Are You a Vietnam Veteran or Do You Know a Vietnam Veteran?

 

Veterans who served in Vietnam any time from November 1, 1955 through May 7, 1975 may now be eligible for VA non-service-connected pension benefits.  These non-taxable monetary benefits can help pay for home or facility care and other medical expenses and are paid in addition to social security.  Survivors of these veterans may also be eligible.

 

To qualify, the Vietnam Veteran must typically have served 90 days active duty and be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.  He or she must also have a total net worth less than $130,773 which includes the total value of all countable assets plus projected gross income for twelve months with the primary residence, family vehicle, and personal belongings used on a regular basis not countable towards this total net worth.  In addition, all projected unreimbursed medical expenses are deducted from income before calculating the total net worth.

 

A single veteran may be eligible for up to $1,936 per month, while a veteran with a dependent may be eligible for up to $2,295 per month.  A veteran married to a veteran, with both in need of personal assistance or a protective environment, may be eligible for up to $3,071 per month. 

 

A second recent change that benefits Vietnam Veterans is related to service-connected conditions.  Bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism have recently been added as presumptive to exposure to Agent Orange’s previous list that included Parkinson’s disease, respiratory cancers, coronary artery disease, prostate cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, AL amyloidosis, and certain other cancers.

 

For more information related to the above changes, go to Section 2001 of H.R. 7105 at https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7105/text and to https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6395.

 

The addition of these three new presumptive conditions opens the door for Vietnam Veterans and their survivors who previously filed a claim related to hypothyroidism, Parkinsonism, or bladder cancer to now reopen that previous claim with the possibility of collecting benefits from the date of the original filing.  This reopening of the previous claim would be possible under the 1987 Nehmer class action lawsuit against the VA.  As such, these claims could result in awards of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

For more information related to Nehmer, go to

https://www.nvlsp.org/what-we-do/class-actions/nehmer-agent-orange-lawsuit.

 

Karen McIntyre, R.N., VA Accredited Agent

Veterans Information Services, Inc.