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Agent Orange: Some Widows are missing out on VA Benefits

May 24, 2011

Some Widows are missing out on VA Benefits

When The Department of Veterans Affairs added new presumptive disabilities to the list of disease from exposure to Agent Orange, it not only added benefits for the veterans but also made certain widows of Vietnam veterans eligible for benefits.

The new presumptive diseases are B-cell Leukemia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Ischemic Heart Disease.

The first two diseases are pretty self explanatory. Ischemic Heart Disease, however, is the panoptic under which many conditions fall. Simply put, it is blood flow restriction; for example, myocardial infarction (heart attack), coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular accident (stroke), among others.

If the veteran’s death was caused by the new presumptive conditions or a contributing factor, benefits could be payable. This includes a monthly compensation, health care and more.

Widows of veterans under DVA definition are spouses who remained married to the veteran until his/her date of death, and are currently unmarried.

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  1. helen franklin Reply

    My husband died in 1993 from cornary heart disease. he got out of the army in 1972 after 13 years and 9 months , had his first heart attack in march of 1980. he filed for ss and va and was turned down on both. in 1986 he had another surgery and was awarded ss but not va. He served two tours in vietnam between 1966 and 1972. My question is am I qualified to get back pay to 1980 or to 1986 ?  please let me know . Also I remarried in Nov. 2003 and he died in 2007 . he was never in the military, will this affect my DIC if and when it is awarded. Thank you for you time

  2. Bettina Wilkerson Reply

    Thank you for the Information, I did not know that heart attack and stroke were on the list as well. I did know from a Friend just a short time ago that there is such a thing as benefits for Widowes ,my Question is though ,why do some widwoes get contacted and others like me don't ?

    • admin Reply

      Hi Bettina,

      I think the only widows that might have been contacted were the ones who had previously submitted claims prior to the 3 new presumptive illnesses. The presumptive illnesses that were added last year were Ischemic Heart Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Hairy Cell Leukemia. There were many Vietnam veterans who had submitted claims previous to last year for the same illnesses so they are on record that is why the widows probably were contacted.

  3. StyleSheets Reply

    Thanks for posting this helpful information. This was just what I was looking for.

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