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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.
 

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

I've found a web site that has V.A. publications and manuals that deal with what those people ( the V.A. ) are supposed to be doing for veterans. On my search engine, I typed in: www1.va.gov/vhapublications

Reply:

That’s a great site. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoy getting mail from veterans like you who want to reach out to help other veterans. You made my day!
 

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2010

Jim,

Thank you for the work you do on behalf of all veterans.

After the hearing on AO Presumptive ISH conducted 9/23/10 where does leave the veteran? What is the next step in this process?

Will the VA start to process the previously denied claims. and if so when?

Reply:

No, VA will not begin processing claims...not to my knowledge. I believe more Congressional bickering, stalling and delays will happen first. I'm not yet convinced this will pass.

Jim's Mailbag
October 23, 2010

Jim,

I do read just about all of your articles and am aware of what you say about someone who is 100% for TDIU and less for service connected disability applying for additional service connected disability to achieve 100%. I do believe that is good advice. I would like to outline my situation and ask for your opinion.

I am currently rated at 70% for General Anxiety and 100% for TDIU. I did serve in country in Vietnam with an Air Force Combat Security Police Squadron. I know that you need a 10 year time period from the date of awarded disability in order for your wife to be eligible for DIC in case of my death. I have a suggested diagnosis of Pick's disease (also known as frontal temporal dementia) based on a PET scan. In actuality the only way this disease can be proven is by an autopsy, so I may or may not have Pick's. If I do it is a slowly progressive disease and is always terminal. The time frame varies from person to person.

My latest disability percentage was awarded in Sept 2006. So I need to "stick around" until 2016 for her to be eligible for DIC unless I pass away from General Anxiety. I think that would be hard to prove. I am military retired, however I did not sign up for SBP

Jim's Mailbag
October 22, 2010

Jim,

I follow all your notes and want to thank you for the advice. I am handling my own claims and have been for several years now. Still have appeals waiting, but recently they located some documents that show proof of Boots. I wonder how they thought I received the Purple Heart without being on land. I was attached to an aircraft carrier hundreds of miles from Vietnam.