Veteranclaims’s Blog

September 3, 2010

New Agent Orange Presumptons and Retroactive Benefits to 1985, Nehmer v. DVA

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 5:16 pm

We strongly urge all veteran with a previous Agent orange claim, to make sure that they send a written reminder to their local VA Regional Office of their previous filing, and request a written reply which advises them of the current status of that previous filing.
Also, because given the shredding of records and such and that these original claims may be over 25 years old, there is no telling what remains in your claim file regarding that original filing, so get a copy of the records and get legal help. If your previous claim was denied, you may be able to secure legal representation.

“Because of a 25-year-old court ruling, Nehmer v. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA must review claims previously filed for these diseases and make payments retroactive to the claim date, or to the date of the Nehmer ruling, Sept. 25, 1985, whichever is later.

The 93,000 veterans and survivors so far identified as having filed a claim for one of these diseases don’t need to file another, said Pamperin. “We are going to review those cases on our own…back to the earliest date they claimed that disability — but not earlier than Nehmer — and will award benefits from that date.”

Full Article at: With new ‘AO’ rule out, VA readies spigot of payments
By Tom Philpott
Special to Stars and Stripes
Published: September 3, 2010

“The Department of Veterans Affairs published its final regulation Aug. 31 for compensating Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia, or their surviving spouses.

Veterans diagnosed with these diseases only will have to show they stepped foot in Vietnam sometime from Jan. 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975, to qualify for service-connected disability ratings and compensation.”

RETROACTIVE PAY – Because of a 25-year-old court ruling, Nehmer v. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA must review claims previously filed for these diseases and make payments retroactive to the claim date, or to the date of the Nehmer ruling, Sept. 25, 1985, whichever is later.

The 93,000 veterans and survivors so far identified as having filed a claim for one of these diseases don’t need to file another, said Pamperin. “We are going to review those cases on our own…back to the earliest date they claimed that disability — but not earlier than Nehmer — and will award benefits from that date.”

If the veteran is deceased, VA will award back pay to the surviving spouse. If no surviving spouse is found, the National Veterans Legal Services Program, which litigated the Nehmer decision, will help to identify someone else who might be eligible for the benefits.

Besides disability pay, back payments could include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for the widow, enhanced burial benefits if a veteran’s death was due to a service-connected condition, and 36-months of education benefit to a spouse or a child, no matter what age the child is today, if the veteran was 100-percent disabled at time of death.

If veterans or survivors are worried the VA will not identified them as eligible for retroactive payments, they can file a new claim, Pamperin said.

“We are doing a data run against our corporate record, and some of these corporate records are limited to six diagnostic codes. So we’ve done the best we can with the resources we have to identify people,” he said.

Diana Rubens said 1000 staffers at 13 regional officers, including 326 specially-trained rating specialists, are working only on Nehmer claims, which can involve complex calculations and long searches for next of kin.

RECENT CLAIMS – 60,000 veterans and survivors who have filed claims for the three diseases since last October also will receive Nehmer protection in that payment will be made back to the date of the claim.

Every VA service center and regional office is working to develop and process these claims for payment sometime after Oct. 30.

“Our goal is to spend the next couple of months setting up as many claims as possible for payments as quickly as possible,” Rubens said.

FUTURE CLAIMS – If veterans or survivors planning to submit a new Agent Orange claim can show they had one of these diseases diagnosed on or before Aug. 31 this year, and if they file their claim before Aug. 30, 2011, it will be payable back to Aug. 31, 2010, the date the regulation took effect. Otherwise, payment date will be the date an approved claim was filed.

Pamperin advises veterans to gather medical records from private doctors so VA won’t need to schedule new exams to confirm their diseases.

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53 Comments »

  1. Thank you for the information on claims. I’ve received notice for claim on AO. I’ll be looking forward to further info updates.

    Comment by RONALD K. WELLS — October 6, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

  2. Does this affect Veterans that were denied in 1986, 1997, 1998, 2001? I was service connected from 1996 to 2004 for PTSD and chemical exposure from Vietnam. The Department of VA contacted me by mail and stated that with my exposure of certain Herbicide Agents used in Vietnam, that my case could be related to this ISCHEMIC heart disease. Does this mean that payments of retro-active benefits fall only under this class action for Agent Orange, which would be additional benefits or special additional payments, which I was denied for in 1986? Please let me know something. The reps at the VA never did give me a direct answer.

    Comment by Mr. Perkins — December 1, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    • My husband died 8/1986 from leukemia due to agent orange. my original date was denied and apllied a few times after that. finally I filed once again in 2005. just recieved approval for service connection death in 1/2012. Will I get retroactive from 1985?

      Comment by evon — March 19, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  3. So my dad died back in the 80’s when I was seven of a heart attack. He bad kidney failure, heart disease, and a host of other illnesses when he died. He was only 36. He was exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. We have only been given a three thousand dollar check from the Agent Orange Foundation, but nothing from the government. My mom filed a claim to the VA in the 90’s for agent orange exposure but was denied. After the new ruling last year, I filed a claim hoping to get the children benefits I should have received and also payments for my college. I received a decision letter today denying me my children’s benefits because I am over 23. In my claim I explained that I was not looking for payments today but looking for retroactive payments for when I was eligible whIle I was in school. So, can anyone tell me why this was denied? It would appear that retroactive payments are a myth. Guess I am off to do more research and file an appeal. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Comment by Nancy — February 17, 2011 @ 4:15 am

    • keep at it. my husband died 2 years ago. He suffered so much from agent orange. with heart and lung and kidney and other problems for 30 years.tell your mom to keep submitting information. I just got my husbands settlement today. tell her not to give up. good luck. Linda Moseley

      Comment by linda moseley — August 25, 2012 @ 1:46 am

      • Linda, did you apply as soon as your husband died or had you applied earlier?
        Thank you, Sandra

        Comment by Sandra — September 23, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  4. Filed for CAD, AAA, & Hypertension on 8-24-07. Denied 6-5-08. Appealed 10-26-09.Hearing scheduled 1-26-10. On advice of my DAV rep., I withdrew the appeal and filed for IHD only 11-18-09.I have heard nothing since. Phone calls to DAV, St. Louis VA, & Indianapolis VA all give me different info but nothing accurate. ebenefits website declares claim “closed” 12-4-10. What does this mean? Where is my claim and what date will it be retroactive to if I ever get it?

    Comment by David Briner — February 17, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  5. I received my Nehmer Review letter today, 22 February, 2011, dated, 18 February, 2011! I applied for Ischemic Heart Disease on 10 August 2010! The letter was well written! There were two forms to fill out, the first was a required response, a statement that I have enclosed all the remaining information or evidence that will support my claim! The second form was VA 21-686c, “Declaration of Status of Dependents!” It only took me a few minutes to fill out, and tomorrow I will submit the letter and the completed forms through my VFW Representative to the VA! I had my first heart attack September 1999 and than 12 catheterization surgeries over the last ten years! My last catheterization was 2 February 2011, two angioplasty’s, and now I am required to report each year for additional angioplasty’s! The worst will be the open heart bypass, when the Angioplasty does not work! I use the Arizona Heart Institute, a Doctor Strumpf, the Doctor has been cleaning out my arteries since December 2004! Great Doctor, a great Heart hospital, and caring staff!

    Comment by Paul Conley — February 24, 2011 @ 1:58 am

    • Have you gotten any reply yet? I am a surviving spouse and applied last October, 2010. Before that I applied back in August, 2009. I received same forms and have not heard anything yet and only that it is in the decision stage. This was over the phone when I called in January, 2011.

      Comment by pauline albert — March 24, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    • My husband applied in 1996 was denied in 1997 and he passed in1999 never have received anyrhing from Anyone about his .Now
      I see Hairy cell has been added and he had that and was turned down I applied and they only go back to the death why do they not tell u these things I have not gotten anything I am thankfully ul for our Veterans serice Officer because otherwise I would have never know.

      Comment by theresa — June 4, 2013 @ 5:35 am

  6. I was 17 years old when I joined the Marine Corp and I was in the Corp from Feb. 27,1968 to Nov. 12,1969. After boot camp and training I was sent to the Republic of Viet Nam. I fought in Combat through 11 operations. I graciously received Purple Hearts and several other medals. It is an honor to receive all of the distinguished medals I have, but those medals do not make all of my multiple illnesses and injuries feel better and they sure don’t pay the rent. I have been approved as 100 percent disabled due to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides. Besides Agent Orange I was also exposed to, Agent Blue, Agent White, and other Rainbow Herbicides. I am also 100 percent disabled with Post Dramatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) due to my combat service in Viet Nam. I want you to know I am grateful that I was finally awarded that in 2010. I have been filing for that almost since I returned to the States. I don’t know if you have any experience being around a Vet that served in RVN, but to those such as my wife and family it is a horrible ordeal that my loved ones deal with every day. I try with everything I have to forget that time in my life but 43 years later I still have these horrific night mares, I check all the doors and windows frequently to make sure they are locked. I’m so jumpy! To many things for a wife to have to see!!

    I have been in constant contact with my Regional Office in St. Petersburg, Florida 33731, since the V.A. transfered me here from the V.A. Medical Facility in Philadelphia in 2002. When I was transfered to Baypines V.A. Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fl., I had already filed disability claims with the Regional Office in Philly. Also, I included medical records from the private physician I was seeing in New Jersey, where I am from and returned after my Honorable Discharge Nov. 1969.

    Immediately after I married my new spouse, Carol Erwin Kenny on Dec.6, 2003, she filed all of the forms we were given at the Regional Office in St. Petersburg, Fl. for our benefits. We have copies of all of the information that we have filed since Jan. 2004. Since then we have filed every year, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Due to all of the request for marriage certificates for both of us and previous divorces as well, Carol asked the representative if the V.A. wanted a copy of her first marriage and divorce back in 1970-1973. She was told, “No, they won’t go back that far”. Carole asked two more times through the years if they wanted it. Carol knew that it would be packed way back in the basement of court records in her home town in Georgia. If she needed to get it she had to call the County Clerk and didn’t want to put the Clerk in a last minute chore for her. I have sent you everything you asked for and did not receive even my spousal benefits for my marriage to Carole on Dec.6, 2003 until Dec. 2010. You went back retroactive to Dec. 2009. That is not right. Not when we had been sending you all the records you asked for since 2004!! Do you know how I finally got the spousal benefits. Carole called to the regional office and talked to a representative about please look at our records and see if you can figure out why George is being denied benefits. The rep. called her back a little later and told her they needed a certified copy of her first divorce from William Lawing in 1973. Can you believe that. It was late afternoon so Carole called the Clerk at the Court House in Ga. She told the clerk what she needed.The Clerk sent an assistant to the basement and dug the papers from the dead files and the Clerk faxed her a certified copy the next morning. George received his spousal benefits the next day. I am sure that a person can see that it was not George or Carole that hindered him getting his spousal benefits but the rep’s that kept giving Carole the wrong information. Therefore, George should receive spousal benefits retroactive to 2004, when he first gave the V.A. everything they needed to grant the benefits except what he and his wife had been told THEY DID NOT NEED!!!! A divorce degree from 1973!!!

    Also, in 2004, when I filed for my new wifes benefits I received a letter stating that I had back pay that you were going to remove from my check every month. Your reason was that I received spousal benefits for my first wife through the end of 1993. No, I was not married to my first wife until the end of 1993. We were divorced May, 1991, and I sent in the forms to show our marriage was dissolved immediately. That is when me and my ex-wife stopped receiving spousal benefits in 1991. Therefore, I would like to know how I am going to be reimbursed for the monies you have taken from my check every month since 2004. I have sent many letters and filled out many forms trying to get this straight. All I get is letters back with a calculation of sums you allege that I owe the Veterans Administration that are incorrect.

    I have boils, blisters, opened oozing sores all over my body. I had a couple of these while in Vietnam (AGENT ORANGE & other herbicides) and I don’t think I have been without since I left Vietnam. No one can give me a diagnosis. I have had several different test done by Dermatologist that don’t have a clue what it is. They are concerned because of the serious Staff Infections I am having. My wonderful primary care, Dr. Stiemle has been very concerned and keeps sending me back to the V.A. Dermatologist I see. The Dermatologist just tells me and my wife that her husband was in Vietnam and he thinks he has all these problems from there…bla bla bla, but she evidently doesn’t take his problems very serious from her tone. Why am I even hearing about her husband? Why is my wife hearing about her husband? These Staff Infections can be fatal! I have these sores from the poisons I was inhaling, eating, breathing,and living in in the Republic of VietNam. I fear I am not going to see a proper specialist in time and I die from these poisons in my system. I have grandchildren 3, 14, and 16 yrs old I want to see graduate from college.

    I just received a letter today from the Veterans Service Center Manager, informing me that I have been approved at 60 percent for service connected Coronary Artery Disease associated with herbicide exposure. It is stated that you are going back to the date I filed claim for this disorder, effective Dec. 3, 2009. I have filed for C.A.D. and several other illnesses and injuries since back in the 90’s. I filed some of these problems not long after I returned to the U. S. in the 1970’s. I have been told records have been misplaced or lost through the years. That should not deprive me or my family of benefits I earned by fighting for my country that I love so dearly. I enlisted in the Marine Corp during a time of war, that was a very unfavorable war. I am very proud that I was able to belong to such an Honorable group of fine people that make up the Marine Corp. I also believe that there is not a marine out there that would not agree that I should receive all of my benefits and be reimbursed for the monies that the V. A. has incorrectly collected from me since 2004. I have not even mentioned other illnesses and injuries I have from Viet Nam such as D.M.II, Poly Neuropathy, and others I’m sure you can see in my records. I am exhausted from all I have done since I returned from Viet Nam to receive benefits from the V.A. Why are things so hard to get when you have all you need in records and other evidence to grant them?

    Lastly, I have filed for compensation for the loss of my infant daughter that died from spinal bifida in her mothers trimester of pregnancy, the 7th month. Also, I lost my (we thought health & energetic) son of 35 years in June 2007. His autopsy showed enlarged heart and other organs looked like hamburger meat. These are symptoms associated with Agent Orange. I have my oldest son that is still alive but has the break out of sores like mine and diagnosed with degenerative spine as a child and has had problems his whole life.. I am not looking for money due to the loss of my children, but at the same time I/They should receive some kind of acknowledgement and/or compensation for their sacrifices.

    I have never received any information regarding the case you sited, “Nehmer v. U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs. I looked it up on my computer and I don’t understand since I was in process of trying to receive my health benefits in 1986 why I have never been given any information on this case, yet you are using the case to decide my fate!! You have stated that the C.A.D. will go back to my filling Dec. 3,2009. I have filed for C.A.D. since before I was hospitalized for cardiac problems in Philly V.A. in 1999 and 2001. I believe that I should be paid retroactive back before that time because there are medical records before that time regarding irregular heart problems that stem from my combat action in Viet Nam. I am filing an appeal in regards to this but I still want to bring it to your attention now. I am anxious to hear from you in reference to my letter. It is sad how the American Veterans are treated for their illnesses and injuries they received while protecting their country. I remember them in my prayers. God Bless them & God Bless America!!!
    George P. Kenny, Sr.

    Comment by GEORGE PAUL KENNY, SR. — March 5, 2011 @ 5:25 am

  7. […] VA and they are treating you for ischemic heart disease, they may be contacting you soon under the Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decision.  Talk to your post Service Officer for details.  Learn […]

    Pingback by Ischemic Heart Disease | VFW NC District 6 — March 15, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

  8. My brother in law die with a cancer, relatered to angent orange, my sister has been workinng on this for years and still has no answers. Her name is Jean Sanspree, 170 Sanspree Lane, Atmore, AL 36502 251-368-8292 if you know of any thing that would help, just knowing would be great.

    Sincerely,
    Barbara Wadkins
    251-979-2411

    Comment by Barbara Wadkins — March 16, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

  9. Hello:

    My father passed away on May 24, 2010 due to a heart attack caused by diabetes. Prior to his death, he had been treated for his diabetes through the VA. According to him, they were treating him because they had attributed his diabetes to his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war. A month or two before he passed away, the VA opted to deny his claim. They were trying to reclaim $9000 spent for his treatment. He was in the process of appealing this descion when he passed away. The executor of his estate opted to pay back the $9000 from my father’s estate. I received a letter from the VA saying that as a survivor I might be eligible for some kind of benefit. My father was divorced and was not disabled when he passed away.
    I am wondering if I should pursue this. It seems like from what I’ve read the appeals process is ridiculous. The executor of my father’s estate is more than willing to help with any paperwork I’ll need. I’m just wondering if it is worth it and even it isn’t financially, maybe I should just file on principal.

    Any info from someone who is dealing with the process from the survivor side would be great.

    Thank you.

    Kimberlie Robinson

    Comment by Kimberlie Robinson — March 26, 2011 @ 4:06 am

    • Hi Kimberlie,
      I just recieved a letter in the mail from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs stating that I should pursue this by sending them any and all information needed to go with his already filed claim. My father died also May 22, 2010. He had filed the claim only a few months before his death and told me about the progress of it following. He had a triple bipass in April of 2003 and a total of 2 heart attacks between 2003 and 2010. He contracted diabetes about a year and a half ago and died of congestive heart failure. He did tell me about a week before his death that he had won the claim and was waiting for the money. I have also been in the service and know how the government can be and how long it will take probably asking for more forms to be filled out, but I know that if my father felt that his heart problems, diabetes etc were contributed from Viet Nam and was trying to win – it will be worth it to me to pursue even if only for the sake of principle.
      I wish you luck,
      Tracy Mulvihill

      Comment by Tracy — August 4, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

  10. my husband died in 1982 form ihd h was a vietnam vet he was 30 yrs old i filed claim yrs ago he got a non service pension he lived 11 month the va back never sent any forms to me after i got the money for burial it was a small amt back then .i got the flag and the flat head stone i have sent the claim and everything they needed so far the va has not updated any notes in the system i just was told the claim is in seattle .

    Comment by beverly — May 5, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    • You need to call the National Veterans Service Program located in Washington DC.

      Comment by Mary Kelly — June 20, 2012 @ 3:51 am

  11. I received a letter from VA dated Jan 21, 2011 informing me of the Nehmer case. They stated my case was idntifid as a potential Nehmer class-member case bsed on the addition of Ischemc Heart disease, etc. I had a heart attack in 2002 and they put in 3 stents. I had bypass surgery Jan 2010. After my heart attack I put in a claim but was denied. I received 100% Total Disability service connection in Dec. 2009. In March 2011, after responding to the Jan letter, I received a call stating I didn’t need to send anything else in because they had information to make decision. Haven’t heard anything from them as to whether I am qualified for any retroactive payment or not. I call periodically and they tell me my claim is in the “rating activity” and it can take 16-27 days. I have called once a month to check on it and I get different answers each time. Has anybody received a decision and a rating to the Nehmer case yet?

    Comment by Red Goodson — May 31, 2011 @ 12:37 am

    • My father was a nehmer class memeber, i recieved a letter stating that he was a potential nehmer class member he had coronary heart disease dated back in jan 0f 2010 and some other things, anigoplasty in the early 90’s, his wife filled way back when but was denied since then she to has passed i called yesterday as a matter of fact and they stated that they have made a rating on his case and i should be recieveing something in 2 weeks or so. Also the only question i have is since my father and step mother are deceased does that mean that the benefits will go to me and my brothers being as though we are his kids? And does it matter what age we are now>?

      Comment by Rambo Jack Spencer — December 21, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  12. my husband was a Korean DMZ vet from 68-69 and in a unit that has been long recognized for agent orange exposure. Anything Nam vets that is presumptive these special units also receive. My question is why under the current Nehmer Case Only Vietnam Vets with agent orange exposure get compensation or their widows or next of kin? Agent Orange does not discriminate but the rules are not the same only for this case? they should also be under Nehmer protection.

    Comment by carolyn griffor — July 27, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    • My father served in the Korean DMZ during 1968-1969. He filed for VA disability benefits shortly after he was honorably discharged in the early 70’s but he was denied every time he submitted a claim. My mom also filed but all she received were denial letters. My family suffered due to my fathers mental & health issues since his military service from the lack of proper treatment & help from the VA. Unfortunately with all the financial, emotional stress, & the fear of my father’s mental instability, my mom divorced my father. In 2004, my brother took on the daunting task to care for my veteran father. My brother helped my dad file for VA benefits once again & surprisingly after 30 years of suffering he was approved for 100% service connected disability from schizophrenia & non service connection of diabetes & skin condition. Sadly late January 2013, my father died due to complications from diabetes & end stage kidney disease. My brothers & I had to go through all of my dad’s VA paperwork that my father hid from us. We discovered a VA document dated in 2003 stating that my father might have been exposed to Agent Orange. It was an eye opener for me & my brothers. I was saddened & outraged on how the VA denied my father for so long & had known all along that he was exposed to such a toxic chemical causing his mind & body to deteriorate. Although my father has passed, we will not give up to make things right for him.

      Comment by Cheryl Gutierrez — March 9, 2013 @ 4:59 am

      • Cheryl, I am so sorry to hear about your father. The military sent us home broken men. All the lies and denials didn’t help either. My husband never received a letter like your father did. He did get a phone call asking if he was in Nam but no letter. He should get retro accrued compensation back to 2002 for diabetes. Diabetes was a presumptive starting 2002 for Korean vets that were on the DMZ between 1968-1972. was your father on the DMZ?? Please Cheryl do NOT give up!! I fought for 5 years following my husband death and I finally got what was owed him in retro accrued compensation. If you need any help please let me know. I would be more than happy to help you any way I can.

        Comment by carolyn Griffor — March 11, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

      • Carolyn, thank you so much for your reply. It’s been so difficult, we really don’t know where to begin. Did you receive help from a lawyer, a veterans group, or did you go through the process on your own? Any info will be appreciated. Thank you again : )

        Comment by Cheryl Gutierrez — March 11, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

      • Yes my father was on the DMZ he was part of unit Co. A 1st Battalion 32nd Infantry Division. I’ve heard of the Presuptive Policy for Korean DMZ Vets who served certain areas along the DMZ but I’m not sure if father’s unit was included.

        Comment by Cheryl Gutierrez — March 11, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

      • Cheryl let me do some research on your fathers Battalion. I went through 3 VSO’S, none of which did anything but discourage me. So I took things in my own hands and I won!! I will get back to you soon as I get the info I need.

        Comment by carolyn Griffor — March 12, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

      • http://www.gmasw.com/ao_out.htm This is a site that says your father was indeed exposed

        Comment by carolyn Griffor — March 12, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

      • Carolyn, I will definitely use this info as proof for my father’s AO claim. Thank you so much for taking the time to help.

        Comment by Cheryl Gutierrez — March 12, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

      • http://www.military.com/HomePage/UnitPageHistory/1,13506,100456%7C965546,00.html the history of your fathers unit

        Comment by carolyn Griffor — March 12, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  13. My late husband served in the Republic of Vietnam 1970 to 1971. H e had a massive heart attack in April 2007. I was denied widow’s pension.
    In 2009 i wrote a letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Erik Shenseki. In March 2011 i received a letter from the Dept. of Vet. Affairs in Columbia SC. stating that my late husband file was being requested. In may i received another letter stating they had the file. June i received a letter from Waco TX along with a form support of claim i returned the form . I have been calling the office and i get a automated machine i can never speak with anyone it says to call back another day this been going on for a month now. its very upsetting. I just have to sit back and be patience.I have waited two years for this..

    Comment by Eva Williams — August 6, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

  14. My husband had a claim for benefits since 1999. for ptsd a year later he was granted benefits with 100% disability along with unemployability under a pension plan. then in latter part of 2002 he was diagnost with aml in 2003 and was in remission until graft v host desease and had passed away on oct 27 2003 before he died he was fighting for total and permanent 100% compensation benefits as service connected as aml being agent orange exposure. since my husbands death i have filed for dic benefits however i was denied twice and so i gave up on that claim with the va in albuqueque nm. there after in july of 20ll i recd a letter stating that va has reopened my claim and is under review with the nemher case. seems like its taken for ever to get to making a decision on this claim. what more would va want from me. i cant bring him back to life to prove he set foot in vietnam. still grieving over and over every time anything mentioned af the va can i be able to find ovt when and if i can have this claim expedited.

    respectfully’
    nadine chapito zuni new mexico
    po box 932 87327

    Comment by Nadine chapito — September 4, 2011 @ 6:41 am

  15. What your mother received was a one-time payment when a group of lawyers sued Dow Chemical, the makers of Agent Orange. I received that, too. Once it’s documented that your dad died a service related death, check into it again. And be patient. Retroactive is real, the people you talk to are at a call center and don’t know much more than we do, and the veterans alive today are the claims they’re doing first (or so I’ve been told). I’m waiting, too. My husband died in 1982 and I have four adult children. Don’t give up hope!

    Comment by Kathy — October 20, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    • Hi Kathy – my father died in August 1983 of Lung Cancer. My mom filed her claim in Sept 1983 and was denied. She filed again in 1998 and was awarded DIC benefits in 2002 retroactive back to 1998….despite the VA in their letter to her stating that they denied the original claim in 1983 but could not pay retroactive benefits back because of the limitations of Nehmer. The NVLSP told us about 9 years ago that there was another case White vs. VA to get claims prior to 1985 eligible. I can not find any information on this case, so don’t know if it exists. May I ask what you are doing to get the VA to pay retroactive benefits to the original claim (which is earlier than September 1985)? thanks.

      Comment by Jamey — December 3, 2011 @ 1:31 am

  16. Still waiting for a answer as to why no Nehmer protection for Korean DMZ vets or their Widows for back accrued retro compensation??? This whole suit was about Herbicide exposure and the VA not making it possible to receive compensation or next to impossible.
    Carolyn Griffor

    Comment by carolyn griffor — October 21, 2011 @ 2:59 am

  17. Sent in the forms for this class action and haven’t heard anything one way or another since. Can’t seem to find where to get any real info. Can you help?

    Comment by Joan Monachino — November 29, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    • Try call this gentleman his name is Clyde Gambles.
      He can reached at 707 5571652. He’s dedicated to helping veterans.

      Comment by Conroe — November 30, 2011 @ 7:41 am

  18. Exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Korea from Oct.1966thruApril1968 filed a claim thru VFW service office in Balto. Md. suffering from Heart disease,Atrial Fib,Degenerative joint disease,Gout,high blood pressure ,hypertension ,Eczema and Rheumatoid Arthritis,non ischemic heart disease havent been able to get any response from Veternans adm. except that claims is in appeals process. Anyone have any suggestions on how to continue with this process to speed up procedure from Veternans Adm. Thanks. w. bland 443-799-9444

    Comment by walter bland — December 6, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

    • go to a local disabled veterans service officer. Known as VSO’s. Make sure you have your VA C file. It took me to get my husbands c file 2 1/2 years. But now I have it. Dont give up. Also multple letters to President Obama and your local senators, have helped me through 17 years of fighting. I am presently organzing all my deceased husband paper work. Cause I might have to take an attorney Also the Nehmer case is a link on the web that will out line how the VA has to proceed. Knowingly they never do follow it. Good luck and dont give up.

      Comment by Angelika Bertrand — July 13, 2013 @ 4:38 am

  19. My husband had heart failure in the summer of 2004. He passed away on Sept 14, 2006. Will you pay back to 2004.

    Comment by Sharon K Miller — December 16, 2011 @ 4:25 am

  20. tell me..why does it take so long to prosess these claims…..we know they were in nam2 or three years…..lets get these people their money my husband was there two terms he was a very sick man heart lung diebetes ptsd skin diases nerophrey tried to get help years ago….was turned down filed again in 1988 was turned down he give up he could never hold down a job…….he tried but couldnt. ..finally when i helpedhin in 1995file a claim then it took five years too get him connected……..the man died dec 252009……so wake people………..help our vets…….like i say they went thro hell for us…..my name is evon garner thompson………glennh thompson was my husband

    Comment by evon thompson wife of glenn h thompson he is dead. — January 28, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  21. My Father died Jan 1 1980 from agent orange and it is Offically labeld as service connected death.(From the President Clinton as well) I got a check from the Va for like $1,700 back in 1996 and they said they could go back no further, Now I am understanding , I SHOULD BE PAID FROM JAN 1 st 1980 TRU~ ? I know the Gov’t is cheating me and I need help where to go. My Mother recieves DIC but she did not get that until 1992 or soo? We were also in the Agent Orange Class action law suite from the beginning and got nothing. Anyone who can help me? Please.

    Comment by Theo Pitt — February 19, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

    • go to the NVPL national veterans attornoreys website. tell them about the NEHMER case that is what our claims are. I been fighting this for 17 years and my husband died 17 years ago. I m not weavering. I m close of getting this done. Hang in there

      Comment by Angelika Bertrand — July 13, 2013 @ 4:42 am

  22. Hello everyone, my father was exposed to agent orange as well and died from complication with his heart in 1998. I went on to develop similar illnesses as him and unsure how this plays out with trying to obtain any retro pay. Any ideas ?

    Comment by DJ — February 28, 2012 @ 6:10 am

  23. Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

    Over $2.2 Billion in Retroactive Agent Orange Benefits Paid to 89,000 Vietnam Veterans and Survivors for Presumptive Conditions
    August 31, 2011
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    Over $2.2 Billion in Retroactive Agent Orange Benefits Paid to 89,000 Vietnam Veterans and Survivors for Presumptive Conditions

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today that more than $2.2 billion in retroactive benefits has already been paid to approximately 89,000 Vietnam Veterans and their survivors who filed claims related to one of three new Agent Orange presumptive conditions.

    On August 31, 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amended its regulations to add ischemic heart disease, hairy cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias, and Parkinson’s disease to the list of diseases presumed to be related to exposure to Agent Orange.

    “As the President said to the American Legion yesterday, VA is committed to ensuring Veterans and their families receive the care and benefits they have earned,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “I encourage all potentially eligible Veterans to apply as soon as possible to preserve the most favorable effective date for payments.”

    For new claims, VA may authorize up to one year of retroactive benefits if a Veteran can show that he or she has experienced one of those conditions since the date of the regulatory change.

    VA has reviewed, and continues to review, thousands of previously filed claims that may qualify for retroactive benefits under a long-standing court order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Nehmer vs. U.S. Veterans Administration.

    “VA encourages survivors of Veterans whose death may be due to one of the three diseases to file a claim for dependency and indemnity compensation,” added Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.

    Secretary Shinseki’s decision to add these conditions to the list of Agent Orange presumptive conditions was based on a study by the Institute of Medicine, which indicated a positive association between exposure to certain herbicides and the subsequent development of one or more of the three conditions.

    Potentially eligible Veterans include those who were exposed based on duty or visitation in Vietnam or on its inland waterways between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975; exposed along the demilitarized zone in Korea between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971; or exposed due to herbicide tests and storage at military bases within and outside of the United States.

    The Agent Orange Claims Processing System website located at https://www.fasttrack.va.gov/AOFastTrack/ may be used to submit claims related to the three new presumptive conditions.

    The website makes it easy to electronically file a claim and allows Veterans and their physicians to upload evidence supporting the claim. It also permits online viewing of claim status.

    Beyond the three new presumptive disabilities, Veterans may file online at VA’s My-eBenefits web site at: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal. They can check the status of their claim with a premium account (confirming their identity), and use a growing number of online services.

    Servicemembers may enroll in My-eBenefits by using their Common Access Card at anytime during their military service, or before they leave during their Transition Assistance Program briefings.

    Veterans may also enroll through their myPay or MyHealtheVet accounts by visiting their local VA regional office or Veteran Service Organization, or by calling 1-800-827-1000.

    For more information about Agent Orange presumptives and disability compensation, go to http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/. For questions about Agent Orange, Veterans may call VA’s Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387 and press 3.

    Comment by T. M. Daniels — April 5, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  24. Yes I think the VSOs are only there to discourage & keep veterans/families from filing claims. We spoke to a Veteran’s officer from the main Federal Building in LA last week. I felt it was a waste of time because they really didn’t care to help us & really didn’t answer any of our questions. It seems like they’re just working for a paycheck!

    Comment by Cheryl Gutierrez — March 12, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

    • Amen Sister: I just got back from a 120 mile round trip to a VSO in McAllen, TX. who I wanted to fax some paperwork in for me. He started reading it and he told me he wasn’t going to fax it. I asked him why. He told me it was frivolus, it created a paper trail that kept other Vets from having their claims processed, and the VA wasn’t going to do anything about it. I asked him if he knew of Nehmer verses the VA, and his first words were, “What’s that?” I should have quit then. And, the more I questioned his authority to be making the decisions he was makig, the more adament he became in not wanting to do anything for me. It was a battle of wills and I was going to lose because he thought he was right, I knew he was wrong, and he had control of the machine. I left there angry, frustrated, and thinking I might need someone else to represent me!

      Comment by Robert Montgomery — March 12, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

      • You are so right about that. I had 3 of them tell me no way. So I did it all on my own and got awarded. I even got into arguments with them . I had the DAV, American Legion, and Veterans Service Commission. I had to go to the VA and get them to help me do a notice of disagreement, because the other organizations would not even do that. I felt the same way you did Robert.

        Comment by carolyn Griffor — March 14, 2013 @ 4:34 am

  25. My husband was diagnose with hairy cell leumiake back in 1977 he got out of service in 1971 he also had type 2 diabities and was in a wheelchair he passed in 1999 but had file a claim in 1996 for agent orange and was denied then after he passes I filed and they only go back to time of death not the first claim.that was file in 1996. So I have opened a new claim asking for early effective date wish me luck

    Comment by theresa — June 4, 2013 @ 5:26 am

  26. can i still a ao claim in 2014

    Comment by len — January 22, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

  27. CAN THE VA RATE ME ON MY VA DOCTORS DIAGNOSES FOR IHD AND DIABETES

    Comment by len — January 22, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

  28. What about the sailors and Fleet marines who were denied because of “boot-on-ground” and now are classified as brown Water veterans — will they be contacted?
    Dennis Agin LCDR USN-Ret.

    Comment by Dr. Dennis M. Agin — March 6, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

  29. I am a exwife of a korea and Vietnam vet. he get 100% for diabetes and agent orange I was married to him 13 year during his military life. we had four girls one died at 40years I became disable at 60 year of age.am I intiled to any pension..?

    Comment by Birgit baglien — May 14, 2014 @ 10:07 pm

  30. 20 April 2014

    To: Commander, National Headquarters, Veterans of Foreign Wars

    Thru: Commander, Department of Illinois, Veterans of Foreign Wars
    Commander, District 12, Department of Illinois, Veterans of Foreign Wars

    Subject: Dioxin (Agent Orange) Long Term Residual Effects Korean DMZ

    Two months ago, I found out that I have Adult Diabetes Type 2, which is one of the many side effects of Dioxin exposure. I already knew many veterans who have served in Vietnam and Korea suffer from not just this side effect but many others. I have discussed with other veterans who have also served in Korea, in particular those who have also served up on the DMZ north of Freedom Bridge/Imjin-gak (River). Many of these veterans also suffer not only from Diabetes, but many of the other side effects of Dioxin exposure.

    Agent Orange was used in Korea from approximately 1968 to 1971. Those that served in Korea at that time are the only ones who are acknowledged to have had exposure to Dioxin. It does not cover those that were exposed afterward, where it resides in the dirt for many years to come. From 1971 to 1991 we still had Troops running patrols, manning Guard Posts, and Observation Posts in the American Sector (11 Mile Stretch) after the use of AO.

    Our final troops exited Vietnam by 1975 and they are covered in the Zone for Agent Orange. But, in Vietnam we did not naturally get a chance to see the effects of Dioxin exposure in the ground to those Veterans. In Korea, many of us believe we were exposed to it through the 70s and 80s due to aliments we now suffer from.

    The US Government/VA needs to look at supporting and caring for these Veterans who are suffering from the side effects caused by exposure to Agent Orange. The Government needs to determine and accept that Dioxins remained in the area/ground well after its use and not just during. We exposed these Troops to an unsafe environment and now they suffer from it in sickness/illnesses, and in some cases death. I believe you will find in most cases, it has taken several years for the illnesses to appear, quite similar to those who were exposed to Agent Orange when it was used in Vietnam.

    The Veterans of Foreign Wars membership rules changed several years ago, to allow those who have served in Korea since 1953 to become members of the VFW. Now as the VFW it is our mission to support these Troops that are affected, make it known that they are just as important as Veterans, as our other Veterans are that have served in combat zones! They too served a mission that was difficult on the DMZ, that was real, and sometimes was deadly. Serving on the Korean DMZ and running missions, were not training but a real world situation. These Troops lives were on the line constantly, under the threat of the north. Whether it was being shot at randomly, ambushed by roaming NK soldiers, avoiding minefields that were and are still in place! These Troops were and still are our fellow brothers who deserve to be given equal treatment for their service. A service that many never knew that really existed and/or accepted. Now we as members of the VFW need to see them given the recognition for a duty that was unforgiving, and make the rest of our members and all US Citizens aware of it. They are our brothers and should not be forgotten!

    From 1972 to 1991, approximately 50,000 troops have served in the American Sector of the DMZ, and that is a conservative number! For the VA to see an issue/trend here is very limited due to relatively small number of veterans who have served there. With DMZ veterans spread in 50 states, territories, working, living, and retired overseas, and in some cases have passed on, it is hard to see that there is a trend/issue. That is why I ask the Veterans of Foreign Wars to stand up and help these veterans who need it now and never have been recognized for their efforts and their sickness from exposure to Agent Orange.

    Last, just for the record. Not only am I currently active with my VFW Post here, but I am a Past Commander of Freedom Bridge Memorial Post 9985, Tongduchon, Republic of Korea.

    My info is: 831 W Jefferson, Vandalia, IL 62471; phone: 618-204-8391; email: lucken13@nwcable.net.

    Thomas J. Lucken
    Senior Vice Commander
    VFW Post 9770
    Brownstown, IL

    Comment by Thomas Lucken — May 30, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    • my exhousband served 21 Years in the Army,Ssgt. 1953 in Korea 2 x in Vietnam my intiere Famile has Diebetis 2. Resperitory my second Daugther diet 9 Years ago Resperoitry and heart.can you help me. is my Family intileled to compersation? after the second turn at Vietnam my Housband left me and the four Childern, and not give me any Benefits I was 14 Year merried to him.he gat remerried 3 Times after me, sorry my spelling is lousy I am German. Sincerely  Birgit Baglien Tel 863 696 3337 PoBox 6462 Nalcrest Florida33856

      Comment by Birgit Baglien — June 4, 2014 @ 9:40 am


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