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    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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
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      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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KCAC

IS IT COMMON KNOWLEDGE MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF AGENT ORANGE SPRAYED ON EGLIN AFB?

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I had searched and downloaded many old files working on my Thai AO claim and just got around to reading this old report.  I had not seen it mentioned previously than Eglin was a test site from 1962 to 1970 and Massive (their term) amounts of tactical herbicides aerial sprayed there including much Orange.  Attached is a very informative multiple 21 page PDF report.  On page PDF page 15 is this statement.  Since it was thought to be safe enough to drink (per a 1968 US Scientific report to the Military). I doubt any precautions were taken for base personnel as they did not take precautions when spraying  on any Military bases at the time. I see Dr Orange (Alvin Young) mentioned here as so often on any report over the past 40 years, taking his usual paid stance that Vets were not harmed by these dioxins.  I read this is that they only tested a square mile sprayed, long after the fact. Not that they only sprayed one square mile.  I think it highly likely they test sprayed far more than a square mile, if they were aerial testing.  In the Bricker report, they tested spraying at various altitudes, some much high than the 150 ft or so that later became the norm in Vietnam.  Again, this is pasted from PDF page 15 of the attached report.

"ECOLOGICAL STUDIES ON A HERBICIDE-EQUIPMENT TEST AREA (TA C-52A) EGLIN AFB RESERVATION, FLORIDA, FINAL REPORT: JANUARY 1967 TO NOVEMBEr 1973
The Air Force Systems Command studied the ecological consequences of repetitive applications of massive quantities of herbicides from 1962 to 1970. The Command studied approximately one square mile at the Eglin Air Force Base Reservat on in Florida. During this period, 346,117, pounds of herbicides (including 160,948 pounds of 2,4,5-T) were spread on the test area because of aerial spray equipment testing programs. The January 1974 report was authored by Capt. Alvin L. Young, Ph.D; Associate Professor of Life Sciences, United States Air Force Academy"

 

AO SPRAYED IN FLORIDA EARLY REPORT IMP.pdf

 

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KC, if you think you were exposed to AO, anywhere, file a claim for 1 of the AO Presumptive's if you have a DX.

Expect an initial Denial, then appeal with a DRO Hearing Request. Don't file an FDC, you're looking to keep this claim alive until you can get a supportive Medical or Scientific opinion regarding AO Exposure at Elgin AFB. A DRO Hearing can take from 3 to 4 yrs to make it to the "On Deck" position, then there's the BVA as a back-up, another 3 yrs. Plenty of time for New AO Evidence to be considered compelling.

You never know what will happen down the road, get your Retro Date locked in, then get hot on your research.

Semper Fi

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It is common knowledge regarding all of these areas:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/locations/tests-storage/usa.asp

The problem is proving direct exposure,same time, same place with an MOS consistent with exposure.

This link might be a little more detailed.

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/docs/agentorange/dod_herbicides_outside_vietnam.pdf

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Thanks as usual folks, and Berta, doesn't it seem a bit strange than on that long list of non Vietnam sites where the DoD admits using herbicides, the only mention of Thailand is in the very small scale test sites.  No mention of spraying on Thai bases, even though the VA says significant amounts were sprayed on Thai USAF bases during Vietnam?  And handling on a case by case basis. With the very idiotic perimeter rules although they were spraying it everywhere on most Thai bases. Including around a large main dining hall (right center of photo) just off the flight line at U-Tapeo as seen in the June 1969 unretouched official military film clip.

I do have one more question, I have asked it before...since I left Thailand as a KC 135 crewmember in 1973 with a skin condition documented in USAF medical records and soon left USAF and my skin condition was diagnosed as exposure to toxic chemicals and the civilian dermatologist referred me to the VA who on exam awarded me  SC 10% due to dermatitus and something else in 1973 within 12 months of leaving Thailand, and this skin condition continued to get much worse and I was reexamined by the VA in 1977 and that raised to 30% for various skin issues covering my entire body, likely before the codes for chloracne and PCT were being used. Someone mentioned on this forum going back and trying to get those skin conditions changed to direct exposure to herbicides thus avoiding the persumptive part altogether.  Are you or anyone else aware if this is possible and if so, how you do it?  And has anyone heard of it being done?

Many Thanks to all,

Scott

U-T  1969 NAVY PHOTO.jpg

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James Cripps did it:

AO Chloracne ,DMII and I think IHD.

We did many shows with Jim and also his BVA award is here.

Also re: Thailand. The initial lists of AO Outside of Vietnam was developed before our member Kurt Priessman aggressively fought them and won at a Regional level and his work made the VA develop the Thailand AO regulations we have today.You might have a very good chance at getting the skin disease diagnosed as Chloracne, with a strong IMO and then that way- prove the only way you could get a AO presumptive was because you were exposed to AO in service.

The fact that they do rate you with SC for a skin condition  is a compelling fact.

You might want to search the BVA decisions to see if anyone S/ced for a skin condition, had it recharacterized as Chloracne.

James Cripps might even have his email addy open here if you search for him in our members list.

The problem with retro in any successful AO claim like this -is the fact that these are not Nehmer claims and do not have the very favorable Nehmer EED provisions,

And even Nehmer is not applicable to claims filed prior to Sept 1985.

 

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