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    • DONT USE VSO
      There are some Great VSO's out there that will do any thing they possibly can do for the veteran to help win his/her claim, and there some that just milk the system.  A veteran needs to wise up and learn the system himself and work his own claim if he don't get a good VSO & not help or be of any help ...when that happens its time to Fire the VSO. Choose another if he wishes  but the important part here is learn how the system works  & educate himself to the VA.  In cases of some vets they have to rely on a VSO for help   if they don't have a computer or know how to use one or live in a remote area. if its going to be by snail mail  then the VA should send the veteran all the information he needs and have the vet to send in a FOIA and then let the VA Request all the records and medical they need to adjuicate the claim. beings they do send out a NOD form  in case the vet is denied, with the information as what to do with the NOD. Veterans need to keep ALL copies VA sends them no matter what. Until the veteran is denied andfiles an appeal and don't know diddly about the VA system  then its time to DROP THE VSO and find a good experienced VA  Attorney.   I wonder what would happen if a veteran wrote the VA   letter and stating'' please help adjuicate my claim, I do understand the VA has an Obligations to ASSIST THE VETERAN in the claims process  my VSO does nothing to help and I am lost as what &how to persure my compensation claim
    • Hypertension(high Blood Pressure)
      I just received my rating...hypertension rated 0%.  I have BP which hoovers around 140/98...so no 100 or more Diastolic.  I am taking medication now due to doctor's recommendation which brought it down to 130/80s.  To receive higher rating, does the readings have to be 100+ WITH medication?  I am thinking with med increase as the time goes it probably will never go higher...unless I am close to heaven.
    • Just got my C&P letter, what to expect?
      Did you ever get a copy of your service medical record? The way they do it now, its digital and pretty quick to access that info. No prep needed for a C&P exam.  Just show up.  Its good to understand the rating process, and what the C&P examiner should be doing at the exam, but not required.  I went through the DBQ forms that they have on the VA Web Site for my conditions so that I would understand what was going on and why.  You can find the DBQ's here. They want to check out what is in your claim for the most part.  They are not there to treat you as a patient.  If you have records to show them, to back up your claim for service connection, you can take them, but the examiner is not required to look, some do, some dont.  Wear something comfortable, that wont interfere with the examination, I wore some gym shorts and a T shirt. Gluck.
    • DONT USE VSO
      Mitch I have been around the VA block since 1981. There are some Great VSOs but are the ones who are always overwhelmed and probably burn out very fast. I happened to gop throught this whole post Broncovet had stated: "Posted October 7, 2015 · Report post According to the BVA chairmans report, State VSO's have the worst record (of wins for the Veteran) of all.  Attorneys have the best record." I filed a 43 page complaint with the VA OIG on my state's so called VSOs.  Of the 4 I mentioned with evidence, only one kept their job but was demoted. They also continually felt my AO DMII claim had no basis whatsoever.And they lied about the substance of a DRO review one of them showed up at. I was absolutely delighted to contact the state  Dept of Vets affairs attorney (who know of the complaint with the OIG) to tell him I not only won that case (the most important one I ever filed) but I also won a 3 part CUE they didnt think would succeed. I also sued the former DAV Rep I had  in Federal court.There was no monetary gain because I just wanted to show him and the DAV lawyer how  piss poor his representation was. His lawyer called me aside after I deposed this rep  and told me to become a lawyer. They were shocked that  I had won a FTCA case and the DAV ignored the significance of that for my 1151 DIC issue. I am sure you will do a very good job at repping vets and their survivors.So don't take our comments personally.... But after I got rid of using VSO or vet reps, I did much better with getting my claims resolved. I don't get it. I had the same training they had from NVLSP but never went to the seminar. I didn't need to go to the seminar, I have purchased the annual VBM from NVLSP since 1991 . The VBMs I donated to my state reps ,when I first though they were really on the ball, went unread by them and were unaccessible to any veteran who might want to peruse them at their office on the grounds of a VAMC. More and more vets are handling their claims themselves with the help of hadit and the internet. I have seen countless remands from the BVA whereby their representation did NOTHING to get the case resolved sooner and at a RO level. Even my VCAA letter was illegal but my state reps did not care .The state Director suddenly was replaced after I sent the OIG a letter he had sent to me. saying it was legal.Even the BVA agreed it was not. I just hope that because of my efforts ,neither the State of NY nor the DAV here in NY ever treated widows,after all that,  like shit again.            
    • DONT USE VSO
      My experience with VSO's was very negative.  First encounter, I gave the guy the POA, when I left he pretty much told me to submit it on my own.  Needed to check up on status, took him 5 weeks to call back.  I quit trying.  Went from the local county guy to the state guy, he was just as helpless.  I proceeded to ID the CUE in my decision, and in 4 months I was finished, and I won.  Hadit.com had a big part to play in that. VSO's might help some Vets that are not capable of dealing with the administration, but the quality of service that I got sucked.  I would not refer anyone to let a VSO go solo on a claim for disability.  It's too important to get it right the first time, if they dont, you are left holding the bag for years. VSO's have a direct line of communication with the RO.  When they refuse to give the same accord to Vets who file thier own claims, they shut us out.  I should have as much, if not more access, than the guy that has my POA, to communicate directly with the individual who is processing and making decisions on my claim.  The system should be restructured from the ground up.The rating personnel should be present at the local VAMC where they can speak face to face with the Vets, so they can get the job done right the first time.
    • DONT USE VSO
      I find this post sad and disturbing considering that I am a (new) County VSO who focuses on our issues as veterans.
    • Guidance request on C&P exam - PTSD, hearing loss, and tinnitus
      I think I managed to answer my own question ,in a way....apparently a GAF can change over time. I just went to the BVA and notice GAF scores had changed in a few older decisions regarding PTSD. over time ..when VA depended on GAF a lot. I forgot too that my husband's went from 34 to 26. But I don't think it can be challenged ,however ,if the veteran is deceased and only one GAF score had been determined prior to their death and the decision was not appealed.    
    • Guidance request on C&P exam - PTSD, hearing loss, and tinnitus
      Mark, have you ever seen a high GAF score successfully challenged? Although VA does not depend on GAF anymore, it was a controlling factor in many of their past PTSD decisions.    
    • Guidance request on C&P exam - PTSD, hearing loss, and tinnitus
      Mark, have you ever seen a high GAF score successfully challenged? Although VA does not depend on GAF anymore, it was a controlling factor in many of their past PTSD decisions.    
    • New here - Knee pain?
      What treatment option did the doctor suggest?

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keepugessn

Agent Orange

12 posts in this topic

Hi all,

Does anyone know if they consider Cirrosis a disease caused by Agent Orange? I have read articles that say

it is the cause and as a secondary the Dupretryns contracture is from cirrosis. I possibly have both, definately

the contracture but almost positive about the cirrosis. Have had since 1971/1972 after Vietnam where we ate drank and slept in the ao stuff. I was a door gunner and it covered us because we flew behind, under, around planes spreading the stuff. I have serious lung issues that are cronic but how do you tie the two together?

Thanks Lance

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Hi all,

Does anyone know if they consider Cirrosis a disease caused by Agent Orange? I have read articles that say

it is the cause and as a secondary the Dupretryns contracture is from cirrosis. I possibly have both, definately

the contracture but almost positive about the cirrosis. Have had since 1971/1972 after Vietnam where we ate drank and slept in the ao stuff. I was a door gunner and it covered us because we flew behind, under, around planes spreading the stuff. I have serious lung issues that are cronic but how do you tie the two together?

Thanks Lance

Hi Lance,

The following might be of help to you:

Current Conditions Considered by VA Presumptive to AO Exposure:

These are the diseases which VA currently presumes resulted from exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange. The law requires that some of these diseases be at least 10% disabling under VA's rating regulations within a deadline that began to run the day you left Vietnam. If there is a deadline, it is listed in parentheses after the name of the disease.

If you would like any additional information regarding the specific medical conditions listed below, please see the
.
Veterans Exposed to Herbicides

(Agent Orange) Presumptive service connection is available to veterans who served in Vietnam and parts of Korea along the DMZ. The presumptive diseases are as follows:

Types of Cancer with no time requirements for manifestation

Cancer of the bronchus

Cancer of the larynx

Lung Cancer

Prostate cancer

Cancer of the trachea

Hodgkin’s disease

Multiple myeloma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Types of Soft Tissue Sarcoma with no time

requirements for manifestation

Adult Fibrosarcoma

Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma

Angiosarcoma

Clear Cell Sarcoma of Aponeuroses

Clear Cell Sarcoma of Tendons and

Aponeuroses

Congenital Fibrosarcoma

Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans

Ectomesenchymoma

Epithelioid Malignant Leiomyosarcoma

Epithelioid and Glandular Malignant

Schwannomas

Epithelioid Sarcoma

Extraskeletal Ewing’s Sarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma

Infantile Fibrosarcoma

Leiomyosarcoma

Liposarcoma

Lymphangiosarcoma

Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma

Malignant Giant Cell Tumor of the

Tendon Sheath

Malignant Glandular Schwannoma

Malignant Glomus Tumor

Malignant Hemangiopericytoma

Malignant Mesenchymoma

Malignant Ganglioneuroma

Malignant Granular Cell Tumor

Malignant Leiomyoblastoma

Malignant Synovioma

Malignant Schwannoma with Rhabdomyoblastic Differentiation

Proliferating (systemic)

Angiendotheliomatosis

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Synovial Sarcoma

Diseases other than Cancer with various time requirements

Type 2 Diabetes (Also known as Diabetes Mellitus)

Periperal neuropathy (acute or subacute)

Chloracne

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Disabilities in Children of Vietnam Veterans

Spina Bifida

Certain Birth Defects in Children of VN Veterans

What if I served in Vietnam and Have a Disease Not on VA'S List?

If you served in Vietnam and believe that you have a disease caused by herbicide exposure, but that disease is not on VA'S list of diseases associated with herbicides like Agent Orange, you may still apply for service-connection. Such a veteran needs to establish entitlement to service connection on a "direct" (rather than "presumptive") basis. In these cases, VA requires:

1) competent medical evidence of a current disability;

2) competent evidence of exposure to a herbicide in Vietnam; and

3) competent medical evidence of a nexus (casual relationship) between the herbicide exposure and the current disability.

For more Q/A about Agent Orange access:

http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/benefits/herbicide/AOno3.htm

Good luck,

Ron

Edited by Manitou Sprgs

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Thanks for the reply Ron I really appreciate it.

From what I read if its not on the list, I need a doctor to show I have an issue with these two things and

then prove I was saturated with this stuff, and then that the issues I do have are directly related

to Agent Orange? Is that right? I am having trouble with how to put all this together but this site as been

truly a godsend. Some of us may not post everyday or respond all the time but we are here and reading every word you all have to say and it helps alot.

Lance

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What I know is that if your disease is not on the presumtive list you are in for a fight to get it service connected. It is not impossible. Do you have anything in your service medical records about liver problems? How about Hep C? There have been claims that the guns they used to give us our shots were contaminated and spread Hep C. Have you been tested for Hep C? If you have not been a heavy drinker or abuser of IV drugs where did the liver problems start? If you have any evidence that these problems started within one year of discharge you may have a claim as a presumptive disease. This is not an average claim and will take research. One of the expert lawyers who do COVA cases might know something.

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Thanks for the reply Ron I really appreciate it.

From what I read if its not on the list, I need a doctor to show I have an issue with these two things and

then prove I was saturated with this stuff, and then that the issues I do have are directly related

to Agent Orange? Is that right? I am having trouble with how to put all this together but this site as been

truly a godsend. Some of us may not post everyday or respond all the time but we are here and reading every word you all have to say and it helps alot.

Lance

Lance,

Although I have diabetes II, presumptively caused by Agent Orange, I'm really not an expert on the subject. However, many on Hadit are, particularly Berta. Many of these folks visit early in the morning or late at night. In the meantime, you might visit:

http://www.vietnow.com/pagesvaret/agent.htm for more info on AO.

Ron

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Well for the most part I have contractures in my hands that started curling up within the year after I left Vietnam. It is caused from Cirrosis of the liver and I did not drink or do drugs at that time nor do I do them now

maybe an occasional beer but thats it. I have medical records going back a long time from reg doc stating the contractures and I am not sure of the hep c don't have any knowledge of having that yet??? lol thanks :rolleyes:

With the lung issues and this I thought for sure it was from AO though.

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Keep:

You need a boiler plated Medical Opinion that can link your Cirrosis to your service and Agent Orange. It looks like you have a good claim to me but its just me thinking so. The fact that you did not frink nor do now should help your claim

By the way the VA goons pretty much think every Veteran is or was a drinker and drugs.

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"With the lung issues and this I thought for sure it was from AO though"

Lung cancer is a presumptive AO disability-

although the VA denied a widow recently whose husband ,incountry Vietnam vet with lung cancer contributing to death, did not have a soft tissue sarcoma form of lung cancer.

She is in for a long fight with the VA.

The posts here are correct-

only an independent medical opinion from an Environmental expert that fully can associate your lung disease as directly due to AO would possibly-in the long run-service connect you for AO disability.

There have been claims like that but very very few succeed.

Cirrosis has no medical association with Agent Orange.

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Berta,

Thanks for the reply. I realize its not recognized by the VA yet every site I look up

concerning AO and Cirrosis/Cancer of the liver links these two together. I cannot believe how many posts I read

from Vets who had one or the other or both who never drank, or did drugs that have this problem. They are crying out, no screaming out for help and the peoples report on the Dioxin home page has this and tons more info stating the effects of Dioxin on the human body. I just took a small piece from it to show what I am finding. How does one go about getting the VA to recognize Cirrosis as a disease with secondary of Dupuytren Contracture which is caused by Cirrosis of the liver and I suppose that if you don't drink you have to explain the Cirrosis. I am sure there are many, many more issues not listed on the list for AO conditions that are directly caused by Dioxin.

Dioxin/AO from the Dioxin homepage/effects of Dioxin on the human body.One would expect that, after exposure to high doses of dioxin, more of the toxin would accumulate in fatty tissues where it dissolves best. Instead, a greater proportion of it ends up in the liver (Abraham, 1988). Apparently, the liver, when faced with high concentrations of this poorly soluble compound, makes more of the protein cytochrome P-450 1A2 (CYP1A2) to which dioxin binds (Olson, 1994; Diliberto, 1997; IARC, 1997). This protein is quite abundant in the liver, and it becomes more so in the presence of dioxin and related compounds (Voorman, 1987, 1989; Poland, 1989; 1989a). It does not bind to dioxin as tightly as does the Ah receptor described below, but, because of its abundance, it is the major protein to which dioxin binds.

I want to help...please, please what can I do to help all these other guys in the same condition as myself and others that are having such a hard time getting these things listed. I have the time where do I start?

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I certainly agree with you-that AO has caused many other conditions that are not on the AO list yet-

I agree too with the info you found-

dioxin is a bioaccumulative persistent organic pollutant with a long shelf life in some animals (probaby humans too) and certainly in soil etc-(such as the HIGH rates that were found last spring in Danang-presently under a clean up there-

"I want to help...please, please what can I do to help all these other guys in the same condition as myself and others that are having such a hard time getting these things listed. I have the time where do I start?"

You could put that message on all the disabled vet forums,with contact info, and then present any info you receive from vets- along with some studies such as the one you quoted-to your Congressman/woman or State senators and ask them to amend the AO regs-

that all will take a lot of work----it will also take bonafide medical evidence of the nexus-cirrosis isnt in the Ranch Hand study.

and you could contact NVLSP about this-NVLSP however is very busy in the Haas matter-

If you are willing to take the time and expense you could start interest in adding more disabilities to the AO list-

I commend your willingness to help others with this disability but-if you have followed the AO situation since 1990- as I have- you can see how difficult it has been not only for the AO disability list to grown (it HAS grown however) only 2 conditions were on it when I started studying this issue)

but the VA still fails to recognize how many veterans were actually exposed to AO in the Pacific, Thailand, Guam, Cambodia, Okinawa-and probaby far more than those who VA says were exposed in Korea.

Beverly Nehmer, a widow, is why we have the Nehmer AO decision- with the relentless legal assistance of NVLSP who fought for her and ALL Vietnam vets exposed to AO-and this is a class action lawsuit decision.

If you can find scientific and medical evidence that connects cirrosis to AO with no other known medical etiology- and if you can find a lawyer to represent this group of veterans affected-as a class-(or get the backing of Congressmen/women etc) you could possibly change the regs.

I was told in 1995 that what I was attempting to do was impossible by lawyers and some vet reps-(long story on my claim- I already told it here)

I don't believe anything is impossible.

I proved many reps and lawyers to be wrong (not to mention the VA itself)

It was a LOT of work for 3 years.

If you are willing to put in the time and some money (mailing fees can get quite high)you can begin to attempt to alter the AO regs-Independent medical opinions for a class action as well as personal claims are quite costly too-I have spent $5,750 on IMos so far for a present claim I have that -in my opinion-which needed no IMOs as the clinical record and VA's admission of malpractice speaks for itself-

Getting the regs changed is one hard road to take-

and as I mentioned before-

if you get an IMO from an environmentalist with a PHD-you have a good chance to possibly succeed with your AO claim.

As long as you can rule out heavy drinking etc-in your case- any other etiology but for AO- with this type of opinion-you could possibly succeed in your claim.

That same environmental specialist (they have to be good-the VA has one too to go against claims like this-but he actually supported one already-in a BVA decision-not cirrosis but another condition not on the AO list)

could prepare IMos for other vets with the same disability -for a fee and they too could possibly succeed with their claims.

-----

Cirrosis of liver due to alcoholism:

In the Federal Circuit court decision re: Allen V. Principi-

the court held that the veteran's alcoholism was directly caused by his service connected PTSD.

NVLSP makes the point that often it is very important to have the VA rate the alcoholism is secondary to PTSD.

There is no comp for alcoholism -it is rated as part of the PTSD-

unless it causes cirrosis -

a veteran with cirrosis due to alcoholism who can prove that their service connected PTSD was the cause of their alcoholism can have the cirrosis service connected and rated as hysical disability as secondary to their SC PTSD.

NVLSP also stresses that fact that a veteran's survivors could ultimately obtain DIC and other service connected death benefits if the veteran had cirrosis that caused or contributed to his or her death -that was directly attributable to the veteran's SC PTSD.

Allen V. Principi- (more info here available under the search feature)

Edited by Berta

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Hello keepugessn,

I don't think anyone could provide a better answer and guide to future actions than Berta's comments in the preceding post.

Good luck,

Ron

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Berta,

I thank you so much for the detailed information you have provided. My wife's ex worked for the county planning dept/environmental health dept., and he has contacts that we might be able to get somewhere with. Along with several attorneys in our family and with the contacts they have, we are going to look into this. You sure know your stuff and I hope if I have further questions about this I can ask you. Have a awesome day Berta. Lance and Donna

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