New agent orange presumptives


Hi Jim. Hope all is well with you. I received an email from the VA two days ago telling me that hypothyroidism has been added to the Agent Orange Presumptive list and that I could file a claim. I was boots on the ground in Nam 1968-1970 and started having thyroid problems in 1977. I have been on Synthroid since then and my TSH is within range but I still have issues with constipation, sensitivity to cold, etc. Synthroid dosage has been changed several times over the years due to side effects. Do you think that this will be like type 2 diabetes where a 10% rating is granted if continuous medication is required? Or do you think since medication keeps it pretty much under control it would be 0%?

My VA health records note that I do have hypothyroidism and for years, so have my civilian Dr. records. Trying to make a decision on whether or not to file, I am now at 60% for IHD and 10% for hearing loss which is, as you know, a total of 60% using VA math. Thanks much Jim.


Jim's Reply:

The VA put this into place much quicker than I'd ever thought possible. That's a good thing...kudos to the Secretary.

Yes, you should file the claim. Thyroid disease is very serious and as you age it can cause issues with diabetes, your heart and a host of other things. It's simpler to go ahead and get the claim done now rather than waiting until later. 

Yes...I think that like diabetes if the disease is controlled the rating won't amount to much. However, in the last year I've advocated for a veteran who had a health crisis when his service connected DM2 and his hypothyroidism conflicted and landed him in an ICU for 3 weeks. He's now rated at 100% plus SMC housebound and that may need to be reviewed for an increase soon.

Were I you, I'd get right to it and not let this pass you by. Good luck!