Q19: I've heard of Fast track for agent orange vets. How do I ensure and apply under this program? I am trying to help a 83 year old vet dying of congestive heart failure who served his country for 20 years and then was told for the next 25 that he wasn't eligible. Since the "adding" of his ship in 2010 he never pursued anything, believing he wasn't eligible. He needs 24 hour care and before he runs out of money to care for himself or lose his home, etc. We need to fast-track him to service connected disability benefits. We don't have the time to screw up. What is the fastest and best way to apply so it goes through the first time in the fastest way possible? We are also looking at Aid and Attendance sine he is currently spending about 6K a month on medical care.
A1: I am 100% service connected veteran and I would recommend calling Disabled American Veterans. That have the Highest percentage of getting vets 100% Disability. They will tell you everything you need for fast track. You need all medical info to be submitted up front nothing left out and prof that it is service connected. Statements from friends and family help also. I would also state you feel it deserves 100% Disability if you feel it does. I wish you well. (TO) 12/13/16
A2: File immediately for Aid and Attendance. Then get a reputable CVSO to help file the old claim. The Blue Water Navy Association has the complete listing of ships recognized as going into harbors, rivers, and the men serving on those ships during that time are presumed to be Service Connected. It isn't easy, but with a diagnosed presumptive condition due to exposure to Agent Orange, the Ships Log, and the 21-526EZ completed completely then it shouldn't take too long. (CP) 12/19/16
Q20: On March 20, 2010, I filed a neuropathy claim which I was turned down. Today my neuropathy makes it hard to walk around my own house. Can I reopen this claim for neuropathy?
A1: You can reopen the claim at any time. The criteria for a decision that has been considered final is that you must have new and material evidence or the VA will refuse to reopen the claim. This means that the evidence must be something that has not been submitted before and it must be something that is materially evident to your claim. (AP) 12/18/16
A2: If you have continued to seek treatment then yes. You can get a copy of your medical records, private or va and use it as new and material evidence. I also suggest using a VSO, Veteran Service Officer from the VFW, DAV, or American Legion and ask about filing a FDC claim to save you some time, and if you're turned down appeal, appeal, and appeal Good Luck. (PW) 12/18/16
A3: I would go get a second opinion from a civilian doctor and depending on what that doctor says, submit those results to the claims department. What agency do you have representing you? DAV did a good job helping me get my 100%. (HB) 12/18/16