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Court Wins

CCK Helps Vietnam Era Veteran Exposed to Agent Orange Win Compensation

Jenna Zellmer

February 21, 2022

Updated: November 20, 2023


Summary of the Case

The Veteran served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War Era, with service abroad in Korea.  In 2014, they filed their first claim for VA disability benefits for diabetes mellitus type 2, kidney disease, and prostate cancer.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied these claims.

The Veteran appealed this decision and continued to seek entitlement for diabetes with residuals, kidney disease, and prostate cancer as the result of Agent Orange exposure.

In 2015, VA once again denied the Veteran benefits.  Although the Veteran filed a VA9 appeal, they faced another VA denial in 2017.  Following this denial, the Veteran filed a new claim in 2017 for hypertension, neuropathy, cataracts, erectile dysfunction, depression, urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, and Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms.  VA denied service connection for all these claims in 2018.

The Veteran appealed the decision again, and then, in early 2019, the Veteran hired CCK to represent them.

CCK Helps Veteran Secure Well-Deserved Benefits

Shortly after CCK joined the case, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals granted service connection for prostate cancer residuals and diabetic neuropathy associated with kidney disease.  The Veteran was given a 40 percent rating for diabetes, a 20 percent rating for prostate cancer residuals, and a 60 percent rating for diabetic neuropathy associated with kidney disease.  VA also granted service connection for erectile dysfunction and special monthly compensation (SMC) for the loss of use of a creative organ.

CCK then filed a claim for a hemorrhagic stroke on behalf of the Veteran.  VA granted a 100 percent rating for a cerebrovascular accident (i.e., the stroke), 30 percent for cognitive impairment, 20 percent for a left upper extremity neurological impairment, 10 percent for a left lower extremity neurological impairment, and service connection for speech impairment.

CCK was also able to increase the rating for residuals to 40 percent and establish an earlier effective date for SMC.  In addition, CCK filed for total disability based on individual unemployability, or TDIU; however, VA deferred entitlement.  Still, CCK knew the Veteran was entitled to this benefit.

In January 2021, VA also denied entitlement to service connection for Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms, cataracts, urinary tract infection, and diabetic neuropathy.  Again, CCK appealed the decision and continued to fight on behalf of the Veteran.

Finally, in February 2021, VA granted the veteran TDIU benefits; an earlier effective date for dependent benefits; an increased rating for cerebrovascular accident with mild neurocognitive disorder and major depressive disorder to 100 percent; special monthly compensation based on the need for aid and attendance; and an increased rating for prostate cancer residuals to 60 percent, left lower extremity neurological impairment to 40 percent, and left upper extremity neurological impairment to 30 percent.

Get CCK’s Help with Your VA Appeal

If you need help with your VA disability benefits appeal, the accredited representatives at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick may be able to help.  Call us today for a free case evaluation.

About the Author

Bio photo of Jenna Zellmer

Jenna joined CCK in January of 2014 as an appellate attorney, was named Managing Attorney in September of 2019, and now serves as a Partner at the firm. Her law practice focuses on representing disabled veterans at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

See more about Jenna