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Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fanta...

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Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fanta...

Post Number:#1 by bookowlie
» 03 Apr 2017, 13:48

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fantastic Definitive Veterans Guide to Filing VA Disability Compensation Claims" by R.G. Fearing.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by bookowlie
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Let me take a deep breath before stating the long (to put it mildly) title of this book. The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fantastic Definitive Veterans’ Guide to Filing Disability Compensation Claims by R. G. Fearing is a comprehensive guide for filing for disability compensation with the Veterans’ Administration (VA). After a twenty-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Fearing finds out what a “nightmarish hell” it is to file for disability. He waited three years for his claim to be processed. I strongly suspect his claim was resolved at that point, due to his story being featured in the Baltimore Sun newspaper. This book was written as a way for veterans to benefit from the knowledge the author gained from his own experiences dealing with the VA.

The book includes clear instructions about how to fill out the claim forms and what type of supporting documentation to attach. Screenshots of website pages are used to accompany many of the explanations. It is also discussed what to do if your claim is not processed in a timely manner or you need to appeal the VA’s decision. In dealing with an overly bureaucratic government agency, the information provided is invaluable.

I give Mr. Fearing a standing ovation for writing such a useful, well written book. The Federal Government should hire him as a Special Liaison and have him set up seminars and train local staff to help veterans navigate the process. I know there are VA offices already set up for this purpose. Let’s face it…if the VA was doing such a good job, there wouldn’t be a need for this type of book.

Many people automatically assume disability compensation means a lot of extra money on top of a veteran’s retirement pay. There is a detailed explanation of the difference between a 50% and higher disability rating and a lower than 50% rating. If the rating is under 50%, the compensation is not extra money; instead, a certain portion of your retirement pay becomes tax-free. In addition, a discussion of the way the percentages are calculated is a real eye-opener. For example, if you have multiple medical problems, the overall rating is not a simple sum of the percentages. For example, you may have four medical problems, each rated at 15%. The first one is rated at 15%. However, the rest are rated as a percentage of the leftover percentage out of 100%. The second disability is rated at 12.75% (15% multiplied by the remaining 85%), and the third, and fourth ones are rated even lower, in a step-down succession. As a result, the total compensation is usually much lower than you would expect.

One of the sparklers here is the conversational, witty writing style. The hilarious comments keep the subject matter from becoming dry. This has to be one of the most entertaining and informative how-to guides I have ever read about any subject.

If I could rate this book higher than the maximum number of stars allowed, I would. In order to stay within the established parameters, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is an essential reference guide for veterans who need to file disability compensation claims. There are a few errors - missing apostrophes or ones that don’t belong, a word that should be plural, and a homophone (hoard/horde). These errors are hardly worth mentioning, given the high quality of this book. I would recommend this guide to veterans and their families as a must read before filing for disability compensation. I thank the author for his military service and continued commitment to helping other veterans. The core values of the U.S. Air Force are: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. The VA should learn from Mr. Fearing’s fine example of these values.

******
The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fantastic Definitive Veterans Guide to Filing VA Disability Compensation Claims
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 03 Apr 2017, 15:21

Wow! For such a long and seemingly boring title, it sounds like this book is well done. I think there needs to be a guide like this for other types of people filing for disability! I'm so glad this is out there as a resource for veterans! Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#3 by bookowlie
» 03 Apr 2017, 16:13

Thanks Kandscreeley! I'm not sure why this was placed in Other Fiction, as it is definitely a non-fiction book.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#4 by kandscreeley
» 03 Apr 2017, 16:53

@bookowlie I've seen that happen to a few other books as well. Was it the one about letters to children?
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#5 by bookowlie
» 03 Apr 2017, 18:18

kandscreeley wrote:@bookowlie I've seen that happen to a few other books as well. Was it the one about letters to children?


I'm not sure what you are referring to. I am talking about this book review.

-- 03 Apr 2017, 20:57 --

Ok, now I understand what you were trying to say. I don't remember Letters to Children specifically, but I have noticed a few other books over time that appeared to be mis-categorized.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#6 by gali
» 03 Apr 2017, 22:56

This is a long title! Most guides are dry. It is nice that this is entertaining as well as informative. About the location of the book, maybe the author miscategorized the book when submitting it for review. I am glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you for the great review!
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#7 by Donnavila Marie01
» 04 Apr 2017, 01:34

Taking time to write a guide for the veterans is a noble act. I congratulate the author for this. The long title of this book is one of the good ways to attract the attention of the readers.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#8 by bookowlie
» 04 Apr 2017, 07:14

gali wrote:This is a long title! Most guides are dry. It is nice that this is entertaining as well as informative. About the location of the book, maybe the author miscategorized the book when submitting it for review. I am glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you for the great review!


Thanks Gali! I agree - the author might have checked the wrong category. As for the title, it definitely caught my eye!

-- 04 Apr 2017, 08:17 --

Donnavila Marie01 wrote:Taking time to write a guide for the veterans is a noble act. I congratulate the author for this. The long title of this book is one of the good ways to attract the attention of the readers.


It's so true that a unique title is a good way to attract attention. In my case, it worked. The title made me want to take a look at the sample pages, and the Preface was hilarious!
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#9 by rssllue
» 06 Apr 2017, 10:46

bookowlie wrote:The core values of the U.S. Air Force are: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. The VA should learn from Mr. Fearing’s fine example of these values.

It is just too bad that such an important organization is run by bureaucrats instead of the military members that it is supposed to serve. Then that excellence would almost certainly shine through in each and every case they would handle. Excellent review, bookowlie!
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#10 by bookowlie
» 06 Apr 2017, 13:28

Thanks Rssllue! I totally agree that veterans should manage the VA. The way this agency is currently run is a huge stain on the goverment and disrespectful to veterans.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#11 by rssllue
» 06 Apr 2017, 15:03

Agreed and agreed!

And you are most welcome!
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#12 by bookowlie
» 06 Apr 2017, 22:43

:) At the very least, the Federal government should hire Mr. Fearing to overhaul the VA instructions for filing for disability or to manage the customer service dept.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#13 by kimmyschemy06
» 18 Apr 2017, 06:31

Sounds like a great, informative and very helpful book, and it's very nice of the author to write a book like this to help out other veterans. Great job on the review. Congratulations to R.G. Fearing on such an obviously well written book.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#14 by bookowlie
» 18 Apr 2017, 08:52

Thanks Kimmyschemy! One of the best parts of the book is the easy-to-understand way the information is explained.
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Re: Official Review: The Highly Unauthorized and Wildly Fant

Post Number:#15 by CatInTheHat
» 18 Apr 2017, 09:32

It is truly sad that such a book is necessary. Since it is , I'm glad there is one that is helpful.
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