Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Agent Orange Regulations and Nehmer’s Implications on Pending Claims

by Kristina Derro

Many individuals have previously filed claims for disabilities that have recently been added as presumptive diseases for Agent Orange exposure. As a result of Nehmer, these individuals can have their previous claims reinstated and adjudicated. The VA is doing just that—hundreds of thousands of previously denied cases have been reopened and are in the process of being adjudicated.

Word from VA is that the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has instructed it to process these claims first, prior to adjudicating other claims. Therefore, we have been receiving word from local Regional Offices that the normal “slow” process at VA has been slowed even further because the VA has been focusing on these Nehmer claims and not working on the other claims.

Word of advice: prepare for a long wait at VA!

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