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Found 12 results

  1. Defense Bill Would Add 3 New Diseases to Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions List | Military.com
  2. As you all know the recent Agent Orange Defense Dept Bill does not include HBP. I found another recent HBP due to AO award at the BVA- there are more, and some I already posted here- "In the December 2019 examination, the examiner provided a positive nexus for the Veteran’s hypertension. In support, she explained that according to medical literature, the Veteran’s hypertension is more likely due to his exposure to herbicides during service. She cited a news article that reviewed health impacts between Agent Orange exposure and hypertension. The Board finds this opinion to have probative value. While it was somewhat conclusory as it relies on the news article, the Board notes that it is the only opinion that addresses hypertension based on herbicides exposure. As such, the Board finds the opinion to have some probative value. Moreover, the Board notes that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has found that there is “limited or suggestive evidence of an association between” hypertension and exposure to herbicide agents (such as Agent Orange) based on a recent statistical study. See Determinations Concerning Illnesses Discussed in National Academy of Sciences Report: Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012, 79 Fed. Reg. 20308 (Apr. 11, 2014); see also 38 U.S.C. § 1116 (b) (2012). The category “limited or suggestive evidence of an association” means that the “evidence suggests an association between exposure to herbicides and the outcome, but a firm conclusion is limited because chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with confidence.” Id. A more recent study by NAS released on November 15, 2018, indicates that “[t]he latest in a series of congressionally mandated biennial reviews of the evidence of health problems that may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War found sufficient evidence of an association for hypertension.” NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, Hypertension Upgraded in Latest Biennial Review of Research on Health Problems in Veterans That May Be Linked to Agent Orange Exposure During Vietnam War (Nov. 15, 2018), available at: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=25137." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files1/20007929.txt In this case the C & P examiner gave a probative statement to award the claim. It still was denied at the RO level. The veteran or their rep should have sent them the actual report-it could have been awarded at the RO level,if their RO can read. I have posted a link to the National Academy Of Science Report , that many vets have used, in order for them to attain, with proof of AO exposure, a SC rating for Hypertension. I used this same report for my HBP accrued claim, but the VA said they do not have that claim, I am used to them lying, and will need to find the time to pressure them to find it or file it all over again. Due to my accrued widow status and the fact it is a Nehmer claim, the EED ( 1998) will be the same anyhow. If an AO vet has "essential" hypertension or no other known cause for it, and they were exposed to AO,they should file the claim using the above most recent report that states the "sufficient" association of HBP to AO has been determined. Unlike former Sec Shulkin Sec Wilkie sent my VARO a coy of my letter to him, making a strong argument why HBP should be an AO presumptive. Deemed as a "sufficient association" by NAS -that is a higher level of association than many of the established presumptives have. If VA has never attributed your HBP to any other cause, and you are an incountry veteran ( to inlude BWV AO vets), they would be hard pressed to suddenly find some other NSC cause for the HBP, but they might try.
  3. I have several questions which are at the end of my post, but here is some background information. I got an email from CCK law firm with a link to this Youtube video. It indicates that the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 was enacted and includes the three new AO presumptives: Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, and Parkinson's-like symptoms (symptoms similar to Parkinson's without actually having a Parkinson's diagnosis). My father served in Vietnam boots on the ground, non-combat, for one year and had a number of ailments arise over time both during and after service. He did file for one musculoskeletal disability in the early 1990s and won 10% SC, but nothing else. Whenever I asked him to consider filing new claims, he simply did not want to deal with it. I didn't question him, but brought the idea up periodically. Now, after many discussions, my father recently finally agreed to allow me to help him file new VA claims. Here are the issues, some are AO-related: Mental health, memory problems, antisocial behavior, and triggers related to hearing helicopters. This is in part related to AO/Vietnam, but also due to a head injury later in service. Head injury residuals due to a head injury later in service. Sleep impairment and daytime tiredness due to a head injury later in service and hypothyroidism. Digestive issues including heartburn, dysphagia, voiding dysfunction, and alternating constipation and diarrhea in part related to AO/Vietnam, but also in-service diagnosis of food poisoning, frequent gastroenteritis including hospitalization after drinking contaminated water Residuals of insect bites including Lyme disease due to numerous in-service treatments for chiggers and tick bites, including one describing circular formations. Nocturia, frequent nighttime urination (3+/night) Hypothyroidism due to to AO/Vietnam; He was repeatedly diagnosed with this years ago. Parkinson's like symptoms to AO/Vietnam including apathy, cognitive changes, early stage dementia, depression, fatigue, occasional hallucinations, problems swallowing, etc... Fortunately, he had not developed cancer. My mother and I are working to write buddy letters to support each of the claims. She has letters, photographs, and even videos to help reinforce this. Question: My father retired from the Army and has a 10% rating. If he happens to get 50% or more, would that mean he would get paid from both Army retirement and VA disability? Question: Any recommendations or tips? Question: Would he qualify under Nehmer? Question: Under Nehmer, because he has never filed for any of these conditions, is there any chance for a backdated EED? Thanks!
  4. I saw this article in the new News Section Tbird has put here: https://vanews.wpengine.com/ https://www.erienewsnow.com/story/42619109/widow-of-vietnam-era-veteran-appealing-denial-of-claim-by-va In part: "Veterans Affairs states there’s no record of a cancer diagnosis while Richard served in the 1960s nor is there evidence of exposure to herbicides. “They actually want a photo of him standing by this particular plane that he guarded, however, that’s not possible because he was in a high-secured area,” Mary said. So tying the discovery of Agent Orange barrels to where Richard’s unit was stationed is strategic to the appeal." The VA wants to identify what planes he had worked on in Okinawa. It is unfortunate that often widows do not recall things their husband discussed with them, about their service, that could become highly relevant to a successful DIC claim, after they pass. ," that’s not possible because he was in a high-secured area,” Mary said." from the above link- but a highly secured area would be an ideal place for the AO to have been sprayed. I assume he worked close to the flight line. In the large stack of paperwork in the photo-I hope it includes the veterans SMRs and Personnel file. It often pays for veterans to try to find their unit buddies in their lifetime- if not for a VA claim, for the comradery. And one never knows when a unit buddy can help turn a denied claim around ,for living, and even deceased veterans.
  5. I feel like asking the BVA to CUE itself but I dont have a BVA case. There are 3 law judges here . 2 opining on an older NAs report and only one, the third case judge below , knows what he is talking about- as the remand in that third case here calls for the consideration of the 2012 report- Previously the HAS considered a limited and/or suggestive " association of AO to causing HBP- but after the 2010 , they found a "Sufficient" association between AO and HBP In this remand dated 04/28/20 In part it states: "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical trainingIn this remand (dated 04/28/20) "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical training, and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion." Caroline B. Fleming Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD. With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case. Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely. The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion." Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR. Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate. In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure. In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update. The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.” While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here. SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt BUT Yet the two AO Hypertension BVA awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) to the most recent AO HBP NAs report which I have posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. Lastly, the Board has awarded service connection for diabetes mellitus and hypertension and neuropathy are recognized by VA as being potential complications of diabetes." And "The clinician must provide reasons for each opinion given. In this regard, the clinician should address the NAS’s determination that there is now sufficient evidence of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure (See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)). The fact that hypertension is not yet on the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange should not be the basis for a negative opinion." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20024447.txtIn this remand dated 04/28/20 "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical training, and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion." Caroline B. Fleming Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD. With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case. Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely. The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion." Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR. Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate. In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure. In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update. The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.” While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here. SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt Yet the two AO Hypertension awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) tothe most recent AO HBP NAs report which Ihave posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. Lastly, the Board has awarded service connection for diabetes mellitus and hypertension and neuropathy are recognized by VA as being potential complications of diabetes." And "The clinician must provide reasons for each opinion given. In this regard, the clinician should address the NAS’s determination that there is now sufficient evidence of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure (See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)). The fact that hypertension is not yet on the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange should not be the basis for a negative opinion." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20024447.txt This case was decided on 04/09/20 Jonathan Hager Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals Right ---the 2012 report is clear- "sufficient evidence of association between AO and Hypertension." The first two remands here are wrong -maybe I should contact the BVA ombudsman, because two of three of these decisions ( and maybe there are more) are in conflict, with the most recent NAS report,dated 2018 , In the final third BVA case lawyer correctly determined it had to be considered by the RO. This case was decided on 04/09/20 Jonathan Hager Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals Right ---the 2012 report is clear- "sufficient evidence of association between AO and Hypertension." , and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion." Caroline B. FlemingIn this remand dated 04/28/20 "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical training, and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion." Caroline B. Fleming Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD. With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case. Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely. The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion." Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR. Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate. In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure. In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update. The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.” While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here. SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt Yet the two AO Hypertension awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) tothe most recent AO HBP NAs report which Ihave posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. Lastly, the Board has awarded service connection for diabetes mellitus and hypertension and neuropathy are recognized by VA as being potential complications of diabetes." And "The clinician must provide reasons for each opinion given. In this regard, the clinician should address the NAS’s determination that there is now sufficient evidence of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure (See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)). The fact that hypertension is not yet on the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange should not be the basis for a negative opinion." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20024447.txt This case was decided on 04/09/20 Jonathan Hager Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals Right ---the 2012 report is clear- "sufficient evidence of association between AO and Hypertension." Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD. With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case. Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely. The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion." Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR. Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate. In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure. In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update. The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.” While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here. SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt Yet the two AO Hypertension awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) tothe most recent AO HBP NAs report which Ihave posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. Lastly, the Board has awarded service connection for diabetes mellitus and hypertension and neuropathy are recognized by VA as being potential complications of diabetes." And "The clinician must provide reasons for each opinion given. In this regard, the clinician should address the NAS’s determination that there is now sufficient evidence of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure (See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)). The fact that hypertension is not yet on the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange should not be the basis for a negative opinion." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20024447.txt This case was decided on 04/09/20 Jonathan Hager Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals Right ---the 2012 report is clear- "sufficient evidence of association between AO and Hypertension." Geez, if the BVA judges are not all up on the latest NAS report- they have denied some vets of their rights- because the report might not award all AO exposed vets for HBP, but it is still at a high level that should prompt consideration. "Sufficient" is a higher level of association then many past AO disabilities have had in NAS reports. Any takers on this?????? I was stunned to see how two of these law judges were not aware of the NAS 2018 report. Tomorrow I might find more BVA judges don't know about it either---- this means on remand, the veteran might get a lousy C & P exam and be denied again, unless the veteran finds out about the NAS 2018 report.
  6. ALS Variant? I'm a Vet Wife. I post on behalf of my husband, I'm his note taker at doctor's appointments and consults. I'm his support system and all around cheerleader. Lord knows we have had our VA battles. All these years after Vietnam, the onset of my husband's emerging illnesses, obviously percolating internally has emerged one after another. We've seen subtle signs and some not so subtle. But didn't; know what those sign meant. The VA didn't do a very good job of educating the older veterans about what to be aware of regarding SC disabilities, My veteran husband's a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran served in US Marine Corps. My husband has several service connected disabilities. My husband diagnosed with Monomelic Amyotrophy recently; it is a Motor neuron (MND) disease that is the umbrella covering all type Motor neuron diseases and variants. To which ALS/ Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and variants falling under the same umbrella as being classified as Motor Neuron Disease (MND). As exhibited in cases of muscle loss: Monomelic Atrophy. ALS causes degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that leads to muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, and spontaneous muscle activity. The VA Doctors pondered whether my husband had ALS or MS. Yet, the Neuromuscular Head Physician conceded that my husband's illnesses was an ALS variant because his illness fell under the umbrella of Motor Neuron Diseases as did ALS......is a Motor Neuron disease. ???? We don't know how VA will decide. Other complicating issues: *Spinal issue (S Curve of spine) *Multi focal motor neuropathy associate with Diabetes 2 is a part of the mix/entwined as well. However, most severely is the inability of identifying the exact reason for the monomelic atrophy. Although it was hoped a more exact finding will be determined when all results of updated blood tests were in. On May 2017: *Blood test are in; determination that no immune diseases are present Possible treatment of an intravenous treatment once every three months or medications with steroids would be beneficial. No effective treatment available. MMA Diagnosis. Inflammatory Arthritis is Part of the neuropathy (Special kind of neuropathy) As well as severe spine problems. Very rare complicated illnesses intersecting and exacerbating primary and/or secondary with veteran's service connected disabilities. Monomeric atrophy......Veteran has lost the use of his right hand and right forearm weakened and wasting away. One limb atrophy See notes…..described as one limb muscle atrophy Spinal cord (S curve of spinal cord) compression on top on addition the monomeric Toxic agent like Agent Orange could more likely than not" a contributor for neuropathy. Immune diseases (no) Deterioration. Of bones on vertebra Spondylosis...inflammatory arthritis Acts like spinal cord injury (Findings of EMG) EMG to confirm the diagnosis ( Neuromuscular VA Physician at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas) Table of Rated Disabilities Disability Rating Decision Related To Peripheral Neuropathy, Left Lower Extremity Not Service Connected Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet, D to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued. Peripheral Neuropathy, Right Lower Extremity Not Service Connected Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet, ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued Agent Orange - Vietnam Neuropathy, Left Upper Extremity Not Service Connected Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet, ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued Bilateral Hearing Loss (claimed as diminished hearing) 0% Service Connected Tinnitus (claimed as ringing in both ears) 10% Service Connected headaches Not Service Connected depression Not Service Connected skeletal arthritis aching of the joints (unspecified) Not Service Connected Arthritis denied as…. early as 2015… Yet, ID to pinpoint as being symptomatic complexity of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, also claimed as depression and anxiety) 30% Service Connected PTSD - Combat Hypertension 0% Service Connected Neuropathy, Right Upper Extremity Rectal carcinoma claimed as rectal cancer, a soft tissue cancer) Not Service Connected Agent Orange - Vietnam Still on since 12/11/14 appeal Remand 5/15 scar, shrapnel right knee 10% Service Connected 09/18/2013 diabetes mellitus type II 10% Service Connected Agent Orange - Vietnam 07/06/2015 prostate cancer 100% Service Connected Agent Orange - Vietnam 07/06/2015 erectile dysfunction 0% Service Connected 07/06/2015 Neuropathy, Right Upper Extremity Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet.ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of MonomelicAmyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued Agent Orange – Vietnam
  7. Berta and all. Here is what I have so far from my friend and his mother that I was speaking about the other day. From what I can tell, They do have the DD214 and DD215's. However, there DD214 itself does not show any type of locations of service as the newer ones do.It does show a previous command which I assume is the one he deployed with. I took notice of the "Foreign/Seas service" section of his 214 and noticed he has Foreign service for 11 months and 20 or so days, just long enough to be in Vietnam... However, I feel I may have to dig up records pertaining to that unit at the time in order to prove it? I am unsure on that exactly. It was also strange they had 2 DD215's, also unsure what to make of that. *edit - I remember the wife speaking about the veteran making a stop in Okinawa before Vietnam. I found a unit that fits that timeline of when the veteran would have arrive in Okinawa to link up with as a support engineer. I dont have a way to confirm, but it fits...: " On July 4, 1965, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was ordered to Vietnam. During this first year 9th Marines took part in approximately 45 battalion-sized and several company-sized operations. During the next four years 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines operated in or around Danang, Hue, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, Camp Carrol, Cam Lo, Con Thien, Than Cam Son, Quanq Tri, Cua Viet, Vandergrift Combat Base and Khe Sanh. For its actions in Vietnam 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines was awarded a third Presidential Unit Citation, a bronze star in lieu of second award of the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two silver stars, and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. In August 1969, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines left Vietnam and returned to Okinawa. Its role in the Southeast Asian Conflict ended with the recapture of the Mayaquez and the landing on Koh Tang Island in May 1975 (Veteran completed his training sometime in 1969). In February 1979, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines became the first battalion to rotate to the United States as part of the unit deployment program. " via http://www.2ndbattalion9thmarines.org/About_Us As far as medical is concerned, I believe I have enough to prove the VA wrong. The mother has HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of medical records pertaining to his disability. I couldn't copy them all but I found many pertinent ones that show the initial DX plus ongoing treatment. I am posting all of it here in hopes someone might make more sense of it along with the Rating decision. Sorry for some of the photos, the mother found more docs after I left and sent them via her phone. Matt Spina Bifida_Redacted.pdf
  8. I uploaded (last week) some of the decisions my late husband had gotten and Berta spotted a couple CUEs and gave me some help in drafting them. Berta if you are able to help with a few more questions Please? I have only 2 more days till my year is up from the DIC/Accrued benefits claim where DIC was awarded and Accrued denied saying there aren't any. At that time also, I intended Substitution but the VA form got separated (my fault) and didn't get submitted. I, however, wrote it into the 21-534EZ form and checked it. I also included a cover letter that said explicitly I was substituting for any and all accrued benefits... They didn't address substitution in their decision. Now with the CUEs which aren't an accrued yet, do I need to address those 2 forms immediately before the deadline? Here are some questions I still have if you could clarify these for me please: A. Is a NOD for accrued benefits claimed with DIC a year ago needed – to appeal their conclusion that there are no accrued benefits? Would any backpay from these CUEs be considered accrued benefits that I would have to NOD the decision now for? B. Is Substitution needed to do CUE claims or to receive any backpay on them? C. What happens when future presumptions of ao are added to the list going forward (as a surviving spouse) does it affect anything I can act on? 1. Conditions claimed before – either rated or denied sc 2. Would conditions listed in the C-File but never claimed come into play ever as a presumptive? D. If CUE is successful: 1. then qualifying for housebound or A&A will need to be judged and evidence has never been presented before… a. does the judgement come only from the C-File? And if so, should I include printouts from C-File to bring attention to issues pertaining to them? b. Can any evidence be added (from that date and before) since it was never considered before? And if so, do I include it with the CUE claim? E. IHD was first decided as 30% and went back to one year prior to our first claim – effective 2004…the bump up to 60% was effective . But the 100% was effective 2006…Should any of those effective dates be different because: 1. SSDI was in place for IHD qualification date of 12/2000 2. TDIU decision being effective 2006 (but he was unemployable per SSDI in 2000?) 3. 100% decision? 4. 100% effective date adjusted back due to Nehmer 2010 addition listing it as a presumptive 5. Combination of all the above? F. Many of the evidence documents we submitted are not in the C-File and none of the forms we submitted are there to prove what we submitted or said. Is that normal? G. Also, the only SS docs in the C-File are the ones where I outline his conditions and behaviors in answer to the many questions on the intake paperwork for that SS claim. There’s 4 pages of handwritten (including along margins due to space shortage) that I doubt anyone is going to wade through but it’s filled with problems he was having. Should I type it all out and attach it to the handwritten forms? H. We submitted the whole SS file but can’t prove it. We even wrote a letter to our Congressman to help us get a particular letter sent to us by SS along with their decision listing a myriad of restrictions to employment they concluded for him. I couldn’t find it and neither could SS but the Congressman did try for us. I have those communications too, but don’t want to drown them in paperwork with this claim. Any thoughts? Again, thank you Berta. I did try the other people you suggested without success. And thank you to everyone here who has helped me or does going forward!
  9. Berta told me about Footnote One Nehmer yesterday and I had not heard about that although I do know about Nehmer. And yes my husband was rated for Ischemic heart disease before it was added to the presumptive list. And his death certificate signed by his GP at VA saying long term heart disease. It was rated as secondary to diabetes (which was rated 20% initially) and was already a presumptive condition. He had applied for both at that time - about 2003 or 2004. He was rated 30% initially for his heart even though he had had a quadruple bypass (Dec 2000) with neurological complications, extensive scar tissue from many previous heart attacks that had to be cleaned out before the bypass could proceed in surgery. He had a TIA on the operating table and post pump syndrome from being on the heart lung machine so long (due to the cleanup) for surgery. He was told by his heart specialist he could no longer work at what he was skilled to do. He was granted SS Disability as a result 9 months later. He filed his first VA claim a couple years later when his buddy finally persuaded him to do it. He had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 1997. They didn't address any of the neurological stuff (from the heart surgery) as I recall at all or the post pump syndrome (which usually goes away rather quickly but was a problem for at least a couple years for Don). The lower left ventricle of his heart was dead already before surgery from previous attacks we didn't know about - silent due to diabetes. And his ejection fraction was 25 before and right after surgery and then came up to 30-35. It bounced around some over the years but was usually 30-40. He had an echocardiogram every year which approximated it. After 2 hospitalizations for Congestive Heart Failure over the next few years, they finally rated him 60% heart and 40% diabetes (when he became insulin dependant. Shortly after starting insulin - a few months - Don was put on an insulin pump because he was needing so much insulin and put him on the U500 insulin which is very closely monitored because of being so very strong) and VA rated him for 10% each leg for Peripheral Neuropathy. Don also claimed PTSD, which should have been granted, as we had a few years worth of records already from a private practice psychologist the VA had recommended whose report said he had it and it was from VietNam (non-combat). But Va's C&P psychologist or psyciatrist said he wasn't sure of that origin. He agreed Don had it. They asked us to prove Don's stressors. We searched for months for other guys Don remembered being there, found one but couldn't prove the stressors. They never contacted us when the requirement to prove stressors was lifted to re-evaluate his claim. In 2006 they rated him TDIU and his heart 100% by itself in the same decision with effective dates a few months apart??? Makes no sense to me since the TDIU was then dropped due to the 100% rating. That was his last rating - 2006. He developed kidney failure late 2010 with a hospitalization of a few weeks for Congestive Heart Failure because the kidneys weren't removing the fluid with normal types of hospital treatment. He was treated by a team consisting of his heart specialist, his GP who had admitted him, and the new Nephrology group the GP brought in. All Private Practice doctors and hospital. They finally tried something rather bold, I'm told, that started the fluid draining. After discharge, at home, he had a few weeks of digital monitoring of his stats, reports I had to give them on weight and output amounts etc. and nurse visits and was told to prepare for dialysis. About that time his doctor at VA called, alarmed, at his rapid decline in kidney function. That is in the medical records at VA along with numerous notations of him being on dialysis and having a port in his abdomen for it, every time he went in for a 6 month checkup. As you know, Berta, we asked about rating his kidney failure (which his doctors say was from diabetes making it another secondary condition of diabetes and so service connected..) and 3 different VSOs in 3 locations each said we couldn't go above 100%. I didn't know about these kind of forums then. And only discovered the blog I reference below, by accident. We also asked his doctors at VA and they didn't know either. But one of them (unbeknownst to us) requested payment from VA for the 'dialysis treatment plan' and they agreed to pay for supplies, treatment, bi-monthly clinic followups with the 'team' (nephrologist, nurse, dietician, social worker). They also covered delivery of supplies to our home bi-monthly (huge amount of heavy bags of fluid and much more.). He had started dialysis April 2011 and they began paying April 2013 and continued until his death Dec 6, 2015. In March 2015 I saw a blog about Special Monthly Compensation and about rating conditions beyond the 100% level. I asked for an analysis of Don's case and the attorney agreed requesting Don's C-File from VA in March. It didn't arrive until late Aug 2015. The analysis wasn't quite finished when he died. A & A was definitely something he qualified for as well and I have many statements from friends, relatives, our pastor etc as well as notes in VA's files and doctor statements about it. But that's another story. I don't know if Nehmer affects anything I've said here or not. Does anyone else? Berta? And we were not ever contacted by VA or NVLSP about it. Maybe because he was already 100%? I did apply for DIC and Accrued benefits within the year following his death and was granted DIC and denied accrued because they said there weren't any. They never checked his C file or medical records or Treasury to discover anything really. I had thought the attorney would represent me in an appeal but he's decided not to. My DIC was granted at the higher level due to Don having been 100% for over 8 years. I'm not sure what you thought I interpreted wrong about that Berta.
  10. http://community.hadit.com/topic/69387-poopsy-woopsy/ This came up in the above thread and although the info on Nehmer is a signifiant amount here in the AO forum, this had to be clarified as it could be hard to find under a search. Nehmer class action members who are the survivors of a AO veteran, under the 2010 Nehmer Court Order (which service connects IHD, Hairy Cell B, and Parkinsons in all incountry Vietnam veterans, do not have to file for substitution or accrued benefits when they file their AO DIC claim. All other surviving spouses of vets who had claims pending at death must file as substituted claimant or for accrued benefits within one year of the veteran's death. Accrued benefits are defined in detail here under a search. I took this definition from a BVA case, which made it easier for me to find: This is the regulation regarding Nehmer claims, which is defined as a retroactive payment, not an accrued payment:: “I. Retroactive Benefits The appellant contends that the Veteran's heart disease was due to Agent Orange exposure and, therefore, retroactive benefits are warranted pursuant to the Nehmer decision. This is not a claim for accrued benefits. The RO, on its own initiative, sent the appellant a letter in March 2011 explaining that it was going to review the matter pursuant to Nehmer v. Veterans Administration of the Gov't of the U.S., 284 F. 3d 1158 (9th Cir. 2002). The provisions of 38 U.S.C. 5121(c) and §3.1000(c), which require survivors to file claims for accrued benefits, do not apply to payments under 38 C.F.R. § 3.816, regarding awards under the Nehmer Court Orders for disability or death caused by a condition presumptively associated with herbicide exposure. See 38 C.F.R. § 3.816(f)(2) (2015). 1) Applicable Law Retroactive benefits may be paid under Nehmer if a Nehmer class member is entitled to disability compensation for a covered herbicide disease. See 38 C.F.R. § 3.816. Nehmer class member means: (i) a Vietnam veteran who has a covered herbicide disease; or (ii) a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a deceased Vietnam veteran who died from a covered herbicide disease. 38 C.F.R. § 3.816(b)(1). If the class member's claim for disability compensation for the covered herbicide disease was either pending before VA on May 3, 1989, or was received by VA between that date and the effective date of the statute or regulation establishing a presumption of service connection for the covered disease, the effective date of the award will be the later of the date such claim was received by VA or the date the disability arose, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. 38 C.F.R. § 3.816(c)(2). The covered herbicide diseases are listed in 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e). See 38 C.F.R. § 3.816(b)(2). This list includes ischemic heart disease, which was added to the list of covered herbicide diseases effective from August 31, 2010. See 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e); 75 Fed. Reg. 53202 (Aug. 31, 2010). “ https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/files2/1609942.txt (this BVA claim for DIC was denied but still held the exact regulation regarding Retroactive Benefits which made it far easier for survivors to attain than trying to claim accrued if over a year had passed after the veteran's death) I recall here over the past 2 decades that we never dreamed the VA would ever compensate IHD for AO exposure. Certainly many and probably ALL widows with a AO IHD death claim never could have filed for accrued benefits anyhow for AO IHD because there was no regulation for AO IHD prior to August 2010. The above claim was denied thus: "FINDINGS OF FACT 1. The Veteran did not have service in the Republic of Vietnam and is, therefore, not a Nehmer class member. 2. The current effective date of November 1, 2008, represents the first day of the month in which the Veteran's death occurred where the appellant's claim was received within one year after the date of his death." But it did contain a good explanation of Retro payments instead of "accrued" benefits, that Nehmer Class action members, as survivors, could expect even if an accrued claim had never been filed for AO IHD. And just to add....many of us Nehmer Class action survivors were also Footnote One claimants. I have explained Footnote One here Many times since 2010 and added Rick Spataro's emails to me on it ( NVLSP Head AO lawyer) and all of that that is easily searchable here ( I hope) and was the most important and unique aspect of Nehmer 2010. Agent Orange is still harming and killing our nation's veterans. But only those vets or their survivors as defined in the above citation from the BVA and in the the Nehmer Court Orders are Nehmer class action members.
  11. Got some good news to share. Some of you may know, or recall, that I had written elsewhere on here, that my Dad(Nam combat, 24 yr career retired, 60% SCD) and I don't exactly communicate very well. The grapevine tells me that it's my own lack of communication skills are the problem. Anyway, while updating my folks after yesterday's 6 month foster child case review court session, Dad went off topic to let me know that the VA has opened an AO claim for/on him. Said they initiated it(???)and that he has a bunch of appointments scheduled over the next few months. I was quite surprised that he wanted to tell me about that...since I'm usually the last to know, and my wife is usually the one telling me. So...is there anything I should tell him to tell them? I don't know too much about his overall health, beyond his Nam related back injury. Thanks. Andy
  12. I will try to post 6 messages concerning the shipment and arrival of Agent Orange and Agent Blue from Saigon RVN to Republic of Korea. I do not have a full list of the units at that location (Camp Seattle) as of yet but at least the following units were there on that date (3/20/1968). 1st Base Post Office CCA (I think this means Container Control Activity) a detachment of Co A, 728th MP Co. Hq & Hq Co, Inchon Petroleum Depot 503rd MP Detachment HQ detachment 202nd Transportation BN there was also a TMD unit there (household goods) and probably others I haven't uncovered The DoD is at present unsure of the location or route that the shipment took from there to "forward locations near the DMZ" where it arrived on 10 April 1968. I suspect it came to USA ASCOM Depot at Bupyeong as all supplies in the northern half of Korea did. These documents were acquired under a Freedom of Information Act request to Eighth US Army CG. This was perhaps 2% of what I requested (didn't even really ask for these) but this is part of what they sent I think to attempt to sidestep what I really asked for. The denial is under appeal. Robert McNamara, then Secretary of Defense, once said in relation to interview, debates, and speaches "Never answer the question asked, instead answer the question you wished would have been asked." Anyway, hope these help someone. f600.pdf f100.pdf f200.pdf f300.pdf f400.pdf f500.pdf
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