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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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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

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Agent Orange Examination


I finally was able to get an appointment for an Agent Orange exam. What can I expect at this exam, and what do I do and most important is what do I not do.


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This is my take on the AO exam. I took mine in October of last year. The exam, itself, was not nothing to be concerned with. The VA doctor at the VA clinic first asked when I served in Vietnam. Then the doctor proceeded to ask various questions such as diabetes, skin lesions, etc. I told the doctor that the VA had announced that there were three new presumptives to be added to the AO list and that I had one of those, IHD. I gave the VA doctor a copy of private medical records showing such. The doctor said their staff were not aware of the three new additions. The doctor finished the very brief exam and told me I would be getting a report on the findings from the AO exam.

A few weeks later in November, I received a letter from the VA clinic telling me that I had no illnesses associated with AO. In March of this year, I took my C&P exam for IHD. In April, the VA sent me a copy of the C&P results back, confirming my IHD diagnosis. From the C&P examiner's write-up from the exam, it looks like I will get a good rating, once the final rules are published into the Federal Register. This, after the initial AO exam said I had no illnesses associated with Agent Orange.

So, if I were you, I would not put a lot into this so-called AO exam. Take it with a grain of salt. If you get a good report, fine. If you think or know they are missing something from your diagnosis, as long as you have good private medical records for a C&P exam, the C&P exam will always trump the AO registry exam.

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I got a pretty good exam when I got the AO exam. That does not mean you don't have to file a claim. If you have one of the presumptive conditions you have to file a claim. I think that there are some doctors who do good AO exams, and others who don't know a damn thing. I think we Nam vets are very low on priority list at the VA. We are like the idiot child who the family hides in the basement or attic. I think the real purpose of the AO Registry is to do longitudinal statistical study on the effects of dioxin on human beings. In other words we are the lab rats. If they could they would have dosed "volunteers" with dioxin to see the outcomes. They did it with other drugs as Shad victims can attest.

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