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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Advice For Vietnam Vet Who Recently Suffered A Stroke


Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum, so I apologize if my questions have already been answered elsewhere, or if I'm posting in the wrong place - this seemed to be the most appropriate forum for my question. I'm actually new to this whole VA benefits thing - I've been doing a lot of research, but there is so much info and it is so complex, I feel like the more I read the more confusing it becomes. So here's my story. On Dec 7, my dad had a brain stem stroke that left him in a very bad condition. He cannot speak or swallow, his left side is paralyzed, and his breathing is very labored at times due to the fact that he cannot clear the congestion from his lungs. He is on a feeding tube, and pretty much needs help to do anything - even just to sit up in bed. We are hopeful for some recovery, but w/ strokes, it's impossible to tell to what extent that will be.

My dad is a Vietnam vet - I think he was boots on the ground in Vietnam for a year. However, after leaving the military, he has been relatively healthy since, so it did not occur to us that he could be eligible for VA assistance until a friend suggested it. From my research, I believe we can either apply for Pension w/ aid & attendance, or Compensation (I assume you cannot get both?). Under Compensation, I don't know if his stroke would be covered outright; however, I have seen the recent changes that would cover ischemic heart disease presumptively due to Agent Orange. A few years ago my dad had an echocardogram which showed "marked ischemia in the inferoposterior wall", and the doctor's report concluded, "coronary artery disease (totally occluded right coronary artery)". Since his stroke was also due to a severely narrowed artery in his brain, I'm hoping a connection between the two can be concluded.

I'm hoping that if anyone here has had a similar experience, or knows someone who did, they might be able to help me figure out the best course of action to take. I guess my basic questions would be:

1. would my dad qualify for Compensation, and if so, how much would he qualify for?

2. would he qualify on the stroke alone, or do I need to show a connection between IHD and the stroke?

3. would it be better to apply for Pension w/ aid and attendance?

4. this may be a different matter, but can/should he apply for Social Security Disability too?

There may be other questions I should be asking - at this point, I think there is a lot of info that I don't even know that I don't know - so I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks.

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