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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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I send my IRIS responds that denied my claim and received the following; The National Veterans Legal Services Program is looking out for Veterans.

We are writing you to follow up about the claim for benefits you previously filed with the VA. Based on what you told us, we now believe the VA may have made a mistake in your case. In this letter, we first explain the Nehmer lawsuit and why we believe VA may have made a mistake in your case. We then explain the steps you can now take to allow us to help ensure that you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled under the Nehmer lawsuit.

The Nehmer class action lawsuit

In the class action lawsuit known as Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the court ordered the VA to identify and re-decide all disability or death benefit claims that were filed by a Vietnam veteran or a survivor of a Vietnam veteran for one of the three diseases that VA recently recognized as related to Agent Orange. These three diseases are: ischemic heart disease, Parkinson's disease, and B cell leukemias. This requirement applies only if VA received the claim (or the claim was pending at some point) between September 25, 1985 and August 30, 2010. If the VA's new decision grants the claim, the veteran or survivor may be entitled to a large amount of retroactive benefits.

We, the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), brought the Nehmer lawsuit. The court in Nehmer has certified us as the legal representatives of all Vietnam veterans (and their survivors) who suffer or died from a disease that is connected to exposure to Agent Orange. We do not charge a fee to any of these veterans and survivors, and we will not charge you any money for helping you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.

VA recently created a list of all Vietnam veterans and survivors whose cases VA believes it must re-decide under the court order in Nehmer. Because we represent the Vietnam veterans and survivors in Nehmer, the VA gave us a copy of this list.

You have told us that you filed a VA claim for benefits based on Heart Disease secondary to agent orange between September 25, 1985 and August 30, 2010. Therefore, your name should be on the VA's list of people whose claims it will now re-decide. But when we looked at the list, your name was not on it.

How We Can Help Make Sure that VA Gives You the Benefits You Deserve

We would like to investigate why your name was left off the VA's list of cases it must re-decide. In order to prove that your case should be on this list, we need to review all the documents in your VA claims file. (If we are able to prove this and the VA re-decides your case, these documents will also allow us to advise you whether the VA gave you the retroactive benefits you deserve under Nehmer).

The VA will not give us a copy of your VA records unless you authorize VA in writing to send us a copy. We have therefore enclosed an authorization form for you to sign and return to us. You should also send us copies of any documents that you have about your VA claim for Heart Disease secondary to agent orange. You may use the most convenient method to send the form and documents to us. The options are as follows: you may scan the documents and send them to us

After we submit your signed form, it may take several months for VA to send us a copy of your records. Once we get the records, we will let you know whether it will prove to the VA that it should re-decide your case under Nehmer.

If you have any questions about this message, please feel free to contact me at this email address or our toll-free telephone number (1-855-333-0677). Additionally, please let us know when you receive any communications from the VA about your claim for Heart Disease secondary to agent orange.


Allison Monyei

Staff Attorney*

National Veterans Legal Services Program


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Interesting that IRIS is responding with a statement from NVLSP.

This is why NVLSP wants emails from any veteran or survivor whose claim for IHD,Parkinson's or Hairy Cell B was denied by VA in the past. The emil addy is in your response.

It does not matter if the claim didnt mention AO, only that it was denied and was pending between September 25, 1985 and August 30, 2010.

When a vet who sent them email for a claim under the new AOs gets a decision, please email them again to tell them what the decision was.

The VA withheld large sums of retro n the late 1990s from AO veterans and NVLSP wants to make sure that does not happen again.

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The responds was from NVLSP.

I had sent the IRIS responds to NVLSP and that was there responds to the VA denial.


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Thanks for bringing up the NVLSP, I need to update them on claim results.


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Happy New Year

Question? If the VA requested release of information on a claim and you sign the release and sent it in, how long is your claim open? I sent a letter months after the claim and they never responded to the release of information or the letter. This was back 2000.Is a claim open untill they send you a decision, if you have provided what the have ask for.

Filed the same claim again in 2006 and it was never addressed.



Thanks for bringing up the NVLSP, I need to update them on claim results.


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You need either a vet rep with an office close to or in the VARO building to look into this- and you need to obtain a copy of your C file.

Something is definitely wrong if you filed claims on 2 separate occasions and that have not responded to them at all.

Did you move since filing these claims?

The BVA has made this point a few times n their public decisions over the years- "the VA claims process is not a one way street."

If a veteran files a claim and formal 21-526 with the VA and doesn't hear from them in at least 6 months the vet should get proactive at that point and find out what is what.

Have you used the IRIS COntact US system at the VA web site yet?

Do you have proof of mailing them the claims?

I have been a clai,ant many times over the last 16 years.

When I filed MY AO death IHD claim in Aug 2010 I kept right on them at 800 to verify they got it.I also printed off my USPS tracking slip.

Then when they told me my CUE claim went to Nehmer people, I asked about the whereabouts of the Aug 2010 claim and found they had 'misplaced ' it.

I contacted them via IRIS and got three Iris responses.

The last response was from the VSM who told me the August claim had been sent to Togus but was now back with the Nehmer people in Phila.

I ignored that response as I had copied the whole 9 yards again, sent them cover letter and referred them with link to to my H VAC testimony on all of my other misplaced, destroyed or lost stuff.

Sometimes we must become aggressive as well as ALWAYS be proactive.

What proof do you have that you filed these claims and in the meantime -since filing the last one and not hearing from them-what have you done to directly get this straightened out in the last 4 years?

Did you send those claims to the VARO which holds proper jurisdiction over these claims?

I think you asked this question before here-

and received suggestions.

Edited by Berta

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