Hugh D. Cox, Attorney in Greenville, NC, proudly representing the disabled for rightful veterans benefits, Social Security benefits and Workers Compensation.

         2411 B Charles Boulevard
         Greenville, North Carolina 27858
         Post Office Box 154
         Greenville, North Carolina 27835-0154
      Phone: (252) 757-3977
      Fax: (252) 757-3420
        North Carolina Bar Number 6567
        Department of Veterans Affairs Accreditation number  8925


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The information contained in this website is general legal information and not legal advice on any legal subject. It is no substitute for the services of a

competent professional attorney experienced in these matters. This information is subject to change at any time due to new legislation or new court cases.


Disability News Archives:


September 25, 2014: New VA Regulations wipe out 70 years of veteran friendly regulations and presumptions. The Federal Register (Vol. 79, Number 186) issued on September 25, 2014, now destroys much of the veteran friendly "duty to assist the veteran" presumptions available to veterans since World War II. These regulations are the greatest sabotage of veteran disability rights in the history of our nation. Basically, the new rules are:

--The veteran applying for benefits or appealing a benefits denial must use the VA form for a all purposes including Notice of Disagreement and Appeal to BVA .

--A claim for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) must be specifically made to VA. TDIU is no longer considered an implied claim within another claim. If a veteran does not ask for TDIU, it will not be granted.

--There are no more implied or informal claims. Iraq veterans who discover that they were exposed to mustard gas cannot allege, "I have a mustard gas claim." There is no more "Agent Orange claim". If a veteran does not give his exact diagnoses, the VA can treat the claim as a notice only and not a claim. Specific medical pleading is now required or the VA will ignore or dismiss the claim.



September 15, 2014: REGIONAL OFFICES NO LONGER ACCEPT VETERAN EVIDENCE, CLAIMS AND APPEALS. After January 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) apparently issued a several billion dollar contract to a unknown private corporation to produce paperless veteran records to the individual Regional Office adjudicators for VA decisions.

            The VA has yet to make a national Internet announcement of how the system works.

This system started operating in August 2014. There will be two Centralized Mail Processing (CMP or CM) centers for the entire nation: Newnan, Georgia and Janesville, Wisconsin. These CMP's will scan all veteran evidence, claims, and appeals, etc., and make them available to the Regional Offices. All scanned and paperless documents will be in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and will be available to the adjudicators through their computer system. Supposedly, the veteran can connect to the VA veteran Internet access called "e-Benefits", but “e-Benefits” is currently unreliable and not updated due to the new CMP delays. The United States Post Office is now instructed to divert mail from individual Regional Offices to the new CMP centers regardless of content. The veteran apparently cannot avoid the CMP monopoly by communication with the Regional Office.

Each document collection submitted by a veteran must be scanned individually by the CMP's. The CMP employees will determine whether the veteran document submission is evidence, a claim, an appeal or something else like a waiver. VA forms may have priority over letters even if the letter is very explicit.

The scanning and organizational process at CMP will take at least three weeks per document collection before the Regional Office can access the collection. There appears to be no procedure or time limit to notify the veteran that his document collection is received.

The veteran CANNOT submit his document collection in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. The veteran must submit paper only by mail. Fax transmission to the CMP is allowed, but is limited to nine pages plus a cover page. No email upload is allowed at this time.

Veteran National Organizations representatives can still submit in the traditional manner of giving paper to the Regional Office. Attorneys and unrepresented veterans cannot do so.

Questions that arise for this CMP monopoly include:

-- Do CMP employees have any experience with VA procedures and VA forms? What are the qualifications of the CMP employees?

--Will National Veteran Organizations be able to "game" the system by moving their members' claims ahead of attorney clients and unrepresented veterans? These vet rep's for national organizations already have free offices in the Regional Offices and they have virtually unlimited access to the veteran's file folder including VA computer access. Attorneys must pay for this VA access.

--Will this new CMP effort create a much longer backlog than exists at this time?

            Most of us who know the VA can guess where this system is going. It will create longer backlogs and further sabotage the nation’s disabled veterans.



February 22, 2014:  Military veterans who flew in military C-123 aircraft that transported or sprayed Agent Orange during and after the Vietnam War may be more likely to be exposed to toxins than those servicemen who served on the ground where Agent Orange was sprayed in Vietnam, Korea, and Guam.   See:


December 7, 2013: The Associated Press reported that the Center for Disease Control found links between  consumption of Camp Lejeune public water (1968-1985) and cancers and birth defects among consumers. See .


November 25, 2013: A superb New York Times editoral by Ken Stern pointed out that there are approximately 59,000 United States charities using the word "veterans" for alleged non-profit fundraising. Some of these organizations raise huge sums but give very small percentages to needy veterans. The great majority of these funds solicited by such questionable charities appear to go to maintain lifestyles of charity owners, to solicitation companies,  and to political contributions. See  or at .


November 11, 2013: DIOXIN ON OKINAWA - The November 11, 2013, issue of the Japan Times reported that more thn twenty barrels of suspected Dioxin were unearthed at a former United States military base now occupied by Japanese citizens. The U.S. military and DOW denied that the barrels contained "Agent Orange." See . This discovery should make military veterans eligible for Agent Orange benefits if those veterans served at certain facilities such as the former Kadena U.S. Air Force Base and now have presumptive diseases. The evidence of toxin contamination on Okinawa should be available  from the Japanese government in the near future. In spite of official secrecy, there are facts to show that Agent Orange or Dioxin was used in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, Korea, Guam, and Okinawa.


October 16, 2013: Although the United States Government shutdown ended tonight with Senate and House votes to avoid debt default at this moment, the national's disabled claimants will find that business as usual  will not return  within a few days. The Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security Administration now have backlogs of hundreds of thousands of new claims and appeals created in the last sixteen days. That backlog will not be resolved by the time of the next budget crisis in December 2013 and January 2014. Neoconservative members of the GOP who shut down the Unitd States Government for the month of October 2013 have sabotaged the nation's disabled for the next year if not longer.


September 29, 2013:  DO NOT USE THE NEW VA NOTICE OF DISAGREEMENT (NOD) FORM  (  ) after the veteran receives a denied or less than deserved Rating Decision or Supplemental Statement of the Case. The requirements for a veteran to file an adequate NOD are at .  A Rating Decision denial does not provide specificity as to why the VA denied the claim. That specificity comes after the NOD is filed when the VA issues a Statement of the Case (SOC). An appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals is a two step process of an NOD followed by a VA Form 9. Why does the VA require a veteran to provide  factual and legal arguments in the new NOD form? Why does the VA require that the veteran provide that NOD information under oath?  The answer may be tied to the criminal prosecution of  Navy veteran Keith Roberts who was awarded PTSD benefits after witnessing the death of another sailor crushed by an aircraft accident. Roberts was charged by neoconservative officials for a fraudulent VA claim. For the disputed facts, see , , , and . Neocon politicians and government officials love to charge veterans with receiving fraudulent benefits since they consider veteran entitlements to a disabled veteran the same as being a "welfare queen." Neocons can obscure ongoing VA problems by media coverage of rare veteran fraud. The new NOD form makes it easier to prosecute a veteran for an unclear NOD statement labeled as a fraud.


September 19, 2013: After receiving an email from the National Care Planning Council (or is it Senior Veterans Service Alliance?), I looked at their web site. Take a look at
The article above, "GAO Releases Report Critical of VA’s Accreditation Oversight," contains a list of  approximately 14,000 persons accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. That list is a good start for veterans and survivors seeking representation for VA benefits.  It is worth downloading.


The September 21, 2013 edition of  The Raleigh News & Observer at page 3B reported that Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) continues to pressure the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce the backlog of  VA claims at the Winston-Salem Regional Office.  The problem is that Defense Department uses a different data system of military records that cannot be integrated into the VA system. Defense can only provide paper records to the VA. Senator Hagan has proven to be a champion for our nation's veterans in the effort to resolve this problem.


September 19, 2013: After receiving an email from the National Care Planning Council (or is it Senior Veterans Service Alliance?), I looked at their web site. Take a look at
The article above, "GAO Releases Report Critical of VA’s Accreditation Oversight," contains a list of  approximately 14,000 persons accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. That list is a good start for veterans and survivors seeking representation for VA benefits.  It is worth downloading.



September 18, 2013: Always order your C-File from your Regional Office when you have a claim pending. Update your request for your C-File at least every six months during the years of Regional Office adjudication delay. Use my C-File request form at . Always use certified return receipt mail to communicate with your Regional Office.


September 17, 2013:  The United States Marine Corps is now urging military members, family members, and base workers who drank water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina at any time before 1987 to sign up for notification of "independent scientific studies" to be released in finalized form beginning in fall 2013. For details, visit . For years, the military refused to admit that the base water contained toxic chemicals.  This paid advertisement in the Raleigh New & Observer on September 15, 2013, noted that the water could have contained "chemicals" as early as 1953. Readers who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune are invited to join the "Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water" notification database. Years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs quietly began to award service-connected benefits to some Marines who were disabled. Many disabled Marines applying for toxic water benefits due to cancers were denied VA benefits. This military notification does not mention toxins or cancer. The brave Marines, their families and base workers who consumed this toxic water deserve  honesty about the water rather than more studies to obscure and delay the truth.



September 16, 2013: Veterans in North Carolina can thank Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Senator Richard Burr  (R-NC) for the beginning of the  reduction of the several years backlog of pending veteran adjudications at the Winston-Salem Regional Office.  In a bipartisan effort, they introduced legislation in the United Senate for the Department of Veterans Affairs to allocate resources to reduce the incredible backlog of pending claims at Winston-Salem. I have veteran's cases before the Regional Office unadjudicated after six years of no Regional Office action.  The Regional Office has gained a reputation of one of the most hostile with in the Department of Veteran's Affairs. See RO Tactics within this web site. For more than twenty years, the Regional Office scheduled hearings for the veteran without telling the veteran what issues or claims would be heard. I always wrote to the Regional Office (certified mail) to ask what issues and claims would be addressed at the hearing. My letters were always ignored. In the last month, I received a Regional Office notice of an upcoming hearing that listed the issues - it only took twenty years. I thank Senator Hagan and Senator Burr for this extraordinary change at Winston-Salem.