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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 33103
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My husband passed away in 2013. I am a DoDDs teacher and I

Customer Question

My husband passed away in 2013. I am a DoDDs teacher and I live overseas. How can I get a lawyer to represent me for VA benefits? He suddenly passed away at 45. The death certificate says undetermined, but he was rated 80% for disability when he retired in 2011. I have his medical records, some anyway. He had been taking strong meds as far back as I can remember. Some of those meds shouldnt have been taken together. Each time he went to the doctor (which was a lot), his triglyceride levels were at least 3 times what they should have been. I read alot on this and cardiac arrest, among other ailments, was listed. He was diagnosed with sleep apnea and had a CPAP machine. I tried to plead my cse to the VA that he definitely passed away from a service connected disability, but I was doing this alone and they said I didn't have enough evidence. He was on the front lines when deployed 3 times. He was a part of Iraqi Freedom, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. He unit was "Docs on the Rock" What do I need to do?
Submitted: 29 days ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 29 days ago.

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 29 days ago.

Can you tell me, where are you located? Are you abroad currently?

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
I am in Germany
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 28 days ago.

Thank you
What you need to do is file for compensation. The Veterans Administration has a program that allows a stream of compensation income (it is referred to as DIC or dependents indemnity compensation) for widows who loose their spouse to a service connected condition.

What you are describing it sounds like you have a good case...but I would urge you to work with someone to help properly file...you will need to provide evidence to support that his death was caused by one or more of his service connected disabilities.

If you were in the US this would be simple...you head to your county veterans service office and they would help you file at no cost.

This may be more challenging while you are abroad...

You could certainly hire an attorney...you can google "VA claims attorney" to see folks who practice in this area. The problem is you have to pay for this (either up front...typically a few thousands dollars) or if on contingency a portion of the VA money you receive.

I would contact the VSO office for the county where you are a resident of (where home is)...it may be you can talk them into working with you remotely. I would (in my office I would take cases like this)...perhaps your local office will assist as well.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

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