Heads Up for VA Benefits!
Blue Sharks 1970-1972
To: VP-6 Shipmates who served at Cam Ranh Bay Detachment
The Veterans Administration (VA) has recently relaxed their
requirements of proof for exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange.
As of June 1, 2018, the VA now includes ALL In-Country Vietnam personnel as eligible for the presumption of Agent Orange herbicide exposure. This means ALL of our VP-6 shipmates who were positioned at Cam Ranh Bay anytime between 1970-72 are now included (if they have heart issues or Type II diabetes). Also important to note is Box-26 of your DD-214-- as it must include "Vietnam Service Medal" and "Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal".
I was informed that a former VP-6 shipmate who I helped with a in-country certification letter is now receiving appropriate monetary compensation at a VA disability rate of 100%. And I am thrilled for him! In his case it equates to almost $3,500 monthly tax free for life. To my knowledge, this is one of the very first VP guys recognized by the VA due to Agent Orange exposure. The VA lists hundreds of naval ships and water craft whose personnel are eligible for compensation but list NO Navy Patrol Squadrons.
Here are the primary diagnosed health conditions the VA would consider (specific to Agent Orange). Heart - Coronary Artery Disease, aka Ischemic Heart Disease or Atherosclerotic Heart Disease. Any bypass, stents or unstable angina. Also Type II
mellitus Diabetes. Complications such as; Hypertension, Peripheral Neuropathy or current and past cancers. Also, any other
injuries/diseases you think might be related to military service.
How to file a claim. All VA forms are available online.
Informal Claim: FIRST- use VA Form 21-0966 (Intent to File a Claim for Compensation). This will preserve the effective date of a claim and also to compute any earned retroactive pay.
Formal Claim: Medical evidence should be submitted with the formal claim. This may include your doctors heart evaluation and evaluation of the Type II Diabetes. Use VA Form 21-526EZ (Application for Compensation). Also a copy of your DD-214, and if married - a copy of your marriage certificate via VA Form 686C. Veterans may electronically file using the portal located at www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage.
Experienced filing assistance is provided free via your county Veterans Service Office (VSO).
If you're already receiving VA benefits but didn't qualify for the
'In-Country'- status at that time, it would be well to go to: www.ebenefits.va.gov/ and review the section for 'Increased Disability Compensation'.
Important: I have searched for our shipmates e-mail addresses
and have only gathered a few hundred -- far short of all our deserving veterans. If you would review the above address and recognize a few shipmates that I've missed...please forward this to them. I plan to post this info on the PatronSix website and try to snag a few more. I will probably also use VPNavy.com (VP-6 section) and possibly Navy Times. You have earned this benefit if your health has been, or is now, a issue. By the way, this is not unique to only VP-6 but applicable to any veteran who served In-Country Vietnam.
Should it turn out that the VA requires a letter certifying your In-Country service, please contact me at "firstname.lastname@example.org" and include your:
Rate or rank (at the time of In-Country)
Aircrew number or assigned Division
Time period (mo/yr's) assigned to VP-6
Acceptance by the VA, although a slow process, with a significant medical rating...will open new additional facilities for
improved medical help and probably some amount of financial compensation; benefits all of which you have earned.