The Attig Law Firm has recently helped 2 surviving spouses of Vietnam Veterans prevail in their claims for benefits to the VA. Both cases resulted in substantial past-due benefit payments to the surviving spouses.
Both cases had very similar fact patterns that went unnoticed by a great many attorneys who had looked at the cases.
This made me wonder - are the surviving spouses of Vietnam Veterans missing out on valuable benefits to which they are entitled when the cause of the Veteran's death was (or should have been) service-connected?
If you are the surviving spouse of a Vietnam Veteran who passed away, and the following sounds like your situation, please consider contacting a Veterans Benefits Attorney to discuss your case:
Vietnam Veterans that had "boots on the ground" in Vietnam during the Vietnam War are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. For these Vietnam Veterans, certain medical conditions are presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange exposure (unless another cause can be definitively proven).
If a Vietnam Veteran dies from one of those conditions, then the VA may be able to determine that the Veteran's surviving spouse is entitled to survivor benefits. (See the list below for the conditions I'm referring to.)
The problem is that the VA doesn't always know that the Vietnam Veteran died of these conditions for 3 major reasons:
1) Either the condition wasn't known to be connected to Agent Orange exposure at the time of the Veteran's death, or,
2) The VA made a mistake in concluding that the Veteran's death was not caused by the condition that resulted from Agent Orange exposure or in concluding that the condition did not play a substantial role in the Veteran's death; or,
3) At the time of an earlier claim, the Vietnam Veteran's surviving spouse may not have been able to prove that the particular condition caused their husband's death.
What does all that mean for you, the surviving spouse of a Vietnam Veteran?
Regardless how long it has been since your Vietnam Veteran husband passed away, you might be entitled to survivor benefits if some or all of the following apply to you:
A) Your husband had "boots on the ground" in Vietnam, during the Vietnam War.
B) Your husband died because of one of these diseases, or you believe that one of these diseases played a role in causing your husband's death:
C) At some point since your husband's death, you applied for surviving spouse benefits to the VA and were denied.
If any or all of those criteria apply to you, then you might be entitled to collect a substantial amount of past-due survivor benefits from the VA. This could include past-due benefits dating to the Veteran's date of death, benefits pre-dating the Veteran's death, and a monthly survivor's annuity known as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
Chris Attig, an Accredited Veterans Benefits attorney and Founder of the Attig Law Firm, PLLC is responsible for the content of the site. The principal office of Attig Law Firm, PLLC, is located in Dallas, Texas. Chris Attig is NOT Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. - Please view our website disclaimer.
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