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VA disability for Mantle Cell Lymphoma (Vietnam Service)

leistch
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2014

I have just been diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Apparently it is directly related to my service in Vietnam. Has anyone had any experience in filing a VA claim? I am going to the DAV this morning and file the initial claim to get the date of claim locked in, and will talk to them about the procedure for getting VA disability. I would really like to hear from someone who has tried to get VA disability for this.

Thanks

Chuck Leist

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 559
Joined: Aug 2012

Welcome to the group.  My husband has MCL also.  I'm sorry, I cannot help you with VA info.  There are not too many on the site with MCL, but perhaps some can help you who have dealt with the VA with other forms of lymphoma.  I know that chromosome damage is a given, but I also read somewhere in my digging that pesticides etc. could be involved.   We both grew up here in the Sacramento Valley in a highly agricultural town during the 50's and 60's, pre regulations, and who knows what since then.  I very much  would be interested in knowing why they think it could be related to your service.  We all invite you to join us here anytime, we are a very supportive group and very willing to listen.  My husband Bill and I know what you are going through, it's not the greatest lymphoma to have for sure but no cancer is a friend.  I know you will respond well to your treatment though and they have a new "silver bullet" for relapse and the research is ongoing, so there is much room for optimism.

Our very best to you and your family as you fight this battle, Bill & Becky

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1192
Joined: May 2012

Chuck,

I have little familiarity with Mantle-type lymphoma. As Becky mentioned, it is quite uncommon (6% of all new NHL cases).  I used to receive my healthcare at VA, and worked as a vendor in the VA system for about a year in 2011 (I was never a VA Employee or a Federal Employee; my info is from the handouts they were giving the Vets).  At that time, a major initiative was underway in the VA system to provide services to persons confirmed to have Agent Orange-related illnesses.  My impression was that the determinzations were very bureauacratic:  Either your symptoms/disease were on the list of possible Agent Orange illnesses, or they were not. Cut and dried.

You did not mention if your claim is Agent Orange-related or not, but regardless, if you are claiming it is service-related, it will most likely have to be on one of their "Lists."   You are well-advised to use the DAV and any other administrative support you can get.  I always liked the care I got at VA, and their doctors are very good, although weighted down with tons of Federal red tape. At my local VA clinic (which is a large, regional office) all of their cancer treatments were contracted out to the local civilian hospital system's oncology center. I believe this is a common practice througout the VA .

The following is from a law firm, but reflects what I was saying about the "Lists" for accepted Vietnam-era illnesses. I have no relationship to them or any other law firm. The information is just a review of the new (2011) government policy .

http://www.disabilitylawclaims.com/blog/va-expands-list-of-vietnamrelated-presumptive-illnesses.cfm

This list does include Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, of which Mantle Cell is a form . It also says that if you were in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975, you ar PRESUMED to have been exposed to herbicidal chemicals, and thus qualify .

The very best of luck with your efforts at VA, and in getting well,

max

 

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