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Berta

VA Press Release on more AO presumptives

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"
11/01/2017 07:07 PM EDT
 

 Statement from Secretary of Veterans Affairs on Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions

                 Today, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin announced that he is considering  possible new presumptive conditions that may qualify for disability compensation related to Agent Orange exposure.

                “After thoroughly reviewing the National Academy of Medicine (NAM)’s latest report regarding Veterans and Agent Orange, and associated data and recommendations from the NAM Task Force, I have made a decision to further explore new presumptive conditions for service connection that may ultimately qualify for disability compensation,”  Secretary Shulkin said.   “I appreciate NAM’s work and the commitment and expertise of VA’s NAM Task Force, and look forward to working with the Administration on the next steps in the process.”

                The Department of Veterans Affairs will now begin work with the Administration to concurrently conduct a legal and regulatory review of these potential presumptive conditions for awarding disability compensation to eligible veterans."

more info here:

 

This is not a decision on what new conditions he might find service connectable to AO- but he promised that on Nov 1, 2017 we would have some news- which c ould have been his decision  not to SC any more disabilities.

This is a different approach than Sec Shinseki used and this might well be the time for any Vietnam vet who has a disability the IOM found to have an association, even if limited, with AO ,to write to the Secretary as to why they feel they have no other etiology but for their exposure to AO, to be disabled by something that NAM and IOM found worthy of the Secretary's consideration.

I was afraid to open this email because I almost felt he might deide against any new presumptives. This is good news, but like the AO ship's list,it might well take hearing from Vietnam vets themselves, as that sure helped the AO ship's list to grow.

Edited by Berta
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They got this list in 2014. What is the holdup? Why didn't they already do these studies?

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Some of the past IOM studies have been revisited.

AO has had a long history, and many more additional presumptives have been added  since the first AOs- PN and Chloracne-the PN regulations at that time ( 1991 I think) were almost impossible for any Vietnam Vet to attain SC for- due to AO.

I have followed the AO issue since 1991 when my husband was part of the original Agent Orange Settlement Fund.

The court findings  and criteria for that class action lawsuit were not  binding on the VA.

This stuff always takes a long time to get resolved.

The VA link does not reveal much about the actual presumptives the Secretary is considering...a reporter stated today there are 14 disabilities under consideration yet I had to email them as to what the 14 disabilities are and for a link to the actual NAM (IOM) reports. 

There is always a lot to this issue and the best references are either from the VA itself or from NVLSP. At this point NVLSP is waiting,like all of us, for what new presumptives will go on the list.

I sure hope if the regulations are allowed public comment that veterans will take advantage of commenting on how Agent Orange has altered their life ( or their survivors will comment).

 

Edited by Berta

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I asked the reporter of this article for a link to the IOM studies and here it is:

https://manchesterinklink.com/secretary-of-veterans-affairs-considers-14-conditions-linked-to-agent-orange-exposure/

As she said in reply to my comment/request- it is over 1,000 pages long but a worthy read.

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I read recently that the most recent IOM/NAM AO Report was the last to be conducted. As I recall the discussion, (2) relatively expensive Disabilities that stand a decent chance of being added to the AO Presumptive List are Hypertension and (?? cant recall the other}. Both had moved up from their prior "Limited Evidence of AO association."

Hypertension seemed to big the Big $$ Retro Issue, if made a AO Presumptive. I believe the other Condition was of a Neurological nature.

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Gotta love the irony. The VA reviewed a report produced by NAM on AO impact on veterans who served in 'Nam and elsewhere.

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