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Most of my records were destroyed in the 1973 fire and I have severe PTSD and tinnitus that keeps me awake most nights. I recently was diagnosed with COPD and hypertension.  My VSO rep says that those are not Agent Orange related issues, so she won't help me try to get an increase in my disability rating.  What do I have to do? 

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Answers 

A1:  Get a new VSO rep.  (CF)  9/6/19

A2:  Sorry to tell you this but no Viet-Nam records were destroyed in the fire of 1973. All REMFS use this as an excuse for their claims to not invite any scrutiny.  (KS)  9/6/19

A3:  Go to the DAV.  (CO)  9/6/19

A4:  Although they may, or mat not be agent orange related, and not having seen your information I can't say - simply find another VSO willing to work with you, not against you.  (KD)  9/6/19

A5:  As of right neither COPD nor Hypertension are on the "presumptive" AO list, THERE IS scientific studies linking Hypertension and other disease to AO exposure. Supposedly, there is bipartisan support in congress for their addition to the presumptive list. However, it is sort of meandering its way through congress with no guarantees.

What should you do. Take the advice of CF & CO and get a new VSO (sounds like the one you talked with is a VA employee). CO says go to the DAV (and get one). I absolutely agree.

While the respondent (KS) in answer 2 is correct in his first sentence, his sentence about REMF's was gratuitous at best and very ill-natured at worst.  (JB)  9/6/19

A6:  Veteran Records Destroyed by Fire in 1973.

On July 12, 1973, a fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis destroyed records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Army and Air Force.

Records Held for Army Veterans:
The fire destroyed 80 percent of the records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Army between November 1, 1912 and January 1, 1960.

Exceptions: Records for retirees and reservists who were alive on July 12, 1973, were not involved in the fire.

Records Held for Air Force Veterans:
The fire destroyed 75 percent of the records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Air Force between September 25, 1947 and January 1, 1964 with surnames beginning with Hubbard and running through the end of the alphabet.

I noticed you mentioned trying to get SC increase. What records did you use for previous SC?

For individuals affected records can be reconstructed. Just takes time.  (RM)  9/6/19

A7:  Get a new VSO.  Seems your current ome doesn't know her job.  (PD)  9/6/19

A8:  Get a new rep. I am a past DAV service office, And I can tell you, for a fact your rep, is not doing his or her job.  (PJ)  9/6/19

A9:  Get a lawyer yeah you pay 20% but well worth it. Woods and Woods got me Total and Permanent 100%.  (DH)  9/6/19

A10:  The decision is not hers to make but the VA's. She must file the claim or see her boss!  (LM)  9/6/19

A11:  What group started your claim? She?s full of crap! I'm a Post Service Officer in Warsaw MO and have had several Vietnam Vets that are being paid for PTSD as well as High BP. I send all my requests to the Regional Office in St Louis MO.

Need more help/info emaile me with your phone number first and last name and city and state I MIGHT be able to get answers and write a request to your states Regional Office.  (ML)  9/6/19

A12:  Get on ebenefits and file for it yourself.  Absolutely do not go to the DAV they are worse than anyone else out there. (JD)  9/6/19

A13:  What Service organizations' VSO was representng you. If you are a Viet Nam Vet Hpyertension is Agent Orange related. PTSD is filed with the PTSD incident form and a DBQ. Hearing and tinnitus can be filed for any veteran. COPD can be secondary. Did you furnish a copy of your DD-214. It will show service in Viet Nam. Your 214 will also show stressors which assist in filing a claim. Also, you did not say what you were rated for and the percentage. Also have you ever filed for hearing and tinnitus? You can report the VSO to the state office of the organization.  (GH)  9/6/19

A14:  Fire that VSO. Seek help elsewhere.  (EB)  9/6/19

A15:  In my opinion, you need to look at increases and secondary claims. The illnesses you are talking about are not presumptive to agent orange exposure. The vso should have explained this to you. This suppose to be their job.  (AD)  9/7/19

A16:  Get a new service officer immediately. Check with your County Veterans agency to see what organization they go through.  (BW)  9/7/19

A17:  Your VSO is correct that the 2 conditions are not recognized as being related to Agent Orange. Hypertension is currently being looked at being related to agent orange by the VA. I would file a claim for hypertension because if the VA recognizes as being related to Agent Orange your date of claim would be that filled date.  Tinnitus is only rated 10% so it can't be increased. If your ptsd is severe and you're being treated for it then you should file for an increase.  (JK)  9/8/19  



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