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Just received a brown envelope advising that VA is working on my dad's IHD claim. Dad was USN in Vietnam 68-70. IHD discovered in 77 along with lung cancer. He died in 81 of brain tumor resulting from the lung cancer. VA contacted us re Nehmer claim. We have submitted everything we have and they ordered his records from Record Center in MO.

The letter we recently received indicates that VA is woriking on his claim, but all they have asked for is my brother and my Social Security Numbers. If they needed more evidence of my dad's claim wouldn't they have asked for that too?

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If you have any questions as to the proper EED (earliest effective date for retroactive payment)when the decision is made-I strongly suggest that you contact NVLSP (the Lawyers who won the Nehmer Decision) at their AO addy in this link:


It pays to read the info they will need ,so you can get it all into email for them. They are very busy so it might take some time for their response. Their review of proper EEDS in Nehmer claims is a free service because they are pro bono lawyers.

VA messed up on my IHD claim and is fixing their error. I fear they are messing up other survivor claims as well.

. "If they needed more evidence of my dad's claim wouldn't they have asked for that too? "

In my case they said they had everything they needed and they didn't even have my C file or my husband's medical records.I had to file a complaint on their decision and they ordered the c file etc right away , and now are getting an 'expeditious medical opinion' to rate my IHD claim.

The error they made in my decision might sure have been made in many other many survivor Nehmer claims.

I am concerned for you because I assume their is no surviving spouse of the veteran and VA has to determine if any Nehmer payment goes into an Estate account or can be directly distributed to the survivors-unless you made that part clear to them if no estate account existed after your father's death. I am surprised all they asked for is the SSNs.

I had to re open not an Estate Account but Letters of Administration and send them those surrogate documents.

Did anyone have to open an administrative probate file for your dad after his death?

"Dad was USN in Vietnam 68-70. IHD discovered in 77 along with lung cancer. He died in 81 of brain tumor resulting from the lung cancer."

I assume you mean he served incountry -Vietnam?

Was the lung cancer service connected when he died?

Do you have a vet rep helping you?

It seems you are seeking an accrued award under Nehmer for the IHD.

Nehmer is almost always based on a past denied decision regarding what is now a presumptive condition.

Do you have the denied IHD VA decision they sent your dad in his lifetime?

Perhaps you can expect further correspondence from the VA if they need more info.

I think they will need more.

Edited by Berta
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I found another post you had made months ago and I found your dad's ship on the VA's AO ship list:

USS Dubuque (LPD-8) docked at Da Nang on March 15, 1970 .


So his AO exposure should not be questioned by VA.

Also you mentioned a denied IHD claim in 1978?

That claim holds, from what I see here, the proper EED for retroactive payment.

I see this not as a DIC claim but as a claim for accrued benefits. VA should potentially do a staged rating based on the medical evidence they have.

If he received any private cardio care, they will need those records too.

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Thanks Berta. My dad retired in 73 or 74. He had a heart attack in 77 and at that same time found the lung cancer. He and my mother, who is deceased, filed a claim with the VA for both diseases and the claim was denied in 78 for no SC. Unfortunately, all of the medical record from the private hospital have been destroyed. I ordered the VA records from the record center and received a letter back telling me that they were all forwared to the VA. I have been in touch with an atty from the NVLSP. He was unsure of what the VA was doing because the dates were prior to Nehmer. I have forwarded the recent letter from the VA to him. I just thought it was strange that all they wanted was our SSN's.

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"I have been in touch with an atty from the NVLSP. He was unsure of what the VA was doing because the dates were prior to Nehmer."

Yes, that is correct , Sept 25, 1985 was the beginning of Nehmer for VA claims purposes and I overlooked that date when I responded to you yesterday-I apologize.


Was there any new claim or reopened claim was filed after Sept 1985 for IHD? Possibly one you were unaware of?

Something triggered the VA to send you a Nehmer letter.They surely picked up on the date of a claim prior to Nehmer better then I did, and the Death Certificate from what I understood ,didn't contain anything about IHD contributing to death.

So there must be something else that caused the Nehmer letter to come.

Was he ever hospitalized at the VA and perhaps a vet rep filed a claim for him while he was in the VA hospital?

"I ordered the VA records from the record center and received a letter back telling me that they were all forwared to the VA."

This seems to show that he had private as well as VA health care and in those records is something that prompted the Nehmer letter.

But you said he died in 1981?

I am baffled by the letter as that date too doesn't fall into Nehmer unless his spouse did file a DIC claim after the 1985 date.

There might not be any Nehmer basis here at all.

NVLSP will surely figure it out.

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We just received the big brown envelope from the VA. I have no clue what they are telling me.Their letter states:

1. They determined that my dad had filed a previous claim for coronary artery disease during his lifetime.

2. They did a special review under Nehmer.

3. The determined that we are entitled to retroactive compensation.

What we Decided:

Service connection for cause of death granted.

Basic eligibility to Dependents' Educational Assistance is established from 11/2/1980. (The date of his death).

We couldn't approve your claim for accrued benefits.

You are entitled to Additional Benefits:

We have enclosed VA Form 21-8765, Service Connected Death Award Attachment (This is a form that does not say anything about the amount of the award, nor does it request additional information).

We havce enclosed VA form 21-534, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by surviving Spouse or Child (not enclosed).

You and your dependents may be eligible for Dependents Education Assistance. VA Pamphlet 22-73-3 " Summary of Education Benefits and VA Form 22-5490 were enclosed.

I do not understand. They say they couldn't approve accrued benefits. But, They want me to complete an applications for DIC, Death Pension and Accrued beneftis for surviving spouse or child. Then they don't even included the application. I have a call into the NVLSP.

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