Veterans Lawyer Foresees Long Waits After Agent Orange Case
A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims case pushed Vietnam-era Agent Orange exposure back into the news, and may slow down the already sluggish Veteran’s Affairs claims process.
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 28, 2010 - At the end of August, the VA added ischemic heart disease, Parkinson's disease and B-cell leukemia to the list of diseases connected to Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War. The VA announced that sufferers of those diseases may now be eligible for additional benefits because of their exposure.
More than 163,000 veterans or survivors of veterans have a pending claim related to these diseases. The VA hopes to have them all paid out by October of 2011. To meet this goal, some believe the VA has given special attention to the new cases and other veterans may see longer waiting times as a result.
“We have been hearing from the VA that the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has told it to process these claims prior to ruling on other claims,” said James G. Fausone, a veterans lawyer who works for Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC. “As a result, we have been receiving word from local Regional Offices that the normal ‘slow’ process at VA has been slowed even further because the VA has been focusing on these claims and not working on the other claims.”
Prior to the announcement, 93,000 previously denied claims hung in limbo in the system. After the announcement, 70,000 more veterans stormed the system, claiming that they suffered from the new diseases covered under the announcement. The VA expects five to 10 percent of the previously denied claims to be rejected once again due to “imprecision” in diagnostic codes and because they simply cannot reach many veterans due to movings or death.
“This announcement is great for the veterans who put their lives on the line in Vietnam, were exposed to dangerous herbicides without knowledge that they were harmful, and suffered negative health effects as a consequence,” Fausone said. “It is unfortunate that many who have suffered because of Agent Orange had to wait so long for care. It is equally unfortunate that the system cannot handle all of these claims more quickly and efficiently, so veterans can move on with their lives.”
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- Uncertainty looms over future of VA health records
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) faces uncertainty as it assesses the best way in which to meet long-term needs for its electronic health record system (EHR). One option is developing a shared system of military health records with the Department of Defense (DOD) in order to allow faster access to veterans’ records. However, efforts […]
- Veteran homelessness slashed by half in six years
The number of homeless veterans in the United States has been reduced by 47 percent since 2010. Data indicates an overall decline of 17 percent in veteran homelessness in 2015 alone. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) annual estimate, there were under 40,000 homeless veterans on a given night in January. […]
- Michigan veteran treks 1000 miles to raise awareness for PTSD
A Michigan veteran completed a cross-country walk in a mission to raise awareness for veteran suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fruitport native Marty Wills trekked 1,000 miles to Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina. He began the two-month journey in Muskegon on Memorial Day. Wills carried with him an American flag […]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: agent orange, attorney for veterans, lawyer for veterans, veteran attorney, veteran attorneys, veteran benefits attorney, veteran disability lawyer, veterans attorney, Veterans disability attorney