Jump to content
  • Latest Donations

  • Advertisemnt

  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

    questions-001@3x.png

    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 ...
    Continue Reading
     
  • Ads

  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

    tinnitus-005.pngptsd-005.pnglumbosacral-005.pngscars-005.pnglimitation-flexion-knee-005.pngdiabetes-005.pnglimitation-motion-ankle-005.pngparalysis-005.pngdegenerative-arthitis-spine-005.pngtbi-traumatic-brain-injury-005.png

  • Advertisemnt

  • Advertisemnt

  • Ads

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

    employment 2.jpeg

    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

Sponsored Ads

  • Searches Community Forums, Blog and more

  • Donation Box

    Please donate to support the community.
    We appreciate all donations!
  • Available Subscriptions

  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
mozartplayer

Final Ao Reg Not Yet Posted?

Question

I had thought the new final AO reg would have been posted by now based on what I've heard through the grapevine, but have not seen it posted to Federal Register yet. Does anyone know for a fact that OMB has completed its fiscal review? I filed my comp claim 8/10/09 on basis of both prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia, having been treated for prostate cancer 8/1/05, but still seeing an oncologist every 4 months for the leukemia which was diagnosed 4/10/07. I assume my claim is on stay until final reg is implemented although I never received a notice from Togus VA with the stay language. I filed my claim with Detroit VA, but they farmed it out to Togus in Augusta, Maine to do the development and I have mailed 28 packages of documents to Togus since October 2009 when they received my claim from Detroit. To make it all the more confusing, I recently received two letters on the same day from Detroit VA, but written on two different days which had two different filing dates for my claim, but both later than the original electronic filing date of 8/1/10, both letters inferring that Detroit had overlooked the fact they had farmed out my claim to Togus VA. Having just read the 8/19/10 VA OIG report on its inspection of the Detroit VA Regional Office with its high error rate, I'm hoping that my claim gets fair and accurate adjudication when Togus returns it to Detroit although I did ask Togus to adjudicate it,if possible, when the new reg is implemented. I live in Michigan so have to assume they'll return it to Detroit for the final adjudication. It's been over 12 months since I filed it so I guess another 3 months or more is not a big deal. I just want fair treatment. I also discovered that were many documents missing from my St. Louis personnel file, including some medical reports and two or three TDY orders, one of which was for my TDY from Kadena AB, Okinawa to Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam shortly after Operation Ranch Hand began in 1962. I was PCS at Kadena 1961-63 and may also have been exposed to Agent Orange there as well as during a TDY to Howard AB, Canal Zone August 1963, that TDY order also missing from my file, where Agent Orange is thought by many to have been sprayed. We'll never know exactly what happened in Okinawa or the Canal Zone. I just know I acquired both prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia which I don't believe was just random luck. I'm also having a total hip replacement done 9/29/10, but I'll never know if there's any connection between my severe hip and cervical osteoarthritis and exposure to Agent Orange. I just know I have multiple impairments. Fortunately, I don't have IHD or Parkinson's, yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

I did not see a message confirming my posting had been posted; hence the multiple postings, thinking it had timed out before being posted. I had mistakenly thought it had timed out before being posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ad

"I also discovered that were many documents missing from my St. Louis personnel file, including some medical reports and two or three TDY orders, one of which was for my TDY from Kadena AB, Okinawa to Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam shortly after Operation Ranch Hand began in 1962. I was PCS at Kadena 1961-63"

They will need proof positive of your Vietnam Service.

Have you attempted to find those missing documents or do you have any other proof of service in Vietnam?

VA has made one award if not perhaps more than one award to an Okinawa veteran who proved his exposure to AO there.

Do you fully fall into the spraying dates for Vietnam? When did you leave Vietnam?

http://www.lewispublishing.com/herbs1.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was TDY to Tan Son Nhut in 1962, but after the 1/9/62 date the VA established as the beginning of the Agent Orange presumptive period which ended 5/7/75. Operation Ranch Hand had already begun when I was there and I recall the C-123 planes there equipped for spraying. However, I was there with a detachment of RF-101 Voodoo recon aircraft from Kadena AB which were flying classified photo recon sorties over Laos and other parts of Southeast Asia. I do have copies of the now declassified history of those recon missions and I have submitted dozens of other documents to the VA as to my presence there performing maintenance on the RF-101 aircraft. I was informed by the Togus VA Center earlier this year that they had requested copies of my entire personnel file from St. Louis, but have not heard back on any details. Based on at least one past BVA decision, I do know there have been instances of TDY orders missing from personnel files. Having spent over 30 year in the past working for a very large Federal agency, I know how documents can inadvertently get misfiled, lost, or shredded. I did read the BVA decision in which a former Marine was awarded comp benefits for exposure to Agent Orange while stationed on Okinawa during the same time I was there at Kadena. However, he was a motor vehicle driver who drove a truck carrying barrels of herbicide to the Marine Corp's northern training area on the island where Agent Orange was sprayed not far from a dam that supplied two-thirds of the island's drinking water. I saw it being sprayed around the perimeters of Kadena and around aircraft revetments during my 18 months there. I may well be denied if they don't find my TDY orders, but I have reason to suspect that because it was a classified TDY, the orders may have been destroyed or never filed to begin with. That was during a time when lots of illegal actions were taking place and from my contacts with Air America employees while there, I knew that much of what went on was not public knowledge. If I'm denied, I will appeal it to the BVA. My copies of letters and documents I've sent to the VA since filing the claim on 8/10/09 are now in a stack 6" high which weighs 10 pounds, but I know the VA would like to see official orders. As I said, I don't think it's just coincidence that I acquired both prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia about the same time. I also believe I saw Agent Orange being sprayed during my TDY to the Canal Zone in August 1963 where it was being used on the DZ where we dropping airborne troops from C-130. I was an airborne electronics navigation technician during my 8 years in the Air Force so worked on a wide variety of aircraft during those years, including time in both SAC and TAC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes= you are absolutely correct on the initial spraying date and you fall within that date.

"that because it was a classified TDY, the orders may have been destroyed"

My daughter has classified military records but was told they would declassify them for VA claims purposes.I still wonder if that is true.

Have you been able to find anyone in your unit if you need a potential buddy statement?

"As I said, I don't think it's just coincidence that I acquired both prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia about the same time."

I agree with you. As I understand it Hairy Cell B is not a usual type of cancer.I could be wrong but cannot imagine how VA would call your disabilities a 'coincidence'.

You seem to have your ducks in a row here-

"That was during a time when lots of illegal actions were taking place and from my contacts with Air America employees while there", do you recall any of their names to possibly google and contact them for a buddy statement?

With no other etiology for your disabilities -but for dioxin, the VA should award your claim.

But "should" isnt in the regs.

A good environmental specialist could probably prepare a very strong IMO to support that there is no other etiology for the disabilities you have, but for the AO exposure and that could be quite costly.And they could still hinge on proof of Vietnam service even with a strong IMO.

Is it possible that the VA already has some of your Service records ? The critical ones ?

Have you applied for SSA disability?

The SSA had such a stack of my husband's VA records and military records that I was stunned.

Somehow the SSA even had VA records that the VA said didn't exist.

Figure that.

Edited by Berta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm age 71 now so have been receiving a modest Social Security retirement benefit since my full retirement age of 65 and 2 months. I retired at age 62 in 2000 after working many years for the Social Security Administration, but went back to work a year later for just a salary and no benefits as a legal assistant to Social Security adminiistrative law judges with the Office of Hearings and Appeals on what was supposed to be a few months of work, but ended up being two years full-time and two years part-time. So, what with so many years working with SSA, inclnuding the 4 years for the SSA judges, I've worked on more disability cases than I care to think about. I have tried to locate veterans who were at Tan Son Nhut same time I was there in 1962, but no luck yet. I did read all of the 700 plus comments posted to the NPRM after it was published 3/25/10, but did not find anyone who alleged to have both prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia. I have a relative who just got approved for comp because of an incurable form of soft tissue sarcoma known as GIST. He was initially denied, but I helped him with his BVA appeal and got his Congressman involved after I was convinced that GIST was a form of soft tissue sarcoma which was already on the presumptive list. He was rated 100% because of the incurable metastatic disease, but it took 2 and a half years. He got paid retro to date of filing. He didn't want to file an appeal of the denial, but his wife and I convinced him to do so and he's now very happy he did listen to us. He did a 12 month Army combat tour in Vietnam about 1968 while I was there only TDY in 1962 with the Air Force in a relatively safe environment except for the herbicides loaded on the C-123s flying out of Tan Son Nhut while I was there. I believe it was initially Agent Purple being sprayed and it was so toxic that it was eating through the rubber on the C-123's spray nozzles which were later replaced with neoprene in place of the rubber. I believe it was not until 1975 that Agent Orange replaced Agent Purple with Agent Purple found to be at least three times more toxic than Agent Purple and it was Agent Purple that was being sprayed while I was there and in Okinawa. I hope the final reg is published soon to start the 60 day Congressional Review period so I can get a decision this fall even if it's a denial. I didn't file in 2005 when I was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer because I didn't feel that the side effects from the radioactive seeding were that bad. I probably should have filed then because it wasn't all that much later that I was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia which as yet doesn't require chemotherapy, but will in due time. I first have to get through my total hip replacement surgery September 29th. The battle never ends.

Yes= you are absolutely correct on the initial spraying date and you fall within that date.

"that because it was a classified TDY, the orders may have been destroyed"

My daughter has classified military records but was told they would declassify them for VA claims purposes.I still wonder if that is true.

Have you been able to find anyone in your unit if you need a potential buddy statement?

"As I said, I don't think it's just coincidence that I acquired both prostate cancer and hairy cell leukemia about the same time."

I agree with you. As I understand it Hairy Cell B is not a usual type of cancer.I could be wrong but cannot imagine how VA would call your disabilities a 'coincidence'.

You seem to have your ducks in a row here-

"That was during a time when lots of illegal actions were taking place and from my contacts with Air America employees while there", do you recall any of their names to possibly google and contact them for a buddy statement?

With no other etiology for your disabilities -but for dioxin, the VA should award your claim.

But "should" isnt in the regs.

A good environmental specialist could probably prepare a very strong IMO to support that there is no other etiology for the disabilities you have, but for the AO exposure and that could be quite costly.And they could still hinge on proof of Vietnam service even with a strong IMO.

Is it possible that the VA already has some of your Service records ? The critical ones ?

Have you applied for SSA disability?

The SSA had such a stack of my husband's VA records and military records that I was stunned.

Somehow the SSA even had VA records that the VA said didn't exist.

Figure that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Ads

  • Ad

  • Latest News
  • Our picks

    • SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: Ad Free Subscriptions to the Forum available
      Ad free subscriptions are available for the forum. Subscriptions give you the forums ad free and help support the forum and site. Monthly $5 Annually $50 https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/

      Every bit helps - Thank you.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask
      Choosing a VA Disability Attorney Means Learning What Questions to Ask. Chris Attig - Veterans Law Blog 

      <br style="color:#000000; text-align:start">How to Hire an Attorney For Your VA Claim or Appeal Free Guidebook available on the Veterans Law Blog

      I got an email the other day from a Veteran.  It had 2 or 3 sentences about his claim, and then closed at the end: “Please call me. So-and-so told me you were the best and I want your help.”

      While I appreciate the compliments, I shudder a little at emails like this.  For 2 reasons.

      First, I get a lot of emails like this.  And while I diligently represent my clients – I often tell them we will pursue their claim until we have no more appeals or until we win – I am most assuredly not the best.

      There are a LOT of damn good VA Disability attorneys out there.  (Most, if not all, of the best are members of the National Organization of Veterans Advocates…read about one of them, here)

      Second, I don’t want Veterans to choose their attorney based on who their friend thought was the best.  I want Veterans to choose the VA Disability attorney who is BEST for their case.

      In some situations, that may be the Attig Law Firm.

      But it may also be be Hill and Ponton, or Chisholm-Kilpatrick, or Bergman Moore.  Or any one of the dozens of other attorneys who have made the representation of Veterans their professional life’s work.

      There are hundreds of attorneys that are out there representing Veterans, and I’m here to tell you that who is best for your friend’s case may not be the best for your case.

      How do you Find the Best VA Disability Attorney for your Claim?

      First, you have to answer the question: do you NEED an attorney?

      Some of you don’t...
      • 1 reply
    • VA Emergency Medical Care
      VA Emergency Medical Care
      • 3 replies
    • Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
      • 0 replies
    • Thanks Berta for your help. I did receive my 100% today for my IU claim on 6/20/2018. It only took 64 days to complete and it is p&t. Thanks for your words of wisdom. 
×

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines