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I am retired USAF, 20 yrs. I served in an Agent Orange area of Vietnam, from 1967 - 1968. I am diabetic, have macular degeneration, partially deaf in both ears, have COPD, also sleep apnea and have had cancer near a kidney.  I retired in 1971. I am presently 84 yrs old and have a VA disability of 50 %. Because of my disabilities am I entitled to more?

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A1:  You might be entitled to more but you have to follow the process. Call your regional VA office and tell them about your condition. The first requirement is that you have medical evidence of your condition. The second is that you have a current evaluation done by VA designated MDs. The third is that the conditions are manifested from you time in service. Some of them may be in your service medical records and others may be what is termed as "presumptive". Lastly, they must be revised and rated by a VA medical panel from your region. Follow this and you might get some results. If you happen to not get approved follow up with the same process and get assistance from a service officer at the VFW, DAV or Am. Legion. Thw follow up will be important because a re rating will take effect on the dat you requested evaluation provided that not more than one year has lapsed in between evaluations. Wish you well in your efforts and thank you for your service. I, too, am a Viet Nam Vet.  (GC)  1/14/19

A2:  Sir, your disabilities may add up to more than 50% but the VA has a formula they use to determine overall disability.  For example, mine add up to around 170% and I draw 90%.  If you have not filed for EVERY issue that you have I urge you to do so through a Veteran Service Officer immediately.  Good luck, Sir. And thanks for your service to America.  (TR)  1/14/19

A3:  First,WELCOME HOME!! I know that type two diabetes is defenatly compensatable along with hypertension,and prostate cancer,and about 30 to forty other problems.Hope this info helps.GOOD LUCK!!  (PD)  1/14/19

A4:  That depends on what other service-connected illnesses/injuries you might have. What are you getting 50% for? Should be at least 20% for diabetes for sure.

Here are a few conditions associated with AO:

1. Do you feel you have PTSD or Depression? if so, you should submit a claim for these along with the necessary evidence.
2. If you have perpharal neourapahty
If you have peripheral neuropathy (tingling ? pins & needle feeling in your hands and/or legs & feet) this is secondary to diabetes.
3. Tinnitus ? Ringing in your ears ? with an audiology exam diagnosis, this should get 10%.
4. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) also secondary to diabetes. If you have ED and your doctor can diagnose you with it, you should submit a claim for ED - this will award you additional ($150) month, but no rating. And, you can get Viagra from the VA at no charge.

You should check with your VA primary care doctor or private care doctor to find out if your COPD; Sleep Apnea; and/or your cancer are related to service connected.

The VA tested me for Sleep Apnea and gave me a CPAP machine at no cost, but no rating. Visit your local DAV chapter for help filing your claims. Good luck.  (JL)  1/14/18

A5:  Apply for unemployability.  (BW)  1/14/19

A6:  Yes you are entitled to more the diabetes alone is 50% than you have your hearing loss probably neuropathy in both legs and your sleep apnea. If all this is documented you should file for an increase in you rating.Hope this was helpful.  (BB)  1/14/19

A7:  The type cancer near the kidney--is it on the list of Agent Orange cancers? If you are Type 2 diabetic, you should be or have filed for all primary/secondary conditions(can effect eyesight, hearing loss, many things, including sexual-such as "ED".   (JS)  1/14/19

A8:  You have to make contact with a Veteran"s Service Officer. I understand every county has one. Check with your county. But what I know is there are 2 distint programs for vet. (1) Non service connected disability which one can apply for if one is a veteran and the disability happened afterservice. (2) Compensation,where the disability is service connected.Check with your county VSO officer.  (JH)  1/14/19

A9:  Hello...In your description of your physical issues you don't mention whether you need assistance of any kind, so I assume you can handle your daily needs. I also see no mention of PTSD, so I also assume you have no issues with nightmares, or flashbacks. You do mention some issues that are attributed to Agent Orange exposure. I was an Infantryman in 1965-66 and received two gunshot wounds and also suffer from PTSD, in addition to residual physical issues with the wounds. I made my first claim to the VA in 2013 and began receiving 60% which was boosted to 80% within a few months, when the remainder of my issues were evaluated. I was finally bumped up to 100% in 2018, thanks to a doctor who took an interest in me and sent in his evaluation. This last comment is your key, you need to find a concerned doctor who is willing to help you. Your current disabilities at 50% is low, in my estimation. You can also be evaluated for PTSD, if you have any issues. A good doctor can lump all your disabilities together and put you in for a higher rating. I wish you the best.  (JD)  1/14/19

A10:  With all of that, medical trouble, you're probably close to 80% and maybe 100%.
You need a Service Officer to handle your case. They are free and that is what they are for. Each state pays for them.  You can use VFW, & DAV, for Service Officers.  I would make a claim soon. (CS)  1/15/19

A11:  The only way to know is to file a claim. Based on the evidence you submit, you will be awarded compensation in line with your conditions.  (AP)  2/1/19


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