|Why Can't We Move Our Claims Forward?|
I'd hoped to push my year-old "Fast Track" claim along by asking the VA rating officer here in Portland to quickly deny it rather than let it sit in the pile, taking months or years to progress. They'd told me (through my DAV service officer) that could be done immediately with a letter request, but I learned yesterday the VA's unable to do that...due process must be taken. Apparently, Portland is still waiting for details from the Veterans Benefits Administration about how to properly deny the claim - even though ample evidence has been provided proving dioxin contamination, dioxin exposure, and dioxin-related illness.
Remember: The VA says nobody has ever been"exposed" to dioxin unless they served in Vietnam, along the DMZ and just a couple other situations. Nobody except those already-recognized situations can ever prove an illness resulted from TCDD exposure to a scientific certainty, thus the denied claims.
Fortunately, my service officer learned that my five-volume case should only take another month or two for the denial process because of a local time limitation on one of their administrative procedures.
On Thursday last week I had my Agent Orange Registry Exam, and it went quickly. Answered a few questions, had my BP, pulse and blood checked, had the strength in my arms and legs checked, and had the circulation in my ankles and carotid artery checked. Didn't even have to undress or show off scars from my nine service-connected surgeries. No need for x-rays, etc. The examiner had read through my records the night before and was familiar with my condition and asked appropriate questions. Hope to learn the results in a week or two.