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Maureenjls

Reps Benefits

Question

Am I understanding correctly, that in order for a widow to receive REPS benefits a diagnosis of IHD would have to become apparent before 1981. I am very confused reading the explanation. Please advise.

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I don't think so. I think that if you ask in first year after death you can look at anything linked to service that would be cause of death.

My condolences for your oss. There are some really good people on Hadit who know spousal DIC and what is needed

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My post here explains the REPS benefit:

"a diagnosis of IHD would have to become apparent before 1981" No ----just incurred in service or due to service prior to 1981.

I personal am an example of how it works.

I filed for REPS (Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors) when my husband died in 1994 as part of the DIC app.But as I understand this benefit can be applied for (I think form is at the link above) at anytime.

I received SSA benefits due to my husband's disabilty, my benefits as well as those for my daughter.This is part of the REPS criteria.

When she turned 16,due to the Omnibus Reconciliation Act) I lost the SSA "Mother's Benefit" as they call it the year after Rod died.Her benefit continued until she graduated from High school or turned 18 (forget which)and she joined the Military.

Because I have purchased the VBM since 1991 I was fully aware of this benefit if I could prove direct service connected death.

My service officers had never even heard of it.The VA is supposed to send a new application when they see a potential for REPS.

Last year when I got my SC death award I immediately contacted the REPS people myself as someone at 800# told me there was a note on my c file to NOT send me the REPS application and the VA never mentioned that I was eligible for it in addition to other ancillary benefits upon award of the SC death. I got them all by by passing my RO.

A nice REPS VA man who could read was able to discuss my application and I had to send hm something he needed from the SSA. He said the benefit would take only a few weeks as it was obvious I was eligible but he was being transferred soon so someone would follow it through.

The 'someone' was the dumbest VA employee I have ever met. It became a rigamorale.

In any event I did get my REPS cash after a little skirmish and it was over 20 thousand dollars.

They pay up to 2 years of REPS and as I mentioned it is determined by the amount of SSA the Mother's or Father's survivors benefit was due to the deceased vet's SSA disability , when a death becomes directly service connected.

My husband was a Vietnam combat vet and his death certificate's initial finding as cause of death was IHD with other stuff.

In 2003 I claimed misdiagnosed DMII as contributing to his death and 7 years later they awarded that claim.

The AO DMII caused his IHD and CVAs.

Then the IHD regs came out.I have a Nehmer claim pending on that.

Either way- the REPS benefit would have been paid under the direct AO award or ,under the pending AO IHD award.

Since most vet reps don't have a clue on the REPS benefit I think the VA snookers MANY survivors out of this benefit.

It is a 2 part criteria- proof of service connected death as well as the SSA benefit information.

Edited by Berta

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My questiion is....was your husband diagnosed with IHD before 1981....I thought the onset had to be before 1981. My husband was in Viet Nam but no diagnosis of IHD until 1994. I appreciate your hard work with all these regulations.

Edited by Maureenjls

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My question is....was your husband diagnosed with IHD before 1981...." No .I diagnosed him myself in 1995.

He wasn't diagnosed with IHD by the VA until I filed charges against them under FTCA and they concurred that he had IHD and it had been malpracticed on.-this diagnosis from VA came 3 years after he died.

"I thought the onset had to be before 1981. My husband was in Viet Nam but no diagnosis of IHD until 1994. I appreciate your hard work with all these regulations. "

The 'onset' technically

was the AO he was exposed to in the Nam.

Same as my husband's PTSD. He was diagnosed in 1983 with PTSD from the Vietnam War. He served in Vietnam 1965-66.

The 'onset'

of his PTSD was (in my opinion not his ) the day they went ashore (Marines are amphibious so they had to depart the floating amtracks and then walk through the surf onto the shore of Vietnam.) But he had other verified stressors.

The Marines all thought it would be like D Day and Omaha beach and that they all would be shot as soon as they hit the beach.

Only thing that hit them was the smell of vegetation rotting in the distance.

All Incountry Vietnam vets technically had their onset of AO disablities when they served in Vietnam and were exposed to AO -disabilities such as STS and DMII and IHD which can take decades to manifest itself as a disability.

The Dioxin level in Danang is now 300 times higher then it was during the War.It is the massive weapon of mass destruction that keeps on giving. and killing.

Is your husband a Nehmer claimant? meaning did the VA deny his IHD claim in the past?

If so have you received the Nehmer letter?

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This is the REPS form:

http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-8924-ARE.pdf

Although my REPS form had been in my c file for over a decade when I became eligible, the VA RO refused to act on my request to pursue it.The form had changed a little but they marked the file to NOT send me the form (meaning the new form)

I then contacted REPS itself.

If anyone here has problems with getting this benefit and they are fully eligible for it ( there are usually only about 4-6 applications a month I was told)

I have some contact numbers that might still be good to help them.

The REPS dope I had (there is only one REPS person who handles these claims but hopefully he is no longer there )told me SSA had denied my REPS claim and he read to me the SSA statement over the phone which said that I was FULLY ELIGIBLE and why!

SSA does not approve or deny the claim-they verify the eligibility .

I am angry as I write this that -as a widow- the VA could not do a single thing right in my behalf for anything I claimed.

Many widows/widowers often never question adverse decisions they get.You would think with a minimal amount of REPS claims a month (that has increased due to the war but still isnt too high)and these apps are pretty cut and dried easy claims, that the VA would have someone handling them who was literate.

Men and women-try to get your spouses involved a little with what they need to deal with regarding VA when you pass away.

Make sure they can access us here because ,in some cases, the VA will treat a survivor like crap-just like they treat many of you veterans.The vet reps might do that too.

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