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PACT or not PACT, or doesn't it matter?

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I'm in my 60s, rated at 80% but the VA has me TDIU, so I am already being paid at 100%.  I'll try to explain the details as best I can.  I have a TBI so I can rattle on at times...

Last summer I spoke to my VA doctor about the fact that most of the people I worked with in the service are now dead and how half of them died before they were 50.  Lots of cancers and tumors.  I also had prostate cancer (none ever in my family) as well as thyroid and diabetes.   I mentioned my exposure in 1980-84 to radiation, PCBs and mercury as it was things we worked with daily in the service.

She put something in my notes and the next thing I knew I got a letter from the VA talking about the Pact Act, but it also stated that if I had already filed in the past I should use that date.  So I did.  I mentioned the tumors on my thyroid, aggressive prostate cancer in my 50s, and other things.  I also brought up the chronic cough, lung issues, and chronic sinus conditions that have always been with me in the service.  Those last 3 were filed back in 09/2011 but were all denied as not enough proof.

I just received a letter from the VA and it took me a while to figure out what they did:

The approved my chronic cough as being service related but they rated it at 0% with an effective date of Aug 10, 2022.  I didn't understand the date until I saw it was associated with the PACT Act, and zero ratings are a common thing there.  My review for the sinus claim is still marked as being in review.  Not sure if they will assign that one the 2022 date or use my original claim filing date of 09/2011.

So here's my question:  The chronic cough was initially filed in 2011 but was denied.  Now they approved it but have assigned it through the PACT Act and not my original filing.  It's a zero percent rating and I'm already being paid 100% TDIU.   Are there additional possible benefits having a PACT rating on a service related issue?


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It may matter for "at least" 2 reasons:

1.  "If" you are able to get a single 100 percent (tdiu counts) plus an additional 60 percent seperate and distinct, then you would be eligible for and should get smc s, statuatory housebound, which is about another 450 per month.  

2.  It could help your family.  Here is a not too far fetched hypothetical situation that "could" occur.  Your spouse can/should get DIC if you die 

A.  Of a service connected condition, OR

B  From any condition if you have been 100 percent P and t over 10 years.  

     If your "chronic cough" deteriorates into pneumonia, and causes your death, your spouse could get about $1600 per month for the rest of her life (DIC). 

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  • Elder

Is your DM11 service connected?  If it is then there are many secondary conditions related to it.  You should check it out.  Do you have toxic exposure?

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