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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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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

Esophageal Cancer Appeal Granted

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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.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

This is wonderful news regarding your claim and also some very sad facts-

veterans are dying to due AO disabilities,

their survivors are having -in most cases- many problems getting DIC, and as you said:

"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."

This is true and cannot be stated enough.

The good VSOs are overwhelmed and the lousy ones .... there are many cases at the BVA that a good VSO or rep could have advised the vet or widow on better-

We see the best rep we will ever have when we wake up and look in our bathroom mirror---

I commend you - this was NOT easy case and you did it!

Your husband would be very proud and now he can truly rest in peace.

I got BVA award April 2009 but it took until a few months ago for them to start paying me the retro DIC.

It was about 10 years of DIC withheld for a FTCA offset.

Even though I won and still had to fight ( have 2 claims pending still in the fire)

the VA made errors that seemed deliberate and they stalled as long as they could-

Make sure when they pay you that the Nehmer retro is correct.

There could be an accrued benefit award too.

My reps had no faith in my AO death claim when I filed it in 2003.

I think they were just too dumb to understand it.

I had to explain the Nehmer court order to them.hey even took steps to insure the claim would fail.

I complained to the General Counsel with evidence of their stupidity and now many of these reps are gone and cannot mess up veterans or widows claims anymore.It was a state Vets Org.

Your post here should be read by everyone here-some of these vet reps treat widows like we are second class citizens and it is an utter disgrace.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

PS -there is info on accrued benefits under the DIC topic here.and we have lots of Nehmer info as well under AO topics.

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Congratulations on your win. I too am a widow who had to fly with her own wings to win her claim without an involved VSO or attorney. It took me 6 years and three denials. I am glad it only took you four years.

Make sure to file for those benefits! They will not do it for you - in fact, when I filed for month of death they wrote back and told me that my vet was not receiving any benefits at the time of his death....what a bunch of idiots. Here I am receiving DIC, which a widow/er can only get when their dead spouse is SC at death, and they turn me down. I sent them back a pointed but brief NOD letter with a copy of SC award, rating award, marriage license, death certificate, and their denial in case they forgot they denied me.

Don't forget to file for burial expenses, medical ChampVa coverage and DEA benefits, and more.

Never give up!

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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?



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