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Susan
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Hello, I am Susan from Texas. Some will remember my husband,Don-C the vet. He passed away almost eleven years ago from a heart attack at age 47. He died trying to get benefits for PTSD, AO, and Heart. I began in August of this year to try for the AO IHD benefits.

Susan

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I think a Moderator will put your question in Claims Research-or the DIC forum-to get more eyes on it.

Did your husband's death certificate state heart disease caused or contributed to his death?

Was he an incountry Vietnam veteran?

Was his heart disease ischemic in nature? Almost all forms of coronary artery disease are ischemic.

Did you re-open his pending claims when he died?

Did the VA deny him or you specifically for the heart disease in any past decision?

If so there is contact info for NVLSP in the AO forum.

If your husband was incountry Vietnam and had Ischemic eart disease that contributed to his death and was denied for IHD in a past rating decision (or you were)

NVLSP wants to hear from you or anyone in similiar past denial circumstance for their data base on the new AO resumtpives to make sure we get the proper retro amount.

I reopened my IHD claim in August and it is with Nehmer rater in Philadelphia. Have you received any acknowledgement or letter yet from the VA on this claim?

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Excellent questions from Berta, the biggest being, was a rating finalized denying the heart condition?

If not, the file may not get flagged for the Nehmer review and you would need to submit a claim for DIC based on the new Nehmer presumptive issue.

Try a POA (Texas Veterans Commission, VFW, or American Legion) at your nearest RO, either Waco or Houston. They can find out where his file is and if it has been pulled for Nehmer, and they can help with the DIC claim.

Best wishes.

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Seaman:

Thank you for your post. I am sure that Susan will find your suggestions helpful. As always Berta gave good advice.

I knew Don Cook he was a member of Hadit and we spent hours chatting in the late hours of the night. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was that Don did not win his claim and see some checks that he had earned.

Hopefully as Susan progresses Hadit can help her obtain the benefits that Don earned when he served.

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Susan -are you the same widow here who posted in another forum and had remarried?

I might be wrong-and apologize if I am.

I replied to the other post but cannot find find topic it was under.

Remarriage can in many cases prevent DIC awards.Sometimes it doesnt- need to find the other post here.

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Here it is:

Edited by Berta
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Susan

Some of the same advice given to Veterans will also equally apply to widows. I think the VA is even more "widow unfriendly" than they are "Veteran unfriendly" based upon some of the posts I have read by Berta and other widows trying to get the benefits they deserve.

1. DO make copies and send every piece of evidence you send certified mail return receipt requested because you can just about count on the VA saying, "I didn't recieve your paperwork for that"

2. Appeal adverse decisions in a timely manner. The VA can take 10 or more years processing your claim, but if you miss the appeal deadline by one day, you are out in the cold. Every time. The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on "equitable tolling" to extend the appeal period in some cases, but courts so far have consistently ruled they have no authority to extend the appeal deadline, even if the Veteran is in a coma for Service connected conditions. Its very unfair as there are legitimate circumstances when a Veteran can not meet the appeal deadline....sometimes the Veteran meets the deadline and the RO has even been known to "sit" on the appeal until the deadline passes!!! Perfecly legal, the VA says. This is why I call the VA "Veteran unfriendly".

3. Knowledge is power, and get good advice. Hadit is a good place to do this. Berta is, by far, the most knowledgeable person on VA widows benefits on the planet. Wings, Delta, and Hoppy, are all excellent reseachers also. Fanaticbooks is compiling a source of Training letters which is an excellent place to begin your research, because training letters are often in response to court cases teaching raters how to respond. http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/forum/120-va-training-and-fast-letters/

You might want to start by reading these:

1. Substitution in the event of Veteans death:

2. Survivor benefits:

I woulld scroll through those fast letters and see if any of those things apply to you.

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