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Second Class Petty Officers
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About sjh4951

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
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  1. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    Well, here it is December and in August I did submit my late husbands medical bills. I've heard zero from the VA. Nothing. I did call a month or so ago and was told "they are working on it" whatever that means anymore. I only have until next month I think it is to submit the rest of the bills (only sent the major ones). I asked VA if I should go ahead and submit the rest of the bills and they said "no, wait until you hear something." Soon that will be too late. I know that the odds of them reimbursing are little to none but it would be nice of them to give me a yay or a nay instead of dragging it out. I hope that any of you who are fighting the VA for what you feel is due, do not give up!
  2. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    No formal claim has been made as I just received word a month ago that I had won my appeal. It had been denied while my husband was living BUT the BVA found evidence where my husbands claim should have been approved at the regional so therefore they awarded me accrued back to the date of the original claim that my husband made in 2004. Because his cancer was not recognized as service connected at the time he was undergoing treatment, we didn't file any claim for reimbursement. Now that the BVA has stated that my husband did die from a service connected disease, I would think they should be responsible for the cost of all his treatment. Thanks for the case that you sent. I'm not going to approach the VA about any of this until I have received my award letter and who knows when that will be. I saw the link for the fast letter stating appeals are to be handled expediciously but so far I haven't received any notification from the regional office.
  3. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    anyone have an answer regarding the medical bills??
  4. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    Its great and all that they awarded me accrued to Bill's file date but what do they do about medical expenses regarding his cancer treatments? He didn't have health insurance just medicare and they only payed 80% of their approved amount which left us with huge bills for chemo, surgery, and radiation. I had been putting the chemo charges on our Visa card but maxed it and one of the times we went in for his chemo treatment we were told to cough up $2800.00 or they wouldn't give him his chemo. Lucky for me that I had another charge card but I was sure pissed that they confronted me right in front of my husband who was already in the chemo chair in a room full of other patients.
  5. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    No, my brother had Acute Myloid Leukemia. Diagnosed around Christmas 2006, died February 2007. I was just reading a post on another site and it said the VA had a 6 month freeze, per their VSO, on all BVA granted claims. Anyone know about this? I've heard nothing from the VA since I won my appeal. I did contact them via IRIS and got the following response: "Upon researching your file, our records indicate we have received the notice of grant of benefits and the claim is with our Columbia Regional Office for the final administrative steps which need to be completed prior to the claim being completed. This process is in place to ensure accuracy and we don't have a date it will be finalized as of yet. We appreciate your patience and you will be notified via US mail once the grant of benefits has been finalize. Your notification letter will explain our decision and payment in detail." Don't know what they mean by "explaining our decision" as the BVA granted my appeal for cause of death, denied for accrued PTSD, so the decision has already been made. I've never filed for death benefits. Without the award letter I can't file for anything I don't think. I have the paperwork here for CHAMPVA (I requested it) and property tax exemption but need that award letter to file. I would hate to think that there is a freeze on BVA decisions. Now that I'm finished with my appeal, time is dragging..I just want it over and put behind me so I can decide where to go next with my life.
  6. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    Thanks Pete. I also lost my brother (USAF) Vietnam 1969-70 to leukemia. He died 8 months after my husband did. My sister-in-law has chosen not to seek DIC because of the stress involved.
  7. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    "sorry if I sound angry-this award letter I got today gave me flashbacks-and the check could have come last year when I was approved for it- but it took until today." I know exactly where you are coming from re: the flashbacks. On Saturday when I received the BVA decision I simply fell apart. Couldn't even finish reading the thing. Couldn't hold it as I was shaking so badly. Don't know what happened to me. It was like I had just been told that Bill died. Maybe delayed reaction to his death, I have no idea. It was totally unexpected as I thought I would jump for joy if I won but it didn't happened. Still hasn't. Just kind of numb and at a loss as to what to do with myself. I have spent so long in the research mode and now, nothing. Guess it just hasn't hit me yet. It was hard, though, to read cause of death due to agent orange exposure. A death that could have been prevented...thousands of deaths that could have been prevented. Just hung up on that thought right now so I know what you mean by anger.
  8. Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

    Thanks for the replies. I do have a few questions. After reading the letter from the BVA I see where they show the date that my husband filed his claim as Feb. 2005 when in fact it was July 2004 via VONAPP. As I was awarded accrued benefits because his claim was pending this would affect the accrued benefit amount. How do I get this corrected? As I remember this was an issue with my husband and the VA but I do have his C file and the original claim to prove otherwise. I don't know if I should protest now or wait until they send me the accrued monies and then go after them. I'm concerned that if I do anything at this point that they will drag their feet. As for other benefits will my regional office notify me as to how to file for these? I know there are state benefits too but would you believe when I called the State of SC office today to check on this they gave me the name of who to call and low and behold it is my lousy VSO! I'm going to have to find someone else cause he's certainly not going to give me the right info. I know he must have received my appeal today and hasn't even called me. Berta, are you saying that it's been over a year and they still have not paid you?? Have they not made you wait long enough?? I've been told that I would get an insurance card right away but that the benefits would take several months. Is that correct? I'll look under the DIC comments as I don't have a clue as to entitlement other than I now know I'm exempt from paying property taxes. What are DEA benefits? Thanks, Susan
  9. Thanks for all the information I learned on this site, and because of it, yesterday I received the "brown" envelope from the BVA telling me that I have been granted DIC as they found my late husbands esophageal cancer caused by his exposure to agent orange. All though I am glad the fight is over, I find no joy, only anger that our own chemical companies knowingly poisoned thousands of Vietnam veterans in the name of the all mighty dollar. I would also like to add that anyone filing a claim or appealing a decision should never assume that their VSO has their best interest at heart. Mine did nothing. In the 4 years that I fought the VA I spoke with my VSO maybe three times and only saw him once. In February I called him to request that he check on my appeal status and his answer to me was "call your congressman." So what I am telling you is this, be sure all of your t's are crossed and you're i's are dotted. Do NOT chance that your VSO will follow through for you. Best of luck to all who are fighting for what is rightfully theirs.
  10. Combat Certificate

    When a veteran has received any of the combat decorations listed below, VA will presume that the veteran engaged in combat with the enemy, unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary: · Air Force Achievement Medal with "V" Device · Air Force Combat Action Medal · Air Force Commendation Medal with "V" Device · Air Force Cross · Air Medal with "V" Device · Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device · Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device · Combat Action Badge · Combat Action Ribbon (Note: Prior to February 1969, the Navy Achievement Medal with "V" Device was awarded.) · Combat Aircrew Insignia · Combat Infantry/Infantryman Badge · Combat Medical Badge · Distinguished Flying Cross · Distinguished Service Cross · Joint Service Commendation Medal with "V" Device · Medal of Honor · Navy Commendation Medal with "V" Device · Navy Cross · Purple Heart, and/or · Silver Star. Important: · Receipt of one of the decorations cited above is not the only acceptable evidence of engagement in combat. · If a veteran received a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, or Iraq Campaign Medal, but not one of the combat decorations cited above, develop for the claimed stressor as shown in M21-1MR, Part IV, Subpart ii, 1.D.14. Receipt of these campaign medals alone does not generally indicate engagement in combat.
  11. I so agree with you! I'm dismayed by the lack of support regarding bill 3491. The negative comments there are unbelievable. Such lack of respect for our veterans is beyond my comprehenion. When this bill was first posted the voting was 75 for, 25 against but it has definately gone the other way. What are these people thinking? For some reason you can no longer bring up this bill through google so I will try again to post the link. It appears ok in the body of the e-mail but when I do a preview it wipes part of the link out??? Really would like to see more positive support for this bill. http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/...tml#commentform Well, it wipes part of the link again so after /show/ in the above link, add 111_HR_3491.html#commentform maybe that will work for anyone here that wants to view the bill or comment. Just tried the first link and it is working...
  12. As you already know, these sponsers were for the bill when it was in the 110th. To date, there is only one co-sponsor in the 111th. I have contacted some of the vet organizations and have been told that they will not back this bill without the research (this was when it was in the 110th). Just who is going to research gastric cancers? I find it hard to accept that in the last 4 decades there has been NO research on any gastric cancers. Take esophageal cancer as a classic example. It has risen 350% since ten years after the VN war. A red flag indeed but no one out there is researching just why the increase in this particular cancer. The best I've seen is, "it might be from obesity" and "more research is needed" but NO ONE is doing it. Our efforts should be directed at getting this research done. The bill will never pass without it.
  13. I haven't been able to either..please try: www.washingtonwatch.com then key in the bill number (H. R. 3491) in the lower left hand corner. It will take you to the proper link, click that and you will be there. Thanks!
  14. This is the link to the bill. If any of you would, please go to this site and vote YES. It's being slammed by non-veterans, not to mention the comments made there are way out of line. Thanks! http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/...tml#commentform
  15. thanks guys for your responses. I don't know what that form is that you are referring to. Where do I get it? Some things that are abbreviated lose me...sorry. YES! My husband's VSO was useless and after my husband passed away I got a different VSO and he was useless, too. He told me straight up that he would NOT help me with the PTSD claim but now he denies ever saying that. Too late because I have done it all on my own. I just hope that I haven't hurt my case. Because my vso did have me sign a POA for the cancer claim than it is listed that I have a VSO for the ptsd..that is why the American Legion rep in Washington has my claim. I have no idea how long they will sit on my claim before it goes before the BVA. It's been over two years now. When I did call the rep a month or so ago I was told that they are working only on veterans claims where the veteran is 75 years or older. Also told that they will be doing that until the end of July then resume working on the other claims. Frankly I feel they should also put terminal veterans at high priority but apparently they did not. I hate waiting but do agree with them placing older veterans first. Anyway I will once again try and get the social security records via the suggestions given here on this topic. Thanks! Susan