News

Lawmakers and Advocacy Groups Push to Add High Blood Pressure to List of Presumptive Agent Orange Illnesses

March 1, 2021

This year, lawmakers and advocacy are pushing for high blood pressure to officially be added to the list of Agent Orange presumptive illnesses – a move that could potentially provide disability benefits to more than 160,000 Veterans.

According to an article published by Military Times, “In an interview with Military Times this week, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., said the issue will be a major early focus for his committee, and he has already begun work on legislative fixes for the issue…On Friday, Tester and committee ranking member Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough asking him to exercise his own authority and fast-track the issue.”

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Michael Brown





VA Secretary Vowed to Urgently Review New Toxic Exposure Benefit Rules

February 24, 2021

This week, VA Secretary Denis McDonough vowed to crucially review the new rules for presumptive benefits for Vietnam Veterans with toxic exposure. However, he failed to give a specific timeline for when these rules will be implemented.

According to an article published by MilitaryTimes.com, “In January, officials from President Donald Trump’s VA leadership team said it could be months or years before veterans suffering from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson’s-like symptoms — three new conditions added presumptive benefits list by Congress last year — would see any benefits from the change in law. Past VA officials have argued against the move in part because of lingering questions about connections between the illnesses and chemical defoliant exposure…and in part because of the potential cost of the move, estimated at about $8 billion over the next 10 years.”

 

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Matthew Brown





Depleted Uranium Not the Cause of Gulf War Illness, Study says

February 22, 2021

Veterans that were part of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm have suffered a myriad of symptoms known as Gulf War illness and have long tried to find the cause. One suspected cause was the depleted uranium used in armor-piercing rounds, however, a study released Thursday from the University of Texas and the U.K.’s University of Portsmouth proved that false.

According to an article published by MilitaryTimes.com, researcher Randall Parrish said in a release, “That depleted uranium is not and never was in the bodies of those who are ill at sufficient quantities to cause disease will surprise many, including sufferers who have, for 30 years, suspected depleted uranium may have contributed to their illness.” The report instead believes that low-level exposure to sarin gas, anti-nerve agent medication, and pesticides troops were also exposed to may be the cause.

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Michael Brown





New Report Shows Vietnam Veterans Who Served in Guam were Exposed to Agent Orange

February 17, 2021

New research is helping Vietnam-era Veterans obtain disability benefits by providing evidence that they were exposed to Agent Orange when serving in Gaum.

According to an article published by Radio.com, “Last year, two Veterans groups published a white paper citing research to support that “as likely as not,” veterans who served on Guam from 1962 to 1975 met the legal standard for exposure to Agent Orange and other “dioxin-containing herbicides.” Now, the groups — National Veterans Legal Services Program and Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law — have released updated research expanding that timeline to include veterans who served on Guam from 1958 to 1980.”

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Matthew Brown





Wolf & Brown Law Offices Names Attorney Matthew, J. Brown, Esq. as a Partner of the Firm

February 4, 2021

Matthew J. Brown, Esq., the VA-accredited attorney for the Veterans department, has been with the firm since 2017.

“I am very pleased to welcome Matthew as a new partner of the firm.”, said partner and owner Michael Brown. “Since rejoining Wolf & Brown and taking over our Veteran’s department, he has continued to impress with solid judgment, continued growth, and a nuanced and pragmatic approach to the law. This is a tremendous asset to our clients and an invaluable addition to our firm as we continue to strengthen our litigation practice.”, he added. “This helps strengthen our ability to provide the highest quality services to our clients.”

Matthew graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law-Camden in 2015. His practice focuses solely on claims and appeals before the Veterans Administration for disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation. Matt recently secured a favorable decision and settlement for a Vietnam-era veteran who has been denied service-connection for more than 50 years.

“I am ecstatic to be a partner at Wolf & Brown – not only to continue to provide quality representation to our veteran clients but also to the firm as a whole.”, said Matthew. “It has been an honor and pleasure to represent those who sacrifice for our country, and build that relationship with our Veterans.”, he added. “I look forward to continuing to work with them and navigate the bureaucracy that is the Veterans Administration.”

Wolf & Brown Law Offices is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. For more information, please visit  www.wolfandbrown.com or call (856) 428-6677.

Click here to view and download the official press release (PDF)

Categories: Veterans Disability News, Wolf and Brown News

Author: Wolf & Brown Law Offices





Veterans Seeking Coronavirus Vaccine are Denied



Lawmakers are urging the government to increase its efforts to provide Veterans with the coronavirus vaccine. Many have been denied because they have higher incomes and/or do not have a service-connected disability.

According to an article published by South Florida SunSentinel, “Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, has appealed to Dat Tran, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to waive certain requirements veterans must meet before they can receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the VA…Wasserman Schultz became aware of the problem after the South Florida SunSentinel published a story Jan 21 about veterans turned away from a VA clinic in West Palm Beach over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend because they didn’t meet income requirements.”

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Michael Brown





Veterans Call for $11 Billion Increase in VA Budget

February 3, 2021

Veterans and veterans advocacy groups across the country are calling for an $11 billion increase in the Department of Veterans Affairs budget in anticipation of the Biden administration’s rollout of its fiscal 2022 federal budget.

According to an article published by Military.com, “Three organizations — Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars — released their annual VA “independent budget” Monday, an assessment of veterans’ needs heading into the fiscal 2022 congressional budget deliberations process. The report is an “attempt to produce an honest assessment of need” not subject to the “politics of federal budget development and negotiations that inevitably have led to continuous funding deficits,” the authors wrote.”

The requested increase will aim at addressing what veterans view as shortfalls in health care and benefits services.

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Matthew Brown





Frates Bill Signed into Law

January 22, 2021

The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act – a bill championed by the late Pete Frates – is now law. The act ensures that individuals diagnosed with degenerative nerve disease are eligible for immediate Social Security Insurance benefits.

According to an article published by The Salem News, “It waives a standard five-month waiting period before benefits can begin for individuals, even after they become disabled. Frates, a Beverly native who brought worldwide attention to ALS until his death in December 2019 just shy of his 35th birthday, launched the effort for this legislative initiative with his family four years ago. It soon drew support from U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Salem.”

Relevant pages: Social Security Disability

Categories: Social Security Disability News

Author: Michael Brown





Delays Continue on VA’s Hospital Rating System

January 19, 2021

Veterans are complaining that the Department of Veterans Affairs has yet to deliver on its promise to create a more transparent way to compare the quality of its hospitals with others. This information is important because it helps veterans confirm that they are getting quality care that is comparable to other providers and also highlights the areas in which VA healthcare needs to improve.

According to Stars and Stripes “Public online quarterly reports that measured 46 categories of VA hospital issues, such as infection and mortality rates, have not been updated since 2019, though VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said they would be. At the same time, the VA has dumped its hospital rating system that awarded one to five stars for quality and replaced it with incomplete or confusing information, some veterans say.”

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Michael Brown





VA Benefit Overpayment Notices to Resume

January 6, 2021

This month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that they will be resuming benefit overpayment notifications and all veterans who received benefit overpayments in 2020 are now responsible for paying them back.

According to an article published by 8 News, “The VA announced Wednesday that it is resuming its mailing notification letters to veterans for benefit overpayments that were suspended from April 3 to Jan. 1, 2021. According to a release, the collection of these overpayments was deferred to provide financial relief to veterans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have questions? You may submit a request or call 800-827-0648 for more information (call volume is generally lower Tuesday – Friday).

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability

Categories: Veterans Disability News

Author: Wolf & Brown Law Offices