A couple months ago, Jay Johnston of New York was pretty disappointed, and confused, when his regional VA claims center denied his request for Agent Orange benefits. Jay knew his illnesses were on VA's list of AO "presumptive conditions" so the claim should have gone through.
Also, VA is supposed to process all C-123 claims and appeals through their St Paul MN center – so how did his claim get denied by a New York office?
Jay put the word out, and St Paul VA to the rescue. First, they profusely apologized because VA never should have processed the claim except at St Paul. Then, within four weeks of reaching out to Jay, St Paul completed his award. Effective April 4, Jay is now 100% service connected for Agent Orange exposure.
I spend a lot of time thanking the St Paul staff for trying so hard for C-123 veterans...time well-spent as we can see from our vets getting skillful and timely claims processing.
A suggestion: If your claim has been sitting at any VA regional office except St Paul, it may be because it isn't flagged as a C-123 claim. Let your service officer know and follow-up by double-checking with the VA itself to make certain your claim is being managed by St Pau.
You can count on them, as Jay can attest!