Delays For Veterans Looking to Receive “Blue Water” Vietnam Benefits
People are often lured into the Army, military and Navy by the many benefits touted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Education benefits, housing benefits and various medical benefits are just some of them. Unfortunately, however, veterans do not always get the benefits they deserve. Their benefits are often delayed for years and some get denied altogether for no reason.
In June, officials from the VA announced that there would be a six-month delay in processing cases related to blue water. Blue water cases involve veterans who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam during the war and were exposed to Agent Orange. Agent Orange was an herbicide used during the war and known to cause various medical conditions such as leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, multiple myeloma, diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, Parkinson’s disease, respiratory cancers, mesothelioma and liver disorders.
It is believed that as many as 560,000 people may be considered Blue Water Navy Veterans and could be eligible for thousands of dollars in monthly disability benefits. President Donald Trump signed this into law in June. However, the following month, the VA announced that these claims would not be processed until January 2020. This would allow the VA extra time to set up new computer systems to ensure that the system can handle the influx of new claims. The law allows for processing delays.
However, it seems as though the delay is not required. Some cases were processed earlier this summer before the delay was announced, and possibly many more could be fast-tracked if the VA would stop the delay and push forward with the claims processing for the time being.
Many of these cases could be settled within the next few days. Instead, veterans who have already waited long enough are being told that they have to wait months longer. This is frustrating, as many veterans don’t have much longer to live. They fear they could die before they are approved for benefits—and many believe that is what the VA is trying to accomplish. The longer the VA can delay a claim, the better the chance that a claimant will die in the process, which means the claim does not have to get paid out. It’s a sad situation that has happened for thousands of veterans.
While the claims are being delayed, lawmakers are also pressing VA to add several new illnesses to the list of presumptive benefits cases linked to Agent Orange. When a claim is in the presumptive status, it allows veterans to skip certain types of documentation and paperwork during the claim filing process. This is in an attempt to process their claims faster and help veterans obtain their monthly benefits quicker.
Contact Us for More Information About VA Benefits
It is very frustrating for veterans to have to wait to receive the benefits they deserve. Sadly, many die while fighting for the disability income they are entitled to receive.
Are government delays causing you bankruptcy and foreclosure? Don’t give up. Get help from a White Plains veterans benefits lawyer at the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon. We can help with claims and appeals. Call 914-294-2145 to schedule a consultation.