Iwill be appearing tonight on the Scuttlebutt radio show on FM Talk 106.5 FM here in Mobile at 8:15pm. If you are not in Mobile, please listen over http://www.fmtalk1065.com/.
Tonight we will discuss the following issues:
1. Whether failing to file a new application for compensation for the three new presumptive Agent Orange diseases (Hairy Cell Leukemia and Other Chronic B-Cell Leukemia, Parkinson's Disease, and Ischemic Heart Disease) prohibits a veteran, or his dependent, from receiving 12 months of retro-active benefits after 8/31/11. My answer is no, although benefits on a new application -as compared to a re-opened application possibly subject to a Nehmer effective date- filed after 8/31/10 will be limited to the 12 months prior to the date of the new application, provided the presumptive condition was manifested before 8/31/10. 38 CFR §3.114.
2. When, where, and how to file a DIC widow or widower's application. The surviving spouse should file within 12 months of the veteran's death at their Regional Office using VA Form 21-534. I will discuss why the retro-active benefits provisions of 38 CFR §3.114 can benefit surviving spouses of veteran's whose death are caused by presumptive Agent Orange diseases.
3. How we, as a community, can get the VA to extend the time period beyond December 31, 2011 for manifestation of a chronic disability due to undiagnosed illness by Persian Gulf Veteran. 38 CFR §3.317. I will encourage everyone to write letters to their Congressman and Senators asking for immediate Congressional action in support of a extension and also send a letter to Secretary Shinseki asking him to extend the date. His address is:The Honorable Eric K. ShinsekiU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20420
4. A brief update on Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki. VA has filed a motion asking for a full court hearing. No word yet on whether the motion has been granted or denied.
Please listen tonight!