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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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ROMAD

Veteran dies after surgery

Question

Just a question I am trying to get an answer to. I am working with a widow of a Vet that went in for Prostatectomy at the VA hospital. During the surgery he suffered Cardiac Arrest. He recovered from that and 10 days later died of Cardiac Arrest. Would this be a valid approach to filing an 1151? The doctor came out after the surgery and told the wife the reason the surgery took twice as long was because he was a big man and it took longer than normal. This is also the point he mentioned to the wife and adult daughter that his heart stopped. If this was due to the surgery, would that make his death service connected?

 

 

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Good questions and that probably can only be answered after a review of the file.  

An 1151 claim may not make a lot of sense, because deceased Veterans can not collect SC compenastion benefits.  

All is not lost, tho.  If the VA docs made one or more errors which led to the Veterans death, then you may be able to sue for wrongful death under FTCA.  

His widow may also be eligible for DIC, but that too, would depend on the medical evidence.  

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Good info from @broncovet

The situation sounds very familiar. Last year, I had a heart attack which I believe was linked to medication prescribed by the VA. I had several risk factors that should have raised some red flags for some additional tests, but the VA never did them. 

I did some research.

1151's = SC, but I was already 100% P&T, so that would not help.

Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). That's when you get harmed by the VA and seek payment for negligence, etc... You have two years from the time the incident occurred to file for this. I think it is SF-95 that is filed. The VA lawyers have six months to investigate. If they investigation is not complete within six months, you can either choose to go ahead and get a lawyer to sue or just wait for them to finish.

I decided to ask the VAMC patient advocate to perform an internal investigation first. I figure this will take a few months. I still have well over a year left in the FTCA window.

 

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Vync...

You posted:

Quote

1151's = SC, but I was already 100% P&T, so that would not help.

This is not true according to a post Berta made some time ago (if memory serves me well, and that is a big "if")

You can theoretically collect 100 percent SC and up to 100 percent for 1151.  

If I recall, Berta is litigating this "as we write".  Maybe she will chime in.  Checking the VA website, getting both is not impossible there:

https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/special-claims/1151-claims-title-38/

 

 

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Berta knows more than 95% of lawyers about 1151   claims.  She has beaten them up so bad they turn white when they see her coming.  If Berta could give you some tips that would help.  She is very busy but she knows her stuff.

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Also if you suspect malpractice get an autopsy.   VA does not do them for free I understand.  They bury their mistakes.

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