Attig Law Firm Successful in Vietnam Veteran’s ClaimBy Chris Attig | Permalink
May 9th in Our Clients Wins, VA Benefits.
The Attig Law Firm secured substantial past-due VA disability benefits for our client, a Vietnam Veteran. The award of benefits to our client is the culmination of (at least) a four (4) year fight against the VA, and resulted in service connection of the Veteran’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and includes a substantial payment of past-due accrued benefits to the Veteran.
This story epitomizes what the VA has done to some of our nation’s finest young men and women in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Our client left for Vietnam in 1970 a clean-cut All-American teenager. One of his earliest experiences in Vietnam involved a fellow soldier, who forced him to play “hot potato” with the recently-severed hand of a Vietnamese national. He then went on to serve in the Phu Bai and Quang Tri regions, where (among many other incidents) he was in a helicopter that had been shot down and managed to rescue other soldiers from that crashed chopper. For his service in Vietnam, our client had received the Bronze Star.
Our client returned from Vietnam with a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other medical conditions which have defined large portions of his life for the 40 years after his combat service in Vietnam.
After filing a claim in 2008, the VA denied PTSD benefits to our client. Their basis was ridiculous and relied on a VA Compensation and Pension Exam which concluded that the Veteran did not actually have PTSD, but instead concluded that the Veteran had “antisocial personality disorder”. Curiously, a diagnosis of this condition would have required that there be evidence of the conditions onset prior to age 15 – which there was not.
(Attorney Note: The law does not permit a C&P doctor to change a mental health diagnosis without substantial medical evidence, expert analysis and due process of law. Read this blog entry for more information about this situation).
After the VA denied his claim, the Veteran retained the Attig Law Firm, who worked with medical care providers and experts to establish the true nature of this Veteran’s conditions, the true causes of the conditions, and presented these arguments to a Decision Review Officer (DRO) at a VA Regional Office.
(Attorney Note: I continue to be pleased with the DRO process in general, and the DROs in the particular VA Regional Office that granted this claim. Thanks to the DRO in the case who set aside the layers of bureaucratic red-tape, and took the time to listen to this Veteran’s story, without pre-judgment.)
Approximately 1 year after the DRO Conference, the VA issued its decision granting a rating of 50% for the Veteran’s PTSD, effective immediately. In addition, the Veteran will receive substantial past-due benefits from the VA as a result of their failure to promptly and timely grant his 2008 claim.
There is still much work to do for this Veteran; his fight with the VA is not over. However, we are thankful for the opportunity to have helped this Veteran put at least a small part of his experiences in Vietnam, and his subsequent battles with the VA, in the past.
The Attig Law Firm represents US Veterans in their disability benefits claims to the VA. The Attig Law Firm represents Veterans nationwide before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), or the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).
For claims at the VA Regional Office level, the Attig Law Firm focuses its efforts on Veterans (and the Surviving Spouses of Veterans) in Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
If you are a Veteran (or a surviving spouse of a Veteran) and have a claim before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), or the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), it is very important that you consider hiring an attorney with experience handling such claims. Even if you don’t hire the Attig Law Firm – find a reputable and competent attorney to help you with your Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) Appeal.
No post on this website is meant to be legal advice and the posts on this website do not serve as a substitute for legal advice. Information is power, and we are providing this information to give you, the Veteran, some power. This information is not widely or easily accessible to Veterans. The information presented on this website is a general description of law and processes; each case is different, and there may be approaches listed here that are not accurate or applicable to your case. Likewise, there may be information that is applicable to your case that is not provided on this Veterans Disability Compensation Blog.
It is very important that the Attig Law Firm notes that each and every Veteran’s claim is different. Just because the Attig Law Firm was able to secure substantial past-due benefits for one Veteran or Veteran’s spouse does not mean or imply that we will be able to do so for you. In some cases, the Attig Law Firm may not be able to secure any financial compensation or past-due benefits due to the facts or law of your particular case.
It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with VA Disability claims and benefits or a Veterans Service Organization to examine your particular case. If you would like to discuss your VA claim with a lawyer who handles VA Benefits and Disability Appeals, contact the Attig Law Firm, PLLC, for a free consultationwith a VA Benefits attorney.