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Found 8 results

  1. Berta

    Survivors- a Must read

    If you are new to hadit and have DIC questions it would help us tremendously if you can answer the following questions right away in your first post. What was the Primary Cause of Death (# 1) as listed on your spouse’s death certificate? What,if anything, was listed as a contributing cause under # 2? Was an autopsy done and if so do you have a complete copy of it? It can be obtained through the Medical Examiner’s office in your locale. What was the deceased veteran service connected for in his/her lifetime? Did they have a claim pending at death and if so what for? If they died from anything on the Agent Orange Presumptive list ( available here under a search) when did they serve and where? If outside of Vietnam, what was their MOS and also if they served onboard a ship in the South Pacific what ship were they on and when? Also did they have any major physical contact with C 123s during the Vietnam War? And how soon after their death was the DIC form filed…if filed within one year of death, the date of death will be the EED for DIC and also satisfy the accrued regulation criteria. Many years ago I tried to find a widow’s past posts here, as she had returned to hadit with more questions on her DIC claim.. I googled -DIC Berta hadit and her name- and many links popped up, some from VBN (YUKU) where a widow has complained at YUKU that she got no help from me because I asked her too many questions at hadit. Fortunately some VBN members advised her that I understand DIC in and out and I asked probably the same questions any VSO or vet rep would. And maybe asked some the vet reps didn’t even think of. DIC can become a very complex issue , and only by asking questions ,can we possibly direct any survivor as to what they should do. By “we” I mean others here as well as me because all vets with a spouse need to get up to speed on DIC. Others will get a chance , with the two issues on the board today One is DIC, and one might become DIC at some point but that vet is still alive. Many DIC claims fall under 100% SC P & T for ten continuous years.....easy to succeed in A few are Section 1151 death issues. Difficult but not impossible to win. The rest usually involve proving that a SC disability caused or contributed significantly to death,....not impossible but difficult too sometimes. And if the DIC claims are not based on the ten year DIC regs, the survivor may also definitely need a strong IMO.
  2. Hi, Berta (everyone), I am curious if there’s any instructions on how to go about: DIC is granted & accrued / death pension benefits are denied. My VA rep (Colorado VA office), recently explained to me that my mom was awarded DIC benefits ( I filed on her behalf ), effective the day of his death (my dad died Dec.30, 2017) of... 1-Pneumonia 2-COPD 3-CAD but, we (she) was denied accrued because the Army / VA did not owe him any money, since he never filed for benefits while alive. While that part is true, he never filed because he was told he did not have agent orange, he was told he “wasn’t in the right theater”, course that “theater” explanation is false. Vietnam establishes theater now, period. My dad was on ground (in air) for a year. Further my dad’s records I received from archives (medals included) do not have a lot of information in them. I have a hard time understanding what they do say. My dad was 191st Military Intellegence, not sure if that is why I have trouble making sense of the records they gave me or if that has anything to do with why I had such a trouble free approval on DIC portion of our claim (approved first time & expedited approval within 3 months)..to which we are grateful. However, I have an original document from 1989 that reads, “ In regards to YOU’RE request to be tested for agent orange...Donald L. Welch...” (my dad)..you’re appointment is scheduled for ...1989 at ... etc. then written in red pen on the top of the document is written “6-8 weeks”. I prusume his “testing” (set for an entire day 8am-6pm) did not inform my dad he had exposure, because he then would have filed! Yet, clearly he did (death certificate reads CAD) & DIC awarded for presumptive CAD! Throughout his lengthy medical history of: Arteries blocked (multiple), Surgical stents, cardiac-arrest, COPD, bronchitis-chronic, lung problems, etc. He believed he did not qualify for benefits. Months before his death he went to VA medical at his brothers insistence & on the way home from getting RX (for the first time ever from the VA) he told his brother he was told he wasn’t in the “theater” for agent orange benefits. By the time he got his first RX delivered through the mail...he was dead....of CAD. How do I prove establish that he would have filed for benefits (as far back as 1989, document attached), if they had not told him he didn’t qualify & wasn’t exposed? How do I get addditional records when he was military intelligence? I can’t even find out what battles, his medal citations are even from. I also know his helicopter crashed while he was in Vietnam and his back had either whipping marks or shrapnel scarred all over it...I want to know why. No records if him being a POW. Can anyone link me in the right direction? I’ll have to figure out how to attach documents to post- will follow through.
  3. I'm just wondering who decides on the amount of DIC? Is it the Sec. of VA or some governing body? Been doing a lot of thinking lately. My husband is 100% P&T. If he should die and it is due to his disability or he makes it to the 10 year mark, I will get approx. $1257. It will be impossible for me to make it on that amount which scares me to death. His disability goes back to 2011 officially but I am sure it was long before that. Because of that fact, it was difficult to impossible for me to pursue my own career. I was always watching him and sometimes even working for the same company so I would be able to help him and keep an eye on him and his PTSD symptoms. At the time, we did not know what was causing his problems so did not file for disability. Through a lot of investigation and others mentioning things to us, we finally understood what for so many years was not understandable to us. I'm sure there are so many others that are dealing with these same issues. Since I did not have my own career and his was sporadic through the years, we are grateful for the disability compensation that was finally awarded. But, in the event of his death, the future is so scary. I really feel widows and widowers should be entitled to continue to receive the full disability upon the veteran's death, especially older survivors. So, who decides these issues. Who would need to be lobbied? Thanks, Kate
  4. Welcome Home Brothers and Sisters. I am a 63 yo 100% disabled vet living in Hungary , I didnt know where to post this question, hope someone can help me. I have been married to my wife who is a Hungarian National for four years now, and have been living here in Hungary for four years also. We have not gone back to the States yet because she takes care of her 94 yo Grandmother. My question is this, if something happened that I died over here, would she get her DIC here in Hungary or would they not award her that, I dont think she can get my SS but not sure. I cant afford to wait on the line for a DAV service officer as they are too busy anyway, and the VA, I know there are good people there but I dont want to play phone tag with them. Please advise if possible.
  5. 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.
  6. Dear Veterans and family members, My name is Susie.. I am a new member here on Had It... Thank you for reading my post. I am looking for anyone who may recall my Daddy , John E. Odom, who served in SEA, Takhli Thailand. He was stationed there from Feb 67-Feb 68. Trying to help my Mama with a DIC claim that was denied. I have found one person who can recall him.. and for that I am so very grateful. However, looking for others who may also remember Daddy. Daddy's job duties were carried out near the flight line. He worked in FMS and A&E. I have heard that those that were E-6's would have also helped to pull perimeter duty once every 1 or 3 months. I was wondering if they may have kept a list of all personnel who would have been asked to watch perimeter even though it was not listed on the job descriptions nor listed on the APR's. My Dad's APR's for the time period he was there was very complimentary however very vague... There was mention of several "special projects" .. but no detail. The one Veteran who recalls Daddy said that Daddy would sign for parts that were needed for repair.. and he said that his building was right at the flight line. unfortunately, my Daddy passed away April 2010. So I am relying on his APR's and those that were in service and stationed at the same place for information that could help my Mama. Mama was an angel.. she took care of my Daddy around the clock for over 20 years as he suffered from Parkinsons.. He also had prostate cancer and heart disease when he died. Any one who could recall anything or may offer advise about a list of servicemen who may have served guard duty as a secondary type duty.. please write me.... Thank you Veterans for your service and sacrifices and Thank you to all of his or her family members for everything you have done for our Veteran!!! susie
  7. Is a DIC claim under the veteran or spouse's SSN? The reason I ask is that I have filed both spouse substitution paperwork for an open claim for the veteran and also DIC paperwork for my mother-in-law and have gotten a standard "we have received your application for benefits" form letter and I'm trying to figure out if they are saying they have the substitution request or the DIC paperwork. Thanks, TS Snave
  8. I hope starting a new topic is the correct thing to do. I won very old SC DIC claim (I reopened in 2007), won in 2009, retro only to 2007. I am working on getting EED (back to date of death, 1990). I have a current Decision (denial) dated April 2012, and now must file BVA APPEAL (I-9). I am working with Bash, he and I noticed the current VARO Decision lists part of the EVIDENCE is: ""Copy of Board of Veterans Appeals Decision (BVA) pertaining to earlier effective date for ionizing radiation exposure disability (No relationship to this claim as this is not ionizing radiation claim) "" I went back into my records to see where "ionizing radiation" was first mentioned (by them-I never used that term in my claim(s)) to find this in the BVA Decision dated 1994 (my original claim was 1990 and this was the BVA APPEAL to that ongoing claim). This is what I found in the 1994 BVA Denial: ""At the time this case was orinally before the Board in April 1992, it appeared that the appellant had presented a claim which was plausible and, therefore, "well-grounded" within the meaning of 38 U.S.C.A. $ 5107 (a) (West 1991). However, for reasons explained below, we are now of the opinion that the appellant has not submitted evidence of a well-grounded claim. "" ""In order for service connection for the cause of the veteran's death to be granted, it must be shown that a service-connected disorder caused the death or substantially or materially contributed to it. A service - connected disorder is one which was incurred in or aggravated by service, or one which was proximately due to or the result of an established service-connected disability. During the veteran's lifetime, service connection had been established for nodular sclerosing Hodgkin's disease, which was rated as 100 percent disabling. According to his death certificate, the immediate cause of his death in August 1991 was arteriosclerotic heart disease. There were no other conditions contributing to death, and an autopsy was not conducted."" ........"" Arteriosclerotic heart disease is not recognized to be a potentially "radiogenic disease" under 38 U.S.C.A. $ 1112 © and 38 C.F.R. $ 3.309 (d). Consequently, the veteran's fatal arteriosclerotic heart disease may not be attributed to service radiation exposure, 38 C.F.R. $ 3.311b; see also Comboe v Principi No. 91-786 (U.S. Vet. App. January 1, 1993)."" ......""Subsequent to the May 1992 remand, the United States Court of Veterans Appeals held that where the determinative issue in a claim involves medical causation or a medical diagnosis, competent medical evidence to the effect that the claim is plausible is required to establish that the claim is well grounded. Grottviet v Brown, U.S. Vet.App. 92-20 (May 5, 1993). Lay persons are not competent to offer opinions on medical causation. Espiritu v Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 492 (1992). If no competent medical evidence is submitted to support the claim, it is not well grounded. Tirpak v Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 609, 611 (1992). In light of this additional case law and the absense of competent medical evidence to support her claim, we must conclude that the appellant's claim is not well grounded. Accordingly, service connection for cause of the veteran's death is not in order."" Now, my question.... Dr. Bash says "sounds like radiation error; should get EED"..... Can I possibly be awarded EED on this BVA APPEAL as it is related to my 2009 DIC award (retro to 2007) ?? OR Is it necessary to open a NEW CUE claim in order to use this effectively (with IMO) to go for the EED? Please can someone help me understand as I do not want to make a mistake here. I am ready to file the I-9 and I read Berta's "verbage" on exactly how to word what I am "taking exception to".... VERY helpful! Berta also suggested sending your exhibits (IMO too?) WITH the I-9 for them to have your evidence ......so it is very important for me to KNOW if I should send all of this as it relates to my current claim for EED of the 2007 effective date of my DIC award.??? IF I need to use a CUE for this, then how would I respond to the current APPEAL? Sorry to have written a book but I really need advice from you who really understand the law/regs etc., and you needed to know all these pertinent facts to be clear on what is happening. Just a word to explain my dilemma, I have had two SO's (AMVETS) and (TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION) and neither one of them want to assist or represent me anymore....can you believe it? Thank you so much! Judy B ( original case is in jurisdiction of Houston VARO)
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