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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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I Have Two Questions


I have a couple of questions for the forum. If the Act that was passed in the 90's gave the Sec of Vet Affairs the descion making authority after being advised from the authorized medical experts to add a presumtive disease to the list of AO list of diseases, what is the Webb hearing have to do with this authority? Is he just curious of what the medical evidence is? My second question is: has any of the previous diseases added been questioned and claims denied because of life style? ie being overweight, family history, smoking, etc? I can't see them awarding a 60 year old Vet that is 40 pounds overweight, smoked for 40 years and developed IHD anything. Do you think they will consider life style? What about the Vet who had early onset of IHD in thier 30's or 40's that now has a AICD in thier 60's? On the IHD part of this rule, with Webb trying to sabotage the passage, and the history of the VA trying to deny whatever they can, I can see them trying to use lifestyle where in the past they did not.

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Senator Webb is really acting under the auspices of the Congressional Review Act. This act, states that a new annual expenditure that is $100 million or more must be reviewed by Congress during a one-time 60-day period. During this 60-day period, Congress can determine if it wants to accept this newly projected expenditure from the Executive branch of government (in this case, the VA) or not. If Congress chooses not to accept the new expenditure, it must pass new legislation in both the Senate and the House to override the Executive branch of government. I don't think Webb is comfortable with the rationale the VA is using to want to include IHD as presumptive to Agent Orange. The hearing in September is to get a greater understanding from the VA for their decision. With the date of the hearing, scheduled for September 23rd, it is most likely that the 60-day review period under the Congressional Review Act will have expired by that time. If that is the case at that time, the congressional hearing will have no impact upon the VA decision. You cannot invoke a second 60-day review period under the Congressional Review Act for the same issue.

Secondly, in the past, family history and or lifestyle has not been taken into account upon a veteran being diagnosed, with any previous presumptive illness connected to Agent Orange. It does not play a part in such presumptive illnesses.

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Thank-you for a really informative answer, that is why I come to this forum. Very informative.

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When does/did the 60 day period begin ?

Webb's request for review was wrapped into an amendment (No. 4222) to the supplemental spending bill (H.R. 4899) in the Senate on 5-27-10. The bill has now been sent back to the House for reconciliation. Passage is expected. It is possible that the final bill might be completed and the the President could sign the overall bill with amendment 4222 in it, sometime late June or early July. I am thinking that with the President's signature, the 60-day clock will then begin (I wish the clock would begin sooner). If that turns out to be the case and the bill is signed before July 23rd, then the congressional hearing, scheduled for September 23rd, will have no impact on the Executive branch (the VA) implementing the three new presumptives. There seems to be some thinking that the 60-day period will expire by that time. Even if it did not, I don't believe the hearing will have an impact on the implemenation of the three new presumptives. There just doesn't appear to be enough time in the congressional calendar, with elections coming up, to pass new legislation in both the House and the Senate to overturn the Executive branch's decision on the new presumptives for the veterans. Now, I might be wrong, but I just think the new presumptives will still go through.

If anything the congressional hearing, scheduled for September, might put a damper on future illnesses being accepted into the Agent Orange program. That is something we'll just have to wait and see.

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My husband does not read everything I do. All it does is upset him and causes stress. I read everything I can read to stay informed on what is going on. He has IHD with onset at age 44, now at 61 he has had an AICD implant since age 55. He has been retired medically from his company and on SSDI since 2004. If you have IHD, the last thing you need is stress. We have reopened his claim for IHD due to AO exposure that was denied in 2006, we have sent in all the required paperwork. His medical records are all up to date. I read all this and all I can do is speculate. I have written my congressman and Senator Webb. I recall reading the 60 day delay kicks in when then rule becomes final. The best advice I have receiived is: this all will take along time. The length of time? No one knows...so we were advised to get a hobby. I encourage my husband to stay active and happy. I will read all this mess and try to remain positive for him. We have lived many years with heart disease and have become accustomed to the limits. doctors appointments, medications, cost and anxiety. We will live many more years hopefully, but we need to stay positve, active on his claim, informed and vocal. Meanwhile we did get a hobby. Staying happy and alive, enjoying our grandchildren.

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