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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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Ken Gardner

Ken Gardner,

Question

I was diagnosed with CML over 15 years ago, when I was in my mid 50’s. I served in the Navy from1967 to 1971 and was in Viet Nam for roughly 2 1/2 years in that period.  I applied for disability related to CML and Agent Orange, when first diagnosed. The claim was denied because CML was not on the list of Agent Orange caused diseases.  Last year I filed a second claim and that was quickly denied for the same reason. For the record, there is a veteran that was granted disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange resulting in CML. I believe that veteran served on land. Since I served in the Navy, I’m wondering if my original claim was denied based on my service was not “ land based” rather than exposure to Agent Orange  I understand now that a judge has over ruled the VA from denying benefits for Navy veterans and that the VA will not challenge that ruling. I am hoping that this will perhaps result in more discussions pert

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Have you checked to VA's most recent AO ships list?

It should be here , in the AO forum as I post the new lists as they come out-

I dont understand something- were you incountry Vietnam as well as aboard ship during the Vietnam War.

You are right- this case is a CML award:

ORDER Entitlement to service connection for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is granted.

https://www.va.gov/vetapp15/Files2/1510466.txt

There also was a CAVC remanded case, for a widow of a AO CML veteran - but the remand was for VCAA violation-

I will try to find more but the BVA case above shows you exactly what you need as evidence:

The veteran was incountry Vietnam.

These are key issues of why the VA awarded.

"The Board notes that in a December 2012 VA examination report and January 2013 addendum, a VA physician concluded that it is less likely than not that the Veteran's CML is related to his military service, to include exposure to herbicides. A December 2013 VHA opinion by a VA physician specializing in hematology and oncology, Dr. M.D.B. reached the same conclusion, noting that she had reviewed the relevant medical literature and consulted with a CML expert at a neighboring cancer institution before determining that there was insufficient evidence of an association between benzene and the development of CML. However, in support of his claim, the Veteran has submitted internet articles discussing the relationship between benzene and CML. He also submitted several letters and records from Dr. N.L., a private oncologist. In October 2009 and January 2010 treatment records, Dr. N.L. noted that he and the Veteran discussed the Veteran's disability and VA compensation, including VA research finding that there was no clear association between herbicide exposure and myeloid leukemias. Although Dr. N.L. said that he believed additional studies were underway, he did not contradict VA's findings or otherwise provide a positive medical nexus opinion. However, in an October 2010 letter, Dr. N.L. found that "It is my opinion that his chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is possibly related to Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam." Then in a January 2012 letter, Dr. N.L. opined that it was at least as likely as not that the Veteran's CML was caused by exposure to herbicides in service, noting that CML was linked to benzene exposure and benzene was part of the chemical structure of Agent Orange. He further noted that the Veteran had no other risk factors that would predispose him to CML. In February 2015, the Veteran submitted another medical opinion from a private oncologist, Dr. D.M.K., who concluded that the Veteran's exposure to Agent Orange is at least as likely as not the cause of his chronic myelogenous leukemia, as there is medical literature that supports that there is an increased risk of CML with benzene exposure and the Veteran was exposed to herbicides containing benzene in service. "

The veteran had strong independent medical opinions.

Are you willing to obtain a strong independent medical opinion?

It might be costly-but if you have a private oncologist treating you , it might even be free......dont know-

The opinion has to follow the IMO criteria here in our IMO forum.

I obtained 2 IMOs for my AO DMII death claim. It was awarded by the BVA. My husband had not been properly diagnosed and treated by VA for DMII. It was a contributing factor to his death. He had been incountry Vietnam, but hopefully- your ship might be on the VA AO ship's list- and if you served on that ship on or after those dates, the VA will presume exposure.

"I understand now that a judge has over ruled the VA from denying benefits for Navy veterans and that the VA will not challenge that ruling. I am hoping that this will perhaps result in more discussions pert"

Indeed it will, I am a member of the original Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association, (John Rossie-President  and did some radio shows with him here in hadit's radio forum.)and get my info from those who are in the know on the bill before congress now-

will post any info on that as I get it---

what ship were you on ?

 

 

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https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/docs/shiplist.docx

The USS Safeguard appears as exposed to Agent Orange at Gahn Rai Bay and Mekong River Delta  in December 1965 on this list.

I hope you read the initial pages of this link carefully because maybe you also had been in a Brown water vessel-

any small landing craft, pontoon, boat ect etc thst left the ship and went into Brown Water ( tributary river water within Vietnam land mass),

Do you have your complete SMRS from the Mil as well as your inservice personnel records?

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I think she  anchored in Danang- dont know when-try this list too.

https://www.propublica.org/article/help-propublica-research-more-than-700-navy-ships-that-served-in-vietnam

When I get home from church I will see if I can find more on the ship- she surely has her own web site------

USS Safeguard

Edited by Berta
added photo of ship

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The ship anchored in DaNang the majority of time while in Viet Nam. I was aboard in late 1967 until February of 1971. 

I also was in transit at the DaNang military base roughly a week while waiting for the ship to come into DaNang. 

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