A Vietnam veteran claims that he has been wrongly denied veterans' benefits for over 40 years. The man has described the veterans' affairs office as a more vicious enemy than the Viet-Cong he fought in the war. According to his veterans' benefits attorney, the man is owed back benefits, which they are currently seeking in court. Although the man's case is proceeding in a West Coast state, situations like this are not uncommon in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country.
The ex-psychological warfare officer had left active duty at the age of 27. Later, he went to the doctor at the VA complaining of chest pains. The VA physician said that his chest pains were not related to his service, and he was denied medical benefits. At the age of 33, he suffered a major heart attack, and later, he contracted cancer and suffered other types of illnesses throughout his life.
Because the man was initially told that his illnesses were not service-related, he went without veterans' benefits all this time until recently. A court order has opened the door to Vietnam veterans like him, who are suffering from heart disease and other types of illness. Medical evidence suggests a connection between these illnesses and exposure to Agent Orange. At the end of the day, this man's illnesses are, in fact, likely to be service-related after all.
Thus far, the man has been denied his request to enter a retroactive claim for the benefits that he did not receive over the last 40-plus years. However, he has obtained legal support from a veterans' benefits attorney to help him seek the back benefits he is owed. Pennsylvania veterans who have been denied benefits in the past may also want to retain professional assistance to seek the benefits they are rightfully due.
Source: fox5sandiego.com, "Vietnam vet says VA is denying him benefits for exposure to Agent Orange", Christian De La Rosa, Jan. 14, 2015