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AGENT ORANGE~New Study
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Thread: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

  1. Moderator Bull79Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Hemet, California

    AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    Medical researchers say there may be a link between exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War and an increased chance of developing serious heart problems and Parkinson's disease.

    A study from the Institute of Medicine released Friday contains several caveats, but suggests there is a stronger connection than previously thought about the health risks to Vietnam veterans.

    American forces sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other defoliants over parts of Vietnam from 1962 to 1970. Military authorities used the defoliants in an attempt to massively prune away the dense jungle cover used by North Vietnamese forces to hide.

    American troops and others exposed to the chemicals later complained of numerous health problems, however, and researchers are still trying to determine the scope of the damage.

    To determine whether Vietnam veterans faced an increased chance of ischemic heart disease - a condition involving reduced blood supply to the heart - researchers reviewed several studies that showed links between higher exposure levels and greater incidence of the disease.

    Other factors such as smoking, age, and weight can also play a role, they noted. Still, they said veterans exposed to the chemicals may be at greater risk.
    **GySgt [J.D.] MACK McKernan {Retired}**
    {VMO-6, Quang Tri} **{Mar69-Mar70}**

  2. GARY ALLS
    Guest

    From an article in the NY Times

    Report Sees Agent Orange Link to More Illnesses


    By JANIE LORBER
    Published: July 24, 2009
    An expert panel reported on Friday that two more diseases may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the American military during the Vietnam War.

    People exposed to the chemical appear, at least tentatively, to be more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease, according to the report. The report was written by a 14-member committee charged by the Institute of Medicine with determining whether certain medical conditions were caused by exposure to herbicides used to clear stretches of jungle.

    The results, though not conclusive, are an important first step for veterans groups working to get the government to help pay for treatment of illnesses they believe have roots on the battlefield. Some other conditions linked to Agent Orange already qualify.

    Claud Tillman, a 61-year-old veteran from Knoxville, Tenn., who lost his job repairing guns after he received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, said those benefits could help dig him out of tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

    Mr. Tillman has not worked since March 2007 and now lives on loans from relatives, including his son. “It sure has messed my life up,” said Mr. Tillman, who said he was sure he became ill after exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. “I don’t know how to explain it. It won’t be long till I’m living under a bridge. I am confident that that’s where it came from, but there’s no way to prove it.”

    Since 1994 the Institute of Medicine committee has found 17 conditions associated with exposure to the chemical, 13 of which qualify veterans for service-connected disability benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    In its latest report, the committee found “limited or suggestive evidence” linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s and ischemic heart disease. In the past, that has been enough evidence of a link to prompt benefits for some conditions but not for others.

    The group Vietnam Veterans of America plans to write a letter to the secretary of veterans affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, asking for extended benefits, said Bernard Edelman, the organization’s deputy director for policy and government affairs.

    The report notes that its conclusions about ischemic heart disease, a condition that restricts blood flow to the heart, causing irregular heartbeats and deterioration of the heart muscle, are still tentative because it is difficult to separate confounding risk factors like age, weight and the effects of smoking.

    The link between Parkinson’s disease and Agent Orange is also uncertain because, while new studies have strengthened the connection between the condition and certain chemicals, there is still no data on veterans and the condition.

    S/F GARY ALLS
    HMM-263 '66-'67

  3. Newly Registered User
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    Feb 2005
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    Baton Rouge, LA

    Entire Veterans and AO report

    You can view the entire study online here, http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?re...=12662&page=R1

    I have yet to be able to find a paper copy. A few libraries have copies of the 2006 version and make available via inter-library loan for a fee.
    Deborah

  4. Newly Registered User
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    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tijeras, New Mexico,alt 6800'

    other exsposure

    what about the people who wern't in nam or korea that came into contact with AO ?as a former NBC warfare NCO i can tell you that residual contamination can and does occur from various pieces of equiptment helos,jeeps, waterbuffolos,gse,etc. and i know all that stuff wasn't cleaned properly !!!
    non illigitimus carborundumMAF gripe ... deadbugs on windshield...action taken...R&R with live bugs!

  5. Newly Registered User
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    Dec 2001
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    Duncan, OK

    Agent Orange

    AO was practiced @ where we did our first SERE school (AFB) in Panama City FL before it went over yonder...but not until 1971 or so...I've some friends (former Marines and Navy) that have been coming down with what I call ST Vitus(sp) dance (shaking and quivering of extremities), which could be the same as you have mentioned. I tried to bring it up to the VA, but they didn't want to hear it. I even showed them the document to prove the exposure to it...but then again...it took the VA 20 years or so to acknowledge my hearing loss.

    If us vets are experiencing these things, what do you think the VN is experiencing?

  6. John Ace Hunt
    Guest

    agent orange

    Thomas, the condition you refer to is a genetic Condition. It is called Huntingtons. You can only get it by genetics. If your mother, or Father had it, then you will have a 50% chance of getting it. If not, then you will be free of it the rest of your life, as well as your children, and theres. THAT IS A FACT. It is in my Family, and My Mother, and 1 Aunt did not get it. I have 2 cousins of Parents that it affected, and they have not gotten it, and their Children have not gotten it. There has been 6 cousins come down with it so far. 4 have died. One is not far from it now. I do not believe AO can cause a gene to defect and cause Huntingtons. NO way. If you have the gene, you will get it, and if you do not have the gene, you will not get it. My Mother lived until she was 70 plus without getting it,(she did die of Cancer), and her Sister lived until she was 92 without getting it even though 4 of their Brothers and Sisters came down with it. There is no cure. The meds quit working after a short while. My Heart goes out to your Marine, and Navy Brothers. Be with them as much as you can, and try to comfort them as well. They still have their minds, but nothing else. Semper Fi. READY-APP.


  7. Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Saginaw ,Michigan

    Question The Orange ?

    I have to get my thoughts up and running ,But I do have a lot to share with so many of you on this thread. For one thing I have 4 out of 6 Children
    that have different health problems.( 2) I didn't smoke or use Drugs as the many VA and alike try to push some blame on My Health. (3) Va also try to say it was Genetics but we had no history for them(different Health Problems).
    Anyways I will sit down and come up with some input on this very important
    subject matter. OH yes! Guess what Company I live down the road from? 1
    of the companies that made AO up for us in Vietnam. Guess !
    J.J. HALL( Jerry)

  8. Newly Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Duncan, OK

    St Vitus dance: re: AR exposure

    But were any of your relatives exposed to Agent Orange?
    This crap was going on...a very long time...before the Nam shtuff...@ Eglin AFB, FL...where so many aviation kids did their first SERE training...
    There are so many USA and POW (WWII) headstones @ Ft McClennan, AL all victims of US chemical warfare exposure testing...

  9. John Ace Hunt
    Guest

    Huntingtons vs. Agent Orange

    Thomas. Not a one of my relatives were exposed to AO, but Me. I was heavely exposed, for sure, and I am 60 without any symptoms at all, less than 3 months until I'm 61. It is safe to say, I DO NOT have the gene for Huntingtons. It will hit between the ages of late 30's to early 50's, if you have the gene. But, you must have the gene before you, or anyone can be affected by it. One had a motorcycle accident in England in WW2, and he had the gene for Huntingtons which could have advanced the condition a bit.(Agent Orange didn't exist in WW2). BUT, if a person does NOT have the gene for Huntingtons they will not get it even if they drink 10 gallons of Agent Orange. NO Way. AO may advance it in a person with the gene, but if you do not have the gene there is NO WAY Agent Orange can create a Huntingtons gene in your body, and you come down with it no matter what anyone may say, or think. AO Does Not make Huntington genes. There are a lot of people with (the Dance), as you call it, and have the Huntingtons gene with Chickasas Indian Blood in them its not funny. I am Lost Cherokee of Arkansas. Chickasas is in our Family too. It originated in the area of Alabama, Gerorgia, and surrounding States. Why do I know?, My GrandMother had the gene, and she came from Georgia, part Chickasas. I know well about Huntingtons, as stated before, I have had to see 8 of my Family die from it, and there are another 5, or 6 that have the condition, and their Children will possibally have it TOO. Myself, and 3 other cousins, and their Children WILL NOT get it, as we do not have the gene. It would have killed us by now, if we had it. I THANK GOD every Day, I don't. It is NOT a good thing to see, I assure you. If I knew I had the gene, or I had the condition, I certainly would take a gun, and blow my Brains out. To say there are so many USA, and POW(WW11) headstones @ Ft. McClennan, AL, all victims of US chemical warfare exposure testing, is yet to be determined. They would have to be dis-interned, and their bones analyzed for chemicals before we can say that. Testing would be available today. We can assume they were, but until testing is done, We can not say that unless it is on their Death Certificate. I doubt very many would state that either.

  10. Newly Registered User
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    chemical warfare test subject deaths

    No, their deaths would be listed as training accidents ! like they did for covert operators that died in the field or recon pilots that died over places they weren't supposed to be ! sf
    non illigitimus carborundumMAF gripe ... deadbugs on windshield...action taken...R&R with live bugs!

  11. Newly Registered User
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    Dec 2006
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    Louisville, Ky

    3 new confiremed "presumptive" conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by GARY ALLS View Post
    Report Sees Agent Orange Link to More Illnesses


    By JANIE LORBER
    Published: July 24, 2009
    An expert panel reported on Friday that two more diseases may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the American military during the Vietnam War.

    People exposed to the chemical appear, at least tentatively, to be more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease, according to the report. The report was written by a 14-member committee charged by the Institute of Medicine with determining whether certain medical conditions were caused by exposure to herbicides used to clear stretches of jungle.

    The results, though not conclusive, are an important first step for veterans groups working to get the government to help pay for treatment of illnesses they believe have roots on the battlefield. Some other conditions linked to Agent Orange already qualify.

    Claud Tillman, a 61-year-old veteran from Knoxville, Tenn., who lost his job repairing guns after he received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, said those benefits could help dig him out of tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

    Mr. Tillman has not worked since March 2007 and now lives on loans from relatives, including his son. “It sure has messed my life up,” said Mr. Tillman, who said he was sure he became ill after exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. “I don’t know how to explain it. It won’t be long till I’m living under a bridge. I am confident that that’s where it came from, but there’s no way to prove it.”

    Since 1994 the Institute of Medicine committee has found 17 conditions associated with exposure to the chemical, 13 of which qualify veterans for service-connected disability benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    In its latest report, the committee found “limited or suggestive evidence” linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s and ischemic heart disease. In the past, that has been enough evidence of a link to prompt benefits for some conditions but not for others.

    The group Vietnam Veterans of America plans to write a letter to the secretary of veterans affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, asking for extended benefits, said Bernard Edelman, the organization’s deputy director for policy and government affairs.

    The report notes that its conclusions about ischemic heart disease, a condition that restricts blood flow to the heart, causing irregular heartbeats and deterioration of the heart muscle, are still tentative because it is difficult to separate confounding risk factors like age, weight and the effects of smoking.

    The link between Parkinson’s disease and Agent Orange is also uncertain because, while new studies have strengthened the connection between the condition and certain chemicals, there is still no data on veterans and the condition.

    S/F GARY ALLS
    HMM-263 '66-'67
    Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, and Hairy Cell Cancer as of three weeks ago are Presumptive conditions for Disability.......My DAV at the VA here in Louisville filed my claim this morning.......

  12. Newly Registered User Patrick Hayes's Avatar
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    Haverhill, Ma
    Quote Originally Posted by BartClu View Post
    Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, and Hairy Cell Cancer as of three weeks ago are Presumptive conditions for Disability.......My DAV at the VA here in Louisville filed my claim this morning.......
    There are now12 conditions recognized as AO service-connected.
    Among the newer are lung cancer and respiratory illnesses.
    A year ago VA doctors told me the loss of my breath is COPD. I fought for another opinion which showed calcified tumors in linings of both bronchial tubes.
    My lungs are fine.
    Today, I'm on oxygen 24/7. 4 years ago I was a certified baseball umpire, I could run all day. Today I can barely make it up my steps.
    So, heads up, I got to VN the summer of 1965, logically one of the first in-country who would show symptoms of AO illnesses.

    Bests of good luck on your claim.
    I am now 100% service-connected,
    but I'd rather be able to breathe again.

    Semper Fi, brothers
    In memory of the one-eyed fatman[FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"][/SIZE][/FONT]


  13. Join Date
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    Location
    Saginaw ,Michigan

    Exclamation Time is on their side!

    Pat I have been told I had COPD since early 80's. Also have been in the fight over MS and thats been since 1984,and my MRI's just last year(Nov 08)
    show more and this may be part of what is going on with my eyes. Just had a talk with eye Doctor and show Her the MRI reports She kind of shook her head. The AO may be some of my air passage problem too for I also have 7-8 Stents in my heart so its seems that something just kick my butt. Strange thing is they (VA) try to say it was my smoking and Drinking! Funny I didn't do either and so then they said DRUGs HA HA Wasn't in to them either. So with me they just put me off,any way they can. You know that to me it doesn't matter if it was AO or not ,We have these different things going on NOW so WHAT can we do about them . Most of my Kids have things with their health too. Later and God Bless and Keep you .
    J.J. HALL( Jerry)

  14. Newly Registered User paul sheehan's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
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    Peachtree City, GA

    More Agent Orange Info

    The following was on the military.com site Dec 31, 2009:


    Costly Agent Orange-Heart Disease Link Looms
    Tom Philpott | December 31, 2009
    The cost of war -- on veterans’ health and taxpayer wallets -- will loom a little larger in the new year when the Department of Veterans Affairs issues a final rule to claim adjudicators to presume three more diseases of Vietnam veterans, including heart disease, were caused by exposure to Agent Orange.
    The rule, expected to be published soon, will make almost any veteran who set foot in Vietnam, and is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, B cell leukemia or ischemic heart disease (known also as coronary artery disease), eligible for disability compensation and VA medical care. The exception would be if credible evidence surfaces of a non-service cause for the ailment.
    Katie Roberts, VA press secretary, said no estimates will be available on numbers of veterans impacted or the potential cost to VA until after the rule change takes effect sometime in 2010. But the National Association for Uniformed Services was told by a VA official that up to 185,000 veterans could become eligible for benefits and the projected cost to VA might reach $50 billion, said Win Reither, a retired colonel on NAUS’ executive board.
    NAUS also advised members that VA, to avoid aggravating its claims backlog, intends to “accept letters from family physicians supporting claims for Agent Orange-related conditions.” It said thousands of widows whose husbands died of Agent Orange disabilities also will be eligible for retroactive benefits and VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
    “This is huge,” said Ronald Abrams, co-director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program. NVLSP has represented veterans in Agent Orange lawsuits for the last 25 years. The non-profit law group publishes the “Veterans Benefits Manual,” a 1900-page guide for veterans’ advocates to navigate the maze for VA claims, appeals and key court decisions.
    Abrams said he can’t guess at how many more thousands of veterans previously denied disability claims, or how many thousands more who haven’t filed claims yet, will be eligible for benefits. But numbers, particularly of those with heart disease, will be very large, he suggested.
    All of the veterans “who have been trying to link their heart condition to a service-connected condition won’t have to do it now if they’re Vietnam vets,” Abrams said. For VA, it will mean “a significant amount of money -- and many, many, many people helped.”
    The excitement over expansion of benefits for Vietnam veterans, and worry by some within the Obama administration over cost, flows from an announcement last October by VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. He said three categories would be added to the list of diseases the VA presumes were caused by Agent Orange. Veterans with the presumptive Agent Orange ailments can get disability compensation if they can show they made even a brief visit to Vietnam from 1962 to 1975. With a presumptive illness, claim applicants don’t have to prove, as other claimants do, a direct association between their medical condition and military service.
    Shinseki said he based his decision on work of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. VA contracts with IOM to gather veterans’ health data and investigate links between diseases and toxic herbicide used in Vietnam to destroy vegetation and expose enemy positions.
    In a speech last July, Shinseki, former Army chief of staff and a wounded veteran of Vietnam, expressed frustration that “40 years after Agent Orange was last used in Vietnam, this secretary is still adjudicating claims for presumption of service-connected disabilities tied to its toxic effects.” VA and the Defense Department should had conducted conclusive studies earlier on presumptive disabilities from Agent Orange, he suggested.
    “The scientific method and the failure to advocate for the veteran got in the way of our processes,” Shinseki bluntly concluded.
    In last October’s announcement he said VA “must do better reviews of illnesses that may be connected to service, and we will. Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence.”
    When a disease is added to VA’s list of ailments tied to Agent Orange, veterans with the disease can become eligible for retroactive disability payments, back to the date original claims were rejected, if after 1985.
    Joe Violante, legislative director for Disabled American Veterans, praised Shinseki’s decision. But he said VA faces a “logistical nightmare” in trying to find veterans turned down on earlier on claims. A VA official told Violante, he said, that cost of the search could be part of that nightmare.
    Chairman of government affairs for Vietnam Veterans of America until last October was John Miterko. He said he wasn’t surprised that Shinseki added ailments to the Agent Orange presumptive list including heart disease.
    “If you look at the Vietnam veteran population, the diseases we’ve contracted and the mortality rate, the only group dying faster rate are the World War II veterans,” Miterko said. “We’re picking up diseases by our ‘60s that we shouldn’t be getting until our late ‘70s, early ‘80s. So his adding other diseases, heart disease in particular, isn’t a surprise.”
    Both Shinseki and his predecessor, James Peake, former Army surgeon general, had long military careers and served in Vietnam. “That’s a hell of a bonus for us,” Miterko said. Both of them have shown “much more empathy, much more understanding. They would have seen many of their own peer group suffering from the effects of exposure to Agent Orange.”
    Miterko doesn’t believe anyone can estimate how many veterans will benefit from the new presumptive diseases. VA will continue to process claims individually, he said, and likely won’t be accepting Agent Orange as the cause of heart disease for someone “who has smoked for 40 years and is mobidly obese. Common sense is going to have to prevail as well.”
    To comment, send e-mail to milupdate@aol.com or write to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120-1111

  15. Newly Registered User
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    Louisville, Ky

    Heart Claims

    Has anyone been granted disability for heart issues based on AO yet? I applied in Nov, was interviewed 3-4: my brother-in-law was interviewed 1-14 and neither of us has heard a word since..

  16. Newly Registered User Patrick Hayes's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
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    Haverhill, Ma

    15 and counting ... Never give up

    . . .Under Bush admin, VA-recognized ailments were far fewer. Obama + Shinseki brought progress for Viet vets. Plus Bush & McCain opposed the new GI Bill, authored by Jim Webb and now law.

    Veterans' Diseases Associated with Agent Orange Exposure
    Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits for diseases that VA has recognized as associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides:

    1. Acute and Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy -- A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to Agent Orange and resolve within 2 years after the date it began.
    2. AL Amyloidosis --A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs.
    3. B Cell Leukemias -- Cancers which affect B cells, such as hairy cell leukemia.
    4. Chloracne (or Similar Acneform Disease) -- A skin condition that occurs soon after dioxin exposure and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating regulations, chloracne (or other acneform disease similar to chloracne) must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to Agent Orange.
    5. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia -- A disease that progresses slowly with increasing production of excessive numbers of white blood cells.
    6. Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2) -- A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin.
    7. Hodgkin’s Disease -- A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia.
    8. Ischemic Heart Disease -- A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart.
    9. Multiple Myeloma -- A cancer of specific bone marrow cells that is characterized by bone marrow tumors in various bones of the body.
    10. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma -- A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue.
    11. Parkinson’s Disease -- A motor system condition with symptoms that include trembling of the limbs and face and impaired balance.
    12. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda -- A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to Agent Orange.
    13. Prostate Cancer -- Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men.
    14. Respiratory Cancers -- Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus.
    15. Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or Mesothelioma) -- A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues.

    AGENT ORANGE UPDATE:

    Presumption of Exposure -- A veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962 and ending on May 7, 1975, will be presumed to have been exposed to an herbicide agent during such service, unless there is affirmative evidence that establishes that the veteran was not exposed to any such herbicide agent. See 38 U.S.C.A. § 1116(f) (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. § 3.307(a)(6)(iii) (2008). (Note: the dates of service in Vietnam for the purpose of presumed exposure are not the same as the statutory definition of the “Vietnam Era” in 38 U.S.C.A. § 101(29).)

    Length of Exposure -- There is no regulatory requirement as to how long the veteran was in Vietnam; even a few hours of service in country is sufficient to establish the presumption of exposure. The last date on which a veteran will be presumed to have been exposed to an herbicide agent will be the last date on which he or she served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962 and ending on May 7, 1975. See 38 C.F.R. § 3.307(a)(6)(iii) (2008).

    Presumptive Service Connection (herbicide-related diseases)

    If a veteran has one of the diseases listed in 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e) (see Appendix A) and his/her exposure to an herbicide is either presumed, based on service in Vietnam, or otherwise proven by the evidence, the disease is presumed to be related to the in-service exposure (the regulation provides the nexus – see Pearlman v. West, 11 Vet. App. 443 (1998)) – provided it was manifested within the appropriate time frame. Hence, service connection should be granted.

    http://www.publichealth.va.gov/expos...s.asp#veterans
    In memory of the one-eyed fatman[FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"][/SIZE][/FONT]

  17. Newly Registered User uncle00's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    Linn Creek, Mo.

    Thumbs up Latest VA INFO of AO

    Department of Veterans Affairs publishes proposed rules on Agent Orange
    Exposures


    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Office of Public Affairs
    Media Relations
    Washington, DC 20420
    (202) 461-7600
    www.va.gov
    NEWS RELEASE
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    March 25, 2010

    VA Proposes Change to Aid Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

    Proposed Regulation Change Adds Illnesses to List of Diseases Subject to
    Presumptive Service Connection for Herbicide Exposure

    WASHINGTON - Well over 100,000 Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving in Vietnam and other areas will have an easier path to qualify for disability pay under a proposed regulation published by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that adds three new illnesses to the list of health problems found to be related to Agent Orange and other herbicide exposures.

    "This is an important step forward for Vietnam Veterans suffering from these
    three illnesses," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "These
    warriors deserve medical care and compensation for health problems they have incurred."

    The regulation follows Shinseki's October 2009 decision to add the three
    illnesses to the current list of diseases for which service connection for
    Vietnam Veterans is presumed. The illnesses are B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia; Parkinson's disease; and ischemic heart disease.

    The Secretary's decision is based on the latest evidence of an association with widely used herbicides such as Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, as determined in an independent study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
    Even though this is a proposed rule, VA encourages Vietnam Veterans with these three diseases to submit their applications for compensation now so the Agency can begin development of their claims and so they can receive benefits from the date of their applications once the rule becomes final.

    Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted over the next 30 days. The final regulation will be published after consideration of all comments received. "We must do better reviews of illnesses that may be connected to service, and we will," Shinseki added. "Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence."

    Over 80,000 of the Veterans will have their past claims reviewed and may be
    eligible for retroactive payment, and all who are not currently eligible for
    enrollment into the VA healthcare system will become eligible.

    During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military used more than 19 million gallons of
    herbicides for defoliation and crop destruction in the Republic of Vietnam.
    Veterans who served in Vietnam anytime during the period beginning January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to
    herbicides. Used in Vietnam to defoliate trees and remove concealment for the enemy, Agent Orange and other herbicides left a legacy of suffering and disability that continues to the present.

    The new rule will bring the number of illnesses presumed to be associated with herbicide exposure to 14 and significantly expand the current leukemia
    definition to include a much broader range of leukemias beyond chronic
    lymphocytic leukemia previously recognized by VA. In practical terms, Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a
    "presumed" illness don't have to prove an association between their illnesses
    and their military service. This "presumption" simplifies and speeds up the
    application process for benefits.

    Other illnesses previously recognized under VA's "presumption" rule as being
    caused by exposure to herbicides during the Vietnam War are:


    AL Amyloidosis,
    Acute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy,
    Chloracne or other Acneform Disease consistent with Chloracne,
    Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, (now being expanded)
    Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2),
    Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma,
    Porphyria Cutanea Tarda,
    Prostate Cancer,
    Respiratory Cancers (Cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea), and •
    Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma,
    or Mesothelioma).

    Additional information about Agent Orange and VA's services for Veterans exposed to the chemical are available at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange.

    To view the proposed rule go to:
    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-6549.htm


    You should be able to post comments in favor of the rule changes by going to the the below link.
    http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#home

    Type VA-2010-VBA-0005-0001 in the keyword box, click on search.
    That will take you to a screen that at the far right you can click on SUBMIT A COMMENT. The more positive comments the better. Public comments close on 4/26/2010 at 11:59 PM GOOD LUCK MARINES
    Last edited by uncle00; 03-29-2010 at 20:43. Reason: LINK FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS

  18. Newly Registered User
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    Louisville, Ky

    Smile Presumptive benefits

    You may not (hopefully) have any of these "presumptive" problems now, but we're not getting younger......If you have'nt already you should go to the web site listed and respond to your Senators & Reps that you want this pasted, it could be worth major bucks to you later.
    You should be able to post comments in favor of the rule changes by going to the the below link.

    http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#home
    Type VA-2010-VBA-0005-0001[/B] in the keyword boxssed....

  19. Newly Registered User uncle00's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Linn Creek, Mo.

    Exclamation AO Presumptions on hold again

    Sen. Jim Webb has pushed a amendment through the senate that will delay any awards for the new Agent Orange Presumptions. He and the other 99 senators want to decide what they want to do. This will be a circle jerk with Webb playing pivot man. He is a Vietnam Vet, was he on our side or Luke's side.

    http://www.votesmart.org/speech_deta...rase=&contain=
    Last edited by uncle00; 06-09-2010 at 03:28.

  20. Administrator Larry Zok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Does it really matter?

    I filed for Type II diabetes (presumptive condition) and neuropothy (presumptive condition) and was turned down twice. I am now in the appeals process (3-5 years) which may take longer than I have on this earth. I also have an appeal going on my right knee, which was injured in a CH-53 crash in 1972. Got the Triple D going - DENY - DELAY - DIE (hope you). We got used up and spit out. Just the way it is.

  21. Newly Registered User spook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Strawn, Texas, United States

    Agent Orange Run Around

    I filed an update last July 2009. Got seen by a PA, at Dallas Va Med Ctr in Nov 2009. Was at VA Ctr less than 1 Hour. Received my packet back today, with a denial. What is funny I had already been approved at 60 % 5 years ago. This time they said no sign of Agent Orage damage or neuropathy. But did not cancel rating. Also sai did not have bad hearing; but they issued me hearing aids in Nov 2009. Go figure. They don't do blood work up or any testing. Let an old drunk PA look at you for less than 5 minutes. However if you are a currant member and have a scratch or think you have PTSD you go to the heead of the line. And this is the ALL volunteer force. I retired in 1988; and was recalled to active duty for the first gulf war. But I was also a Dept of the Army civilian employee they let me off active duty and used me as a civilian employee so they did not have to worry about active duty benifits. SF


  22. Join Date
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    Location
    Saginaw ,Michigan

    Thumbs down Sorry To Hear

    [FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"][="Red"] WELL you guys I'm sorry to hear this ,but the same thing has gone on from the early 80,s maybe very late 78-79. Strange as it may sound the fact of PTSD[all came to being from Vietnam era.]........Now its used for anything. This fight is the same and I'll just say this, (1 )Don't give up , because that's just what they want you to do, because if you quit they win. If someone checks OUT what do they care,again they Win No money to pay out . Think I've seen more people work and stay around the VA and then RETIRE... They get that and go on with their life, but WE are still here. More can be said ! yet I just want to encourage each one not to give in or UP. Then You and your family LOSES.....Semper FI Marines and May God bless/][/SIZE][/FONT]
    Last edited by Jerome HALL; 06-09-2010 at 23:05. Reason: words
    J.J. HALL( Jerry)

  23. Administrator Larry Zok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Jj

    I just got my latest rejection letter tonight. First rejection was for not having evidence of a chronic condition. That information was then provided. The next rejection comes back as not having developed OsteoArthritis from one year of discharge. This latest one weaves the story that this was all caused my motorcycle accident and not the helicopter crash of 38 years ago. Spraining a knee does not turn the inside of your knee black. That is done over a long period of time. Guess it's time to go get a check up from the neck up so I can let loose on someone. Wish me luck!!

  24. Newly Registered User spook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Strawn, Texas, United States

    Agent Orange

    A friend of mine who is an Army veteran ex Special Forces Vietnam; got his rejection letter this morning; His occupation is Commercial Truck Driver (Since 1970). He applied for PTSD. VA said he had no record of psycho activities, so unless he lost his drivers license and or had road rage to forget PTSD.


  25. Join Date
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    Saginaw ,Michigan

    Thumbs up Go FOR IT

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Zok View Post
    I just got my latest rejection letter tonight. First rejection was for not having evidence of a chronic condition. That information was then provided. The next rejection comes back as not having developed OsteoArthritis from one year of discharge. This latest one weaves the story that this was all caused my motorcycle accident and not the helicopter crash of 38 years ago. Spraining a knee does not turn the inside of your knee black. That is done over a long period of time. Guess it's time to go get a check up from the neck up so I can let loose on someone. Wish me luck!!
    [FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]Larry ! It sounds just about the way they go. All the hurdles they can find and then some. Then they go for the (jumping threw the RING's) just don't give in to them and I'll say a few prayer's in your behalf. Semper FI my friend God Speed .[/SIZE][/FONT]
    J.J. HALL( Jerry)


  26. Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Saginaw ,Michigan

    Exclamation they work for SELF

    Quote Originally Posted by spook View Post
    A friend of mine who is an Army veteran ex Special Forces Vietnam; got his rejection letter this morning; His occupation is Commercial Truck Driver (Since 1970). He applied for PTSD. VA said he had no record of psycho activities, so unless he lost his drivers license and or had road rage to forget PTSD.
    [FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]Sounds like they are closing things down and making it hard to get to 1st base. All the Men and women coming back from the 2 fronts are in the system and Now we (Vietnam vets) are on the other end this time around. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    J.J. HALL( Jerry)

  27. Newly Registered User paul sheehan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Peachtree City, GA

    Agent Orange Update

    This article was on the military.com site this morning:

    Shinseki Stopped Hearing on AO Decision
    Tom Philpott | June 10, 2010

    Shinseki Stopped Hearing on Agent Orange Decision
    VA Secretary Eric Shinseki met with Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, last month to ask that he cancel a hearing on the secretary's controversial decision to add three diseases to the list of Vietnam veteran illnesses presumed caused by exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in that war.

    Akaka reluctantly agreed, an informed source told Military Update. The VA thus avoided a brighter public spotlight, so far, on a decision that will help tens of thousands of veterans but also will add $13.6 billion to VA compensation claims in a single year.

    Akaka and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), a committee member, are pressing Shinseki outside of the hearing process to explain last October's decision to add heart disease, Parkinson's disease and B-cell leukemia to the list of illnesses presumed caused by Agent Orange.

    Several weeks after their meeting, Akaka followed up on a March letter to Shinseki with a new one, this one asking the secretary for more details on the consequences of presuming service-connection for ischemic heart disease to any veteran who can show he stepped foot in Vietnam.

    Katie Roberts, Shinseki's press secretary, had no comment on whether the private meeting occurred. She did note in an e-mail that "VA's primary mission is to be an advocate for veterans of all eras" and that "veterans who endure health problems as a result of their service deserve better."
    "Throughout the entire Agent Orange review process," Roberts added, "VA has followed the rules created by Congress.

    A spokesman for Akaka could not say "what was discussed in a personal meeting." But the committee had scheduled an April 21 hearing on Shinseki's Agent Orange decision. At VA's request that was reset to May 5. But the hearing topic changed again when VA refused to provide witnesses.

    "Chairman Akaka remains concerned about the decision and still intends to pursue this matter in the committee," said Jesse Broder Van Dyke. "The hearing could be rescheduled again in the late summer or fall."

    Veterans diagnosed with a presumptive Agent Orange disease can file for a service-connected disability rating and monthly compensation. Surviving spouses too can file claims, for dependency and indemnity compensation, if married veterans die of service-connected ailments.

    VA issued an interim regulation in March for implementing Shinseki's decision, even cutting the 60-day comment period in half. However, because of the large cost involved, Webb in late May attached an amendment to a war supplemental bill to prevent claims under the newly presumptive diseases from being paid until 60 days after a final regulation is published.
    That final rule likely won't be published until fall, at the earliest, but when claims can be paid they will be retroactive the date first filed.

    Webb's maneuver is to give Congress more time to study the science behind Shinseki's decision and how the hefty cost -- $42.2 billion over 10 years -- could impact other VA services. It's a particular concern for Akaka.

    To stop the regulation from taking effect, both the House and Senate would have to pass a blocking resolution. Veterans' service organizations say that is not likely to happen.

    Some critics say Congress, in effect, abdicated its responsibility to stay atop these compensation issues when it passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991, giving the secretary authority to make presumptive disease decisions.
    But Webb complained in a June 4 letter to Shinseki that the law was intended "to establish presumption of service connection for relatively rare conditions." Instead, "presumptions have expanded to include common diseases of aging." He noted that the VA secretary added prostate cancer to the list of Agent Orange diseases in 1996 and Type-2 diabetes in 2001.

    Today, almost 10 percent of veterans who served in Vietnam are compensated for Type-2 diabetes, Webb said. Adding ischemic heart disease will be "a new dramatic expansion of disability compensation."
    Webb, like Shinseki, is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran. But on this issue he is being attacked bitterly through letters, e-mails and online chat rooms by ailing veterans who expected by now to be drawing VA compensation.

    It was Webb, in his letter, who revealed that VA twice had declined to testify on Shinseki's Agent Orange decision. It was another source who said Shinseki met with Akaka to ask that no such hearing be held.

    In an April 26 letter, Shinseki advised Akaka that ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, could generate 76,000 new claims this year and retroactive payment for 75,000 claims filed earlier. Another 41,600 heart disease claims are expected in 2011, VA calculated, and another 44,000 could be filed from 2012 through 2015.

    Under the Agent Orange Act, VA hires the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) to review the latest scientific evidence that associates herbicide exposure to disease. An updated IOM report is issued every two years.

    Akaka's letter to Shinseki May 28 indicates it's the decision on heart disease, the third most common illness among the elderly, that so concerns the committee. The IOM found "inadequate or insufficient evidence" of a link in 2006. In its 2008 update, IOM put heavier emphasis on studies showing a more rigorous tracking of exposure levels. Five of them showed a "strong statistically significant association." So IOM switched ischemic heart disease from a category of "insufficient evidence" to "limited or suggestive evidence."
    Veterans waited months for Shinseki to act on the 2008 report. His decision, when finally made, delighted many Vietnam veterans. Akaka and Webb now want to learn a lot more about what went into that decision.

  28. HMM-263 Moderator Ray Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Norfolk, VA

    Sen. Webb questions new benefit for Vietnam vets

    http://hamptonroads.com/2010/06/sen-...t-vietnam-vets

    This article is from our local paper.

  29. Newly Registered User paul sheehan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Peachtree City, GA

    Webb

    Here's a new article from military.com in reference to Webb and Senate hearings: (It's interesting that he picks on benefits to Vietnam Vets as his line in the sand to "restoring a proper balance of power between the legislative and executive branches")

    September Agent Orange Hearing Set; Webb Wants Answers

    VA Secretary Eric Shinseki will get the Senate hearing he didn't want.

    Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) says he will use a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing -- rescheduled now for Sept. 23 -- to have Shinseki explain his decision to compensate Vietnam veterans, and many surviving spouses, for three more ailments including heart disease.

    Shinseki announced last October that ischemic heart disease, Parkinson's disease and B-Cell leukemia will be added to the list of illnesses presumed caused by exposure to defoliants, including Agent Orange, used to clear jungle in combat areas during the war.

    VA projects that the decision will cost $13.4 billion in 2010 alone as it will qualify a few hundred thousand more veterans for service-connected disability compensation.

    Those veterans, it now appears, will have to wait at least a few more months before claims can be paid. And there is at least some doubt now they will be paid. That will depend on whether Webb and enough of his colleagues are dissatisfied with the science behind Shinseki's decision.
    In an interview in his Capitol Hill office Wednesday, Webb said he was surprised to find among line items in an emergency wartime supplemental bill (HR 4899) a few weeks ago $13.4 billion attributed to "veterans." He asked staff to find out what it would fund.

    "It came back this was the Agent Orange law," Webb said. Webb, a highly-decorated Marine from combat service in Vietnam, said this deepened his skepticism over the soundness of that law and how it has been used.
    "When the law was passed there were two areas that raised questions for me," Webb explained. "One was the presumption of exposure for anyone who had been in Vietnam; 2.7 million people had an automatic presumption of exposure. And then the notion that the VA administrator, now the secretary of veterans' affairs, has discretion based on scientific evidence to decide a service-connection" to various illnesses. "It's very broad."

    Webb amended HR 4899 so claims can't be paid on the three newly-named Agent Orange illnesses until 60 days after a final rule is published.
    "This is an area where we have a responsibility to pump for more [information] to tell us specifically how they made the connection. The only appropriate way to do that is say, 'Let's fence the money for 60 days and get some clarification here.' "

    Webb said he was unaware on finding the $13.4 billion in the bill that Shinseki had asked Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the VA committee, not to hold a hearing on this issue. Akaka had scheduled one for April, then rescheduled for early May when VA declined to send witnesses.
    One theme he ran on in 2006, Webb said, was restoring a proper balance of power between the legislative and executive branches. Too much authority had been conceded to, or usurped by, recent administrations.

    Webb said he even fired off a letter to President Obama last December challenging a claim he made as he prepared for a summit on climate change that he would return from Copenhagen with a binding agreement.

    "I just felt compelled to say, 'You do not have the constitutional authority to bind the United States to an international agreement. The Congress does." Webb said.

    Shinseki's decision on Agent Orange strikes Webb as more proof too much power has been conceded to the executive branch.

    It was the Carter administration, he said, that adopted a presumption "that everyone who was in Vietnam was exposed" to Agent Orange. At the time, he said, the decision wasn't "onerous" on VA budgets because the department only had linked Agent Orange to some rare illnesses.

    More recently, VA has found links to ailments generally associated with aging, committing VA to pay billions in additional compensation. Webb felt the scientific evidence linking Type II diabetes to Agent Orange in 2001 was soft. He is reluctant to say the same about the three illnesses Shinseki has endorsed until he hears his testimony.

    But Webb does intend to question the science behind presuming everyone who served in Vietnam was exposed to defoliants. He knows his own Marine Company was, he said, as were many other units who were engaged in combat in the countryside or handled Agent Orange directly.

    "On any given day in Vietnam they say about 10 percent of the people were actually out in direct combat. Percentages are actually higher than that because of rotations...But the majority of the people weren't in combat" where defoliants were used. "That's just the reality of it."

    The issue was handled with more precision, he suggested, in the late 1970s when Webb served as legal counsel on the House VA committee.

    "The discussions were you could develop a chronological map overlay of where defoliants had been used, and then develop a nexus in someone's service record on whether they had been in those areas. From that you could say whether these conditions would be presumptively acquired. Back then it was very small in numbers."

    "Everyone up here wants to help veterans -- no one more than I do. But a lot of people have asked about this. They want to make sure we're really (a) following the law and (b) taking care of people who are service connected. I don't want to be the one person out here doing this. I know Chairman Akaka has joined me in his concerns. The main thing is let's have Secretary Shinseki come forward and explain the causality."

    In our interview, Webb said VA wouldn't publish a final regulation until after the Sept. 23 hearing. It was later learned the hearing might fall within the 60-day period, an indication VA officials plan to publish a final rule before the hearing. That would narrow Webb's window to try to block compensation payments if he and colleagues decide such action is justified.

  30. Newly Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Louisville, Ky

    Angry A Brother is trying to Screw us

    Its hard to beleive a brother combat Marine is trying to screw us. Breaks my heart.....I don't know if it would help but if someone could find and post Webb's office email address, maybe we could at least get his attention.

  31. HMM-263 Moderator Ray Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Norfolk, VA

    Contact Info

    http://webb.senate.gov/contact.cfm

    His web site basically states, do not send me a letter, I'll never get it.


  32. Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Barboursville< WV

    Once a Marine....

    I wonder if Senator Webb would take the same position if he was up for re-election in November. Politicians seem to forget there roots once they get elected. The late Senator Murtha is another example.

  33. Moderator Mike Amtower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Corinth, TX

    Friend?

    Even tho a Former Marine ..................

    Webb is no friend of the Corps.

  34. Newly Registered User uncle00's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Linn Creek, Mo.

    The GAMES CONTINUE

    Veteran Service Organizations took the VA to court, Judge says publish the rules in 30 Days. We will see, good luck you guys who have put in for it!



    http://www.military.com/veterans-rep...ule?ESRC=vr.nl


  35. Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Barboursville< WV

    Re: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    Got my Award Letter for IHD today. I will received 60% disability with another claim for IU pending. The VA did not pay me back pay from my 1st claim in 2008 even though they mention it in the Evidence section of the Award Letter. Going to see my VSO tomorrow about it. But even with that said, I'm a happy camper!!
    Semper Fi

  36. John Ace Hunt
    Guest

    Re: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    Charles, if you didn't get the back pay, they have found a way not to pay it. Hate that, but you did get a rating. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.

  37. Jack Ubel
    Guest

    Re: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    Recieved my VA rating today. Got 30% for PYSD, 30% for heart, 20% for diabetes, 10% for neuropathy left leg, 10% for neuropathy for right leg, 10% for tinnitus, and service connected for hearing loss both ears 0% for a total of 110%, but they use their formula which reduces the 110% to 70%. Because i,m retired with over 20 years I qualify for CDR which allows me to keep my retired pay except for $22.00 a month. I get to keep my retired pay and recieve my full VA pay also. I got 12 months back pay also. Lifes great, I can't complain. If you haven't gone to the VA you need to go As you can see most of mine is from AO.

  38. Newly Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Bakersfield. California

    Re: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    At 70% you should be able to apply for unemployability (SP) which should take you to 100%. That opens up a whole lot of other bennies, like for your spouse and such.
    Larry South

  39. John Ace Hunt
    Guest

    Re: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    Larry, unemployability is fine, but it stops you from making anything more. I know Marines that took a lower rating as it allowed them to keep working, until they decided to retire. It is good for some, but bad for some. Each one has to decide. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.

  40. Jack Ubel
    Guest

    Re: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    Larry, I don't think that would work for me I'm 76 years old.

  41. Newly Registered User bobdag's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Frisco, Texas

    Wink Re: AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    I applied for ischemic heart disease benefit and received it in about 3 months. I had open heart surgery in 1994. It added to my 100% disability payment by about $300. If you have had heart problems I recommend you apply.
    Bob Dagley

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