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VA Disability - Agent Orange

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by blade819, Dec 30, 2009.

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  1. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

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    Is anyone out there collecting VA disability due to Agent Orange exposure? If so, what are your symptons and percentage? I'm going through the process right now and am wondering what percentage I should try to go for.

    blade819
     
  2. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    You dont go for a percentage- there is a chart

    You have to have time in country (not on a ship) and you have to have one of the diseases that are presumptive ( ie you dont get anything just because you might have been exposed to agent orange)

    If you submit your claim wrong- you will either add years to the process or be barred by law if you miss a certain date

    You need all your "evidence" to establish eligibility ( for service benefits and agent organge exposure both) medical evidence of the problems you are having related specifically to agent orange presumptive medical conditions.

    Screw it up and you will be nothing but frustrated

    Provide all the evidence ( only direct evidence - not all your medical records) and have it organized and tabbed in your initial submission and you will get a good result( IE make this a professional submission)

    Its your choice-

    Remember its your submission- not some service representitive that is going to reap either the rewards or the frustration from this initial submission--

    regards from Iowa

    Gene

    PS if someone has specific questions- I would be glad to answer them-
     
  3. shark1

    shark1 Member

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    I have 2 friends that work in the Veterans office in VA. They might be able to help you. Ask for Jamie or Wendy. Tell them I sent you or you read it on TS's. These girls I understand are very good and might be able to guide if you live outside the region. Call (757) 787-5862. I always have time to help a veteran thanks for taking care of me and my family.
    Mike Sharkey, DC
     
  4. rooferbob

    rooferbob Active Member

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    Very good advise Gene
     
  5. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. The County VA office here in Colorado has completed the paperwork and I have submitted all of the evidence. The recommendation was to go initially for the Diabetis Type 2 initially, then pursue the other conditions. Fingers are crossed. The VA rep. called it a "slam dunk". All I want is a physical and two hearing aids and that will happen in a couple of weeks. I did discover that much like they treated the WWII and Korea Vets, the VA renews their Agent Orange presumptive conditions list every few years or so. My conspiracy theory is that during that delay, more Vets have died therefore less claims. I wish I had more faith in the system. I was exposed in both Viet Nam and in the Korean DMZ. It took the DoD and VA 25 years to admit that they sprayed in the Korean DMZ! They wonder why we have no faith in them?
     
  6. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Did you submit paperwork proving you were in Vietnam on the ground?

    What the VA rep says or doesnt say can be taken with a grain of salt.

    Did you submit paperwork from your local doctor - records substantiating you have Diabetes now and for how long? Treatment records related to it?-- Do you take insulin- are there other conditions such as high blood pressure that your doctor thinks are related to the Diabetes? Etc etc etc

    Did your "rep" even have you get your civilian medical records or your seperation physical?

    I dont think Korea is on the list-- here is what you have to prove as far as agent orange

    "What veterans are affected by this added presumptive condition?
    Honorably discharged veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975 and have “adult onset diabetes mellitus". You must have physically served or visited in the Republic of Vietnam, including service in the waters offshore if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam. This means the ship must have come to port in the RPV and you disembarked. This does not include veteran’s who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period February 28, 1961, to January 9, 1962."


    So you would have to prove you served in Country during those dates- a DD214 would only prove dates, not that you were in Country- so you see how this goes-- An award of the Vietnam Service medal might not be good enough-- but medical treatment at a military clinic in Vietnam, a combat award, an assignment record of your unit and its location in vietnam are all golden. Other evidence such as letters to you or from you while you were there, newspaper articles about you while you were there- all help tilt the scale on your behalf

    Then you have to prove you have type II diabetes now and how it affects you.

    I disagree with the person you called a VA rep- you should have claimed all of your medical conditions that you can prove you have now, particurally those that showed on your seperation physical or anything you were treated for within one year of discharge from active duty.

    Again- dont let a "rep" put this stuff in for you without checking it out yourself-

    Anytime they need more information- no action will be taken for another six months- so they will wait 6 months and then ask for more information and then take 6 more months to get back to you= equals one year- each time you fail to provide something or when you put in a claim for another condition--

    You have to have all your stuff in order on day 1 or the years and the frustration add up-- but its easy if you do it correctly

    Whatever your local doctors say is equal to what the VA says and saves you at least 1 year-

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene

    PS--- nearly all frustrations and refusals of benefits are because of bad initial applications- remember- each time you are turned down you lose that opportunity - you need to make it very easy for a person to say yes and award you benefits- a person that probably has never been in the military
     
  7. johara1

    johara1 TS Member

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    Call the D.A.V. don't mess a round,they can help you............jim
     
  8. johara1

    johara1 TS Member

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    Call the D.A.V. don't mess a round,they can help you............jim
     
  9. johara1

    johara1 TS Member

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    Call the D.A.V. don't mess a round,they can help you............jim
     
  10. smsnyder

    smsnyder Well-Known Member

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    What did you do in VIetnam? Many of our guys are getting sick now as a result of military service.
     
  11. Surferboy

    Surferboy Member

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    DO NOT USE A VSO, unless you know them personally (and very well). They will delay of ruin an otherwise open and shut claim. Email me a little more detail. I am 100% SC for AO for 2 years now and have had 4 C&Ps. With my family's help we do all the paperwork. Please contact me. Steve
     
  12. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I agree with Steve but wasnt goint to say that directly-- you can also contact me or ask questions here( that would benefit others reading this)

    I am going to make a statement here- and it is- the VA is made up of people- and if you make it easy for someone to help you- they will help you- they have tons of regulations- if you show them the proof they want ( and not a bunch or tons of others stuff) they will do the right thing- If you dont show them the proof needed or try to throw all kinds of stuff against the wall and see if it sticks you are going to be frustrated with the outcome- its human nature- just give them the exact evidence and proof they need from day one. I have worked a couple of years in a VA regional legal office and know a bunch of VA people and generally they are great people as a group.

    Steve has made a great offer- to help-- take him up on this.

    I dont have AO but do a lot of Veterans legal work ( I am a retired army guy that went through NCO rank first and then officer - law school after I retired)and do some appeal work and its much much harder on the appeal side- in fact 100 times harder than getting the benefit awarded at the Regional Office during the initial claim.

    I have helped Veterans at the intial application level- and using the approach I have outlined above had 100 percent success rate--- but my time is limited.

    The key is getting the Veteran ( and his or her family) to understand what is needed- have them vested in the process- have them gather and organize the evidence (after understanding what that evidence is). Often a Veteran will not want their spouse involed- I insist on that- absolutely insist on this.

    VSOs have too many cases- dont use the above approach usually- get paid a salary regardless of results but sometimes based on case load- VSOs are about your only shot if you arent going to be involved yourself but why would you not be involved yourself on something this important?

    Remember once you are turned down the process becomes much harder- takes years- involves multiple C&P exams and the possibility of a good outcome goes down dramatically.

    If you get turned down- its generally your fault- not the VA- not the VSO - but your fault because you didnt take the time to learn what was needed and submit that and that only.

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  13. bakergun

    bakergun TS Member

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    I just received my first check I am at 100% for agent orange but you don't want to get a 100% the way I did you see the doctors have given less then a year to live. I am dyeing of lung cancer.
    Pete
     
  14. Surferboy

    Surferboy Member

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    Gene is correct re: spousal involvement. Two heads are better than one. This month I had two grueling C&Ps - one with a Psychiatrist and one with the Neurology Dept. head at Hines VAMC in Chicago. Had my wife not gone with me for ea, I know I would not have done as well. Each C&P is very different. We always have the exact worksheet the Dr. is working from, ahead of time (depending on the disability-there are 100s). The Dr. will be typing his impressions of your situation as you go along. They also have records to refer to. Always bring relevant medical records Some times they won't look at them, often they look at everything you bring.

    We approach every C&P as if we are preparing a brief for a case presented to the Supreme Court. ( I'm damn lucky my wife has a Masters from Harvard).

    The shrink we saw seemed indifferent and uncaring. I think he knew what he was going to write before the exam. But we made certain to cover every area we knew he had to comment on. The Neurologist also knew my file well, as I'm being treated by a staff Neurologist working for him. Within 5 minutes of every C&P we pick up a copy of the Doc's report at the VA's records dept. (they're on the comupter immediately). In both cases, both reports said exactly what we wanted them to say. We were prepared.

    Initial C&Ps will usually cover an extended period of time, whereas reevaluation C&Ps are only looking for "what is your medical situation TODAY." How you were doing last week doesn't matter.

    A VSO will more often than not really, really screw things up and cost you years of clean up. I'd rather have "shit burning detail for a month" than trust most (not all) VSOs. Good luck. Steve
     
  15. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Oh Please!!

    Curt
     
  16. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

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    Gene- TNX to you and everyone else for the advise and info.

    Pete - Sorry to hear your news. I pray for the best for you.

    I have submitted all the necessary paperwork through my County VA Representitive who is not only experienced and working in my best interest, but is a retired Army Vet. Korea IS ON the "list" as long as you were in the unit that is on the "list". The so-called list also describes certain diagnosed conditions that will be compensated. The key word here is "diagnosed" vrs. "symptons". The list is the law in black and white. The VA currently has 1 rule of thumb when it comes to Agent Orange exposure - 10% automatically if you were in the area and proven, an additional 10% automatically for a Diabetis Type II condition. You can receive another 10% if your paperwork and medical records prove any additional side effects from the Diabetis II condition. ie: tingling in the limbs, liver or kidney condition, headaches.

    I have gained this information through investigation on the internet. There are several,help sites that address Agent Orange. Also of note, if your claim is denied, the veteran has the option to appeal it. If later awarded, the claim is pro-rated back to the original claim date.

    I wish all Veterans good luck if they use this process for it is time consuming and does test one's patience. Having been in the Government Contractor work enviorment for over 30 years, I fully expected to run into this. I still feel that there are ill Veterans out there who have combat related situations that are not in the VA Registry. That is unfortunate.

    Happy New Years to all.
     
  17. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Blade- I dont think your numbers are right- and I am not going to check the chart but from recall I think you get 40 percent if you are taking insulin- and different amounts depending on other health conditions-- related to diabetes

    You dont get anything for agent orange exposure alone

    But there is a whole list of other conditions presumptive of agent organge-- 15 or 20 different medical conditions and each of them has varying degrees of compensation- some require symptoms immediately and some dont.

    None of this is secret and can be researched on the internet- generally

    regards from Iowa

    Gene

    PS thanks for your comments and I do think a lot of county reps ( who are not RSO's) do a very good job- heck they live in the same area and receive some compensation but not much from the state usually.
     
  18. jbbor

    jbbor Active Member

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    I presently have a pending Agent Orange claim in process at this time. My problem, and probable a fatal one, is the civilian doctors that treated me for many years after Vietnam are all dead and the records are gone with them. My only hope is a pharmacist who handled all my medical drugs since childhood has all the records pertaining to prescriptions up until I enrolled with the VA. It is sad but seems true, the longer claims are denied, the more Vets will die and can't be compensated. It is bad for Vietnam era guys and I'm afraid it will be worse for Vets from the war on terror. They may be effected more by hidden physical problems and PTSD than ever before. I salute them and pray for them. Maybe many of them will come home and get involved in politics to fight for themselves and their brothers rightful benefits that have been denied the Vietnam era Vets. Another sad but true phrase is, "Old men fight wars with young men's (and women's) lives and bodies".

    The only fault I find with Gene's postings is the dates for claims. I know of a man who flew in the secret war in Vietnam, before official involvement, who is now getting benefits and treatment for exposure to Agent Orange.

    Jimmy Borum
     
  19. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Jimmy-- your medical records are not gone--- your state probably has a medical holding records requirement-- someone inherited those records- even if it is only a medical holding area

    My guess though is it was another doctors office-- start sniffing around- call the county health organizations or the state offices and ask for help in locating these records--

    This is an example of something that a VSO is not going to do- find your medical records- you have to do that- they dont have time nor does anyone else-but it can be done-- good luck

    Some medical problems only need current condition and not progressive disability or proof thereof- each condition varies

    regards from Iowa

    Gene

    PS--some other reasons spouse needs to be involved also-- and go into appointment rooms with doctors

    1. Claim dies with the Vet if not already adjudicated( one very small exception about a claim that is already docketed for re consideration with the Court)

    2. There are some possible aid and attendance benefits for Veterans(very specific conditions)

    3. There is a possibility of continuing benefits for spouse after Vets death( very specific conditions)

    4. And the winner is-- in my experience Vets often are willing to not do anything and then fib to spouse about that- spouse is thinking Vet is applying for this and that- and then finds out on his death bed or when he is an invalid that nothing has been done- yes- Vets and men do lie to their spouses
     
  20. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    blade819 good luck in your quest for VA benefits. I was in RVN from New Years Day 1967 until Dec. 21 1967 at Cu Chi. No problems at all, so far. Me and Sarge even rode a city bus through Oakland/Haight Asbury in uniform to the Greyhound terminal to catch a bus back to Travis to pick up his VW bus for the drive back to Ohio. I do however have a very real problem with the VA. I worked side by side with a Nam vet for several years at Jeep in Toledo. We retired on the same day, Jan. 31 2007.He had 30 years and I had 25. We made great money, sometimes more than $100,000.00 a year. That fat a$$ SOB that was 300 plus pounds and only 5'6' had diabetes that he did not medicate or eat correctly for, he never met a breakfast burrito or two or three that he did not like, plus the donuts and rum and cokes by the beer mug full for and because he was in an area of Nam that had some AO sprayed on it he collected and still collects $400.00 a month from the VA. Don't hardly seem right to me. Disabled my a$$! I also get tired of hearing about the Vietnam vets who are homeless etc. Many would be derelicts war or no war. Lets see May of 1975 to Jan 2010 = 34 1/2 years more or less plus if a person went in country say in 1965 then add ten more years, hmmm. I know I am going to get my talley whacker knocked in the dirt for my post but that is just the way I feel. Yes the VA can be a bunch of d***k heads for denying legitimate claims but there are many that not deserved. Bill
     
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