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dkemp posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research ForumI am presently service connected for Tinnitus 10 % ; Bilateral Hearing Loss 80 % and TDIU 100 % P&T. Without going into a lot of discussion this was attained from 2001 through 2013. I am considering filing a claim for Heart Disease, Sleep Apnea, Hypertension, and Depression/PTSD. I feel if any of these claims prevail it will have to be secondary to my service connected hearing loss and loss of employment. I will try to explain this without having to write a book someone can give me some advice. My service connection disability had never been a factor for me until I was 48 years old and after working twenty two years in my chosen profession in law enforcement. I had never filed a claim for hearing loss mainly because my VA service rep twenty something years earlier told me they probably wouldn't be able to find my medical records and I wouldn't prevail. In 1992 at age 48 my agency demoted me, cut my salary, loss of other benefits and threaten to fire me due to my loss of hearing. I had just started wearing hearing aids so it made the hearing disability obvious. After this happened I became depressed, angry and still depressed to this day. I was ordered to see different psychologist and had to undergo weekly visits for six months. In addition I began to have hypertension problems, chest pain and marital problems. Priver or to the action related to my hearing I had never been treated for any of these problems and no hospitalization of any kind since I was very young. Before all of this I still was walking several miles a day and in excellent health. I ended up having to file suit to get my benefits back and prevailed in that regard. I have taken medicine for depression since 1992 and finally took an early retirement in November 2000 and moved back to my home state. I retired with two stents in my heart, high blood pressure, depression and frequent angina. I took a part time job as a US Marshal working in a federal court in my home state. Six months into the job I was medically terminated due to my hearing loss. In 2001 I filed my first VA claim for hearing loss. I was granted service connection with increases up until 2013 when I was granted TDIU. I had tried two different times for TDIU prior to 2013 and was denied. My depression is documented by VA medical records. Since 2001 VA has diagnosed seep apnea and issued me CPAP. I take VA prescribed meds for depression. In addition I have 15 stents in my heart, two heart attacks and quadruple by pass surgery after having a heart attack at VA medical facility in 2004. Sorry this is so long but is there anything secondary or otherwise I can hang my hat on in this information. I know I am blessed to have the TDIU but feel my heart condition and depression are both related in the chain of events over the years. I know I am not likely to die from hearing impairment but surely the heart disease will prevail.
Active duty son trying to get some advice on how to handle my dad’s VA claim. I appreciate any feedback and suggestions on how to proceed. My dad who is 78 years old is a Navy veteran of 23 years and served in Vietnam. He was stationed on the USS Kawishiwi (AO 146), which is a Navy ship on the VA’s “brown water” list (http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist/list.asp). My dad filed a VA Claim in 2003 for several diseases related to Agent Orange to include Type II diabetes, Heart Disease (had quadruple bypass, angioplasty, and splints done), Hypertension, various skin conditions, Gall Bladder and Liver conditions. The documentation that VA acknowledge receiving for this claim included his VA Form 21-526, VA Form 21-4142, Copy of his DD214, VA Form 21-22, and copies of medical records from MTF (Portsmouth Naval) and various civilian doctors. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the decision letter for this claim but I know he was denied the claim as these medical issues on his EBenefits “Disabilities” page have these medical issues being “Not Service Connected” My question is shouldn’t at least some of the issues be defaulted as “Service Connected” due to Agent Orange exposure as a “brown water” veteran? Most of the research I’ve done state that a Vietnam Veteran who have any of the diseases (http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/) and can prove that they were in Vietnam as either “boots on the ground” or “brown water” should receive VA compensation. If this is the case why was my dad denied his claim? So again I’m looking for advice on how to proceed. 1. Do I file a new VA Claim for my dad’s diseases related to Agent Orange? 2. If I file a new VA Claim what will the date be for his benefits? Will it be the date of this new claim or can they revert back to the original claim date from 2003? 3. Should I not open a new claim and try to reopen the original 2003 claim? Note: My dad is already receiving 40% disability for hearing loss and tinnitus. I wish I could have been more on top of this for my dad but I haven’t lived in the same area as him for 18 years and its difficult trying to stay on top of things. I was home visiting for Thanksgiving and spent some time going through his documents and wanted to see what I can do. I’m now committed to working this through resolution. My dad is a hard worker who worked 2-3 jobs most of his life to support his family. I would love to see him get these benefits that he deserves.