While I’m sure all you Afghan and Iraqi war Veterans have been reading about all the newly added Presumptive Illnesses in the PACT act, I hope our older Vets didn’t overlook that this act also covers more of their illnesses as well.
Before I get to my main point, please let me remind everyone that we recommend NOT filing a claim with VA. Instead, we encourage you to go to your closest VSO (Veterans Service Office/Officer) and let them interview you. They are trained and certified to know not just about the new Presumptive issues, but all of the other issues you may be facing that you haven’t even thought of, including those with benefits for your Family.
They will also know of services provided by the state and county, at no charge to Vets. And their services are free. They will create and file all the paperwork for you, using the wording that the adjudicators are looking for, and they will follow up to get you the best outcome possible.
How do you find your nearest VSO? Just go to www.KnowAVet.org and click on Veteran Service Offices (VSOs) – Your Best First Step under the Find Local Help menu on the top right. Put in your zip code and the information will be there.
Now to the main point. A long time ago we introduced you to a VA site called Exposure Ed. If you haven’t been there in a while, this would be a good time to revisit it. Once you install the free Exposure Ed app, just put in when and where you served and it will tell you not only what you may have been exposed to, but also what that exposure could have caused.
Many of us, including me for 40 years, never knew why certain things were happening to us, from illnesses to PTSD reactions, like anti-social behavior or addictions. When we saw problems, we didn’t relate them to our service, just life.
The good news is that your issues didn’t have to have been caused by your service. The service could have just made them worse, like having nightmares, when you just had bad dreams as a child.
And please remember that your claims are not just for you, they are also for your family. They have earned compensation and potential treatment for what the service caused. We have done articles on the generational effects of Agent Orange, for instance. More will come.
If you are a surviving spouse reading this, we are sincerely sorry for your loss. We strongly suggest that you too go to your closest VSO to see what you may have earned, especially if your loved one passed due to one of the issues cited in Exposure Ed.
I know this topic can be depressing but I hope you take the action to get all the care and compensation your service has earned you and your family.
Founder of KAV