Parkersburg, West Virginia (PRWEB) February 11, 2011
Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange during active military service should take advantage of a faster claims process being offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, West Virginia Veterans’ benefits attorney Jan Dils said this week.
“Vietnam Veterans suffering from toxic exposure who are filing these benefits claims are fortunate to have this fast-track process available to them,” said Dils, founder of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C., a Veterans’ disability benefits law firm that assists physically and mentally disabled Veterans from its offices in West Virginia and North Carolina.
“While Veterans can go through this process on their own, I would recommend consulting with an attorney who is experienced at filing these claims, including compiling the medical evidence and other information that will help to make your claim proceed,” Dils says. “The goal of a Veterans’ benefits lawyer is to avoid common roadblocks and make sure you receive the full benefits you deserve in a timely manner.”
In a final regulation that the VA published August 31, the VA added Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease and B-cell (or hairy-cell) leukemia to the list of conditions that the VA will presume to be related to a Veteran’s exposure to Agent Orange and other tactical herbicides while serving in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
The agency based its decision, in part, on a 2008 Institute of Medicine study that examined health problems associated with Agent Orange, according to the Associated Press.
If an illness is “presumed” to be service connected, Veterans do not need to prove a link between their medical problems and their military service, which can simplify and expedite the benefits claims process, Dils says.
After a 60-day congressional review of the regulation expired October 30, the VA began processing claims for disability compensation and healthcare for the new Agent Orange presumptive conditions. According to a recent news release, the VA said it had decided more than 28,000 of the claims in the first six weeks of processing.
The VA’s website states that, through February 7 2011, the VA had granted 33,193 claims based on the new Agent Orange presumptive conditions, with the average award being $18,709. The VA states that it has paid approximately $621 million in retroactive compensation to Veterans.
About Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C., focuses exclusively on helping individuals with disabilities get the financial help they deserve from the government by seeking benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Social Security Administration. The firm features West Virginia offices in Charleston, Parkersburg, Huntington, Logan and Beckley and one office in Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about Veterans’ benefits and Social Security disability benefits, contact the firm by calling (877) 838-3726 or using its online form.
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