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To begin with, I had my normal 3 mo check up with my Cardiologist today and brought in to the discussion the VA's decision to compensate for IHD based upon AO exposure. I was rather shocked to discover that my personal doctor had no knowledge of any association between AO and IHD. He was aware of AO, but knew nothing of this. Interesting?

Anyway, I have filed with the VA via VONAPP for compensation based upon my IHD and my agent orange exposure and am now wondering what the burden of proof will be for me to establish the claim.

Background, USMC 1965-69, recieved Medical Retirement in 1969 for disability from wounds received 6APR68 near Khe Sahn Combat Base ( My Bn /2/26 and I had been part of the defenders during the Siege of Khe Sanh Jan-Apr 68) I also have received VA Compensation at the rate of 90% since that time.

My heart desease began with my first bout in 1985 at the age of 37 when I was hospitalized and received my first of 10 Angioplasy procedures ovet the next 15 years, some where stents were placed.

In 1993 I suffered an Miocardial Infarction (MI) and as a result suffered 40% Heart Damage.

I have been under a doctors care for IHD all along and currently take about 8 meds a day. My last MUGU (test to determine ejection fraction (EF) indicates an EF of 38%

Now to my specific question relating to documentation. Basically I have been under care for IHD for the past 25 years. During that time I have been hospitalized numerous times in various hospitals and have been under the care of four to five different Cardiologists in different Cardiology Medical Groups. Obviously this would result in a stack of records. (I remember my file in Indianapolis where I received most of my care up to the last couple of years as being about six inches thick) How many records do you think I need to present to the VA? Do you think that the records from my current doctor, which should contain all the past history of my disease will be adequate, or would I need to try and collect as many records from the past 25 years as possible?

Another question relates to what I do with these records? Interesting enough, today while at my current doctors office I asked to speak with the records clerk and she was very knowledgeable about providing the VA with documents. In fact she asked if I wanted to have the records FAXed to the VA or did I want to pick them up personally. Since I have not yet been contacted by the VA about my recently filed claim I told her I would pick them up. i intend to make copies of all these records for my own files, but then what to I do with them? Do I send them to the VA with the VONAPP number on them, or should I hang on to them until I hear from the VA about the claim?

Many thanks to those who might have answers to this.


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Jim, I would wait until I got the letter from VA and then comply to the letter. I also think you should send in a summary of your heart conditions of the years as you have done here.

I am SC for my Heart Disease after a MI in 05 secondary to my Diabetes 2 so the new law really means nothing to me other than the Vets that were denied in the past will finally get their deserved benefits.

By waiting you do two things you will know for a fact that VA has started a file for you and maybe by that point the new regs for IHD will be out. By filing you have already locked in your date so that is good.

Once this senator Webb gets tired of jerking us around the regs will be out. Looks like around Sept/Oct.

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"Do you think that the records from my current doctor, which should contain all the past history of my disease will be adequate"

I would send ,along with a cover statement on a 21-4138 form referring to the enclosed evidence, whatever current documents from your medical records that show the diagnosis of IHD.

With your obvious exposure to AO in Vietnam and with a current diagnosis of IHD this should be an easy claim to resolve.I hope Ischemic heart disease is well spelled out in your medical records.Cardiomyopathy or CAD might be too broad of terms for raters to know this is IHD.

Unless you ever were previously denied by VA for this same condition, your EED will be the date of your claim.

If you WERE ever previously denied for IHD , remind them of the date of that denial and ask them to apply the Nehmer Court Order and Stipulation to the effective date of your claim.

I only hope that -with the problems for AO IHD claims that Senator Webb has created, that Nehmer will not be somehow manipulated when the VA begins to award these claims.

Most of the IHD claims should be fairly easy for the VA to resolve.

A lot depends on the September S VAC hearing as to when they will be actually resolved.Even the publication of the regulations is being held up.

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