, be sure to include a space before the minus sign.
Worth A Read – Five Ways Google Is Your Friend by Benjamin Krause from DisabledVeterans.org