Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Widow’s Fight on the Home Front

We are delighted to share a happy ending to a long battle with the Veterans Administration (VA) for one of our clients. We will refer to her as “Cindy” and her husband “Max”.

With the death of her husband Max, an Army veteran of Vietnam, in March of 2001, Cindy began the long process of making a claim for dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) benefits. She filed her first claim with the VA for DIC in 2002. After many denials of service connected death she sought out our representation in April of 2006 where our claims developer Peter Worthington began research of information that would be submitted to the Regional Office (RO) with the hopes of a new favorable decision.

Our firm was successful in obtaining a remand from the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (USCAVC). We submitted additional evidence; including a medical opinion in February of 2010 to the RO where the claim was once again denied. The medical opinion noted the veterans heart murmur in service was not related to the veteran’s cause of death. However, it did note the cause of death was due to Ischemic heart disease. We appealed the denial from the RO to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Subsequently, Ischemic heart disease was added to the list of disabilities recognized by the VA as being related to Agent Orange Exposure.

The out-come of the review by the BVA constituted a full grant of DIC benefits for the issue on appeal of service connected cause of death. This month, over 10 years after her initial claim to the VA, Cindy received over $130,000.00 in retroactive benefits; effectively changing the course of the rest of her life.

We hope this gives those fighting for their benefits a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel.

To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability lawyer, Veterans disability attorney, Veterans lawyer, or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit

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