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Letters are always the best way of communicating and documenting

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Posted on: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jim,

My husband, a Vietnam Veteran with 25 years of service, died in August of 2008 from pancreatic cancer that the Docs. @ MD Anderson said was probably related to Agent Orange exposure from Vietnam. He also had multiple heart problems during his military years and after his retirement including open heart surgery and years later placement of stints. He was classified as 100% disabled with service connected disabilities. As his widow I received a Nehmer review letter asking for documentation. I sent a massive amount of documents beginning in 1970 until his death. I signed various copies of VA form 21-4142 and also sent his VA rating decision of Dec. 2003 and the Combat Related Special Compensation document. This was all mailed via Registered letter with return receipt requested in March of 2011. I had a few follow-up letters requesting more info. from the family doctor prior to his death and those at MD Anderson. More items sent as a result. In September of 2011 a gentleman from VA Nehmer review called and said all necessary documents are in their file and I would receive a decision soon; unfortunately I did not record the callers name. How can I check on the current status of the Review? Do I send a letter? Do I call?

Reply:

You send a letter. Letters are always the best way of communicating and documenting. The phone call you mention supports that theory. The well written letter is the best way to get the attention of the VA. You may want to use the letter generators here at the Stateside Legal web site or you can have a look at http://www.vawatchdog.org/Letter_Templates.html for a guide.

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