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Q304:  I would like to reopen my late husband’s claim back up.  Agent orange killed him.  He had heart problems.  Can I reopen his claim? 

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A1:  Condolences. I would suggest you go to your local VSO or DAV Office to talk with them about reopening your late husband's claim as they have the knowledge to do so.  (RC)  11/26/19


A2:  I had submitted a claim for my husbands sinus cancer which the VSO did not want to submit. It even included a letter from his doctor stating AO was reason. He even had sinus problems in Vietnam. So when it got denied the VSO would not let us appeal and said it was frivolous! So it is 5 years later and he has lots of complications all tied to the cancer and aggressive treatments. The VSO (different one the other was finally fired) said we needed new evidence. So I contacted the same oncologist who has moved across the country to word a new letter which has the magic words ?more likely than not? and we submitted that along with all the secondary conditions and it got rejected. So now the VSO says we can?t appeal and we would have to get a lawyer and sue the government. What a joke! Hope you get somewhere on yours. Sorry for your loss, God Bless  (AY)  11/26/19


A3:  I'm not sure, but it's my experience that any claims a veterans has opened, ends when he passes. However, a spouse can file for DIC to receive some compensation if he died of service connected (SC) illnesses or even if it wasn't SC . You should file within 1-year of his death, however, you can still file even if it's over a year. Get with your local DAV Chapter Service Officer and bring in all his VA benefits docs and a copy of the death certificate. (JL)  12/5/19