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VA Still Considering More Presumptive Disabilities

By USVCP Staff Writers
August 17, 2019                    


While Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) senior officials debate, and wrangle again, and again, and again, veterans are having to wait longer for a determination to be made as to when four (4) new presumptive disabilities will be added to the Agent Orange presumptive disabilities list.


Last March 2019, VA officials reported they may have a decision on adding the four new diseases to the list of Agent Orange presumptive benefits eligibility by the summer of 2019. Here we are, five months later, and VA officials still haven’t moved ahead with adding the new disabilities to the Agent Orange presumptive list.












Researchers from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine announced they had compiled “sufficient evidence” linking hypertension, bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms with exposure to Agent Orange and other defoliants used in Vietnam and surrounding countries in the 1960s and 1970s.  So far, VA officials remain perplexed about the validity of the data as it relates to exposure to Agent Orange.


The delay is the latest frustration for Vietnam veterans who are already unsettled by the VA’s decision earlier this summer to postpone disability compensation related to “Blue Water” Navy veterans’s cases until early January 2020.











According to VA officials, adding bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson's-like symptoms to the Agent Orange presumptive list would potentially benefit thousands of aging veterans, and, at the same time, adding a significant amount to VA’s benefits expenses.


While not a lock, adding high blood pressure to the Agent Orange presumptive list of disabilities could further delay a decision simply because the VA’s stance is high blood pressure is common in millions of older Americans, complicating whether it should be labeled a conclusive result of military service.

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Dave Miller, 9/5/20
Shot 3x, VN 68, missing lung, spleen, damaged kidney, left ulnar nerve and cardiac by-pass due to lung and heart separation. FWD 30 years, Bladder cancer, kidney cancer, the last 20 years of cystoscopies and surgeries. Denied for AO, bladder cancer accepted for exposure to LeJeune water. I received an additional 60% but I was already 100% so no additional benefit. If you trained or served at LeJeune and have BC, apply. Semper Fidelis Brothers and Sisters.


Juan Lopez, 2/23/20

It's the same known story: WAIT, DENY AND DIE.


Stephen Miller, 1/27/20
I am 72 year old Vietnam combat veteran dealing with bladder cancer for the better part of 20 years. This is disgusting what my government is doing to the Vietnam vets. I hope and pray a decision is made soon while some of us are still here.


Richard Harris, 1/10/20
They need to include bases in Thailand that are known to have been treated with Agent Orange especially those Northern Thailand in Udorn, Udon, Udon Thani, Ramesun station and others, during the 1960's and 70's. We have been fighting for equal benefits for a long time. 2020 should open their eyes so they can see with 2020 vision that we too served in the same conditions at the same time.


Richard White, 1/8/20
C'mon guys! It's been 50+ years since we came home. Your defoliants killed us all over there. It's just that the rest of us came home to die. While you fiddle and we burn.


Kevan Flanagan, 1/8/20

Nam 68-69, 4 cancers bladder, colon, skin (melanoma), and my newest esophical cancer.. Camp Eagle I Corp, .. the Bill was HR2200 Keeping Our Promises Act it appears to be sitting in the VA committee.. ie.. VA is sitting on it... as Veterand die and their deserved widows age. It's a damm sin. You can't win with VA unless you have a lawyer and a 4 to 5 figure result so the lawyer can scrape off 1/3..... Community Care is not working Tri-West handles payout.. many local doctors will not accept... Advent health seems to have a good lockdown on acceptance.. Its all political AND THEN YOU DIE.


Michael Brown, 1/8/20

The Secretary needs to get this done now. VA has always accepted the National Academy recommendations. Stop worrying about money and get us our benefits. If the government can pay out $250 billion to illegals in 2019, (more than the VA budget) then they should take care of us first.


Jim McCahey, 1/8/20
So typical, let's just push this out further, because the longer we wait, the more will die! Viet Nam Vets are dying at a faster rate than any War Vets in US History!


Robert Wagner, 1/8/20
I bet if you ask them how many Vietnam Veterans are going to to die in 2020 and how much money they will save they would know It's all about filling their own pockets.


Richard Silbert, 1/8/20
Once again a do nothing Congress continues to fail veteran's.


Albert Baca, 1/8/20
This is a disgrace. I had to fight the VA to get compensation for diabetes related to AO exposure. It was a long fight, but I finally won my case. The VA is run by a Trump appointee, and is such, he was given a mandate to reduce costs to pay for the trillions of dollars in tax breaks he gave to the top 1% earners and corporations. Make no mistake, someone has to pay for those tax breaks and it will come from veterans, people of social security disability, people on Medicaid, and other social programs that the Republicans and their supporters seem to vilify.


Monte Wilson, 8/28/19
I was 22 when released from active duty.  My separation physical showed high blood pressure. I have been on blood pressure medication since then. VA calls it a spurious reading and denied my claim. I served in Viet Nam in the Mekon Delta in 1968-1969. 50 years on medication for what VA calls a spurious reading and VA doubts the validity of AO as presumtive? VA does a decent job in most respects however they miss the target way to often!


Frank LeMoine, 8/23/19
For starter Australian Vet foster 68 down syndrome children (they served in Vietnam) and I challenge VA because I did not know 30yrs later that my son would be born with down syndrome. I challenged them about fatty liver disease which is very little  known about and most vets do not know nothing about.  I am waiting to hear the VA decision. I even challenged VA about TBI in short they said not medical documented. I did my research you can search chemical toxicology report 2004.   Paid for in part by Uncle Sam.


James Riding, 8/21/19
I heard through the Phoenix VA that monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is under consideration as a presumptive disease of AO exposure.


Paul Brandt, 8/19/19
I was diagnosed with Hypertension when I was still on active duty, I was only in my late 30's, I have been declared 30% due to agent orange because of diabetes. Late 30's is not old.


Frank Razzagone, 8/18/19
Simple answer for the delay, they are waiting for more Veterans to die.


Carmelo Villegas, 8/18/19
What can we do to push these issues?  I am a Vietnam vet. I was diagnosed with hypertension 40 years when I was 30 years. While I was in Nam they sprayed over 12,000 gallons agent orange in the area.


Tim Bahr, 8/18/19
Yet another example of how the VA is more concerned about their budget than they are about we veterans who are dying from their lack of action. THIS SHOULD BE A CRIME.











Jim McCahey, 8/18/19
They are just waiting for us all to die! Just to save the almighty dollar.... Sick and Tired.


John Labelle, 8/18/19
When will a ruling of presumption be made on this issue?


Bennie Martin, 8/18/19

I don't understand why pancreatic cancer is not on the VA's list of presumptive diseases as related to Agent Orange.  Anyone like myself who has undergone pancreatic surgery and survived especially having had a portion of the pancreas removed know that type II diabetes is almost 100 % to be the guaranteed medical result. So, if type II diabetes is on the list of AO presumptive diseases/illnesses then why not pancreatic cancer? Maybe one day someone will make the correlation and give those of us Vietnam vets who did survive this cancer our just due compensation.


Richard Irish, 8/18/19

always lagging behind when thousands of living Vietnam veterans need resolution now.

January 8, 2020 Update:  VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a letter last month he won’t make a decision about new compensation until late 2020 at the earliest.


Again, the four diseases being considered for compensation are bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension and Parkinson’s-like symptoms. 


Congress is requiring VA to provide a detailed explanation for the years-long delay in making a decision on whether to cover those illnesses, along with a cost estimate and a specific date when VA expects the changes to go into effect.