Back Pay for Purple Heart

Discussion in 'Disability' started by neumaiek, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. neumaiek

    neumaiek New Member

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    :rolleyes: I have a proud soldier who [literally] had his butt shot off in Vietnam. He has viewed the VA as welfare and has not sought medical attention untill this week. He has neuropathy, diabetes II, hip and leg pain, etc. Is there any way that he can backdate the claim to the date of his release from active duty? Any cases to read that can be reviewed as precedent either way. You know... ones that were unsuccessfull to read why they failed and visa versa. This guy really deserves a shot at it.
  2. stumpy

    stumpy New Member

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    From everything I know about the VA is that they will only back date a claim to the date the claim was originally submitted. I would suggest this Vet get a good VSO and file his claim. This is not wefare, he EARNED these benefits as a RVN Vet!!!!
  3. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    In this case he can only "go back" to the date of the claim. He didn't even have the disiblities when he left the service.
  4. neumaiek

    neumaiek New Member

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    Yes he did have the disability. The disability was created as the result of battle injuries i.e., the bullet the blew off his butt! The difficulty is in his not applying for compensation immediately upon discharge from the service. His pride and the common concept among warriors that VA Benefits are "Welfare" and not an earned benfit caused the current impasse. More and more of these Vets are surfacing as age and medical issues become more of an issue then when they served.
  5. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    While exposure to AO may have caused DMII and neuropathy they certainly weren't in evidence when the veteran left the service. DMII generally takes 20 or more years to develop. The neuropathy, even longer. Unless those were present then, there is no way they could be claimed. In any event, since he didn't make a claim then, there is nothing to back date. Make the claim, the VA will base payment to the date the claim was received.
  6. hjunker

    hjunker New Member

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    Don’t go past Monday, February 14, 2005 without filing a claim.

    File first, being sure to list all the disabilities incurred on duty. The gun shot wound that blew off his butt. As a result of having less butt, I am sure he walks differently. List that disability. If he walks with a limp, it tends to cause back problems, then list that problem secondary to the butt problem. etc. If he got shot in the service, medical records should support that so make sure that is his primary claim then make the other claims I suggested secondary to the primary if everything is true.

    List the DMII as a result of Agent Orange Exposure then list all the other medical conditions secondary to DMII. Visit a few web sites to obtain a good medical understanding of the body systems damaged by DM II, list them if they apply.

    Sounds like a slam dunk. So get that claim on the books real fast because when they grant the disability, it will be back dated to the date the claim was received by VA.
  7. neumaiek

    neumaiek New Member

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    Purple Heart Backpay

    Thank you all for your help. The claim was submited to the VARO last week as outlined in your responses. The challenge will be to see if the main problem can be backdated. There is a case out there that was successfully adjudicated and backdated as requested but that is more an anomally then anything else. The VA's reluctance to backdate is certainly understandable but there has to be a mechanism in place to do the right thing for those who earned those benefits. It is the younger soldiers who I see that abuse the system and come in with 12 inches of medical files for three years of service with nothing more substantial then acne, obesity and the resulting depression. That pales in comparison with those vets who have SC injuries and for the most part don't come in until the injuries force them into the system.
  8. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    No problem. What did you intend when you stated adjudicated? If you intended BVA, be aware the BVA isn't a court and doesn't set precident. That award may just simply be a mistake.

    There are five or six "mistakes" awarding compensation to bluewater veterans on the basis of AO presumption where the veteran didn't serve within the borders of Vietnam. Folks are trying to use them as precident in their own cases and aren't being successful.
  9. neumaiek

    neumaiek New Member

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    Purple Heart Backpay

    By adjuducated I am mearly referring to a decision reached by the VA. Appeals would be another story on another day. Could it eventually go to the BVA? Yes, but there is always the consideration that from a "legal" view, he is not the only case deserving of backdating a date of eligibility. It all depends on how important the issue is and the size of the can of worms you are going to go fishing with.

    AO is completely verified and without question. If claims were decided on the virture of being "earned" then certainly our Purple Heart recipients [for the majority of them] would receive compensation based on the date of award. Not ever happening.... $$$$$$$

  10. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    From a legal view the only thing that can happen is that for which the law provides. The VA is a fiducary of the public trust and can only disburse funds in a lawful manner. Deserving, fairness and doing the right thing have no place in their decision to base payment on a date earlier than that submitted by the vet. It simply isn't lawful. Having said that, there are any number of RO and BVA decisions that are contrary to the law and do not encumber the VA to limit future decisions in like manner. My understanding of situations like this indicate the VA cannot base payment on any date earlier than that of the date of submission unless there was a circumstance which might be "considered" to be a claim. ISTR, another stipulation is the date that particular issue became recognized. WRT DMII the earliest effective date is 9 July 2001 unless Nehmer is considered and then it wouldn't go back before 1980 and it would have to have been manifest at that time.
  11. neumaiek

    neumaiek New Member

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    Yep, that's the way I read it. I am beginning to find the the transition/outprocessing supplied the soldiers is vastly lacking in the proper informaiton to get veterans in to the VA system. If they did, there wouldn't be many of the problems we find now. Holistic VA enrollment..... ;)
  12. hjunker

    hjunker New Member

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    Neumeiek

    You started this thread by saying this was a proud soldier who viewed VA as welfare. Maybe you should let the soldier remain proud. He made a decision NOT to seek and obtain benefits offered to him. Now that he finally has some sense, his benefits should start now.

    Who’s idea was it that he deserves something before his claim? Let’s not bog the system down with I didn’t know better stories. He knew, you said so.

    Sound like a good disability claim from date of claim forward.
  13. hjunker

    hjunker New Member

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    Neumeiek

    You may be right in saying out processing may not provide proper information but I am not sure if that will ever change. I am sure out processing personnel would like to give long detailed briefings on benefits but YOUNG HEALTH SOLDIERS are not going to sit an listen. To accommodate, out processing personnel rush through the briefing and give them extra breaks.

    Fifteen twenty years down the road we hear the same old record, they didn’t tell me.

    I hear it from the young soldiers. I hear it from the retiring soldier who should know better. I worked in a personnel office and I would ask every soldier presenting a DD214 if he/she had any disabilities.

    I only did so I could give them some tips on how to transition from military to civilian life. Many had serious medical conditions that would have given them sufficient disability rating to qualify them for mandatory hiring but, they had not filed a VA disability claim because they feared receiving a disability rating. They felt it would hamper rather than help their ability to obtain civilian employment. Unbelievable.

    The very thing that would have HELPED them obtain the job they were seeking was being avoided.
  14. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Folks:

    Sorry I missed this, I'm going to have to learn to ignore the homepage and go directly to forums. It's getting hard to cut thru all this VVnW nonsense.

    Anyway, FWIW we live in a society of excuses. It is never my fault for anything rhat happens. See how quick I was to blame my failure to look around on the noise. Well, thats the way it works now. There will never be enough "I told you" to eliminate the "Nobody told me" syndrome. I still work on a large Naval reservation and the TAP (Transition Assistance Program) is two weeks long and in addition to Navy instructors we have state and federal DVA reps and private instructors teaching job hunting skills. I retired 25 years ago annd we had TAP then. Only 3 days but sufficient for me to figure out I needed to see a VSO.

    I'm reminded of a letter published in the SanDiego Union-Tribune from the wife of a retired Senior Chief Bos'n Mate, back in the 70's, who was really pissed the Navy "never told me" we would have to move out of military housing and her husband would have to get a job. Did she think she was going to live for free on the public teat for the remainder of her life?

    Nothin's changed. Well... just the date. We're still makin' excuses.
  15. hjunker

    hjunker New Member

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    I belong to several veteran organizations and when I find out someone I meet is a veteran I asked them if they are receiving adequate benefits. More often then not, they are not receiving justice and they often say “they didn’t tell me this or that”.

    The sad part about their response is brochures, handouts, announcements, etc are often posted all over the place. We have benefits fairs to try to help and they never show.

    I accept their excuse and try to help from that point forward. Same old excuse just a different date.
  16. neumaiek

    neumaiek New Member

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    To roll over and accept things as they are when they obviously are not working is completey wrong. We often fall into the catagory of doing the same things over and over the same way expecting different results. TAP has a problem of adding to the process rather than improve and morph into a process that is comprehensive. Get out and get a job is the focus. It doesn't take much to exhibit examples of soldiers that failed to apply for benefits earned AND needed. Hammer it through to them that a review of their medical records and by virtue of the hazardous of some MOS's can manifest themselves years later with service connected problems. It's just an awareness of the process of not only the medical service, the VA and of getting old. We older guys owe it to the younger ones to educate them. Then once we can say we have done everything we can, it is on their shoulders do follow through or not.
  17. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Personally, I think DoD and DVA have done a complete job of "getting the word out". Plain and simple, at some point it becomes the responsibility of the individual to do what is necessary. These are adults we're talking about. It shouldn't be necessary to "hammer it". That's for children and dogs. Adults understand they have a responsibility to themselves if no one else. Children and animals don't have the capacity to make that connection. Then, some folks never grow up and blame others for their failure to thrive.

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