The Dopamine Chronicles

An almost daily cartoon about Parkinson's

Agent Orange Quicksteps

Hi, Doc BEE here! I served in Vietnam as a hospital corpsman assigned to the Marines. I was in the bush, was a mine sweep corpsman and ran the shotclinic at the BAS. So before I have to give you the square needle in the left @#$, you need to get yourself screened for Agent Orange related diseases:

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Many Vietnam vets my age don’t realize that many health problems they have may be related to exposure to Agent Orange in country (many ships and airbases also qualify.) So here is the step by step process to get the VA to start helping you out (courtesy of Herb Worthington, VVA.ORG):

1. If you are going to a private doctor, get a letter from the doctor with the diagnosis of your Agent Orange related condition on the letter. You should also tell your doctor you are a Vietnam Vet and were exposed to Agent Orange. If possible, ask the doctor to include in the letter ” it is as likely as not,” that this veterans condition is due to his exposure to Agent Orange. All you are asking is for him to say it is possible but not a guarantee.

2. Go to a “BVA” (Board Of Veterans Appeals), Accredited Service Officer which are found at VA regional offices.  Any of the Veterans Service Offices there are usually fine but some are better then others. Some of the better known ones are VVA, VFW, Amer. Legion, DAV etc.

3. Fill out a 526 claim form and a 21-22 appointment of Service Office as your POA(Power Of Attorney) which is only for the VA system so that your new service officer can gain access to your service records.

4. Make sure you give the doctors letter as evidence and that the Service Officer asks for a C&P, (compensation & Pension) exam for the condition. This exam is usually given at a local VA hospital.

5. After the exam, you wait. You will receive occasional letters stating they are working on your claim and asking for any additional evidence. This is standard. It can take up to a year or more for the claim to be decided.

6. One you receive the decision, if you are satisfied, there is nothing left for you to do. If you are not satisfied, you can file a NOD, (Notice of Disagreement) through your Service Officer. You have up to one year from the stamped date on your award letter to send in additional evidence but the sooner your letter is sent, the sooner your next decision is awarded.

7. Remember to check out if you have any secondary conditions to your primary Agent Orange related condition. An example of that is. if you are a Type II Diabetic and you have a tingling or numbness in your hands and feet, that is a secondary condition known as Peripheral Neuropathy and as such can be service connected also.

Check out more facts here! (CLICK HERE)

Written by martyworld

November 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm

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