Jim's Mailbag

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Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

Well, I read your article and found it interesting. I've had prostate cancer since Aug.08 and was treated in Dec. 08 with brachytherapy. I had two types of cells. I had the something-else-will-kill-ya-first type and also had the medium aggressive cell structure. My PSA at time of treatment was only 2.6 and it's a good thing DRE found it or I still wouldn't know I had prostate cancer. My C & P is scheduled for the end of Sept.

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

I was cruising through the watchdog and read about the exposure to Agent Orange. I served in Vietnam 1969-70 as a Combat Engineer with the Navy Seabees. I was exposed to more crap than I can even remember. One exposure I never read about is Creosote. This is the nasty dark black stuff (wood preservative) that was shipped to us in Nam because supposedly it was outlawed in the U.S.

Myself and a few of my buddies were to find out in an almost fatal way this stuff was very bad news. We were swabbing this stuff on Bridge decking when we found ourselves passing out with terrible headaches, nausea and a hard time breathing. After a few days in sick bay we were released and spent another several days on light duty before being allowed back in the field.

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

I have questions concerning, DA form 10-10EZR (Health Benefits Renewal Form)? I'm a veteran (TDIU) 100% sc 90% with multiple injuries. My back, hypertension, pelvic injury, migrane headaches, ect. I receive some of my care at the VAMC Atlanta, Ga. I also have a private doctor too. Every year around about this time, I usually receive a questionnaire to sign? (30 Aug) So far, I have only received the DA form 10-10EZR. Could you please, explain for me, what this form means? I have problems with the VA, right now as does every veteran who has served! I have just put in a HUD complaint, against the apartment management that renting from? The VA is involved, with the preps who are harassing and stalking me! I believe that this maybe retaliation on their part? They have also been stalling on dental work needed on two teeth! They act like don't want to do the work! I believe that this form is a catch 22? What are your thoughts? Thank you!

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

I am now a former VA employee due to mistreatment and bullying by the Administrative Officer in my department - with the complicity of the department chief. I have witnesses, backup documentation, and my mental health disability percentage was increased my 20%. My psychiatrist even gave me a letter saying I should leave the department, but I couldn't locate another job. It got to the point where I couldn't get up every morning or leave the house on some morning, so I had to put in for disability retirement.

I took my concerns to the union and the hospital human resources department. Needless to say nothing was really done. Also the department chief broke the Department of Labor rule about not interfering with my unpaid lunch break and exerting supervisory authority.

I cannot locate a lawyer to take my case. Can you provide any help or advise???

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

My brother is MIA, Vietnam, 1973. He married a citizen of Vietnam while he was in Vietnam. They were coming home in 3 weeks when his Helicopter was shot down. A "search" took place for his wife and we were told they could not find her.

In 1997, I found her myself during my 2nd trip to Vietnam. She told me that when my brother did not come home for 2-3 days (they had an apartment in Da Nang while preparing for their departure) she went to the main gate of the base. Two officers cam out and consoled her, told her that hewas dead, they were sorry and then they sent her away.

So, in 2001, I finally got DIC for her. I have been through hell and back trying to get retro-active benefits for her. She did everything right, the officers should have treated her as the wife of a fallen soldier because that is what she was. I am not bitter or angry with what went on then, I am upset now because we have been passed off and told that she should be paid but no one knows who should do it.

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

I thought you might find this interesting.

Document is available here for viewing or download.

Reply:

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I wrote to you several months ago concerning my Hepatitis-C and wanted to follow up on that issue with you.

Went to see local VA rep and he advised me to seek a letter from my internist regarding the exposure factors. I received one lab result from the time I was active duty which is directly correlated with the time of exposure to the 74'-75' time frame. In addition to the service time working at Wilford Hall Medical Center with blood borne exposure daily. I hope to meet back with the rep this week and can then file to get this started.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I have six disabilities rating from the v.a. Iam sitting here pulling my hair out trying to to do this math. MY rating are 70,40,30,20,20,10 which add up to a combined rating rating of 90% . Could you please show me how to to do this math.Please send me a chart if you have one.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I was in the Navy from 1972-79. and my first ship was an ocean going minesweeper (MSO 521) 1972-75. while aboard we used TCE almost every day. I was an electricians mate. An MSO is a small ship and while out at sea and crossing the Atlantic taking a shower everyday was only a dream. once a week if lucky. Anyway, I slept , ate , and was covered with TCE most of the time
plus it was on my clothes . I also was on a Fast Frigate FF1079 and shore duty at Norfolk Naval Air Station, wher we used TCE also but at least i could shower every day and have clean clothes but still had that crap all over me all day. Breathing that stuff would make you high as a kite(in a bad way. Was not fun). I got out in 1979 and I had been noticing problems with coordination and a tremor in my right hand as far back as 1974 but never told anyone. Looking back, it was reflected in my evaluations. I just did not put two and two together.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

You have been a great help to me. I'm no writer...just wanted to say thanks.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS OF A VETERAN THAT HAS BEEN CONTINOUSLY MISDIAGNOSED AT A VA HOSPITAL IN FAYETTEVILLE NC?

THIS IS A FEMALE VETERAN, IN SHORT I WILL EXPLAIN WHAT HAS HAPPEN OVER THE YEARS.

JUST APRIL 29, 2010, SHE WAS GIVEN A INJECTION THAT NEARLY KILLED HER. SHE HAS A HEART CONDITION AND A VERY LOW HEART RATE, BRADYCARDIA, THE VA WITHOUT READING THE RECORDS GAVE HER AN INJECTION OF NUBAIN WHICH CAUSES BRADYCARDIA.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

Good PM--James------saw yu got married-----so congrats!!!!----James just "heard" that since I am 70% SC and 30% IU----if I cash in---my wife gets ZERO---can yu shed any light on this for me @ yur convenience---THANX a lot loyal Veteran!!!!, for what yu do.

Reply:

My wife (over 15 years now) would be interested to hear I’ve gotten married. It may be best if we don’t tell her.

You're 100%, don't think about the IU part.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

First off thank you for all you do for veterans.

I am a Iraq combat infantry vet. I am 80%SC, 100%IU (PTSD ), P&T, SSDI.

I have been in thirty day inpatient programs here in Oregon. After all this I was thinking about trying to take a few class's at a community college (half time at most).

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

My wife is going to write a support letter for my IU claim. Diabetes and secondary's totaling 70%. Do you have any good advice for her support letter? We've been told to have the letter notarized.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

Is this crap true? I heard something about this from the DSO at the VA in Loma Linda, Ca. If so please send me some links to investigate. Thanks

VA, Prudential Made Secret Deal

Could this resonate as much as the Walter Reed scandal? Bloomberg reports that since 1999, Prudential Financial Inc. has had a secret agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allows it to withhold lump-sum payments of life-insurance benefits to the family of fallen soldiers—so that Prudential can invest that money and keep whatever money it makes for itself. The arrangement was completely secret for 10 years until it was put into writing in 2009. "Every veteran I've spoken with is appalled at the brazen war profiteering by Prudential," says the executive director of Veterans for Common Sense. Survivors who request lump-sum payments are sent "checkbooks"—essentially, IOUs that aren't insured by the FDIC—instead of actual checks. Prudential makes eight times as much through the investments as what it pays in interest to beneficiaries.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I am a vet from the Vietnam Era.

I am seen for healthcare at the VA HealthCare System in Chicago.

A week ago, I was scheduled at a critical surgery clinic. This clinic in itself is filled to the max on the one 'half day' that they meet per week.

What I arrived to last week at this clinic was a space, with seating for at best 20 patients, already filled to the maximum, with patients spilling out into the hallway.

After checking in which took nearly 30 minutes, I questioned what was going on but did not get an answer from the staff, who it seems, don't want to create rumblings about what is happening.

When I saw veterans on crutches and canes, or in wheel chairs, who could not even get into the space to check in, who had to wait for their names to be called by nurses and doctors out in the hallway, forced to stand, I kinda lost it and walked in to the Directors to voice my complaint as to what they were putting Veterans and staff through.

Within 30 minutes maintenance started arriving with more chairs, but that is simply not enough for what is happening here.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

Liked you article on the Myhealthyvet and the Blue button. What is up with the VA "Ebenefits" web site
https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/appmanager/eb/veterans

I am a 60% disabled vet with on going claims and what they have on their page is nothing like what is happening in real life.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I’m applying for 70% TDIU. Once I’ve received my award, how can I get the TDIU benefit to become a more permanent 100%?

Reply:

You’ve asked a question I receive dozens of time each month. The TDIU benefit is perhaps the least understood of all VA disability compensation benefits.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I wanted to thank you again for the last help you gave me about going for 100% or not to. I have another situation which I am not sure how to handle. I just received a letter from the VA tell me that they are conducting a review of my claims folder. Says my case was identified as a potential Nehmer class-member case based on the new additions of diseases related to A.O. My claim would have been for coronary artery disease which was originally denied. The coronary Artery disease was diagnosed by a VA Dr., after some testing I had done, and is on the list of medical problems. My heart problems are not life threatening, but I do take blood pressure, cholesterol, and anxiety meds. Also have a very brittle case of Diabetes, and the liver problems from Hep C.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I know you are not a lawyer but with the cost of IHD as a AO presumptive disease, can congress approve one or more and deny the other or is it all or nothing?

Reply;

I believe all 3 new presumptives will come as a package, all or nothing. I also believe that it could be nothing.