Agent Orange Presumptives


I am currently receiving 100% disability for agent orange presumptive, Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia, and I also have bladder cancer issue. I have read that the VA is considering adding bladder cancer to it's list of presumptive agent orange conditions. This will not affect my rating, yet I wonder if the VA realizes that there are veterans out there with this condition that they are unaware of. I have fought this cancer for over ten years now, and I'm sure others are silently dealing with this type of cancer also, and they are not being recognized. Any thoughts?

Jim's Reply:

Yes, at least in theory, VA is aware of veterans who may have diagnosed conditions that might be service connected and rated except for some legislative or senior level bureaucratic action. While we would assume that the VA is our advocate and would make benefits available quickly, that's usually not the case. VA would tell you that their job is to provide benefits for veterans as well as balance an enormous budget all while serving a rather disjointed group of customers...veterans. That's not an easy task and in cases like the many cancers and other illnesses that have affected Vietnam veterans, positive action has taken way too long and VA must be more proactive to ensure we are awarded what we earned in a timely fashion.