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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26175
Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
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Do you handle VA questions? I see you are a brother in arms. I

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Do you handle VA questions? I see you are a brother in arms.
I am a viet nam combat vet that stood on the wire from may of1970 - oct 1971 and am having a hard time getting the va giving me any disability for problems incurred from it. They call me a Viet Nam erra vet. It makes me sound like I was setting on a beach some where drinking beer. I find it insulting to all Nam Vets. Semper Fi
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.


I am a VSO...I file claims on behalf of vets every day

If you served on active duty and incurred a disability, then the VA is required to pay compensation...can you give some context on what is going on?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


I have applied for Benefets associated with agent orange exposure, Hep C, Bone and joint degeneration and chronic pain associated with all the above. The VA response is That all except agent orange exposure was do to out of service situations and behavoirs. there for I don't qualify. I am A former nurse and was exposed to hep c always. But the exposure rate in the military is very high too. Right?

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.
Got get the presumption for agent orange exposure, you have to have served in the ground in Vietnam or at one of the bases where they shipped agent orange through...did you serve in Vietnam?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Yes, I was a security person form May 1970 to oct 1971 in Danang at a base that I worked out of called Tien Shau. I was on the ground the entire time. I walked the wire of verious fire bases the entire time. Seen combat several times. had minor wounds that were takin care of by Myself or the corpman with no reports going in but am paying for it now.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.
Thank you

And sorry...I did not see your response

The VA response is That all except agent orange exposure was do to out of service situations and behavoirs. there for I don't qualify.

And that is an accurate statement of the law. That is, if your injuries are caused outside of your service, they are not compensable. The VA is not going to pay for disabilities not caused by service.

So can you tell me, what evidence did you submit that shows the denied conditions WERE caused by service ?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

How can the VA say That the military did not cause the hep C when they gave the shots out of the same gun one after another with no protection? You went through boot camp you know how it was done. and if you went over seas you received some shots for that too where you were exposed to hepititis. That is my proof right there. But more than that I want the VA to Define and reconize The Viet Nam combat Vet and the Viet Nam erra vet.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.
Sorry sir, I am not sure what you mean by

I want the VA to Define and reconize The Viet Nam combat Vet and the Viet Nam erra vet.

What does that mean? What recognition are you looking for exactly?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

OK, In the response I received from the VA they stated i was a viet nam erra vet which means, to me, that I could have served any where in the world except for Viet Nam during that erra and not have been exposed to "bugs" that the Viet Nam vet was. I want the VA to reconize inherit risks that a combat vet goes through instead of lumping us as a erra. And I further beleive That I received Hepititis C in Viet Nam just by the way the health practices were at the time. The VA needs to disprove my theory.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 10 months ago.
Sir, the VA uses the term "vietnam era" to indicate you are eligible for wartime service. This distinguishes you from folks who served before or after the vietnam era. Folks who serve during way are eligible for a pension benefit that folks who served in peace are not eligible for.

It has nothing to do with combat or not...that is not the va's responsibility (that is, it is the military departments that are responsible for recognizing combat service. If you served in combat, you will rate insignia or devices that distinguish that. If the military did not do this? You can file an application to correct your record)

As for Hep C, if I were working your case, I would have you contact your doctor and see if you can get them to provide an opinion that your Hep C was caused by your service. That is the key...you have the burden to prove the link between your service and your current disability.

Now...poor health care practices CAN increase the risks...but in order to submit evidence to the VA you need either

1. An opinion from a professional in the field that there is a link (so, for example, if your doctor will write a letter that it is more likely than not your Hep C was caused by your military service)

2. Peer reviewed evidence that says the same thing. Example, I just worked a case for a Marine who served in Camp Lejeune in the 1970's and who has neuropathy. There is a ton of peer reviewed literature that links exposure to toxins like Benzene (which was in the Camp Lejuene water) and neuropathy. So in this case, I was able to get a doctor to say this vets neuropathy was caused by his exposure to the water....AND I did find several studies that linked....I think this is a decent claim for the vet.

In your case, if you can not find a doctor who will say your Hep C was caused by your service, you may be able to find studies that indicate poor health practices lead to Hep C

I do most of my research here

http://scholar.google.com/

I did a search of "Hepatitis C poor health practices" and did not find much...so not sure if there is such research out there...but if you can find it? That may be the key for your case

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: Not much you can do about the "vietnam era" nomenclature...the va is free to call it what they like, but I do not believe it is derogatory.

And for your Hep C, you will need to provide evidence to link it to your service...the best way is with a letter from your doctor. If you can get such a letter, the VA will have a tough time turning your claim down.




Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26175
Experience: 12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
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