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03-09-10, 11:12 AM #1
VA Secretary Seeks Fast Track For New Agent Orange Claims
WASHINGTON (March 9, 2010) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
announced today an aggressive new initiative to solicit private-sector
input on a proposed "fast track" Veterans' claims process for
service-connected presumptive illnesses due to Agent Orange exposure
during the Vietnam War.
"This will be a new way of doing business and a major step forward in
how we process the presumptive claims we expect to receive over the next
two years," Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said. "With
the latest, fastest, and most reliable technology, VA hopes to migrate
the manual processing of these claims to an automated process that meets
the needs of today's Veterans in a more timely manner."
Over the next two years, about 200,000 Veterans are expected to file
disability compensation claims under an historic expansion of three new
presumptive illnesses announced last year by Secretary Shinseki. They
affect Veterans who have Parkinson's disease, ischemic heart disease and
In practical terms, Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and
who have one of the illnesses covered by the "presumption of service
connection" don't have to prove an association between their medical
problems and military service. This "presumption" makes it easier for
Vietnam Veterans to access disability compensation benefits. Vietnam
Veterans are encouraged to submit their claims as soon as possible to
begin the important process of compensation.
Along with the publication of proposed regulations for the three new
presumptives this spring, VA intends to publish a formal request in
Federal Business Opportunities for private-sector corporations to
propose automated solutions for the parts of the claims process that
take the longest amount of time. VA believes these can be collected in
a more streamlined and accurate way.
Development involves determining what additional information is needed
to adjudicate the claim, such as military and private medical records
and the scheduling of medical examinations.
With this new approach, VA expects to shorten the time it takes to
gather evidence, which now takes on average over 90 days. Once the
claim is fully developed and all pertinent information is gathered, VA
will be able to more quickly decide the claim and process the award, if
The contract is expected to be awarded in April with proposed solutions
offered to VA within 90 days. Implementation of the solution is
expected within 150 days.
"Veterans whose health was harmed during their military service are
entitled to the best this nation has to offer," added Secretary
Shinseki. "We are undertaking an unprecedented modernization of our
claims process to ensure timely and accurate delivery of that
Last year, VA received more than one million claims for disability
compensation and pension. VA provides compensation and pension benefits
to over 3.8 million Veterans and beneficiaries. Presently, the basic
monthly rate of compensation ranges from $123 to $2,673 to Veterans
without any dependents.
Disability compensation is a non-taxable, monthly monetary benefit paid
to Veterans who are disabled as a result of an injury or illness that
was incurred or aggravated during active military service.
03-09-10, 11:53 AM #2
Good news I go in for C&P Wed.10th need all the help I can get with the A/O claim have (Ischemic Heart Desease or Coronary Artary Desease) started this over 90 days ago just now going for C&P.
03-09-10, 12:32 PM #3
03-09-10, 01:14 PM #4
Anything I Can Do For My Marine Corps Brothers and Sisters and Devil Docs and Marine Family and Friends Here I Will.
Your All I Got and I Love and Pray For You All Everyday, for Your Health, Happiness and The Benefits That Each and Every Veteran DESERVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
03-11-10, 06:49 AM #5
Rocky thanks your the Man
I printed out this and I'm going to take it to the VA Hosp today or tomorrow when I go with my new information they needed.
I've been working on this for 14 mos so far.
At the Asheville Va they are so far behind on information when the nurse gave me information on Agent Orange she said this is old and but we make copies of this to give out. The new papers are in color but we don't have them and these price are not correct so I will pencil in the correct one's.
So having some new information will probably shut them down.
I will believe the fast track process when I see it.
I'm just really thankful that some of you get better service than I do.
It's really puts mental stress on me dealing with the VA. They didn't seem to have a problem when I joined the Marines and went to Nam.
Thanks again Rocky for all you do to help us go through this process.
Semper Fi Redman
03-11-10, 02:54 PM #6
Had my C&P yesterday that hurt but I showed them the the info they did not know anything about it one of them had run out of the office and call HQ and tel them wait and see if it took.
03-11-10, 04:13 PM #7
Your Welcome Brothers!!!
03-12-10, 05:01 PM #8
All this means is more delay for those filing claims for one of the new three presumptive AO diseases. They can't process claims yet as the regulations haven't been published. It is a pipe dream that they can get a new system up and running to process agent orange claims in 150 days. They will need new servers and storage units and the procurement for these will take at least that long due to federal procurement regulations. I filed my claim for ischemic heart disease four months ago. I have already heard from them for some additional information. According to the FAST letter from November, all you have to prove is that you were in Vietnam and you have medical records showing one of the three diseases. Seems pretty cut and dry to me but then what do I know. The regional office here didn't have a copy of the FAST letter and they were telling me I had to link my heart disease to military service which is wrong under the presumptive category. Makes you wonder how they get anything done if they don't even know what their own directives are.
03-12-10, 05:10 PM #9
Not sure if I rate to post here, but how does this affect the Marine Spouse who has already lost their Marine? My Grandfather's cancer was agent orange related, and I was wondering if I should tell my grandmother to look into this.
Thank you in Advance Marines
03-12-10, 05:30 PM #10
03-12-10, 05:33 PM #11
03-12-10, 06:04 PM #12
A friend of mine from way back serve with the Army in Vietnam and filed a claim under the agent orange guidelines.It took 3 years to be declared 100% service connected and he died 6 months later.
I hope this new system help Vets,although anything will be better than the system now.
03-12-10, 06:08 PM #13
03-12-10, 06:14 PM #14
I hope you are right Rocky for the people who really need the money this will bring in.
03-12-10, 06:23 PM #15
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