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Nehmer Claims


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I am the daughter of a Vietnam War Veteren. My father served at least 2 tours between '68-'70 on the USS Dubuque LPD 8. He retired in 1974. In 1977, he had a heart attack at the age of 41. At the same time they discovered that he had lung cancer. Within a one year period he had a malignant tumor removed from his lung, underwent chemo and the who works. Then he had to have a triple bipass on his heart. From that time on he was disabled and unable to work. At sometime during this period he and my mother filed a claim with the VA. On 5/15/78, the VA denied his clailm. He died on 11/3/80 at the age of 44.

I have been contacted by the VA telling me that his conditions are now presumed to be related to agent orange exposure and that my brother and I may be entitled to retroactive benefits. They want medical records from over 30 years ago. I contacted the hospital where he was treated and told that they destroy all medical records after 7 years. How am I to provided evidence of his treatment for lung cancer and heart disease. The VA denial letter acknowledges that those were the conditions he had, but that they were not service related. Now over 30 years later they say they are service related. My question is, what happens if I cannot provide the medical records from where he was treated? Also, how far back would the retroactive benefits go since they were not paid since the VA denial on 5/15/78? Anyone who has any information or could direct me to someone that could help would be appreciated. I've tried talking to the benefit counselors at the VA and they will tell me nothing.

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I am the daughter of a Vietnam War Veteren. My father served at least 2 tours between '68-'70 on the USS Dubuque LPD 8. He retired in 1974. In 1977, he had a heart attack at the age of 41. At the same time they discovered that he had lung cancer. Within a one year period he had a malignant tumor removed from his lung, underwent chemo and the who works. Then he had to have a triple bipass on his heart. From that time on he was disabled and unable to work. At sometime during this period he and my mother filed a claim with the VA. On 5/15/78, the VA denied his clailm. He died on 11/3/80 at the age of 44.

I have been contacted by the VA telling me that his conditions are now presumed to be related to agent orange exposure and that my brother and I may be entitled to retroactive benefits. They want medical records from over 30 years ago. I contacted the hospital where he was treated and told that they destroy all medical records after 7 years. How am I to provided evidence of his treatment for lung cancer and heart disease. The VA denial letter acknowledges that those were the conditions he had, but that they were not service related. Now over 30 years later they say they are service related. My question is, what happens if I cannot provide the medical records from where he was treated? Also, how far back would the retroactive benefits go since they were not paid since the VA denial on 5/15/78? Anyone who has any information or could direct me to someone that could help would be appreciated. I've tried talking to the benefit counselors at the VA and they will tell me nothing.

Just by virtue of the VA having sent you the letter, they are acknowledging that your father may be in the Nehmer group, a class dealing with previous denials for what is now presumptive conditions if you can prove that your father was 'boots on the ground' in Vietnam, or that sailed into various ports in-country. I would without haste contact a veterans service officer to help you with this claim. They can be found at the county level, or at any of the service organizations such as the American Legion, DAV, VFW, etc. They do not charge for this service. Bring the VSO everything that you have regarding your father's treatment records. There are folks here that may dispense with additional advise to you, but I would not delay in seeking the help of on of these veterans groups. We're talking about a substantial amount of retroactive money here paid back to 1985 if your claim is successful.

So sorry to hear of the loss of you father, and I thank him for his service! Best of luck to you in you pursuit!

Semper Fi

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The VA "had" your fathers file with records that might show the information. You can request a copy. It is likely at the St Louis repository, and actually, still under the VA's control. (Unless it was pulled, due to the Nehmer lawsuit. in which case the VA facility sending you the notice may have the file.)

As to hospital records, the federal government allowed hospitals to dispose of old records some time ago. The hospitals also sold old records to be used for "research purposes".

I had similar problems obtaining my own records from the 1970's and 80's. The treating doctors may still have records. (Mine did.)

I am the daughter of a Vietnam War Veteren. My father served at least 2 tours between '68-'70 on the USS Dubuque LPD 8. He retired in 1974. In 1977, he had a heart attack at the age of 41. At the same time they discovered that he had lung cancer. Within a one year period he had a malignant tumor removed from his lung, underwent chemo and the who works. Then he had to have a triple bipass on his heart. From that time on he was disabled and unable to work. At sometime during this period he and my mother filed a claim with the VA. On 5/15/78, the VA denied his clailm. He died on 11/3/80 at the age of 44.

I have been contacted by the VA telling me that his conditions are now presumed to be related to agent orange exposure and that my brother and I may be entitled to retroactive benefits. They want medical records from over 30 years ago. I contacted the hospital where he was treated and told that they destroy all medical records after 7 years. How am I to provided evidence of his treatment for lung cancer and heart disease. The VA denial letter acknowledges that those were the conditions he had, but that they were not service related. Now over 30 years later they say they are service related. My question is, what happens if I cannot provide the medical records from where he was treated? Also, how far back would the retroactive benefits go since they were not paid since the VA denial on 5/15/78? Anyone who has any information or could direct me to someone that could help would be appreciated. I've tried talking to the benefit counselors at the VA and they will tell me nothing.

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Do you have a copy of his death certificate?

If not the Department of Vital Statistics in your state would surely have it on record.

If the death certificate states cause of death or a contributing cause is any AO presumptive (the whole list should be in our AO forum)

that wold help.

The USS Dubuque docked in Vietnam on March 15, 1970.

"On 5/15/78, the VA denied his clailm"

Do you have a copy of that claim-specifically the rating sheet? That is-in my opinion-what triggered VA to put him under Nehmer.

Do you have a vet rep?

Did he ever get SSDI for his illnessess? They too might still have some older medical records.

If the death certificate clearly states any AO caused/contributed too his death- there may be no need to find old medical records.

There is no accrued claim pending since 1978 so the VA could possibly have enough to award.

Chuck is right. VA had the medical records at some point in time.

I think too that they have them now because they pulled the file for Nehmer.

In the AO forum is the contact info for NVLSP- it is at their web site too- they want to hear from any Nehmer vet or beneficiary who had a claim for the veteran that was denied in the past if there was an AO condition listed as NSC on the rating sheet.

This is how they prepare the Retroactive money due the survivors or the Estate of the veteran if the claim is awarded.

Edited by Berta
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Do you have a copy of his death certificate?

If not the Department of Vital Statistics in your state would surely have it on record.

If the death certificate states cause of death or a contributing cause is any AO presumptive (the whole list should be in our AO forum)

that wold help.

The USS Dubuque docked in Vietnam on March 15, 1970.

"On 5/15/78, the VA denied his clailm"

Do you have a copy of that claim-specifically the rating sheet? That is-in my opinion-what triggered VA to put him under Nehmer.

Do you have a vet rep?

Did he ever get SSDI for his illnessess? They too might still have some older medical records.

If the death certificate clearly states any AO caused/contributed too his death- there may be no need to find old medical records.

There is no accrued claim pending since 1978 so the VA could possibly have enough to award.

Chuck is right. VA had the medical records at some point in time.

I think too that they have them now because they pulled the file for Nehmer.

In the AO forum is the contact info for NVLSP- it is at their web site too- they want to hear from any Nehmer vet or beneficiary who had a claim for the veteran that was denied in the past if there was an AO condition listed as NSC on the rating sheet.

This is how they prepare the Retroactive money due the survivors or the Estate of the veteran if the claim is awarded.

Thanks Berta. What is NVLSP? Do you have a website address?

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