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Frequently Asked Questions

Agent Orange Diabetes

Q

What veterans are affected by this added presumptive condition?

A

Honorably discharged veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975 and have “adult onset diabetes mellitus.” You must have physically served or visited in the Republic of Vietnam, including service in the waters offshore if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam. This means the ship must have come to port in the RPV and you disembarked. This does not include veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period of February 28, 1961 to January 9, 1962. Service members who served on the 38th parallel in Korea may also be eligible if they served from April 1, 1968 through August 31, 1971.

Q

What does "presumptive condition" mean?

A

Normally, the claimant must show proof of relationship between service and the condition being claimed. Under presumption of service connection. VA presumes the relationship, if the condition was diagnosed within the time period specified in 38 CFR, 3.307(6)ii and the condition is recognized by 3.309(e).

Q

Must I have served "in-country" Vietnam to be eligible?

A

To have presumptive service connection granted for diabetes mellitus based on Vietnam service, the claimant must have served in-country.

Q

What does "in-country" mean? What if I served in support of operations in Vietnam, for example, on board a ship in the Gulf of Tonkin?

A

During the period 1/9/62 through 5/7/75, you must have physically served or visited in the Republic of Vietnam (RVM), including service in the waters offshore if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam. This means the ship must have come to port in the RVN and you disembarked.

Q

Will private medical records be accepted as proof of my diabetes? Will I be required to undergo a VA examination?

A

If private medical records are sufficient, VA can make a determination and grant based on those records.  If not, a VA examination will be required.  These records should:

  • Comment on the age of onset and the diagnostic test used to affirmatively diagnose this condition.
  • Comment on the treatment modalities (i.e. Insulin, diet, regulation of activities, etc).
  • Discuss, if applicable, the prior and current episodes of ketoacidosis of hypoglycemic reactions.  Were hospitalizations required?  What was the frequency of hospitalizations?
  • Fully describe any complications that stem from the veteran's diabetes mellitus; such as vision; cardiac; vascular; renal; neurologic (including both peripheral neuropathy and cerebral effects); amputations; and other associated complications.
     
Q

I applied for service-connection for my diabetes and was denied. The condition was however, rated as non-service connected. Will I need to reapply for service connection?

A

As soon as the governing regulations regarding this issue are published, if you had in-country Vietnam service and have diabetes, you will need to reapply. Any veteran in this situation should contact his or her local VA office at 1-800-827-1000 or by e-mail through the VA website.

Q

My husband died from diabetes and was an in-country Vietnam veteran. Do I now qualify for service connected death benefits (DIC)?

A

If you believe the cause of death was related to diabetes and the veteran had in-country service, you should contact the local VA office to determine your eligibility.

Q

When will my benefits begin if I am granted service connection for diabetes?

A

VA must publish regulations to implement this decision.  Benefit payments cannot begin prior to the date the VA publishes the final regulation concerning this issue. We expect the process to be completed by late Spring 2001.

Q

Will I receive retroactive benefits based on a grant of service connection due to presumptive service in Vietnam?

A

No. The regulations will not have a provision for retroactive payment prior to the date the final regulation is published.

Q

If I am already service connected for diabetes, will I get an increase based on this change?

A

You will not receive any additional benefits as a result of this change.  However, if your diabetic condition has increased in severity since you were last rated by VA, you should contact your local VA office.  You can file a claim for reevaluation and the local VA office can provide assistance with that claim.

Q

Can I be treated for my diabetes without applying for service connection?

A

Yes, you can be treated at any VA Medical Center. You will, however, need to show evidence of military service, usually a DD Form 214 will service as proof of service.

Q

How can I apply?

A

We would encourage any veteran with in-country Vietnam service and diagnosed diabetes mellitus to contact his or her local VA office for information and assistance on applying for benefits.

Q

Where can I get more information about the relationship between diabetes mellitus and possible exposure to Agent Orange?

A

Additional information can be found at the Veterans Health Administration web site which is at www.va.gov and the National Academy of Sciences Study on Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes can be found at the NAS website.

General Information

Q

How do I receive assistance from the Clinton County Veteran Affairs Office?

A

Please call us at 563-242-1151 to make an appointment.

Q

How do I receive a copy of my DD-214/discharge paperwork, service records, and/or medals?

A

Please call us at 563-242-1151 to make an appointment.

Q

What is the process to have "Veteran" on my driver’s license?

A

Provide a copy of your DD-214 to the Driver’s License Station or come to our office and we will assist.

Q

What makes a veteran eligible for the VA Healthcare?

A

Veterans are eligible by meeting income guidelines or Active Duty Service or a Service-Connected     Disability rating of 10% or higher.

Q

Where do I apply for Veteran License Plates?

A

At the Clinton County (Treasurer’s) Vehicle Registry Office. A form must be completed and approved by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs.

Q

How do I apply for a Military Property Tax Exemption?

A

You can apply at the Clinton County Assessor’s Office and your DD-214 must be recorded at the Clinton County Recorder’s Office, or come to our office and we will assist

Q

What are the eligibility requirements for Guard and Reserves for Veteran Benefits?

A

Please contact our office at (563) 242-1151 for review of your discharge paperwork.

Q

How do I or my Surviving Spouse qualify for Aid and Attendance?

A
  • You or your spouse must have served during a wartime period of service.
  • Contact our office at (563) 242-1511 for recognized federal wartime dates.
Q

What is the difference between Pension and Compensation?

A
  • Pension is an income-based program with federal wartime service requirements.
  • Compensation is based on a service-connected injury or illness sustained or aggravated while on active duty.  
Q

What is the difference between Survivors Pension and Widows DIC?

A
  • Survivors Pension is for the widows of wartime veterans that would qualify for Pension.
  • Widows DIC is for widows of veterans who die of a service connectable disability.
Q

How do I upgrade my discharge status?

A

Please bring a copy of your DD-214 to our office and we will assist you.