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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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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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many dic questions


 please, can you help me...

my husband passed away, last month and i'm new to this part of working(?) with the va.. he was in vietnam 68-70 and he was in duc pho and in the midst of all the combat.. his tent was blown up three times.. was ordered by his commander to walk thru mai lai and inventory bodies of dead  babies, grandparents etc for three of 4 days after the massacre...on his release, he was in vietnam one day and on the streets of the usa, that night, being booed as a baby killer etc. he had no help from the va on re-entry!!. the war had an effect on him, for the rest of his life!!  the first few years after being released, he just was lost.. didn't work, probably drank too much and tried to work thru, how to manage his new life.. after a couple years he was able to self sooth as they call it and started working around the clock to try and forget.. we met a few years later and married..i could see he had some problems related to the war.. we tried counseling etc.. but he didn't want to go and i didn't push.. i started reading as much as i could to see if i could help him.. in 2007 i started reading about ptsd.. and started realizing this was what was going on with him .. i started filing  for him.. as he wanted nothing to do with the va.. after many rejections and appeals he finally was granted his 100% disabled in 2012.. he had small other claims that had come about but it was a 100% disabled for ptsd.. around 2005 he also started showing some memory issues.. and  was diagnosed with lewy body dementia.. as he went further down that path, the ptsd really was more apparent as he couldn't control his outbursts and thin'king as he had for all the years since 1969. lewy body dementia  is like alzhiemers and Parkinson mixed together.. since he was sprayed daily with agent orange daily, as he was a dog handler for 6 month in vietnam, before working for the commander that ordered mai lai.. of course the va will not accept lewy body as a agent orange issue, even thou many other doctors see parkinsons( parkinsons dementia) and lewy body as one and the same.. and at autopsy they cant be distinguished from each other.. but i digress!!

my question for now is on dic..

 my husband was being treated at the time of his death for ptsd.. two meds he was on were for ptsd.. one other for sleep, which could also  have helped for ptsd. when he passed he had been fighting the  dementia for over 15 years, and the ptsd for almost 50.. he was unable to walk talk feed himself and was in the later stages of dementia / ptsd.. but even docs in the va said it was hard to know what caused what?? the ptsd or the dementia ?? i have letters from the va( and outside docs) on how he had ruined his brain from " soothing" his ptsd for so many years and that is what probably caused the dementia at 52 years old..

 when he passed they put the cause of death as pneumonia and infection , caused affixiation of food and  lewy body dementia.. ptsd is listed as a diagnoses, at time of death.. since he did not have ten years of 100% disabled.. my concern is the dic will not be awarded.. 

 my feeling is the ptsd contributed to the lewy body and the two of them contributed to his decline that weakened his system to fight an infection and also caused him to not be able to eat and swallow and casue the affixaition.. also he has had ptsd for over 40 years.. but because being able to  self sooth,  as they call it..  and not knowing about filing he didnt get his ten years in..


 can some one please help??.i had him at home with me, as his sole caregiver for 15 years, then when he became more aggressive, and i could no longer lift or care for him, without hurting one of the other of us, we had to place him in a local memory care facility(w hich he was booted from three for aggressive behavior ( ptsd or dementia??)... at the cost of over $250,000.00,, till the va stepped up 6 months ago, for a care facility..


sorry this was so long...thank you so much for taking the time to read and offer any suggestions...

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Just my opinion but you should be able to get DIC

your hubby died from a SC disability.

Again I would refer this post to Ms berta  she is the Queen of DIC and can help you out more!

If you have the decision on his denials   it would help to post them on here the Reason & Bases of his denials?cover his name and claim #

 and if you filed a claim for DIC and was denied   please post those denials also.

Again I would refer this post to Ms berta  she is the Queen of DIC and can help you out more!

I believe your entitled to DIC  just my opinion.

I wish you the best




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I am a widow too.

My husband had PTSD and dementia attributed to multiple 1151 strokes.

I had to prove the dementia was actually organic brain damage due to numerous TIAs (mini strokes) that VA did not diagnose properly,leading to a major stroke. he died at 47 years of age.

When he died I had a full autopsy done because he was also an organ donor. But the autopsy became critical to my DIC claim.

Was an autopsy done on your husband?

" i have letters from the va( and outside docs) on how he had ruined his brain from " soothing" his ptsd for so many years and that is what probably caused the dementia at 52 years old.."

If any outside doctor can prepare a strong IMO following our criteria here for that, it would help support the claim for DIC.

" when he passed they put the cause of death as pneumonia and infection , caused affixiation of food and  lewy body dementia.. ptsd is listed as a diagnoses, at time of death.. since he did not have ten years of 100% disabled.. my concern is the dic will not be awarded.."

I am sure it will not be awarded unless you get a strong IMO Independent Medical Opinion  (I just posted the criteria here again yesterday) 

but if you can also get a IMO that he had Parkinson's (which could be the right diagnosis of the dementia was the VA's diagnosis) and that it did contribute to his death,

the DIC should be granted under the Nehmer regulations.

Best to get a vet rep and file the DIC claim. It seems you could raise 2 theories of entitlement.

What was the 100% SC for?

Was any claim pending at death?

I never saw a death cert that read like that...can you tell us exactly what it said as prime and secondary causes/contributors  of death?




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Buck I hope you enhance your opinion to this widow.

Because you obviously see something I am missing,. This will be a difficult claim.And you are right we need to see more info.

 "i have letters from the va( and outside docs) on how he had ruined his brain from " soothing" his ptsd for so many years and that is what probably caused the dementia at 52 years old.."

Their definition of "soothing" is critical to this DIC claim.

Can you cover their names but scan and attach those letters here.

I believe I know exactly what they mean and that there is a CAVC case that could definitely help...if this is what I think it is....

but on the other hand all of you here need to get up to speed on DIC.

We all have to be up on DIC ,not just me.


More replies here please from the members ....I might be away from hadit after tomorrow  for a week or two.....hard to know yet.



Edited by Berta

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one more question or two

Asphyxiation ...is that what you mean?

I found no medical term at all on "affixiation"

Did the VA or any private hospital ever do an MRI on his brain?

Strokes can cause dementia and they also can cause eating problems.

For 3 weeks the VA diagnosed my husband with something he didn't have...and I had to demand an MRI or CT scan...It revealed the reason he had been unable to eat for 3 weeks or swallow water ( his med recs quoted him as saying he was dying of thirst)

because his throat was paralyzed from a stroke.  They said it was an ear infection...

A stroke can cause asphyxiati gets cing  in the windpipe ,that is compromised by a stroke.





"Lewy Body and Parkinsonian Dementia

Common, but Often Misdiagnosed Conditions"


You might have to consider getting an IMO to properly diagnose what condition he died from.

LBD is very similar to Parkinson's.

LBD will not grant his death as due to AO, from what you posted here, but Parkinsons might.

" till the va stepped up 6 months ago, for a care facility.."

Is that a VAMC or a VA Nursing Home?


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wow!!  you are all so quick!! thank you!!! i'll try and answer the best i can.

  i don't have the death certificate yet.. its being sent.. i should have it on wednesday.. they just read it quickly for me, so my wording may not be exact. i will let you know when i get it!

 there was no autopsy.. i wanted to have one, to find out what actually happened .. but in rereading his wishes, in his will, he did not want one...

 he had a mri by the va years ago.. and a few brain scans, a week before he died, as they didn't know what was happening to him.. they never identified the infection.. just said it was a " a rare gram positive cocci" and could not be touched by antibiotics.. he was on three separate antibiotics, for over two weeks and nothing helped!

 the va after numerous calls, by me asking for help , for many years., gave him a bed in a local nursing home, with attached skilled nursing.

.as far as lbd( lewy body) i have numerous claims in for that and pdd.. but that have denied all..  the main difference between the two is what came first.. if its the shaking and tremors etc of parkinsons it considered parkinsons...if its the hallucinations or memory issues, its called lewy body...however most doctors are unfamiliar with lewy body so it takes forever to diagnose.. sometimes up to 5+ years , of doc after doc!! i talked to the folks that got  the parkinsons approved for presumptive AO diseases... lewy body was listed but the va turned it down and wont even consider it,unless the IOM approves it... how ever on the east cost some vets are receiving benefits for lewy body, as a presumptive  agent orange disease   .. but not on the west coast, that i can find.

asphyxiation.. yes, sorry bad spelling on my part!!

 on the soothing..  it was used in a sentence that included:" coping strategies including denial,  soothing, avoidance, and sublimation. when he was diagnosed with dementia, he lost the intellect and psychological resources to keep his ptsd symptoms from becoming disruptive and dangerous to himself and others.. the doctor goes on to say given the possibility patient ptsd and service related experiences like exposure to AO, could have contributed both to his development of dementia and / or the the uncommonly young age of onset of dementia, especially since he has no family history of early onset dementia  , which is scientifically proven to have a genetically inheritable cause".. this is from the head clinical professor, and medical director, of a huge hospital that deals in dementia.

 i have two more similar  letters that i will share when i get the death certificate... i will also get the tests run at the hospital. prior to his death.. thank you for the reminder.. all scans and not mri's, but might be helpful down the road!!

 i have not sent the letter for dic yet.. waiting for the death certificate and wanting to be ready and prepared, before i send.

 the 100% was for ptsd.

 they have never diagnosed parkinsons.. they kept calling it parkinsonism's. or parkinsons plus. however, he had every symptom of parkinsons.. the rigidity, the tremors, the falls etc.. but in the later years as it got worse, he was confined  to a wheel chair and   some days it was horrible.. and other days quiet times..being in a care facility for the last two years of his life, he was only seen by docs and nurses there.. it was too traumatic to  take him to outside docs.  the caregivers constantly remarked on the tremors and rigidity.. might get a letter form them.. might help..

hope ive answered everything.. apologize if missed anything..


 one more question, please ,, besides thinking ptsd was a contributing factor to his death.   we also weren't aware of the possibility, to file a claim when he got out of the service.. we waited till many (45+) years later.. has anyone ever won a claim showing that he didn't just show up with ptsd at 60.. but had had it since 1969.. but he used every coping possibly, from above and more, just to survive the atrocities he witnessed !!..  had he filed his ptsd claim in 69, he would've have been equally as bad, if not worse, than he was 2010..  that way might meet the 10 year requirement , for DIC??


 thanks again for you help, appreciate it soooooo much!!



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